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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. So sorry this happened. I know how stressful it can be. My old boy was fearful and reactive, and I live alone so was able to manage him for ten years. But I often used to think that if he had been adopted by a family with a bunch of kids and a noisy, busy household, he would have bitten someone within a week. Smarter people will come in and give you excellent training advice. But my initial take is that you have a naturally fearful and reactive dog - as witnessed by his persistent shyness and fear of new things. These behaviors can be managed, but it's really difficult and requires co
  2. My girl has six toes on each of her back feet: each has one "attached" dewclaw and another one that is hanging and attached only by skin. She's pretty intent on chasing rabbits and squirrels through the underbrush; she loves to tunnel and dig after underground varmints. Despite all this, she has never had any injury to either of those extra, floppy appendages. I think the danger of a dewclaw injury is exaggerated. (My old boy Buddy did, though, used to regularly break his front dewclaw nails off so they hung, half-attached, at the base, which required a $186 trip to the e-vet
  3. I was just browsing this thread and thought I'd share this experience - human, not canine, but perhaps pertinent. My 92-year-old father had back pain. Suspected kidney stone, but then the pain returned. They did a procedure one day with him under anesthesia, and then a second procedure the next day with anesthesia. Upon awaking from the second knock-out, he was a different person: hardly able to lift his head off the pillow, incredibly weak. It took him two weeks in an intense rehab facility to be well enough to go home with a walker. (This was a guy who was walking with just a cane t
  4. My old dog, Buddy, had been a street dog for a couple years before I got him. I'm not sure what his life was like, but he was the KING of dog flipping. He never bit the other dog or caused any real harm, but if another dog got too "in his face" (charging at him, or barking near him too much, or, hell, just looking at him the wrong way) he knew the precise maneuver to flip them belly-up so quickly that you couldn't even see what he was doing. Then he would stand over them, staring in their eyes and snarling for 20 to 30 seconds. (Felt like forever!!) Whoever he flipped NEVER committed t
  5. That's fabulous! How thrilling to be able to do "normal" dog things with her after such a long time. Congratulations!
  6. Thanks for all the input! I guess I'll just attribute it to my dog's individual self. She does get overstimulated when chasing chipmunks OR playing chase with another dog: goes full-blast until she just says, "That's it! I'm lying in the shade!" She also, peculiarly, loves to lie in the sun in my yard, even on warm days. When she hasn't been running like a crazy thing, the heat doesn't seem to bother her much. Some days I think she must be dying to come in, but she's smiling there, lying in the grass, content.
  7. We've had a few warm and sunny days lately - no heat waves by any means. My tiny, smooth-coat black girl seems to mind the heat more than my old rough coat Buddy ever did: she'll just walk to the shade and lie down on her belly, panting, if she's been out walking with me for 20 minutes of half hour. (Mind you, the 20 minutes is made up of her running FULL BLAST in the underbrush as she chases chipmunks and other rodenty creatures - this girl is like a coiled spring.) I'm thinking that wearing her coat feels like having a thick piece of black wool pressed up against her skin, absorbi
  8. Story of my life with my old boy Buddy. EVERY DAMN TIME they were surprised. ::Sigh:: There was a guy whose biggish ACD came at my little girl last weekend at the woods. I squatted and greeted with Cricket (which seems to be the best system, given that if allowed, she will flee - and that triggers "chase" mode in the bigger dogs). The dog's hair went up and he did that stiff-posturing-I'mTheMan thing that I know from watching it trigger Buddy. So, I intervened and explained to the guy that my dog was very scared of bigger dogs. Later, up on the hill, far from everyone (or so I tho
  9. Grrr! This gets me SO mad! I walked my reactive dog Buddy for 10 years, and never stopped being surprised that people would let their "friendly" labs and other big dogs charge straight at us. It just put me in the middle of a dog fight. And there was nothing I could do to change the outcome. I ended up with stitches and 3 hours in the ER (and bad sensitivity to the antibiotics) one night because a "friendly" dog slipped out the gate. With my new dog, I'm seeing the opposite: she's very timid about big dogs, and her instinct is to run away from them if they charge us. Twice now t
  10. I'm also sorry - just saw this thread. You made the right decision and did the kindest thing you could for her. It's very hard when they haven't had the time we think they should.
  11. Oh! I had a blast looking for names for my dog before I even chose her. I spent a lot of time on New Englandy names. Plants: Hemlock, Spruce, Maple, Ash, Willow, Pine, Lilac, Daisy Authors: Emerson, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Whittier, Longfellow, Alcott, Frost Birds: Crow, Finch, Sparrow, Wren, Goose, Jay Geology: Granite, Slate, Quarry Old-Timey Celebs and Politicos: Curley, Kennedy, Coolidge, Adams, Hancock, Mather, Corey, Revere, Franklin (I wouldn't go with a current celeb for fear they'll be arrested for some indiscretion!) History: Pilgrim, Puritan, Plymouth, Cotton, Artists:
  12. My little smooth-coat dog has teflon-like fur. (One point for the smooth-coats!) Not pleasant to pat, but delightful when wiping off smells or finding ticks. More's the pity: she's an eater, not a roller.
  13. Well, the great news is that everyone will think she's a border collie, so she won't walk through life with people scared of he Staffiness. (Plus... there are loads of sweet-as-sugar Staffies around!) I wouldn't put too much faith in the DNA test. She's a mixed breed dog and could end up having any personality. My sister has had four American Eskimo dogs, and the latest addition acts SO MUCH like a border collie it cracks me up: she has "the eye," and when she wants to play, she stalks my little terrier with that creep-lie-creep thing that BCs do on sheep. She's more BC in nature than
  14. Opening day of the flea market yesterday. I took Cricket, who met almost all the other dogs with happiness. But there was a guy there with a large GSD. As soon as he saw Cricket - every time we passed each other - he would fixate and stare, dead-on, at her. She would pull the leash to squeeze as far away from the GSD as she could, and I myself could "feel" the gaze so strongly that I wanted to find a grassy spot to get off the main pathway, a good 10 feet from the big dog. To me, it feels so strongly assertive as to be aggressive. I'm picturing human interactions. When I'm walki
  15. I was just getting ready to seek out a terrier forum to get advice about my newish little girl, who cannot be trusted not to see dinner if she stumbles on poop, any dead animal, or any live animal who runs too slowly. You made me feel better about my life.
  16. We had a bad winter once and my old boy Buddy was always hearing me say, "Gotta get my mittens" before he could go for a walk. One morning, I found only one mitten in the spot I'd left them; I said aloud, "Where's my mitten!?" Buddy ran to his bed: there it was. I had no idea he knew the word, but he'd clearly learned a whole lot of English without my teaching him. I taught Cricket "paw" about a week ago. She doesn't like touching things with her paws; doesn't love the command. But the next morning, when I wasn't paying enough attention to her, she sat next to me on the couch and st
  17. She also could be younger than you thought, though rescues often deliver the pups so would know the age. I also saw a bit of Boston Terrier in the face area, but who knows? (My girl in the avatar was dubbed "terrier/BC mix." She's almost 100% NOT a BC mix. They never really know! I just hold onto the rescue designation because it gives me rights to post here LOL.)
  18. Yes... I can be thankful my dog only eats poop and dead animals. No rocks, sticks... nothing that would puncture her intestines. ::Sigh:: I did see a lab once wearing a basket muzzle because he had eaten so many dangerous things like rocks. His owner had to pay for a couple surgeries, and then gave up and started muzzling the dog. That's why I asked about the muzzle. Seems like it could be a life-saver for the right dog who doesn't eat smart.
  19. Thanks. It is really, really disgusting. But I keep reminding myself of Charlie, my childhood dog, who was unleashed and ran free his whole life, siring many pups and living feral some weeks when the females would come into heat. What HE must have eaten... and yet he survived. So, yes, I'm going to work VERY HARD to just not think about it.
  20. I just had Cricket out in the fields. Another guy was there with his 5-ish month old giant lab pup. Cricket hadn't run the day before, and she had serious zoomies. She REALLY needs to be off leash sometimes; on-leash doesn't relieve her need to run. Crick ran into the woods; I don't worry because she just chases squirrels, and always comes back. The man with the pup said, "Oh, he will never go out of my sight." Only he did. After the lab pup ran into the woods, Cricket ran out. The man went into the woods after the lab, who ran out to me with a big mouthful of... intestines? Invert
  21. I think also people often post to a new forum when they have a pressing concern and some serious time on their hands... and then they just don't bother to go back and visit the site again, especially if their concern is alleviated or their free time curtailed. There are those of us who live a good chunk of our lives on the Internet... and those of us who don't.
  22. I guess I just don't see the big divide that some people see. I never used a clicker before, because I just couldn't see having to keep yet another thing in my hands when I was already carrying a leash and a bag of poop. (How do people manage that?) With this new girl Cricket, I decided to try clicker training, but I just use my mouth to make the click: that little "git going" horse sound people make. So, I "loaded" the click for a few days with lots of treats, and now I use it to mark good behaviors. I still use treats to teach a specific behavior: Cricket learned "paw" in about thr
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