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About notailabigail

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    Nutty Mutts

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    Vancouver, Canada
  1. You can mark behaviour with any word or sound that you like - a clap, 'yes', etc. - as long as the sound is consistent and as long as you pair it with reinforcement. The reason a clicker works so well is that it's very distinct consistent, unlike our words and tones. So if you do use a verbal marker, make sure it sounds the same every time (no emotion behind it!). As far as having treats everywhere (definitely not a bad idea) just keep in mind that there are other reinforcers that you could use if you're caught without treats, like you were that morning. If I were in that situation, I wou
  2. Thank you both - ewe and lamb are doing well this morning!
  3. I don't play rough with my dogs (simply because I don't like it myself) but any games that have clear rules (that you set) can be fantastic motivators. I especially like tug because it gives the dog a controlled outlet and because I use it to teach a super solid 'drop it' that can then be used with all kinds of high value items. There are a whoooole lot of reinforcing things out there in the world for dogs - things that we can't control like bunnies, other dogs, etc. etc., as you know. In situations where you're 'competing' against all of those things for your dog's attention, thinking ab
  4. He sounds like when he takes off, he's looking for the party back at the beach or with other dogs. When you call him, do you usually reward him with food? Maybe he would find toys more reinforcing. Have you taught him how to play tug? I mean tug with rules - he takes it only when you ask, gives it when you ask (either by trading for food at first or making the toy 'dead' until he lets go, then game on again), and teeth on skin = game over. Teach him that game, and then practice lots and lots of recalls to an exciting game of tug (restrained recalls are even better). I've had dogs who
  5. Teach her that the ball game is played by your rules, like Shetlander said - it starts when you start it (choose a cue that means you're going to start the game) and it ends when you end it (another cue - like 'all done' - to end it). When it ends, don't give in to any amount of staring, whining, circling, etc. If you want to start the game again, start it when she isn't obsessing over it. That way you'll reinforce the 'not obsessing' instead of the 'obsessing'. Use that ball obsession to your advantage instead of letting it annoy you. If you need to work on her recall and she loves the b
  6. One of our ewes gave birth to a ram lamb this morning. We didn't see the amniotic sac break before/during the birth - just the mucous, and then a very quick birth (this is her 3rd time lambing, last year she had twins). After she had licked the lamb for about 10 minutes an amniotic sac came out and broke. We assumed this meant she was going to have another lamb, but nothing happened for about an hour so I did an internal exam. This is only my 2nd time doing one, and as far as I can tell there isn't another lamb. Has anyone seen the amniotic sac be expelled after the lamb is born instead of bef
  7. Hi Chene - First of all, I think I saw that you're in Victoria? I'm in Duncan, so if you ever wanted to meet halfway I'd be happy to provide you with a non-reactive 'decoy' dog to help with Aed's resource guarding! Ryan would happily volunteer himself, I'm sure. Zoey has a tendency to want to RG against other dogs, too. She is fine taking treats with other dogs sitting right beside her, all taking turns getting treats, and I've worked on that one a lot. I don't mind if she tells another dog to back off from something that she is chewing on - and with Abby and Ryan, she barely ever has
  8. Erin I am so very sorry for your loss of Maggie. I feel like I "knew" her from reading about her on different boards and I've always thought of her as being one of those special, life changing dogs. It's such a shock to lose them so quickly but like you said, maybe it's better than having her fade slowly away. Abby and Ryan send you kisses.
  9. I would really like to come but I just got a job that starts next week (working for UBC but at the Aquarium - woohoo!!) and I might be working Sundays. I will find out soon and let you know!
  10. I like that Abby kills bugs in the house (she doesn't usually eats them - just squashes and rolls in them...). If she sees one inside she'll stare at it first and then I tell her to 'get it' and if the hunt is going on for too long I tell her to stop and she will. Otherwise I think she would have the potential to become obsessive about it.
  11. Yup, that was your Mya! I've got tons of pictures of her since she wrestled with Abby all the time. So many photo opportunities!
  12. There's pretty Mya! I will pass this on to her foster mom Ffion. She will be happy to hear that Mia's in agility! I bet she is super fast. It is a small world - Chase is my dog Ryan's littermate. You should get Chase's owner to join the BC boards!
  13. Abby says congratulations to Mr. T and also that she can almost match Woo's barkscreaming but only while at the start line of the course. Her person didn't take a picture of her with her qualifying ribbon yet but she did take one home! Ryan says "woo woo WOOOOO!" like he said to RDM all weekend.
  14. Abby and Ryan are very stereotypical. Abby is careful to lie only on soft cushions or blankets and Ryan flops down anywhere, any time. When I'm sitting or lying down Abby keeps an eye on me but from a distance; Ryan prefers to be touching me in some way and draped completely on top of me is best. She's a picky eater, he eats anything. Abby has never in her life knocked something off a shelf or been clumsy - Ryan can barely get through a room without tripping over something He's definitely a boy!
  15. Teach your puppy the trading game - you need her to associate you being around her possessions with really, really good things. If she starts learning that when she growls then her treat gets taken away, there is a chance that she will escalate the guarding behaviour. So instead, find something that Abby likes even more than a bully stick. Little pieces of cooked liver would work well, for example. Let her chew the bully stick while you hold it, then let her smell the liver treat in your other hand and trade her bully stick for liver treat. Start pairing her letting go of the bully stick with
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