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Everything posted by MaggieDog

  1. I decided to get accident/injury/illness only coverage via PetPlan for my two youngest. For a dog under 25lbs (Ziva) it's $10/mo and for a dog under 45 or 50lbs (Kes) it's $12/mo. Both dogs are covered for up to $8000 per year after a $250 deductible. After the deductible is met they pay 90% at the regular vet's or 70% at a specialist. If a pet develops a congenital issue after coverage begins it's still covered unlike the vast majority of other insurance companies I looked at. Similarly, PetPlan is one of the few companies that will not consider a condition diagnosed in a prior plan year "pre-existing" in the next. As long as you maintain coverage they will continue to pay for treatment. Add in that they cover alternative care (acupuncture/chiro specifically, but they may cover others) and have one of the highest ratings around for customer satisfaction and you've got a winner imo!
  2. I would love to see a full body shot - my 15 mo boy is gangly like it sounds like Howie is and I think he's the same mix, so it's always fun to compare!
  3. Maggie will be 11 in June(ish) and doesn't seem to do anything that you noticed Solo does (except counter surfing, but she's always done that lol), but like Missy she seems much more affectionate. She also seems to enjoy her creature comforts more as well - she's often seen on the couch when she never used to get up there.
  4. Kristine has some great insights! I'd say Grady could probably also benefit from Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol - google it and you should be able to find it easily.
  5. ((hugs)) and lots of "come home safely and quickly Kenzi" vibes!
  6. Maggie was rather subdued when she realized Kes was staying last year. I was quite worried about it, but each week brings more and more signs of her acceptance of him. Just this week (month 11 with Kes, month 7 as a permanent member vs foster!!) Maggie has switched to normal play instead of play that can escalate into snarking/blustering behavior. It probably took her 2 months to accept that he wasn't leaving but that she was still well loved and that was ok, she just was a little less tolerant of his behavior for several months after that, and now we're settling into a good routine. Kes was 4mo when he came home and is just about 15 months now, so his maturation also has a lot to do with this change as well. You could consider trying the Comfort Zone for Dogs (aka DAP) diffuser to see if that takes the nervousness down a notch - can't hurt and might help.
  7. One of Kes' ears flops completely when he's tired - he's 15 months and I think we're settled on one up and one tipped in most cases.
  8. The thread has long since passed me by, but I did want to throw one thing in for clarification - I mentioned my CPDT title so you would understand that I'm not an average pet person and that I do more than what I do with my own dogs - not necessarily to somehow indicate I know all there is about all the various dog sports out there (faaar from it lol). I was feeling a bit talked down to and felt the need to clarify that I can handle technical descriptions, etc. I posted my vid as a "see this is beginning level choose to heel" for the OP, not really for a critique, though some of the info has been eye opening and I did enjoy hearing people praise Z. That being said, I guess I won't be doing comp. obedience any time soon - I can't stand heeling with the dog's ear at my pant seam - you can't even see them there! Maybe we'll look into schutzhund obedience where forging it expected.
  9. (psst shepherdess - I'm a certified professional dog trainer. ) I understand what you're saying about position - like I said, we're still in the clean up stage. The position thing was actually the main reason why I videoed the work we were doing since I wanted a better idea of where we were in the clean up process. Am I incorrect in thinking that heel is usually dog's shoulder in line with your pant seam? That's how I was taught years ago. Right now I'm focusing on agility and heeling is just for fun and use in the real world, so we'll keep plugging along where we are - no rush and no need to use physical prompts or completely change my reward system (I have really bad associations with spitting food due to the original competition obedience class I took 10 years ago that used jerk and pull methods and demotivated me and my dog horribly so that's not really an option at all for me).
  10. I second all the other advice but I also want to emphasize that you need to only allow your dog in your yard when you can directly supervise him for his own safety. If you're not out there with him this woman could very well decide to take the law into her own hands and harm him - a video cam will catch her behavior on film but it can't prevent her from throwing something hazardous over the fence.
  11. Shepherdess: Z and I have been working on heeling for a little while but very irregularly - I still consider her relatively new to heel work as we don't even have it on cue yet. This session was the first time we'd worked on heel for about 4-6 weeks. I don't compete in obedience with Z, though I am considering doing some rally work after my move to NC. We currently compete in agility and I work on precision stuff for fun and to show off to the classes I teach. I'm planning on working on heel more with Z right now since we're headed to Clicker Expo in March and I need her to walk close for the crowded conditions. Training progression depends a bit on the dog, but roughly looks like this: 1. Wander aimlessly around yard or training floor (silent); C/T dog when they enter the "magic box" (18"x18" centered on my pants seam) next to my left hip 2. Dog chooses to heel alongside on their own for more than 2 paces --> click for series of steps instead of single steps w/in the magic box 3. Dog heels with variable c/t for a series of steps w/in the box --> c/t only for heel position within 6" of formal heel position (magic box shrinks) 4. Dog is heeling accurately for more than 2 paces --> c/t for series of steps in position, gradually extending duration of heeling between c/t **this is where Z is right now** 5. Clean up the heel (eliminate crabbing, minimize forging) by clicking only for "perfect" performance 6. Add cue 7. Start working around distractions and in various locations Kristine: I had someone else ask that exact same thing when they saw that clip! I started just using the off side because that's the way it feels most comfortable for me, but I'm not modifying it because I like the fact that having the food in the off side hand reduces the likelihood that the dog will treat the heel side hand as a food lure - Z focuses more on what she's doing when the food isn't right in front of her nose ime. I do have to focus more on where I deliver the treat so she doesn't start wrapping in front of me, but so far so good. Kes is actually catching onto heeling much faster than Z and I wonder if it might be due to the fact that he and I work on heeling using toy rewards more than I do with Z - he seems more focused in front vs to the side (I toss the toy away from me) so i don't get much crabbing like Z tends to do. I'll have to video his heeling sometime, too.
  12. This is quite timely - I just posted a vid on YouTube with me working my middle dog on her heel - we use a clicker based method.
  13. I'm liking the West Paw Bumi tug toy I got this Christmas - very durable even for my pup but probably not indestructible. There have been several thread son this topic - you might want to do a search. eta: Here's a recent one that's several pages long. http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=26609
  14. Good to know you can get Jawz misprints, too - I had only seen the Fastback misprints on DTWorld and I know Kes' bite would kill those quickly. Z may need the slightly smaller regulation disks - she's just a half inch too tall to be allowed to use the Pup size discs.
  15. The place where Z and Kes go for agility is starting up a toss and fetch frisbee team. I need good beginner discs that are USDDN approved in time for our first throwing lesson on the 12th and am having trouble finding them locally. Anyone have any suggestions for good beginner discs and places to purchase them? The team organizer is recommending wrightlife.com but I figured I'd also ask here to make sure I'm not missing a better source.
  16. I'm glad mixes must be neutered - we don't need people to be encouraged to breed mixes imo. I agree with Julie that the issue for me is more the "pay to play, but you might not be able to play" than the neutering thing. And there's the whole "only at stand alone events" thing too - like the purebreds competing in the confo rings will somehow be tainted by the mixes if they were in a ring nearby. That being said I have toyed with registering my gang so we can use AKC events as practice runs since other venues are a much further drive for us now that mixes can compete side by side in performance stuff. I was at a B Match for agility the other day (all proceeds went to a shelter, animals didn't have to be registered but needed to be "registerable") with my mixes and really liked not having to worry about being called out for having mixes, even though they were the only ones on the trial site. I did get called out for having my puppy wearing a head halter tho...
  17. My neighbors just got a Shih Tzu x Yorkie cross - any name guesses? eta: it's on that "registry"'s list as a a Shorkie Tzu. blurg.
  18. I'm not a fan of peta by any stretch of the imagination, but I can see where they are coming from on this one - animals who are put on display can be seen as inanimate objects a little too easily for my liking. Kind of like sheep being used as "toys" in some places.
  19. Mojo from the gang here in SC - heartworm is a scary thing to treat. Vala has our best wishes.
  20. Keep in mind that the necks of the Leos are vulnerable to shredding - Z had hers pretty badly ripped up after about 10 minutes of chewing. The Mikes are a hit here. The shelter got a nice donation of Leos from the manufacturer about 2 years ago and many are still going strong - we sawed off the necks to avoid problems, but the dogs still love them sans necks.
  21. We didn't go this year - went in '08 for fun. This year I decided we didn't want to melt again like we did last time lol.
  22. I have a brand new fav of Kes (w/ me!) - credit to my Mom, photo taken today on a hike in the Green River Gamelands in NC. Ziva at the Aflac Outdoor Games in GA (summer of 2008): Maggie at Prophetstown State Park in IN (fall of 2004?):
  23. For dogs that size I'd be using crates that are at least 36" long, so 36" by 24" would likely be the minimum for a kennel, but you wouldn't be gaining anything if crates are the same size as the runs, so assuming the dogs are housetrained I'd make them as large as you can/want.
  24. Deramaxx is what the vet prescribed Kes when at 8mo or so he messed up a shoulder muscle and needed NSAIDs and rest for a week. We had no trouble with it at all - not even a hint of an upset tummy and at that time he had a touchy tummy. Sorry the news isn't what you want, but like others I'm glad it's not another condition you have to worry about. Acupuncture is a great idea imo and I've heard great things about the DGP that Kim mentioned.
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