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Posts posted by HighDesertSpice

  1. Fetch is a particularly difficult thing for HD--due to the quick turns, et al. My dogs get lots of swimming instead. My bc girl now has some sort of problem and I'm limiting her to just straight walk - running...no playing around with her buddies as the wrestling and contorting seems to aggravate the issue. I look at my dogs as kids who need some help dealing with injuries so as to heal and not to further aggravate the injuries.

  2. What triggers the emotion? And what do you do with it? In my case, faulty recall is what gets to me instantly – to much pride and still too large an ego I guess. Yesterday, both BCs ran across the (country) road chasing god knows what, and I just could not stop them. This time, they (I) were lucky... Yes, I was particularly upset. And thanks for all the response – we do love our dogs don't we!


    yep, we do! When I get angry generally it's because I didn't have a plan or a strategy--or the correct one. Or I opened up opportunities for them that I could not trust them with or that i had not prepped them for. So with regard to dog training and behavior, my answer is anticipationg or "lack of preparation".


    And then there's the "why isn't this working?" So this is the "poor execution" bunny trail. At which point, I immediately quit doing what doesn't work or isn't working, take time, think it over and try again. Many times, that means slowing down, focusing on analyzing what we're doing, then moving into the training part.


    Have fun! Err, may your blood pressure remain low!

  3. The thing about the ears is:


    The book cover to the first edition of McCaig's original 'Nop's Hope' featured a b&w, rosebud or houndish ears, just like this r&w.


    Also the BC Museum included rosebud or short hound ears on BC's up until Winter of 2007--as do many of the documented and recorded illustrations and photo's of working/stock bc's. This is one of those 'fashionable' things amongst bc folks of all stripes. Prick/stand-up ears are "in" of very late; granted that it has always been thought that stand up ears enable dogs to hear better.

  4. Yep; employed full time.

    In the am's: short training or games time--most often together (both dogs at the same time).

    My two not-high-drive bc mutts spend most of the day (during the very cold or very hot days) in separate kennels with chew toys & treats.

    IN the evening, it's short play time (w/o me), then dinner, then some form of foundation training or we all head off & out to some offleash somewhere (winter - parks, walks or trails; summer - swimming). Or I head off with one of them, incorporating some training into the outing--each dog getting this one-on-one time.

    This could also include short jaunts in the car - as they love it and it comes in handy when it's too cold or hot, et al.

    Weekends is when the longer training sessions / classes typically happen...although that will most likely change now that summer is near.


    The main thing is that the dogs get constant consideration amongst the other things I've invovled in. Which translates to my finding ways to incorporate them into whatever possible.

  5. Actually, the phrase "eh?" has played a very important role in the history of Canada. Many years ago, when this great land of the North was made up of individual states with no single name to unify them into a confederation, a summit was called to name the country. No consensus could be reached, so it was decided that multiples of all the letters in the English and French languages would be placed in a hat and drawn out at random; whatever resulted would be the country's new name. An old Ontarian farmer was selected to pull the letters out of the hat. He began reaching in, and came up with the following: "C", "eh?"; "N", "eh?"; "D", "eh?". And that's how Canada got its name…


    That is hilarious!!! Actually, the Canuks I've known are generally friendly and unjaded...nice folks.

  6. [While my comment will diverge from the main topic, I would agree that, no matter what the circumstances, one should be prepared to fend off an attack (whether on one's person or on one's dog) from another dog when out in public. With that said, a sawed-off baseball bat could be viewed as a weapon, and in many locales may even violate local ordinances. Pepper spray is NOT a good idea; some dogs only become more enraged by it.]


    Great advice. I'm thinking Bear spray. 'Curious to know if you think that will be ineffective? There's also the police grade spray. Either of these will stop a bear, at least for a few.

  7. HighDesertSpice - I would be interested to understand more of your thinking behind the "It's Yer Choice" and the installing of self control that you mentioned.


    Sure :rolleyes: Although as I"m often guilty of not taking enough time to craft my responses, i'm not sure that you have a self control thing here. The point is to instill in the dog inner self control, vs. imposed self control--which really appeals to me as I'd rather my dog think through scenarios rather than needing me to control or micro-manage whereever possible. I found it in a magazine article (I'll go find the source....). In this excercise:


    1. Get something of high value to your dog (i use cheese bits).

    2. Put the dog in a sit or down.

    3. Sit on the floor and about a foot or so away from the dog, open your hand to display the treats.


    Get a cup of coffee or tea and arm yourself with a lot of patience. THis should not be done in a hurry, and should take as long as it takes.


    4. If/when dog dives for treats, close fist over treats.

    5. When dog pulls back, open hand again (this is a mild reinforcement--due to the dog being able to enjoy the smells). When dog dives / reaches for treats. close your fist. THis may go on for a while :D

    6. When the dog holds composure at your fist being open, reward with another different, but higher value something (I use chicken.) This is being held in your other hand all the while, and when you go to reward, open your hand slowly, pick it up slowly, dispense it to the dog slowly, et al. IF the dog dives in at any time during this slow motion reward, don't treat, quickly close your hands and go back to #4 and start again.

    7. Do several trials until dog consistently holds composure,


    All this time are not saying anything or giving any cues--i believe the point with this is to minimize any confusion that you could be introducing to the routine by unclear cues, or confusion the dog has for whatever reason. The handler's contribution is really pared down to the bare minimum. I think it's good to have a pleasant facial expression though...


    It's important that dog is not able to sneak any of the pieces at any time.


    You can up the ante by putting the first group of bits on the floor

    Adding movement to your hands.

    Adding toys to the bits, etc.


    Since we've been doing this (this week), my girl is showing generally more self-control in those otherwise frenzied-eyes glazed over moments--thank goodness! :D ANd it can be modified. THe point being that the higher value thing is offered but they don't get it until they demonstrate some composure / self control. Ex: sit quietly while the car door is being opened at the park.


    I'm absolutely sure there are others on this board who really have this down. I've just discovered it. Love it so far, though.

  8. Why do you think my 23 month old girl Zoe refuses to sit, particularly at the back door? Sometimes she will think about it for ages and then very slowly sit, other times she just refuses. What can I do increase her success rate? ....


    We have done Nothing in Life is Free when required and I still do it for access to the back door. If Zoe doesn't sit when asked and Jess does, after a short wait I open the door and let Jess out (Zoe doesn't push to go out). Then I close the door. What happens next has no pattern. Sometimes she walks away, sometimes she lies down, sometimes she sits (particularly if I have walked outside with Jess).


    I just reread this. My impression now is that your Zoe does not want to go out all the time. Maybe there really is a pattern: sometimes she wants out, other times, she wants to just watch your other dog outside, sometimes she *may* be thinking that a down is what you're asking for, and sometimes she doesn't want out at all.


    My girl often is very satisfied to either just watch the "monster" boy go out (he can be a pest out there sometimes), stand at the open door and look & smell, or at other times she needs / wants to go out. We've been using the "Its' Yer Choice" approach lately--which I like very much for instilling self-control for her in particular scenarios, but I require different things from different situations / doors. Or I don't always require the same things for all of the "go out" opportunities they have. (Maybe that's a fault of mine--perhaps I should be more consistent in this. But it works for us.)

  9. If you've only got two dogs, or a dominant dog in the group, the group sit approach may not work so well. One of mine will remain diligently standing, poised to protect whatever comes.


    Also, my girl who is / was slow to sit is dysplastic, so I second checking into the "is there something painful going on" suggestion. I accept a down or a sit in her case (can't think of any disadvantage for us in this.)

  10. Very nice, thanks! We'll give that a try - once we get there.


    A general question. Obviously this depends on the dog and the person, but what is your training program look like? My model to date has been based on the lessons I've taken, which is to say, a lesson is usually x minutes and the instructor tries to maximize the value of the time spent, ie, give the student the most for the money.


    WHat i know at this point is: short training sessions (ie, on a single specific skill), and end on a positive, ie when the dog is succeeding. Have you found that there is a max or sweet spot with regard to how many new things to introduce at once? Or do you hold off on introducing anything new until, say 'near fluency' is achieved in the one skill? Do you repeat skill sets within a single session (Skill one, skill two, play break, skill one, skill two, skill three). How long are your training sessions in total? 30 minutes x 2 daily? One hour? As long as both of you are on an upward trend? I'm looking for an outline or rule of thumb for a plan, actually.

  11. Pebbles the female has fear agression problems with other people and other dogs,but with us she is fine.Not sure how to go about resolving this.


    My boy (3 yr male, adopted near the end of August) behaved like both the female and male you desribe. He was fearfully aggressive to mostly strange people, but also other male dogs...and did not have a recall. Given the chance, he would run around the yard and back into the garage to hide. He also exhibited levels of anxiety all the time (heavy breathing without physical exertion). He was a nervous nelly, so to speak. After six months, I'm glad to say he is a new boy.


    Root Bear has given you some really good advice. We were helped immensely by "Control Unleashed" and i like the books by Patricia McConnell for dealing with these flighty dogs. So, i take it that this all is referred to as "builiding food motivation" in the dog. I agree that it is very effective in reconditioning anxious dogs and turning around their anxiety based behaviors and patterns.


    One last point: having "something" in your hand needs to be something really good--moist, real and tasty.

  12. It wasn't stupid at all. If I were training my dog to walk sideways in heel - which I do for Freestyle - I would have the dog's rear end near a wall!


    These things can be tough to visualize based on words.


    Hi Kristine:

    Taking a side trail: how different or similar would your process be for teaching the sideways heel?

  13. Because there's nothing like a cold nose on your tuckus while you're in the shower at 5:30a If that doesn't make you smile or laugh, then you need to crawl back to bed!


    Ha! For goodness sake, close the shower door, girl!


    I love all my dogs, past and present--with the whole spectrum of all of their personalities and idiosyncrasies. I've found that the more you care for any one of them, the more love grows. (Maybe bc's are more high maintenance....according to that theory....:rolleyes:)

  14. uhhh, i have too much time on my hands today apparently....nutty more than inventive, for sure.

    'how bout:


    Wen Ben Flyes

    Ben Arobryn Pryd

    Ben 'Sicrdd

    Ben Asgennu Skye

    Ben'Na Blaen

    Never Ben Cwst

    Boneddigaidd Esgynnol Ben

    Buandroed Ben

    Buddugoliaethus Ben

    Ben Toirleum

    Ben Atwits End

    Ben Atluse Ends

  15. 'Just happened to us also. My girl either pulled a ligament, tendon or something goes out in her hindquarters. She licks the flank area. I think the latter, because it comes & goes quite suddenly and I've been seeing evidence of this for a few years now. This is the vet's opinion as well. She has been xrayed--which showed that the knees were ok.


    EDIT: my bad habit; i just reread this and realized it needs to be reworded:


    'Just happened to us also. My girl either pulled a ligament, tendon or something goes out in her hindquarters. The vet suspects that something was pulled. We were running in sloppy snow. (I wasn't thinking until we got out there about the slickness of it all.)


    She licks the flank area. Sometimes it appears as though something goes out on her, because she'll limp quite suddenly and then after a few steps, it seems to get worked out and she's off again. That said I have been trying to keep her quiet to give whatever is going on some healing space. But I've been seeing evidence of this for a few years now. She was xrayed a year ago--which showed that the knees were ok, she has dysplastic hips.

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