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MeMeow

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  1. Another thing you can try with the crate is to remove the door (depending on the crate you have). I got my dog from the shelter and she was verrrry hesitant to go anywhere near the crate, and didn't trust bathrooms or closets either. Taking the door off meant it freaked her out a lot less. I started feeding her all her meals near the crate but far enough away she was relaxed, moved her food closer and closer each meal as she got more comfortable, then fed her first at the front of the crate and then moved the bowl towards the back. I only put the door back on when she was totally happy ha
  2. Nala was like this when we got her. She bonded with me and my husband very quickly, and from then on, no one else in the world mattered much to her (although once she got to know our families she greeted them affectionately as well). Then she learned the other owners at agility class have treats, and that the man behind the counter at the pet supply shop has treats, and so does the lady at the hardware store....and now she will often approach strangers with a wagging tail and sit at their feet. I'm glad she's comfortable enough to approach them (she used to be quite shy). But now I do have
  3. I agree with GentleLake--aggressive lunge biting and "something more serious" (?) is a bit beyond the pale, and way beyond what's acceptable from an off-leash dog. I only walk my dog in places where leashes are required because I've worked very hard with her to overcome her dog reactivity. She sometimes doesn't do well even with very friendly off-leash dogs. If I ran into your dog in a city park and she started aggressively biting mine, I would be terrified and furious. Some laws are there for a reason, you know? As far as being able to take your dog places, you should think about what you
  4. So glad to hear things are easier now. It's often a long road but getting started in the right direction can be the hardest part! Hope things keep getting better and better
  5. I am probably more risk adverse than most people here, but I would never let my dog off-leash near a busy road, no matter how good her recall was. I never want to be in a situation where overconfidence in my training could cost her her life. All it takes is a moment of inattention from either the dog or a handler, or a scenario you haven't proofed thoroughly enough and there are no second chances. I would keep him on a long line near the road, and look for parks or trails away from streets to give him his off-leash time.
  6. You're on the right track, but expect it to take some time for him to figure it out. I also got an adult rescue who came house trained and "polite" (from day one she would leave food alone if you asked her to) but I don't think she had ever learned sit/stay/come etc. It took a long time to get "sit" consistently--maybe 3 or 4 weeks. Looking back, this was partially my own incompetence, but I also think it was the first time in her life she was asked to do something in response to a command. Once she got that it was off to the races, now she does all the basic stuff plus a bunch of tricks.
  7. I never like to tell people they can't have a certain type of dog, and I think if your heart is completely set on a border collie you could figure out a way to make it work. But, if you have reservations, there are other breeds in the herding family that would be a bit more adaptable and probably make your life a lot easier. I live in the suburbs with a BC/ACD mix who isn't really dog-aggressive but is also not social enough to enjoy a dog park unless it's nearly empty. It comes with some challenges but we've figured out our groove. For us, that involves frequent runs, hikes on local trail
  8. It depends on the region. Some places actually import rescued dogs from other areas. Our local shelter is moving to "no-kill" simply because they haven't needed to euthanize a dog for lack of space in years. There are huge swaths of the country where this isn't the case, but I really like to think that as spay/neuter and adoption become more and more widely accepted by pet owners, pet overpopulation will be a thing of the past.
  9. Wow, I love the idea of a rescue being so low on dogs they are referring customers to responsible breeders! I hope this is a first taste of the future....
  10. I massage my dog. I don't follow any particular protocol, just start at her head with little circles and stroking and work my way down her body. Rubbing around her ears, chest, and belly really relaxes her. Her back, butt, and legs are a bit hit or miss--I like to spend some time on them to relax her muscles and keep her comfortable being handled all over, but she can be more sensitive about them. I only give her paws and tail the most cursory of touches. She likes it and if I do a good job she looks like she's melting into the floor about halfway through. Sometimes she dozes off. If she's in
  11. As far as designer crosses go, poodles x collies are far from the worst I've seen--both intelligent, active breeds, not an obvious health disaster. Of course it blows my mind that people pay thousands of dollars for dogs they should be getting for a $70 adoption fee at the town shelter. Unfortunately, as long as the market exists, people will pop up like mushrooms to fill it
  12. I don't agree with this at all! Being able to touch your dog while he's eating without stressing him out is a great goal, and if he's ever going to be around kids I think this is especially important. Kids drop food all the time, and if your dog resource guards a kid reaching down to pick up food he thought had become "his" is a perfect setup for a bite. I would just consider that there's some space between desired behavior and normal behavior. You want a dog who's going to accept gentle touching while he eats, but it's normal for a dog to feel insecure in that situation if he hasn't been
  13. When we got Nala she was dog-reactive in a kind of similar way, where sometimes she completely ignored other dogs, sometimes she greeted them politely, and sometimes she started barking and lunging. I think in some ways it would have been easier if her behavior was consistent, because I definitely spent too long letting her "try" saying hello and trying to work out a pattern (Was it that she had an issue with big dogs? White fluffy dogs? Was it better if she'd gotten more exercise that day or worse? etc.) Once I stopped trying to analyze the behavior so much and started preventing it (by keepi
  14. When we got Nala we thought she was just super cuddly, but now that I know her better it's clear that some of that "cuddly" behavior was nervous appeasement. I wish we ignored it but we didn't know any better, so she got lots of attention and cuddles. She's mostly moved on from it as she gained confidence, or some of it has gotten ritualized in a way where I don't think it's a problem (e.g., every morning she wriggles around on her back at the top of the stairs, and I give her belly rubs and if I stop she wriggles for more). She's still a super cuddly lap dog who lives for belly rubs, but the
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