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About Blackdawgs

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  1. I think that there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding "positive" training on the part of at least some of its opponents AND its advocates. It really is much more complex than paying/"bribing" with cookies. In the end, the DOG gets to decide the reinforcement, not the trainer. One dog's reinforcer may be another dogs punisher. Nonetheless, in my experience "positive" training does not hold up well in the real world under some circumstances. I haven't decided if there are holes in the methodology or if the issue is my skills--likely its both. And yes, I've seen "positive" traine
  2. Realize that after the floor finishing is replaced, the dog can also start licking other surfaces. If you cover the floor with a rug and the dog no longer has access to the floor, does it lick the rug?
  3. The dog is licking because it makes the dog feel better in some way. If you want to stop the licking, you need to provide the dog with a substitute behavior the fulfills the same need to the dog as licking. Which is why chastising, redirection, etc have not worked. I suspect that the licking behavior grew stronger, more desperate after you chastised, redirected. If you simply muzzle the dog, it will likely develop another behavior(s) that fulfills whatever need the licking fulfills. And that behavior can be worse than the licking. Or when you remove the muzzle, the licking will retu
  4. I am having exactly the same problem with my agility dog. It's like a switch flips after we walk into the ring. I can increase his arousal simply by moving agility obstacles around the yard. The obstacles themselves are so reinforcing, the dog has little use for me. I believe that it is a conditioned emotional response to the environment (google Pavlov). If you search youtube, Michael Ellis, a Schutzhund trainer discusses this issue. This problem is common in high drive working dogs and can make training a challenge. My dog has developed all sorts of interesting behaviors at the end
  5. Yes, its very common. You can use human over the counter drugs. Ask the vet about the specific drug and the dose.
  6. I'd be focusing on the attributes that would make a good sports dog and forget about color....resilience (recovers from scares quickly), no noise sensitivity, brave, sociable, toy drive, food drive, trainability, likes water (although I've seen this turn into an obsession).... PS Judges don't care about color in agility and dock diving
  7. The problem is that if you wait until you are certain, the animal may have crossed the line into suffering. I waited too long with my first dog. He was distressed. The guilt is still with me 16 years later. After I euthanized my old, sick dog in 2016, I felt like I pulled the trigger too soon, but she was a medical catastrophe waiting to happen. Better relaxed in the comfort of her home, than with her seizing or gasping for breath or crying at the e-clinic at 3 AM. Regardless of the timing, you are going to feel awful afterwards and will second and third and forth guess yoursel
  8. Find rehab vet, who can advise on physical therapy and the right kind of exercise
  9. Mine figure food puzzles out pretty quickly, too. Coating a puzzle feeder (they are flat and have partitions like mazes) in a yogurt-kibble or yogurt meat mix and freezing it will keep them occupied for awhile, but it takes up a lot of freezer space and requires advance planning....you can also stuff marrow bones and freeze them. Yogurt is a good glue for freezing. I've also had good luck with a ground beef-sweet potato mush.
  10. Living in Florida, I totally get the heat. In the summer, dog activities are generally confined to early morning or after sunset. If it's too hot to hike, it's too hot to herd or do agility. If your dog is driving you nuts (because its 113 degrees outside or you need some downtime in the evening), it can occupy itself with a food puzzle, hide and seek (hide its dinner around the house), or a frozen kong.
  11. Whatever activity that chosen is for BOTH of you. It is a partnership. Or should be. Unless you can afford to bring her to herding or an agility lesson or whatever 7 days a week, it is unlikely that the dog will derive benefit beyond that day unless it is something that you can practice together on other days. Your profile says that you like hiking. That is perfect. A long hike where the dog is allowed to sniff and be a dog is very tiring.
  12. The general practitioner vet, who is actually my regular vet's associate, deferred to the rehab vet on exercise including agility. The rehab vet said that we would likely not see fusion of the fragments on an xray after the fracture healed. She said that the best thing was to remove the splint and see if the area still bothered him upon palpation. I will probably take the middle ground and avoid activities in which he could smash it on something or he can slip and fall on top of it, which pretty much leaves jump grids and some slow contact work. After watching him play ball today, that is p
  13. We plan to change the splint weekly or at shorter durations if needed. He is not chewing the splint or tail at all. The injury is in the bottom third of the tail, so there should not be any nerve damage.
  14. The area is splinted, so no heat pad on the area. He won't accept one anyway. There are 2 vets involved, a general practitioner and a rehab vet. The estimates of healing time range from 1-2 months depending on the vet. The concept of normal activities per the rehab vet who knows the dog really well (and has yet to be wrong about anything) is a bit unsettling, but the area IS really well-padded and immobile...
  15. My dog fractured a bone in the lower half of his tail. It is a complete break, displaced. The vets say that there is nothing to do but splint the affected part of the tail and give it time. The rehab vet said that since the splint is very well padded (we used pipe insulation) that he can partake in normal activities including agility assuming that he doesn't seem bothered by the tail. He seems quite comfortable in the splint and is moving his tail normally within the confines of the splint. The show season starts in October and I will need to send non refundable entry fees in September, if
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