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Laurel962's Achievements


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  1. I just stopped back to check this thread, and am so happy for you. How wonderful you found such a sweet little girl. 9 weeks -- oh my. I have not had a baby pup for many years. Nothing is more adorable than a puppy! Please enjoy this wonderful time when she is so little and fluffy and cute! Border collie and beagle? She will be a cutie pie. And how great you will have her at the holidays! What a lucky little girl Xena is! My best wishes for happiness for her and your family. (and yes! please share pix of her as she grows...oh my, they do grow so very fast!)
  2. Blackdawgs: I want to make it clear -- I DID NOT QUIT ANY PROGRAM. I interviewed a number of trainers and behaviorists in my area, and I chose one lady who was very highly recommended, and very nice IMHO. She was a bit far away from me, but had a beautiful new facility (very clean and modern). A lot of the local trainers have no facility, they just come to your home. So I thought this indicated her professionalism and that she had enough business (and repeat business) to be paying rent. It was SHE who quit on my dog. I am sorry if there was a misunderstanding. I did not get frustrated after 3 sessions and demand more results, or going faster, or refuse to do the (extensive) homework. SHE QUIT ON US. She told me she was afraid of getting nipped, and that if she was nipped, she was legally obligated (as a registered trainer) to report it to the county, and that would give Ladybug a "bite history" -- meaning if she ever nipped anyone, she would be taken away and probably euthanized. I certainly was never going to SUE the trainer and she was clear she offered no guarantees. In fact, I've never really seen any place offer much of a guarantee -- well, the shock collar place would. They would redo the training if it didn't work, and for their price (about $1700 for a week of in-house boarding and shock collar training), you get follow up for LIFE. (No, I didn't do it. I can't shock a dog.) I very much agree I need to learn to "read" her behavior better, and have definitely been reading and trying to learn, and work towards that. And yes, I do realize she won't be a social butterfly like my last dog.
  3. Blackdawgs: I got the shock collar from a friend for a nominal price. I tried it on MYSELF. I took Ladybug to a training franchise called "SIT MEANS SIT" which is shock collar training (I did not know that going in) and they did a short demo, about 10 minutes. She did not appear to be in pain. However, I myself just don't have the psychological makeup to shock a dog. I have also read very bad things about dogs with aggression issues, who were made much worse with shock collars. Most of the trainers I have mentioned I spoke to on the phone OR by email....I also went to 4 franchises (one mentioned above) who talked to me and did short demos with her (no charge). We only had ONE trainer, who worked with for 3 one hour private sessions and then told us she was afraid of being nipped and that Ladybug should see a (very expensive) behavioral vet and be on drugs before she would consider seeing her again. This did cost me a few hundred dollars -- which I would not begrudge AT ALL had it worked, or even put us on a consistent path that helped a bit. However, it felt like a big waste -- a few sessions of clicker training and play, a LOT of treats (remember her weight problem!) and being pushed to buy the useless Martingale collar and Baskerville Ultra muzzle (both of which she can get out of in 2 seconds). The books and videos are from the library, so while I have worked hard to read and learn, I did not really spend anything on this. I agree: all the conflicting info is crazy-making. But look at the responses here: some people have been angry with me, because I did not jump right on the NILF bandwagon. How do I know NILF is better than clicker? or clicker better than choke chain training? or any of it better than Cesar Milan method? I am not rejecting any method. My mind is open. But I keep hearing negatives, which is just TERRIBLY disheartening. I would not be writing here if I had given up on the dog. I talked to my husband tonight about this, after he overheard me talking with yet another trainer on the phone (one recommended by a member here). He was in tears, that I was going to put down his beloved dog or force him to give her away. So I can't see that as an option -- not at this point. I remain open-minded and willing to try or investigate ANYTHING that would help. Lastly: in a few weeks, she will be at the vet's office and I will talk to him about A. medication and B. consulting with the behaviorial department at the Ohio State Veterinary college.
  4. Dear doG, please tell me someone suggested you put a shock collar on a reactive dog? Whoever suggested that should be wearing the collar! Same for the prong collar. If you were really using those when she nipped, the problem self-propogated. See stranger. I will be punished...chase stranger away. NIP! ZING. Didn't NIP fast enough. I'll get that stranger next time and I won't get ZINGED. Fear reaction reinforced. (And me beating head on desk!) Also, if you are constantly switching your approach, that in itself is a problem. A reactive dog needs a calm, steady, predictable person. Yes, they most certainly DID. They said it would completely cure her. The chain is called "SIT MEANS SIT". I did get a collar (they wanted $228, I was able to get one much cheaper) and tried it a little on my own. It is very cumbersome -- heavy, must be recharged every two days. You have to carry a VERY heavy remote device. And the training costs thousands of dollars, if done properly. After 2 days, I decided that it might be OK for HER (the shocks are painless tingles) but it was NOT OK for ME. I don't have that "Nazi death camp guard" personality where I can shock anyone, even a dog. BTW: every chain or trainer SWEARS their method is best, perfect will cure your dog and if you don't do it, you don't care, you are a cheapskate and you will be sorry, etc. I can understand and endorse the muzzle when you need to take her out. I love the clicker for training tricks and obedience and it helped our reactive dog a great deal. He was attacked and the clicker was a large part of helping him to understand that good things happen when another dog appears. The nothing in life is free (NLIF) works very well too. Everything from supper to a casual treat is earned. They don't have to do cartwheels. It can be as straightforward as my boys going into their crates when I say "Crate". Then they get their dinner. (BTW don't casually feed the dog from the table). If you don't want to crate her for her food, ask her to sit, or lie down before you fill her bowl. You can also make her wait a few minutes before she's allowed to eat. It sounds mean, but she will begin to understand that you are running the railroad, not her. I just heard of NILF today, but I have ordered some books and will try it. I do often use her food as a treat, to get her to sit or give a paw or lay down. Nothing too elaborate. She is never fed from the table. Do remember: this was a morbidly obese dog just 4 months ago. She has lost almost 1/3rd her total body weight. She is on a restricted diet, and can't have all the treats a normal dog can have. Trick and obedience training keep the dog busy and mentally active. If you had an older dog, you may have forgotten as we did, just how much exercise a young dog needs. Even at 12 1/2, our Ladybug needs a regular run each day. It keeps her fit, agile and happy. She is also proof that an old dog can learn new tricks. We're working on "wipe your paws" and of course, our Ladybug picks it up first because she's our best and brightest girl ever. SORRY FOR CONFUSION. I lost a 12 year old dog in June! Ladybug is only 5 years old. She gets at least 2 long and 2 short walks each day. On the weekends, she gets good long hikes and runs in the park. Oddly, she is a very lethargic dog. Her bloodwork did not show hypothyroid. But she just lacks typical BC energy. Yes, she is a purebred BC (no papers) but she is not a mix. My 12 year old dog had six times the energy Ladybug has at 5. I feel for you; I really do. Look at doing positive things with her and be firm with the rules. It might help to write down the rules you want her to obey. Try for two or three in the beginning so you don't get confused. What do you want the dog to do (besides not nip people!)? Do you want her to have basic obedience (Sit, lay, etc.) Do you want her to do tricks? U-tube is full of great ideas for trick training. Some of the things my dogs do is pick up their toys, ring a bell to go outdoors. Again, NILF - they wait to be released to go out of the door - not just beat feet the moment it opens. They "toot their own horn" - a bicycle horn, ring a jingle bell and I'm looking for another simple instrument they can play so I can have a three dog band. They play Frisbee, fetch, catch, tug on a hanging rope. I have had a tether ball in the past but the two boys are pretty rough. It would last about five minutes. I give them a big, hard jolly ball to chase once in awhile. And oh, yeah - we do that sheep thing :)/> which is the best of all! I am always amazed and HUMBLED by the wonderful things people can teach their dogs. Alas, I'm not very good at that. My standards are modest -- I want the dog to be totally housebroken and trustworthy it will not go in the house unless sick or a true emergency. No food stealing or begging. No excessive barking. Walk on a loose leash. Sit, paw and lay down are the fanciest tricks I ever achieved! I am working on having her sit down the minute she comes indoors, so I can more easily get her leash off. The point is, you are in charge of all that is good and wonderful in your dog's life. Anything you do with the dog reinforces that you are in charge of her world and she can trust you for a predictable reaction. Give her a spot that's hers so she can retreat to it when the world gets rough but let her know that you own that spot so she doesn't get the idea that she can defend it. Make her move off of it on command. (Her spot is not your bed, by the way - give her a simple throw rug and train her to go there.) Thats a good idea -- but a tiny problem. I had such a spot for my old dog. It was just a pile of old blankets she could sleep on (she was also free to sleep on our bed or the downstairs couch). BUT about a year ago, my eldest cat had radiation therapy for a benign thyroid tumor. Somehow, it changed her behavior (though her tumor is 100% cured now). She has started wetting any bedding, towels or newspaper left on the floor. She kept soaking the dog's bed, until the dog would not use it. (the old dog). I have tried to make Ladybug a bed, even bought a nice pet bed from the store -- but the cat has ruined it. So for the present, I cannot have ANYTHING fabric or paper on the floor -- period. Another suggestion I was given that I found most helpful is to keep a journal. Every now and then (set a time i.e. on the hour), take a long considering look at the dog. What is she doing? How is she acting? What is her environment? Write it in your journal. When you take her out - write down her surroundings and how she reacts/acts to those surroundings. You may uncover some things and you'll have a dispassionate report to give whomever you decide to consult. That's an excellent idea -- I will get a notebook tomorrow and start to do this.
  5. OK, I wasn't going to respond, too many of my own emotions BUT, and I will try to make it short, and yes, I am frustrated... Laurel962, your original post made it sound like Ladybug could be a serious biter and following posts continued to make it sound like it was close to hopeless, afraid you'd lose your home, etc., this is why I think some may have suggested the possibility of having to have her PTS. As the thread has progressed, it is obvious to me that she is a nipper when she feels she cannot escape any other way. It has happened, what, now 3 times? You know she does this, what are you doing to keep from putting her in the situations that trigger her nipping? What is your reaction when she does this? I really do apologize if my first post was "over the top". I was very upset at the time I typed it. However, I'd say it is still accurate if a bit emotional. I did not say I'd LOSE MY HOUSE. I said that my homeowner's insurance WOULD drop me. I have a bite incident (with another dog) from only 2000. They are very particular these days, and will drop you even if you get a pit bull MIX. Seriously. They have told me this. I've also talked to about 20 trainers or behaviorists in my area (over 3 months) and a couple DID tell me "it is hopeless". Some said "this will never get better, you will regret this forever, don't say I did not tell you so", etc. One said "this is a tragedy about to happen". You are not quite correct about the nipping. She nips for no reason and with no warning. Her mean growling and her nipping are UNRELATED. She has never escalated a growl into a nip. She nips from a lethargic, laying-down position, while she looks like she is resting. (She is very very fast, too.) She nips once, then withdraws. She does not show signs of being agitated or upset afterwards. It is almost like it happens in a trance. It has happened about 4-5 times, depends if you count the time she nipped at/head-butted ME when I brushed burrs out of her tail (admittedly I was pulling her fur). I cannot prevent these situations, because they were all different (on the first page, I believe I list every one of them) and different people. My only choice is to muzzle her around people and other dogs. (She has not bit another dog, but does mean growling.) Or never take her anywhere. AFTER she has growled or nipped? LOL, I do what I call "useless yelling" -- "bad dog! bad Ladybug! no! no! bad dog!" (repeat 37 times). I have an aussie, who when younger would sneak up behind (men, happened twice) and nip their calves before we even knew it was happening, never breaking skin. One day my partner was talking with my neighbor over the hog wire fence and Ollie was laying down next to him. Partner turned to walk away, Ollie got up. went to fence line and nipped our neighbor on the butt as he turned to walk away. Partner was so embarrassed and shocked, he grabbed Ollie by the collar and walked him, on hind feet, up the hill and threw him in the kennel for a long time out. Ollie has never nipped anyone again... No, he was not beat. Sounds a lot like Ladybug. But do you seriously suggest I grab her by the collar and stuff her into a cage? will that really work? If any of my dogs ever tried to nip me, I would yell, HEY, and give them a time out. letting them know I highly disapprove. This is what they know is a correction. They very rarely need any kind of correction so it means something when it happens. Again, what do you do to help her understand that nipping is an unacceptable behavior? I definitely do correct her; she just looks blank like she has no idea what I am mad about. She is what I call a "hard dog". A "soft dog" if you yell at them, they look sad and miserable and often go hide. A "hard dog" will just sit there and look at you like you are insane. If you beat them (and I don't do this), they don't even care. I am sorry for the loss of your last pup but you cannot change the fact, I know this very, very well. Grieving and sadness will continue for a long time. You now have a new doggie friend. What has helped me is that I try to be the best doggie partner that I can be because my recently passed best friend would want it this way. My dogs can feel when I'm sad, depressed, etc. They can very well take advantage of a weakened state of mind, one in particular is happy to step in and try to be in charge... But then I believe that dogs are basically opportunist :)/>/>/>/>/>. It is very possible that Ladybug is reacting to your emotions. Some have said this to me -- that she can read my mind, that she knows I don't love her, etc. I don't know if this is true or not. But I can tell you: this dog is TOTALLY HAPPY. She is like a pig in mud. She plays and rolls around, and cuddles. She begs for walks and is obsessed with squirrels and oh so happy out of doors. She has a "boyfriend" behind the house, in the next yard, who she slobbers over. (They are seperated by a tall chain link fence.) She is very affectionate to myself and my husband. To see her with us in our home, you'd never dream there was a problem. Also, am wondering, does Ladybug have full run of the house and you :)/>/>/>/>/>? Is she crate trained? Are there house rules she follows? I don't crate her. If essential, I have no problem doing so but right now, I don't have a crate big enough for her. She has the run of the house, but 90% of the time is right at my side (or my husbands). She is like a little shadow. RARELY -- like 2-3 times in 4 months -- she has had an accident in the house. The way I knew this was she "disappeared" -- I got suspicious and looked around, and sure enough, she'd gone in the house. I try to be better now about taking her out, giving her an extra "pee break" each day. Occasionally she will go into my bedroom (while I am working in my office next door) and sleep on my bed with my cats. (Cats as you know sleep about 16 hours a day....). I am not sure what "house rules" you mean. Of course, the "rule" is "no peeing/pooping in the house" and no food stealing. Just once, the other day, she stole a container of chip dip off a counter -- that's the first time I have seen her STEAL food. No idea why.
  6. Hear, hear! As one of the people who mentioned euthanasia, I really am tired of the cry "All you told me was to kill my dog!" Well, yes, because YOU said your dog was biting, and growling (which is a warning, as I explained in the other thread), that you were AFRAID of her, that a trainer had booted you for fear of being bit, etc. To borrow your excessive bold type, YOU and ONLY YOU presented a very bad picture of your dog. YOU said you were afraid of being sued. YOU said you were scared. What the hell did you expect people would say I am sorry, but even though I was upset when typing that first post, I NEVER said that I personally was scared of Ladybug -- I have always said she is adoring and loving towards me. I said I was AFRAID SHE WOULD BITE SOMEONE and I'd be sued, and she would be put down by the county. That she is scaring OTHER PEOPLE, and they won't let me visit. I honestly tried very hard to explain that there is a clear difference between a nip and a tearing bite that breaks the skin -- and we may know this as dog owners -- but the LAW and other people do NOT recognize this difference, and believe me, people will go crazy if a child is hurt, even if it is "just a nip". (I apolgize for the "overuse of boldface". In posts where I need to address several points, I can't think of another way to set the type apart so it is not all one huge block.) Now you're spending a great deal of time yelling that it's not biting, it's nipping and how could anything think that a dog should be PTS for NIPPING ferchrissake. We've all accepted your amended description and moved on. You for some reason are still hung up on the comments that arose from your original, apparently much-exaggerated description of her behavior. It is not changed, so much as more specific and clear -- the way people were talking, I think they DID think I was frightened she would attack ME (not true) and took my fear of a lawsuit to mean "she will rip someone's face off" Sadly, it does not take a tearing bite or disfigurement for a child's parents to sue you. Many people (on this thread and the other) have given you options to try. What about NILIF won't work for you? What about some of the other resources? Why won't THEY work? What part of changing YOUR RELATIONSHIP with the dog (which is the approach many of us would take and is the approach that you would take if you followed some of the advice given) do you not wish to do? I did not reject NILF. In fact, the first reference to it I believe was today or yesterday. I have ordered some more books recommended her. For goodness sake, because you mention something, it does not appear in my lap instantly! I read fast, but not that fast! Also: I have no idea what "changing my relationship with my dog means". Seriously. None at all. It doesn't even make sense to me. Change it HOW? do WHAT? Numerous people have made it clear that there is NO ONE ANSWER that will fix your dog. You have to try things and see what works and what doesn't. You have to learn from her what is needed. We can't do that for you. NILIF, for example, is about teaching the dog to look to you for leadership in all things. When applied successfully, the dog stops being so reactive and instead looks to you to determine how to react. I never thought there was one answer. I posted to get a variety of answers, and hopefully pick and choose the best information and advice and go from there. I do get the basic concept of NILF; it is incorporated into many of the training programs that I looked into. Some of them -- now, I am not saying YOU or anyone here -- but some of the trainers using this really seemed to be dominating their dogs in a very harsh, militaristic way that I could never replicate (choke and prong collars, making the dog "sit & stay" for literally hours at a time, etc.). These programs are available to me, and they would be cheaper than a behavioral vet, and if you guys really think "that's the best way to go", I can take another look at them. The average cost was about $600. Yes, people are getting exasperated with you. WE're trying to help and we're getting back is a lot of complaining about ONE set of answers that might have been appropriate based on your original post. The rest of us have moved on from that. Why can't you? I was upset to read several posts about euthanasia. I did not single any one person out. I said I was SHOCKED but not ANGRY. If someone who was less of a dog lover or a BC lover said this, I'd be less shocked. Obviously the county does euthanize biters, and they do NOT distinguish a nip from a hard bite. Your dog probably growls because she is uncomfortable and is feeling stress. She is growling to warn you (or whomever) that she is reaching a breaking point. It is HER WAY of telling YOU (or whomever) that she is feeling trapped and uncomfortable. Until you can recognize the growling for what it is and better control her environment so that she feels more secure and less like you're going to let bad things happen, she's GOING TO growl. Look at this way: it's an early warning system TO YOU that SOMETHING is seriously worrying her. She is COMMUNICATING with you. Why isn't anyone telling you how to stop it? Because you don't want to stop it. It should stop on its own once you take better care to manage her environment. Every dog growls. My old dog, who was a big old sweetie pie, growled on occasion. This is different or I would not mention it. It is very harsh, deep, angry and persistent -- and inappropriate. Like growling at children playing 100 ft away. Growling at an elderly woman who puts her hand out for the dog to sniff. There was nothing in these events to suggest Ladybug was at a "breaking point". Clearly she was angry, clearly she felt threatened -- but not by NORMAL things. A dog who growls at a big, masked man with a baseball bat who is running at you -- that dog is growling APPROPRIATELY. Obviously I am doing things to manage the growling -- like quickly removing her from situations. But that does not get at the underlying problem. I honestly think that you need to learn to be her leader. That you need to exert much greater control over her immediate environment until you have been able to establish a better relationship with her and shown her that she can look to you for leadership, and then slowly work her up to being able to deal with things that have triggered her in the past, recognizing of course, that she may never be entirely comfortable or trustworthy in certain situations (e.g., squealing whirling dervish children). Beyond that, we can't help you. You have to try things, take what feedback you get from Ladybug, and then proceed based on that feedback (success, partial succes, failure. Trial and error is pretty much the approach any of us would take in dealing with a dog with an unknown history that is exhibiting behaviors we don't like. There is no one-size-fits all answer. It seems that's what you might be hoping for, but it just doesn't exist. Actually you are describing what I have been doing, Julie -- even before posting here. I watch Ladybug carefully. I control her. I don't let her run free around other people. She is on a very short leash around other people, children or other dogs. Asking a dog to "look to you for leadership" is kinda vague. I don't understand how to do that in practical terms. She DOES come to me for everything, food attention water petting walking -- everything. She is a very affectionate dog (to me). I also understand the general idea of "de-sensitization" and I have been doing that from early one, exposing her to things slowly for a short time, then taking her away and doing this over and over. I could do more, if I could get some people and kids to work with us a little, but they are scared of her (mostly the growling) and won't. The sad part is what you say "she may never be entirely ... trustworthy in certain situations". I am afraid that is likely true at her age (5), and it is what is stressing ME out and making ME sad.
  7. To everyone who has been nice enough to respond here: Ladybug has had a FULL WRITTEN EVALUATION by a certified, licensed professional behavioral trainer. I have the report, and I'd be glad to send it to anyone who was curious enough to read it (because some people here have implied I have never done this, or can't be bothered, and that is not true). I am not saying you have to do this -- not at all! -- nor it is in the sense "let me shove THIS in your face!" Just that I DID NOT come here, right after adopting Ladybug and just cry and vent and sit around uselessly. I came here after MONTHS of trying all kinds of things, books...videos...online resources...trainers & behaviorists. Clickers, shock collars, prong collars, muzzles. The very short version is: she's fine around our house, but we can't take her anywhere else without serious caution. It sounds like more than a few of you have dogs like this -- who are not good with any other people (but their owners). Also that nipping is not especially rare amongst border collies. Taking her to "thebehaviorclinic.com" is not off the table -- it will probably have to wait until her physical next month, and what kind of tax refund we get.
  8. OK -- I give up. Yes, people have said "go to a behaviorist, never mind if you can't afford it -- you are cheap! or go online, and use one of those begging sites that are for people whose dying dogs need surgery, and maybe people will just GIVE you $1500-2000 to get your dog treated!!!" I am definitely trying things, reading books and looking for a new trainer. I have a whole stack of new dog training videos from the library. I wanted to see what border collie owners in particular thought or knew or experienced, how they treated their own dogs, etc. Some people have left lovely responses and personal stories, I want you all to know I appreciate those, and definitely am taking them to heart. A couple of the rest of you: I won't name names, but YEESH. You have some issues. You are awfully angry people -- angry at me, and you do not even know me, or my dog, and how devoted I am to ALL my pets -- the difficult pets I have taken on, sometimes because they were "legacies", the pets I kept that nobody else would take on and so forth. You also just are so angry you can't listen: I have TRIED LOTS OF THINGS. This is not remotely the first place I looked. I went to my vet, I went to a behavioral trainer. I read books. I read articles online. I talked, endlessly to trainers and owners and rescue groups and behaviorists. Also: I talked AT LENGTH with the vet tech at "thebehaviorclinic.com" (behavioral vet in my area) and was told pretty bluntly that they use drugs to control the dogs -- prozac and xanax. Xanax is pretty cheap, but anti-depressants are NOT.
  9. Laurae, I can go back and copy/paste the comments that said I had to have the dog euthanized. I tried very hard not to exaggerate OR understate the problem. It IS nipping, but if someone sues you -- AS I WAS SUED IN 2000 -- the law doesn't distinguish between a nip or a bite. The parent of a small child won't say "oh it's oK -- just a nip!"; they will sue you. On the other hand, personally I do see a difference -- in temperament, in the possibility the dog can be helped. A really vicious biter might be incorrigible, they might even turn on their owner. I AM upset about the nipping, and the growling (which has not even been addressed) because it has made everyone around me -- friends, family, neighbors -- afraid of Ladybug, and many of them have forbidden me from ever brining her over again. Just before posting, I had another incident, so I was pretty emotional, but I've tried to reply calmly to people. I am SHOCKED some of them suggest euthanasia. I am not ANGRY at them; it's their opinion, even though a harsh one.
  10. I never told you to put your dog down. I am not angry, I am frustrated that you keep coming here looking for a magic wand of an answer and are not getting it because it does not exist. I don't think anyone told you just to put your dog down with no other advice. Oh good grief waffles -- 2-3 people said exactly that. They said there was no choice. The issue is the handler. A person with more experience would have already been able to minimize her stressors and get to work on building confidence. So yes, her behavior would not be such a problem in the hands of someone more experienced. I am not a professional handler or trainer. I was very clear on that, that's why I have asked for advice. I am trying to minimize her stressors, which is exactly why I keep her away from people now and stressful situations once I am aware they set her off. I tried to describe those here. Surely you realize that! Everyone can't be "experienced". You only get experience by ASKING and LEARNING. But that is not how it works-it is a total lifestyle and way of living with a dog. There is no-do this one thin and poof, she will stop. You need someone to show you how to really structure her life. It is an everyday way of being and attitude you need to learn and adopt. FINE -- then tell me how to structure her life! because I am trying, and it is no use, if the answer is "find vet who will euthanize her for biting". I am GLAD to structure her life. I am trying, as much as I can do to do this. I can't learn and adopt something I have NEVER BEEN TOLD HOW OR WHAT TO DO. Frankly, you are ignoring the people who said "put her down" and those who said "go to a behaviorist, and get the money by using some online donation site". But, like I said, you came here for advice and have not taken any of it and started to put it to work. We know you already did lots of things in the past, but you have not taken our advice yet. I HAVE taken some of the advice; some of it is just repeated the same things over. Yes, I know about Behavioral vets -- I went there right after the trainer kicked us out. Yes, I have asked and talked to dozens of trainers. Yes, I got her a shock collar. Yes, I got her a Martingale collar. Yes, I got her a prong collar. Yes, I got a clicker and then when that clicker wasn't good enough, I got a better clicker. Yes, I got several dozen books on dog training (*most completely contradictory!!!). Yes, I have ordered and watched videos, including about 100 on youtube.com.
  11. Probably because the owner came here with a totally different attitude and has responded many times with what THEY are actually doing to help her. You have yet to say what you are doing now that you have gotten advice-you were told to: keep her away from triggers, learn her triggers, build confidence, stop worrying and look at your reactions and how they are affecting her responses, look up NILF, you have had book suggestions that you need to go look up and read...yet you have yet to apparently do any of those. If you had a more positive response like the other person and not such a dire response (your tone has been that you are overwhelmed, in over your head, at a loss for what to do, etc) you may have been able to read through the advice and get to work like they did. I am not sure what it is about my "attitude" is bothering you -- because I didn't want to euthanize this dog? I DID SAY what I was doing -- all the research, the trainer, the special foods and diet, the consultation with BC rescues (at least one of whom directly refused to help me), books, videos, clicker training, shock collar etc. I DID SAY I kept her away from people, avoided having people over, told people not to pet or touch her. I CAME HERE to ask about things like her damaged ears and teeth, and actually got some valuable information. OF COURSE I looked up NILF and other books or trainers recommended, and got some of those materials from the public library. Why do you assume I have not done these? In fact, in all the material I have read (and I'm a voracious reader), there has not been ONE practical suggestion for stopping a dog from nipping let alone growling. Did it occur to you that Miss Scarlett's owner is a different person, with a different personality? Or that she is not grieving the loss of a very beloved older dog?
  12. I just saw your new response: We don't need more explaining-you need to get to work reading and watching videos and learning so you can help your dog. I honestly don't even think you need to spend the money and time on a vet behaviorist. You just need a GOOD trainer who actually knows how to deal with behavior issues to show you how to structure her life. The best thing you can do actually, is post a video-show us how you handle her and how she reacts to different situations. There are trainers and vets on this board along with many people who have been through what you have. We can then see what is really going on and help better than just with your words explaining. Waffles: AGAIN -- I have read a dozen books. I have watched twice that many videos. I have videos right now from the public library -- every type, clicker training, behavior problems, socialization, aggressive dogs. Cesar Milan -- you name it. I have called and/or spoken with, emailed over 20 trainers in the Great Cleveland area. I picked the best, most highly recommended trainer, even though she was quite far from me -- AND SHE TOSSED US OUT AFTER 3 SESSIONS.....why? because she was afraid she'd be nipped, and have to report Ladybug for a bite. LEGALLY REQUIRED to do this. She also seemed afraid of Ladybug, who had only growled at her (but she has a very mean, deep growl). I will look into borrowing a video camera to tape some of her behaviors (assuming I can get her to do them, when I want, in front of a camera!) but I do not currently have one.
  13. Waffles, my problem is with comments like yours (or Delta's) that are so ANGRY -- like "well I told you to put your dog down and you didn't, so stop making excuses!" In fact, if you read several of the posts, they DID SAY you have no choice put to humanely euthanize this dog. OR, you can pay thousands for dog behaviorists OR if you can't, put your dog to sleep. I believe Ladybug's behavior would be problem in almost any city or suburban setting. Perhaps on a very remote rural farm, with acres to run, and almost no people, it would be OK. I doubt it though. People are afraid of her because she GROWLS (which nobody has even addressed) and frankly, people get angry when they are nipped, even if it basically has not left a mark. What did I want you to say? "Here is a training program specifically for nipping and growling..." OR "here is how I got my rescue dog to stop growling at strangers...." OR "I know of a trainer in your area you probably have not tried, here is his name...". I certainly did not expect to train a dog with NO WORK. I don't know where you or anyone else got the idea that I have done NO WORK, when I specifically said I have, I have tried things on my own, I have hired a trainer, I have paid for private lessons, I have driven 3 hours round trip to a trainer and so on. I am sorry you see responses from me, in an attempt to explain things, as "rude". Rude to me is putting people down or making fun of them -- or telling them they are not trying, when they are trying as hard as they can.
  14. I swore I wasn't going to respond to this thread anymore. There have been a LOT of wonderful responses, but I have to bring this single comment/attitude from Mary up again. We all can learn from Mary's wise words. The dog is who the dog is. That doesn't mean there isn't any hope, it means we have to start where we are, not with the last dog we had, or the dog we thought we were getting. Ladybug might be able to be more comfortable and at ease, with anywhere from some to a lot of work on your part. This will mean re-arranging your life, yes. Perhaps for several months, perhaps forever. Only you can decide whether or not to go down that road with her. It might not work. It might work like gangbusters. It's a risk. Mary also points out that you might still be grieving the loss of your beloved previous girl. Oh, my dear, we've all been there. DH and I lost 5 pets in 3 years. The first to go was Buzz, who changed my husband's life so much for the better. I'm tearing up writing this, and we put Buzz to sleep, (bone cancer) exactly 4 years ago on Halloween. Please work with your own grief about your loss. Grieve that you don't have that wonderful being who taught you about border collies anymore. Maybe, just maybe, there is something you can learn from Ladybug. With all her difficulties, she might help your heart heal more than you can imagine. There are no guarantees anywhere in life. Ladybug is not what you were looking for, not what you had, but she's what you've got. Only you can decide if this is a journey you want to continue. NO ONE HERE will fault you for making the most painful decision of all.Many of us have had very difficult dogs, a lot of us have had good outcomes, but not everyone. I wish you the best of luck. And I still am glad you came here to this board. Ruth and Agent Gibbs Thank you Ruth. I do appreciate most of the well-meaning comments and advice. That is what you expect and get when you ask for advice -- a whole bunch of differing views. I am just sorry so many people think the answer to a problem dog is "put her down!". You are also correct that I am grieving my last dog, very deeply and I have gotten some counseling and go to a Pet Loss forum almost nightly. I am trying to be more accepting of having a new dog at all, but it is very difficult when you can't get ANY specific training advice or suggestions, just put your dog down. (Funny, because one thread before me was about a dog, Miss Scarlet, who also nips and nobody advised HER owner to put her down....)
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