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Messages - FXgirl

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Just wanted to give a little up date on class and what I've been doing at home, if anyone cares.  It may be of help for those with reactive dogs.

I'm still keeping a daily reactive dog diary which in the long term may come in handy seeing patterns I'm missing.

The hand feeding during walks has been fantastic.  He gets fed when he looks at me and when he's right beside me.  I alternate between handfuls of kibble and just giving him one piece at a time.  Feeding while walking has many benefits.  It keeps me calm having something to do,  I get a much better heel and a lot of eye contact,  it helps keep Bosco's arousal level low.  When he's aroused he takes treats/kibble with too much teeth contact and too hard so a loud "ouch" helps him to lower his arousal so he can take the kibble gently.  I love it.

Yesterday I found out that when it's not me holding onto the leash he doesn't react in the slightest towards other dogs.  That is a huge revelation!  Just goes to prove that I am the problem.

We saw a dog approaching on leash so I used the opportunity to try an experiment.  I very securely tied the leash to a bench out of the other dog's way because I didn't want to disturb the dog or the owner and I walked away.  The dog was about 6 metres to the right of Bosco and I was about that same distance to the left.  No reaction, no lunging, no barking, no hard stares, no tail up.  The focus was on me and when he looked at the other dog I asked for a "watch me" and got it no problem.  He got lots of praise and treats for that.

I don't know all the things this could mean but it could be that removing myself meant that he couldn't resource guard me or that I am giving him some sort of cue to react with my behaviour.  I don't know I'll have to discuss this with my trainer when I see her.

If I get the okay from her, I will be doing this from now on.  When I see a dog approaching and granted the situation is safe ie:  no pedestrians in the way, the other dog is under physical control,  ON LEASH and at a safe distance.  As long as I get no reaction I'll throw treats to him for being good but if I get any sort of reaction I'll turn my back and walk further away.  And only when he's quiet will I come closer.  Over time and many walks I"ll slowly decrease the distance I'm away from him until I'm standing right beside him getting him to watch me.

Then we'll work from there and move onto more challenging situations.

This week we're practicing leave it or off with balls being kicked around, toys being squeaked and all that.  Class next week will be practicing with fake squirrels running around-oh boy!


General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Re: Car sick
« on: March 11, 2009, 03:51:12 am »
Some things you can try:

No food or water before the trip
Crack the windows for fresh air
Let him see out the front window
Ginger root pills

You should start with very, very short trips and work up from there. Sometimes just being in a stationary vehicle is enough to trigger stress.  If he's a pup he will most likely out grow it.

Just thinking about motion sickness makes me feel ill.

Mixed Breed Pictures / Re: Hi everybody! need some help!
« on: March 11, 2009, 03:38:08 am »
Okay, hold on, I've been thinking I may have read your post wrong.  Since you made a point of mentioning Leo had A SINGLE front dewclaw I may have read into that a bit deeper.  99.9999% of dogs have single dewclaws in the front and single/double dewclaws in the back.  There are a couple of very rare breeds that are polydactyl in the front.

Mixed Breed Pictures / Re: Hi everybody! need some help!
« on: March 10, 2009, 02:57:58 pm »
Very hard to tell at this age what your pup is.

Were his rear dewclaws removed or was he born without them?  I believe wolves do not have rear dewclaws.  But since you say he only has one front dewclaw maybe he has a "birth defect" and since that one is missing that could explain why the rear are missing.

If you're positive he has webbed toes then he might be a mix of one of the following: Akita, Newfoundland, Leonberger.  I can't see him being a mix of any of the other web footed breeds.  Wolves also have webbed toes.

As he matures you'll be able to see his personality and make a better guess at what he might be if you research breed temperaments.  I don't think he has any wolf in him.  I've seen pyr mixes that look like your guy.  Keep Leonberger in the back of your mind cuz you never know and you're not gonna know at this age.  Leonberger puppies look MUCH different than adults.

Does he have a black spot on his tail?

Some other pictures would be helpful.

It may just have been too much too soon for reactive Sophie.

Has your trainer been a big help?  If you need help in finding a new trainer, let me know and maybe I can help.  Reactivity is a common behavioral problem.

My guy is only reactive at other dogs while ON LEASH outside.  Throwing a tantrum is NOT going to get him what he wants but quite the opposite!

Yesterday was my first class and it was all very, very interesting.  The trainer had their dogs in the room facing away from the entrance and each dog owner took a turn coming in with their dog to be evaluated.

Some interesting observations were found with the dogs....whale eye, tongue flicks, not looking at the owner, cutting the owner off while walking, erect tails, raised hackles and the list goes on.

Some of the the dogs were resource guarding their owners so that was interesting to watch and what a dogs body language is when it does that.  I was told my guy was anxious and bossy.

I was told to keep a journal until next class of the dog's daily activities, what he reacts to, etc etc.  And for now to only take short walks but as many as I want.  They must be calm and quiet when the leash comes out, the door opens or whatever may trigger your dog to get excited for the walk.  I was told to walk slowly, with the dog at a heel and to feed meals(a few kibbles at a time) while out on walks.  Basically each walk is a 15 minute training session.  

Anyways, there's so much I could write here but if you need help I can talk to my trainers to see if there's anyone they could recommend in your area.  These women know their stuff, use positive methods and have connections to the top behaviouralist s like Ian Dunbar.

What I've found out about my situation is the reactivity is only the symptom and I'm hoping once I really crack down on the bossiness here at home will I have a dog that has a high frustration tolerance and I really think that is key!!!  Right now Bosco has lost all privileges(he didn't have many to begin with) but the major thing with him was that he pesters when he wants me to get up in the morning,  when he wants to go for a walk and when he wants to eat.

Food Discussion & Information / Re: Poultry free kibble suggestions?
« on: March 05, 2009, 10:06:24 am »
I have a dog with "issues".  He eats Solid Gold's Barking at the Moon which has ocean fish, beef and potatoes with no eggs, chicken, duck, turkey OR grains which he can't eat either.

It is expensive though.  A 33lbs bag costs about $75 CAD.  My guy is getting older and pretty inactive so a bag lasts me about a month and a half.

This time of year he starts getting very uncomfortable with seasonal allergies and itches/licks himself.

There are a few more videos of this dog on youtube.  There is one where he stands up, hackles raised and growls and barks in his sleep.

I dunno, I found the videos a bit disturbing to watch.  I'm interested to know what is up with that dog.  There is no way that's normal.

Labrador Retriever Pictures / Re: She's home!
« on: February 27, 2009, 04:06:19 pm »
If you don't want glowing eyes, don't use the flash.  You will need lots of light from a different source though and is hard to achieve in the house.  Photos with natural light taken outside are always the best.  I find flash photos are never flattering, for people or dogs.  The fur looks too shiny, the eyes glow, the camera picks up micro dust floating in the air and there is too much contrast.  You did get some good photos though and those are the ones that have the natural lighting.

Like others said, you can do some work in Photoshop if you have that program.

Enjoy your pup!

Great Pyrenees Discussions / Re: Life with the runs
« on: February 18, 2009, 07:45:18 pm »
Oh goodness, I'd be changing vets if mine was as casual about such a problem.  The more the diarrhea goes on, the much greater chance your puppy will become dehydrated.  Is he drinking a lot to replenish all those lost fluids?   When you grab the skin on his back does it pull away easily?  If it's tight then he's dehydrated and definitely a serious matter.

Rectal temperature of a dog is 99.5 to 102.5 F.  A good thing for anyone to check if their dog isn't feeling well.

If he's still playing and otherwise acting normal, that's good to hear but don't wait until Friday to take him in.

I recommend this article for you to read.  While it may not have direct relation to dealing with aggression, it has helpful info that I really think could be useful in your situation.

I would seek the advice of a trainer for his growling at people while on leash.  I'm not sure what you are doing to correct him when a stranger goes to pet him but corrections or punishments are something you might want to avoid.

Growling is a way of saying he's not comfortable and that he is unsure or scared.  Once you take that form of communication away his only other choice may be to bite. 

A good trainer will probably want to desensitize with food.  Or if you have a growly/reactive/feisty dog class I would also take that. 

Stick with it and all your hard work will pay off.

Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / Re: I can't take the whining!!
« on: February 10, 2009, 08:34:59 am »
I ordered some DAP from my vet and am going to try that out with my guys when it comes this week.  If you want to find out more just goggle dog appeasing pheromones.

Also, anything that can keep him occupied chewing should help calm him down.

Is he getting plenty of exercise from/with you?

Breeding Questions & Information / Re: Why oh Why
« on: February 10, 2009, 08:24:08 am »
I know for leonbergers there is a database created by hard working leo lovers complete with pedigrees, breedings, siblings and half-siblings lists, hip scores and the inbreeding coefficient percentage.  It has been an invaluable source of info. As long as I have a pedigree name of a dog it's amazing how much I can find out about a breeding dog just online with all the sources out there.  Other purebred enthusiasts should do the same IF they aren't already.

To the original poster, I would say if you're not comfortable with that close of a breeding move on.  I was on a breeder search for a newf a while back and found it tough.  I'm picky.

Wolfhound Discussions & Pictures / Re: Our Polish boy
« on: January 27, 2009, 02:55:19 pm »
Amazing colour!  Will he stay that colour or darken?

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