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Howling Farmer

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Everything posted by Howling Farmer

  1. Tucker is just a little over two now. He has had some interesting (ahem…) issues, to the point where a vet behaviorist is involved. I have done a lot of work with him, and a TON of impulse control work, and he was gradually improving. Finally got him neutered at two. Didn't expect much, since none of his issues seemed "male" related. Well, six or so weeks after the neutering, he suddenly turned over a new leaf and is considerably mellower. His overall arousal level is much, much lower, and it seems like he is able to hold it together better. Like I said, I've done a ton of work with him
  2. I actually know the woman in the video that Jen mentioned, with the deaf Akita (who, before we moved, was one of my reactive BC's best friends.) She also uses "getting to play in the stream" and "getting to greet your favorite people" as rewards to get her dog interested in working. Sometimes you have to be really creative to find what actually is a reinforcer! Leslie
  3. I really like Dr. Pachel too. Not only is he a good vet behaviorist, but he so nice and down to earth and supportive. I was at my wits end when I took Tucker to see him, and I left the appointment feeling sooo much better! Leslie
  4. The new study must be prompting interest. My BC, who has had issues with chasing his shadow, was just featured in a Portland article http://www.oregonlive.com/pets/index.ssf/2014/03/pet_talk_canines_are_also_pron.html Leslie
  5. As I think someone else said above, resource guarding is really normal behavior for dogs. Of course, that doesn't make it acceptable! Good suggestions above about trading games. You also might want to check out Jean Donaldson's "Mine." My BC stares at me all the time. Sometimes I think he's going go bore holes through my head. Leslie
  6. I also have a BC that doesn't sleep a lot during the day. He has a great off switch and has been highly reinforced for calm behavior, so he's completely calm in the house. But not sleeping. To get him to actually nap, sometimes I have to stick him in his crate, on the porch, to keep him sequestered from anything that might possibly disturb his very light slumber. If he doesn't get his naps, he gets over stimulated and on edge. And he's much more likely to be reactive. He'll still be acting calm, but his eyes will have a certain wild look about them. Then I'll know it's time to put him i
  7. When my fence guy put in my high-tensile fence, some of the strands were ground wires, the idea being what you describe. This kept the goats in, but I did have one sheep that kept getting out (wool is such a great insulator....) Once I put in another hot wire so that the space between the wires was smaller, then he stayed in. I don't live there anymore, but I'm guessing the space between the strands was 4-6 inches where the fence was "sheep height." I would think you'd want the wires close enough together so the head would touch both at once. Leslie
  8. Mine both got zapped as youngsters. The Mini Aussie came trotting back to the house, shaking his head and looking surprised and indignant. Thirty seconds later he'd forgotten about it. My poor BC was wet when he touched it, and came running back to the house, screaming bloody murder. He barked at inanimate objects for half an hour afterwards. Later, when he touched it as an adult, there was a lot less drama. Leslie
  9. In my (limited) experience, it's been the marrow that caused the problem. Scooping some of it out seems to work. My small dog seems particularly susceptible to "the problem" and gets the bones that my BC has already eaten most if not all of the marrow out of. Leslie
  10. I can't remember the dose per pound, but the dose for my 36 lb. guy was 100 mg, twice a day. I may be remembering this wrong, but I think you have to be careful to select a brand that doesn't have something bad in it for dogs. I got mine from Swansons -- Suntheanine. A lot of folks seem to have had good success with it, but I didn't really notice a difference with Tucker. I actually questioned whether it made him barkier, but I can't say for sure. Best of luck. Leslie
  11. When I was looking for a pup, Dee Woessner was highly recommended by the Open level trial handler I was taking lessons from. I didn't end up getting a pup from her, just because of timing, but I did communicate with her quite a bit and was very impressed. She did do the ENS with her pups, and it sounded like they were extensively socialized. No breeding contract as I recall. I can't remember if she did any testing. And I don't remember exactly where she is, but I'm sure you can find her -- on the East Coast somewhere. Best of luck. Leslie
  12. We have had problems with Tucker chasing his shadow and obsessing over his reflection (weirdly, it never generalized to other shadows and reflections...) We have pretty much extinguished the behavior in the house (last winter we had a huge problem when he discovered his reflection in the chrome on our wood stove.) With Tucker, it's related to anxiety and arousal, so we worked on decreasing his arousal around the shadow/reflection. Every time he went to "jump" on the reflection, we told him in the most bored voice we could manage "go lie down." If he kept popping up to jump on it, we w
  13. Hi Amy, You might have to drive somewhere to do the training. I live in the country too, and it seems like I am always having to drive somewhere to get the right training set up! It's a huge pain, but it's worth it. Is there someplace you could go where you could get far enough away from the cars to be under threshold (she's noticing cars but not trying to chase them)? Ideally, this is someplace where a car passes every minute or two (this way she won't be overwhelmed, but you won't have to wait forever to see one.) It sounds like this won't work so well at your property because
  14. Emily Larlham has a wonderful new dvd called "Harnessing the Hunter," which is all about lowering arousal and building reliability around prey. Exactly the squirrel issue! I bought it and it is super user-friendly, with lots of creative exercises that are helpful in everyday life as well. The dvd is also really encouraging because she has two hunting-breed dogs that were NUTS about prey (it's on the video) and now are calm around prey. The dvd is available at Tawzerdog.com. Leslie
  15. Our cat was actually the first one to figure out the dog door!
  16. It took Tucker a few days before he was really going in and out on his own. We started by holding it open most of the way, letting him get used to going in and out (with rewards after he did.) Gradually we started holding it open less, so that he had to push it just a bit to get in or out, and getting him used to feeling it come down on his back. Then we gradually lowered it more so that he was mostly pushing it and we were just holding it open a bit. When he pushed it, we'd say "push" and give him lots of encouragement. Finally, he got to the point where he was pushing it open all by him
  17. I will be curious to hear what others have to say. We have been battling Tucker's reflection/shadow chasing and he's gotten much better, but it's still an issue. We did have one technique that (miraculously...) eliminated the behavior inside our old house. Tucker had gotten so obsessed with his reflection (he's only interested in HIS reflection or shadow) that we'd covered all the shiny surfaces in the house. Well, then he noticed his reflection in the chrome on our wood stove! We couldn't cover it up because it was the heat source for our house and winter in Upstate New York. After
  18. Oh -- about tugging. I agree with Pam that tugging generally works against calming, but I think there can be some exceptions. Patricia McConnell talks about this with her dog Willie. With Tucker, tugging can actually lower his arousal in some situations. He gets so worked up and tugging gives that energy some place to go, besides barking and lunging. But he is dog that, although he loves, loves tug, it is not something that sends him over the top. I actually haven't been able to use tug to effectively practice impulse control in high arousal situations because tug doesn't ever get him an
  19. I have been going through something similar with Tucker, who is 15 months. Yes, it is sooo frustrating and disappointing, especially when they seem to be doing better, then have a regression. ARGHHHH. Emily Larlham (kikopup on Youtube) has a new DVD out called "Reactivity A Program for Rehabilitation." Her program is super comprehensive and user friendly and I'm seeing a lot of improvement in Tucker, as well as in my training abilities and understanding of dog reactivity. Her dog became reactive after a situation similar to your dog's, and she talks about it on the DVD. You can get th
  20. I just got a bike trailer for Tucker and Ezra. This may not be any different from what you're already doing, but I've been using Emily Larlham's crate training video. http://dogmantics.com/2011/05/21/crate-training-part-1-clicker-dog-training/ Lots of super frequent clicking and treating. Move away from the trailer. Click and treat. Half zip the trailer. Click and treat. Unzip the trailer. C/T. Zip the trailer. C/T. Move to the front of the trailer. C/T. Lift up the trailer one inch. C/T. Unzip the trailer. C/T. Run around the trailer. C/T. Okay get out!! Then "Go in the tra
  21. Tucker is fifteen and a half months, not five and a half months, so I think we're good. Thanks much for all the links! I'm off to read them right now. I'm sure Tucker would love it if I started running half marathons. I used to run five days a week, but only like three miles. Leslie
  22. Tucker is 15 1/2 months, so I think we're okay as far as growing joints (as least for as much as I would jog. ) I've been waiting because of the growth issue, but in hindsight, I think you are right as far as it not being a bad idea to teach them to run with you when they are younger (and just not actually take them running.) Then it wouldn't be such an exciting novelty! Leslie
  23. So I'm hoping to be able to teach Tucker to jog with me. Not that I'm a runner, but I thought it would be good exercise for those times when I can't let him off leash. The problem is, the moment I start running, he gets completely over aroused and starts barking and jumping all over me. So far, the only thing I've been able to think of to do is to run a couple of steps, then stop and walk calmly, or make him down, when he starts getting too aroused. Has anyone else ever dealt with this or have any other ideas??? When I have him do a down while I run, it's no problem, he just stays there w
  24. I would wait. I have two adolescent dogs right now. We got Tucker when Ezra was six months old. Ezra was a very easy puppy, although quite shy. We wanted to get him a companion. Despite trying to do everything "right" as far as picking a breeder, socialization etc., Tucker has turned out to be a real project dog. I spend so much time dealing with his issues that Ezra's training has pretty much gone by the wayside. They do play really well and Ezra does like having a companion, but I was just thinking tonight that it would have been so much better if I had waited until Ezra was fully trained
  25. Mine eat the Volhard Natural Diet Foundation A.M. and P.M. It's a freeze-dried mix you add yogurt and veggies to in the a.m. and raw meat to in the p.m. Tucker (40#) gets the amount for the 50# dog. Ezra (Mini Aussie at 15#) gets the amount for the 10# dog. They are both doing great and have super nice coats. Leslie
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