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Ninso's Achievements


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  1. This is a REALLY common issue! Here is a great blog post by a friend of mine with several ideas. She's a service dog trainer and obedience competitor so she has a ton of experience with teaching a hold:
  2. That was adorable! He looks like he's having so much fun!
  3. My blind dog did a couple of nosework classes! I practiced at home with all three dogs and they all adored it! It's a lot of fun!
  4. C Crocker, check out the Pet Insurance University link in the first post which gives reviews, comparisons, and links to several different companies. They are not all the same--not even close. I think Embrace does have age limits to enroll, but others don't. Hopefully you can find something that works for you!
  5. My dog developed separation anxiety and started being destructive around the age of 3.5 to 4, but there was a medical cause for it. He has PRA and is now blind, and the anxiety started around the time his sight started to get really bad. He could previously be left loose in the house for any amount of time with no problems. Now I have to crate him. And for awhile he was even chewing up his plastic crate pans out of anxiety, but now that he is on Prozac that has stopped. He still has to be crated, and he barks out of anxiety and digs at his crate sometimes, but the destruction has stopped. He also developed noise phobias around the same, which would lead to the same types of behaviors. I hope for both your sakes there is an external cause or it was just a momentary phase!
  6. He is quite the looker! Reminds me of my Lok. Congrats to both of you!
  7. What a pretty girl, and wonderful dog! Sorry for your loss!
  8. Rollzuki, My reactive dog never stares/stalks in any other context either. Unfortunately I cannot really use a verbal "leave it" with her as she is deaf, but I have been working on an attention cue that I can use when she's not looking at me (two taps on her butt with a finger). Like anything, it takes time and if she is over threshold she will not respond. It has to be built up in gradually more challenging situations. It sounds like you've only had this dog a few months? For some perspective, I've been working hard on these issues with Jun since January (I've had her for 3 years, but unfortunately the issues are somewhat new) and have made some progress, but still have a long ways to go. We still have setbacks on a regular basis And sometimes it takes a few tries to find the best approach for a particular dog. I have a cattle dog who is also reactive in different ways and for different reasons and I work these two dogs in completely different ways! I really think you might benefit from LAT (Look at That). To simplify, start out in a below-threshold situation with the trigger far enough away that she won't go into a stalk/stare. When she looks at the trigger, even momentarily, click the look. You want to click right away, vs. letting her look for awhile. A clicker-savvy dog who is not over threshold will look back to you for the treat/reward. Do this until she is consciously offering the look at the trigger, and then gradually increase the difficulty level, trying always to stay under threshold. I believe the CU book puts the look on cue, but I never have. I like it to be automatic--look at a trigger and look back at me. What you are essentially doing is "re-framing" the trigger from something to be stared at/reacted to into something that can be looked at, but doesn't need to be obsessed about. I have had GREAT success using this method with my Cattle Dog. With my Border Collie I do auto-watches--similar, but the look back at me is emphasized over the look at the trigger. In practice, there is almost no difference, and the only reason I don't use LAT is because of the inability to use an audible marker with her. You may want to check out a couple blog posts: Patricia McConnell recently did a reactive dog case study on her blog, on a dog who sounds similar to yours. A trainer friend of mine with a reactive dog blog has done a great job explaining LAT and Auto Watches in this post. She also has several posts on impulse control games, and a lot of other great reactive dog content. And one of the best dog training blogs around is Reactive Champion, which tells the story of the writer's highly reactive dog and their journey together, in addition to doing GREAT write-ups on the many training seminars the author attends! It's the next best thing to being there! Best of luck! It sounds like your dog is in great hands!
  9. The book Control Unleashed has a lot of good impulse control games. I would probably work a "leave-it" in gradually more challenging situations. You might also think about teaching an auto-watch or doing some LAT in addition to doing BAT. I have a deaf border collie that is fear-aggressive with people and she would stare before reacting. It was very difficult to break her out of the stare, as anything I would do would set her off. We just had to keep it under threshold and teach her that looking to me anytime she saw a scary person got rewarded. We are still in the early stages, but her look-away and back to me is getting pretty strong and it is really helping to cut off the stare if I keep her appropriately below threshold. We are doing BAT too and it's really helping her. With reactivity issues, you may want to re-think using the toy. Toy play increases arousal and can actually be counterproductive if you are trying to teach the dog to be calm and control her impulses around scary stimuli.
  10. Wow! I just read through this thread. I'm sorry for what you and Lacee have been through the past several days! I completely understand the rollercoaster emotions, having gone through something similar with my dog last week. Best wishes for continued healing and recovery for Lacee!
  11. This is a public service announcement . . . With three dogs, I had looked into pet health insurance before and it never seemed to be worth it. It seemed like it cost too much and covered too little. All the people I had talked to seemed to think the same. I figured my dogs were pretty healthy and I had some money saved, and the money I would pay in premiums for three dogs would be better off in my savings account. Then last week I almost lost my dog Lok after a (simple) obstruction surgery which led to a major infection, 4 nights in the ICU, a second surgery, a bunch of meds . . . needless to say, the bill was quite painful. I found out after the fact that there actually ARE some pretty good health insurance options available for pets, and I just wanted to post a link a friend sent me so that others can avoid my mistake! You never know when your healthy dog is going to go blind, get epilepsy, get liver damage, almost die from a simple surgery, etc (yes, that is all one dog, and in less than 4 years). So here is the link: Pet Insurance University I found what I was looking for with Embrace, and though Lok has lots of pre-existing conditions, anything new will be covered, and my other two healthy dogs are totally covered. I can't believe I had no idea this was out there!
  12. I felt the same way before I added my second, and it truly does change your relationship with the first, though not necessarily in a bad way. I think my first dog would have been perfectly happy being an only dog for life, and is not necessarily thrilled to share with two other, but he has adjusted and is fine. I really liked having just one, and wasn't looking to add, but they came along and seemed meant to be part of my family. I have heard people talk about a "heart dog" but all three of mine are equally special to me. They are all so different and add to my life in different ways. I can't imagine being without any of them.
  13. I would consider my dogs pretty obedient and I personally don't chatter to them much. Usually when I do, it is something relevant to them "ok dogs, we are going to do training first and then go to the park." I really don't know if it makes a difference or not. I do work on some type of training with them nearly every day, and I am guessing that makes more of a difference than anything in building a relationship and making them WANT to listen for things that pertain to them.
  14. I've never had an old dog. My oldest is currently 5. But I do have a blind dog, and I wouldn't let the visual impairment worry you. Most can never tell that my guy is blind, he gets around so well. He doesn't run into things unless I move things around on him. He learns a new environment the first time he is there and remembers it every time we go back. He does need a little extra patience in unfamiliar places and guiding around obstacles. I imagine with one functional eye, Sasha would need a lot less of that type of special treatment.
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