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Everything posted by teresaserrano

  1. My Tess does that. Or would if I let her.
  2. That must be so incredibly boring... just the other day I asked my butcher to mince together a pound of liver, two pork hearts and a pound of beef, to make dog treats. I can ask for an organic chicken or a duck and have him cut off legs, wings and breasts for me and the carcass is for the dogs. There are so many more options at a butcher.
  3. Replying to the OP, i just go to the butcher's where I buy my own meat. My dogs eat kibble but often have a raw meal. I give them half a chicken, chicken and duck frames, turquey necks and wings, cow ribs (I ask for a whole rib, have half the meat trimmed and minced for me to make burgers, and the rest of the meat on the bone is a meal for a dog), etc. But I get the feeling there aren't butchers in the USA, as so many americans seem to have trouble buying raw for their dogs. Do you people buy all your meat in the supermarket, prepacked?
  4. Beautifull dogs. Wren is the brown one, right? she still looks like she could have some bc in there.
  5. My dogs favorite toy is the one I have in my hand. Every. Single. Time.
  6. Mals are the ultimate canine athlets. I do frisbee with Tess and have seen many mals playing frisbee. The diference in styles is abissal. She always waits till the disc is at a reasonable distance from the ground to catch it. All the mals I've seen think the way to do it is jump 8 feet in the air to catch the dam thing high up there.
  7. I'm a cross over trainer (of my own dogs, not a professional). I spent 8 years training at a very tradicional, kind of military place. I learned a lot there, as I learned a lot on the many seminars and workshops I took and the 40+ books about dog behaviour and training I bought, and of course, forums like this one. I learned enough to realize that, although I never hurted or abused my dogs, there where better ways to train. I changed trainers as I realized fully that having/training a dog isn't all about what I need from him, it's equally about what he needs from me. It's a partnership, not a leader/follower thing. The dog needs to learn how to navigate this human world and meet my expectations, and I need to learn him, to understand what he's telling me in every circumstance, to protect and encourage him and to give him a happy fulfilled life. A happy fulfilled dog's life. My current trainer told me once: you know, Tess is a happy dog who loves to work, but you will really see the diference in your next dog, that's trained positively from the start. And now that I have Josh I do see it, she likes to work with me but he absolutely loooves it, not having known from me nothing but laughter and happiness (and yes, he's silly bordering on an asshole sometimes and he is corrected, but not in a negative way, if that makes sense. As in, he quicly learned he had to sit before being unleashed, and wait for the release cue to go run and explore. After a few weeks of course he decided he didn't want to sit. So I unleashed Tess, told her to go play and waited. And waited. And waited some more. After at least 4 miinutes he sat. Huge praise, I unleashed him and told him to go play. Problem solved..
  8. Not a bc, but I thought it would be nice to update on Josh the Britanny, who joined us 5 monts ago today. From a fearfull pancake glued to the ground and afraid of everything he has blossomed into a happy, lively, energetic wonderfull dog. He's still slightly uneasy about strangers but has gone from running as far from them as the leash would allow and cowering to taking a small step back and snifing the air after people pass us. When off leash he ignores people and dogs, but shows no fear as he can keep the distance he wants from them. He's remarkably athletic and physically fearless. I'm constantly introducing new surfaces, objects, etc. to him. It now takes him from a few seconds to a minute to climb/jump on something new, and he shows no fear, just is a bit uncertain at first. He loves to train and is very smart and a fast learner. He's an absolute joy. Tess and him love each other and she's a fantastic big sister, he learns a lot from her. I feel very lucky to have him in my life. Last week we went on a walk for the dogs in the municipal shelter he came from. In this pic, right at the begining, you can see he was a bit stressed with so many people and dogs. This is ten minutes later, he has relaxed a lot and was begining to enjoy himself. Half way through the walk, he was all about playing and having fun. This is the life
  9. Does she video herself working him? it might be something about her body position or her timing reward that she's not aware of. Just a thought.
  10. At 10 mo she may be aproaching her first season, which does bring on many hormonal changes. My Tess is not that good with some other dogs, but during season she was much much more reactive, and then it took her a couple of months to go back to normal (one of the reasons I spayed her). Even if she isn't coming into season, she's growing up. With Tess, as a pup she liked most other dogs but as she grew she became more and more selective and gets "offended" very easily. I would limit her interaction with other dogs for now and see if it's her season coming. As she grows, it might be that she grows less tolerant of other dogs, and there's nothing much wrong with that. I know my Tess will never ever be dog park material, but she does have many friends with whom she plays well. I'm just carefull with whom she interacts.
  11. I missed the banjo video the first time around. It rocks
  12. That's so sad. I loved his posts, would have loved to have met him.
  13. My mind isn't at it's quickest at the moment, so I find I have something else to add . My Tess is people selective and will show teeth if some random stranger wants to pet her out of the blue. I'm always carefull with her and strangers, specially children. But she's also the perfect dog for kids who are afraid of dogs, as they won't crowd her and want to hug her the moment they meet her. She's very interactive with people so she'll go get a toy and sit in front of them, clearly asking for them to grab it and throw it. Even a fearfull kid can't resist that look for long. The same way she likes people to respect her space, she's also very respectfull of their space. No jumping on them, no trying to snatch the toy from their hands, no nipping at their clothes. Fearfull kids are soon playing with her and soon after petting her, which she accepts beautifully because they're by now play friends. Just to say that I wouldn't worry much about a bc and your future kids, as long as you teach both dog and kids proper ways to interact, it should not be a problem. What I find about bc's is that as long as you teach them, they learn easily what is expected. But you do need to teach them. They're usually very not like those easy going happy go lucky dogs that are always great with everything that comes their way. They excell at learning though. More that that, they NEED it to be happy. They have an absolute need to be always learning. If you don't provide that, they will learn things you probably won't like.
  14. Just to add I second the rescue an adult dog idea. My brittany is around a year old and has been with me for about 6 weeks. I can't describe how absolutely wonderfull he is. I am completely and utterly in love with him. They don't need to be young pups for the bond to develop or for the training to be successfull. I've always had pups but was thinking for some time that I would like to try having an adult rescue. He wasn't planned but it's working very very well and I don't think I'll ever have a pup again.
  15. I live in an apartement with 2 dogs (1 bc, 1 britanny) and it works just fine. Tess is always ready to go do some fun stuff but at home she is calm and relaxed. I live in Portugal which has a warm climate and she copes well with the heat. But like Flora said, a bc isn't just a dog, it's an hobby, which means they do take a lot of our time. A good amount of exercise is needed, yes, and lots of mental stimulation, but most of all they need to be a huge part of their person's life, they want to be involved with everything. Tess loves to put the landry in the washer, go get my slippers or put her toys away in the toy box almost as much as she loves playing frisbee, fetch, tug, swimming, playing hide and seek or doing a bit of for fun mantrailing. I have done dockdiving with her, teach her many tricks and of course have worked on obedience training all her life. Bc's are absolutely the best, but they're not for everyone. They have quirks, can get obssessed easily with this and that, can be super sensitive to sound and movement, often don't much like other dogs and can be wary of strangers, including children. That said, they can also be trained to do almost anything/behave in almost any way, so as long as you know you can put in the work needed, they turn into absolutely marvelous dogs. Some people think that because they are smart they are easy, but it's the other way around. Because they are so smart, they can be hard work. They're worth it though.
  16. I've never used an e-collar so not experienced with it, but I do know a bit about dogs and training and my instinct is to not use it on a fearfull dog as it can make things much worse by scaring him even worse. There are many thechniques for building confidence that don't include something that may backfire. On the other hand, I do know some trainers use it on very low settings, not as a correction but as an attettion getter, and that sounds as what your training is proposing. It can work if it is well done, the risk is if it isn't. If you decide to go with it, just be very aware of your boy's reactions and attitude. Remember he may seem calm and compliant but in fact be just shut down. Best of luck.
  17. His coat was already looking so much better! Another update, please
  18. That's so absolutely great, DSG. I'm very happy for you. And Roan
  19. At that age, Tess was a little wild shark. She was learning all the time but was waaay energetic and everything stimulated her. Se began to settle somewhat about 6/7 mo. She had a month crate rest by that time (post-op) and I thought that helped (poor pup) but maybe she would have settled anyway. She's now 5yo and a wonderfull dog. I think he's just too young, give it time, he'll get there.
  20. DSG, thank you so much for this thread. Rereading it has helped me a lot regarding my dog before current one that died 5 years ago today., at 5 years of age. She was killed by a car on the dirt roads at the woods, where we had been hundreds of times and that I felt was a safe place. She was very well trained and would come running to walk at heel whenever she heard a car coming, far before I noticed it. And then that day it all went horribly wrong. I'm currently nursing a depression, with a couple of psichiatric meds and weekly psicoanalithical sessions. Looking back, it's clear it started 5 years ago, but it was so insidious that I didn't realize it was a depression until after the first psichiatric consultation, which I started by saying "I feel like shit, physically and emotionaly, but it's not a depression, I'm quite sure of it. I had one a long time ago and this is completely diferent". Doctor kept saying, "oh, but it is, they come in diferent flavours". Anyway, I talked with the therapist about the two big losses on my life, my father's and Sara, my dog, and she commented that I hadn't gotten over either. I was puzzled, as in what should one do to get over these kind of things, I have no idea if I did the right things or not... This thread has helped me realize that I didn't really share my overwelming pain, guilt etc. I'm not very good at sharing emotions. Although I was lucky to have family and friends that understood my pain, I did try to lighten things up so as not to overburden others. They where quite worried about me as it was. But I think my next session with the terapist will be all about remembering Sara and why I loved her so much. And for that I thank you. My father will have to wait a bit longer, that's an ever bigger thing.
  21. I had two dogs once, not bc's, and added a very young pup, 4 weeks old (long story). Next two weeks my older dog would growl and bare teeth when the pup was less than 3 steps away from her. Then she resigned herself to the situation and began breastfeeding the pup. And she breastfed her for the next 3 years.
  22. It's wrong and nothing makes sense, I know. Been there. Hold on to the good memories, all the love that has been does help now. I know many people that swear they'll never have another dog after a beloved one dies, because they can't stand the pain. But I suspect you, like me, will come across another friend when the time is right. A bit of Annie and a bit of Mags will be in him but mostly he will be his own self, and awesome. And he will also help. Hugs.
  23. I forgot something. I believe there's a method that would work wonders with Tess: going out the front door and the moment she gets ahead of me, turn around, go back in, remove her harness and ignore her for a couple of minutes. Repeat and repeat and repeat, even if it means that an hour long walk only got us to the grass in front of my house. The problem is she doesn't do inconsistency at all. Like, she doesn't forgive the slightest inconsistency. If she can pull once, then she can pull every time. And I suspect I would have to do this every single time we went out the door for at least a fortnight, if not more. We live in an apartment and I work, so that's very difficult, there are times when I just have a short time to take her out to do her business. I also strugle with that mentally myself. I love our walks and, fighting a depression right now, I need those walks with the sun and wind in my face and the companionship of my dog. I strugle with the idea of just not going for fun walks for a while. But I suspect this method might work If I was absolutely strict with it for long enough.
  24. About the pulling on leash: Tess is my first bc and by far the smartest dog I've ever had. She has also been the the hardest by far to train loose leash walking. She was reactive to cars, interested in everything, sensitive to the environment (not scaredy, but easily aroused), and a huge sniffer. She's 5 yo now. For the first couple of years we worked a lot on walking with a flat collar and desensitising to the environment, with rewards (she isn't much interested in food so we had to work on building her food drive up). But things where getting worst instead of better so we added a prong for a few months. It didn't dampen her love of life and did somewhat curb the pulling, but I realized that I was relying on it and not working as hard on the behaviour itself, which is not what I wanted. So we tried a front attachement harness, which worked for some time but she eventually learned to pull with it. I then tried a bach atachement harness and weirdly it's the tool she does better on, coupled with intensive work on leash manners (which we have done her entire life). She wont accept food for the first half of her walk so we work on stopping when she pulls, turning around, figures 8, etc., and when she has spent some energy and starts accepting food, I reward heavily for walking by my side. She is now doing all right if nor perfectly. I joke she will be awesome on leash when she's 15 yo. When I first got her I noticed imediatly she was different form my previous dogs. More intense, more alert, more tunned in with me but also with the environment. She has extensive obedience training and we do a lot of different stuff together (swimming, hiking, fetch, frisbee, trailing, tricks, dock diving, scent games, etc., and I mention this because I think if I expect this kind of dog to have good leash manners she has to have a rich life), and she loves learning and working. She has a nice off switch also. But it's like she gets sooo bored from walking at my pace she just can't stand it. I can see when she's really trying and she keeps looking at me to see if she's at my side, but she has to really make an effort and any excuse is good for her attention to wander. All my other dogs where easy to teach this and fell in sync with me easily, Tess just struglles with it. It's who she is, I guess. It's been a long road and there where times when walking her was NOT fun, which obviously isn't the goal. But she's getting there, finally. Sooo... maybe you will be lucky and your dog will learn it quickly, maybe he's a little like my Tess and it will be a struggle, but if you keep working on it he will get better, I promise. Hope some of this helps
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