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Everything posted by PuppyMavis

  1. Our dog does get so consumed with playing, Frisbee chasing, etc., that as a younger dog we'd often have to remind her to drink water when outside. So much so, that when leaving her with pet sitters, we'd have to tell them that she might not drink as she needs to when playing, unless reminded. We always have a fresh bowl of water outside when playing. Now that she's older, she almost always drinks when she needs to, but there are still times that I say "Do you need some water?" and I can almost see her thinking "Oh yeah! Water." before trotting over to her bowl to drink.
  2. I agree he shouldn't be left in the crate alone for 14 hours at a time. I work from home too and spend most of my time with my dog. She's pretty heat sensitive even in the springtime now when it's only in the mid-70s where we live. Having grown up in Alabama, I know how miserable it can get with the humidity in the south. Have you checked out any other options near you? You could possibly hire someone to stop in and let him out a few times a day or take him on walks while your son is at work?
  3. For stealing things from the trash (or getting into anything he shouldn't be), I would try to prevent the problem from occurring. You could either put the can in a place he can't get to it or get one with a lid he can't open. Our dog was a resource guarder and didn't like things being taken from her. One thing that helped us was teaching "give" and "take". She didn't guard toys like she did "naughty" items or food, but she loves to play Frisbee, so I used those. If she had the Frisbee in her mouth, I'd say "give". As soon as she released it to me, I'd praise her. I'd then immediately say "take!" As soon as she put it in her mouth, I'd praise her again. We repeated this a lot, and it helped her to learn that just because I asked her to give something up, she could still get it back. That said, our dog still has a mischievous side and often if she realizes there's something that bugs us, she will sometimes make it her mission to do the exact thing we don't want her to! But rather than get upset, it usually makes me laugh. Someone on the forum posted a link to this blog post a while back, and whenever she's being naughty, I think of it: http://cynography.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-necessity-of-naughty.html
  4. Our dog also does not like having her harness put on or taken off. It was especially troublesome as a puppy when she had head shyness and body handling problems. One thing we did was make it a part of our daily training and gave it a name. We'd say "Let's get dressed!" and use treats and desensitization as other have mentioned. It became another one of her "tricks".
  5. I completely agree, and should have mentioned that we used both a clicker and "yes!" as markers for exactly this reason. We charged the "yes" marker by doing something like this: https://positivepartnersdogtraining.com/charging-a-marker-word-or-clicker/
  6. Our dog was a terrible biter her first year too. It went way beyond mouthy and more towards aggression. Our hands and arms were often covered in scratches and bite marks. When she was very young, we tried all the conventional advice about how to stop nipping and mouthiness, but none of it worked. She also had body handling, food guarding, and impulse control issues, to name a few. It was a very tough year with many tears on my part and at times I felt so desperate. I hoped eventually all our hard work would pay off – and it did! So I just wanted to give you some hope that if you are persistent and consistent, you can get through this and have a great dog in the end. Our pup already had body handling issues prior to the food guarding. I believe the food guarding really started due to an incident similar to yours. Our vet had given her a dental chew and we gave it to her one day. I went to the store while my husband supervised her chewing on it. A small piece got lodged in the roof of her mouth and she was pawing at it. My husband tried to help get it out, and she bit him. (From her perspective, he was trying to take a very high value treat from her.) He ended up putting on leather gloves so he could get it out without getting bitten again and so she wouldn’t choke. After that if we gave her a Kong in her X-pen, she’d growl if we came near. If we put kibble in her bowl and sat it down, she’d get act strange, lay down on the floor, and not eat. However, she was fine with lower value treats, which was great, because she was not toy motivated. I don’t know if any of these will help you, but here are some of the methods we used to try and resolve our pup's issues. As others recommended, we also hired a behaviorist to help us navigate these issues, and her advice and help was invaluable. She was very sweet and affectionate with neighbors and strangers (just not with us), but since she was biting us so hard and so often, we decided to not let her be around children at all for the time-being. For the food guarding, we tried many different things like hand feeding, etc. We stopped giving her Kongs and what finally worked for us was using the “elevator method”. We’d pick up her bowl, put her kibble in it, then ask her to sit before putting the food down. If she breaks the sit, we bring the food back up until she holds the sit. Once the food is down, we give her a release word and she can eat. We still do this now even though she no longer guards her bowl, mainly because it's easy and hopefully might prevent her from resuming her old guarding behavior. I also read "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson. It helped me to understand the different types of guarding and that our dog had a combination of food guarding, object guarding, and body handling issues. The book can be a bit technical at times, but has exercises that you can use, and some are for dropping food into their bowls. You mentioned your pup doesn’t like to have his paws handled. From what I’ve heard from vets, this is very common. Ours did not want us to touch or hold her at all and she had a serious meltdown (with snapping) the first time we went to the vet. Back then, the only time I could really pet or touch her was right when she woke up in the morning. She’d let me rub the sides of her face while she stretched, so I made sure to take advantage of that! We worked through the body handling by saying a body part (like “ears”), taking a quick peek in her ears, saying “Yes!” and treating. We did this for eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and tail and used in our training sessions. We also dropped into the vet’s office about once a week for treats and pets from the staff and then left. They were very nice about it, and encouraged that we do this as often as we like. However, she still didn’t like her paws to be touched. It wasn’t until 2 ½ that she finally no longer minded us cleaning or checking her paws. In addition to these methods, I also started to teach her “give” and “take”. I’d give her a low value toy and say “take!” She’d put it in her mouth and I’d say “give”. As soon as she’d drop it, I’d say “Yes!” and then we’d start over. This helped to teach her that just because she’s giving us a toy or something of higher value, it doesn’t mean that she won’t get it back. We decided to use “leave it” to mean she can never have the object and taught this separately. I also bought a package of bandannas/handkerchiefs and had one folded up in my back pocket at all times. If we were out in the yard or somewhere (and didn’t have a chew toy to redirect to) and she wanted to start biting, I’d pull out the bandanna and start twirling it around just out of her reach. This got her to focus on the game of chasing the bandanna and not on attacking me. I also carried treats and a clicker in my pocket for the entire first year so that if she did something good I could immediately reward the behavior. Also, any time she was settling down in the house, I’d very quietly and calmly say “good girl”. I might also give her a small treat if I didn’t think it’d get her too excited. I did this to try and reinforce the calm behavior when she exhibited it…at that time, it wasn’t too often! I then took it a step further by using shaping. One day when she was lying on the ground, she kicked out her leg so she was in a relaxed position. I immediately clicked and treated for the “calm/relaxed” leg. I kept doing this and when she’d kick out the leg, I’d say the word “calm”, click and treat. Now if we say “can you get calm?”, she lays down and kicks out her leg. Since she was treat motivated, I also started doing some impulse control games with her, similar to this one with low value treats (but without requiring that she be on her bed to start off): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6ixdBkqsWI. We didn't shake her by the collar, but we did want her to get used to us touching her collar, in case we needed to in the future. We started off by simply/briefly touching her collar for a second, saying "Yes!" and giving her a treat. Next we started saying the word "collar", touching the collar, saying "Yes" and treating. This progressed to where we'd say "collar" put a finger or two under the collar, "Yes!" and treat. It was a very simple exercise, so we did this as part of our daily training. In addition to all of the above, since she was so treat motivated (thankfully!), I also worked on trick training and commands in short sessions throughout the day to mentally tire her out. I realize these are just a few things that happened to work for us (there were many other things we were also doing, but not listed here!), and your mileage may vary. Our dog turned a corner right around 1 year old. She stopped biting us, became affectionate and actually cared what we thought! Good luck with your pup!
  7. Hi, and thanks for the responses! We took Mavis to the vet dentist and per their recommendation, did not give her the Trazadone beforehand. At first, she would let the vet look at her teeth but didn't want to open her mouth. But after more treats and sweet talk, she let the vet open her mouth and get a look a few times, which was great! She was sweet and well behaved during the entire visit.
  8. Thanks for your response! This is reassuring, in the event I do need to give it to her.
  9. Thanks for your feedback! You're right. I called the vet dentist and scheduled an appointment. I told them about the Trazadone and her past behavior as a pup. They said I don't need to give it to her before the visit, that this dentist is great, and deals with all types of dogs with varying levels of aggression. They'll work with her and won't push her beyond her comfort zone. I guess we'll see how it goes.
  10. Hi, Our dog is 2 1/2 years old. When a pup, she had body-handling and food guarding issues. At one point she had a complete meltdown at the vet's office when they tried to look in her ears, and was growling and snapping. I immediately began working with her on these issues. For the body handling/vet problems, we started going to the vet's office once every week, just to get treats and attention for behaving, getting on the scale, etc., without having an actual exam. I also worked with her daily, for a few minutes at a time, on getting her used to things they might do at the vet's office. I did this by saying what I was going to do first, performing the action, and then giving her a treat. For example, I'd say "teeth", look at her teeth, say "yes!" and then give her a treat. We started this very slowly with first just saying "teeth", touching the outside of her muzzle and treating, to being able to pull back her lips and look at her teeth. We did this with "ears", "eyes", "paws", "tail", etc. With ears and eyes, this eventually progressed to using a little flashlight so she'd be comfortable with this at the vet's office. Fast-forward to today. She hasn't had any meltdowns at the vet's office since the first one and she lets us handle her without any issues. About a month ago, I noticed what appeared to be another tooth coming in directly behind one of her bottom front teeth. I took her to the vet and she would show them her teeth, but did not want to open her mouth. She didn't get angry or revert to her old behavior, but refused to open her mouth. They were able to briefly feel around and get a quick look, and said they thought it was a baby tooth that was loose and would soon fall out. Now a month later, the tooth has not fallen out and appears to be getting bigger than the original tooth in front of it. I made a follow-up appointment for tomorrow. When I talked to the nurse, she said that since Mavis wasn't cooperative on the last visit, and they don't want her to regress to her old behavior, that we should give her medicine before the appointment. I picked the meds up on Monday, and they gave us two 100 mg tablets of Trazodone, and she is supposed to take one with breakfast (@ 4am) and another 2 hours prior to the 3:30pm appointment (@ 1:30pm). From what I've read online, this medication is FDA approved as an antidepressant for humans. It is not FDA approved for dogs, but it is common for vets to prescribe for behavioral issues and post-surgical recovery when in confinement. The general recommended dosage is 2.5 mg per pound per day and up to 15 mg per pound given every 24 hours. Mavis weighs 36.6 pounds, so it sounds like she would fall within this range. But there are a list of possible side-effects and I'm feeling reluctant to give her the medication. I called our local vet hospital and they have a dentist on staff. She is the only board certified dentist in the state and they could get us in tomorrow too. So now I'm considering cancelling our appointment with the current vet, not giving her the meds, and taking her to the dentist instead. It's my job to be my dog's health advocate, but I'm not sure if I am over-thinking this? Which I have the tendency to do... I would love to get some feedback and advice on this.
  11. Our BC is a constant grazer too. She loves grass.
  12. Our last dog Molly lived to be 16 years old and had on-going liver issues a good part of her life. We did all sorts of tests but could never pinpoint the cause. At the time her vet recommended Denamarin tablets. It was about $35-$40 per month based on her weight. http://www.denamarin.com/#about-denamarin
  13. You could also try posting on lost and found on nextdoor.com. A lot of pets have been reunited with their owners in my area because of it.
  14. We had resource guarding issues with our pup too. We tried several things with her food bowl guarding. The thing that worked for us was to pick up her bowl, put her kibble in it, then ask her to sit before putting the food down. If she breaks the sit, we bring the food back up until she holds the sit. Once the food is down, we give her a release word and she can eat. We still do this now even though she no longer guards her bowl, mainly because it's easy and hopefully might prevent her from resuming her old guarding behavior. I also dropped high value treats in her bowl like others mentioned, but did this outside of her regular meal times.
  15. Wow! I have been looking online for a while now (mostly for "smooth coat tri-color") but never saw saddle back sable. After reading the BC museum site description, it sounds like her and the pictures look so much like her! Like the description, she had a lot more black coloring when she was a puppy and now as an adult some of the black has receded, except for right below her ears, her back and top of her tail. I've often thought her brown/tan areas on her face looked brindle too, but wasn't sure. (She's our first BC and I'm new to all of this still. ) Now I'll need to take a closer look once she wakes up from her nap! Edit: Here's a picture when she was about 10 or 11 weeks old. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2KX01TycIGmR2pKQU9Bc0lodVU
  16. Yes, Zygy is adorable! Our dog Mavis has a lot of brown/tan on her face, back legs and tail. People are always surprised when we tell them she's a border collie. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2KX01TycIGmbUZDdXZ1NDRjY28
  17. I agree! I should have mentioned that we were already working with a behaviorist when our dog began her food bowl guarding/weirdness and she helped us work through that part of it. We had to try several different tactics until we found one that worked.
  18. I read "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson. It helped me to understand the different types of guarding and that our dog had a combination of food guarding, object guarding, and body handling issues. I previously had not realized body handling was part of her guarding. Just a guess, but your pup may be exhibiting owner guarding, location guarding and possibly some body handling issues? The book can be a bit technical at times, but has exercises that you can use. I believe the exercises were for food guarding, location guarding and body handling, but the information may be helpful. I think the exercises, my other body handling work with our dog and her growing more mature helped. Now she no longer guards her bowl, lets me take forbidden items from her mouth, handle her, and is very sweet at the vet's office. Good luck and hopefully others can provide more ideas! Resource guarding can be very stressful.
  19. When Mavis was a puppy, we also stopped using "No" based on the recommendation of our positive trainer. Doing so actually helped us a lot because back then if we told her not to do something, she realized it got attention and then made it her mission to go after that particular thing. Instead we'd do as others have said and distract her and get her to focus on something else. I wholeheartedly believe this saved our bookcases, walls and curtains from her little shark teeth! And it also saved her from getting hurt. At about 11.5 months, she had a burst of maturity and really turned a corner with us. Now we're able to say "No" and she listens. To keep her from getting into things, we puppy-proofed our den and she primarily stayed in there, as it also provides access to the backyard. Initially, we only covered the outlets and made sure all cables were out of reach. But once she started putting her teeth on the books in the bookcase and decided the armchair could use some chewing, we removed all the books and moved the chair to another room. We had an x-pen in there for her daytime naps and when not in the x-pen, we were with her in the den. The den also had a baby gate to keep her from getting to the rest of the house. At night she slept in her crate in our room. It wasn't until about 11.5 months that we started letting her have more supervised access to the rest of the house. We also got rid of the x-pen and started letting her stay in the den (behind the baby gate) unsupervised for a few hours at a time. At about 13 months, we started letting her have unsupervised access to the rest of the house for about 20 minutes at a time, and gradually increased this. Now at 15 months, we leave alone with unsupervised access to the house for up to 3 - 4 hours at a time. However, we still close the bathroom and bedroom doors, just in case.
  20. Since only a few more weeks of your current routine, maybe you could get up earlier in the mornings so you're not as rushed and you don't have to move him downstairs? Or could your husband or kids watch over the puppy during that time? Or maybe your husband or kids could make the lunches, to give you more time? Just throwing out some ideas.
  21. I agree. Our girl likes other dogs, but is selective and does not like her space invaded by them, especially when she is on leash and they are not. (She has a special dislike for golden retrievers who really want to be friends and don't pick up on her cues.) We are often accosted by off-leash dogs with owners yelling out from a distance, "Don't worry! He/she is friendly!" to which I respond "Mine is not!"
  22. That's great news! I can completely relate. Our dog Mavis has had resource guarding/body handling issues. We've had our issues at the vet's office too. I've been working on her body handling issues and taking her on bi-weekly drop-ins at the vet's office just to say hi and get treats. A few weeks ago after a short hike in the desert, one of her eyes was bloodshot so we took her in for an exam. I was so proud/happy when she let the vet put several rounds of eye drops in and used a light to look in her eyes many times - and she never once showed any teeth! Then she let us put eye drops in her eyes for the next 5 days...something I previously wouldn't have thought possible. We'd also held off on bathing her for the last few months as I continued to work with her on body handling. Last week we gave her a bath and she behaved beautifully! Such a great feeling when you know that they trust you.
  23. I had to laugh because I thought only my 12 month old BC did this. It's gotten worse with all the very cold weather because she doesn't get to spend as much time outside. She used to go outside, I'd say "go potty", she'd go, and then we'd play. But as of the last few days, we'd go outside and no matter how many times I prompted, she'd hide behind a bush instead - her signal to start playtime. It finally dawned on me to put her on leash, and she immediately went. Then off came the leash and playtime began!
  24. I agree with what others have said. Our girl Mavis will be 12 months old in a few days and only recently has she begun to have more freedom in the house. She's been a sock thief since a tiny puppy, so all socks were put away. She was a land shark and wanted to chew on anything she could get her mouth on. She was also a foot chaser/shoe biter, so all shoes were kept in closets and her awake time limited to our puppy-proofed den. We had an x-pen in our den and a baby gate separating the den from the kitchen. If she was awake and we were supervising, we were in the den. If we weren't supervising, she was in her x-pen. At night, she sleeps in a crate in our bedroom. Only in the last two months has her chewing subsided. One day I realized it had been a week since she tried to chew on the den rugs or her x-pen, and I was amazed. Since her chewing had subsided, we recently decided to get rid of the x-pen and let her hang out unsupervised in the den (still behind the baby gate) and she did great. Next, we started letting her into the rest of the house more frequently, leaving the baby gate open (but other doors in the house still closed, like the bathrooms and spare bedroom). This is when her counter surfing started, but we don't leave any food on the counters and the counters are clean of any crumbs. When she jumps up and puts a paw on the counter, there's nothing for her to find, but I still tell her a gentle "Off!" and she gets down. We also taught a "calm" behavior, which is her lying on the floor with her leg kicked out to the side. Now when we are cooking or preparing her food in the kitchen, we'll ask her to be calm and she'll lie down on the kitchen floor and watch. If it's an especially yummy treat/food and she starts to get excited and puts a paw on the counter, I say "Off!" and I freeze and don't look at her. She gets down and back into her calm position. This is still a work in progress... As Gloria mentioned, we also use this calm behavior to get her to relax when we're relaxing. To teach the calm behavior, I tried catching her in this position, clicking and treating. Later I named it "calm" and continued to click/treat. She eventually began offering "calm" for many different things and it's become her new default behavior. I also agree with the ignoring approach. We tried this with Mavis at about 14 weeks until very recently. When she was a baby, if we made a fuss about anything, it only fueled the undesirable behavior. The first time this happened,she was only about 9 weeks old. We were in our new home and the first Spring flowers were starting to bloom in the backyard. She went to attack one of the flowers and my husband ran across the yard waving his hands and saying "Nooooo!" From then on, every time we went into the yard, she'd run up to the flower, look at us mischievously and attack the flower until it was eventually destroyed. (Luckily, it was not poisonous to dogs and she didn't eat it.) Using the ignoring approach also saved many items in our den, like the curtains, walls, trim and bookshelves. Whenever she'd put her mouth on them, we wouldn't say anything about the item in question and would distract her with something else, because we knew the more attention we drew to the unwanted behavior, the more likely she'd be to continue. But it was hard to ignore at times! With her recent bursts of maturity and sweetness, we can actually tell her not to do something and she'll listen, so there is hope!
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