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    Tulsa, OK

Zach's Achievements


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  1. Shocking, well, not entirely shocking update: "Marj the dog trainer" was arrested for over 100 counts of animal cruelty. I am SO glad that we got Lily the heck out of there on day one (minute five), but there are still many reviews online singing her praises and her "firm" training style. What a horrible person. I hope that, at the VERY least, this indictment will mean she never has access to the pets of others again, and cannot teach people that hurting you dogs is a viable approach to training... but you just never know if the state will do much on these sort of things. Here's the story: TCSO: Over 100 Animals Found Inside Woman's Home Woman with hundreds of animals in reportedly filthy home arrested on cruelty complaints
  2. They're pretty quick, so maybe this won't matter. But, I solved my dog's occasional unbuckling by using a second seatbelt leash that clips to the first one. That way, she has to unclip both to get out. And, because my other dog lays down on the other side of the car seat, she doesn't have access to the other buckle. The last thought, in some newer cars there are seat belt-like buckles behind the seat to secure a car seat for kids. You might just try clipping or tying into that and threading the leash up between the seats of you can.
  3. Today we took Lily and Zorro to see their "cousins," two happy labradoodles of a family member. Lily hasn't met them, but today was a warm day, they have a pool, and Lily has become very social at the dog park, so we went for it. I walked her around the block and my wife walked the younger, more mobile doodle and we met on leash. I remember thinking to myself, "wow, her loose-leash skills are really improving after just a few days of training with treats." When they met, there was a short uneventful hello and we all happily returned to the house with the pool. Lily couldn't care less about the pool, but demonstrated her remarkable tunnel vision when it comes to squirrels when she tried to jump OVER the pool (rather than around it) when she saw a squirrel on the other side of the yard! To her credit, she made it about half way, and she seemed embarrassed but exhilarated by it once she got out. Soon after, she found crevice under the fence, crawled under, and went for a solo run around the neighborhood looking for squirrels. She ran partway through a pond after one, on the other side, and then eventually I caught up with her when she saw something through a chainlink fence that she couldn't scale. She never did come to me, perhaps sensing the anger I was trying to hide under my sweet pleas to come. My wife finally caught her and we went back. It's been several hours now, and she keeps wanting reassurance from me, but I find it hard to want to provide that, and afraid to be close enough to her that she senses my irritation. I think we've been taking too much comfort in her other progress, so that we've put off "leave it" and other impulse control training in the hopes that some of that will be easier to manage as she acclimates and matures in this new life. I think we need to put more focus onto that sort of training. What a bummer, it could have been a pretty fun day.
  4. That is very intriguing! I read that and tried it right away when a loud plane flew over. I think Zorro's play snaps were probably more effective than my "it's a plane!" In a goofy voice. But, in any case, she came out from hiding. I'll keep playing with that idea. Thanks!
  5. Yes, I agree that the human (mis-)reading of dog personalities from their appearance has been a significant driver of breeding efforts in many breeds. Working at a vet clinic in college I had a chance to see how dog would react to the various anatomical alterations commonly done, which, just typing it out inspires comparisons in my mind with Frankenstein. Of course, some modifications are done with the intention of being helpful (e.g., dew claw removal), but Border collies are lucky to not be among those with cropped ears and docked tails. In one of my less delicate conversations at a dog park, I spoke with a woman about her deberman puppy who I'd met and liked very much previously, but on that day it came with bandages and a sort of cast on its ears after they'd been cropped. "That's a shame about his poor ears, I believe they say that's one of the more painful procedures..." I said. She replied, "oh I know, but it really is important to make them effective for protection." Knowing I should walk away, I couldn't resist, "I thought that's what the teeth are for." She said, "oh no, the pointy ears really make a big difference." I finally succeeded in removing myself.
  6. Good thinking, Eileen, but I think you're missing an important element that is more likely to affect the foxes in that experiment than in a breed of dogs over the last 100-300yrs, and that's drift. Genetic Drift is the process of random deletion or unlikely preservation of a particular variation in a small population. Because the captive foxes were fewer in number (than ALL the herding dogs in the UK over a couple centuries), and only preserve a small proportion of the natural variation, you likely have some traits that are uncommon in the wild that are, by chance alone, disproportionally high in frequency in the captive sample. That can mean you get some odd things that come up and become fixed in the population. This IS, by definition, evolution, which is only the change in gene frequencies over time. However, you are talking about links between desirable features and those that are sort of pulled along with them because they are non-independent. In this small population, you also have drift, which inserts a randomness that is difficult to distinguish, and therefore not a good model for how selective breeding would have affected linked traits in a larger population over a longer period. Finally, because smooth and rough coats appear (I think) to be simple Mendelian traits, 1) they are very malleable from generation to generation, 2) having a smooth coat does not rule out the presence of the (recessive) rough coat gene, and 3) they do not consistently correspond with ear shape or erectness. I haven't heard of any theories that the two coat types were isolated from one another for any period of time, which means that they have been intermingling behavioral genes as well as those of appearance probably throughout the development and reinforcement of the breed standards. So, IF there ever were any linkage, and that is a big IF, then they certainly would have been freed a long time ago.
  7. oy...complicated, and very counter-intuitive. After a long walk out at a different park (no play, just walk), we came home and as I came to the door to get the dogs out, she went to the floor on the other side of the car. I put a leash on her and held some tension, called her out, no go. I stayed calm(not exciting or sweet) for a few minutes, then tried to coax her, kneeling down so I wasn't intimidating, no go. I went to the other side of the car, repeat, no go. I finally started lifting her up and out and then she came out clumsily. We walked calmly in, and once past the utility room she was greeted enthusiastically by my wife and Zorro, I praised her and took off her harness. Lily was happy and wagging her tail, but then when we all started down the hall she turned tail and back into the utility room. So, I guess we messed that up by being excited, and probably by my impatience at the car. I'll try again soon with no excited praise, and more patience at the car.
  8. Thanks for the thoughts, Gloria! No room in the car for a crate. I did get a pair of seatbelts. actually only meant to get one, but two came in a package. Each one clicks into the receiving end of the seatbelt. One is then clipped on to her collar or harness. The other is clipped onto the first seatbelt, so that if she unclips one of the seatbelts by stepping on it, she is still secured. She doesn't love this, but it's a must, because otherwise she tries to jump up to the front seat. She's accustomed to sitting pretty to get buckled in before we go anywhere. Yes, we've done this when she's really being reluctant. I don't want to drag her out though, and add greater stress to the situation. Sometimes just clipping the leash on is enough to get her moving, but other times it is not and I'm just there on my knees trying to talk her into leaving the car. In any case, it is good to do to sort of hustle her along through the scary part in the utility room (I guess?) and prevent her from trying to crawl under the (hot!) bottom of the car.
  9. [joke] i think the baggage in the case of the pit bull is more often projected by the people...but I don't suppose we need to get into that
  10. Lily is showing a new fear behavior that I am hoping others may have some experience with. I would just add this to the running thread that I've created for Lily, but seeing other car issues in the forums, it seems logical to list this separately so others can help, and be helped, by any discussion, without having to wade through my lengthy thread about Lily. Here's the issue. When we return home, especially from the park or somewhere fun, Lily acts afraid to get out of the car. She has to be coaxed out, often times switching from one side of the car to the other. she will sometimes "hide" on the floor of the car, something she's also done when she gets nervous when we have to take winding roads and she gets unstable on the seat. Then, when I get her out, she is afraid to go through the utility room (garage - utility room - hallway), and will try to slip back through the door back into the garage (and then back into the car). One day, she was so reluctant to come out, I left the car door open, the door to the house open, hoping that she would come in on her own and discover it was OK all along. 30min later, I lost patience and went to get her. I coaxed her out of the car and closed the car door. She still didn't want to come in, so I figured I'd give her a few more minutes. 15min later I went back and found her laying UNDER the car. This is a daily issue, sometimes easier than others. There are two things I can think of, that might be happening here. 1) she has an issue where her excitement turns into fear (discussed here: Lily's progress), and maybe she's just excited o get home but then becomes overwhelmed. 2) We've had several thunderstorms in the 5 weeks that she's lived with us, and she is VERY scared of thunder. Sometimes, as the thunder begins, she tries to lead me to the garage, which makes me think that she may think the thunder is only in our house ("let's get outta here!"). If anyone has any ideas about how to work through this, I'd love to hear. I'm thinking we might try treating upon getting home, but 1) she doesn't care of treats when she's afraid, and 2) treats may increase excitement level, and she already hides or needs reassurance after getting too excited (often times after getting home). We tried exiting the car in the driveway once, and it worked, but not without some of the same timid hesitation.
  11. Thanks. I haven't considered an online class. Part of the benefit to me of taking a class is having the structure and hands-on demo and coaching. I've been through basic obedience with enough dogs now that I don't need the introduction to it, so much as the ritual and practice with an instructor around other students.
  12. do all BCs LOVE to be loved on all the time?? Growing up I always had dogs that would love to be pet, but Zorro really is more cat like - he wants contact on his terms. Lily, is the other extreme. We joke that even though Zorro disappears into shadows (all black), Lily sticks to us like one. Several times a day she is ALMOST stepped on, sat on, laid down on or kicked. If she's a little nervous, which is a lot of the time, she's even closer. She appears out of nowhere and is sitting pretty waiting to be pet, or to climb into your pocket, I think she would take either.
  13. Thanks for the tips. I will try some of those. Lily has some predictable likes (bully sticks, hotdog, cheese) and some surprising dislikes (greenies! - Zorro's favorites!). Zorro likes carrots, but Lily doesn't. Zorro loves anything peanut butter, Lily will consider the real thing, but not peanut butter treats. Ugh.
  14. that makes no sense about the energy level. What you need to look out for is the white feet - for every white toe the dog has you're just asking for more trouble...
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