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Suzyann13

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  1. Hi, and thank you for your reply. Sorry I got the names mixed up. I guess I'm on the right track. I used rescue remedy plus Cheerios for Mickey the first four or five times with my father-in-law, then just Cheerios when Mickey got used to him. I thought about using cheese, but he loves Cheerios even more, and they have fewer calories for him... I have sometimes done his exercise before a visit, but not always. That sounds like a great idea to remember! Thanks again! --Suzanne
  2. Hi! So what techniques have you been using? I got a couple of books to help with Mickey, "Scaredy Dog" and "The Cautious Canine." I have been giving Mickey lots of Cheerios, his favorite treat, when my husband's dad comes over (he was very scared of dad--tall & deep voice). Now he isn't barking and growling anymore, but still gets spooked when dad stands up. However, he gets excited when dad comes over now because he knows he will get Cheerios, and that behavior is what the second book said would be good. I need to find other people to come over who aren't afraid of dogs. What have you done to get Whisper used to people? --Suzanne
  3. Hi again. I just ordered The Cautious Canine and Scaredy Dog from Amazon for $21.00 for both, so I hope those will do. I read all the reviews, and those two sounded like they had help specifically for what Mickey needs. I think they will help, and I plan to research the links provided as well. I think he will get better after lots of work, because he seems to be much better with dad now. I just have to keep it up. Thanks!
  4. Hi, and thank you for the ideas. Father-in-law has started coming over every day to help us get the house ready to sell, so Mickey is seeing him more often. He comes in the living room and Mickey is in the kitchen with a baby gate between. He pets Cindy Lou while I feed Mickey treats and tell him good boy. Today Mickey played fetch with me after he saw dad, and he only made one tiny growl at the start of the first trip dad made inside, after that he was fine, but of course, dad never came up to him. I did ask him to call out Mickey's name a couple times when I was giving him treats and playing fetch. Mickey looked over at him but did not growl, raise hackles, or bark, all which he had done three days ago when dad started coming over every day. I did give Mickey Rescue Remedy as well, as I want him to feel calm when dad is here. I have a friend coming to visit in a few days who will be in the house for a few hours a day for two or three days while we visit, so I hope to do the same thing with her. I am hopeful. I will also get at least one book, maybe more, to help. So thank you all for the ideas. I am moving to Old Town, Idaho, which is about 30 miles from Sandpoint, and we'll be WAY out in the country, so we won't have many guests. I hope that I can still get him used to people, as you never know when a new stranger will come over. I'll give updates when I can...so much packing and working on the house to do as well... --Suzanne
  5. Thank you for the ideas. I will try getting one of the books. Which of those is the most complete? My husband just lost his job and we are moving to Idaho with no income as yet, so I can't get all of them. Thanks again. --Suzanne
  6. Mickey will be one year old Monday. He is sweet, obedient, learns well, is good with my other dog (a pug named Cindy Lou), and loves everyone he knows. But is scared of everyone he doesn't know. I have taken him on walks in the neighborhood, at the park, in the woods, and other places, and according to advice on this list, I have kept him pretty much in his comfort zone and not near strangers. I ask people to not look into his eyes so he won't be scared, and I have successfully kept him from having any incidents that would give him bad memories of a stranger, no problems, yelling, dogs that were aggressive, or such like. But still, he is afraid. He has tried to bite my father in law, who comes over once a week to help my husband work around the house, twice. Today I gave him some Rescue Remedy, which I heard about on the internet, before my father-in-law came over. He growled a minute when dad got here, but didn't bark and raise his hackles as he usually has. I had dad sit and pet the other dog, Cindy Lou, in the living room, with a baby gate between them and Mickey, who was in the kitchen, so he could watch Cindy Lou love on dad. Dad came in and out three or four times, but never walked next to Mickey, and there was not outburst of barking or growls. So is it from the Rescue Remedy, do you think? Can I use it to keep training him when we go on walks, or was it just because we were careful to keep dad away from him? Mickey is a dear, and I don't want him to bite someone and have to be put down. Any other advice would be great. --Suzanne
  7. Well, I think I got it stopped in time. He never has even looked at his regular shadow, only the second shadow that was across the dirt road by the pen. He doesn't try to look at his own shadow in the day or night, but only was doing it with that one across the road, which was large against the trees and really looked like another dog. At first, I had thought it was another dog, too. But he never refused to come when called or anything. Anyway, thanks for all the comments.
  8. Yes, when I took him out last night, after doing his duty, he did go look to see if his shadow was there. He looked all around without the light on him, and finally gave a lonely little bark as if to say, "where is my friend?" Then he came back to me for a hug. He played with his toy a little with the flashlight on him in the middle of the pen, and then went back to the fence to see if his shadow had come to play, but again, I didn't put the light on him over there. He stood looking out the fence at the trees where his shadow had been, and I decided to call him. He came right away, and didn't go back. Hopefully he will get over having lost his shadow friend... --Suzanne
  9. I see what you are talking about. Thank you. We just got back from our cabin in the mountains, so we haven't been in the pen for a few days. I will take him there tonight and not shine the flashlight on him when he goes to the fence. Then, I hope he will not do the chasing because he won't see the shadow. At least, when he doesn't see it in the daytime, he doesn't, so I will see how he does. I have noticed that he is more nervous than other dogs I have had, and he gets easily distracted by movements or noises more than my other dogs have done in the past. So it's probably a good thing that I found out that borders can have mental issues and get obsessive. (But I still think he's cute when he does it...though we won't allow it any more more.)
  10. Hi again. Thank you for your input. I never thought this could hurt him in any way. He only runs back and forth by the fence, and he thinks he's playing with another dog. In what way can it hurt him to run?
  11. We have a huge dog pen I use to exercise Mickey in. I always sit in a chair in the pen and watch him while he runs around and chases toys I throw for him. The pen is about 35 feet by 45 feet, and the longer side is along a dirt road on our property, with trees on the other side. When we go out at night, I sit in the chair in the pen and keep a flashlight on him while he runs around or does his duty. Every night he runs straight to the fence along the road and looks for what he thinks is his "friend" dog, but is really a double shadow. For some reason, he gets a shadow on the ground next to him and also one on the trees across the road. When he sees it, he tears back and forth along the fenceline by the road, looking at the other "dog" and giving a slight gruff sounding "woof" once in a while. Then he will run to find a toy, run back to the fence, shake the toy at the "shadow dog," and run back and forth along the fence. It's also funny that in the daytime, he looks for his shadow friend in the trees, but he's never there. He seems really sad sometimes when the other "dog" isn't there in the daytime, but I throw his toys for him to fetch, so he gets happy again. What a funny sight it is to watch him chase his shadow! It's been several months since I started sitting in the pen with him at night, and I thought he'd stop after the other "dog" never came over to sniff him, but he keeps it up! Mickey is a border collie husky mix, but he acts mostly border, and looks border in the face, but his body color looks more husky because of the silver sable fur. He's so sweet!
  12. Hi, and thank you for the reply! I now don't plan to do any stock training with him except for "leave it alone." He's really interested in the goats, so I may have some trouble with that, but we keep him in the house or on a leash all the time except for a rare stay in the backyard, which has a 6-foot fence. But he doesn't like being alone, so I only put him there once in a great while without me. Nevertheless, I think it will be a good idea for me to teach him 'leave it,": even if it takes quite a while for him to learn. --Suzanne
  13. Hi, Julie. Thanks for your ideas--I appreciate it. I think I'll try just teaching him to leave them alone. It sounds like the best idea in this case. --Suzanne
  14. Hi! Mickey is 8 months old now, and I got him neutered last week. I've been obedience training him, and he is doing well so far. He is half husky, half border collie, and I hadn't planned to train him to work with my goats, because I don't really need to do anything with them except move them between two pastures, and that's easy enough by myself. However, I have been nervous that the husky half would take over if he got loose someday, and he might hurt them, so I was thinking about doing some training with him to be gentle with the goats. Today I brought him over to the goat pasture, and they came running up to the fence to see me. He crouched down with his hips up, as I have seen borders do, but I thought it also might be a stance for attack if the husky is coming through. His personality seems to be mostly border, from all I have read about the two breeds. But would it be safe to try a little training with him? I want to be able to trust him on my place. What do you think?
  15. Thanks again. I am trying just parks for a while. Mickey did pretty well at the park today, and didn't raise his hackles very long at people, so that's better than before. I didn't have anyone get near him at all, and we just walked past people and dogs. He raised hackles for a minute or so each time he saw someone, but then lowered the hackles after a bit and didn't growl. Maybe just walking past people over and over will stop his raising the hackles and growling at people eventually. He isn't afraid of little dogs, and doesn't growl at them, just people and big dogs. He's really a sweetheart and loves attention from everyone in the family, so I do hope he will mellow out if I keep trying. I have never heard of any classes for dog training here besides the pet stores. We are a pretty small community, which is why I had bought all the books for working with him for being a companion/therapy dog for my parents. Those books pretty much all say that a nervous dog will not work for what I wanted for my parents. I have trained dogs for obedience, but not for therapy. My dad has Alzheimer's, and they need a gentle, loving dog. He is so very gentle and sweet with us and them, but always growling and hackles-raising when strangers are near. Anyway, the park with no pressure seems the best thing for now. --Suzyann13
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