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Everything posted by Zach

  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 s
  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 abou
  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
  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
  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 sh
  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
  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 sometime
  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...
  15. Week 5 has been overall really good! Excitment-Fear crossover issues: Lily still has a tendency to get scared and hide after becoming VERY excited about something, but the threshold seems to be getting higher, and more and more it seems sufficient for her to just seek some extra reassurance and loving from us to get past it. So, that's a big, if incomplete, win. We have not had more people over, however, so we will have to arrange visitors soon to make sure her progress is not conditional on no company. It seems that this issue has evolved into a car/house version discussed in full here: F
  16. I'm having trouble with the photo embedding, they keep showing up upside down. So, for now, here's just one more.
  17. Here's an image from today. I'd like to get her weight again this week. Her vertebrae don't show anymore, her muscles and conditioning have a way to go, but of course that will take some time. And, I think she is younger than the shelter told us, so she probably has some maturing to do yet.
  18. "Really? A border collie?" I get asked all the time at the dog park. Granted, I also get asked some very silly guesses about Zorro, but Lily being the new dog, and BCs having been bred for behavior over looks, I am thinking about this a lot. I don't think I've seen any herding tendencies at all from Lily. The closest thing might be starring when she wants to ambush another dog, but I've seen that in plenty of non-herding breeds. She also walks and trots around with her tail way up (almost like a huskies but with the BC j-hook), and always has her head up. Her lower lips hang loose towards the
  19. Thanks for the notes. Lily is improving, and doesn't resort to destruction when she wakes up bored in the day. I suppose part of it is that we know how to respond before she gets into anything we don't want her to do. Also, she has come a LONG way at the dog park. She now prefers big dogs, and seems more nervous about the little ones (curious reversal). She is better about moving on from squirrels (on leash). Today a dumb squirrel found itself trapped in a tree in the middle of the dog park. Lily was trying to climb the tree. I try not to call her when I know she won't come, but I wanted t
  20. That's an interesting idea, crating when people first arrive. I'll try that with Lily, it might help with her overexcitement-to-fear issue (discussed here). Last night Lily was in her crate almost all night to prevent accidents. She has, however, already become accustomed to sleeping in the bed and was reluctant to get anywhere near the crate. So, we had to do some trick training, and she and my other dog got to learn "get in there" and "come on out." Zorro was excited about it, I think because he's assuming there must be something cool in that crate since Lily is in there sometimes and he
  21. Week 4 began with a newly understood fear behavior. When Lily gets super excited, like when we have company or when we come back after leaving for a couple hours, she is just so happy she can barely contain herself and then suddenly goes and hides in the bedroom. By "newly understood" I mean that we now see the pattern, not that we understand WHY excitement turns to fear. When we go back to the bedroom where she is hiding on the bed, she is usually happy to see us, but also appears very nervous and is not willing to move or come out. We haven't pushed her, we let her stay there where she feels
  22. those are excellent responses, super helpful. Thank you both for taking the time to help me understand. I guess I just need to pick a crate-only treat. Thanks!
  23. That is helpful, as it helps me to identify the hangup that I am having in grasping this. Your distinction seems more like a state of mind in the person than a distinction in operation that can be perceived by the dog, no? If I'm Lily, and I am looking for fun, start bothering Zorro, and then I'm lead off to the crate (calmly, without being scolded). Then, does it matter to her whether I am thinking of this as punishment or to prevent something worse coming next? What about when she is actually misbehaving, e.g., trying to tear up the window shudders to see what's outside, and won't l
  24. Hello. I have never used a crate before, but had to start when our new rescue was getting really obsessed with windows. Searching the web has provided conflicting advice about how and when to use the crate so that it is constructive, and not a scary and/or cruel thing. One thing that I have gleaned from this forum, is that it should not be used as punishment, but to "settle" a dog or redirect their attention. Somehow that doesn't completely settle the issue in my head. I watched an old sheepdog herding video in which an old english sheep farmer (is that what you call them?) explained that
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