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puppytoes

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About puppytoes

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    Female
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    Vancouver, Canada
  1. Hi, It has been many, many years since I've been on these boards and I always found the information here so useful. So I thought I'd ask the question here that my husband and I have been pondering. Like many people, I love puppies. So much. And our last "puppy" is now 11. Since he was a puppy, we've also had 3 kids, they are now 6, 8, 10. So we're a busy family. But our dog Orbit is very much a part of that busyness. And he hasn't slowed down much at all. He is our second dog (our OG border collie cross Laska died in 2011 when Orbit was 2), and he is just the best (as was Laska before him). The whole family adores him and he is just so well mannered and really smart and just such a team player. All that to say that it got me thinking about how much a dog learns from another dog versus from their humans. We adopted Laska at a year old and I swear that she was grateful her entire life. She needed help coming out of her shell so she was very easy to train. Orbit was adopted at 3 months and I don't remember it being very difficult. He went through phases of course but it never felt like too much work. Maybe we are accidentally very good at training dogs or we've been lucky or a bit of both. My question is, should we get a new puppy now, before Orbit gets too old and grumpy or should we wait till he is no longer with us. I'm leaning towards now because I believe that he has a lot of knowledge to pass on about what it means to be a dog in our family. Thoughts? Cheers, Iva
  2. I don't really have much experience with super noise sensitive dogs. You said he likes other dogs. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to ask a friend with a confident dog along on your walk (maybe even tether them together?) to show him a more appropriate response, in addition to the desensitization.
  3. I never realised that there were places where police actually dealt with animal control issues. Here we have animal control officers that deal with by-law issues and the police deal with crimes.
  4. The problem here is that people do not even agree on the purpose and rules of off-leash dog parks. There are those that believe that dogs should have a place to go and just be dogs, without having to worry about their dogs every move. I am one of those people. While my dog has zero use for other dogs and we do not frequent parks where dogs play and socialise, we do go to off-leash forested areas for walks. I have 2 kids under four and have taught them to protect their snacks and sticks as best they can and I try to help them understand that sometimes dogs will eat a cracker out of your hand. I know that I am in an off-leash place and this might be the only place that that owner can take their dog and enjoy it. So I just accept it. Would it be great if everyone's dog was perfectly behaved? Yes but I don't own a doodle and my dog has a brain. Others believe that dogs should always be perfectly mannered. This makes it difficult for people with ill-mannered dogs to ever let their dogs get off-leash exercise. I feel like it is reasonable to expect that dogs are generally friendly and safe in an off-leash situation and then the standards go up depending on where you are. I have only had 2 dogs, both quite bright and I think I am a fairly intuitive trainer so my dogs have been very well behaved. But I would hope that if I ever have an unmanageable yahoo of a dog, I will still be able to let him loose to burn off steam without having people yell at me that my dog approached their dog at an off-leash location.
  5. I would say that Vancouver is very dog-friendly. Almost all school grounds welcome off-leash dogs before 8 am and after 5 pm (although they are not allowed at the actual playground with equipment and such). There are designated dog beaches where dogs can be off-leash at all times and others where dogs are permitted off-leash during certain hours. Dogs on-leash are permitted almost everywhere and there are urban forests with both on-leash and off-leash sections. In general, dogs are very well mannered/adjusted here and in my nearly 15 years as a dog owner have never seen a real nasty dog fight and maybe only a couple where one dog has suffered a minor injury. Legally, dogs are required to be on a leash when not somewhere designated as off-leash. I am not so law abiding and I walk my dog off-leash through my neighbourhood. We are not alone, many dogs are well mannered enough to be trusted off-leash (yes I realise that they are not robots and anything can happen). Another thing that routinely happens is that when 2 dogs are approaching one another on-leash, the owners will drop their leashes to allow the dogs to say hi in a more natural manner. If I am approached by a dog on a leash, I will always call Orbit over and put him in a down/stay. People are always surprised that I do that and seem shocked that he is not friendly (as he is wagging his tail). I have to explain to them that I am doing it out of consideration for them as their dog may not like being approached. Generally, dogs here are very well socialised and those that are not can usually be heard half a block away snarling and lunging at the end of their leashes (and more often than not, they are very little dogs),
  6. I had a lab x pit x border collie for almost 13 years (adopted her at 1 1/2) and she was the most amazing dog ever. She was smart, reliable, intuitive and such a gentle soul. I know that there are a lot of horror stories out there about pits but I would encourage you to judge your by her actions and behaviour rather than condemn her for the actions of other dogs. As a puppy, she will most likely be a yahoo for some time, regardless of her breed. Whether she is a pittie or not, she should not be allowed to bother your older dog. Teach her good manners or keep them separated until she can behave respectfully.
  7. If Nelson is anything like my Orbit, it might just be something that you will have to manage. I will admit that I have not sought out professional assistance as I find that I can read him pretty well and do a pretty good job of avoiding altercations. But they do happen and they don't always end well. One thing that I did wrong when my guy was little was discourage the lead-up behaviours - the growling etc. Now his responses are lightning quick and while I can see them coming, often the other dog can't. Orbit is never the aggressor as it sounds like Nelson might be (but that might be something to watch closely - I bet he is reacting to something), he just doesn't like dogs around him when he is playing with toys or dogs bounding up to his face. Most of our incidences happen in off leash areas because that is where we encounter such dogs. I walk Orbit off-leash most of the time and only leash him at busy roads. We rarely never have problems here because the dogs that would cause a reaction are on leash themselves and orbit is very responsive to voice commands. My advice to you (assuming medical issues are ruled out and he is already neutered) is to watch his interactions very closely and see if you can pick up on what sets him off. While you are doing this, it might be a good idea to limit his play to dogs that are not too reactive themselves so that the situation does not escalate too much. Also, try to remain calm (hard I know when you are waiting for your dog to fly off the handle) because if he senses that you are anxious/apprehensive, it could make the situation worse. As far as altercations go, I try to intervene right away.
  8. I am wondering if displays of affection are a constant personality trait? Those of you that have bred litters or had many dogs from puppyhood, do you find that the pups that were snugglers at 8 weeks become snuggly adults (generally)? Do they go through shifts at puberty? And is it possible for reserved pups to eventually crave physical affection? I would imagine that if a reserved pup was paired with an owner that really craved physical affection, the pup would sense that pressure and might become even more reserved as a result. So nurture could actually be re-enforcing nature but not the way that a human is intending.
  9. I love my dog and he is a big part of our family but I also feel like I should not need to be a slave to his needs or his wants. We have two small children and a third on the way and there are days when everyone has to suck it up. These last few months have been really lean for him exercise wise but I swear that he knows that it is just short term. When we first got Orbit, it was just him and our senior dog so free time revolved around them. We planned outings that they would enjoy. However, we made a point never to play with them in the house. I know that this may seem extreme but I have never wanted any confusion about what happens in the house: we snuggle, we pet, we chill but we do not play. If I felt that he needed a few minutes of ball chasing we went in the back yard or across the street to the park. So now, I have a dog that has no expectations in the house what so ever. Put your shoes on and he is ready to go but he can relax at home because he knows that he is not missing out on anything.
  10. Sorry that this is off-topic but do dogs really need life jackets? We live by the ocean so we are talking about beach access only but I have never seen a dog in a life jacket. And there are dogs that swim quite far out in sometimes rough surf. Are they used because some dogs actually can't swim or because you are worried if they fell out of the boat they would panic and drown? I would imagine that the life jacket would feel kind of odd to a dog unless they were used to carrying a pack.
  11. Donald, i'm not sure that I agree with you. Assuming that one is relatively new to dogs, one might not have the repertoire of relatively simple training techniques discussed here. I think that a forum such as this one (and this one in particular) is a great place to start to seek help for one's dog. It sounds like the OP has had the dog for a relatively short period of time and the behaviour does not sound extreme to me in the sense that it has not been something that the OP has been working on for a long time unsuccessfully. it is often suggested that people experiencing difficulties hire a trainer. As someone that does not know a trainer personally, this seems like a really daunting task. First of all, it sounds really expensive. Secondly, how does one even begin to find a trainer that is experienced in our particular breed, with your type of problem that also has similar training philosophies. I think when one already knows a trainer, that suggestion is a lot easier to follow.
  12. I hear you on the toddler and border collie thing, it can be daunting. My suggestion would be to only take him in the yard when you are with him. I would attach him to a long line that gives him as much space as possible without allowing him to reach the fence. I would spend maybe 5 minutes at the beginning (after he relieves himself) and 5 minutes at the end to practice recall. I would vary the items I offer him for coming back; extra special treats, squeaky toys or whatever he loves. Make coming to you the best thing in the world. If you keep working on this, it will get easier. Training and age will make a difference. I was lucky enough to train my border collie before my kids were born and it has made all the difference. Once Archer is reliably trained, you will be able to enjoy him more. Good luck.
  13. Wow, was that really necessary? You never know a person's situation. First of all, I think that if a dog enjoys the company of other dogs, there is no reason that dog park visits can't be part of a border collie owners repertoire (if the park is usually frequented by reasonably well behaved dogs and people). Not everyone can devote all their time and energy to their dog. I think constructive suggestions are far more useful that snide remarks. Just my two cents.
  14. With my first dog, I initially went to the vet with a total belief that they knew best. After some experiences that left me (and my dog) feeling unsatisfied (one vet insisted that my 60 pound dog had to be on the examining table even though she was shaking, making me leave the room while examining etc.) I started looking around. I eventually found an amazing vet that loved animals, that was great with people and had a similar philosophy to mine. The first time she came in, she got right on the floor and started talking to my dog and getting to know her. When she retired and I had to find a new vet for my now 2 dogs I was much pickier. I ended up at a fancy clinic that was very holistic and offered many alternative services and really emphasized prevention. After our first routine check-up where both my 3 and 14 year old dogs were given a clean bill of health, I was pleased with her thoroughness and her manner and I felt that I could trust her. 2 months later, my beloved 14 year old dog stopped eating after apparently hurting her back. The clinic was very accommodating in terms of scheduling and I appreciated that the clinic had in house x-rays so that we did not have to go elsewhere. We tried a few things but when nothing seemed to be working, she gently suggested that it might be her time to go. I really appreciate (as someone else mentioned) that she did this as at that time I would have done/paid anything for more time with her. I now have complete trust in her and feel confident that her suggestions are in no way self serving. But I think I would also now recognize that feeling in my gut and listen to it more.
  15. I have 2 young kids and a border collie and I have to say that for our dog, the most difficult kid stage was when they started walking until they hit about 2 1/2. Kids on the move that moved erratically and toppled over and ran around screaming scared him a great deal. I think that for the safety and welfare of both your dog and your child, if you can't get professional help, the dog deserves a chance at a better suited environment. Sorry.
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