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Apr. 11th, 2014

Duster: Flapper Fabulous


Car anxiety + emetophobic owner = bad time for all. Help?

Hello all! I'm new and will be beginning dog training school soon, but I have my own training conundrum with my corgi/dachshund mix, Gatsby.

I take Gatsby to work every day since I work at a doggie daycare. He'll get in the seat willingly now (he used to put on the brakes at the sight of the car.)

I give him things to chew on to distract him and don't feed him before any car rides, but on longer car rides he'll ignore the chewies and drool profusely, sometimes he'll just throw up without having eaten anything. Considering I have severe anxiety bordering on phobia of vomit, I'm starting to get anxious just driving with him because I'm so scared he's gonna puke.

I'm working on my own vomit anxiety but everything I've tried with Gatsby just doesn't work. Help on how to lessen his anxiety and lead to a hopefully puke-free car?

Feb. 5th, 2014


Dog Aggression?

So I adopted this dog a little over a year ago when he was 2.5 yeas old. I knew that when I adopted him that he was poorly socialized around other dogs because his previous owners had a dog that was aggressive towards other dogs. My issue is this: whenever we are on our walks he goes completely apeshit around other dogs depending upon proximity, visual contact, and the behavior of the other dog.

I don't think he wants to mess up the other dog but his behavior is pretty extreme. He doesn't show the tell tale signs of aggression like hunkering down, hackles raised and the bearing of his teeth. He does, however, raise his ears and his tail, starts kind of prancing, then lunges. When that doesn't work he grabs his lead and starts playing tuf of war (unless I let the other dog pass, in which case he whimpers and kind of howls).

I use a pinch collar with a harness as back up in case he manages to slip out of the collar and a chain lead a) because I read that it's suppose to dissuade the behavior, though it doesn't and b) because I don't want it to break because of him chewing.

I've tried food lures to modify the behavior, which has been ineffective as well two different kinds of bitter sprays on his nylon lead which just seems to make the behavior worse. Leash corrections have had about the same effect as food lures in that they distract him but only for a split second. I've tried to research training methods through numerous books (including Koehler) and websites but nothing seems to address the particular issues that I seem to be having and its embarrassing. Any help would be appreciated.

Oct. 9th, 2012



Dog Park Woes

Hi, everyone!

Read more...Collapse )
This is Gracie!

She's a pound dog, about a year old, and I've had her for 2.5 months now. She has been adjusting to our family well, and although she doesn't excel in obedience, we have yet to have any big problems with her. I think she is a pointer cross of some sort, but i'm nearly certain she has a bit of Jack Russell in her. She is very high-energy, goes after squirrels obsessively, and has a lot of those borderline neurotic ticks that are characteristic of the terrier.

Anyway, she gets walks/runs daily, which I think is substantial exercise because she behaves well in the house. She also gets consistent obedience training, knows how to sit, lie down, stay, wait for her food, wait to go out the door, etc. She is working on walking obedience, which usually goes well but gets interrupted by squirrels every now and again. I really like taking her to the dog park, but she is extremely vocal about her play. She is not aggressive (although sometimes she acts protective of me), but acts very dominant, singles out a particular dog, and just barks at them nonstop, even if they show her their belly or start to play with her. When she gets in this mode, my commands fail to snap her out of it. She also makes it pretty hard for me to catch her, though we've worked a lot on coming when called. It's really annoying, not only to me but especially to the other owners. She sometimes scares the other dogs too. I thought that maybe she could work it out on her own, but it's just getting worse and worse, perhaps because she is getting more comfortable with me.

I know a simple solution would be to nix the trips to the dog park, but I think the social time is important for her, being a single dog and all (hah). I also know how much the dogs love their play time there and hate to take that away from her. So, my question is, has anyone here dealt with this problem before? Any suggestions for things I can be doing to better get her attention?

Thank you! I look forward to your input.

Aug. 6th, 2012

Dom, Sean A, Warhol ffect-Elijah, Billy


Former Stray Whining

We've had a stray dog* for about 2 weeks now  and she's so lovely and docile and is perfectly fine with out 2 cats.

But there've been a couple of problems. The biggest is the constant whining at night and whenever we leave the house. She was quiet for the first week then suddenly woke me up one night with the sheer volume all the way in my bedroom from the kitchen downstairs. She's also keeping the neighbours up, which is comepletley believable because she is very, very loud and doesn't stop all night no matter how many times we go down to her. 

I don't expect miracles but I've literally had no sleep for 4 days straight on top of looking after my other pets and all of Sheba's (the dog) medications and life in general. I really, really need some advice.

If it also helps, the vet reckons she's between 5 and 7 and is most certainly a mut. 

Another problem is house breaking her. When we're in the house she already knows to wait to go outside but when she's alone at night or when we leave she goes all over the kitchen. Very messy, she tends to do lots of smaller pathes of urine as well as two lots of stool generally. I don't understand how though since she gets let out quite a bit and seems to force herself to do something so she can come back in. I almost think she's holding it in. 

Well that's about it, I really hope someone can help me, I'm exhausted and worried everytime I need to go out.
*She's been reported to the dog warden and checked for a chip. 

Jan. 17th, 2012

Irish Ryder


(no subject)

My boss is getting his first puppy in a few weeks. He asked me what dog training books a first time dog owner should read in preparation for a new addition to the family. Any suggestions?

Dec. 29th, 2011



Paper training a dog that has been going outside

I have a 17 lb female dog that is a beagle/yorkie mix named River. She is 2. I also have a Lab mix.

They are trained to go outside in the yard to potty by themselves, but not on a leash and not on command. Now its cold and River does not want to go outside to potty. DH and I decided we could paper train her to  go in the basement and maybe even get her a litter box. She's small, the weather is cold and wet and we really don't blame her for not wanting to go outside but she wants to pee all over the house now. Its like she was never house trained at all in some ways. 

How do you tell a dog who's been told for 2 years that its bad to go potty in the house that its suddenly OK to go potty on papers in the basement? There are no rooms in the basement. Its just cement basement. It is dry and warm.

We've both had dog before, but they've all been big, tough dogs like Labs and hounds that could stand an hour of  bad weather.

Dec. 22nd, 2011



(no subject)

collie222 recommended that I check out this comm and ask my question here, so here goes.

I am a dog trainer. I primarily work with privately owned dogs that are being trained as service dogs. I have a working service dog, Gypsy who is almost 8 years old now and getting ready to retire. I've been searching for a dog to train as her replacement for almost three years. I seem to be having a run of bad luck.

Currently I am working with a smooth coated collie named Billy. Billy is about three years old and a retired show dog (he has a fancy championship title and everything). Billy is the perfect gentleman at home and in any outdoor situation. He is calm, relaxed and friendly with just about everybody. The few people that he does not like he seems to be a bit fearful of and will avoid. When pushed he averts his gaze, cowers, and moves away. He will tolerate touch if he has no other option but clearly does not enjoy it in those few circumstances. Most of the time he is very eager to interact with people and LOVES to be petted and fussed over. It took two five min sessions with one of those people using a clicker and high value treats to get him to be calm with her and even choose to interact with her. He is not as enthusiastic with her as he is with other people, but he will approach her and accept treats and petting.

His big problem is that he is fearful in new situations. He's been worried about the car, and we worked through that with the help of a thundershirt, some patience and plenty of treats. He is now happy to get in the car, a calm passenger and pleased to be left for short periods in the car. He does get a little wiggy when trucks go by, but he recovers quickly. For the past two weeks we have been working on public access training. He has been to a restaurant (about 15 min before he stopped showing signs of stress and relaxed) and three times to my school (10 min, 8 min and 5 min to relaxation). So you can see that he is making HUGE progress.

He is, however, reactive to sounds in the environment. If he hears a door opening or closing he stands up and looks around to locate the sound, the same for people entering or leaving the area we are in. I have, of course, been rewarding him for all calm attentive behavior. He is getting much better and turns back to me faster and refocuses much faster now, than he did when we started. His stress signs are refusing high value treats, shaking, heavy panting, blinking, lip licking, pacing and cowering. The shaking and refusal of treats usually only lasts for seconds at a time. Everything else takes time to go away. Once he is relaxed he is very attentive to training and willing to do whatever I ask of him. He will respond to cues even when still stressed, even when he won't take treats, he WANTS to always be doing the right thing. If he has something to DO he calms faster. I've taught him to lay on a mat and I bring that mat with us everywhere. Being told to lay on it seems to calm him.

So my question for you is, what would you recommend in this situation to help Billy be more at ease in new situations? I am very committed to doing everything in my power to help him be as happy as he can be in life. I want him to enjoy working with me, and I really hope we can get there.

And now a picture of BillyCollapse )

Dec. 5th, 2011

Irish Ryder


(no subject)

Someone posted a comic about dogs needing their space on DIT. It made me think about a recent puppy socialization class we attended. My pups have been socialized with other dogs, but those meetings were one on one, and the other dogs did not exhibit any rude behavior. At the puppy class there was one male puppy, 13 weeks old, who was rude and repeated the behavior for almost the entire 45 minutes. Kori responded by trying to get away from him, hackles raised and warning him with growls to back off. He completely ignored her. She never went beyond growling, as she was too busy watching the older puppies run and play on the other side of the x-pen. Her herding instinct was in overdrive, watching all the older puppies playing and running, so she mostly ignored the male puppy.

So I thought I would post a short video showing the behavior and ask what you all thought of the body language be exhibited by the puppies in the class. I would also like to hear any suggestions on how to help your puppy deal with another pushy pup. The pup in question, BTW, was super-sweet and friendly with people, lavishing everyone with kisses. I think he was responding to Kori's excited reaction to the older puppies, as he didn't treat any of the other puppies this way. (But I'm no expert)

Apr. 3rd, 2011

• your apocalypse was fab


Dumb Question;

How do you tell a dog's confidence level?
I hear that term a lot but don't fully understand what I'm looking for.

Nov. 3rd, 2010



i don't think there is a soultion

i know you guys hate me for how I tortured that one dog, but my cat enjoyed a brushing with that. that dog, Nina just hated being touched, I couldn't even brush her with a soft rubber one, and my parents, whom I live with didn't beleive in brushing dogs. You know, "just vaccume everyday if the shed hair bothers you"(odd considering the cat wasn't allowed in, due to my mom being pissy about "all the hair" that was shed. we put Nina to sleep in August, because of her CHF.

so we are down to one dog, who is getting worse with the trash can. our kitchen is shaped like a T, so closing it off with gates is out of the question. I don't know even if the'd buy them, or not be "lol wut?" if I spent my own cash, on them. Even if she was 4 years old

there is no place to hide it, and when we leave the house it goes on the counter. even if I'm upstairs, and no one is in the house, she knocks it over. I asked, yelled, pleaded, to get a can with a step-lid. I'm greeted with dog facts I already know(canine olfactory ability), or "she is senile" from my mom's end.

I'm tired of it having to go on the counter, and me being the only one "trying". but now that it's colder. I don't think I want to pretend to leave the house, hide, and "make the big scary noise". I'm the only one who'll do it. I asked my stepdad for help, but he thought it was unnecessary. "what smells good to us is irresistible to her, so she really wants what is in the trash can, just try not to put any food related things in it if you can help it"

or, just a "why do we need that? just remember to put the can on the counter"

they don't care about "what if she eats something toxic?" they can deal with cleaning up doggy vomit at 2 am.

she gets fed well, and now we need to switch to soft and home cooked because her teeth are "rotten and old". I'm told because she isn't getting "doggy junkfood" she needs her fix from our garbage. Licorice also now, will try to knock it over when we are home.

but nobody else helps, nobody does anything. and I get a "why are you buying that? we don't need that" if I suggest boundary.

her poop eating is getting worse too. I need to bundle up more to watch her, and not put her in the enclosed deck for her to use the "dog litter-pan" my stepdad built. she'll just go and "snack out"

is she sick or, her other newer food "just makes it so yummy"? is she one of the "she just likes it"? should I order them to take her to the vet? or drench everything in bitter apple? for when I do it, they do it(put her on the deck to use that, sometimes one is very busy around the house, or it's 9 pm and dark and cold) or the morning and busy.

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