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Everything posted by RichardH

  1. Also of note (may have talked about this on other collar threads don't remember).. I destroyed a beautiful $40 leather collar with sea water.. I had treated it gently and brushed on a little neatsfoot oil to keep freshwater out. I tried my best to keep it polished and free of dog filth, but sea water totally rotted the collar inside out - ye-uck. If you plan on doing ocean runs, get a Medium Headwater collar from Ruffwear - going on a year and the damn thing still looks new. http://www.ruffwear.com/Headwater-Collar_2 (also went with biothane and brass from http://www.dogsportgear.ca for her leash because filthy hiking monster) -Rich
  2. Yup.. No hairy armpits for Ness either.. I think your dog is totally fine. -Rich
  3. Does your school or anywhere around offer underground parking? If you're in Victoria BC Canda, there's a nice daycare there called nirvana and they're cheap as chips - not sure if your pup will be ready for daycare by then or not. -Rich
  4. Dogs: an excuse to talk to myself in an absurdly high voice and laugh at my own jokes. -RIch
  5. Just sort of got into the habit of crating (closed door) in the bedroom or at least near me if I'm travelling and staying with friends. She knows the score and runs right in. The few times I've forgotten to close the door, I found her right where I left her. Tent camping and hotels are usually an exception because the crate is kind of hard to fit in my backpack/luggage. -Rich
  6. I was trolling through old posts I made and this one came up.. what ever happened to this guy? -Rich
  7. Well it's been almost 5 months without a recurrence, so I guess I should update this thread. I had her on prednisone for a couple of weeks back in January and that seemed to have nailed it. Still have no idea what she might have had, but I'm pretty thankful it hasn't returned... Her eyes react at the same speed now and I haven't seen any shaking since about a day after I started the drugs. Speaking of prednisone.. I don't think I've ever seen my dog drink 3 big bowls of water in a day weird effects on her appetite for sure. -Rich
  8. Are Aussies sometimes blessed with a tail? At 28 pounds as a pup, I doubt he qualifies as a "mini aussie." The ears are the only thing that don't look border collie to me, but BCs have like a million ear sets, so whooo knows. If you have a video of him running around/playing, it's sometimes easy to see - the shoulders, instincts and greeting rituals are usually a dead giveaway. -Rich
  9. Reading this I'm wondering if the dog has any separation problems. If you have a webcam, try getting some video of what's happening and if your pup is freaking out or just making his own fun. Video helped me get over a lot of my bad training mistakes. How were his parents temperament wise? -Rich
  10. My dog gained a bit of weight (up to 22lbs on TOTW HIgh Prairie and Sierra Mountain - stuck with it about 4 months) and then I switched back to Acana Grasslands (back down to 18lbs for the same amount of food). Not sure what the ingredient causing it is, but I was unhappy with it. Plus her poops were gross on TOTW - so it made sense to go back. -Rich
  11. Started at 11 months with Ness (got her at 9 months). Used a long lead (25' and 50') and got her to follow me around at a few parks using clicker treats. Did that for about 3-4 weeks then I changed parks and let her totally off lead mostly using hikes. Played only recall games (I'd run away, or do something to get her attention) using stuff she loved at first (Sticks, treats, ball, me). I tried not to call when she looked distracted. I stopped luring/treating when she was 15 months and her emergency recall has been pretty much rock solid since. I taught two recalls, one verbal and one by (lip) whistling. The whistle one works very well - I don't remember when she's blown it off since being trained, the verbal one is meh and probably will be forever, so I just use it when it's no big deal (more of a "heel" I guess). She's about 2 now and I use treats/sticks when I'm really happy with her actions. I tend to ignore stuff I don't really like and she has picked up on that. I think you'll just get a groove going as long as you've got a good connection with your buddy. Good luck and keep it fun and positive. -Rich
  12. I live in a 650 sq ft apartment in downtown Vancouver with my BC, Nessie. After some problems trying to convince rescues that I'm not a terrible person for living downtown, I got her second hand from the SPCA. She was healthy of body and spirit, happy and loved playing around/being a dork with me on our meet. I may have lucked out, but I think it was just good old fashion rules/boundaries that I taught her that makes her my buddy and a good apartment citizen. She mostly just lays around and sleeps when we're at home like any other dog I've met. At first I kept her on leash in the house at first and gave lots of treats for laying down and being quiet. I ignored all bad things like barking/whining then I just sort of treated less and dropped the leashing thing as she got the hint. I'd say the process took about 3 months of work. I take Ness to work 3 days a week and to doggie daycare the other 2 days. On the weekends we go on hikes/beach walks rain or shine. Her daily routine is 3-4 walks a day at 15-40 minutes per walk and it's on my terms when we go, so I don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn or go during a downpour. I keep her crated for sleeping and car rides, so she can't get into much trouble in those contexts. It's done *me* a lot of good, too - I lost nearly 50 pounds just getting outside and having fun with the dog. I really don't feel like a scumbag at all and I think it might have been on of the better choices I've made in my life. -Rich
  13. So I went to the vet and he could definitely see a different response in her eye dilation on the left eye. He said it may be caused by a swelling in the brain (maybe infection - maybe head trauma) and put her on prednisone for a week. He was not totally convinced that it wasn't a congenital defect and I may need to follow up with a neurologist if symptoms get worse or start to bother her. -Rich
  14. Doesn't seem music related as she has done it just as pronounced when I was quietly reading. I'll drop by the vet and see if he's got any ideas. She controls it after a bit of interaction with me and it seems to be something that happens when she wakes up. She's almost 2 years old (22 mo) -Rich
  15. Over the last few weeks, I've noticed Nessie has developed a head tremor that lasts bout 20-30 seconds. It doesn't seem to bother her. She responds to me and her behavior is otherwise normal - it's an involuntary shaking. Has anyone seen anything like this in their dogs? It's pretty intermittent and usually happens when she's relaxed at home. Not much has changed about her routine or food. If anything, she's had more attention than normal and a brief boarding stay. I've seen it happen 3 or 4 times across the weeks. I got a video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ymqcfgfhfM -Rich
  16. My experience so far: I went through leather (from gundog supply mentioned above) and nylon collars (kong flat, silverfoot martingale) this year and ruined them all in the sea water - dear god, the dog stank :X. I got a ruffwear waterproof collar http://www.ruffwear.com/Headwater-Collar_2?sc=2&category=16 and it's just amazing - cheap as all get out ($30 or so)? 3 months of playing in the ocean and the forest and it still looks new: no rust, no chipping or wear. I also got a biothane leash for like $12 at an agility event and it has been great for keeping clean and free of stink - even took direct skunking. I tend to leave collars a bit loose since Ness goes to daycare while I'm at work and runs free through a lot of fenced areas in the off leash park. If she's pulling on the leash, it stays put, but if she gets tangled on a fence or needs to exit while playing, it pops right off. I've only had to track down her collar a couple of times in the year I've known her. -Rich
  17. I agree with the above and I'd add that you might just want to relax and go with the flow. Your dog is young and bouncy and probably won't be perfectly controllable yet, so don't be embarrassed about him not holding a perfect sit outside or not listening to your every wish. Since this is only happening once a week and he likes playing with other dogs maybe just let him sniff and bounce around for a sec - seems reasonable to me? If you see aggression signals from the other dog, that's usually my WTF Y U OFF LEASH?!?! moment where I start kicking ass and taking names. OTOH, If he hasn't actually recovered from his whatever his injury might be, then see a vet about it before taking him out in public, because if he's not recovered and you're always thinking worst case/doom/dark volacano death scenarios, your dog may pick up on your anxiety level and start to react. There's no point risking your dog's health and mishandling a bunch of social interactions if there's actually a risk of him hurting himself again. -Rich
  18. I'd suggest stop feeding her in the crate - it might just be pushing her over threshold. If food makes the crate easier to train, use treats and deliver them calmly by hand. Try just making her food bowls and placement totally random and break this cycle ASAP. Even better, as suggested, get everyone to hand feed her her entire meal. It's a bit annoying to hand feed, but there's a much better feedback loop there - you can teach the dog to go softer on food and improve her relationship/posessiveness response with food. Eventually food will become boring and normal. -Rich
  19. That's been my experience too. Her car crate is quite a bit smaller than her house one and it's a plastic airline style crate that's mostly blacked out with blankets. (this one to be exact http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3195394 in large and they're alway on sale) The crate's just big enough for her to stand, turn around lie down in a ball. She definitely prefers to brace up against the sides. I don't think Ness was crate trained when I started either and the first few rides had her looking pretty distressed - very wide-eyed and panting. Took a lot of tuning - turning it to an angle she'd willing jump in, various anti-slip mats, varying the amount she could see, etc - to get her to settle down and sometimes a gentle push to get her to crate up. Now it's just part of the routine and she sleeps most of the ride. -Rich -Rich
  20. She's not blind, but Ness has this problem big time. I have to crate her in the car and put down a whole bunch of anti slip matting under her. Even though she jumps in the car happily, she's still visibly upset/drooly/vomitous without her crate in the car.
  21. Some of the best advice I ever got was this from a rescue I contacted early on in my search - I went back to the drawing board after reading this (luckily that rescue and a few dog owning friends helped me find a great little dog in the end): Then there's further questions like have you had dogs before? Do you have a car or do you live close to work? Are you planning on keeping the dog indoors while you're at work? Does your farm have livestock? Do you have a doggie daycare nearby? Any chance you can bring your dog(s) to work? Also, this book helped me a whole bunch - a whole list of concrete steps to consider before and after getting a dog. Introducing the dog to friends family and other dogs and animals. http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/store/Love-Has-No-Age-Limit.html -Rich
  22. I like tricks and just general self amusing games. Chaining tricks (sit, target, spin, shake etc etc) seems to be her thing nowadays - the more we chain successfully the more wiggly and excited she gets. I'm pretty generous with treats and goofiness if she can chain about 10 things together. If she makes any mistakes, I go back to one or two, which is serious business laser eyes. For games that just amuse her (I'm being a couch potato) - raw knuckle bones, nylabones and those really slow feeding kibble game toys seem to be the best and keep her teeth pretty white. -Rich
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