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Everything posted by Lenie

  1. I've been researching vaccines for dogs and I'm curious everyone's thoughts on when to vaccinate (is six weeks too early?), which vaccines are essential, and if there are vaccines commonly given that you would not give your dog. I've also been looking into the vaccine for Leptospirosis. It seems likely that Lottie will be exposed at some point since we spend so much time in the woods. However, it seems that the vaccine isn't necessarily effective and there have been reactions to the vaccine. Have you/would you vaccinate for Leptospirosis? While I'm on the subject, do you give your dog's flea and tick prevention year around or only in the warmer months? Thanks everyone.
  2. I love this! A very happy birthday to Kit!
  3. I did the same thing when someone recommended them to me. I did not want to know or see that, but Lottie loves them and it is the only thing that will keep her quiet and busy without pestering me. Having something that will make her stop moving for a few minutes is a big help because we've yet to accomplish a nice settle command. When we have days of rainy cold weather that keeps us inside then bully sticks keep us both from going crazy.
  4. Thanks for the ideas everyone! Lottie definitely appreciates them as well.
  5. Apologies if this thread has been done before. I did a search but all my searches turned up hundreds of posts--none of which were what I was looking for. Best healthy and safe chews for dogs? Lottie loves bully sticks but they are rather expensive! I got her an antler, but it's so hard I'm reluctant to let her have it. I tried cow hooves and they chipped off sharp pieces so I took that away. Himalayan bones were popular for awhile but she has since lost interest (and while the first one I got was good quality, the second one chipped off into sharp pieces). I knew of a breeder who fed her dogs chicken feet for a chew. I need to find a source for them. What are your favorite chews to give your dogs? Where do you buy them? I've been doing some research into giving uncooked bones to them, but what are the best and safest? Thanks!
  6. I hadn't thought of that! Thanks for the link. Looks like it would be good for my puppy and my fifteen year old BC as well.
  7. Lottie and I figure one behavior out and another one pops up! Lottie used to ride in a car PERFECTLY. She would lay down in her crate and sleep or sit and watch the scenery. She has been on car rides practically every day since we got her. However, for the last couple car trips, she has been watching for passing cars and then lunging at them (while in her crate). I definitely want to stop this before she gets in the habit! I'm guessing it's her herding instincts being triggered by the sudden movement of the other cars driving by. I've been trying to hold her attention and reward for focusing on me rather than the passing cars but I don't think that she's catching on to that yet. I'm trying to find a spot by a road where I can park and have cars pass by slowly while rewarding her for calmness and then work our way up to higher speed roads. Anyone else have their dog try this? What did you do?
  8. This! Along the same line of thought, plastic with the scent of food or the plastic bags people often cook turkeys in. These can be very dangerous and tempting to a dog. And of course bones from dinner.
  9. He is so cute! Did you see his parents? They might give you a little bit of an idea how big he will get, but sometimes they take after grandparents, greats, etc. so it's no guarantee. If it helps any my seven month old female is 27 pounds. She was 17 pounds at four months and had that same long legged look about her. She has only gained two pounds the last month and she is definitely slowing down. Her parents were in the 30-35 pound range so she will probably not get much bigger. But it really is so hard to say with any certainty.
  10. Mine enjoy bully sticks, Kongs stuffed with dog food and peanut butter that has been frozen in the freezer, hollow ball that you can fill with kibble that falls out as they play, and other food puzzles. However, it usually only keeps them happy if I'm in the room with them. If left to themselves (my seven month old in particular) they will find a job to do such as digging or chewing things they shouldn't. I've found that they are less likely to dig or chew if they've gotten exercise and training sessions to tire them out before they are left alone. For the chewing on the dog house, you might want to try using a product sold at pet stores called Bitter Apple. It's a spray that some dogs do not like the taste of and it discourages chewing if they don't like it.
  11. Beautiful dogs! When I've had females in heat with males that were neutered, some of them showed little interest and others attempted to mount the female every chance they got. It has varied with all my males. I always made sure that if they did show interest in the female that I kept them separate just to avoid the female getting annoyed. My females usually got annoyed with the males until they were ready to actually breed. Two females in heat together however were a different story. They could not leave each other alone. As for spaying her, I've always heard that waiting is best. I've only had two females that were spayed--both as adults because they were rescues. One was spayed before I got her and the other one went to my vet. She was kept overnight (my vet always keeps the females overnight for observation, but the males go home the same day) and did not eat or act like herself for days. She was a normally high energy dog (Labrador retriever mix) but she didn't want to do anything for awhile. However, when I worked at a dog rescue, we spayed all the females and often it was difficult to get them to rest after the surgery. I had several rip their stitches out and a couple that required a visit to the doggy ER because of that. I don't say that to scare you, but it is something to be aware of. She may need a cone to prevent her from getting to the area and licking and she needs rest so she doesn't jump or run and hurt herself. She also probably shouldn't be around your other dog in case they play or he tries to bother the surgery area. I've had several other females that I didn't spay. I've never had a problem since I keep mine indoors and were only outside under supervision when they were in heat. I've often had male dogs camped out in my front yard for a few days, but no real issue. For that reason, while I neuter my males (I find them less likely to go crazy if they come across females in heat and calmer around other males) I don't spay my females anymore. IF I was not the only caretaker and had other people who might not be as vigilant about preventing unwanted breedings, I might consider it. But I don't really have a reason to spay them since I prevent their access to males who are not neutered. Spaying is commonly done now and typically there are no issues so it's really a personal preference.
  12. Lottie has always seemed so much older than she is because of that intelligent look in her eyes!
  13. Beautiful pup! I'm not an expert by any means but my Lottie is seven months old and from my experience with her: 1. I strongly discouraged nipping and biting. When Lottie began playing rough, I'd take a break and taught her that nipping resulted in playtime ending until she could calm down. Lottie is easily overstimulated and once she got started she had trouble controlling herself so I found it best to not allow it at all. 2. I was very careful because in my area there aren't many responsible dog owners and there are a lot of stray dogs around potentially carrying diseases. I did not allow Lottie to walk out in public until a couple weeks after she had all her shots. Some thought I was a little extreme, but there was no harm done (except I found Lottie had some skittishness about strangers walking up to her since she had always been held and being on the ground made things scarier, but she quickly got over that). The other issue is overdoing it while your puppy is so young. I quickly found that keeping Lottie busy and active with games that challenged her brain is far more effective than having her run around. 3. I'm not sure when Lottie began responding to her name and coming when called but I tried to make staying close and coming a rewarding experience for her and now she sticks pretty close to me all the time. The few times we have been separated, as soon as she was free she made a beeline for me and ran so fast she couldn't stop and plowed into me. I'd suggest always making sure that saying his name is a good thing and coming to you a fun time. I worked with Lottie on when I said her name that she needed to look at me by using extra tasty treats. Congratulations on your beautiful boy! I know you'll have fun with him!
  14. Has he been neutered? That is around the age that they reach maturity and his hormones are likely kicking in causing him to start behaviors such as marking.
  15. Yes, it's so easy to study! It's much harder to apply what you've learned. Here I thought I'd have an advantage with my degrees and having worked in kennels!
  16. I definitely needed to be reminded of this! Lottie reads me so well and since I read your post I've been noticing that even more. She's very quick to notice what mood I'm in and I have to be careful to keep our interactions positive. For the last week, I've been trying extra hard to make things fun and positive and we've had a lovely week. I didn't realize it until I quit the class, but all my training with Lottie was trying so hard to make enough progress that the trainer and others in the class wouldn't criticize her. I was stressed about it and I'm sure that stressed Lottie out as well. It sounds silly to say because it seems obvious now that quitting the class was best! I guess I felt that I had to complete the class for some reason and while I knew it wasn't how I wanted to train Lottie and knew that it wasn't good for her, I didn't quite trust myself because everyone around me was telling me that I was wrong. (Until I posted here asking for advice!) As soon as I decided to quit the class, I got excited about working with Lottie again! Now we aren't stressed about following the class and we can work on what we need to work on without either of us getting frustrated. Lottie and I do great with each other. We've got a great bond and since I work from home, we are pretty much always together and I love it. We only have trouble when we add in someone else! I do feel embarrassed when that happens because of course I want people to think as highly of Lottie as I do! These boards have been so helpful to me! I've spent hours reading old posts and I'm so appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to respond to my posts! Not only have I received excellent advice; it is comforting to know that others are experiencing the same things or have gone through similar issues with their dogs. I've also got a great list of books to read! Bones Would Rain from the Sky arrived last night and I'm excited to start reading it and get back into training Lottie the way she needs to be trained and having fun along the way. Lottie is such an amazing dog. My posts may occasionally make her sound a little crazy, but she is truly amazing and I know we have many many years of joy ahead of us. I confess there have been moments when I thought I had gotten in over my head with her, but I do think Lottie and I will figure things out together. Thanks!
  17. Books have been ordered and I'm looking forward to reading them! I've discussed the training with my fiancé and he's willing to try it my way. I think before when I made comments after the class and criticized the way they were teaching that he thought I was basing my comments on my own personal opinion and not the training books that I've read. GentleLake, thank you for the additional book recommendations. I'm especially interested in the one by Baugh. Lottie often gets so wild that she doesn't appear to even hear us or slow down enough to do anything other than just be crazy. Biting, jumping, playing rough, running around, taking bites out of furniture, chasing the cat, etc. I put her in "time out" in the crate for a few minutes so she can calm down, but lately it feels as though she is going in and out of the crate constantly which makes me feel bad. I've been experimenting with longer naps during the day because sometimes it seems as though she is tired and fighting it. If she isn't in her crate, she doesn't stop. She is always moving and doing something. I've tried to wait her out and see if she will lie down and go to sleep on her own, but she won't. I have to put her in the crate before she will actually stop and go to sleep. So I'm hopeful that the book will help! Also maturity will help I'm sure. She will be seven months on the 23rd and I'm hoping that as she gets older she will learn to relax. She barely stops long enough to let me pet her now. And when she eats, she grabs a mouthful and walks around while eating it. The other day she was doing that and got excited and inhaled, a piece got stuck in her throat, and she choked. Scared me half to death! I thought I was going to have to do the Heimlich on her. Anyway, we are learning lots. I wouldn't trade Lottie for the world. I worked at a border collie kennel for years and with my own rescue border collie I just fell in love with the breed. I dreamed of the day I'd have a pup of my own and Lottie is everything I hoped she would be and more. We just have to survive her puppyhood! As always, everyone's help is much appreciated!
  18. Yes! When she was a puppy her eyes were bright blue. I don't even know what color you'd call them now. Maybe a light green. They are very different!
  19. Thanks so much for posting this. It clarifies things and I'm definitely going to discuss how to train Lottie with my fiancé. He isn't very experienced with dogs and I need to get him to read some books. I haven't read Bones Would Fall From The Sky. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been reading some other books---Don't Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor, The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller, Clicking With Your Dog by Peggy Tillman, The Puppy Primer and The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell, and several others. My degree is in Psychology with a concentration on animal behavior so you'd think I'd be more assured about training Lottie. I think I was until I actually got her! I'm not going to go back to the class and I think we will all be a lot happier! My fiancé has been leaving most of the decisions up to me and if I have him read some of the books with me I'm sure he will agree with them and probably start being more consistent! Thanks again everyone. You've all been a big help!
  20. "But Mum, why wouldn't you want to go outside at 4am in the freezing rain to play?" Lottie is often genuinely perplexed by me. "But Mum! I've got to go do all the puppy stuff. All of it."
  21. Thanks for the input everyone! Also, thank you GentleLake for posting that video. I tried to find the full length interview (it looked as though they cut out parts) but no luck. There are only a couple class sessions left and my fiancé wants to finish. I think I'm going to take over handling her though because last night the instructor convinced him that a prong collar would be best for Lottie. I don't have the experience to know if a prong collar might be good for some dogs on occasion, but it seems a little extreme to use on a six month old puppy who is anxious. I feel like we haven't worked with her enough on walking on leash and it's my fault she's bad about pulling. I'm going to really work on her leash manners for the next couple weeks. Towards the end of the class, Lottie was tired and panting hard and she lay down on the mat. My fiancé spoke her name and tried to get her to stand up and she didn't. The instructor said that she is "willfully disobeying" him. I was so frustrated because while Lottie is making lots of progress at home, the classes don't reflect that and now the instructor has my fiancé convinced that Lottie is this rebellious dog trying to become the pack leader and needs a prong collar. Lottie doesn't respond well to him at home. He has a lower voice and is quick to get frustrated with her. If she is doing something not allowed (such as jumping up and trying to get something off the counter) he will say "Lottie, no. Off" and if she doesn't obey then he gives up and doesn't do anything else. I'm venting a little here! I think I'm tired of trying to convince everyone that she's not a bad dog and she isn't trying to be the alpha. Everyone seems to think she's this terrible dog with behavioral problems when it's just typical puppy behavior. Like getting overexcited or having too much energy (we are still working on learning to "settle"!) or chewing something she isn't suppose to. And yes, pulling on the leash. But again, the lack of leash manners are my fault because I didn't start working on it until this class. The instructor telling us to put Lottie in a prong collar really bothered me. No suggestions for other things to try first, no asking how she heels at home or anything, just handing us a prong collar and telling us to use it. They didn't even tell us how to properly use a prong collar either. I think if I was an instructor and I gave a dog owner a prong collar, I'd make sure to talk to them about it and make sure they knew how to use it properly. Not just send them off with it and assume they knew how to use it! I gave it back to them and said I'd think about it. Sorry for the long post! I'm just frustrated!
  22. Cups are a common measurement where I live. Cups themselves are not a standardized size necessarily but it is understood that when using measurements a cup is equal to 8 fluid ounces. 8 fluid ounces is approximately 236.5 mls I believe. If a recipe calls for a cup, I know to use a certain size cup to measure. My tea cups are far bigger however because I like a lot of tea! Thanks everyone! I will continue to do research (Prey model raw looks interesting). I feel better about her self-regulating and not eating much too. My other border collie, Shepherd, has always been like that as well but he never looked so underweight as Lottie. As always, I appreciate all the advice!
  23. Okay, I know I've asked a lot of questions here but I've gotten some great advice! I'm thinking about switching Lottie's food (Earthborn Holistic Puppy Vantage) because she really does not care for it and it's difficult to get her to eat enough. She's very food motivated, but when I put her kibble down she might eat a couple bites and then wanders off. She eats more if I put it in a puzzle toy so she will work for it! Just not fond of eating it out of the dish. She's doing okay with her weight but I'd like to see her fill out a little more because she just seems too skinny. I've been supplementing with healthy treats (like chicken for training) and Kongs stuffed with peanut butter but I don't think she is getting enough calories for her energy level. She's also six months old so still growing. Some days she might only eat a cup of kibble all day (feeding recommendation is 2 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups daily) or less. What have you/are you feeding your puppies? I've been researching it and it's a little overwhelming. Lottie doesn't seem to have any trouble with allergies or an easily upset stomach. I want to feed her a good quality food. Cost is a concern but her current food isn't cheap either. Thanks!
  24. It's a difficult talk to have with them. I know I'm struggling to know if it would be best to let Shepherd go now or if he is still enjoying life. I recently had to let my 12 year old lab go and I'm still mourning her loss which may be clouding my judgment on Shepherd.
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