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Everything posted by lrayburn

  1. The ROM program allows outbreeding to occur within the working border collie population anyway. I think the idea of a closed stud book is integral to a bench showing program but rather useless when dogs are being bred for *ability* rather than simply being "purebred" dogs.
  2. Not much since my crazy, psycho little Ben passed his CGC. It pretty much means that they have some basic obedience and won't immediately try to bite a strange person greeting them . That said, it can sometimes help - like if you are trying to rent or get homeowner's insurance or something like that. Mostly I think it is a way for ACK to get more $$ out of people. Lisa
  3. Hey Pansmom, Please check out my threads regarding Nellie's thyroid issues. She is dog aggressive and noise phobic. She tested on the low end of normal for several years and the vet did not recommend treatment. Last fall, I asked if we could go ahead and treat anyway and see if it made a difference. She has been on the thyroid treatment for several months and it has made a tremendous difference in her attitude, aggression and even her phobias. So consider asking your vet if it would be worth treating her with Thyroxine just to see how well she responds - many dogs and people may need to be in the mid to high range of "normal" to function well. I can't seem to make the threads embed but the urls are here: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.p...=thyroid+nellie http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.p...=thyroid+nellie Congratulations on seeing some of your hardwork pay off! Lisa
  4. Depends on the horse and the dog. My old mare tolerated our dogs just fine but I was riding her one day when the neighbor's GSD came over his fence and jumped our aussie who was running along with us. The mare took one look at this and ran the GSD over and then chased him off. Bless her heart. Lisa
  5. I had a doberman in one of my obedience classes who had had multiple surgeries and SEVEN separate attempts at gluing his ears. As an out-of-control, anxiety-ridden two-year-old, his owner asked me if I thought there was any hope that we could FIX his EARS. I told him there were more important things to work on fixing and that if the dog could hear, then his ears were fine. Lisa
  6. Walking 3-4 dogs at a time in a tourist area, I frequently get those questions as well. I've often thought it might be worth opening a dogwalking service, my advertising is already done. But then I think about how well some people's dogs walk onleash and I change my mind. Last weekend, John (my dogsitter) and I took the whole gang to the park. We walked Buster (Brittany) and Big Ben (Aussie) first. For the next lap we took Nellie, Ben and Pip. One woman said, "Gee I guess you have a little bit of everything don't you?" If I'm walking or doing a steady state run, I'll take all three. If I'm doing a more intense run, I'll usually take one dog at a time and switch dogs each lap which does raise some eyebrows. This is like a support group - it's nice to know I'm not the only "crazy dog lady" out there! Lisa
  7. You and I agree on that. I was just trying to make the point that finding the right food for the dog (protein source, grain) is more important than buying a super-premium kibble. Sometimes I think people start to get caught up in the mindset that if it costs more and says holistic on the label then it must be a better food. Lisa
  8. I'm sorry this happened to the OP and I agree heartily with Lenajo. I *ALWAYS* protect my dogs from children. And I don't let random kids run up to my dogs, I step in front and bosy block them. I also explain to the kids very firmly (and loud enough that their parents can hear) that they must NEVER run up to strange dogs and must ALWAYS ask before trying to pet someone's dog. I have offended lots of parents I'm sure but I am protecting my dogs and teaching their children an important lesson at the same time. I get really frustrated by people who assume that dogs out in public should have to submit to being molested by their children. On the flip side, I always thank and enthusiastically praise kids who ask to pet the dog, even if I have to say no. Lisa
  9. I feed Purina One Lamb and Rice and my crew does great on it. They get fish, venison and beef bones on occasion. I have fed higher priced kibbles including Eagle Pack and Nutro in the past but never saw an improvement over the Purina One. (I did have struvite crystal problems with the Nutro.) Different dogs have different needs. My crew does fine on the Purina One and that is what I tend to recommend. If people can afford a higher quality kibble and the fact that they have to drive an hour away just to get it, great. If not, I prefer Purina One to a lot of the other stuff that is on the grocery store shelf. An individual animal's tolerance to the protein and grain sources in a particular kibble are more important than the name or price of the kibble. Ben wouldn't do well on the most expensive, top-of-the-line kibble if it contained chicken. An interesting anecdote: One of my shelter contacts called me in regards to an Australian shepherd they had who has unadoptable due to his horrible diarrhea and smell (both gas and skin odor). The shelter feeds Science Diet which has a shelter program and I figured that it was food intolerance. When I dropped off a bag of Purina One Sensitive Systems (fish protein source), he made a dramatic change for the better and was adopted within a couple of weeks. Lisa
  10. My crew gets bathed when they role in something funky or if we are going to visit my parents. I will admit that I usually use Dawn dishwashing detergent which, despite being pH balanced for china and glassware, doesn't seem to cause any irritation at the totally erratic infrequency with which it is used. If I'm already showering, a particularly nasty pup may get bathed with Sunsilk shampoo and indulged with a little Sunsilk conditioner as well. Outside of special occasions, they get chunked in the sound or the pond - the pH of both being totally uncontrolled. Lisa
  11. Collars stay on unless dogs are crated. I have had playing dogs hang their teeth up in collars and and have known dogs that hung themselves up on shrubbery but I still feel that the greater risk is that a dog will get separated from me without their collar and information. Nellie, at the age of 7 and highly reliable, got loose and ran off in a thunderstorm and her collar tags got her home within two hours. Working with animal rescue, I understand how important a collar is to getting a dog home quickly. All of my pets are microchipped but I consider that a backup, not a primary line of defense. Many people will help a dog with a collar before they will one without. I know that personally, I'll stop and call someone if I see their dog running loose and he has a collar with tags on. If he doesn't have a collar, I'll leave him to run (if he's not in immenent danger) and hope that he finds his way home. Unless a dog winds up with animal control or at a vet's office, the microchip is functionally useless. And in many situations it can take days or weeks before that happens, even if the dog is taken in by a caring person. Lisa
  12. Laurae and John - thanks for clearing that up. Lisa
  13. I think reactivity can be very specific - Nell was mainly dog reactive. I can get away with murder with her and she does not react. Other than children, she is pretty good with people. After treatment, her threshold with other dogs and generally stressful situations (lots of dogs, lots of activity, lots of new people, strange noises) is much higher. Nell's T4 test was considered low-normal and I pushed for treatment but I had some other concerns that caused me to think thyroid as well (poor shedding, low heat tolerance, hard time losing those last couple pounds). I'm not sure about the more thorough thyroid testing panels. However, I think that some dogs may need to function on the middle to high end of normal to feel good. You might want to investigate the more thorough thyroid panels but Buddy's issues may come from another place. Nellie still has her issues and does react but her threshold is higher and her fuse is longer now. Good luck, Lisa
  14. I just checked the vial and Nell is on 0.4 mg of Soloxine daily. She weighs about 33 pounds. Does anyone know if Soloxine is the same drug as Thyroxine? I thought the vet called it Thyroxine but maybe one is a generic equivalent? Lisa
  15. As I've mentioned before, Nellie's transformation since she started treatment with Thyroxine has been AMAZING. This morning, we had an illustration of just how well they have been working. I've been very consistent about Nellie getting her pills at the same time each morning but we unexpectedly had to spend the last two nights with a friend and I didn't have her pills with me. We got through yesterday just fine but this morning Nell woke up on the wrong side of the bed and sitting in the middle of the living room, she flashed her "ugly face" at any dog who came within a couple of feet of her. She hasn't behaved like that in months. So we stopped by the vet this morning and picked up an extra bottle. We'll never leave home without them! Lisa
  16. Nellie has tested borderline low normal for several years and I finally asked the vet if we could go ahead and try treating her. The treatment has made an incredible difference in her behavior and demeanor. Nell is a weird dog and has been from day one - she is a resource guarder, has a large personal space, and noise phobias. I have seen improvements in all aspects of her behavior. She's never going to be a model citizen and she's not going to be non-aggressive but she certainly seems less reactive and more relaxed. This isn't scientific at all but everyone who knows her says she seems like a "happier dog" all-around than she was before. Meanwhile, she's lost the bit of weight that she needed to and her coat looks better but those are secondary as far as I'm concerned. Nell's situation was considered borderline, I can't imagine what a change people with severely hypothyroid dogs see in their pets. This isn't a cure-all and isn't the problem for every dog but I have been really happy with Nell's reaction to her treatment. I wish I had started it sooner. We even call them her "happy pills". Lisa
  17. I've tried an ultrasonic bark controller and I have two problems with them. First, sometimes it doesn't trigger if the dogs are barking in the right direction. Secondly, in a large group the dogs that are noise sensitive will stop but the less noise sensitive dogs may continue barking. If that's the case, then nobody is learning the right thing and everyone starts to ignore it. Good luck! Lisa
  18. I had a Rhode Island Red rooster in college who LOVED to go for car rides. If you left the car door open, in he'd jump. He prefered to ride with the windows down - so he could feel the wind blowing through him comb I guess. I took him through the drive-thru window at the bank one day. I've never seen quite such a surprized expression on a bankteller's face before . Lisa
  19. I am too! If someone gets a piece or a lick, then everyone does. I'm not sure what the point really is when three dogs split licking the soymilk out of my cereal bowl in the morning. Hardly seems worth the effort for all of us at that point. Sometimes the dog who rides shotgun in the car (I know its bad okay I do but it happens anyway!) gets something that the ones in the crates don't get. When that happens, I wind up looking back to make sure the other dogs don't see it. Oh well. And everyone gets size appropriate treats - biggest for Ben, middlest for Nell, littlest for Pip the Porkchop. Lisa (who now feels rather neurotic)
  20. He will also quickly learn the difference between when his shock collar is on and you have the remote and when the shock collar is off or you don't have the remote in your hand. I had an acquaintance with a shock collar trained field lab - she came like a rockstar when he was holding his cell phone (which looks like the shock collar remote) and totally blew him off if he had nothing in his hand. You can do a basic search to find lots of information on positively reinforcing the recall. See the thread "How to Teach a Solid Recall" in the FAQ section. How to Teach a Solid Recall If you search, you will also find posts that refer to "walking down" the dog if he blows you off. Try lots of different food, treats, toys and games. There is something that your dog cares about. Even a low-motivation dog will learn a recall if you practice the steps and then reinforce with a walk down which prevents him from self-reinforcing when he ignores you. Good luck! Lisa
  21. I would imagine that this is a misconception. I knew a dog that had it's tail amputated after an injury as an adult - he adjusted just fine. Lisa
  22. RDM's comment is true - dog aggression and human aggression are not the same thing. However, an attack on a pet dog could certainly result in a human being injured. It is not likely the dog would turn and target a toddler if it has not shown human aggression before but chances are good that someone could be injured trying to protect their pet. I have heard of at least one horrific incident where a man and woman were mauled by two dogs when the original target of the attack was a pet dog. The woman made the rather unwise choice to cover her dog with her body and was mauled severely. The man became the target of the dogs' aggression when he stepped in to protect the woman. I don't think it matters what the dog's background or breed is - it is the owner's job to behave responsibly wether the dog came from a breeder or was adopted from a shelter. What is most unsettling about this situation is the total lack of responsibility taken by the owner. She had several serious wakeup calls and chose not to act proactively to protect other dogs and her own. There is little indication that her behavior and thus the dog's situation is likely to change should the dog be returned to her. How many swings does she get before she strikes out? Lisa
  23. Yeah there are always two sides to the story but I think the owner's side says enough. She hasn't accepted any responsibility and isn't realistic about the situation. Based on her past performance, she doesn't sound capable of continuing to own the dog without someone else's dog being at risk again in the future. The dog has been involved in two incidents and is required to wear a muzzle in public and yet the dog manages to make it out the door without a muzzle or apparently a leash?!? Its not fair that the dog will lose her life because of her owner isn't capable of managing her but unless the owner steps up to the plate and takes some real responsibility and actually changes her behavior, it would probably be safer for the public at large for the dog to be euthanized. Animal control is only doing its job. Lisa
  24. Just to clarify: I made the statement in another thread that only about the top 10% of a population would need to be bred to provide replacement numbers for the population. It was an illustration to pet home and recreational home people that only a relatively small percentage of any breed population should be bred. Obviously in border collies, a large number of the dogs that *should* be bred would be within the population that is actively trained and worked on stock. Within the actively working population, that percentage would obviously much be higher. Within the pet population, that percentage would necessarily but much, much lower based both on native ability and what is actually known about those animals abilities. The numbers were never intended to be taken literally - just as an illustration that Joe Blow down the street shouldn't be breeding his bitch just because she is a nice dog. Lisa
  25. The general rule of thumb is that you can take the dog's age in months and add one to get the number of hours that a dog can "hold it". So a 4 month old border collie shouldn't be crated more than 5 hours at a stretch. In my opinion, 8 hours is the max that I ask my adult dogs to hold it so 6 should not be a problem for an adult border collie. If you haven't been crating, you may want to slowly build up to 6 hours at a time instead of doing it all at once. Small breed dogs can be more difficult to house train than larger dogs but I see no reason why an adult Shihtzu can't hold it for 6 hours at a time. Start with a shorter period of time and build up if necessary. If there are health problems that prevent them from holding it for that long, set them up with a puppy pad system so they aren't forced to soil their crates. Food and water depends on you. Many people provide hanging water buckets in their crates while they are gone. I don't because my guys tend to make a mess. I also don't leave food in the crate. You could provide safe chewies as long is its not something that could pose a potential choking hazard (I don't leave rawhides in their crates for this reason). Make sure you are using an enzymatic cleaner to clean up the messes. I find that adult dogs often regress to marking under stress or if another dog is going to the bathroom in the house. I would treat all of the dogs as though they weren't housebroken for a little while to get this new habit under control. Lisa
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