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OurBoys

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  1. Thanks for the replies, you guys. Jake and Josie don't have a backyard to play in now. We've moved and we're living in our camper until we find a house we want to buy. The roads at the front of the campgrounds are paved so I've been walking the dogs on them as much as possible hoping that will help keep their nails trimmed some. In the meantime it sounds like I need to make some phone calls to groomers and do some research on where to buy a pair of Millers Forge clippers. I know where we used to live most of the groomers wouldn't accept dogs over 35 lbs. Hopefully, they're different down here but I won't know until I call and ask.


  2. I guess I'd ask if someone should walk up to a conductor of the symphony and tell him/her what they are doing wrong because that someone has gone to concerts, played in the high school band, and listened to recordings? Would that someone tell a national-level athletic coach how to do their job because that someone has been to some games, played a little touch football, and watched some videos?

    Thanks, Sue. Now I find myself trying to remember the Holiday Inn Express commercials. (Sorry, I get your point. I just couldn't resist.)


  3. So she strattles Rip leans forward says Rip its me sticks her fingers in his mouth behind his jaws and pushes!

     

    Back in ’04 when we adopted JJ DH and I worked different shifts….He worked night and I worked days. One day when I was at work DH thought it would be a good idea to visit with the next door neighbor and took JJ with him. At the time we didn’t know one of the neighbor’s dogs was dog aggressive. Sada (GSD) ended up grabbing JJ by the throat and dragging him to her bed. DH told me the only way he was able to get Sada to let go of JJ was to stick his finger down her throat.


  4. Have you thought about giving her turmeric? Last month JJ was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma. A friend recommended giving him turmeric and collard greens. Because he’s on prednisone and I didn’t know if turmeric acts like a NSAID I asked his vet about it. She couldn’t find any studies on it but liked what she found about turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties and gave me the ok to give it to him. She told me it might upset his stomach so only give him about ¼ teaspoon once or twice a day. I give it to him about every other day because I don’t want to upset his stomach but we can’t believe how much better he acts. He still pants a lot but not as much. He also still has a twinkle in his eyes and enjoys playing…at least the best he can play at this point. I can’t say if the collards are helping but with the increase of appetite due to the prednisone and with his back end getting weaker at least they help fill his stomach without making him gain weight. Something to think about….


  5. I think all dogs have something to teach us at different stages of their lives if we just take the time to listen to them.

     

    Things JJ have taught me:

     

    It’s better to have a few weeks with your loved ones than a few hours or a few days. It gives you the opportunity to spoil them like they’ve never been spoiled before. More treats, different treats, you don’t have to worry about their weight or whether or not it’s good for them.

     

    Stop worrying so much about the future. Live for today. You can plan for the future later.

     

    Stop being so serious. So what if the house needs vacuuming. Snuggle time, car rides or just walking around the yard will always trump vacuuming.

     

    Be grateful for the small things in life. Smile and laugh as often as possible.

     

    Always tell your loved ones you love them. You never know when you’ll never be able to tell them again. Well, this one I always knew. It just seems more important right now.


  6. Is it possible to correctly train my dog certain cues used to work animals without sheep?

     

     

     

    Staying in line with the OP’s question……

     

    Even though we don’t have livestock I still want Jake to remember a couple of commands so a couple of days ago I put Jake on one side of the living room and told him to wait. I walked to the other side, turned to face him and waited a few seconds before saying “Walk Up”. When he took a couple of steps I said “Lie Down”. We did this a couple of time. Am I reinforcing the commands or “ruining” Jake?


  7. It’s hard to say which command is the most important. I would think it would depend on the situation. But, with that said, I think a good recall and Leave It would tie for #1.

     

    Leave It-When my mom was living with us she took 8 pills in the morning and 7 pills at night. I am soooo glad my dogs knew the Leave It command when my mom dropped her pills one morning.

     

    Drop It-One day my mom dropped a pill and I didn’t realize it until Jake found it. I was at the kitchen sink when I heard a crunch. When I investigated the sound I found Jake next to mom’s chair. When I told him to Drop It you could tell he was trying because of the way he ‘flicked’ his tongue but I was too late….He had already swallowed it. That was the day he got peroxide poured down his throat.

     

    Go In/On (insert place)-In our case it’s “Go in the living room”. That one came in handy the night I dropped a glass in the kitchen and it shattered. The dogs tried to come into the kitchen to see what had happened. Also, because our living room is in the back of the house, it comes in handy when someone knocks on the front door or rings the door bell.

     

    Down-Several years ago when DH and I took the boys on vacation with us (this was before Josie) we found a fenced in area of a park. After playing a few rounds of Frisbee we told the boys That’ll Do and started gathering up the Frisbees. When we told them we were going to the truck they started running towards it. I thought they would have stopped there but DH didn’t want to take that chance and have them running around the parking lot so he told them “Down!” JJ plopped down and Jake came to a stop. Both waited on us to catch up with them and we loaded them up with no problem.

     

    Wait-I crate the dogs every time I take them somewhere. I use this one when we get to our destination and I put their leash on them before letting them out of their crate(s) so they don't rush out and into a parking lot. This one also comes in handy when I’m letting them go outside and have to open the screen door first. I’ve had to place the screen door back on the track before but it’s helped me to teach them the Wait command. ;)

     

    Go For Daddy-Silly, I know. It’s not an important command to us but it’s important to the dogs. Every time I tell them that, they know they are going to get a treat. :)


  8. Every once in a while, after dark, Josie sees something down in the lower part of the backyard that’s not fenced in and she’ll start barking. It’s a very serious bark so I know she means business but barking after dark isn’t allowed. When she’s in serious mode she blows me off. She doesn’t respond to any command. I’ll come in the house, grab the training wand and a flashlight and go back outside and start walking her down. I never say a word. I’ll hit the ground a couple of times and/or wave the training wand to let her know I have it in my hand but I never say a word. The last couple of times she ignored me I stood on the deck and said “Josie, don’t make me walk you down. Get up here”. She quit barking and came in the house.


  9. While the squeaker may be an effective management technique, it's distraction rather than training the correct behavior, and will allow the friend to come in at a closer threshold than the pup can be successful at.

     

    Maybe. Depends on how it’s used. If the OP and his pup are walking past a group of people, I see it as an I’m-more-fun-than-they-are tool. (I’m not saying constantly squeak it. I’m saying just squeeze it once and when he has Juno’s attention keep eye contact with her while talking to her and maybe giving her a treat until they’ve past.) If using it with the meet-up date, the friend can stop walking up to them when they see Juno getting excited. If the OP can’t get Juno to settle, he can squeak it once to get her attention again. Once she’s settled, the friend can start slowly walking up again. If she doesn't settle, the friend could start walking away. Rinse and repeat as often as it takes going slowly (baby steps). The friend could also try turning their back to Juno until she’s settled.


  10. Hi Bill, please don’t switch to a flexi-leash. The 4’ leash you are using now is just fine. It also sounds like you’re on the right track in regards to Juno’s training too. Continue doing the Look At That game. Juno is still a puppy so self control is still hard for her.

     

    How do the people act when they are close to Juno? Are they encouraging her to act out? Simple eye contact can do that. If so, politely ask them to ignore her and keep walking.

     

    When Juno starts acting up when she first notices people redirection her attention. Have you tried turning around and walking the opposite direction? One thing none of my dogs can ignore is a squeaky toy. Josie’s a nibbler so when she destroyed a couple of toys, I took the squeaker out and kept it. I gave one away but I keep the 2nd one in my pocket. (I used to keep a ball in my pocket. One day when I was trying to check out at the vets, JJ kept trying to go behind the counter. I pulled the ball out and bounced it one time…instant JJ attention. There was a lady behind me who apparently had never seen a very-focused-on-a-toy dog before because she started saying “OMG! Did you see that?”, “Look at him!” and “How did she teach him to do that??” I was in a hurry so I ignored her. Honestly, I wouldn’t even know how to begin explaining something like that anyway.) Any time I want one of my dog’s attention all I have to do is squeeze the squeaker once. Can you have a friend meet up with you guys out in public? When she starts acting up use the squeaker. Keep her attention until your friend walks up. When they do, your friend could totally ignore her until she calms down. Once she’s calm your friend could then reward her with a pat. If/when she gets excited again (and she probably will) your friend should stop instantly, take a step back and look away/ignore her again. When she calms down, reward with a pat again. Puppies have a short attention span so I would do this only 3-4 times before walking on. The more ‘meet up’ dates you can make the better but, if that’s not possible, redirect her attention with whatever works. Make yourself more fun than the people she’s looking at. Oh! And if/when you come across people who ignore your request to not pet her if she’s jumping up on them, walk away. Nobody has the right to undermine your training. I don’t care how nice they think they are being.


  11. I've never been able to figure out how my dogs know what "What did I ask you to do?" when they didn't take a cue the first time.

     

    One night I taught JJ to give me his left. When DH got home that night I naturally wanted to show him what I taught JJ. When I told JJ “Give me your left” he offered me his right paw. Without thinking I said “Other left”. JJ dropped his right paw and offered me his left one. DH asked me how I taught him that so I told him I just kept rubbing his left leg and repeating “Left, left, left….” DH said “No, how did you teach him to give you his right paw first and switching when you said other left?” I looked at DH and said “I didn’t”.

     

    I've heard people say dogs don't understand sentences that it's the last word in a sentence they pick up but JJ also knows the difference between “You don’t have to go to bed” and “Let’s go to bed”.


  12. These dogs are so intelligent they never cease to amaze me. They know more than we give them credit for. Just to recall a few times…..

     

    Back in ’08 DH and I took a vacation and took JJ & Jake with us. (Josie wasn’t a part of our family then.) We rented a dog-friendly cabin next to a river. One time JJ & I walked out on the screened in porch. I told JJ “I wish I could trust you off leash. If I could, I would let you go swimming without one”. Next thing I know, I hear a door slam. When I looked around, there was no JJ! JJ had never opened a closed door before-much less one that swung in. I looked on the path leading down to the river and there was JJ….running towards the river. I screamed and took off after him. By the time I got down to the river, JJ was standing in the middle of it with this “Throw a stick!” look on his face.

     

    Yesterday after I fed the dogs their 1st meal (I feed them twice a day) I asked Jake if he wanted to go out. He perked up his ears. I wanted to check something on my computer before letting him out so I told him “OK but wipe your mouth first”. After I sat down I looked over to find him going to town wiping his mouth on the rug. When he was finished he walked up to me which was my cue to let him out. I never taught Jake a “Wipe your mouth” command.

     

    Night before last I went outside to call the dogs in. JJ & Jake came to me instantly. When Josie didn’t come, I called her again. Instead of coming, I heard a strange noise. We have one of those black hose/tube things that you put on the end of a downspout if you want to direct the rain water under the deck. I thought Josie might have gotten her head stuck in it. I ran back the door, yelled at DH I needed his help but before I could run down the steps Josie ran up them. We still wondered about the noise I had heard so DH told Josie “What is it?” That command didn’t sound right to me so I asked her “Show me”. Josie ran down the steps and under the deck to the black hose/tube thing and started investigating it. The best we can figure out something must have run in there and she was trying to get it. We never taught her the “Show me” command.

     

    If one, two or all 3 dogs are outside and ignore me when I call them all I have to say is “Now!” They’ll stop what they’re doing and come. I never taught them the “Now!” command.

     

    What has your dog(s) done that you didn’t teach them?

     

    Edited to correct spelling.


  13. JJ-In 2000 I lost my German Shepherd mix to cancer. Casey was only 6 ½ yrs old. It took me 4 years to get over it. When I did, I told my boyfriend at the time (who is now my DH) I was ready for another dog. We did our research and decided on getting a Border Collie. We both had a stipulation. DH’s was the dog had to come from a rescue and mine was we had to take him/her to obedience classes. We got lucky. JJ’s rescuer/foster mom taught obedience.

     

    Jake-After 2 years of doing everything we could think of to do with JJ, I realized the only thing we couldn’t do was play with him like another dog could. He needed a playmate. I also needed another dog. We had moved my mom in with us in January after her double mastectomy. For months I was living on autopilot taking her to doctor appts, scans, tests, radiation treatments, etc. When my mom finished her last radiation treatment I suddenly felt like I had my brakes put on. I went from “Where are we going today” to “What am I going to do today??” When I told DH I wanted another dog, he wasn’t very happy but consented. Mom wasn’t very happy about having another dog in the house either but Jake turned out to be her favorite. My only regret was not being able to take Jake to the nursing home before she passed away. (Jake freaks out on slick floors.) And DH? He found out having 2 Border Collies wasn’t/isn’t hard at all. Of course Jake went through obedience classes like JJ did. DH wasn’t able to attend every class like he did with JJ (they were scheduled on the nights he worked) but the few he was able to attend made him proud. JJ opened our world up to Border Collies but Jake opened our world up to sheepdogs.

     

    Josie-Our foster failure. We had no intention of becoming a 3 dog family but she stole our hearts and changed our minds. Here’s Josie’s story http://www.bcrescue.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=3096&p=19105&hilit=lola#p19105. I had told DH I wouldn’t foster anymore but I broke my promise. Before the 2 weeks were up, I told the rescuer I would go ahead and foster her. After a month, DH told me I needed to get her spayed. That broke my heart. As long as Josie wasn’t altered, I had my excuse to not adopt her out. I cheered up some went the humane society told me they were booked up and I had to wait a month before I could get her spayed. By then it was December. When DH asked me what I wanted for Christmas I told him Josie. He said “I know but what else do you want?” I said “Nothing, just Josie”. I don’t remember what else I got for Christmas that year but I don’t care. I got Josie and that’s all that matters.

     

    ETA: Josie's original owner is not breeding any longer.


  14. I eventually felt I had to put Jake on medication. He picked up some new noise phobias and his thunderphobia was getting worse too. When I asked the vet if I could put him on valium she recommended Alprazolam saying she had had better results but we could always change it if it didn't work for him. Thankfully it did. If I can manage to give it to him an hour before the storm hits, Jake has no problem with it (nor with firecrackers and gunshots).

     

    FWIW, a friend of mine has one of Jake's littermates. Toby has a much more severe case of thunderphobia. My friend put Toby on Prozac but said it didn't do him any good. She switched him over to Alprazolam and told me it has helped him a lot too.

     

    Your vet might recommend a medication when you have the discussion with him/her so that might help in making the decision on what to give your dog.

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