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Everything posted by chrisandgabe

  1. I'm so happy for you that you've had some success, and do hope it continues. I am quite leery of any fix that happens "instantly", especially when dealing with fear or trauma. Best wishes to you both.
  2. There's an app called click stats that will both make the clicker sound and take data on your training session. You can also use a marker word or clicky pen.
  3. I usually teach stay by giving the dog a series of treats, and using a release word. It's typically 5 treats. Dog sits in front of handler, handler puts up hand like a stop sign, says "stay"(once), and then feeds the dog a series of 5 small treats (or half treats), and finishes with a release word like "take a break" and encouraging the dog to move/break the stay after the release word. Repeat a few times. Then, start spacing out time between treats (adding duration). When dog has success with that a few times, begin by doing a little rock step back and coming back in to treat the dog (still 5 treats). As the dog has success, add in more distance between handler and dog, or distraction, or longer durations. Make sure the dog has success each step of the way, and keep using the release word to mark the end of the stay.
  4. Gabe is pretty similar in this way. With people he knows, he's incredibly affectionate, snuggly even. With new people, he starts out aggressively barking, and eventually gets curious and goes up to people in this kind of conflicted wants to meet them/is terrified of them way. I work with him a lot on staying calm away from people, and not doing things that invite pets/attention/things I know make him uncomfortable. As he gets more comfortable, we work on people throwing treats to him, or throwing a ball for him that he brings back to me and I pass along to the new person to throw.
  5. I really like teaching a nose target (touch), and when Gabe's getting a little nutty, he'll have to play the "touch game" and follow my hand on one side, other side, behind me, under leg, etc etc. We also like trick training! We've done "raise your paw", "roll over", "what does a cat do?"( weaves in between my legs), "where's gabe?" (comes up in between my legs and sits looking up at me), and started some work on paws crossing and general paw targets. It's both fun, and gives him stuff to do with me when meeting new people that he's not happy about.
  6. We both work full time and adopted gabe, our presumably border collie/Australian shepherd mix (but maybe all border collie) at 2.5 years old. We think we are a good home for him, but he's definitely not for the "casual" dog owner. I wake up almost 3 hours before I leave for work to walk him (approx 1 hour and we work on leash skills and reactivity), sometimes a little training session in the morning too. My husband and I have staggered work schedules so he's home earlier than I am, takes gabe for another long walk, and they often run in the yard or do some work out there. We do a lot of trick training. Weekends are all about the dog. I sometimes take him herding, and more recently am teaching a class where we take a pack of dogs on a trail walk on weekends to work on socialization in that setting. I offered to teach the class because my dog needs it. We are currently on vacation with Gabe and found a state park to walk through this morning, and plan a lot more "what to do in the hotel" things than we would otherwise so we can be with him. Find some hobbies you can do with your dog, and start to love training. Also praise and reward your dog for being calm. Stick around these boards, they're a great resource. Enjoy your dog and all the things he will teach you
  7. Gabe's been learning to roll over for a while now, but has seemed to still need a lot of physical cuing in order to be successful. Last night, for the first time, I was able to stand up and give just a verbal "roll over", and he did it! And then moved right along to not needing the "down" cue first, could be told to "roll over" and he would put himself down and do it. My husband came into the room and saw him do it and asked "wow, when did he learn to do it without help?" "About 2 minutes ago". He learns a lot of stuff, and this isn't the first trick he's learned, but he had a tough time putting it all together, so it was cool to really see that moment where he went from kind of knowing it to really knowing it. My brother seemed to be videoing, but totally failed. We'll try to get some video soon!
  8. Even if the daycare staff are alerting you to this behavior, and interrupting it as often as possible, you don't know for sure that they're interrupting immediately, every time, and I'd guess that the staff:dog ratio isn't conducive to them being able to do that. You need to be working through this with your dog. She doesn't have 1:1 attention at daycare to interrupt her when she's starting to get overstimulated before she's nipping at other dogs. Even if they're interrupting her, what are they doing next? How are they encouraging her to calm herself down? Or are they just interrupting and then letting her go back to play? Socialization isn't just exposure to new things- it's exposure + positive experiences. A dog that is that overstimulated isn't having a really positive experience. The group I train with runs "Puppy Club" once a week- off leash socialization for puppies 6 mos or younger. They play, get some exposure to new and interesting objects, and we sit around and talk puppy problems when puppies need a break from play. It generally lasts 45 minutes, with breaks, and around that point puppies are overstimulated and it isn't "good" play anymore. I can't imagine a 4 month old puppy being able to do a day of daycare and not losing their brain. I would instead look for a puppy kindergarten class or something that has a little bit of play/socialization and also obedience work, and work with your puppy on impulse control things like staying, leave it, etc. and use these to help her maintain her brain around overstimulating things. As she's heading towards your boyfriend's ankles, interrupt her and give her something else to do. You can also have her drag a leash in the house so she's easier to interrupt and redirect when he's around. The digs on doggy daycare here aren't to say you're not doing your best as a dog owner, just a different way of looking at the daycare experience for dogs. I think daycare is really oversold for its benefits of socialization, when small, better monitored interactions would probably serve more dogs much better. I've found the people here to be excellent resources, and know the quirks of raising border collies incredibly well. I do hope you take some of this advice in the spirit it was given- to help you eliminate this behavior from your puppy. Best of luck, and we all love puppy pictures!
  9. I'm so happy to read this thread. Our labradoodle got bathed regularly, and groomed every other month or something. Gabe gets bathed when he stays at my friend's farm, and she does a hose and shampoo when she returns him. I'd be okay with him coming home with no bath, but she bathes all dogs before she sends them home. He hasn't been there in a while, and I was just feeling like a neglectful dog mom for not bathing him, but he doesn't look or smell dirty! So now I'll give myself a break, and be grateful for his Teflon border collie fur.
  10. Yes, thanks for mentioning this. A young dog in our former neighborhood passed away this way.
  11. I don't mean to keep beating a dead horse here, but I think it's pretty risky to be continuing to put him in situations that might end in a fight or attack. By continuing to go to the beach with tourist dogs around, which has been an issue and caused problems in the past, you are leaving the door open to another fight, another attack, another issue which sets you back a great deal in helping Elwood feel safe. Were these "big American staffys" dogs you knew and knew were completely bomb-proof with other dogs? So you knew without a shadow of a doubt that if your dog started acting negatively towards them they would just ignore it and walk away? I'm not sure it's possible to know this 100% with any dog. What kind of control did you have over this meet and greet? If there's a dog you know he has good interactions with, I'd start with LOTS of good interactions with that dog, and slowly expand with dogs you know have a pretty good chance of having good, positive interactions with. I'd be really cautious with unknown dogs.
  12. Oh what a cutie. If only I thought Gabe would allow another male in the house...
  13. In "How Dogs Love Us" Gregory Berns talks a lot about how he trained the dogs to lie still in the MRI machine. It was one of my favorite parts of the book!
  14. The dog I raised from puppy-hood was my labradoodle puppy, and he never developed any real issues as he got older. Went through typical bratty adolescence, but was in general a well-balanced, social, well behaved dog. Except for that time I discovered he loved chasing deer more than ANYTHING and he took off in the woods. We had proofed recalls against a lot of distractions, but not that one, and clearly it was too much. He was social enough that he found a person walking their dog in the woods and walked back to the field with them, and went home with our neighbor. I read a book once called "Juvenile Delinquent Dogs" and it might be useful for when you inevitably hit the "my dog is a wacky teenager and I want to cry" portion of their life. You will come out the other side, but adolescent dogs are tough.
  15. Oh I'm so sorry to Loki, and especially Loki's humans. I started typing, and then read your latest response. So I think my answer is "you make the good days really, really good, and maybe there's a delicious thing to chew on at home when the rest of the crew goes hiking on the not-so-good days." Maybe Loki can get out once or twice with the pup and the ducks and not totally lose his opportunity to work them? In a small area or something so there's less running? (I don't really know anything about working ducks, but do know about adapting activities so people can get the joy of participating even if they aren't physically able to totally keep up). I tend to think in a situation like this, with a dog, I'm more concerned about the in-the-moment pleasure they're able to get on a daily basis, and less concerned about the long-term outcomes of "pushing too hard" because you just don't know how long they'll be able to keep going. I hope he finds some redeeming qualities of "roll the ball"!
  16. You've already been given a lot of really good advice, but I did want to chime in. Almost a year ago, Gabe was attacked by an off-leash pitbull, who ended up being euthanized for aggression to animals (Gabe was not the first animal she had attacked). It sounds like Gabe's physical wounds were not quite as severe as Bing's, but it was scary nonetheless. At the time it happened, we were having a ton of leash reactivity issues with him, he had a difficult time with dogs in general, and has some real "stranger danger" issues with people. He's a nervous guy, and my biggest concern was his psychological wounds post-attack. In our experience, the advice of "keep your routines" and "change your routines" are both very true. I believe routines are very important for our dogs to make sense of the world and feel like things happen with some predictability. But sometimes routines need to be changed for safety's sake. I think the sooner you can get some semblance of your normal in-home routines back, the better for both of you. In our house, the dog and I get up very early to have a few hours of walking, coffee, and dog time. It's an important part of my day, and I don't think Gabe realized he really lived in our new house until the first day we were able to do that. Find what parts of your routine Bing is up for, and build on that. For Gabe immediately post-attack, although we weren't really walking, I took him out on leash to potty at the same point in our morning routine that we would have walked. We just stayed closer to home (we didn't have a fenced in yard, so it had to be an on-leash walk around our property). Find safe places to be, quiet times to be out in the world, or whatever parts of this need to be tweaked to make it a less stressful event for both of you once he's physically ready to try. My second piece of advice will be to let Bing take the lead. Gabe blew me away with how well he psychologically recovered from his attack, which I know is not the typical experience, but I almost got in the way of that. I was a nervous wreck walking with him, and I know he felt that. My dad and husband both spent more time at home with Gabe post-attack and did some of the first longer (around the block) walks once he was ready to do that. Gabe did fine, and I'm not sure that I would have been relaxed enough to give him that opportunity. So remind yourself of all the many successful walks you've had, remember how confident you felt before this happened, do what you need to do to help yourself get through this. Then be his advocate, protect him, don't force any social situations, but leave open the chance that he'll do okay. I know he's really scared and in pain right now, but see how he does once he's physically feeling better. Maybe he'll do okay, or maybe you'll have years of work to do to help him get through this, but either way all you can do is take it day by day and see what he needs from you. I wish you both the best of luck. I carry SprayShield with me now, I hyper-vigilantly scan for off-leash dogs as we walk, and I worry about this all of the time. I clearly still have a lot of my own work to do psychologically! But I also recognize that there are benefits to having Gabe be out in the world, and most of our time out on walks and in the world are good for him, and it wouldn't be fair to him to never leave our yard. The members of this board are an awesome support team, and please continue to let us know how you and Bing are doing.
  17. Agreed with everything GenteLake said. I cannot really wrap my brain around being okay with my dog biting another dog in a situation I knowingly put him in. If I bring the dog to someplace I have every reason to expect there will not be off-leash dogs in his face, like a leash walk through our neighborhood (leash laws and fences pretty much guarantee this, although this is not a perfect system), and a dog is loose and gets in his face, and he bites that dog, that's on the other dog and its owner for not being more careful. But if I bring my dog somewhere I know he's being set up for failure, like an off-leash park, beach, etc. and I have every reason to expect rude dogs will run up in his face and it'll stress him out, that's on me. Yes, the other dogs are being rude, but you are bringing a dog that can't deal with it into that situation. Plus you don't know which of these dogs is going to fight back and one, the other, or both will get seriously injured. Or you or the other owner in trying to break this up. It's great that he's making progress and not always reacting, but you have tons of work to do before he can safely be in these situations, if ever. Work on his issues in situations that set him up for success, where he can see other dogs from safe distances and work under threshold. If he's getting to the point where he's biting other dogs, he's way over threshold, and that's not really fair to him. I'd also be very concerned about the long-term effects of all that stress on his health, as mentioned above.
  18. Do you have any husband training tips? Gabe is working on training H to throw the ball in the house always. I prefer to hide the ball behind me and tell Gabe to find something else to do. This face is tough competition though.
  19. This is an important part of crate training, however, I feel there's still room to use the crate for a "calm down" time out, that isn't a punishment time out. I think a lot of it has to do with how you present when putting the dog in the crate. Are you angry and making them go in there as punishment? That does run the risk of making a negative association with it, and should be avoided. But if you make it a really nice positive "here's this wonderful thing for you to chew while you're in your crate chilling out for a little bit", it's not a negative, and gives them a mental break in a place that is hopefully calming and less overstimulating, and is a great use of the crate. I feel like the baby gets thrown out the with bathwater a little bit so to speak when we talk about "crate time outs", and there are ways to use crates constructively to help a dog collect their brain a little when they're getting themselves in trouble that aren't using the crate as punishment.
  20. Good call on not using the Easy Walk for running. I've seen some articles referring to shoulder injury due to the way the dog compensates for the Easy Walk, and I imagine it would be worse with running vs. walking.
  21. She may still be pretty shut down. Even eating from a lying down position reads a little more "trying to disappear into the ground" than "too lazy to stand up and eat", unless there's an underlying medical issue. I'd try a DAP collar or diffuser too, and see if that helps her relax and open up at all. I don't think they're magic cure-alls, but we've had some success with using them with Gabe during stressful times and helps him take the edge off a little. Maybe just let her chill a little and see what things she enjoys, and use that to start helping her feel more comfortable and open up.
  22. Not much to add except another vote for "run, don't walk" from this situation. Your dog needs your support, and needs to know the world is less scary, not more scary than how she's feeling it is right now. There are lots of good resources out there for ways to handle reactivity with positive reinforcement. I really enjoyed reading "Click to Calm" and found a lot of the theories and methods used there really helpful for a variety of things, and "Control Unleashed" also. Let us know how it's going, and what the next move is. This board is a great resource.
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