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Messages - mixedupdog

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From the pictures he looks ok to me, but if you are concerned maybe he is too thin. It's been my experience with Giants that in the first 2 years or so they grow taller so fast that they just don't have a chance to fill out.
But my 3 yr old St./OEM X has a weight issue, we, like you, have tested for all kinds of things, and he never looks quite right. In build he's a lot like your dog. Unlike your dog, you CAN see his ribs (barely) and he's very light in the rear end. I boarded him at the kennel where I work recently, and had them give him Eukanuba Low Residue, as I was out of his food, and had no time to go to the store. Well, they were at the kennel 5 days, and I swear his ribs are less noticeable! Low res is a veterinary formula, supposedly for sensitive stomachs. I'm arranging to order some from work, it might be worth a try!

When I was doing distraction training I didn't allow Earnest (my Lab/DaneX)to socialize on-lead, and I took him to Petsmart to practice. I still don't allow him to "say hello" on the leash, my feeling being he's supposed to be paying attention to me on lead, not looking for buddies.  But I didn't block the aisles or the doors, either, and I was polite about saying "I'm sorry, he's in training, he's not allowed to say hello".
Last week we took both boys to Petsmart, Earnest has a few months left on his Banfield contract, and he needed a bordatella shot. We always take them on their 18" traffic leads, with their prong collars. I use a flexi everywhere else, but a long lead is not appropriate IMO, in a store.
So my son Levi (14) and Phyfe, my St./OEM X went looking around the store.  Levi was standing near the end of an aisle, with some people gathered around talking about and petting Phyfe. This guy with a Border Collie approached, stopped about 12 feet away, and let the BC run out the flexi lead. The BC started growling at Phyfe and Levi. Phyfe is in no way dog aggressive, but he's VERY protective of Levi, that's his job. So he let out a HUGE roar and wrinkled up his face to show that BC how much bigger his teeth were. The passersby took off, I don't blame them, Phyfe with his face all bunched up is really scary. Levi kept his head and did just the right thing, he said "Phyfe, let's go" spun Phyfe around and walked off in the opposite direction.  The BC owner hollered after him "Just 'cause he's big doesn't mean he's tough, my dog could beat yours any day" pretty bad when the kid is more mature than a grown man. A worker did check to make sure Levi was ok, and came to the vet's office to apologize. They asked the BC owner to leave, he got huffy and tried to blame Phyfe, but the people who had been looking on saw the whole thing, and defended my boys. We've had stuff like that happen before, usually it's Phyfe that gets the bad rap, just because he's so big, and his roar is so loud and scary.

Medical Conditions & Diseases / Re: Raw bones
« on: February 04, 2006, 01:57:39 am »
Anytime one of mine swallows something foreign or big like that, I give them a 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup of Olive oil in a little bit of rice or kibble, it helps lubricate things- makes them more likely to pass gently.

Just in case things don't improve, what kind of heartworm meds is she on?  I had a Dane who was very allergic to Ivermectin (heartguard) and her hair fell out in a very similar pattern.  As soon as we switched to a different medication her condition improved rapidly.  We wasted a year on special foods and cortisone shots before we discovered the real cause.

Great Dane Discussions / Re: A small vent about people and their dogs
« on: January 30, 2006, 11:13:53 pm »
I taught Earnest by taking him to busy places like the park, the ball field, and Petsmart where people and dogs would walk by frequently. As soon as he "alerted" on something (ears up, attention drawn) then I'd have him sit. I held a treat enclosed in my fist, and whenever his attention wavered I'd move the hand with the treat around his nose, even sometimes opening my hand enough for him to sniff it or even try to lick it, but not enough for him to get it.  He didn't get the treat until the distraction passed.  If he bounced up from the sit he got a correction and back into the sit.   
So instead of teaching him to pay attention to me with a command or correction, I taught him by this method to look to me whenever something interesting happens.  (by watching his behavior and distracting him when he became intent on something).
Now I have a dog who comes back to me, even off lead, when other dogs approach while we're hiking, or if something unexpected happens. He even returned to me when a deer jumped up out of the grass and ran away just a few feet from him!  It took a few months for him to be solid on it, and once he was sitting and looking at me automatically when another dog approached I added a long line and instilled the habit of returning to me.  One of the big keys to this was not allowing anyone to greet him or pet him while we were practicing. 

Great Dane Discussions / Re: A small vent about people and their dogs
« on: January 30, 2006, 06:44:28 pm »
I love this Suzanne Clothier article on the subject:

I have taught my boys to completely ignore other dogs when on leash.  They are NEVER allowed to greet other dogs when on-lead, they are supposed to pay attention to me.  It's not that they're dog-aggressive, they aren't, (Phyfe is sometimes a little protective).  It's that I don't want them to anticipate greeting every dog they see.  They get to interact with each other, and occasionally some friends dogs, they're socialized fine.
I have gotten more lectures and rude comments or looks from people at Petsmart when I tell them "no" when they ask if their dog can greet mine.  If they come up without warning I turn and walk away- my dogs follow without a look back. 
In the situation you describe Phyfe may have acted the same as your Dane, especially in close proximity to a bag of food.  Earnest would have probably gotten way too happy, wagging all over, slobbering and dancing, and generally being an obnoxious fool. Either way I'd have been pretty peeved. 

Book Club & Noteworthy Reads / Re: Bones Would Rain form the Sky!
« on: January 17, 2006, 11:46:26 am »
Here's the kind of situation where the philosophy of "Bones" applies.
I have a friend with a very tall yellow Lab, he's almost as big as my Dane mix.  They are first time dog owners, but really did their homework, went to lots of classes, and he is very well trained (he is now a therapy dog). 
Well, she asked for advice about a sudden change in "personality".  At first she thought it was her camera, everytime she asked him to sit and pointed the camera at him, he got up.  When she went to put him back in the sit he refused, and when she tried to force him he growled (throaty growl with no teeth).  The next day he again refused the sit, and growled at her husband when he tried to make him.  He did lay down, but continued to refuse the sit command, or layed down instead.
Everyone insisted the dog was "testing" them, and recommended NILIF and other "alpha reinforcing" techniques.  Most people said that growling is NEVER acceptable, and that the dog needed strong corrections for this behavior.
I know this dog, it was really out of character for him.  Then they posted pics of their recent snowshoe expedition.  There was the dog, plowing through some really deep snow.  I called her, and we had a discussion about long-legged dogs and the effort involved in walking in snow over their hocks.  She took him to the vet, and it turned out he had an inflamed tendon!  It was very sore- that's why he didn't want to sit, and he was growling to try to tell them that forcing him was hurting bad.
I NEVER "correct first and ask questions later" I have always tried to figure out where the behavior comes from and what the dog is trying to tell me. 

Newfoundland Discussions / Re: icky ears
« on: January 16, 2006, 12:06:22 pm »
Friends of mine on another board all use this solution- it works great!!!! It's kind of a double barrel approach, if the problem is fungal the Gentian Violet will take care of it, and if it's bacterial the Boric Acid will work.  If the ear is raw from the dog scratching you can substitute Witch Hazel for the alcohol.

16 oz. bottle isopropyl alcohol (or witch hazel)
4 tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 drops Gentian Violet 1% Solution

I found extract of Gentian Root at the health food store- it's not even purple! If you do find the purple kind be forwarned that it stains.
You can fill the ear and massage in, I use those round quilted cotton makeup sponges (they don't fall apart like cotton balls). I soak one good, then stick it down in Earnest's ear, and let him shake it out.  It stays in long enough to do the trick- I've never had to treat his ears for more than a few days, I usually do it morning and night every other day for three times.   
If your dog gets frequent yeast infections you might try switching to a rice-based food, corn and wheat in the diet can make a dog more susceptible, since I switched a year ago Earnest hasn't had a problem with yeast except once, when I fed him a bunch of regular dog biscuits in a relatively short period of time.

Treatment & Preventative Meds / Re: How about compulsory spay/neuter?
« on: December 28, 2005, 07:36:50 pm »,1282,64194,00.html

They already microchip people. On another board I belong to, I see an awful lot of people who would be willing to give up an awful lot of rights to things like privacy and probable cause because our government has them so afraid of terrorists that they think it's necessary for their own personal safety.  I happen to live my life in such a way that I am as equally aware that I could be hit by a bus as killed by a terrorist, and take about the same level of precaution against it. 
Don't you think the government could convince an awful lot of people to do it on their own- in the name of "Homeland Security"?

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Weird dogs!
« on: December 18, 2005, 11:41:09 pm »
I am very interested in dog behavior, I am lucky enough to work at a kennel, I walk the dogs during the week and run the playgroups on weekends.  Most of the interaction is pretty predictable, it's after I come home that things get weird.
Phyfe and Earnest are both almost 3, Earnest was neutered really young, Phyfe around a year.  Earnest has his own odd kind of alpha stuff, he won't fight, but he postures, pushes, and occasionally humps to get his point across. Phyfe was raised with horses, and really doesn't understand dogs.  They're ok with each other, Earnest acts like he's the boss, Phyfe will let him mouth him all over, and shove him like a football player on defense, but if he does something too annoying Phyfe backs up and gives him one of his sonic boom barks, and Earnest backs off.  Earnest will play bow and run around, Phyfe might run a bit, but he doesn't know "tag" or "gotcha last" at the dog park he'd rather get humans to pet him.
They got a tug toy for an early Christmas present, I thought they'd love it. Earnest's best friend,  (no, Phyfe is not his best friend, Phyfe is the BOY'S best friend) Calvin,( a BIG yellow lab)  plays tug with Earnest for hours whenever we see him.  Well, we finally got both Phyfe and Earnest clamped on to either end of the toy, they started pulling. I thought finally they'd have something to do together. Earnest started play growling, to him that's a big part of that game. Phyfe dropped his end, barked, and went downstairs to Levi's room with a squeaky thing- which he proceeded to de-squeak.
Earnest doesn't go down there, he stood at the top of the stairs waving the toy forlornly, then dropped it in the hall and got his Gallileo Bone. Now nobody wants to play tug, not even with people. That toy has become "no man's land" and neither one will touch it.
Silly dogs!

Medical Conditions & Diseases / Re: Separation Anxiety, real or myth.
« on: December 14, 2005, 07:08:05 pm »
I had a Dane that as far as we can piece her story together was left locked in an empty house when her people moved.  She went through a window to get out after several days, I adopted her from someone who caught her wandering the streets. 
That dog had SERIOUS separation anxiety. She would break windows in my house and come looking for me. I'd brought her to my job once when I first got her, the first time I left her alone it took her 2 hours to find me, after that it took more like 15 minutes. She'd show up at my friends' houses, refuse to be caught, and keep looking until she found me.   I barricaded her in a room with only one window, and put plexiglass in the window so she couldn't break it, she ate the window sill and pulled all the sheets and blankets off the beds, pulled all my clothes off the hangers in the closets, and made a big pile of all my possesions in the middle of the room, then burrowed into them.  Her gums were bleeding and full of splinters from the windowsill, and her feet were all bloody where she had tried to claw under the doors. The carpet was shredded (but only under the doors) and the wall under the window was clawed. I put her in a crate and she destroyed it, and injured herself pretty badly trying to get out. I finally screwed a giant hook into the wall, and if I had to leave her I would chain her to the wall with a harness so she couldn't reach the windows. (no, I would not recommend this, but I had run out of ideas)It did work- but the area she could reach was pretty dilapidated by the time we were done.  It took a long time for her to believe I would always come home. She finally did get to where she could stay home alone without being confined-she even stopped breaking the windows.  After a few years I was even able to kennel her when I went on vacation.  Whenever I moved she had to ride back and forth with my belongings, and it made her very anxious until we slept in the new place.  She was about 2 when I got her, and she died in my arms after 10 long wonderful years- best dog I ever had.
Does SA exist? It sure does!

was curious, for I know I would want something for the pain.¬ 

Thanks, Randy¬  ¬  :(

See the difference is if you get pain meds and they tell you to take them too feel better but take it easy, you will.¬  If a dog gets pain meds they think they're fine and they want to run and play and roughhouse, and they can't rest and recouperate the way that they should.¬  When dogs feel pain they know they need to rest to get better.¬ 

Senghe is right, it's better for them not to have pain meds, the pain will keep them from overexerting.  I have seen dogs (esp. spayed females) that were given pain meds return to the vet with split stiches, etc. because they got too active. Now if the pain meds are enough to also be sedating, that's a different story, but sedation also slows down the healing process.

Book Club & Noteworthy Reads / Re: Don't make the mistake I did...
« on: December 13, 2005, 04:37:54 pm »
You do have to be really careful choosing a vet.  I'm somewhat aggressive with the vet, I used to be a vet tech, and I question everything. If I have to argue with them, I leave. I WON'T do all of Earnest's vaccines at once, it makes him sick and droopy for a few days, sometimes he runs a low fever,  so I like to space them out.  More than one vet argued with me that he'd be "fine" and it was ok for him to be sick from the vaccine.  No, it's not.
The last time I was at the vet (I won't go back) The tech walked in, grabbed Earnest, and squirted yellow paste down his throat. I said "is that Strongid?" She said yes. I said "what kind of worms did he have?" She said "his fecal exam's not ready yet". ????!!!! We're giving him wormer before the results of the fecal?  Then she comes back in smiling and says "the results were negative".  Then WHY did we give him poison?  When I asked she said "oh, we always do it twice a year". But if he doesn't have worms, he doesn't need wormer. Then they argued with me about "prevention".  Well, they don't eat anything off the ground (training) I keep my yard really clean, and except for going to work with me at the kennel, they're not really around other dogs much - isn't that prevention enough?

Treatment & Preventative Meds / Re: PETRA'S HEAD! CAN THEY DO THAT???
« on: December 13, 2005, 03:45:03 pm »
Had you or somebody been bitten within 10 days of Petra's last day? That's the time of the quarantine period for a bite, and if so, the Health Dept. regs say they have to do the rabies test.  BUT if that's the case, the vet should have told you ahead of time, so you could decide if you wanted to wait until it was 10 days since she'd bitten someone to send her over the bridge.
I'm so sorry you had to go through this. My first dog when I was a kid developed some very severe aggression problems when he was around 7 (in those days we didn't know, now I suspect maybe it was thyroid or a brain tumor) it's never easy to make the decision- but sometimes you have to, for everyone's safety.  I'm remembering you and Petra in my prayers. 

Holiday Things / Cool gift idea
« on: December 07, 2005, 07:09:12 pm »
A friend on another board sent me this link :

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