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drharps

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  1. So I posted on another thread about needing a good ball recommendation, and it elicited a number of views on the issues with fetch as an activity. It got me to doing some research and looking more into the issue. What do people think of the activity? Is it good, but only when limited to 30 minutes a day? Is it good, but best when it's on a schedule so the dog knows, for instance, fetch happens in the morning and that's it? Is it something that is a great exercise for the dog so do it when and where you can? Some of the studies I found indicated it can lead to a nervous, anxious, and reactive dog because they essentially become a junkie and it affects their brain activity when they aren't playing. Other trainers/vets I've read say it's a natural and great activity for dogs. Would love to hear what people think because fetch is one of those things I've considered as 'dog-like' as the name fido and love of bones.
  2. Lots of interesting takes in this thread, did not expect it to go this way. For the record, I also do training, walks, hikes, nose work, beach, etc. with my dog. That said, she LOVES fetch and when we go in the yard (which is small) it's a great activity where I can sit and do work and periodically throw the ball for her. When we go to a dog park, all she wants to do is fetch with the toys there. It is undoubtedly her favorite activity outside of something more active, like hiking. Based on some interesting food for thought in this thread, I'll greatly reduce her fetch, but cutting it out doesn't seem like something she'd want, or I'd want, as it's a good way to exercise her when I can't do something more engaging. And for the record, the Champion Sports Extreme soccer ball lasts no longer than any other ball.
  3. I'm wanting to buy a soccer ball (or size 3) to kick for the dog. I bought a regular ball to see if she'd like it and she loved it, but tore it to shreds in seeming minutes. I've tried the jolly ball and we use it only for inside because the plastic is too unpleasant to kick barefooted. Any recommendations? I see chukit has a ball. There are also 'tougher' soccer balls out there. Curious if anyone has tried any before I buy.
  4. Anyone have any tips on when your dog gets excited how you calm them down? My border gets overly excited when a random stimuli happens - say someone talking outside the house, or on a walk a bus's brakes squeal, or the neighbors come out when we're playing frisbee in the yard. She then starts barking and fluffs her tail and runs around the yard or pulls on the leash. When that happens or has happened to you, what did you do to calm them? Did you make them lay down and stay until they relaxed? Start training them to divert their energy? Thoughts?
  5. What are people's thoughts on these, and have they had any experience with them? Our fence isn't secure, so we've had to build a makeshift one cutting off half the yard to our border, and unfortunately she, when fired up, can still get over the fence. (We rent so we're not interested in making a heavy investment for legit fencing.) The yard is pretty small and I'd love to let her run the entire area, so I'm thinking of getting a wireless or underground fence to 'block off' the problem areas (low points in the fence, gaps, etc.). Thoughts?
  6. Thanks everyone for the incredible advice! I've already started with the training, and will dig up the assortment of old clickers we have laying around. We used the clicker when she was younger so she'll pick it up quickly. One thing that will be interesting is I've trained her that when I click with my mouth, she needs to look at me. Hopefully she doesn't confuse the two, but they're distinctive enough I think it'll be fine.
  7. Thanks D'Elle. I'll give this a try first, and slowly work towards LAT as well. Until I get her trained on LAT, I'll try rewarding her when she pauses. One other question: there are times when I don't have the clicker on me, and instead wait for the break and say, "YES, good girl," and reward her. Is there something magic about the clicker, or is it the praise she receives at the right moment to indicate the action we want, regardless of whether it's a click, a tongue click, or a "good girl."
  8. So is one better or easier than the other (click when she pauses/Look at that)? Also, D'Elle, was there concern you were going to reward and reinforce the bad behavior? She absolutely loses her mind and goes vicious when we park by a dog in our car, and I'm afraid if I click when she breathes or pauses, she's going to think it's a reward for the barking/aggression. I'm also afraid she's going to learn that if she barks, she can look at me and I'll click and reward because she stopped (I've had that happen in the past).
  9. My girlfriend likes to call that the spot where the off button is supposed to be, but wasn't properly installed.
  10. Thanks to you both for the suggestion. Would you say this is a good video to follow?
  11. So my dog who has always been reactive to noises on the street, but she is becoming more and more reactive to any noise she hears outside (this is when we are in the house). Usually what happens is she hears a noise, her head goes up and she concentrates, when the noise comes back she lets loose and barks to her heart's content. I know the general rule is get some distance between her and the noises and reward her when she doesn't react, but that's not possible given the small lot size of the houses around me (even when in the basement away from the street we can still hear trucks, people, etc.). What I have been doing is either A) as soon as I see her pick her head up, make a weird noise or something to get her to look away then reward her the second she looks at me or looks away, or, if she won't look and she's freaking out, b) stand up and get in-between her and the door and basically back her down away from the windows/door, then reward her when she quiets. The issue is, she's getting worse so I fear one or both of those techniques is a failure/reinforcing something bad. I also sometimes poke her or pet her when she looks away to try to calm her. Thoughts?
  12. Thanks. Yeah, we have frisbees and balls for outside, but she comes in and we're trying to think through some good toys to keep her occupied if she's still loaded with energy. We had some squeaky toys but she was completely uninterested. Maybe we'll do more tug of war. We also have bones but she plows through those. We have some of the puzzle toys but as you mention those can be time consuming to put together, and have a shelf-life (once the treats are obtained, she is done with it). Have you found any that are especially time consuming and good? We have Kongs and the puzzle game (8 compartments with treats inside).
  13. What toys do people leave around the house for their dog to play with when they are inside? For instance, if you are inside reading or watching tv, what toys does the dog have access to? I am trying to update/upgrade the toys available for the dog to allow her to entertain herself.
  14. Thanks everyone. For background, she barks whether we are outside or inside and it doesn't appear to be stressed. She just seems to be excited barking because she likes training so much.
  15. Out of curiosity, does anyone else have a dog that barks throughout training? Has anyone had success teaching them to stay quiet? Our trainer dismissed it saying, "some borders get excited and express themselves via barking." And for background, it's not aggression or annoyance or anything in that vein. She simply, when we go through the routine of 'sit, down, etc.' barks THE ENTIRE TIME. It's not harmful or concerning, it's just super annoying and we live in a place where the neighbors no doubt hear her every bark and squeal so if there's a way to minimize it, all the better. If it's simply, "welcome to life with a border," so be it.
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