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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. Not exactly the same situation, but when my new rescue dog finally got used to her home, and realized it was a safe and happy place, she started demanding attention late afternoon. She'd stare at me and play-growl and yap, all asking me to give her attention and play with her. It was very frustrating! I ended up taking myself away from her when she did this for a couple weeks: I'd go to the bathroom and shut the door and wait until she calmed down. Taking away the reward she was seeking seemed to work. She will still ask for attention sometimes, but she turns herself off pretty quickly now.
  2. One of the very first thing my trainer does in his classes - and my last one was all adult rescues, no puppies! - is explain to the owners that when two dogs are meeting for the first time, BOTH owners have to keep their dog back. Only when both dogs move forward does the greeting go on. And if one dog backs up later, because he got uncomfortable, then the other owner takes his dog and walks on. That should be universal in human dog culture. I'm sure dogs have much more subtle ways of saying "don't approach." My old Buddy was reactive, and I've seen dogs start to veer out of his way from 100 yards. Whatever "Don't mess with me" signals he was giving were strong and obvious to a lot of other dogs. (Young labs and goldens not so much?) If I from shoe-on culture visit Korea (always shoes off), it's on ME to realize that my cultural expectations are no longer the norm, and that I need to take my shoes off. In my experience, people who get dogs are often told the equivalent of "shoes off" (please keep your young/bouncy/stupid dog from approaching), but then continue to say, "Shoes off is a stupid rule! My shoes are clean! You're crazy! Why should I have to take my shoes off? I don't like taking my shoes off!" In my previous post here, I described this exactly. Woman, young husky: woman told clearly by park sign, then politely by stranger and then also, husky told CLEARLY by ridgeback to stay back, and yet she continued her walk, letting her dog off leash and continuing the same exact behavior. When I first got Cricket, I ran into jerk-with-pitbull. Told him "no" quite clearly, said that if my dog wanted to meet his, she'd come forward. (She was pulling hard away from the other dog, end of the leash.) Jerk-with-pitbull decided to override my VERY direct request, and let his dog charge at mine. I turned and walked away. J-W-P was all hurt feelings and tender pride; I heard my friend saying, "Oh, her dog is scared." He said, "She should have said something." GRRRRRR!!! So, while I agree that it's delightful to keep it polite and make "teachable moments" whenever possible, I must say that I find people very rarely having "learnable moments." How much more clear can you make the cultural lesson than a sign that says, "NO SHOES ALLOWED!?" ("Do not allow your dog - even if friendly - to approach other people or dogs, who might not want to be approached.")
  3. Grrr grr grr. My recent post about a very similar encounter in our local park is just more of the same. You can't do anything but BE rude. These people put you in that position. They put you in the position of managing YOUR in-control dog and THEIR not in control dog. And for all this nonsense about the dog's being under voice control, I call BS. I know an in control dog, and these dogs are NOT. I'm trying to develop a "teachable moment" discussion for these owners to explain why their dogs can't be allowed to charge at other people or dogs... but I don't think it can sound like anything but the criticism and correction it is. ::Sigh:: Same park for me again, today. I was walking Cricket. Crossed paths with another woman without a dog, so I put Cricket on leash. A husky came running down the path. This other woman - a complete stranger - said, "I heard some people complaining about off-leash dogs. I'm usually OK with it, but where is this dog's owner?" I pointed waaaaaay back on the path and said, "There they are." Random lady said, "That's way too far." I picked up Cricket to avoid the husky jumping on her. This other woman was so disbelieving about the husky that she actually held the dog's collar to keep him away from me. When the owner came, the other woman - who LITERALLY HAD NO DOG TO WORRY ABOUT! - said, "Your dog is way too far from you." The owner said, "Oh, he always comes when he calls." The woman said, "You shouldn't let your dog approach people." The owner said, "He's only ten months old." I didn't say a word. I was stupefied at how clueless this woman was! Immediately after she moved away from me, a jogging man with a leashed ridgeback came along, and the husky ran at the ridgeback, who snarled and growled and lunged at the husky. The jogging man continued running and pulling his dog as the husky owner called "Oh my GOD" and tried to get her dog to come to her. He pursued the ridgeback for a bit, then finally came, and was leashed... but I saw nearly the EXACT same encounter repeat as I was leaving the park. IT IS UNBELIEVABLE HOW CLUELESS PEOPLE ARE!!
  4. I hope he's right, too! No terrible, invasive surgery sounds way better.
  5. Ridiculous little dog! I took her for her morning walk. Let go her leash at a local pond - she likes to drive the ducks into the water. (She's been terrified of water since I got her!) But today, after the "trauma" of last night's bath, she did a full-on, labrador-perfect, dock-diving-champion-level leap into the pond. It was a thing of beauty. Wish I had filmed it. But she was mucky and filthy when she came out. ::Sigh:: Had to hose her off again.
  6. I put Cricket out in the yard yesterday evening. Went to bring her in just past sunset, and... SKUNK SMELL! I'm not sure what happened, but a skunk must have walked near her and sprayed. It wasn't a drenching, but it was enough to require a bath in Skunk Remedy. You would think I had taken the poor dog and beaten her with a stick! After the bath, she wouldn't come near me, wouldn't let me touch her: she laid on the couch, trembling and looking at me with utter distrust. Woebegone! She seems to be over her trauma this morning. Not sure I can manage the guilt if she gets sprayed again!
  7. That is a very sad ending, but probably necessary. I looked at a "shy and fearful" dog this past summer. The rescue said they didn't understand why he'd been returned several times by adoptees. I drove a long way to meet him, and was let into a pasture with him. He charged at me and put teeth on me - not bites, technically, but head butts accompanied by nipping. Two young girls who were working for the rescue witnessed it, and were horrified. The next business day, the dog disappeared from the rescue's website. I assume they decided they couldn't risk adopting him out. I never contacted them to ask what happened to him - fearful of what I'd learn. It's sad when your life is touched by incidents like this - not your fault, but still something you had to be part of. ::Sigh::
  8. So sorry to hear this! Very scary for you and Gabe. If I were in your position, a big part of the recovery would be MY trying to get over MY trauma and fear of something scary jumping out from around every corner!
  9. I hope she doesn't have any problems that will cause her pain, because she is indeed the CUTEST dog in the world, and needs to have a long, happy, pain-free life. Honestly. I love my new (probably-not-a-border-collie) dog Cricket. She's adorable. And charming. So full of life and fun. But I see photos of border collies and think, "They are simply the most beautiful." And your Cricket - so, so, so, so, SO cute!!!
  10. Every time someone in the forum mentions Derek Scrimgeour - for years now - I think, "That sounds like the name of a 'Defense Against the Dark Arts' professor."
  11. Grr! Had the worst dog interaction yesterday! My little dog Cricket is only 20 pounds. When she first came from rescue in June, she was scared of everything, but especially people and large dogs. She's made huge strides, and will now typically meet small dogs with glee and large dogs (on leash) with some trepidation but overall hope for friendship. Her rule is, "Slow is safe." Fast approaches, especially by large dogs, trigger her fear response. She also loves to "flush" chipmunks and squirrels, so I've been taking her to a local wooded park to run. The rules are that dogs can be off leash IF in control and in sight of their owners and IF not allowed to approach other people who might not want to be approached. Since we started to walk in this park, we've had several pairs or groups of large dogs come at us. This causes Cricket to try to run away (on her leash), which triggers chase mode in the other dogs. So, I'm bound to my dog in the middle of a group of big dogs who are swarming around my feet. Generally, as people with big dogs approach, I call out, "Can you hold your dog!?" and about half the time the owners do, and it's fine. About 1/4 of the time, they blithely say, "Oh, he's friendly" as their dog ignores them and continues to charge at us. The other 1/4 of the time they owners are so obliviously out of contact with their dogs that they don't even know there's a situation. So, when owners aren't in control, I just lift my dog up, which prevents the tangled mess of dogs around my feet. Yesterday, I saw two women with three large dogs (Newfie mix, random mix, Rottweiler). Made my request, and one owner held two of the dogs. Rottie came toward me and actually jumped up (putting his paws on me) to try to get at my dog. Now... I know dog body language, and this dog wasn't being aggressive; he wanted me to put Cricket down so he could sniff her. But, I was stuck there managing this big dog and holding my frightened tiny dog while the woman who owned him made no attempt to get him away from me. And... seriously... a stranger's Rottweiler was jumping up on me! As she came toward me, I said, "I can't control my dog and three 100-pound dogs at the same time!" We got into a heated verbal exchange about the leash laws, and when I pointed out that the signs said NOT to let your dog approach strangers, she just went ballistic. She screamed, "You're a loser!" a bunch of times and called me a *itch and yelled several "*uck yous!" flipping me off... and concluded with a loud, "SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!" I'm SO frustrated! People like this make me crazy - there's no rational way to discuss the situation or explain anything, and I suspect even if this woman heard a trainer explain why her dog's behavior wasn't suitable to a public park, she'd just swear at him and go about her merry way. She told me: "If you can't handle this park, then don't come here." I'm super angry at both her and myself, because I feel like that's what I'm going to have to do - stop going somewhere I love because there are idiots who refuse to think about anyone else. It's not like I'm asking for them to keep their dogs on leash all the time - holding them for the minute or two required for us to pass each other on the path would be fine. On the other hand: "Shut your pie hole!" No one has ever said that to me before.
  12. Hard to say - they estimated 5 at the rescue, but based on her white teeth and occasional, crazy zoomies I'd put her at 2 or 3?
  13. On Saturday it was three months since I brought Cricket home. I took her to the woods today and let her loose. I typically leash her when we see people and dogs approaching - because it's not polite to let your dog charge at strangers (though she wouldn't) and because big, charging dogs freak her out. Today I noticed that as we were walking, when I said, "Wait," Cricket stood in her place and waited until I could leash her. When I said, "Come here" she came. So as a few joggers and bikers came towards us, I called her to me, had her sit, and then did the "wait." Each time, she waited in a sit - politely and unleashed - until the people passed by us. She kept her eyes on me so she could see what I wanted her to do. It's so amazing, how much they take in, in such a short time! I still deeply miss my old boy Buddy. But this is the first day I could truly feel that Cricket is looking to me as her partner, is trusting me to advise her as she navigates the world. She's so willing to listen and give what I want. <3
  14. So sorry to hear this! I was having errors with the forums until today - and am so saddened to know that Trooper passed. You did the best you could for him, and gave him a happy and loving home and a kind ending. You're in my thoughts!
  15. Thanks for the info! I have been looking for chicken and turkey backs and necks. It seems as though I find them in my local grocery once every couple months, and then they disappear for a long time. (When I had Buddy, I would buy them up and freeze them... but I literally haven't seen any in the three months I've had Cricket!)
  16. Buddy loved cuddles in the morning when we first woke up; Cricket does, too. The rest of the day? Meh. Take it or leave it.
  17. Hi, I used to give Buddy a frozen marrow bone every week or so, as a treat. This new dog, Cricket - I'm giving her a lot more. She loves to be in the yard, and it's nice to have her in the yard, but she digs holes if she doesn't have something to entertain her. So, I've been giving her a marrow bone maybe 3-4 times a week. It lets her be outside, and gives me an hour or so to rest after work before I do a big hike with her. Her teeth look cleaner and whiter already (it's been about a month of this). But I'm worried she might be getting too many calories or too much fat from the marrow. The stores used to have nice long bones cut into 1-2" thick slices, but now all the butchers seem to have is longer ones - maybe 3 - 5" long. I'm also worried about too much wear and tear on the teeth and gums. How often do you folks feed marrow bones as treats, in supplement to the regular food? If I feed Cricket a longish one, should I skip dinner that night? She's a wee thing - 20 pounds or so - and in very good physical shape, runs a lot, and doesn't seem to be inclined to pack on weight. I can still see her ribs when she inhales deeply.
  18. Good news! I wouldn't let down your guard completely, just because things like food and toys can set up a different, non-neutral dynamic. But it sounds like they're on their way to working it out. I'm a bit envious - tired dogs are so much easier than wired dogs.
  19. That is a fabulous write-up! The dog is clearly well-known and appreciated! And he's beautiful!
  20. BINGO! As I said, my old boy was reactive. He was probably reactive by nature, but had also been a street dog for a couple years before being brought to rescue. I largely managed this after I figured him out by yelling, "He's not friendly" and hoping the other owners had enough control that they could leash their dogs. Sometimes not - young labs were the WORST. Several times before I knew him very well, I watched Buddy do the exact thing you're describing: flip another (usually younger and energetic) dog, and then stand over him, growling and staring. Seemed like an eternity, but it was probably 30 seconds. The thing I was amazed by was the precision and purpose of this body language. Buddy didn't lay teeth on the other dog - he didn't NEED to. He was giving the other dog a "come to Jesus" moment that told him "Don't ever get in my face like that again." It never escalated; always ended the same way, with a release. Kind of like a cop letting me off with a warning after I did 50 in a 35 mph zone. My sister got two puppies when Buddy was sevenish. The smaller one learned Buddy's more subtle cues while we walked on leash. The larger one could never learn - she thought Buddy was SO COOL and just wanted to be in his face. Finally, we let them off leash in a big field, and the bigger pup got in Buddy's business, and he flipped her and yelled at her. She never pestered him again after that. Peace reigned in our little group. So, you are exactly right in that the submissive dog is waiting for the other dog to release him. This falls on some point in the "normal dog body language" continuum, and dogs understand it perfectly. I would never reach in to break this up, because I knew Buddy wasn't going to bite, but I was afraid that the addition of another body into the tense situation might make it worse. This is not meant to be a summary of how bad my old dog was - I'm getting retroactive anxiety just reliving those moments! - but a clarification that what looks horrifying to us humans is purposeful and laser-sharp in its meaning to dogs. It was interesting to me, seeing a dog whose formative years were lived among loose DOGS, not humans. He definitely had different rule book from the one issues to the pampered pets in my neighborhood.
  21. My old boy Buddy would absolutely NOT tolerate a stare. To the point that early on, there was a nice man who was helping me desensitize him. We used to laugh, because if the man looked away, Buddy was fine. As soon as the man turned his eyes on the dog, Buddy would growl. It was a perfectly functional switch. He eventually got OK with stares from humans he loved. Dog stares? Never. (Mind you, he was quite reactive his whole life. But I learned to manage his dog interactions very carefully.) I think about this when I'm walking down the street and I get one of those "hard stares" from a young child. It's really off-putting and unsettling, seeing another human stare you down, even when they're three. They simply don't know the rules of politeness yet.
  22. I'm also sorry to hear this! I do wonder whether genetic aggression could still be tied to thyroid or other biochem issues. Those might be genetic as well. just a thought. Best wishes in your exploring your options.
  23. LOL... I decided I would cave on that, because I'm a soft-hearted wimp. But she's been choosing to sleep on the couch or more often inside her open crate, and NOT get on the bed with me. (She does like to lie on the couch where I usually sit, though... so I think she likes being near my scent.) My father's old dog started life as a shoe-chewer, then gradually just chewed insoles, and then later would simply remove the insoles from our shoes and move them around the house.
  24. I've been leaving my new girl uncrated the last few days when I worked; she's done fine. (Near as I can tell, she sleeps on the couch all day.) Today I had to go back to work to participate in "Back to School Night" where I teach. I decided to leave Cricket out of the crate since I'd only be gone a couple hours and it was very hot. (She likes to lie on the wood floor.) When I got home, I went to put my walking shoes on to take her out for a last loop, but couldn't find my shoes anywhere. I finally looked in the bedroom. There were FOUR pairs of shoes on my bed (insoles chewed out of the Converse, fuzzy slippers turned inside out), along with the extra leash and (??) my guitar strap. I guess that'll teach me to leave the house in the evening!
  25. Fabulous for Chance! Good luck. Has anyone else ever read the book "Mostly Bob?" A fabulous story of a dog-neighbor who clearly runs a campaign to switch homes and move in with the author of the book. And succeeds. It's amazing. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1092749.Mostly_Bob
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