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About monicah

  • Birthday 01/30/1982

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    Painting, drawing, hiking, computers, music

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  1. Brad, I know what you meant. The men I know who own a dog are the "if it doesn't work, force it" type. I can't discuss dog training with them because all they talk about is being alpha, leader and forcing the dogs to obey you. I read a lot about animal behavior and how animals learn. So I train my dogs using the same methods as other animal trainers. I am just my dogs' owner and trainer. I am not their leader or the alpha dog.
  2. Brad, usually the men who give me advice don't have the same problem with their dogs and think it's because they are such good leaders. My first dog Benny was not leash aggressive and he did not care about cats, dogs, squirrels or other animals around us. It had nothing to do with me and how I treated him. If I met an owner with a dog who would go crazy just at the sight of a cat, I would not give that person advice on how to handle the situation. Because I've never had that problem with Benny. Kira is different. She wants to chase cats. She does not ask for permission to chase cats. She just does it. I always keep her on a leash when we are outside. If she sees a cat, I give her a treat. She forgets about the cat and wants to do tricks for me instead and earn more treats. I am probably a lousy leader for my dogs, but this is what works for me. Have your dogs ever been reactive or leash aggressive?
  3. LOL! Sorry, I meant the men I know here where I live. Both of my dogs are leash aggressive and I have been told by these men that the only way to get rid of the problem is to "show them who the boss is". I use the clicker and treats instead and my dogs are much calmer around other dogs and have improved a lot. It does take a long time using this method, but I just can't hurt my dogs when they tell other dogs to stay away from them. The men I know would rather just scare their dogs into not reacting when they see other dogs. Kind of like Cesar's method.
  4. I have a friend who always give me advice on how to be the "alpha dog". He has two dogs too and when he tells them to come, they come to him with tail between legs and head low like they are terrified of him. I decided to call out for my dogs at the same time as he did. My dogs came running as fast as they could, tails wagging and smiling from ear to ear. I opened my arms like a mother would do and hugged them. He rolled his eyes and probably thought I was a hopeless case. I told him I always play with my dogs when I train the recall. I never discuss dog training methods with men, but it is fun to "show off" what my happy dogs can do.
  5. Zimba sometimes scratches his ear if I look at him when he's lying on the floor and walk toward him. I usually smile at him and want to pet him. I used to think that he was itching and would turn around and do something else and not bother him. But after noticing him doing it quite often when I was looking at him and walking toward him, I assumed it was a calming signal. He wags his tail while scratching his ear and sometimes he's not even near his ear.
  6. I was behind her so I couldn't see her face, but I think she was nervous about meeting the puppy and told the puppy to get away from her. My friend picked up the puppy as soon as she started to growl at it and I pulled Kira away from the puppy. I actually don't think Kira would have hurt the puppy had we not interfered. I had a successful walk today with Kira. I saw a girl with a dog and decided to follow her. Kira saw the dog and chose to look at me for treats. Then a dog came running towards us from a yard right by the road. Kira stopped and looked at the dog. I decided to let her decide what she wanted to do. Go argue with the dog or follow me and get treats. She turned around and came to me while looking at my face, and the amazing thing is that she looked so happy! I hope I can teach her to ignore all dogs. I really want to try agility with both of them and I don't want this leash aggression to be a problem if we ever compete in agility.
  7. I already have Feisty Fido and it's a very good book. I will let Zimba meet the puppy again but not Kira. Zimba treats all puppies like they are his puppies. Kira saw the puppy from a distance yesterday and she acted like she was seeing a cat. I have decided to train Kira every day with the clicker and expose her to other dogs, cats and horses, because she freaks out around them. Hopefully I'll be able to walk my dogs with my friend and her puppy soon because I know that is something my friend really want us to do.
  8. I am about to cry now. My friend came over to show me her new 8 weeks old puppy. I was standing outside my condo with her and asked if my dog Zimba could come outside and meet the puppy, because I know he's really good with puppies. As I opened the door to get Zimba, Kira freaked out and wanted to come out too. I thought I'd just let Kira meet the puppy as well. Kira will be 1 year old on Monday and has never met a puppy before. She sniffed the puppy in the face and the puppy wagged its tale and was very happy. Then she growled at the puppy like she was about to attack it. I grabbed her leash and put her inside the condo again. I apologized to my friend and told her that Kira has never met a puppy before. My friend then let Zimba meet the puppy, but the puppy screamed when he saw Zimba. Zimba was calm and carefully sniffed the puppy, but my friend had to pick it up because the puppy was afraid of Zimba. I feel so sad now because Kira scared the puppy. I am also shocked that she behaved that way. I told my friend that maybe it was the wrong time and place to let Kira meet the puppy. She has never been "aggressive" off leash and this was a puppy!
  9. phej, that is how I train them as well. I let them run off leash for an hour in the woods after work. Then later I walk them separately and work on their leash aggression. I was considering using GL the way you are, when I have to walk them somewhere together and during training. It's just take a lot of time to walk them separately every day and I've been training them for a long time that way. I think Zimba understood what I was planning to do when I took him out on walks. He knew that he was going to meet dogs. He did extremely well until he figured it out. The stress level goes way up when I take him out for a walk alone. I will continue the same way as I have, but I hope the GL will calm him down some. He was off leash when he came back for a treat and I wasn't training him at that moment. I just let him walk around off leash and meet the other dogs. He decided to play with some of the dogs and when he noticed a new dog coming towards him, he would sometimes turn around to me and look at me with his "there's a dog, where's my treat?" look.
  10. The method I have had most success with is by rewarding them for looking at a dog. I use a clicker and click when they spot a dog. Zimba did so well for a while. I had him off leash in a dog park recently and he did sometimes come back to me for a treat when he saw other dogs, so I know he has not forgotten the training. I hope the Gentle Leader will make it easier for me to get his head in my direction and then click and reward for looking at me.
  11. Hi! Both of my dogs have problems with leash aggression. I have read about it, tried a lot of methods and trained them separately. Kira improved a lot, could even do tricks for me out on walks while other dogs walked by barking. She could also sit by me and watch other dogs walk pass us and get treats for her good behavior. Off leash she will play with other male dogs and she hates other female dogs for some reason. Zimba improved for a while but then I got a feeling he knew that I was looking for other dogs out on walks. He got really stressed, pulled on the leash and all of my hard work was gone. He chose to bark and scream at other dogs rather than focusing on me for treats. Even if we saw dogs from a long distance away. Off leash he is very calm around other dogs and plays well with even male dogs. If I walk them both and we meet other dogs, they will be just as bad as they were in the beginning. I have to grab their collars and drag them with me and they will stop barking when I let go and the other dogs have passed us. I have a feeling that I will never be able to get rid of the leash aggression. I have bought a Gentle Leader for Zimba and he doesn't like it, but he doesn't try to get it off. I wonder if I should buy one for Kira too and use them as a training tool. Has anyone else had success with the Gentle Leader on leash aggressive dogs?
  12. Zimba was FAT when I got him. I decided to give him 1 hour of off-leash running in the woods and about 1 hour walk around our neighborhood every day. He has now lost that extra weight and is slim. Now I just let Kira and Zimba run in the woods for 1 hour every day and I play some fetch with them. They love to chase each other and play together, so they are very tired when we come home. I don't have to clip their claws. I also have short training sessions but they don't get tired from doing them. If it were up to them they'd want to be trained for hours.
  13. I have used GL on my dog and we both hated it. I felt so sorry for him and he didn't enjoy our walk at all. He held his head low and looked very sad. I am using Ezydog harness on him and he is allowed to pull. Sometimes on our walks I put the leash on his collar and train loose leash walking for 5-10 minutes, then back to the harness. He hardly pulls now even if he has the harness on.
  14. I've picked up Kira since she was a puppy, so she's used to it and likes it. Zimba is not used to it and does not like it. He was obese when I got him and I could barely hold on to him when I was weighing him. He is now slim but does not like to be picked up. He actually pees a little on the floor if I do it. Since he LOVES to learn tricks I have started to teach him to jump up into my arms. At the moment he'll jump up to my lap while I am sitting and I grab a hold of him the moment he jumps up and give him a treat. The next step is to rest my back to a wall and bend my knees a little so that he can still jump up to my lap. I have a person next to me who will give him the treats when my arms are holding him up. As soon as he has learned this trick, being picked up by me won't be so scary.
  15. My dogs love it when I hug them or just hold them. If I lay down on the floor they will crawl under my arms and rest there. They also sometimes ask for a hug. They will stand up on two legs if I'm sitting on a chair and then lay their paws on my shoulders. If I don't bend down and hug them they'll try to jump up on my lap. I think the reason they are asking for it from me and not from each other is because they are used to my hands petting their backs and it feels good. Dogs can't pet each other but they do lick each others ears and mouth. They can't hug each other but they love it when I wrap my arms around them and pet their backs. So I think the reason they love being hugged by humans is because we're the only ones who can hug them and give them a little bit more than another dog can give them. Dogs can't scratch each others back either but they love it when we do it!
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