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Murray Momma

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  1. I still swear by the Halte (Gentle Leader) head collar for walks. As previously mentioned, you'll get people who will say "Oh your dog is in a muzzle. Is he mean?" I also saw that as a perk while training. It leaves you more time to focus on your dog versus what random people are going to interrupt. (We're almost graduated out of the Halte on Murray and he's just over a year old. I wish I had used one earlier, he used to pull so hard that he has a "dead neck" as per my obedience instructor. He'd probably pull me in a wagon down the road if given the chance.) Another good trick is praising the dog for "checking in" while on walks. The dog sees something but then looks at you for direction. I'm a heavy treater for check in's as it cements that Momma is Boss on the walk and I'll lead the dog to where he needs to be. My neighbors probably think I am crazy but I also talk to Murray on walks. We have some mouthy neighbor dogs that will wind him up to a kangaroo as we walk by (Halte or not) and if I can get him to look at me and stay focused on me by talking (i.e. "Oh what a good boy! Look at you walking so nice! We don't need jerkface over there to keep going.") then I am teaching Murray to succeed. The advice about taking the dog to the dog park but not going in is now on my To Do List! I am betting this will finish off the "I NEED TO PLAY WITH THAT DOG" issue Mur has off our normal walking route.
  2. Murray was never a growler at the dog park, but now that we have Hank… Hooowee! They really get into playing and it’s all high pitched play barks, growls, air snaps and general debauchery. As Hank is short enough to stand completely under Murray, his corgi roots shine and he tries to herd from his vantage point. Murray just busts out a play growl and sits on Hank's head. Then Murray needs to flop on the floor so Hank can feel like the Top Dog (from the height of his 6" legs). If they're playing tug, same story but they're going to take out anyone walking by at the knees. I thought much of their play was aggression to start, as neither had lived with another dog. We figured out it was borderline aggression as Murray had no idea how to read dog body language (What a weird critter only puppies are - does anyone else have one?) and once he learned what Hank was up to, he mirrors the actions. You’d think I was running a two dog fighting ring some nights… I swear I am not! At the end of play, both boys flop on my feet and lick each other’s face. Such sweet monsters.
  3. Murray was my first puppy and I can say the crate saved my sanity (and really helped with housetraining). My mom had an old book kicking around from one of their first dogs. It's out of print but I see Amazon has it still! http://www.amazon.com/How-Housebreak-Your-Days-Revised/dp/0553382896/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377530844&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+housebreak+your+dog+in+7+days Now having introduced a second dog (although older than Murray) into the house, the crate has again proven useful. I tahnk my lucky stars that the new dog was properly crate trained. In my experience, crate training is crucial. Best of luck with the new pup. Such a cutie!
  4. So sorry about Petey. The dogs we have as children really do set us up for our future pups, don't they? Welcome to the Auzzi family! Murray (the lil guy in my avatar who is now 65 lbs. of not little) is half Border half Auzzi. I like to think the Auzzi side gives him the "I love everyone!" attitude and the Border side his razor sharp intellect. He's the dog that I know will push me towards more Borders and Auzzis when the time to add to the fur-family after he goes (in hopefully 17 years or more!). I do wish he had the Auzzi nub, but no -- we have the christmas tree sized monster tail on Murray. I wish you many many wonderful years ahead with the new pup!
  5. Our old Lhasa was a JERK at the Vet's office. The vet gave me a tip one of the times that I brought her in by myself (I was in my late teens at the time... Mom was happy for me to have my driver's license for those vet trips!) -- Yawn (or fake a yawn) a few times with the dog in the waiting area. It apparently calms them down a bit. I will say that dog was less than ramped up on subsequent visits after using that trick. Added bonus - it worked yesterday with my first vet rip with Hank.
  6. Sounds like your husband and mine need to go out for a beer and relax! That said, we're in exactly the same boat. He didn't want Murray to begin with, and now that we have Hank -- the poor guy is outnumbered. We've agreed to disagree about the dogs. I take the primary training, obedience, vet visit and feeding responsibilities. He will however, pull out the frisbees and chuck-its for the dogs. As much as I'd like to rescue/buy every dog, I have a policy to never have more than my 2 hands can handle. We're not sure on the kids front, but it was my original goal to have the dogs so well versed in obedience that adding a baby would be psuedo-manageable. The baby thing is a whole other can of worms. It's still one of those things that is "maybe someday" with the two of us. Until then, I have my four fur-children (the 2 cats are counted in that total). I'll just stress the importance to be on the same page as a couple with both the fur-kids and babies. From my husband's and my experience, the stress and fights resulting from adding Hank to the mix were not worth it. My only saving grace was that Hank is a lovable 55 lb. Corgi sausage (or as my husband says "a lil smokie") and tires Murray out in 15 minutes of dog-play that only a 10 mile hike would accomplish with him previously. With 2 dogs, they're self-entertained and we do have more "alone" time. Yes, we are having issues with sporatic resource guarding with Hank. Yes, we are working as a team to resolve it (although the husband would just like to give him back... not an option) before the topic of babies rears back up. I wish you all the best with whichever decision you go with. Just be sure to weigh the possible outcomes.
  7. I am happy to report dinner was an in-crate event last night with no issues! I did however, manage to miss a rawhide in picking up the high-value items/edible toys and there was some barking by Hank in Murray's general direction. I corrected with a "NO LEAVE IT" and Hank slunk off to his crate for a self-inflicted time out. I had good luck with trade-up games and re-enforcing sit/down/go place with Hank while Mur was out roaming the yard. I really appreciate all the help and suggestions! I'l be keeping up the routine for sure.
  8. Great idea! I'll give that a try. I'm taking him one-on-one to a beginner's obedience class. His previous family only took him to the 4 week course at PetSmart. I haven't seen too many positive outcomes from other dogs in similar classes. The obedience group I have taken Murray to has loads of experience in training with positive reenforcement. My particular instructor is always quick to provide alternate routes of training if one particular avenue isn't keeping the dog on target or reaching the end result. I'm certainly open to other suggestions to try at home for the next week and a half until my formal class with Hank starts up.
  9. Ahh, the inconsiderate dog owner. The bane of the dog park. Murray and I used to go regularly but thanks to jerks like the guy you describe, we don't go as often. I have been known to "grow a pair" (mind you I am a 5' 4" rather petite lady) and tell someone that their dog was too aggressive and perhaps needed to be removed from the park for a breather. There's a couple of Ridgebacks who would regularly bowl Murray over (think a log roll down a hill) and the guy would laugh. Not funny to me or to Mur. I'd still tell him to check his dogs. It's a drive to the dog park but I still will turn around if that guy's truck is there. We'll go to the local pet store to say hi to the owner and get a fancy treat instead. No sense in having Mur hurt by some jerk's dogs while we're there to have a good time.
  10. We had a similar issue with Murray knocking over kids/elderly women/the mail man on walks. My obedience instructor gave me some sound advice: She said it's OK to be "rude" to people who don't listen when you say "please don't pet my dog" and just keep walking or jog to get out of Dodge. It's more likely that the kid/parent/old lady/mail carrier will be rude to you after your dog causes them a scrape/nip/broken hip/federal mail offence. She also had me practice talking to Murray (to keep him at heel and focused on me) on our walks. If food is a better trigger for your dog, I had great luck smearing some peanut butter on a wooden spoon for him to lick while walking. It's quicker to treat for focus and good behavior when you don't need to dig in a bait bag or bend over to get said treat to their mouth.
  11. I've discovered his excited bark has specific triggers: 1. Guests arriving at the house 2. Other Dogs 3. Furry critters which he does not have access to (our cats, roadkill....) I try to distract him as best I can in those situations, which usually helps. I'm hoping our new dog (although we've only had the second dog for a month and the new dog is also a barker) helps with the "Other Dogs" trigger.
  12. YES! Murray's excited bark, I think, is the same frequency as a smoke detector. It's the least masculine bark I've ever heard. Heaven forbid you be in a car with him when he sees another dog - he goes NUTS and it's near impossible to get him to stop barking. I have almost driven into a ditch during one of his excited barking moments (that time it was a woodchuck on the shoulder of the road).
  13. Hi Everyone! I completed a search, as I know the archives have a treasure trove of good advice, but didn't see a thread that really met the target points for what's going on at my house. Murray is growing up to be a fine young man, and as always, is excelling at obedience/socialization/walking on leash. I had the opportunity to resue a 4 year old male Pembroke Corgi from a family with their hands full (3 kids under 3 years old) as a buddy for Murray. The new Corgi is "Hank." Hank has now been with us a little over a month with only a couple minor incidents but the one yesterday really has my cowls up. Incident 1 - Day 1 in my house: As with bringing any new animal in the house, the introductions were made, the crate set up in an out-of-the-way location and both dogs were on leash at all times (can't be too careful). I was lucky to have the ability to introduce the two dogs at three seperate times in three neutral locations prior to bringing Hank home. I also was able to observe Hank in his home with the two toddlers and an infant. He was the gentile sausage and the kids (although I don't think I would allow this...) would crawl all over him, stick their hands in his food bowl, etc. After bringing Hank home to my house, we were good for the first two hours. Food was in both dog's bowls and they were happy little campers playing tug and chasing each other through the dog-safe areas of the house. Murray started to eat out of his bowl in the family room and Hank went to investigate his own bowl in the kitchen, decided he didn't want to eat and went to see my husband who was sitting on the family room sofa. Murray made a move in the general direction of the kitchen door and Hank was hot on his trail with the manic barking snarling. That behaviour not being acceptable, the leash was stepped on to prevent Hank from going any further and Murray was also prevented from proceeding to sniff up the leftovers. I will say I know better than to leave a new dog's food out. Lapse of judgement on my part and Hank was fed in his crate for subsequent meals. We then moved forward to feeding them on opposite sides of a baby gate so they could see that all food is equal. We've had no further incedents and they share the leftovers equally. Following this, I made sure that both dogs (knowing their breed backgrounds both contain herding instinct and a high drive/energy level) were walked extra and treated equally. Murray, being bigger, is a bit of a rough player but Hank keeps right up! I ensure there are enough safe toys around that each dog can be stimulated if playing independently and high-value items (elk antlers, smoked bones, etc.) are up out of the way inaccessable unless I allow them to have access. I have not seen any aggression over crates, dog-friendly furniture, access to myself/my husband or toys at any point. Incident 2 - One Month in my house: After taking the dogs for a walk (about 1.5 miles) in near 80 degree sunshine, we came home and I figured a couple ice cubes (what dog doesn't like ice cubes!?) were in order. I tossed 3 in each dog's water bowl. Murray promptly fished his out and chomped away like a happy camper. Hank fished his out and drank the water, leaving the ice melting on the floor. Murray, always happy to help me clean up, made a move for a lone cube as i reached for it and Hank went nuts! I yelled "NO LEAVE IT" and both dogs backed off but as i reached for the cube, my thumb was nipped by Hank. He got me pretty good, the knuckle is brused with a minor canine puncture. He immediatly ran full sprint (as much as a sausage corgi can...) to his crate. Atleast he knew to put him self in time-out. I am at a loss on this one. They've both had ice before and this didn't happen. My husband is obviously concerned as my hand was a target. (I say that I should have waited until both dogs left the area before going for the cube. They were both still 1-2 feet away and I should have sent them out of the room completely before getting any more involved.)Murray scurried to his bed and didn't move until I told him it was OK. So here's my question --- now what? Can I really call this resource guarding? Are they isolated incents? The first was expected but this second issue was out of the blue. What can I do, aside from additional obedience with each dog, to curb this issue? I'm also happy to provide more info, if needed! I always value your opinions. - Christina (aka Murray Momma)
  14. Hi Team! Murray's doing great in his advancing skills classes leading up to the CGC Test. We're slated at the beginning of September to take it but using my instructor's tips, I have had limited success at a couple points and could use additional insight. 1. Loose Leash Walking - Murray is GREAT with a Gentle Leader/Holt head collar. I have excellent success at a true at-heel walk without the Gentle Leader when he's spent a good half hour running the yard/dog park but the second we get in a situation where a loose leash walk is a command performance, he gets a bout of the crazies and pulls/loses focus on me/locks into attention with another dog in class. I can take 1 piece of kibble (not even a super smelly training treat) and walk him at heel OFF leash in the house. I know he is well aware of what is expected of him. Am I expecting too much of him at only a year old? I figured he'd be well graduated from the Gentle Leader by the end of Star Puppy, he sure proved me wrong! 2. Reaction to Another Dog - Here's the bain of my existance. There is NO reward higher (food toy, me) for Murray than the ability to see/spend time with another dog. He's a little too social when it comes to canine companions. I've tried spending time with friend's dogs, the dog park, acutal socialization classes and he just won't leave another dog be without going crazy (tail wags, barking, lunging, trying to play). "Leave It" is just ignored even with the I MEAN BUSINESS voice. I'm at my wits end here. Is it because he's an only dog in our home? Help!
  15. Super cute pup! Murray is a BC/Auzzi Shep (similar to blue heeler) and has a similar coloring but totally different fur and ears. I'm a sucker for any dog with eyebrows.
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