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Zap-n-Jo

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Posts posted by Zap-n-Jo

  1. My 1-YO boy, Jake, has always been a bit fear-reactive. For example, he is very afraid of strangers. He barks, alternates lunging and backing away, and sometime will even nip. If the person looks directly at him, or tries to coax him, he's even worse. He's also never warmed up to small kids -- same reaction of barking, except with less backing away and more lunging and nipping. I've been working a lot with getting him to be more comfortable with strangers, e.g., lots of treats and praise when guests come over. (I haven't tried this with kids yet... Jake is just too unpredictable right now.) This has really made a difference with his reaction to strangers ... until this week.

     

    On Sunday our 4-YO grandson was over swimming in the spa. I didn't see it, but my husband reported that Jake "went ballistic", barking at the boy while he was in the water, and when the boy got out, lunging and trying to nip at him. This time he was much more aggressive than in the past. (Understandably, this did not go over well with our daughter-in-law!) This morning when I took my husband to the airport, a porter approached the car as we were unpacking to see if we needed help. Even though the porter was 15 feet away, Jake got spooked and jumped out of the car, running around the car lanes and not coming when called. Thankfully, there was no traffic. But this was unusual and scary behavior. Then this afternoon my pool service guy reported that Jake bit him. No blood, but he was unable to complete his job. Finally, twice today Jake mistaked my husband and me for strangers in the house, e.g., he spied us around the corner and immediately start barking and lunging towards us. BTW, Jake is usually VERY submissive with my husband and me; he usually lays down and exposes his belly for a rub and cuddle.

     

    It seems like this fear-reactive (and maybe aggressive) behavior has been escalating lately, and I'm getting concerned.

     

    By the way, there are two events that might be contributing to this recent escalation in behavior: (1) Our other dog, Jo, just had two puppies. They are 2 weeks old now and are starting to toddle around -- so dang cute! Jake is much more curious about these little beings now. (BTW, we have been giving Jake LOTS of individual attention.) (2) Jake went through rattlesnake avoidance training on Sunday morning. He did well, and only one very minor shock was needed to curb his curiosity. However, he did seem a bit shaken up the rest of the day.

     

    Reading the other related fear reactive/aggressive posts, it seems like I might do the following:

    1) Take Jake in for a medical check-up.

    2) Take a step back with trying to desensitize him to strangers. Keep him (and others) safe by not putting him in potentially threatening situations. Then start up the desensitization slowly again once he gains more confidence.

    3) Consult with a vet behaviorist or trainer?

     

    I apologize for this long post and for a topic that has been discussed before, but I'd appreciate specific advice as to whether you think I'm on the right track. Thank you!

  2. We don't work our dogs at all; they are just beloved pets. However, my husband and I do have a small home on a calm bay in the Bahamas. Our dogs love it there... no leashes or collars, roam freely and play all day, romp in the surf, chase fish and crabs, and spend time with us 24/7. So when time allows, we drive our dogs from Arizona to Ft. Lauderdale -- about 3-1/2 days each way -- and then fly on a small plane to the island.

     

    People who don't have dogs are usually shocked by this. But as someone else posted, when you see the sheer joy on the dogs' faces, it's so totally worth it.

     

    A funny side note... When we start packing our SUV for the trip, usually a day or two in advance, our dogs will jump in the back and refuse to get out... for literally hours!! There's nothing we can say or do to coax them out. They're not taking any chances of missing a trip to the beach!

  3. I think the leg lifting is a learned behavior that has little to do with neuter age. Odin (and my previous dog) were neutered at young ages (<6 months, almost pediatric in Odin's case), and both lift/lifted their legs. Odin did the "puppy squat" until this Xmas, when he stayed with the dogsitter's family, which included a pack of 4 other males, for 2 weeks. Now he's a veteran leg-lifter and he also marks, as in, he likes to save it on walks and pee some on especially smell areas rather than just emptying his bladder all at once. He learned from watching them!

     

    When we first got our girl, Jo, she peed like a proper lady dog. But then after a couple of months of walking with our former male dog, Zap, she started lifting her leg to pee on bushes too!

    What do they call that, am-pee-dextrous? :rolleyes:

     

    Her usual style was to lift her leg, then sort of swing it around over the bush into a final semi-squat position.

  4. My old dog had lots of itching too. We bathed him with Relief shampoo about once per week, as recommended by our vet, and it really helped. I continue to use the shampoo to this day on my newer dogs. Either my newer dogs don't have allergies, or the shampoo is making a difference, because they do not seem to itch, even during this high pollen season.

     

    To use the shampoo, you leave the suds on the dog for about 10 minutes before rinsing them off. So I usually take the dogs in the shower with me and wash myself during the time the shampoo suds are setting. It's one big, happy family affair!

  5. Regarding flying dogs in cargo on commercial airlines...

     

    We have flown our dogs several times from Arizona to Florida and back. (We've also driven them; it just depends on how much time we've had.) We clearly mark their crates with all kinds of info, particularly our flight itinerary, contact information, and a request to take the dogs to the vet if needed, with a promise to cover any related vet expenses.

     

    When we board the plane, we always either pop our head into the cockpit to talk to the pilot or ask the flight attendant to ask the pilot to confirm the dogs are on board. We give them a brief description of our dogs, just in case there are other dogs being boarded too.

     

    When we ask some flight attendants, they roll their eyes as if we're being too high maintenance. However, once this practice made all the difference. On a flight to Florida we had a stop in Dallas, with no scheduled plane change. However, things got rearranged, and when we got to Dallas, we had to change to the aircraft at the adjacent gate. As usual, when I boarded the connecting flight, I asked the pilot to be sure the dogs were on board. This pilot was great, asking me all about my dogs and promising me to give them a safe trip.

     

    Ten minutes after our take-off time we were still sitting at the gate. The pilot made an announcement, something like, " Sorry, folks, for the delay. But we are missing two very important passengers. We have two border collie dogs that are supposed to be on board, but they're not here yet, and we're still looking for them. It will be just a few more minutes." Of course, there were quite a few groans from some of the passengers about the delay -- clearly not dog lovers!

     

    The pilot refused to depart until we found the dogs. He even got off the plane and walked on the tarmac looking at the cargo area of the plane we had just gotten off of! It turns out that with the confusion of the unscheduled plane change, the dogs were taken to the main cargo area. The pilot tracked them down, and we were well on our way 10 minutes later. I loved that pilot!!! And I'm so glad I asked the pilot to confirm that the dogs were on board.

  6. Along the line of sprinklers.... Here in Tucson my dogs LOVE the hose. I take it out to water the potted plants on my patio, and they go crazy, jumping around, twirling and chasing the water stream trying to catch it. I often have to put them inside so that I can get my watering done! In the summer I will water the plants before I take the dogs for a walk so that they are all wet when we go.... of course, that moisture lasts only about 10 minutes into our walk, but I believe it helps some.

     

    You said that your dog isn't interested in water. My former dog didn't care much for the hose until our newer dog showed interest, and then he got the idea. Once he saw the stream of water moving around, he just had to catch it!

  7. Thank you all for your advice for whelping and your concerns regarding Jo's age. It looks like my worries aren't unfounded!

     

    To answer some of your questions...

     

    Jo's mating date was Feb 21. Her ultrasound from 2 weeks ago indicated that she has at least two puppies. She goes back in on Tuesday to get an x-ray so we can make sure she delivers all the puppies she is carrying. I will also talk to the vet again about my concern for her age and what actions we should take in case of complications. I definitely want a vet to be on call for questions and advice and potentially emergency services once the whelping begins.

     

    Two people, each a current or previous owner of BC's, have expressed interest in having one of Jo's puppies. I'm committed to finding all the puppies good homes with devoted, and preferably experienced, owners.

  8. My girl, Jo, is pregnant and due in 2 weeks. Our other BC, Jake, is the sire. This was not an intentional pregnancy; we never wanted to breed her. However, I acknowledge that we are ultimately responsible for not preventing this from happening.

     

    This is my first litter, other than when I was a kid. Since I'm essentially a novice, I'm doing my research and trying to be as prepared as possible. I've done lots of reading, including a couple of books and most of the archived posts on whelping and raising puppies.

     

    I have a few specific questions (with more to follow in the upcoming months, I'm sure):

     

    - For a whelping box, can I use the lower half of her airline-style, hard plastic crate?

     

    - We thought we might contain Jo and the litter in their whelping box in a walk-in shower in our bathroom, or we could use a guest bathroom away from our bedroom, almost out of hearing range. Which would you recommend?

     

    - Several sources suggest getting a relector shade and light to keep the litter warm. However, we live in Arizona, and it's pretty warm here already. Are extra sources of heat really necessary?

     

    - Based on the reading I've done, I have a list of needed whelping supplies. Do you have any recommendations for specific brands or types of whelping supplies and/or where best to purchase them?

     

    - Jo is almost 9 years old -- yes, very old to be whelping and raising puppies. Of course I am very concerned about this, but our vet says that I should relax; all should be fine. Do you have any advice on precautions I might take? Should I consider hiring a doggie midwife?? If so, what should I look for and expect from that person?

     

    - Do we need to keep Jake, the sire, separated from the litter? Should we be concerned that he might attack them?

     

     

    If you haven't figured it out already, yes, I am a nervous mom/grandma! :rolleyes:

  9. Jake, our 3-month old puppy, has lately been getting possessive when he eats his food. It started last weekend when we were babysitting our son's Sheltie, Stella. While all three dogs (including our other BC, Jo) seemed to be occupied with eating, Jake would suddenly dart over to Stella's bowl, snapping at her and stealing some of her food. Despite my reprimands, this happened several times over the weekend, and I had to watch Jake like a hawk when he was eating.

     

    Stella is back at her home now. But Jake has started doing this with our two cats... And the cats aren't even eating; they just happen to be cruising by in the kitchen! If they are within 10 feet of Jake when he's eating, he'll dart after them, snapping and growling. By the way, the Sheltie and two cats are roughly the same size as Jake. He doesn't do this with Jo, who is bigger than him (for now).

     

    Since we got Jake, I have often interacted with him while he's been eating, e.g., petting him, putting my hand in his bowl, etc. I have been doing this to try to desensitize him to being possessive with his food. There's never been any problems with this. Today when I started to pet him while he was eating, he growled and then snapped at me. Yikes! He's only a puppy now, but I'm concerned that when he gets bigger, his bite could really do damage to me, our other pets, or our small grandchildren when they're visiting. Plus, if I'm honest about it, I really don't want an aggressive dog... I want a sweet, loving dog who adores me and obeys my every command! :rolleyes:

     

    I'd appreciate your suggestions on how to break Jake of this aggression with his food. If possible, I'd prefer not to separate him during feeding, but rather focus on stopping this negative behavior.

  10. Our 8-yr girl, Jo, was a rescue. She knew how to perform basic commands when we got her, so we never used the clicker with her.

     

    We recently discovered that Jo is terrified of the clicker (among many, many other things). We have a new puppy, Jake, and Jo has observed me using the clicker to teach Jake to sit, etc. Jo sees that I tell Jake to sit, he sits, and then I click and treat. She doesn't want me to use that noisy, scary thing on her! It's gotten so bad that now if I tell Jo to sit, she runs away! :rolleyes:

  11. We don't have kids that live with us. However, we have two grandkids (2 and 4 yrs old), and we have young neices and nephews who occasionally come to town to stay with us. Our dogs are gentle, but they're not used to living with kids, and I don't want to stress them out when kids are in the house.

     

    I recently purchased the children's book, "Don't Lick the Dog -- Making Friends with Dogs" by Wendy Wahman. Sometime during the first hour the kids are in the house, I read the book to them and go over our dog rules, e.g., no chasing the dogs, no "accidentally" feeding them people food, how they can tell if our dogs are afraid or stressed or need a break, etc. The kids love the book -- it rhymes, has cute pictures, and tells children simply how to behave around dogs. It's a fun way to introduce the dog rules to the kids, and I'm sure it translates to other situations outside the home where they encounter strange dogs.

  12. post-3290-1246720028_thumb.jpg

     

    I love reading about all the cool things your BC's do, so I thought I'd share about my girl...

     

    We consider our 8-yr-old BC, Jo, to be left of center on the "smart" bell curve. She is as sweet, gentle, and loving as can be, but isn't the sharpest tool in the BC shed. However, she does do one thing that quite impresses us:

     

    We live in a gated community in which guests must use the phone at the gate to call us for access. The call rings our home phone number, the guests announce who they are, I respond to them, "OK, I'll let you in", and then I press "9" on our phone to remotely open the gate. I've noticed that Jo knows the difference between a regular phone call and a call coming from a guest at the gate. As soon as I say the words, "OK, I'll let you in," Jo goes crazy barking, racing back and forth between me and the window that faces the driveway. What I find most amazing about this, though, is that it takes the guest at least 5 minutes to drive from the gate to our house. Despite this long delay, Jo has still made the connection between the words I say into the phone and that a guest is arriving 5 minutes later.

     

    I'd love to hear more stories about the amazing things your BC's do.

  13. On a related topic to the content of dog food....

     

    We have a relatively new, 10-week-old BC, Jake. Both the breeder and the vet for her kennel recommended that we discontinue feeding Jake "puppy food" after 12 weeks. They said that there has been some recent research indicating that puppy food can cause joint problems, particularly in the hips. I may not be recalling this correctly, but I think they said the joint problems can occur because the high protein content in the puppy food causes the bones to grow too fast for the muscles.

     

    Of course, what Jake would really like in his diet is more of the hot-dog bits he has started getting during his training sessions!

     

    Has anyone heard about this issue with puppy food? What are your opinions on this? Thanks.

  14. We got our 8-year-old dog, Jo, when she was a little over 1 year. She had never been socialized and was terrified of everything and everyone (except my husband, me, and our other now-deceased dog, Zap.)

     

    We would often go to the beach on a calm bay in the Bahamas, taking our two dogs with us. Zap loved to swim.... couldn't get him out of the water. (In fact, we just spread Zap's ashes over that very bay last month -- we imagine he'll forever be swimming there, chasing fish.)But Jo was so tentative and would step into the water only a few feet, no matter how dang hot it was outside. I would sometimes gently hold her, letting the water support her weight, and gradually wade out a little deeper, all the time talking sweetly to her and encouraging her. If she got too anxious, she would just swim back to shore. Over time, she became more comfortable going out deeper and often would even come swim to us.

     

    One thing that really got Jo comfortable in the water was when I'd throw a floaty toy in for the two dogs to retrieve. They LOVED this game and would race one another to get the toy first. (We eventually taught them to "take turns") Jo was so intent on getting the toy that she never paid any attention to how deep the water was.

     

    One last story... My husband and I would also paddle around the bay in a couple of high-seated kayaks. Both dogs loved to ride along, one riding in each kayak. Sometimes I'd kayak alone, but that didn't stop the dogs from wanting to ride too. They BOTH would pile into this relatively small seat with me. We were all totally squished in, but neither dog was giving up their opportunity to get a ride around the bay. They loved it... and so did I. Even though the water was 20-30 feet deep, we were never more than a couple hundred yards from shore. A few times we capsized, and the dogs just swam back (while I tried to get back into the kayak -- would have made a great, but embarassing video!)

     

    Ahhh, all this story-telling makes me want to go back to the beach!

  15. We just got a new BC puppy (Jake - 7 weeks old), and he adores our other 8-year-old BC, Jo. Jo is the sweetest girl, and has never exhibited any aggression to anything or anyone. In fact, she's quite nurturing to Jake and our two cats.

     

    Jake follows Jo everywhere and incites her to play whenever possible. When she's in the mood, Jo will play with Jake, and they chase one another, growl, wrestle, etc., all the time with their tails wagging wildly. It is quite cute. However, Ejano's post below implies that this might be encouraging future aggression. Is this true? I love that my two dogs are bonding and playing together, but I certainly don't want this to turn aggressive as Jake grows bigger. I'd love to hear more thoughts on this. Thanks.

     

    Susan

     

     

    They do get to play together for an hour or so morning and night with our eight year old female Border Collie (a rescue who has been with us four four years) and I've found that during those times if they have something to satisfy their curiosity they don't tussle with each other ( I know what looks cute now will end up as aggression), so that is why I was looking for are suggestions that will play on their ability to solve puzzles... and satisfy their mental ability so they aren't thinking up things to do on their own.

    I'm sure the bone burying project did make you smile, but the fact is pups are diggers and I prefer to choose the spot where they will dig -- I haven't got around to it yet though :rolleyes:.

  16. Hi,

    We've just joined the group, and this is our first posting. Hopefully you will be able to offer some experience/advice to help us with our beloved 8-year-old BC, Zap.

     

    Zap had a very small cyst on the corner of his eye for about a year. It recently started to grow, and our vet referred us to a specialist. The opthamalogist checked Zap, and although the cyst needs to be removed, it is luckily only on the surface of the eye. The opthamalogist wants to perform an "Epibulbar Mass Excision w/ Histopathology" in order to remove the cyst and check for malignancy. The total cost of this procedure will be about $2500. In addition the specialist wants us to run radiograms on Zap's chest and abdomen to ensure there is no cancer there.

     

    My question for this board is whether the opthamalogist's recommended procedure makes sense. Frankly, $2500 seems like a lot of money for the removal of a surface cyst which the opthamalogist suspects is benign. Of course we will do whatever it takes to keep Zap healthy, but we want to be wise in our decisions.

     

    Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated. The surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 26, so a quick reply is preferred.

     

    Thank you. We look forward to participating on this board.

     

    Susan & Eamon

    (Zap & Jo)

    susanblueberry@msn.com

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