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About SunDogs

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  1. I am a novice trainer with 2 novice dogs. My young dog, 18 months (Sprite), has been on sheep about once a week, off and on for 7-8 months. Today was Sprite?s first lesson after her spay 10 days ago. In the past, she has had some trouble with pressure- she seems to bounce off and take a very wide path around the sheep instead of staying on balance. This problem was suddenly huge today. She would not take a ?Go By? for anything. She only wanted to go counterclockwise and even then she stayed way off the stock. Then when my trainer came in to help, Sprite quit & turned tail. My trainer put her on a long line and had me continue to work her & when she?d start to swing out she?d give her a leash correction. To me she seemed really nervous & almost frightened of my trainer. Her behavior deteriorated to the point she was running to my side to avoid my trainer who had been giving her some really hard leash corrections (causing her to spin around in the air). At this point I was really not sure we were headed on the right path- I felt she was pushing her too hard- & since nothing really worked we quit. The trainer put her up & instructed me to ignore her for a couple days. My trainer was stumped and could only guess that maybe it was hormonal. Does anyone have any suggestions for fixing this mess? Is this unusual in training a young dog? What does it mean for her future as a herding dog? I guess I am just unsure if this behavior has real implications on her suitability as a sheepdog- even for the hobby herder like me. Thanks for any advice you can give!
  2. As I said in the other thread, I have both the Ruff Rider and the Pet Buckle (From PetsMart). I found that the Ruff Rider was definately harder to put on but I recently bought a newer model for my younger dog...However they made some redesigns and it totally engulfed her! She was all covered up with straps...she is on the small side. I found the Pet Buckle seatbelt- the only other model tested and passed as I understand- so much easier to use that I now use it when a seatbelt is necessary. It is a redesign of a product used to hold child saftey seats in cars...so is very safe. The buckles are actually seatbelt type buckles. A friend was in an accident last week (hit by a drunk driver). She is okay but she had her 4 dogs loose in the car. 2 of the dogs escaped throught the smashed window and ran into the woods. She was rushed via ambulance to the ER and her dogs were left to fend for themselves in the woods for almost 10 hours. She was lucky that the dogs were found essentially unharmed. It could've been so much worse if she had lost her dogs & not just her car. Some kind of restraint is a must, IMO.
  3. Hey Sue- check out this discussion on the genreal boards! Vehicle Restraints- General BC Discussion HTH,
  4. Yes, Cosamin, the human product, is cheaper & one can often find discounts, etc. Check out Costco.com. Personally, I use the liquid horse formulations but my dogs don't have CHD. You can play around & see wich works best for you. HTH,
  5. Some of my rescues have been bolters. I usually use a molecuball or some other treat dispenser type ball to slow eating. also, the cookie sheet is a good option- or even the floor of the crate if that's where she is fed. However, kibble is a really unnatural way too feed so you might follow the advice of adding water to it first. A dog would naturally get a meal of 70% water if eating fresh food. Kibble is what like 10%? So watered down kibble is probably better and canned is even better than that- less grains & preservatives. Of course the best is raw, IMO, but I won't go there HTH,
  6. The risk of bloat (GDV) greatly increases with age. Most dogs we see at the ER are older. Just Weds we did surgery on a 13 year old Chow for GDV. We see GSD, Retrievers, Weims, Setters and of course Danes. I have actually seen several Bassets & even Dachshund or two. Problem is no one can say for certain why it happens so prevention can be difficult. As my dogs age, I am a little more observant when it comes to feeding & activity times. But I have seen lots (50/50?) of bloated dogs with nothing but a stomach full of gas- no food or water. A big factor for many dogs is stress. We routinely see bloated dogs from the boarding kennels and some that get home & freak out & bloat. GDV seems to occur almost always at night. In high risk breeds, vets will perform a prophylactic Gastropexy (tack the stomach to the ribcage) at the time of spay/neuter. This prevents rotation of the stomach but does not eliminate the possibility of gas distention. Some people suggest a reduction of GDV in raw fed dogs. Since few studies are done on raw vs. kibble I doubt there is any hard evidence to back that up. My dogs (raw fed), no matter how hot, do not gulp tons of water though they readily "swim" in the stock tanks or kiddie pools to cool down. The tremendous difference in water content (kibble vs. raw) has great affect on water consumtion and could be one reason for more problems on kibble.
  7. Barb! You are absolutely right! It is the sounds. Now that you mention it she can get amp'd up just at the sound of agility. That is why taking the visual away has not worked. She was the worst at one class with several especially needy dogs where handlers were cheering and yelling the whole way 'round the course. Herding is peacful & quiet (mostly) but if I give her a "shhh, shhh" she turns up the speed & overreacts there too. Thank you so much for helping to ID the problem. I think I may try recording a training session to try some nosie desensitization too! Forget flyball!!! Even my mellow, low key girl gets wired there...I don't dare take Spritey anywhere near Flyball :eek: Thanks again!!
  8. Thanks North, I'm glad you wasted the bandwith to sling arrows. I will not defend the use of a riding crop. I already said that it made me feel bad and then in a later post I mentioned my guilt at resorting to overt violence when more humane methods don't work. It just shows how naieve I have been in the past...listening to trainers who don't understand the relationship I have/want with my dogs. I've done a lot of reading (& soul searching) along with exposing myself here on these boards to ask for advice. Your comments are in no way helpful...and IMO, expose your cowardice. You could've written privately. I guess a public bash does boost the ego though Thanks, Cin...ooops...that's SunDogs
  9. Hi all, Like Melanie said there are many reasons for internal bleeding. However, by far the most common we see at the animal ER is Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) of the spleen or liver. The dogs suddenly collapse or get very weak and occasionally vomit or have a little diarrhea. A real observant owner may notice pale gums/tongue & distended abdomen but most don't. The dogs will often have an increased rate of breathing too. It is a horrible disease because it strikes silently- your dog seems perfectly healthy on the outside and there is no time to prepare for the inevitable. We do probably one of these surgeries each week. Sadly, by the time the tumor is apparent it is too late & the cancer has spread to other places. We just did one last week on a GSDxChow- sweet boy-9 years old. His spleen was bleeding and we removed it but sadly the liver had tumors all over it too. The owners opted to recover him from the surgery and spend his last few weeks giving him lots of love. It is truly one of those diseases I dread most for my dogs. However, abdominal bleeding like this doesn't seem to be really painful so it is a peacful way to go. HTH,
  10. Hi HK, Not sure what you mean by "damage your relationship with the dog". I have used a pinch collar on a rare occasion- actually for ONE specific problem with my older dog. I do not give leash corrections using a pinch but I allow the dog to self correct. I don't see that as any worse than hitting or rapping the dog on the face or shoulder. In fact, I wondered if that is exactly what you meant with your suggestion. It seems like one might have trouble with the dogs becoming hand shy if the handler is actually hitting them with a hand?? ...especially on the face or head. My plan with the pinch is using it while on the sidelines & if she flops like a fish out of water she will get her own correction- not one from me. I will offer kind words & even food rewards for calm behavior, tricks & attentiveness to me. This dog has never worn one so I still don't know what her reaction will be. First I have to dig it out of the box and dust it off I can report to the group on our progress if I find it & can get to a class tonight. Don't worry I wouldn't accuse you of being all positive. Actually I am a fan of *almost* all positive training (especially for fun games like agility & obedience) and really feel bad when I've resorted to overt violence to solve a problem. Which, IMO, does real damage to the relationship. Thanks for the tips & hope this clarifies my thoughts.
  11. Thanks Guys! A couple of things I didn't mention....we have been on "hiatus" from training since the end of June. This year's hurricane season has wrought (wreeked???) havoc on most agility classes. Almost no one has indoor training so the equipment that was not repeatedly put up has been damaged and training areas have been destroyed by downed trees & flooding. I took this (and the heat earlier this summer) as an opportunity to take a break from agility. Also, I have tried a gentle leader (caused bloody sores on her nose), the sense-ation harness (no effect) as well as just a flat buckle collar (chokes herself 'til she is almost passed out). I have tried the stand on the leash while pup is in the down- you'd be amazed how much noise a writhing yelping BC can make- even with my foot on the GL ring :eek: I have also tried crating ringside with her covered (it is normally very hot here in FL so I am always concerned about overheating) allowing her to watch while quiet and covering when she barks. So far this hasn't worked either. This dog is normally so responsive to every command- she'll take a quiet "lie down" from 50 yards on stock. I just can't figure why agility gets her so out of control. I am in no hurry with her agility training so if she needs (more) time to mature then that is fine too. I am considering using a pinch collar ....or taking my stock stick into the agility ring- LOL!
  12. Hi All, I don't post here much but I thought you guys might have some advice for me. I have a BC pup (well she's 16 mos old now so maybe a teenager now ) out of herding lines. She is awesome, very responsive, sharp as a tack and eager to learn & please me....EXCEPT when it comes to agility. At agility class, when it is not her turn, she is insane- screaming, yelling, flailing around like a fish out of water on the end of the leash. She acts as though she's never had a spit of obedience training. She is hard...I have tried increasing our distance & distracting her, rewarding for attention to me (food or a ball). I have tried a riding crop & a bark collar...using punishment makes me feel terrible and it doesn't even work. She is the polar opposite of my older BC (who was a rescue). On stock she is so responsive that she'll drop if I sniffle where my rescue girl is the hard dog there. So far my instructors don't have a lot of advice...2 have already hinted that their neighbors may complain. I will start private lessons next week which may help in the short term but I need some help to get her ready to be at a trial & not drive everyone insane. Any thoughts?
  13. Thanks everyone! Looks like its a thumbs up on Scrimgeour. I already have Virgil Holland's book and wow! Did it help to read about what I was trying to do. Holland has said some things that were contradictory to what my trainer has said/done so I'd like to read some other opinions. Where can I get the video (Scrimgeour's)? I didn't see it on the BCIA site...maybe I missed it? Thanks again! BC Lover
  14. Thanks everyone! Looks like its a thumbs up on Scrimgeour. I already have Virgil Holland's book and wow! Did it help to read about what I was trying to do. Holland has said some things that were contradictory to what my trainer has said/done so I'd like to read some other opinions. Where can I get the video (Scrimgeour's)? I didn't see it on the BCIA site...maybe I missed it? Thanks again! BC Lover
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