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Everything posted by Islanddog

  1. "They use positive reinforcement, but have a very no-nonsense, stern tone of voice. I think Fern is alarmed by this. " I've been in classes like that, and agree with Fern. But seriously, the human half of the team is important too, fun is contagious, so are less comfortable emotions. Positive reinforcement training should be fun (honestly, I think all training should be fun). Hope you have some good choices available. I wonder if Fern is picking up on your discomfort with the trainer?
  2. Sounds like you two are a match. Lucky dog, lucky you!
  3. Hey welcome! Kenzie looks beautiful & sassy. I like 'em that way. I don't have advice, but I reading you've got some good dogging instincts going for you--ie. you are looking at the dog & relizing that even though technique x or y worked out well in the past, it's not right for Kenzie. So trust your instincts. You might find some very good stuff on youtube, by the sound of it, kikopup, donna hill, & kristen crejesto will have lots of helpful "how to's" for this dog. ps. she looks a little cattle doggish to me. I always ignore colour & coat when making guesses.
  4. Out of four dogs I've taken camping, all of them wait for walks to go potty, and keep a clean campsite in spite of the area being nothing but trees, sticks, leaves & dirt--good dogs! I wish I could say the same about humans... :-(
  5. I can see how having pets can be seen as a threat to an entrenched polital system--owning animals forces us to think of the other, and to see things from a radically different point of view & thereby change us in fundimental ways. To put it in a lighter note--I've lived with dogs long enough to feel the urge to chase at the sight of a leaping squirrel.
  6. They look awesome, you sound excited, Scoot sounds amazing. Life happens, and sometimes great stuff comes with it.
  7. I've been away for a while. Pretty much decided Sonic is not a border collie in the traditional pure-blooded, or even part blooded sense. Pretty much think he's a border-collie-ish dog from the Dominican Republic, so I'm saying he's a Dominican Street Collie for fun and accuracy. It's been more than a year. He's come a long way in some respects and same old same old in others. He still gets mysterious sudden onset hand-shy, which lately manifests at the nursing home we visit (counter conditioning with treats is VERY tricky for obvious reasons). He no longer growls/wakes up with nightmares on the couch. He used to suddenly jump up and growl and look completely dazed or jump up and growl and fly off the couch and into his crate. Over the year, without us noticing, it has faded. He never growled at us so considered it a non-problem (as far as behaviours go, though we felt sorry for him, he obviously was feeling bad). We basically just left him alone or petted him to reassure, and spoke his name before moving. Well, I can't remember the last time this happened now and never lost his desire to be cuddly. He came to us without any understanding or desire to play with us, and I've had to train this 'from scratch' using a tug-and-treat frisbee toy (frisbee with food inside). Since January, I've been making a serious effort to get him playing on his walks (which are mostly too exciting for him to want to play, so this is a difficult task even if it sounds fun (okay, I hate the rejection when he's just not that into me, I admit). He was horrible to walk on leash in the beginning, just completely reactive to everything and upset and nervous too. He is now a joy to walk when it's just me and him, but if I walk with my husband or ignore him he goes right back to horrible (bark and whirl is still his default behaviour when given 6' of leash), but he does very well when I'm minding him. Here's a video of one of our play sessions (and this is right before we get to pass a howling husky dog that upsets him so I'm thrilled he will play here). And here's a mini training session at the start of a walk. It's pretty crappy as he's 'just not into it' here, possibly because what he really wants is to continue the great adventure that a walk represents, he really just wants to sniff. I like the location because of space, no cars, close to home, and a barrier to mount the camera. But he just wants to sniff pee and move on, but it's a peak at what things are like in the 'real world'. And here he is in his 6th week of agility. He was awesome there, loved it. Will be back next fall for sure if not sooner. For now just continuing with the basic necessities (it would be sooooo nice to be able to walk with husband and dog and have an uninterrupted conversation with my husband), and 'fun' & 'engagement' with Sonic, with a focus on 'learning to learn' over actually acquiring a new behaviour/command. So that's it. And as usually, breed mix guesses are forever welcome. It's impossible not to wonder & speculate.
  8. Any shared activity that is fun for you and the dog and requires mutual input. Dog sports are obvious and usually expensive but you'll be guided through the process by a professional. For the free stuff, play, simple (or complex) tricks, hanging out in a new place as long as your dog wants to pay attention to you. What Donald said, there's nothing like nights away from home for bonding, sleeping in a tent, or on a hotel bed, walking through a strange city, hiking a trail. Since my guy is usually overstimulated on neighbourhood leashed walks, it is the opposite of bonding, as there is a complete clash of desires (he wants to run and chase, I need him leashed at my side) so I'm working on putting in training & play breaks. The times he sinks his teeth into his toy and tugs, or he bounces after his toy with geese 'over there' or a dog walking by, that's bonding. And this comes free (if you don't count the cost of treats)
  9. Just a thought, as I'm in agreement with the others. You're in a time of life when you don't know what will happen next, and want to leave doors open to travel, or cram yourself into a tiny downtown apartment, or work all hours or party all night or both, etc. etc. etc. You have amazing training background and experience. Why not 'borrow' dogs for awhile (which is what you have done so far). See if there are canine outreach folks you can hook up, and offer to help out with training programs for folks who can't afford proper dog training, or help out at rescue (a gsd rescue would love your experience), be a neighbourhood dog walker and pick up some cash, or do it for free for a housebound senior or a friend. Not to mention, your roommates border collie may well end up needing a good home, and that could be you in a pinch.
  10. sometimes a "balanced trainer" is one that considers the consequences of "management" vs a full range of options in training. If the car thing can be avoided with management without detriment to the dog's quality of life, further management and positive training is an excellent choice, but it sounds like this car thing is having a serious impact on everyone involved; those other options may be a kinder choice, but a complicated solution if done right. If you're going the e-collar route, work your butt off to learn to train in engagement, treats, toys, games. You can't just take away your dog's version of crack (-wow! cars!) without providing an exciting suitable replacement (you can't take sheep on a walk, so it's toys, food, engaged obedience, fun). A decent trainer will help you with that. Come to think of it, engagement is always a good thing to go for, regardless. lots of good advice in this thread. Treats can be used as toys, fast luring, tossing, & catch games. Animated fast heeling patterns may get her interest. heeling is just another version of chase. She's spent a year fixating on cars, so getting her attention off them won't be easy, but may be doable. I hope you can get somewhere with this-cars are everywhere, and being stuck indoor instead would probably pretty much suck for your dog. Really hope you find something that works, and yeah, double doors etc. for now. play safe and have fun with your dog (or at least as much fun as you can, being in a (hopefully temporary) pickle at the moment).
  11. My guy has tons of prey drive, but had zero for toys. I just purchased a tug and treat frisbee (Clean run has them). It has a food pouch inside. He needs me to get the food out, so he brings it back. I switch things up & give him a treat from my pocket. He's recently generalized to fetch a ball. (I'd tried and given up on training that in the past). That said, maybe your dog is just not into running games. Maybe she is sore (those hips), and not feeling energetic.
  12. I love Show Sheen, for me and my dog. I have liquid (in a bottle, not spray) kind, but nearly killed my husband when I brushed it into Sonic's tail while he was lying on the kitchen floor. Great stuff--but the warning is worth repeating. I never thought of using it for snowballs, will try that tip this winter.
  13. Hi, you asked a specfic question (help with loose leash walking) but there are a lot of general things in there, and I've been through the same thing with my new/current dog, Sonic, so I'll just add in about teaching the play with toy thing... My guy did not play with toys, yet had/and has, a very high (crazy dog!) prey drive for squirrels, muscrats, canada geese, doves, rabbits, you get the picture. I used a tug and treat frisbee https://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm/product/3936/doggone-good-flying-treat-tug.htm to teach him to tug and fetch the easy way. He loves it now, and I finally (nine months later) had him tugging on a street walk (one of the most distracting circumstances) and in front of some geese!!!. So that tidbit might help you find a way to interact in a fun way with your new dog. It also handles the issue of time--nine months! I was here in winter freaking out because my rescue dog would not take treats from hand, or play, or have fun, and a nightmare on a leash, and now I'm pretty happy with him. Still more to go, but FUN is happening, and he's looking pretty sporty, as in, would make a good sport dog if I cared to be serious about that. So, yep, you're in the early days, relax. In the first four months, I and Sonic, where both still feeling pretty miserable about things, and now things are exciting--in a very good way. Time is on your side.
  14. Sonic is greatly relieved to hear that regular bathing will not be necessary. He is terrified of all things bath, including the production of a bucket of water, people (including myself) holding anything that remotely looks like a shampoo bottle, and overly friendly people trying to coax him in. He was part of a canine outreach program and regular medicated baths (for parasites) would have been performed against his wishes. Lucky he, that I think he smells wonderfull and looks gorgeous. He once wandered into a trickle and came out looking like Gollum and smelling like dead frogs, but shortly after, to relieve the heat, jumped in a pond and came out sparkly and smelling like roses (the unsented kind).
  15. Exactly. I needed these success stories a few months ago, and others will follow. Love the pics!
  16. Yay! Sounds like a great day. I wonder what makes Peter so speedy in this context vs the class?
  17. You might manage to get her to shed some fur the natural way if have her wear a doggie coat for part of her indoor air-conditioned day--that way she might not need extra cooling outdoors. *****for the water thing: My guy is water shy like that--goes in to a point & no more (except he forgets when there are ducks and geese, so I know he knows HOW to swim). So I take him to water, and if leashed, have an extra long leash/ long line, or add on. Let him go to the water ahead of me. Slowly, calmly walk into the water (no splashing) away from him. Call/talk or just be there, no pressure, and offer treats when he is ready. I move into deeper water (knee deep), stand or walk slow and let him follow at his comfort level. Since yours won't take treat, I would think the last part would work best for her, just make sure you don't do anything to make her anxious (even you being too distant). How would she react to being rubbed down with a damp but not dripping towel?
  18. Thanks! ...and this morning he re-directed from squirrel to tug!!! Put all his energy into the toy, grrr-ing and all. From complete disinterest in toys-- I hope those struggling with their new/fearful/react dogs are reading. Things can change in big ways.
  19. Thanks! He surprises me--thought it would never happen, and now this. ...and, did a leash walk around the lake and he held it together by-passing various dogs -- taking treats, no hysterics, and no avoidance/management manoevres by me -- awesome dog!
  20. Actually, keeping words short (hand sprained, long line accident, typing sucks). just remember, I'm the one who freaked out my traumatised new rescue dog and had him running away from treats, had to STOP all indoor training sessions, and take a two week ban on training, etc. (and thanks for all the advice on that) Here he is doing 'place' ring sport style (between the legs, me towering over him). This involves all the things he had 'issues' with and he's HAPPY! Yay. "https://www.youtube.com/embed/xsOTSjcyqWI" And here is doing free shaping on a bang/wobble board. He's actually 'operant' now, offering behaviours, pushy even. Yay! "https://www.youtube.com/embed/0uBVbrkJ5bo"
  21. Thanks! I need some good video to get me through physio exercises on my sprained hand (long-lines are dangerous!)
  22. In my morning paper. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/07/12/deaf-dog-once-thought-untrainable-wins-champion-agility-title.html I've never weaned myself off from hand-signals, so it never occurred to me what would be difficult about training a deaf dog. Clicker/verbal marker training doesn't work. She said she used a 'thumbs up' hand signal to replace the clicker, which would mean her dog would need to looking at her to have a 'precise moment in time' marked. Anyway, the article is delightful light reading, Seven is a rescued border collie.
  23. No, not dog grief, but I had two siamese cats, and when one died, the other was affected. It was sad, nothing much to do about it, except know that the bond they have with you will be all the more important. So just be there. My cat had to 'make do' with just me, and gave him what I could. Just give Kit your mind, your time, it will be appreciated. I think grieving is the same for animals, different with each individual, but the same as in you cannot make it go away for someone living it. You can just be there and available. PS. for 'gentle tug' that Kit can control, hold the toy with your weakest fingers/grip, and then let Kit dictate what a good game is. That way, you can be genuinely trying hard and make it a good game, and Kit can chose to win if she likes. Sonic (who doesn't actually want to win) taught me this.
  24. I think we should hold out on that mystical coven--now can we cure baldness too? The pictures show the same transformation, impressive.
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