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Everything posted by Zorro13

  1. He chews things I around the house. When I'm out of the house it's definitely a stress-coping behavior. There are instances that I can generally leave him out of sight in the house though (i.e. when I take a shower) and 99% of the time he just lays down and waits for me but sometimes he also chews things in those instances. I've caught him in the act before too and he gets really startled without me even acknowledging him. This surprises me because I never gave him any adverse reaction as a small pup that would make him think he had to hide and chew things away from me. I generally just stuck a toy in his mouth.
  2. Zorro is just turning 14 months now and is showing no signs of stopping his destructive behaviors when I'm not watching. I'm still containing him so he can't practice the behavior when I'm gone and just waiting it out until he grows up. Is there anything I can do to hasten the process? He never does it in front of me and 99% of the time is sufficiently stimulated and has things to chew on when I'm gone. I've tried a few test runs outside of containment to see if he will still chew and he does every time. I'm (and my wallet) is worried he may not grow out of it...
  3. I've been just as frustrated for a year with the same issues. I've been making good progress lately doing a couple simple things. One was doing a few walks just around the yard. I realized I was getting really frustrated trying to get through an entire walk and finding a little success really helped with my attitude which is really important to do effective training. Second was going back and re-watching all the leash training videos (kikopup has some really good ones). I realized I didn't remember as much as I thought I did and was making a lot of the common mistakes. If you're dog is overpowering you I would also recommend a leash that you can tie around your waist so you can use you're legs to help counter the force.
  4. So apparently the sitter gave him raw meaty bone that didn't agree with his system and it was all digestive back-up. We've had a fun past few days out in the bathroom area of the yard but he is back to normal size again!
  5. Same scale. He is noticeably bigger, my jaw dropped when I first saw him. He is not the same skinny dog I left a week ago. He has had some hair loss on his side and back legs over the past few months that I thought was just him shedding his winter coat but is apparently also a symptom of hypothyroidism. Hopefully the vet visit will provide some answers.
  6. I left Zorro with a pet sitter this past week and he came back 5lbs heavier (37 to 42 lbs). I found out that she was feeding him an extra half cup per day (2.5 cups vs 2 cups) since he was getting a lot of exercise. That extra amount shouldn't equal a 5 pound weight gain though should it? I'm taking him to the vet this week but am a little worried. Seems like it might be a thyroid issue...
  7. I'm right there with you. I started as soon as I got him and was making some good progress, then over time it just seemed like he started getting worse and worse. It's been frustrating because like you I feel I've done well teaching every other behavior/trick he knows. About a month ago I decided to pretty much start from the beginning. Here's what I've done and it's been showing some progress. - I did a week of walks just in the yard to reduce the environmental stimulation and really show him what I want on the leash. - Close to 100% reward for looking back/making eye contact. I plan to reduce this very slowly. - Frequent direction changes to keep him paying attention to me. Running away from him when he wasn't looking was something that really helped his off leash skills so I've been trying to apply that concept to the leash. - Red light/green light. I now use the leash in the link below that I can tie around my waist which has helped stop his forward progress as soon as I stop. I noticed that often times he was getting to the thing he wanted because my hands moved forward a bit when he yanked on the leash. - Stopping and having him sit frequently. - Sniffing trees/etc on command as opposed him pulling over on his own. Good luck and let me know if you do something that works! I'm all ears to get this thing figured out! http://www.amazon.com/Kurgo-Quantum-Dog-Leash-Black/dp/B003NSCCMA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403456797&sr=8-1&keywords=quantum+leash
  8. Zorro's been shedding his rough coat which has now turned into a mohawk on his back. Fits perfectly with his current "rebellious" adolescent attitude....
  9. Does your pup chase you if you run away from him? I taught Zorro to bring it back separately from chasing it. I would put the ball on the ground and when he picked it up I would run away. If he dropped it or left it I would stop and tell him to get it and repeat once he picked it back up. Once he got the point that bringing it back was fun I added the throw. I would also recommend teaching a drop command separately. Fetch is really a lot of different skills and can be difficult to learn if you are expecting him to do all of them at once.
  10. It's generally at night when he's laying down and is definitely caused by random noises outside. It is a very different bark than his normal voice, It's more of a howling at the moon. In some ways I like it because he's being a good sentry dog but it's been getting out of hand lately. The acknowledgement command seems like a good idea. I was doing that at first to check and see what he was barking at but have since stopped once I figured out it's always nothing.
  11. Zorro has started to bark at nothing quite a bit. I've heard ignoring it is the best to avoid reinforcing the behavior but have also read that fear is not something you can reinforce and that you should comfort them to help them get over the fear. What is the best reaction for this?
  12. I've read that most dogs are not truly house-trained until a year old. Zorro (9 months) had been good for a few months and then just last week left me a present out of nowhere. Sounds like you're on the right track, just be patient and let him grow up a little.
  13. Ok, good to know. I'm still feeding him more than the recommended amount, I just couldn't get over the greyhound comment!
  14. Just a little paranoid.... Based on everything I've read my guy is a good weight for an 8mo puppy. He's 20-21in and a hair over 36 lbs. EVERYONE that sees him though comments on how skinny he is. I tell them he is a puppy and should skinny but the final paranoia straw came when someone asked if he had some greyhound in him! So...am I starving this poor guy?
  15. Personally, the math didn't come out for me. Most of the plans seemed to be around $30/month. $30 x 12 months/year x 12 year average life span (probably more) = $4320. That seems like the going rate for a major injury/illness if you pay cash so you're basically guaranteeing you have to pay for something major even if it doesn't happen. I think a savings account would be a much better way to prep for vet bills (including having some emergency funds ready prior to picking up a new dog). Obviously there is chance your dog can have more than one $5k incident but I think the chances are low enough that it's not worth paying that much over the dog's life.
  16. A couple things I did to improve recall: Always make the reward something awesome. With Zorro I started with treats and have graduated to squeaky toys. The toys have really motivated him to come back. I also sometimes widen my legs and let him bolt through them which he seems to like. Only give your recall command when you're pretty sure he will comply. If he doesn't make sure you are able to enforce it. Also don't overdo it. I still always try and get Zorro to come back with just his name, a kissy noise, toy, running away, etc before using "Come." Do the hide game mentioned above. I would let Zorro sniff around outside and the minute he turned his back for too long I would bolt the other direction. I would also do it when he noticed another person or dog walking on the sidewalk and now his first reaction to those things is to lay down and look back to me. Work on impulse control. Leave it is a good place to start. I've taught Zorro to stop mid chase when playing fetch and releasing to get the ball on my command which has helped to keep him "in tune" with me while at a distance.
  17. Zorro just turned 7 mo. old and he's close to 100% reliable off lead (obviously there is always work to do). I started with the long lead in various parks as soon as he was fully vaccinated (4 mos). I practiced in a very safe area with as little distraction as possible at first so I wasn't anxious about him running off. I did make the mistake of testing him a little too soon and had a few instances where he was off and running without the long lead. Definitely take it slow, safety comes first. I also played a "game" with Zorro where I would let him sniff around with the long lead dragging on the ground. As soon as he was at the end of the line and turned his back on me I would take off running in the other direction. It's really helped in establishing a "bubble" and with him "checking in" because he is a little paranoid that I'm going run off. His semi-new interest in fetch has been the silver bullet though. The squeaky Kong Air Ball is the most interesting thing in the world to him so anytime he is off-lead I keep one in my pocket. As soon as I see something catch his attention I call him back and sometimes throw the ball a short distance in the opposite direction of the new thing. He's to the point now where anytime a new dog comes into the dog park he'll take a few steps and then turn around and look at me. If you can find the thing that gets you the border collie "stare" use that to your advantage for recall.
  18. http://www.amazon.com/Smarter-Toys-Treat-Inches-Colors/dp/B003ARUKTG/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1395027706&sr=1-1&keywords=iq+ball For the eating too fast problem I would recommend one of these. It provides good mental stimulation as an added bonus.
  19. That's mostly what I've done. As soon as I see someone raise one of those long ball throwers I get his attention and have him get my ball. I have had one fight that was a result of a dog sprinting up behind me and joining my game though (It was a huge Rotty too, luckily she was a total sweetheart). He is one of the fastest and most driven and usually is the one that gets the ball so the fight opportunities are reduced. He is also still small enough to rate the small dog section (just a hair over 30lbs) so I can take him there where the dogs are usually less interested in fetch if there are a lot of balls flying around in the big dog section. That's generally what I've done in the past anyways when the big dog area looked too rowdy that day. I didn't realize I was creating a monster with the fetch game! It was a huge struggle to get him into it and now it is what he lives for. His recall is actually as good as it is because of fetch. He's much more driven over getting a throw for a reward as opposed to a treat. I guess some bad had to come of the good...
  20. So far my approach has been to have a squeeky tennis ball in my pocket (He would leave a juicy steak when he hears that noise!) and redirect if I see a collision coming. I'm just not sure what type of training scenario would be best. The incidents generally happen far away from me so there's no training opportunity during a real scenario. I've considered asking people if they would volunteer their dog to help me but I want to make sure my training setup is good since it would be somewhat risky training. I want to make sure it's actually worth it. Everything I've read online basically says "yah, dog on dog toy possessiveness is a hard one." I haven't seen any real ways to handle it though.
  21. My 6.5 month old BC/Aussie has started getting pretty possessive over thrown balls while at the dog park. If there is a chase and another dog gets it he lashes out no matter the size of the other dog. He's extremely well behaved with them otherwise but is extremely driven to get the ball. I would just stop throwing a ball in the dog park but there is usually someone else throwing one and he goes after that one (His recall is good enough that I can call him off when a ball is thrown but I have to do it every time. I don't want to "use up" good recalls with a lot of requests where he has to make a hard decision between me and a bouncing ball). He stops when I give a loud "Hey!" and so far the scraps have been short lived but I'm afraid he's going to run into a dog who doesn't appreciate how he's acting and really hurt him. This is a really good park that generally has well behaved dogs so it would be a shame if I had to stop taking him, especially since he is the problem. Is this sort of thing just an adolescent phase or is there something I need to do to train it out of him?
  22. My BC/Aussie pup has been doing very well on Canidae ALS Formula. He just reached 6 months which is when the feeding guidelines say to switch to the adult portions. The only thing I'm worried about is there is a pretty big difference between the puppy and adult portions. He's just over 30 lbs right now so he gets about 2.5 cups per day per the puppy portions. If I follow the guideline I should go down to around 1.5 cups. Is this a reasonable amount to work down to or should I split the difference and watch his weight (he's long and awkward right now!).
  23. I think you might find that your pup is not as far behind as you think. There have been quite a few things that I thought my pup wasn't getting or wouldn't stop doing that one day just clicked and he was great. In fact, I don't think I saw a gradual change in most of his annoying behaviors and rather just noticed that all of a sudden one day he wasn't doing them. You were also probably just focusing on the things that pup could do and not what he couldn't do. Everyone teaches things in a different order so maybe your friend had been focusing on waiting at doors but hadn't even started on some of the behaviors you've been working hard on.
  24. Although there is great convo about crating here I just want to recap what my pup has problems with specifically as he seems to be described worse and worse with each post! (crazy telephone game!). In a small containment areas he has 0 issues. The area is the most boring setup possible so there are no opportunities to chew and he has had 0 accidents in this area (and another small area we started leaving him in after only a week of having him). So for my specific case leaving him in a small area is causing me no grief and not reinforcing any bad habits. I did try a larger area too quickly and he started using the bathroom so I downsized again. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing! All I need is something to block one entryway that is a little porous for a border collie and I will be issue free once more! I think I've found a solution in the form of a 6' gate from Home Depot that I will brace against the wall (obviously being more than 100% sure it cannot possibly fall no matter what happens to it).
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