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About GoodbyeHalcyonDays

  • Birthday 05/20/1990

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  1. Denice, Her recall is good and quite reliable with me, and I have no problems calling her back while walking off-leash with my dog. However, the problem is when the ball comes out, all training goes out the window; I have tried everything, from giving her treats and praise, as well as using multiple balls during fetch time. The only reliable method of getting her to come back during fetch is telling her to go behind and around me- which I have to yell since she's so far away, and it does take her a bit to come back due to the distance, but she does so without fail. Short of putting her on an extremely long leash, I've tried most common fixes with no results.
  2. Hi there folks, So I have a friend who has a 8 mo. old border collie; he's had her since she was about seven or weight weeks old, and I've been her dog walker/sitter since then. She's a very good dog, and the owner spends a very large deal of time with her, but we've been having an issue with her that we don't know how to approach training. She loves to play fetch, and will display herding behaviors while doing so (signature crouch and stalk, lying down and waiting), but her biggest issue with this is that she will not come close to us or bring us back the ball. She will gladly chase after it, get it, then walk a little ways before dropping it, and then going into a down position. This is a problem when she drops the ball a good 40-50 yards away from us, so it defeats the purpose of fetch, but her obsession with it has gotten a bit much so we just play fetch with it. At the moment, my workaround this is that I play fetch with her and my own dog; when I throw it and she does this, my dog will get it and bring it all the way back to me, and I lure her back to me by getting her to go behind and around me. No problem. But this requires two dogs, and this isn't always going to be the case. Do you have any suggestions on how we can work on this so that she brings the ball back all the way? Thank you in advance for your time.
  3. I think what chene is trying to argue is that if you're minding your business, you shouldn't be getting harassed even if you have a dog on leash in an off leash area. I live in NYC and had to deal with something similar not too long ago. Space is a commodity here, so I pay a lot to live next to a park. It has a dog park, so no off leash areas. My dog doesn't play with dogs though, so it's the only place I can take him off leash without a ticket. As I was playing fetch with him one day, another dog stole our ball. Even when I asked the owner for it back. He just shrugged and told me I had to expect that kind of thing by going inside. I was pretty livid. Yes, it's a place for dogs to play. But it's the only place they can be off leash unless you want a $200 ticket. I wasn't bothering anyone. Am I expected to pay that because my dog likes to fetch and he won't control his? I think if you have two dogs, one leashed and one not with the leashed one behaving while the unleashed one is trying to attack it, it should be obvious who is in the wrong. If it's an area open to the public, they have as much reason to be there.
  4. Great! A question I can answer. I actually live in Brooklyn as well. Bushwick, to be precise. If you're familiar with the area, you know it's the epitome of urban: cute trendy hipster bars, lots and lots of shopping places, tons of subways and traffic, and way too many people. If you live where I'm thinking you do, then you should be fairly close to the Ikea in Redhook. Anyway, my dog Caleb came from a breeder in Texas. He is a very sensitive soul, and on the first day I got him home, he was terrified of all the loud trucks. But he's a wonderful dog who adapted very well to the city. We live close by a park, and I exercise him a few times every day, either by pure walking, frisbee and fetch, playing with other dogs, and mental stimulation through urban agility and obedience/trick training. So to answer your question: a BC can absolutely thrive in NYC as long as you give it the proper care and attention, and to include it in your life, and not forget about it. Which I don't think you will do. As a dog walker, I can't tell you how many people think their dog is totally fine with a single 30m walk a day and nothing else. It's pretty sad, but that's not the dog's fault at all. A couple of my friends in the neighborhood also have BCs of their own. Some are rescue dogs, while others are from small farms in upstate NY. I'd say they are all very acclimated to the city with little to no trouble. I do think that some of them aren't as calm as they should be, but that's more to do with their owners and not with them I think. I have, however, met a single black/white BC named Strudel. She was very fearful of everybody and everything. I don't remember her specifics as it was in quick passing, but she stood out to me as a very skittish, scared dog with no confidence. On the other hand, we have a ton of Aussies in the neighborhood, and each and every one of them is... not very bright. I think because they all come from breeders, either backyard or AKC. One of them even has owners who would much rather use a laser pointer to exercise her than throw a ball, but that's for another story. Between the two breeds, however, I would say that most BC I meet here are very happy, while the Aussies are the one who are a little less stable. If you're planning on rescue or even a breeder, I think you should tell the person/breeder you talk to the environment your new dog will be in, and they can match you with a potential dog that would suit your lifestyle well, as opposed to picking an older rescue or youngling.
  5. Hi folks, Thanks so much for all the wonderful advice. I've had Caleb for about three years now, and (sadly) have only really recently started to pay attention to his body language. He's my first dog, and I wasn't the best dog owner, so I'm trying to make things better for him. A few things: 1) I would love, love, love to start agility with him, but I live in NYC. As far as I'm aware, there are no actual agility courses for dogs in the city unless you want to utilize a small space run by a dog trainer who will let you use it for 6 weeks for $250. I don't have the money for that sadly. Any suggestions? We do lots and lots of fetch (with balls, frisbees, sticks, whatever), but that's about it. After his bouts of tug, we also do a find-it game with a ball that he goes crazy for. Kind of our ritual and only time I see him act the way I wish he would. 2) I'm a dog walker, so Caleb comes with me every day to work. When we first started, he was very reluctant to go on walks as he (I assumed) didn't like me walking other dogs. Now I'm starting to see that as I give other dogs commands, such as move around me or back up and such, he doesn't like that. It's not so much that he's afraid of everything-- I think he's more afraid of me, or the fear of letting me down/upsetting me. So I think the big issue is him not trusting me as much as he could. What could I do to alleviate that? We do trick training with the clicker (positive reinforcement, always ending on a good note), and he loves to do that, but he just goes back to his usual self once we're done. 3) Other than bringing me his tug toy (a squeaky snake), he doesn't really initiate play. He just kind of waits for something to happen, and then reacts to it. I've made a post about it in the past about getting him to play with more dogs, but I think that's either not going to happen because he's just not very dog savvy, or it won't happen because of me. I've been very careful around him these past few months, letting him do whatever he wants if it counts towards him acting like himself (such as letting him run up with the big group of dogs to bark at one dog walking by the fence. I really didn't like that), and he's been getting better, but I just feel like there's so much more I could do.
  6. Hi board members, Along with a recent post, a friend and I got into talking about the subject of giving a dog more confidence. She was telling me about a friend who adopted a lab/GSD mix a few months back who is still shy and reluctant to do much while in the presence of people, but is quite rambunctious while alone. This got me thinking: what are some training techniques or exercises we could do to improve confidence? My own dog, although I love him the way he is, really needs more confidence. I think a common trait both Caleb and her dog share is that they both try not to do anything that would upset us, which in turn causes them both to just stick to what they "think" is what we want. For example, at home, Caleb doesn't really do much except sleep and occasionally grabs a toy for me to play with him (I always indulge him as I see this as progress), but in his dog walker's home, he'll do quirky things like try to open blinds to look outside or bark and bounce around to music (death metal apparently). Like I said, I love him for who he is, but just wished he was more comfortable being himself instead of who he thinks I want him to be. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  7. I actually immediately thought of this when I first read the thread, but didn't want to say anything. Where I live, breed importance is so stupidly hyped up to some people that they often times forget what the dog actually needs. One of my friends, a fanatical dog lover, actually said this to me the other day: "I love how calm Caleb is, but I want a Doberman or German Shepherd, and I know they can't be calm like that. I just want his calmness in a Doberman or GSD body." I remember looking at her and thinking to myself, "that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Dogs share 99.8% of the same DNA, if I recall correctly, and the whole breed thing is artificially constructed, so I really don't get why average citizens with companion dogs put such a big importance on it. What's worse is when they start compartmentalizing traits, like, "that dog is so protective. He must have some German Shepherd in him," or, "oh, he's really good at sniffing things! Definitely some bloodhound in him." Just like there is such a huge discrepancy and variances within people of the same ethnicity, there are a crap ton of different dogs within every breed; I know a couple of BCs in the neighborhood, and every single one of them is not like the other. I couldn't even say they all share at least one trait, because they don't. There are more "focused" dogs like my own and Willow who would rather fetch or interact with people, and then there are dog-oriented ones like Mookie or Jelly who want nothing to do with their human once they see another dog. I totally echo what others have said in stepping back from the breed mold, and seeing Jack for who is he, and not for the breed he was born into. It's really, really great of you to be so supportive and willing to listen for the sake of your dog. Most dog owners today lack this trait. When I first got Caleb, he was very, very hesitant to play with me at all. What truly brought him out of his shell was a flirt pole; that was the first thing he ever played with me, and it remains to be his most favorite thing in the world. Of course, now he loves all toys (balls, frisbees, sticks, rope, you name it), but maybe give it a try with Jack? This is the one I first got: Flirt pole I hope that helps.
  8. I actually scoffed at the idea of dog walkers/sitters before, but eventually warmed up to the idea of having one. And now, I'm working as one myself. I work in Brooklyn, NYC, and our rates are as follows: Half hour walk: $15 Hour walk: $25 Half-day boarding with us: $30 Full day: $40 Overnight: $60 Those prices are pretty fair around here, but your mileage may vary based on where you live. As far as finding a dog walker, see who is available in your area, and ask around. Experience, references, how long their clients usually stay, and if they've lost some, ask why. Depending on how big the company is, your dog may not get the same walker; the guy I work for has me, himself, and one other person, so all the dogs get the same person every time, but we try to socialize with them all to make sure they're all okay with us. Let the walker know if you have a preference, and ask for the same walker every time if that's what you prefer. Something I've noticed lately is how we report to the owners: usually, we text them when we pick up the dog and when we drop them off, and how they did on their walk. A neighboring dog walking company here recently lost quite a few of their clients because one of their walkers was taking the dog out for 5~ minutes just to pee or poop (sometimes not even that), then taking him/her back home and lying about it. Just keep in mind: no matter how they treat your dog in front of you, that may or may not be how they are. What is important is how they act while you're not looking. You can't be around to see the interaction between walker and dog, so if you suspect anything, take precautions; ask a neighbor to observe the walker with your dog, set up cameras, whatever. It's your dog, and you should be comfortable leaving them someone else's care. If I didn't trust the guy who walked my dog, I wouldn't let him walk him, let alone work for him. I hope that helps.
  9. Oh, I've got a story related to this that you'd love! /sarcasm So I live in Brooklyn, New York City. Bushwick, in particular. The neighborhood I'm in is pretty gentrified, but a few avenues away, you go into the "poor" area. There's a park here with a little area fenced off the locals have flocked to using as the dog run. I used to take Caleb here all the time, but when we moved and came back a year later, I found it too full of vicious dogs. The population here is very much "ghetto," with many of its inhabitants owning pit bulls for protection, fighting, or selling. I knew a guy who cropped his dogs' ears and tails at home with some scissors. But I digress... Anyway, on this particular day, as I'm talking to someone about Caleb, this guy walks up to us and asks if we want a dog. No, we don't. "What happened?" we ask. He apparently found a dog tied up outside his house and couldn't keep it, but refused to call the police because he didn't want to get involved. Odd, but I guess I understand especially if he doesn't like the police. So the person I'm talking to and I call the police, and the man leads us to the dog as we wait for the police to come. This pit bull was maybe a year old-- she was very young, but had swollen breasts. I'm guessing she was going to give birth or recently did. Guy insists he doesn't know where she came from. When the police eventually shows up, as we're getting ready to collect her, the guy offers to get us a leash to take her. He runs inside, and comes out with a pink leash speckled with some rhinestones-- the exact same style as the collar she's wearing. Don't you love people?
  10. I used to use hot dogs too, but found myself hating the process and clean up that came with cutting them up into little pieces. And if I didn't use them fast enough, then they go bad. Now I just buy a pound or two of Zuke's Mini treats. They're the perfect size for training since they look like kibble, which my pup only wants in his bowl. A bag of these will last me for a week or two of training with daily use.
  11. We tried this for awhile, but couldn't do it either; some people suggested using a sticky note on the side of their face. That didn't work. Another suggestion was loop something loosely around their snout so they paw it off. That didn't work either.. Eventually, I figured out that he would paw his face if I got him to lie down, and gently stimulate it. We initially tried itching it, but that caused him to sneeze too much, so I tried gently blowing on his nose, and that did the trick for us.
  12. So I'm trying to come up with ideas for new tricks to do in anticipation for the summer months (since we won't be out too long), and thought I'd come here for inspiration. For Caleb, it would be Say Your Prayers, where he puts both paws on my arm and bows his head under, or Cop Cop, where he puts his paws on my feet and we walk together; first one took a day or two, while Cop Cop took quite a bit. I'm currently teaching him to hug a stick so I can teach him to hug my leg. What parlor/fun/goofy tricks do your dogs know?
  13. I don't remember who told me this, but somewhere along the way, I was advised to check their ears to see how they were feeling-- warm was normal, slightly cool was getting chilly, and hot/freezing were too hot and too cold. I'm not sure if it holds any truth at all though. But I do know that all dogs have a different threshold for tolerance, as Caleb can barely tolerate the heat but is totally okay with -40 weather. When he gets too hot, he'll want to lie down more often (closer to the ground), pant much wider than usual, and drool quite a bit more, as well as having a slightly glassy-eyed look. I also check his underside (paws, belly, armpit) often when we're out and if it feels too hot for my liking, we take a time out.
  14. So since so many of you lived very different lifestyles than us in the cities, I figured I'd just go ahead and buy him a cooling vest. It's suddenly dipped into the cold again, so we haven't had a chance to use it yet. Saturday is supposed to be the next warm day, so I'll update on how it works then. He looks unhappy about it, but it's supposed to keep him cool so he's going to wear it anyway.
  15. A friend of mine has a 2 yr old dog she adopted, and within about six months of getting him, she, against my suggestion, moved in with her then-boyfriend, who also just got a new puppy. Both owners are very busy with their own lives and can only spare the dogs so much time- they're not bad owners but I don't think they play with their dogs or really interact with them more than just "you're my dog and I love you." It's hard to explain, but there are people who live with dogs and there are people who just own them. These two are the latter. Thankfully, the two dogs get along very well and play a lot. Unfortunately, that's all they do. I saw them awhile ago, and her dog, who was starting to learn manners thanks to her dog walker, has turned into a monster. Both of these dogs will not listen to either of their owners. Why? Because they have no connection to them. They are much more in tune with each other, and anything said by their owners go in one ear and out the other. In the end, it's your choice to adopt a second dog or not. However, if your current pup is your first dog, I highly recommend you don't so you can learn what it's like to bond with a dog. More than just feeding him and walking him, but also sharing triumphs and mistakes. With a second dog, especially the same age, be honest and ask yourself whether you can bond with both of them equally so you don't have a problem like my friend. A dog who is barely one is so much work as is- at 1, I feel like you are just barely touching the surface of what his personality really is like. Have you met with this rescue dog yet? Contacted the rescue? If you haven't and are just going by a picture alone, then let me assure you there will never be a shortage of dogs to fall in love with again. The exterior of a house may look nice, but what's most important is that you like the foundation and can live in it the rest of your life.
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