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smiles604's Achievements


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  1. I want to say that I definitely agree with the advice to crate whenever you can't directly observe your puppy, even if it's just for a few minutes. It's much easier to prevent bad habits than change them after they're established. Also, I wouldn't worry about your pup thinking the crate is a punishment. I always made it a fun time to go in the crate so my pup looked forward to it - I always had special toys/treats (i.e. frozen kongs) that she only got in the crate and now she is still happy to go to her crate whenever I ask, or on her own accord to take a nap.
  2. Thank you for all the responses! Lots of different ideas and things to consider, and it's really interesting to me to hear what other people do. Alfreda, thank you in particular for the trail link - that's not too far from me so I will definitely look into it!
  3. In light of the current topic about dealing with uncontrolled off leash dogs, I have a related question. I would love to be able to let my dog, Ivy, off leash more often, but have limited options as I live in a fairly urban environment. Although there are off leash dog parks which we go to, we all know that those have their own set of issues and if I had another option I would prefer to avoid them. There are lots of hiking trails and parks within a fairly short drive, but the vast majority of these are open to on leash dogs only. Ivy has generally good manners and a reliable recall, but I want to respect leash laws and the other users of the parks/trails so I don't let her off leash in these areas. So my question is - Where do you all let your dogs off leash? I realize that this is probably a very regional question, but I'm interested in hearing about what other people do. Are dog parks and/or private property (if you're so lucky as to have it) the only options? What are the leash laws in your area? (although as evidenced by the uncontrolled off leash thread, regardless of the laws, many people don't follow them). As a point of reference, I live in Seattle.
  4. Ivy, BC mix (mom BC, dad unknown), 15 months. Brought her home at 10 weeks, and I am a novice trainer. 1. Toilet Trained - pretty early on. Maybe 3-4 months? 2. Freedom in the house alone for at least an hour - still not even close. She still gets into everything all the time! 3. 80% successful recall with distractions - from the beginning. She always has had a pretty good recall. 4. Close to 100% successful recall with distractions - not yet. I think she hovers around 90% - her biggest distractors are squirrels/cats, or if she is very involved in playing with another dog. 5. Loose leash walking with distractions - still no. This has been one of the hardest things for us. She can heel, and she can finally walk fairly well on a loose leash in a familiar location without major distractions, but still has trouble with distractions or when walking somewhere new. 6. Staying for at least one minute with distractions: 6-7 months - stay has always been a strength for her. 7. Sitting to meet guests: still no. She is getting better slowly, but we haven't really worked on this as hard as we could have.
  5. My dog has loved retrieving since she was a puppy. The only training I had to do was getting her to bring it more directly to me (she used to just fling the ball enthusiastically in my general direction).
  6. Congratulations! I think my puppy was about ten months old before this happened for us and it was such a feeling of success.
  7. I'm a bit hesitant to offer advice because there are so many people here who have so much more experience than me, but for what it's worth, here's my 2 cents. My dog, Ivy, is also young, but is a spayed female, and definitely has some of the same behavior. So I think at least some of it is just due to being young, and hopefully will improve with age. I do take her to the dog park, although I know it's not ideal, as it's one of the only places nearby where she can run off leash. I've found two things that have really helped with this behavior - first, only spending shorter times in the dog park. For me, this means around thirty minutes max in the park, though obviously she's not directly engaging with other dogs that entire time. In direct play, it would be much shorter than that, maybe 2-3 minutes (or sometimes even less, depending on her mood) before I would interrupt it. I find that usually her behavior starts out fine, but as she gets more and more excited her ability to listen to other dogs (and me!) takes a nosedive. To me, this is just like a little kid at a birthday party. She starts out having fun, but with too much stimuli she gets overwhelmed and has trouble controlling her responses, leading to a meltdown. So I try to leave before it gets to that point. The other thing I do is work on a lot of recalls, with extra good rewards. I know better than to call her if she is already super engaged with another dog, but I do try to call her a fair amount at other times while at the park. She also has a particularly intense way of looking at another dog that I've found usually precedes impolite play behavior, and if I do a recall at that time it usually acts as a reset, as she loses interest in that dog after she's come back to me and I can redirect her onto something else. So, basically just management, but those are the specific things that work for me. I have definitely noticed an improvement in her behavior - she doesn't get overexcited and rude as often as she used to, and I don't have to be as vigilant in preventing problems as I used to. I hope that helps a little.
  8. I have 2 separate questions that I'm hoping you all will be able to give me some information on - for background, my puppy, Ivy, is my first dog, and she is now about 6 months old. I don't know a lot about her parentage as she came from rescue, but I do know that her mother was a border collie originally from Montana (so maybe working bred? but who knows, really...) My questions: 1.) Ivy will almost never sleep out of her crate. I think she's fallen asleep out of her crate or in the crate with the door open maybe 3 times total since she was 12 weeks old or so. I know she's tired because she gets crazy and if I put her in the crate she falls asleep right away, but she just won't go to sleep on her own. Is this normal? At what age do dogs usually develop the ability to take naps without the crate? 2.) I love hiking and live near many great hiking trails. I read a lot about not overtaxing growing puppies and waiting for more challenging exercise until the growth plates are closed around 1 year. However, I don't want to miss the entire hiking season this summer. Do you guys have any mileage and/or elevation maximum recommendations for hiking with puppies? Thanks!
  9. Wow, thanks for all the honest and thoughtful posts! I am looking forward to the informational meeting this weekend, and all these responses definitely gives me something to think about. It seems like some of the important points to think about are: consider the time commitment, try to get a feel for the politics/inclusiveness of the group, and really think about how much I can commit to the lifestyle. Another question I thought of...for those who do SAR, or who know someone who does, is it possible to work a full time job and still be an active participant? Do people have arrangements with their jobs to allow them to participate in missions (which, from my limited understanding, could be short or up to several days long)? Also, that book by Cat Warren looks excellent - looking forward to reading it!
  10. Hi all, I think there at least a couple posters here who may have experience with SAR, but I wasn't able to come up with much information/old threads when I tried searching. I'm thinking about doing SAR with my pup, and I'd love any general thoughts about doing SAR with your dog. How much of a time commitment is it? How long until a dog is ready to participate in missions? Anything else I should know? Also, the SAR group in my area is having an informational meeting for potential new members this week, which I am planning on going to. Are there any specific questions I should ask/things I should look out for? In general, are BCs successful at this work, or is it more challenging for them? (I feel like I see a lot of labs and german shepherds doing SAR, but not as many BCs - is this true, or just my limited experience?) I appreciate any thoughts/information. Thank you!
  11. I've really enjoyed looking through this thread, and found it useful in trying to figure out how big my puppy will be when she's full grown. So, to add what I have so far for Ivy's weights: 2.5 weeks - 2.15 lbs 3 weeks - 3.04 lbs 5 weeks - 6.01 lbs 6 weeks - 8.05 lbs 8 weeks - 12.05 lbs 9.5 weeks - 15.13 lbs 13.5 weeks - 23.4 lbs 15 weeks - 25.7 lbs 18 weeks - 28.5 lbs I should add that Ivy is a BC mix - mom was a BC but dad is unknown. She does seem like she is going to be in the same range as some of the larger BCs based on this thread though - maybe 45-50 lbs? She has grown quite a bit since I've gotten her, but she does seem to be slowing down...at least for now.
  12. Just to report back...I set up the camera and turned on music as was also suggested while I was outside for about an hour this afternoon. She slept the whole time and didn't even finish her kong before going to sleep! So I think I was over reacting, and the barking I heard was probably just related to me coming home. It was funny to watch clips of the video though - a montage of Ivy's sleeping positions!
  13. Thank you for all the advice! I will definitely look into the Crate Games - this is a video, right? Also, good points that she may just start crying when she hears me, but is fine during the time she's alone. I will plan to set up a camera tomorrow to see what she does while I go out for a short while, and decide how to proceed after that.
  14. Hello! A couple weeks ago, I posted that I was going to pick up my puppy and that I was hoping for any advice to alleviate my nerves. I really appreciate the responses I got - they were all so encouraging and helpful. So, now I have had Ivy home for almost 2 weeks and in general, things are going really well. She and my cat are slowly getting to know each other, potty training is coming along, and she's such a quick learner with basic obedience so far. I do have one question about crate training - Ivy goes in her crate readily, doesn't mind when the door is closed, and can even stay there for up to an hour if she has a filled kong and she hears people moving around the house. She also sleeps in the crate at night, and eats her meals in the crate. However - today was the first day I left her alone in her crate as I had a couple appointments. When I got home after my first appointment (gone for ~1.5 hours) she was crying in her crate, but otherwise seemed fine. When I left for my second appointment (after having her outside and playing with her until she was tired) she was happy to go into her crate and seemed fine with her kong, but when I got home (~2 hours later), I was quite surprised to see her out of her crate when I opened the front door! I was extremely lucky that I think she just slept once she was out as I couldn't find anything that had been chewed on, and she hadn't had any accidents. Obviously I will be making her crate more secure in the future. My question is: knowing that I have to go back to work next week, what can I do now to help Ivy be more comfortable in her crate when left alone? She really is okay most of the time in the crate if she knows someone is around, so I think she just didn't like being left by herself. The most she will ever have to be in the crate is ~3 hours, and I would like to help her be comfortable and not stressed out during the time she will be in the crate. I did some forum searches, but most of the info I found was about dogs that didn't like to go in the crate at all. Any advice or ideas would be most appreciated. And also, some pictures! For those that didn't see my initial post, Ivy's mother is a known BC, but dad is unknown. I would welcome any guesses re: dad's breed - maybe lab?
  15. Also, she's a rescue pup and while the mother is know to be all BC, dad is a bit of a mystery. The rescue was told the dad may have been an Aussie mix, which makes some sense to me as half the litter was merle (and I think that's more common in Aussies?). Mom was about 40 lbs, black and white rough coat. My pup is on the big side at 15 lbs and 10 weeks old tomorrow. Any other thoughts/guesses re: her dad? I'm interested to see what she looks/acts like as she grows!
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