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Everything posted by teresaserrano

  1. I sometimes go walk the dog around a lake that's distant enough that we don't go there very often. Sara, my portuguese sheepdog, would fetch a stick into the water when we went there, and 2 weeks later, when we returned there and I asked her to go find the stick, she would search the area and bring me the stick we had been playing with before. Not only did she remember what we had been doing but also, great sense of smell!
  2. Tess can be quite intense when telling another dog to piss of. She has never made another dog bleed but if she was allowed to fully express her anoyance every time she wants to, there would often be cause for chairs and popcorn. So I usually stand between her and the other dog and tell it to piss of myself. And when the other owner shouts as he runs towards us, "Don't worry, he doesn't bite!", I shout back, "Well, mine does, you really want your dog bitten?" I'm actually painting a bleaker than reallity picture of Tess, but I prefer that than letting her forever rehearse her "I'll flatten you to the ground and make you wish you where never born, you stupid a-hole!" attitude. I must say she reserves that attitude to really stupid a-holes. But she does tend to get a bit carried away. There's lots of sound and movement.
  3. If I was in your situation, I might choose to go for the second class (might, it would depend on stuff I really don't know about you and your dog), but I would go and not worry very much about what I'm suposed to be teaching, and really focus on how I could make that experience more fun and engaging. As in, I would take the class and make it a class about "we have fun here and enjoy ourselves when we come". And I would see how it went and if I was going somewhere within that goal. I do believe in putting a bit of stress in a dog in order to help him overcome uncomfortable situations, but there's obvious limits to that. For one, the owner must be focused in helping the dog overcome the situation, in oposition to just working on what everybody else is working. Second, one must be aware of what is going on and if there is a good outcome of the whole thing. If it's working, even with some hiccups, great, but if it's not working, no point in stressing the dog. I do believe that if it's definitely not working, one keeps working on whatever's the problem, but in a different setting that helps the dog sucsed (how the hell does one write that last word? I'm lost . There's not even a portuguese word i can use to google translate. We use two words for that meaning.).
  4. I never let random strangers touch Tess. Although she's quite confident, she dislikes her space being invaded by people she doesn't know, and will show teeth if necessary. So I don't allow it, and will step in front of her to block people if needed. She's not timid or overly insecure and there's people she loves on the spot. When we're with dog saavy people, she will go ask for petting and usually loves everybody. But she hates complete strangers who know zip about dogs looming over her with hands outstretched. If she was shy and fearfull, as your dog seems to be, I would be even more carefull about interactions with strangers. I must come out as mean sometimes. I tell kids who want to pet her, No, she doesn't like kids. Some people look a bit rufled, but I couldn't care less.
  5. I live in an appartment without a yard and find it not dificult at all to own a bc. I work, although I always come home to lunch and she isn't usually alone for more than 3 or 4 hours in a row. As someone else said, they are not for the casual owner though. I wake up 3 hours before work so we can go out for 1.5 hours in the morning. In the afternoons we go out again, for a shorter walk, and we train obedience and tricks at home too. We play frisbee, do dock diving, play tug and search games, fetch, etc. I take her swimming and obstacle jumping. She goes with me everywhere and we do lots of different things together. We do all these things because I really like it, but I do think she would also be happy if we didn't do as much, as long as she was a real part of my life. That'a what a bc needs the most, I think, to be a part of his person's life. Tess just loves it when I ask her to bring me my slippers, or to pick something up that I let fell, or to help me carry the laundry to the washing machine. She likes to feel usefull and part of everyday life.
  6. Tess uses her paws just like hands to flip a frisbee that landed on a flat surface, so she can grab it. I find it amazing, but probably most if not all frisbee playing dogs can do that. Congrats on your approval
  7. I also only bath Tess about twice a year, and then only because, being almost all white, she will eventually get yellowish/greyish. But she does have the teflon coat, and a good brushing now and then is enough for her to look good, usually And she smells quite nice without frequent baths, I think.
  8. I'm in Portugal, and I use Leishgard, an oral vaccine. There's also an injectable vaccine available here against leshmaniosis.
  9. You will have to work with him on liking the crate and being comfortable there, before you can leave him there for extended periods of time.
  10. That's where a crate comes handy, as the dog doesn't have space to move or inappropriate things to chew and tends to just sleep till you come home. He should be used to his crate of course and feel relaxed in there.
  11. I get your recent understanding that, if your dog corrects another dog for rudeness, well, the other dog WAS being rude. I share that view. I think it's nothing to blame our dog for. I still leash Tess everytime another dog aproaches, for both of them's protection. That way, I can keep her from biting if she decides she hates the other dog, but more important, I can control the other dog's aproach much better, by stepping in front of Tess and telling him to go take a hike. She feels I'm in charge and she doesn't have to react. There's a couple diferences between our dogs though. She's not dog reactive. She will completely ignore a dog three steps away from her, barking and lunging and the end of his leash. She has zero reaction, no anxiety, no agressiveness. She ignores him. IF the dog is allowed to take two more steps and invande her space, she might as well decide she loves him and wants to play, or she hates him and wants to flatten him to the ground, taking off some of his fur in the process. I know her well enough to know well in advance which she is thinking about, and avoid any interaction if the latter is true. I don't want her rehearsing the behaviour. If she was showing anxiety and stress at the mere sight of some dogs, I would be handling it differently. I believe a certain amount of stress is important in everybody's life so one learns how to deal with it, but certain amounts of stress, of certain tipes, are very very detrimental, and a stressed dog can't learn or progress. I try to put her only in situations where she can learn things that comform to my goals about her actions in a humans world. She does get a got amount of off leash play with loads of different dogs (one at a time). I just try to read the circumstances as best as I can and always keep a good degree of control. I am good at reading her, and not bad at reading other dogs, and I use that to my advantage. But you seem to already know this, and doing right by your dog. We are always learning when it comes to dogs. Different species and all that, much of it inevitably remains a mistery, so now and then we will make mistakes. That's all right. We learn and move on, doing better.
  12. Epic First time I gave my last dog Sara half a chicken, I ended up keeping her in the yard with said chicken for a couple of hours so they could get to know each other. They did become best friends. Then Sara ate her friend. Why did you de-articulate the wings? Was a whole wing too big for him? I usually found a turkey wing was the perfect size.
  13. About Gracie bumping/nipping other dogs, I don't think you're doing anything wrong, and neither is Gracie. Many bc's don't feel particulary comfortable with some other dogs, and will show it. I know Tess doesn't like many dogs, although she loves many others. With her it's rude dogs she dislikes, and her being the queen of the world, she finds many many things rude about other dogs. She can be quite trigger happy about correcting other dogs, and her corrections can look like she wants to kill them, As she has never made another dog bleed, I assume that's not her intention. I deal with it by making abundantly clear I do not agree with over correcting, protecting her from dogs I know she will not like, and giving her the freedom to express her displeasure if she does it within certain limits. As she gets to know a dog she relaxes and accepts more liberties from them. She meets new dogs on leash only, and only those she seems to like, with my eyes glued to them.
  14. Never had that problem also. I might get the ocasional scratch from her nails, but never from her dewclaws. A bit more information might help us understand what's happening.
  15. So sorry for your loss. Jester was a special boy, it's clear from your words. I think the only thing that aleviates the pain a bit is knowing they had a happy filled life.
  16. The dogs I talked about in another thread, mom and daughter, where the same. The daughter didn't do stuff, mom did and she went along. They where water dogs and loved swimming, we would throw a stick and both would fly into the water and swim fast and furious, but it was always the mom that brought the stick back. She loved to chase the birds at the beach, and the daughter chased her. She was always a follower. I suspect that grief is something each individual overcomes at his pace and in his time, but a friendly shoulder and one on one love and attention always helps. Have you tried taking her swimming? It's relaxing and fun and a heat friendly activity.
  17. I reread your post, so more to the point: at training, I would keep a comfortable distance from the pups she reacts to, and place myself between her and them. At the same time I would work on keeping her attention on me. It will take time as she's very young, but she'll get there. The goal is kind of - you and I are the most important thing in the universe to each other, and everyhting else around us is irrelevant. Those barking dogs over there, we couldn't care less about them, cause we're having fun together. And if one of them comes bother you, I have your back, no worries. At your friends house, I would have her leashed and work on teaching her that her place is calmly by my side. No interactions, which includes not letting the other dog aproach. And I would do that myself, not ask the owner to keep the dog away. I think it's important she sees you recognize she's uncomfortable and act on it. When she learns to be calm and relaxed at other peoples houses, I would allow more interaction, if she wanted. But for me it's important that my dog understands that her place when at other peoples houses is by me, not wandering about. Unless she's good friends with the other dog and they both really want to go play, that's what I ask her to do. Lab puppies - well, no good advice on that one. Many borders hate labs. Completely different personalities. I just don't allow them to bother Tess, and don't let her jump on them.
  18. Sounds like my Tess, large personal bubble and very quick to correct everything she feels is disrespectfull to her. She varies between mild corrections like snapping the air, to going for the other dog full force if she can. She has never hurt another dog though, so she's not intent on doing any real harm, just making her point very clear. I'm very carefull with her and other dogs, she meets new dogs on leash and only those I think she can meet (but she's not leash reactive, it doesn't make any difference if she's leashed or not). She'll be 3 yo in a couple weeks and by now I know very well, by her posture, if she'll love the other dog, be more or less indiferent or hate his guts. I also know what tipes of dogs she dislikes. So it's not dificult to not allow interactions with dogs I think she will be iffy with. At her age, simply telling her No when she begins thinking of posturing works well, but not when she was younger and more hot headed. To be honest, it's the only thing about her I would change if I could, but it's perfectly manageable. I don't see her as agressive but she's definitely dog selective, so I have to be on my toes. No interactions with most pups (she's atrocious with submissive pups), limited interaction with small dogs, caution with excited in-your-face dogs. She really hates the labs, goldens, pits aproach, sudden and intense and very let's be friends NOW!!! She loves many dogs though, which is I think one of the things that diferentiates an agressive dog from a dog selective dog. Some she loves right away, some she grows to love as she knows them better. She will correct her dog friends if they do something disrespectfull (like trying to mount her, nobody mounts Tess), but the correction is apropriate and the other dogs all take it well. She's NOT dog park material, never ever would I let her loose with a bunch of unknown dogs. So, what have I done so far? Got to know her really well, know what she's saying by expression and posture, know what she likes and dislikes, and try really hard not to put her in a situation where she feels the need to correct. It's not a situation I want her to have the oportunity to rehearse. When we're out and about, I see another dog, call her and leash her. If the dog comes running, I step in front of her and tell him to slow down and chill out. I look at her a lot and go by her cues, she tells me if she would like to meet the dog or not. Often, the other owner will be running after his dog and yelling "Don't worry, he's friendly!" and I say "Well, she's not, and she really dislikes your dog. You want him bit?" People seem to be a bit put of by their dog not being universally loved, but I couldn't care less. Carefully control interactions with other dogs and only allow them when she's showing every sign of being happy, comfortable and playfull (she can sniff another dog, but unless she is obviously happy with it, the interaction lasts a couple seconds only, then off we go) That said, we also worked a lot on many interactions with many different dogs, the more the better. Practice makes perfect, I was just carefull about them. Work a lot on her relationship with me, building trust and respect from both parties, so she knows both that I won't let another dog bother her, and I won't let her bother another dog. I do correct sometimes for going for another dog, but I'm carefull with that. First, I believe she has the absolute right to not like all other dogs, and many times she has a perfectly valid reason to correct, even if she is a bit too trigger happy. Second, although I think it is fundamental that she knows I will not tolerate over reactions, I want her to trust me and know I will protect her if needed, and to respect me enough to go againts her first instinct because I said so, not to fear me. Third, I really don't want her to associate the presence of other dogs with being corrected. I can't say if this would work for your dog because I don't know her. Although sometimes Tess is obviously uncomfortable or even afraid of some dogs, her more usual attitude is "I'm the queen of the universe and will allow no disrespect from my subjects". She has a strong character and I love it, as it brings to the table many wonderfull characteristics. That she is dog selective is just a minor inconvenience, in the end.
  19. Many years ago, I had mom and daughter. They where inseparable their whole lives. The daughter was her mom's shadow (I understand now that she never truly developed her own personality as she always followed her mom's lead). They always slept together and truly loved each other. Neither had separation anxiety involving the other one and where perfectly fine on their own, but loved doing everything together. When the mom died, the daughter didn't visibly pin for her, but the fact is she steadily deteriorated health wise and also died less than a year later. I think she truly missed her. I'm not sure, though, how much it was them being mom and daughter, and how much it was living together their whole lives.
  20. I use corrections in training. And also food and lots of positive reinforcement. Using prongs and alpha rolls and shock collars on an 8 mo that's most likely just going through a very normal insecure phase is just... STUPID. Bc's are very aware of the world, and at that age it's normal that she finds some things frightening. As the others said, she needs your support to gain confidence, and for that she has to trust you got her back. Tess will be 3 yo in 2 weeks, and today at a dock diving event, when a chair fell with the wind, she went into "Oh my god what was that?" mode. So I told her, it's just a chair, you silly sweetie. She doesn't understand the words, but understands the tone. She stretched her neck, sniffed it from 2 feet away, walked to it and made a thorough inspection, and then told me: Mom, I'm glad to report it's not a grizzly bear, just a chair that fell on the ground. Good girl All the rest, lots of dogs and people, loud music, barking, kids running, she was perfectly comfortable with. But she wouldn't have been at 8 mo. She would have been a reactive mess so she wouldn't have gone there.
  21. When Tess was 5 months old she went blind. I found out she had congenital chataracts. She had surgery 10 days later has she needed to be on some meds before surgery. During that time before surgery, one day, we where at home and I looked at her, the hair all around one eye was all bloody, like her eye had exploded (I completely freaked out). She was having high pressure on her eyes and both me and the vet thought it had caused a vein to burst. But the specialist, when he saw her a few days later, said it was a cat scratch (I do have a cat). Point is, she never showed the least sign of being in pain, it didn't bother her at all. It was a hell of a time for the cat to decide she needed to be thaught manners, I was already going over the edge with the prospect of surgery and the possibility it could go wrong.
  22. A few years ago I was bitten twice by a gsd who hated my dog (feeling was reciprocal). Both times the owner wandered blissfully near us, close enough for her dog to lunge at mine (who was dieing to do the same). Both times I stepped in front of my dog and was bit (nothing serious, dog was definitely not aiming at me, but still). Owner was an older sweet lady that had just no idea about personal space. She felt terribly afterwards, but didn't seem to grasp the concept of keeping enough distance. I ended up bellowing at her, whenever she wandered in our direction, "Not a step further, I don't feel like being bitten today".
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