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About Hooper2

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  1. Best wishes for you and your beloved dog. I know it doesn't really do any good to say this, but I'll say it anyway - don't feel guilty. You didn't do anything malicious or negligent. Sure, in retrospect you feel like you should have kept your sealed bottle of pills in a locked safe that can only be accessed by a fingerprint scanner. But really, keeping pills in a bottle on a shelf that your dog was only able to access by using a kitchen towel (theoretically, dogs aren't tool users) as a sweeper isn't something that I would expect someone to automatically recognize as a hazard. I once had
  2. Up to 2 hrs of your dog howling, crying, and screaming every night? Yowza!. After about 15 minutes of listening to that and being helpless to do anything to stop it, I'd be howling and crying right along with Stanley. I have no real idea of what might be going on so I'm just throwing out some random thoughts here. It's free advice, and worth every penny of it Can you videotape a portion of your dog's "fits" and send those to a veterinarian or, better yet, a behaviorist? It might help if whomever you are seeking help from can actually see what you are dealing with. You say you
  3. In rereading your posts, I realized that the super smelly poop was specific to one instance of overeating chicken, so maybe my giardia hypothesis is a long shot. But giardia is pretty ubiquitous. It's not uncommon to get false negatives from stool samples because you have to catch the giardia at just the right stage to have it show up in stools, so I still think it might be worth while testing her a couple times before completely ruling out the possibility. But, my new hypothesis is that you are just overstuffing her. Kibbles vary in their usable calorie content bu
  4. I would check her for Giardia again. Skinny and absolutely revolting smelling feces are classic signs of giardia which she could easily have picked up from eating other animals' poop. Once she's had it she infests soil anywhere she defecates and can become reinfected if she then frequents that same area.
  5. Yes, I'm referring to the pellets made to be burned in stoves. Just so I don't build up your hopes too much, I only overwinter a two or three ducks, and I don't put tons of water out for them in the winter. But still. Stove pellets are by far the most convenient thing I've found for soaking up mud. They are just very fine saw dust, but compressed into handy little 40 lb bags that are available everywhere and are about 7 times denser than the same weight of baled sawdust. And they aren't nearly as messy as sawdust. I think some cedar wood shavings could be toxic, but lots of differ
  6. I also recommend using wood pellets instead of chips. As they soak up water they will disintegrate into sawdust, which puppies are far less likely to chew on. Look for pellets made from hardwoods, with no added glues. You don't have to use any special type of "bedding pellet" or pellet designed to be kitty litter. Those are just the waste crumbles left over from making stove pellets, and in the spirit of capitalism, cost even more than the stove pellets do, because, why not? Put down WAY less pellets than you think you will need. WAY less. A 50 lb sack will last half the winter for my
  7. This is a long shot but if you live somewhere where there is a vet optometrist within driving distance you might consider having her eyes checked. Some vision problems are more obvious at night. Not everything you describe is related to darkness, but I'm thinking about the basement stairs possibly being less well lit, and her literally not being able to see the light at the end of a longer tunnel in a location where she's not navigated a tunnel that long before. Plus, of course the fact that her issues seem more intense at night. Will she do the stairs to and from your bedroom if you really
  8. One important way to keep your dog's teeth clean is to choose the right parents. I've had as many as five dogs at one time, all fed the same thing, all drinking the same water, and they ran the gamut from consistently nice white shiny teeth to chronically brown teeth, and it wasn't entirely age-related. I used to give my dogs raw knuckle bones and nylabones to chew, and I think both those things helped clean teeth. But after one $1700 bill for a doggie root canal, and another $700 for an extraction of a slab fracture on a different dog, and I decided no more large bones. My dental ve
  9. I agree with both Riika and GL. A dog with good working instinct certainly enjoys getting to act on those instincts, but I don't believe they then spend their days thinking "Damn, I wish I could do that again". Of course they need some sort of mental and physical stimulation and lots of interaction with you on a regular basis, but it doesn't have to work stock, even if they are talented at it. On the other hand, if you and your dog enjoy it, and you can do it in a manner that doesn't unduly stress the livestock just for the sake of you and your dog's entertainment, then take advantag
  10. Specifically in regard to your question 1) about whether barking is something you can work on, my answer is YES! Sure dogs bark, and barking is being part of being a dog. Dogs also pee and poop and chew and mouth things and roll in smelly stuff and jump on people and chase things. Those things are all part of being a dog, but we teach the dog when and where those things are appropriate, and when and where they are not. The same principle applies to barking. You've gotten good advice above on applying the same excellent training you've done individually to now extending that to teac
  11. Just a thought here that may be way off base ... In your original post you mentioned that this behavior has started recently. In your second post you mention cleaning feet in the current weather. Is there any chance that this behavior started when the weather changed and you started cleaning paws more frequently when she comes in? I dunno. Maybe you've been wiping paws all along. But, lots of dogs hate having their feet messed with, and even if they have been conditioned to accept it, that doesn't mean they like it. So, IF her reluctance to come inside coincides with her having to
  12. I think you are basically on the right track, especially with calling her in the house and then rewarding her with a quick treat and letting her go right back outside. I would do that A LOT. The other thing I would do is play with her ("play" meaning possibly a fun training session, or a game of find the hidden treat, or something else she finds really enjoyable) for a couple minutes after you call her into the house for the last time. You want to instill two thing here: a) calling inside doesn't necessarily mean the outdoor fun is over, she may get to go right back out, and b) even if she
  13. Well, I wouldn't count on them becoming more manageable at 5 or 6 months. That's sort of like expecting your adorable 8 year old child to become more manageable as a teenager. It's at least as likely that they will become less manageable - faster, stronger, more independent, more inclined to test boundaries, and hormone-poisoned . Over the years I've taken my dogs on unleashed walks on my mostly fenced 10 acres starting when they are a couple months old. The walks are pretty short at first, and I'm keeping a good eye on them, and as they get older they drag a long line until they
  14. You say you've talked to your vet, but has he been checked for a bladder infection? Those are less common in young males than in females, but certainly not unheard of. My senior bitch recently started needing to go outside like three times per night, and after a couple more or less sleepless nights for both of us, it was off to the vet. One day on Clavamox, and poof!, she's clearly feeling soooo much more comfortable, and able to control her bladder for much longer. If your vet hasn't already ruled that out, you should definitely consider treating for a possible infection.
  15. You don't say how old your dog is but I'm guessing somewhere between a year and a year and a half? If that's the case, the wild destruction may wane on its own in a few months. I've read, and had this confirmed by my vet, that dogs go through two teething phases. The first one is the one in which the teeth emerge through the gums, and lots of pups become compulsive chewers at that point, presumably because chewing relieves the discomfort of teeth poking through gum tissue. And then teething is done, and many compulsive chewers become much less compulsive, or lose interest in chewing all t
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