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Everything posted by afrancis

  1. Hi Datagirl, I don't compete in frisbee with Skye so maybe someone else can steer you in the right direction in terms of frisbees that are competition approved. But she only likes the floppy ones, so would probably not make the cut in competition with the plastic versions. We did try the plastic ones at first but she had trouble picking them up and they seemed too hard on her mouth (plus my throwing them sucks! -- the soft ones seem to fly better for me ). But I think there are more available now that are softer rubber instead of the hard plastic that would probably be approved for disc dog use. Here are lots available online: http://www.dogtoys.com/flyinfristoy.html Ailsa
  2. Good luck with Alex at the vet's tomorrow Esox. Fingers crossed up here. Let us know how it goes, Ailsa
  3. Skye hurt her carpal pad (I think that's the one up the back of the leg) a while back and it began to bleed as well. We stopped playing and went home but only because I couldn't tell what was hurt and I wanted to check her out thoroughly at home. She had already been playing a long time and I was ready to go home anyway She licked it for a bit and then it healed perfectly well. There was no limping and no favouring or after-effects. I consider that pad to be the 'accident waiting to happen' pad anyway. Ailsa
  4. Caitlyn, This kind of biting is very normal for young puppies. I see from your last post that you have a picture of Ski from 6 weeks. Do you know what his history is? If he's been separated from his mum and littermates early, then any bite inhibition he would have learned from them hasn't happened. There are lots of articles and schools of thoughts about what level of discipline to use with a pup who play-bites. Some are careful to only recommend verbal cues and ending the play session, while others recommend using some physical cues, like putting the pup on his side and holding him there until he lays still --even mixing this with a low growl. These trainers use this method because it is what they have seen take place between pups and their mums. I never had to use any physical correction with Skye because she is so soft; yet she was taken from her littermates and mum at 6 weeks also. I'm not sure if I would do it anyway; physical correction can be a slippery slope and it is not something that should be relied on when a simple 'yelp' can achieve better results. After all, you don't want your dog to be afraid of you; this can just lead to defensive agression further down the road. So you don't want to make him do something, rather allow him to choose to stop a behaviour. With puppies, this needs to be a visceral experience rather than a thinking one. So a sharp 'eeekkk!' , that is, some vocalization loud and startling enough to actually make him suddenly stop to see what's up, combined with a sudden stopping of play will get the message across over time. In regards to when its enough; its enough when he puts his mouth on you and exerts pressure with his teeth, i.e. when you feel the teeth, not just when it hurts alot. Of course stopping the play means he has to be left by himself in a puppy-proof place, with puppy-proof toys. Read this also; it has great tips: http://www.wagntrain.com/PlayBiting.htm In short, it suggests spraying the backs of your hands with Bitter Apple; it will help them become naturally unpalatable. Avoid the fronts though since you don't want treats that you give for praise to have the same smell. It also reinforces that if he can have play-dates with other puppies and safe dogs, they have the best way to instruct bite inhibition with sharp, adult corrections or puppy yelping that can be easily understood. This is the link for Ian Dunbar's free download: http://www.siriuspup.com/beforebook.html See esp. the chapter on puppy biting, pgs. 90 onwards. He also does not advocate physical correction but there are specifics about how to go about responding, in what order to go about doing things, and what to allow and not allow as your puppy grows up. It also gives a time-line about how long it should take and by what age your pup should no longer be biting and mouthing if you've done your job well Good luck and remember: it doesn't last forever but your leadership now will make all the difference later. Ailsa
  5. Welcome Doozer! Is this your mini? And if so, how many dogs can you get in it? Sounds like you're pretty busy down there. Send pics please! Ailsa
  6. I'll chime in with 'leave it' as well. However, usually Skye's visits are a pretense for getting someone else to throw her frisbee. If the volunteers are amenable I'll allow it but the trick early on was to get her to believe they were done when they'd had enough (used here, 'leave it' seemed to be greeted with the rebuff, 'you've got to be kidding -- why wouldn't they want to keep throwing my frisbee?'). So I used the command 'that's all, they're going home' -- wordy I know but such are my conversations with her Now I can say, 'they're going home' and she'll come back to me right away, which surprises many people that she has such complex language skills Ailsa
  7. Maine Coons are known as the "gentle giants"[3] and possess above-average intelligence, making them relatively easy to train.[2] They are known for being loyal to their family and cautious—albeit not mean—around strangers, but are independent and not clingy.[31] The Maine Coon is generally not known for being a "lap cat" but their gentle disposition makes the breed relaxed around dogs, other cats, and children. from Wikipedia Relaxed like a fox Buster, I'm sure, thanks you. Ailsa
  8. I think that's the trick: get the premium policy to make sure the most expensive medical interventions are covered. I considered getting it for Skye since our Riley cost us so much money (various and sundry vet visits i.e. fishhook removal, cruciate ligament surgery, then AIHA & cancer ), but calculated that if we had her for as long as we had Riley, had the comprehensive (read most expensive) plan, and the same kinds of health problems arose, we would break even. So we thought we'd think positive thoughts and hedge our bets. That being said, I think it is probably a good idea for those who couldn't possibly afford a sudden, large expense but can integrate a monthly fee into their budget. We're crossing our fingers ... Ailsa
  9. I'm going to agree with Ruth here. I think he's going to be velcro when you get him home; aside from sleeping to recover from the stress and the sheer exhaustion from his physical condition, I think the bonding you are going to experience will be second to none . When you go to take him home from the vet's, I would take some extra yummy treats with you (nothing outrageous so as not to further upset his system) and pass them along to the techs, the front desk workers etc. to give to him so that his 'vet memory' isn't all bad. My friend's dog, who eats everything and anything it shouldn't, had to go to get its stomach pumped several times last summer. He was always a friendly dog but still somewhat aloof with me. I went with her to visit him and then again when we picked him up to come home, and boy, after that he has always been EXTRA-affectionate with me specifically. I believe he thinks I was instrumental in getting him out of there Ailsa
  10. Yikes. Maybe he's getting it all over with now and then he'll be as right as rain for the rest of his life ... Crossing our fingers that its not serious And yes, keep us in the loop. best, Ailsa
  11. PHEW! That happened once when Skye was little and our neighbour (who follows everything very closely ) ran outside yelling, "The baby's loose! The baby's loose!" I love happy endings, but they can go wrong so easily.... I have whistle trained with Skye as well. It is a GREAT way to ensure recall either when your voice won't carry or for a really quick, foolproof result. Although sometimes you can get more than one dog! To reinforce your whistle training, try playing hide and seek in the house with Jake. Put him in a sit stay, go hide, and then blow the whistle to have him find you. And then reward. Ailsa
  12. That was LOL funny. Thanks for the link! Ailsa P.S. Skye's happy place is only found while looking away, far away.....
  13. Boy, this is a really hard one albeit inevitable for everyone. Melanie, have you had to have a dog euthanized before? I ask this because if you're as attached to Solo as I was to Riley I think you may or may not be surprised at how profoundly difficult it is for you. Your description of not being able to see things objectively because you're with them everyday I can relate to; everyone had always told me that I'd know when it was time, but I only did when I was at the point of panic. There were collapses, blood transfusions, heavy duty medications (including injections -- which I am very squeamish about but managed because I had to), overnight stays at the vets, panting all day and night, difficulty walking, food refusal, etc. I could go on. I'm sure this is a story that many share. Through all this I still didn't know and would have begged someone else to make the decision for me. It wasn't until, in a haze of denial and the depth of sadness, we went for a drive to her favourite spot and I asked her if she wanted to get out of the car, that the look on her face said it all. So what I mean to tell you through this is that even though the end is bad, after the end is probably worse and if you've never gone through it, and can somehow prepare for this, maybe it can be better. Mine involved going awol from work, life, food, family etc. Thank goodness for friends and Ensure. So, besides somehow being prepared for it emotionally (not just if there has to be medical intervention and there is a chance his/her life can be saved, but if its old age and the body just begins to shut down), you're right to be concerned about making it easier for Solo and Fly. Since you're a scientist, I understand your concern for their peace of mind and comfort and wanting to get it right. What others have said about having someone who they like and/or trust coming to the house and administering the injection is a good idea. We had the vet come to our home and Riley was put to sleep on the front porch with my arms around her. Then the vet and her tech took her away with them in the car on a blanket. This was the expensive way to go, but I certainly preferred it, as did she, I'm sure because of her general vet anxiety, lack of mobility and laboured breathing. What I would give you is a heads-up about the payment process. The vet had us sign all the papers and give her a cheque as soon as she came over so we could get that out of the way. In retrospect, I would actually ask to do this either ahead of time or be sent the paperwork in the mail later. Maybe some vets have policies about this; i.e. they won't perform the service unless its paid for first. Perhaps you can ask your vet now about this. In regards to sedatives, only you know what medication works with both dogs and what their anxiety thresholds are; it sounds like you may need something heavy duty for Solo if you do end up bringing him in. But, my preference is a home visit so it can be a private affair. Ailsa
  14. Eeek! Puppy overload! Great job Mum Jasmine and Mum Kristin on such great pudgy puppies. Hope week from hell is over and the future is much happier. best, Ailsa
  15. Add my condolences on the loss of your beautiful Blue. She looked like a beautiful dog. Let us know when Luna comes into your home. I'm sure she will provide Tia with a happy companion and quickly perk up her spirits best, Ailsa
  16. Re-reading this and looking back on your previous posts, I see that you've had Rush since she was a pup. I thought she was a rescue who had fear-aggression issues when you adopted her and that you were in process of working through them. My mistake. Your previous posts seem to imply that she has been doing really well, you were trying agility with her, etc. I would agree with the others that her reaction to touch may be related to a physical condition. If you determine that is not the case, then it may stem from lack of desensitization and socialization when she was younger. She is actually still quite young and may be testing her boundaries with you and your family by calling the shots in regards to grooming, etc. Have you read Ian Dunbar's training books? There is a free download link from a thread on the Books and Videos section. I would recommend you read those, if you haven't already. Border collies are, in my experience, a very sensitive breed who are also very intuitive and manipulative when it comes to getting what they want . It's easy for them to test a first-time owner, and for exasperated secondary owners to give up on them because they're too 'difficult'. But I would say that with a combination of reasonable expectations (that is, consider the temperament of the dog first before pushing ahead with your own plans -- meaning, high-stress scenarios might not be within her comfort zone) and fair, consistent training (esp. through the teenage years ) your Rush will become a very well-balanced, predictable dog. Ailsa
  17. Diane, I think this is potentially a very serious situation. It's great that you have already been working with Rush's fear and have been making progress, but I think you're getting body signals that Rush is very near his threshold for touching and accepting affection at this time. My warning bell was also when you said how your family is reacting to him -- that they are tempted to hit him or give him away. This is the kind of reaction that is adding tension and anxiety to the mix, most certainly much of which Rush is sensing. I think you need to really start a program of working with Rush around the full range of his issues, esp around family, so that everyone's expectations are met. Some dogs are more work than others; some dogs are not the dogs we wish they were (i.e. fearful of lots of touching and cuddling), at least not without a lot of time and dedication. Living with a dog that has never been adequately socialized early in life can be a challenge, esp if not everyone in the family is committed to his rehabilitation, which sounds like the case in your home. I'm really glad you are taking this seriously. Have you read this? http://www.fearfuldogs.com/ Lots of really good information you can glean from here and help you broaden your program with Rush. There are others on this Board who have had lots of experience with this situation, so if you don't get many responses know that its not because no one cares, or that no one has been in your shoes, rather it is a very common and already much talked about scenario. And like most people, I think the best way to deal with fear-aggression cases is one-on-one, with a qualified trainer/behaviourist. But, if this is not possible right now for you, then lots of reading is in order. In the meantime, ask your other family members to practice NILIF with Rush -- that is, 'nothing in life is free' -- no free-feeding but getting him to do something for food, treats, toys etc. so the fact that he can must work for rewards will be reinforced, and he looks towards all people as creatures he wants to satisfy rather than be fearful of. I'd also recommend doing a search on 'fear aggression' at the top of the screen and read, read, read. Good luck and keep us informed, Ailsa ETA - sorry, read 'her' where I typed 'him'
  18. Hi Cowhorse Lady, I second what DTrain said; your puppy Jake (who is no doubt very happy to be with you instead of having his head smashed in ) is a normal bc puppy (that being said, you never know what you're going to get -- in regards to cuddling, mine was very huggy but I've heard of many more who were not!). My first advice to you is: Download these books and start reading -- http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.p...mp;#entry279221 These are free downloads that Alaska generously provided links to on the Books and Videos section. My second piece of advice is: stop thinking of the crate as a jail. Your puppy needs structure and a safe place that is his sanctuary. He does not view his crate as a jail, but rather a den. I think many would agree that scheduling crate time during the day after he's had a chance to play, be with you, etc. will allow him to safely settle, learn restraint and will ensure he becomes a well-balanced dog. You'll find that asking him to go to his bed (in his crate) will be something he'll do quite willingly after he's had a chance to get his 'zoomies' out. You can use the lighter crate for this (or even an open pen) so it can be moved around more easily. Good luck! And pictures please... Ailsa
  19. Missed that Julie. Took a look and WHAT AWESOME HORNS! I never knew sheep could have TWO pair! Ailsa
  20. Tea, What are you growing? I'm jealous because of your climate , but suspect you might have been victim to the earlier snow and resulting mudslides -- hope not ! Ailsa
  21. Now there's another reason why this vet shouldn't have any business Totally inept, no compassion for animals and abusive training methods. Surely there's a body in South Korea that monitors veterinarians? But in regards to Blake, that's really great that he's ok now. Your instincts were right about him being in discomfort. Stick with this new vet; she sounds like a good one Ailsa
  22. I hope you don't mind me veering off more into the plant world, but I just wrote an article in our community newspaper about home gardeners choosing heirloom, so-called 'old-fashioned' and open-pollinated vegetables for their gardens this year (and every year). Not only does it keep the genes alive, but also makes people more aware of the number of varieties out there (increasingly rare, unfortunately) that have been the parents of our modern (often sterile) hybrids and that need our active help in keeping them in existence and viable. Love to see a pic of these sheep Julie. Ailsa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heirloom_plant
  23. Oh my gosh! Anda that is so funny. Ouzo would have probably not been so enthusiastic if he'd pooped elsewhere; I think he knew he'd made the best of a bad situation Seems like my dog is the only one who doesn't help out with the house-cleaning. Skye's preferred emergency pooping place is on the carpet in my study. However, a recent vomiting incident had a 'happy' conclusion on the tiled kitchen floor Ailsa
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