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Everything posted by WickAndArtoo

  1. Also there many in the group with dogs who also have thyroid issues, so you will be in good company.
  2. If it were me I would trust your instincts it is my opinion (and I have had success with this) that if a person or animal is scared you don't do something that would make them MORE scared. The CARE protocol that the two online pages I mentioned are based off of this ideal. You can look over that website without the approval of the group and you will get a great idea of what everyone there will recommend and be talking about. They are very adamant about picking your trainers carefully, and it is best to work with a veterinary behaviorist as opposed to just any old trainer because many times for a fearful aggressive dog the rough techniques will make the dog more scared and therefore increase his (the dogs) belief that the particular stimulus causes bad things to happen. However the entire program can easily be done be on your own, which is what we did/do. I am excited to see you in the group, it has been the most life changing thing me and my boy Wick have ever found or experienced, just alone having others to talk to about it with is amazing but the transformation in Wick is such a relief!
  3. If you have a Facebook I really recommend you join the group "reactive dogs" And I also recommend visiting the website (which is the backbone of the Facebook page) careforreactivedogs.com I cannot expressed how much these tools have helped me and my fear reactive dog. He is happy and relaxed when he used to be a lunging barking fiasco. All it took was proper desensitization and counter conditioning. The facebook page is incredible because you have a group of wonderful supportive and experienced friends that understand what you are going through. Good luck!
  4. Thanks for the input! And yes, "break" would have been a better release word choice but unfortunately I didnt have that foresight when I trained the boys... next time though!
  5. My dogs and I have been working on stays and impulse control. I am always using weird words to test their release cue they love this game and are very good at it. We have used a lot of "o" words but today one hung us up, "okra" which is hard for obvious reasons. These guys are very smart (not trying to brag, as it has nothing to do with me at all) and generally learn a new concept within one or two goes at it, but in this case they were still confused after about 5 tries (I mixed in a ton of successes to not lose confidence). My question is it too hard?? By BC Artoo did seem to figure it out, but he wasn't confident in his new learning as he would realease himself and then stop before eating the treat just in case he was wrong (what a good boy right?!? LOL) the Aussie wasn't sure and refused to leave his stay at all because at that point he thought okay and okra were the same word and he wasn't allowed to release if this is too hard I don't want to confused them, but if this is doable than I would love to further their learning. Thank you so much, any advice is appreciated!!
  6. Okay this might be random and weird there is a chance it could help... One time my heel hurt so bad in one spot... Visibly I couldn't see or feel ANYTHING other than a bit of tenderness so I just figured I had stepped on a sticker and it was lasting a little longer (there are a lot of goats heads here) but by the next day I couldn't walk on my heel it hurt so bad... So I dug in there and found the worlds tiniest sliver of glass that had embedded enough that you couldn't see any break in the skin, but it was small enough that you couldn't feel it with the fingers either. As soon as I dug it out the pain dossapeared. Immediately when I read your post it seemed like there might be something tiny in there that the vet is missing... It just might be worth getting a second opinion since he is still in pain.
  7. I have seriously considered using it on myself too, it smells so good. I will have to try that scent next, I think I saw it at the store when I bought this one. My Aussie mix loves rolling in anything stinky, but dead worms are his absolute favorite ...
  8. Oh my gosh I love the nickname "Teflon Fur" but seriously that is exactly like Artoo! I am so glad that I asked because I am just amazed by it and was kinda feeling weird about not bathing him, but there really was no reason to until now. I guess it kinda evens out for you with your fluffster Even though wick requires more grooming, he is luckily black so usually it's just when he gets sap or sticks stuck in his fur lol.
  9. Oh my gosh I love the nickname "Teflon Fur" but seriously that is exactly like Artoo! I am so glad that I asked because I am just amazed by it and was kinda feeling weird about not bathing him, but there really was no reason to until now. I guess it kinda evens out for you with your fluffster Even though wick requires more grooming, he is luckily black so usually it's just when he gets sap or sticks stuck in his fur lol.
  10. Just out of curiosity, how often does everyone bathe their dogs? And do you use shampoo everytime etc and why. I am a first time dog owner in the sense that these are my first two dogs in my life Wick our Aussie mix has long fur so I bathe him when it seems a little raggedy and I want to do a full groom session (about every 1-2 months) sometimes it's more often if he needs it... Artoo has short fur (the bc) and all the dirt etc falls right off of him, in fact it took until today for me to give him a bath (nearly a year) because this week he started to smell doggish and not in a good way! I do brush them and trim nails etc regularly, but I kinda live by the motto if they are healthy and don't look or smell dirty then live and let live. I am not a clean freak about germs or dirt (but I am a tidy freak). So I just was curious how everyone else decides it's time! We use this WONDERFUL shampoo+conditioner called "buddy wash" from our natural dog store in town that is Lavendar and Mint flavored. It leaves our long haired Wick smelling amazing for days even though I rinse him thoroughly. Any one have fun tips or stories about their bathing process? Pictures would be fun too
  11. We try a new food almost everytime and then I keep track of which ones worked and which ones didn't (and never use the ones that didn't sit well or that the dogs avoided ever again). Personally I think it's less about the protein and more about what the works best for the dog. It REALLY varies between companies, for example a chicken food from one company they will do great on and then chicken from another and they don't, so I have given up on preferring one protein over another... However my dogs seem to like the taste of some proteins better than others so if I'm trying a new brand I like to see if they have lamb or turkey first, because I like it when the boys get excited about their food.
  12. How did the vet visit go?! Excited to hear the results and praying they gave you a thumbs up
  13. Ah that makes sense why you are arguing against it. The individual doesn't need to bring the crate to the sheep, it's just a tool to teach the dog impulse control and using the technique you can transfer the skills learned.
  14. You would not have the dog in the crate in front of sheep unless you were certain it could hold its position with absolute certainty (the door is left open)... The dog would have to be highly advanced at that point, it's exactly like a down stay, you wouldn't have the dog try one unless you had worked up to the point of that level of distraction... You wouldn't hold it back from what it wanted or dampen the drive, which is why it's used so much in the agility work, it's only focus is building impulse control, the entire point is teaching the dog to choose to stay in position.
  15. Gloria, I'm just curious if you are familiar with what crate games is? Because if done the way it is meant to be practiced it is the same as a down stay... It's merely teaching the dog impulse control in a position that is held... Not a restraint causing the opposition reflex.
  16. We used the time out in the crate and it worked miracles. We didn't make it negative, if he bit we said "ouch" and put him in and left the room. We didn't make it a punishment or anything we just let him stay in there until he stopped barking and then let him out and said "good boy no barking" sometimes he barked for a half hour, but you just have to let them bark it out or you reinforce a bad behavior. Wick learned in just a couple days that the biting meant being separated from us and he totally stopped during normal times... Which was good because he was very very very bitey!! He still bit sometimes when he played, and you just have to be consistent... One day you wake up and they just "figure it out" just like all their puppy behaviors. I agree with others, it helps no one to say your pup is stubborn even though it feels like they are they just haven't figured it out yet, they aren't purposely being stubborn. Plus at the biting age they are just too young to really get what they are doing.... But don't get me wrong I totally get where you are coming from... Wick was a real PITA as a puppy but all the hard work pays off lol.
  17. Yes you should reinforce the sit by putting your hand in and treating at the back of the crate like she says. The sit will come in handy because it keeps the dog away from the entrance (i.e. No paws or head etc breaking the barrier) and the dog will know very clearly what is expected so no confusion. It is also nice because it teaches the dog to hold a position without being asked. Anything that the dog has to think about on its own and use control to keep doing will help you out in the long run of your own personal goals. If you follow her directions your dog will learn to sit everytime when you touch the door. It will be a conditioned response and totally automatic.
  18. You will love that DVD (I'm assuming it's Susan Garret's "Crate Games")!!! It's definitely what you are looking for as far as increasing focus and perfect because you will be able to take the crate to the sheep to use the "tools" she teaches you. If followed properly you should be able to work up to having the door open in front of the sheep (haha one would hope...)
  19. Our BC does this too! Really freaks me out... I didn't see the death part now I'm scared, I thought they just did it and then were fine all the time.
  20. I am so sorry you are going through this, but it sounds like you are making the best choice for every one involved. You did a wonderful job with him and that foundation will help the rescue immensely. Like others mentioned the impact on your current dogs is of upmost importance and some dogs just are not wired correctly. Wishing you lots of strength to get through these hard times, I know how much he meant to you and the work you put into finding the right pup. I hope you don't let this deter you from trying again with a new puppy when you are ready.
  21. Does he warm up to people after a while of them ignoring him or with treats? To be clear I completely agree with all the above advice, do not have people approach or pet him, he needs to feel safe with you and around people before any progress can be made... I just was curious to what extent his fear of people goes. Have you done any group classes with him yet? The more time he spends around people that don't come into his bubble and focus training you do in their presence the more he will trust them and you. Classes are perfect for this but anywhere there are people that will ignore him works. Purposely ignore all people also so they know you are not looking to interact. If he is good up until the point of them actually petting him, train him to always sit when you are talking to a stranger and to not leave the sit to investigate/sniff.... Unfortunately people will always think a dog approaching is happy to be pet, even if you tell them otherwise... Since we can't train people we must train our dogs. They are much more willing to believe you if he is sitting ignoring them and not approaching. Eventually he may begin to trust you and strangers enough to be pet, but he may never be that confident, but the more training you do and the more you build the bond the more confident he will become, so there is hope! Just please don't try to force him to be a dog he isn't, and love him for what he is. And like another poster said the more you worry the more he worries, the more confident you are the more confident he is. . . It is very true!
  22. I didn't notice if anyone else mentioned this but from the pictures he looks a healthy weight. The typical rule of thumb is you should be able to feel the ribs easily, but not be able to see them, and to have a pronounced tuck. It's very important not to put extra weight on a young dog if it isn't needed because it can cause pressure on the growing bones, joints, and plates. Also from what I understand having even a few extra pounds on a young dog can lead to early arthritis. When in doubt ask your vet what his ideal weight and feeding routine should be. Marco is gorgeous by the way how lucky he is to have someone that cares so much!! I don't know if this is the same with all breeds but my non BC long haired dog grew a TON more hair between 6/7 months and 1 year. In fact at 7 months he had very short hair, now his tail hair is a foot long and he has feathers and long hair on his whole body... My bc is very fine boned and small with tiny paws and is a full grown adult... He only does the stalk/stare when he is playing and its pronounced but not belly crawl pronounced. It sounds like it varies a lot! Good luck with your boy
  23. That was fantastic! just giggled and smiled my way through it. He is a cutie!!!!
  24. Train them to sniff out each other that way if one gets lost they can find each other
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