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Everything posted by Blackdawgs

  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" trainers put dogs under a tremendous amount of pressure. In the case of the OP, its time to back off and perhaps find a different reward that is reinforcing to the dog. Toy play is extremely complex as I have found out the hard way. It is also a very powerful training tool.
  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 return with a vengeance, although it may not happen immediately. I do have experience in this area--have been trying to find a replacement behavior for unacceptable self-reinforcing behaviors that occur after agility runs has been really hard. There is a science (and art) behind all of this. Attempting to stop the behavior by simply muzzling the dog won't work and will create other problems.
  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 of agility runs--all that adrenaline and frustration (from stopping the activity?) with no place to go. He is very talented, but I'm not sure if I will be able to show him anymore. I'm going to give my dog a break from agility and try to make myself more "relevant" but don't have much hope at this point. As others have pointed out, it is a training problem, but you are fighting biology. The dog is having a neurochemical response to its environment and has no control over this response. I think that the probability of success in the herding world is greater than in the agility world because herding trainers have a better understanding of modifying innate behaviors than agility/pet trainers. Personally, I would like to find a schutzhund trainer, but no luck yet. I wish you luck and know how heartbreaking this is.
  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 yourself. I think that everyone needs to decide in advance what their line or more importantly what their dog's line is.
  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 probably not a good idea now. Its getting cooler here so I can start biking with him again.
  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 he is to compete. He won't be able to compete with the splint. I am wondering if anyone has experience with a fractured tail, if you allowed the dog to partake in normal activities, and how long it took to heal?
  16. I've been dropping off urine and stool samples for years. But, these are dogs that are very well-known to the vet and are in her office multiple times a year.
  17. Paradoxically, exercise (the wrong type) can make a dog more nuts. When my dog was a pup (and even now), a long walk in a natural area in which the dog was allowed to sniff and investigate made my dog more tired than chasing a ball/tugging. At home, you can confine your dog to an x-pen, which has more space than a crate. Put a bunch of toys in the pen, including something to chew on, like a frozen kong. You can also buy puzzle feeders for your dog which will make the meal last longer and challenge him. Even now, my dogs have an active period starting around 7 PM, I've read somewhere that this is very common and is due to some type of hormonal spike. When my dog was a pup, he sometimes went crazy, racing in circles in the pen, screaming and growling, and when that happened, I put him and a chew toy in an airline crate located in a dark, quiet room, and shut the door. He eventually stopped screaming and settled. When he emerged, he was much calmer. If my dog was outside the pen, and got very bitey, I put him inside the pen with toys. Don't worry, it eventually gets better!
  18. I want to echo Gloria's thoughts that it could be fear. I do have a fearful, formerly very reactive BC who looked like Cujo in the presence of other dogs. In the case of fear, it becomes a best defense is a good offense strategy and the intent is to drive away the scary thing--it is also an information seeking strategy--is the scary thing friend or foe? As a general rule, I do not allow strangers to interact with my dogs because you never know how someone will react and potentially cause an unwanted situation and because it puts a tremendous amount of social pressure on a dog. In the case of a fearful dog, unwanted encounters could potentially push a dog into this type of defensive-offensive behavior.
  19. As was pointed out, Border Collies are not guardian dogs. They are motion sensitive and reactive. Nonetheless, you now have a dog that has the potential to be a liability and it must be controlled in public at all times. You said that your kids are older--make them understand the implications of you dog getting loose and chasing someone. One of my friend's arm was broken by a neighbor's Golden Retriever that jumped on her. Does it really matter why the dog jumped? The bottom line is that her arm was busted by a dog. Personally, I think that you should stop over analyzing the why and work on the behavior in front of you. Unless you want to use a shock collar, the dog needs to be on a leash at all times while outside (and even a shock collar is a type of management). It may be that after training, the dog still can't be off leash in public. Your dog is going thru adolescence now--certainly a contributing factor and there have been some unfortunate episodes in which his behavior was reinforced. Also, consider that the animals used to create your "hybrid" may not have been the cream of the crop. Personally, I would choose a trainer that has experience with this type of problem, and I suppose that you will have to make a philosophical decision on the type of trainer.
  20. How is this dog contained/restrained so it is able to "run at a person and jump at them"? Is he on a leash? Tied to something? Behind a fence or some other barrier? Loose ? (I hope not) I live in a neighborhood in which it is very common for dogs to be kept behind fencing that is close to sidewalks. I can not tell you how many dogs, I've watched turn into aggressive jerks over the years (my dog was attacked by one) because they are allowed to aggress at a fence or the end of a tie out. Dog acts like a jerk and "intruder" goes away--well the "intruder" was just passing by and was going to leave anyway, but in the dog's brain he drove the "intruder" away and his crappy behavior was reinforced. So without giving specific training advice, I am going to tell you to manage your dog in a way that makes him unable to guard space and things and is unable to "run at a person and jump at them".. From what you described, this is not a breed thing. Currently, I am watching a neighborhood lab mix that is being allowed to charge a fence adjacent to a sidewalk and is becoming increasingly, scarily aggressive.
  21. I did 2 one year stints as a volunteer at a county (kill) shelter in the deep south. Although this shelter is located at the edge of a "city" with a population of 100,000, it serves a very large rural land area. Naturally, the shelter is inundated with pit bulls /mixes. I visited last weekend and there were gorgeous, apparently purebred APBTs. When I was a volunteer, I thought that it was fascinating that the locals distinguished between "bulldogs" and "pit bulls". If the cage card said "bull dog" the dog would be adopted, if the cage card said "pit bull" the dog would be passed over. I would be asked if the "bull dog" had any "pit bull" in it. It is the same freaking dog. I don't know if things changed, but the animal control officer that brought the dog into the shelter listed the breed. Some ACOs were more breed savvy than others and some really knew how to play the system so the dog had a better chance of being adopted. The whole thing was a crap shoot. I had once asked the head of animal services why a breed even had to be listed on the cage card and he said that people liked labels. He was a real asshole and was one of the reasons why I stopped volunteering.
  22. I always had a problem with my dog bringing stuff back to me. It was pointed out that my dog was "possessive", but he certainly is not aggressive about it. I wound up taking some online courses, in part, because he was stealing the leash and running off with it in an agility setting. I completely adjusted our tug style to remove the "conflict" whereby we got into a thing over possession of the tug (eg, the tug game wasn't really play to the dog). This , in part, involved letting go of the tug frequently and then encouraging the dog to return with the toy for another round of tug. * *From this, the fetch was shaped.** Play can be very complex and does not need to be mindless. Fenzi Academy has some very good courses on play, which I highly recommend.
  23. I wouldn't transport this pup, either. If the puppy has explosive diarrhea/vomiting in the crate, your vehicle will be contaminated. For years. The responsible thing would be to quarantine the entire litter.
  24. FYIW, my dog had a few episodes of weakness/ incoordination after exercise, all involving toys. After his hind end gave out in a local park, he was evaluated by a cardiologist and his heart was fine. I had contacted Univ Minn and based on what I described they thought that he was a BCC dog. My rehab vet, who never saw an episode, thought that it was a conditioning issue. I started biking with him, slowly and carefully, and his tolerance to heat has improved and there have been no episodes (yet) this spring/summer.
  25. He needs to see a vet today possible. Among other things, he could be anemic from fleas/internal parasites
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