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About JohnC

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  1. I was considering doing this also but decided it was too much of a commitment. I did read an interesting book about it: "Scent of the Missing" by Susannah Charleson. It's not a training book, but more of an inside look at the process and lifestyle. And it does seem to be a lifestyle. But I'm sure it's very rewarding if you have the time for it.
  2. Well, first let me say once again that I'm not affiliated with Peta in any way and don't agree with a lot of their positions. In fact, until this thread I hadn't paid much attention to them at all since my college days. But after doing a little research, it's pretty clear that there is a coordinated propaganda campaign out there on the internets funded by something called the “Center for Consumer Freedom”, which is actually a front group for the meat industry and companies that supply animals for research purposes. The links provided by simba to Nathan Winograd's site are a good example. Here's a link about him and his site to provide some balance: http://www.whypetaeuthanizes.com/the-curious-case-of-nathan-winograd.html As for the idea that Peta is killing lots of adoptable animals, that seems to be untrue. Yes, the percentage is very high, but it's misleading. The actual numbers are relatively small at less than 2,000 animals. And they are not running a traditional animal shelter, but rather providing a euthanasia service for people who can't afford to pay for it. http://www.whypetaeuthanizes.com/a-closer-look-at-nathan-winograds-shocking-photos-petas-secret-slaughter-of-kittens-puppies.html The small, hands-on facility at PETA's Norfolk headquarters isn't a traditional animal shelter, but by comparing it to one, PETA's detractors are able to make it seem like PETA's euthanasia "numbers" are very high and somehow very bad. PETA's shelter operates for the primary purpose of providing no-cost, humane, veterinarian-supervised, medical euthanasia to suffering community animals who require it. This service is offered on an emergency on-call basis only, and it's not advertised in any way. PETA's Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services animal reporting data and shelter inspection reports confirm that nearly every animal PETA receives for euthanasia is received from his or her guardian for this service. There is no indication that these guardians aren't acting in their animals' best interests by requesting this service from PETA's shelter, or that it's in any of their best interests not to be immediately euthanized. And no, Peta did not steal anyones dog. They were authorized to go into that neighborhood and round up strays, same as if they were your cities animal control officers. They weren’t there to try to find out who owned each dog.
  3. So we have an outright lie about them stealing someones dog and guilt by association when some people who may have been associated with PETA did something irresponsible and not condoned by the organization. Plus they spend much of their money on fund raising, which, as the blog post points out, is exactly what many other non-profit organizations do. And, of course, baseless scare tactics suggesting that they might stop people from using dogs with livestock. While I'm not a member of PETA and don't agree with them on a lot, I think it's pretty clear that they are being demonized simply because people find their ideas threatening. Given that, I think I'll give them the benefit of the doubt when they say that the animals that they euthanized weren't candidates for adoption. It doesn't make much sense to me that an organization that is fanatical about animal welfare is needlessly killing animals. 'Waffles' is correct about their beliefs. But they are a tiny minority and are in no way able to advance any of these beliefs politically. In this country even the simplest of things that most people agree on are impossible to get passed into law. Does anyone seriously believe that PETA's agenda will come to fruition? Personally, I like having groups like PETA around, if only to get a different take on things. And I really don't get all the fear/anger directed at them. There are certainly groups of people with far more toxic belief systems out there.
  4. I agree that you shouldn't use a recall command. I use “Let's Go”, which translates to “We're going to do something else fun”. For example, when I leave the dog park, I often take a short on-leash walk in the area. And sometimes return to the off-leash area to play some more. Occasionally, I take a drive to another area and walk him there for a bit. Or stop at the pet store, which is always fun. So when he hears “Let's Go”, he's always curious and excited about what we might do next. Also, have you tried disappearing when he doesn't pay attention? Basically, make him think that if he doesn't come along, you might just leave anyway. I always do this with young pups and it works really well. You want to make it his job to keep track of you and stay with you instead of the other way around.
  5. Well, I was curious and found this thread on an obscure web site : http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=13588 Interesting thread, but the relevant part is in Post #6: "According to Iris Combe, "fox collie" is an old term that was used to describe a farm collie that looked... foxy. Reddish coat, up ears. Sometimes the result of a terrier cross, back in the day. " ETA: Wrong Link
  6. He sounds very similar to my pup. Taz has a very strong desire to chase anything that moves. He was lunging like a crazy dog at cars while on leash and this is the only time I felt I had to use a physical correction. I always believe in giving a dog the chance to do the right thing, so at first I used “Leave It” and tried some desensitizing. I think desensitizing works great for a fearful dog, but for Taz, it was like trying to desensitize him to a delicious steak dinner...Not going to happen. I escalated to some leash corrections and firmer “Leave It's”, but he was unimpressed. So it was time for a zero tolerance policy. Next time he lunged, I gave him a hard leash correction, grabbed him by the scruff, pinned him down and verbally gave him hell. Enough that someone who was walking with me was shocked and thought I'd lost my mind. But it only took a few times for him to get the message that this behavior was simply not going to be tolerated. He's not stupid and he knew exactly what this was all about. Now at seven months, he still has an interest in cars and his favorite part of our walk is when we go along a busy street where he can eyeball them. But he wouldn't even think about lunging at them. In fact, his leash manners are at their very best along busy roads. I wouldn't trust him off-leash around cars for sure. But like you, I don't have much need for that and think it can wait until he's more mature before working on it. As for a trainer, I would not allow anyone to administer this type of correction to my dog. I think it's best coming from someone he trusts and has a relationship with. In fact, I'd consider it a betrayal of trust to hand him over to a stranger for this.
  7. My county in NC gave up on licensing due to a very low compliance rate. Plus, tying it to rabies vaccinations caused more people to forgo getting their dogs vaccinated. Wondering why Virginia had better results I did some checking. Turns out the good folks of VA are no more law-abiding than North Carolinians. According to one survey of 15 VA counties, the average rate of dog registration compliance only 36%, and this is thought to be an over-estimate. http://www.myrtlerun.com/srvy_detail.php?order=3 Dog licensing fees, required under Virginia law to ensure that animal owners bear a portion of the responsibility for funding animal management services, are capped at $10 and the average rate of compliance among the fifteen counties surveyed is estimated at thirty-six percent (though it is likely lower). Sixty-four percent of pet owners choose to ignore the law, thus adding to the financial burden that falls on responsible pet owners and local taxpayers.
  8. Stun guns are supposed to work very well. I just bought one (ViperTek VTS_881) so haven't actually used it. They're non-lethal, inexpensive, small and easy to carry. The loud noise they make is said to be very frightening to dogs so it's good for scaring off approaching dogs. Zapping won't completely incapacitate a dog, but should be enough to send it running. I've broken up several fights over the years by grabbing the hind legs. Works pretty well. I've even tossed a few dogs, though nothing larger than a husky. A few weeks ago my young pup was attacked by a small, but really obnoxious little dog at the dog park (It had already attacked another dog before going after mine...Stupid owner...). I was there in a second, grabbed the little thing and tossed it. Unfortunately, I over-estimated it's weight and it was air-borne for a little longer than expected. Eh....maybe it learned a lesson.
  9. Thanks everyone for your comments. He's turning into such a fun, good-natured and, yes, mischievous youngster. But I'm just glad to be done with all the “baby” stuff!
  10. And I finally learned 5 month old Taz's master plan for that big hole he's been digging: Mud Puddle!
  11. It only takes a second for a dog to chew through a power cord. If you can't keep cords out of reach, you can use a GFCI Adapter on the outlet to prevent electrical shocks. At only $13 (amazon price) it's cheap insurance. I've never kept a puppy in a crate after house-training. I just do a good job puppy proofing some section of the house and keep them there when not at home. But I would never leave a puppy or young dog alone for more than 4 hours. Either I would come home for lunch or have a pet walker come by. On the original topic, if these are indoor dogs being left in the yard all day, I can see where that could be a problem. Many dogs don't like being excluded from the “den”- And chewing on the house might be a not-so-subtle message. The alternatives are to keep them inside, install a pet door (guarantee they'll spend most of their time indoors) or if you must, a chain link kennel outside. IMO, confining dogs to a yard all day is an invitation to trouble. Barking, escaping, being stolen, tormented by neighborhood kids, etc
  12. My pup Taz (5 months old) was driving me crazy until he received his last shot. After that I was able to take him out to a lot more places and he really calmed down at home. I think taking them places gives them a different perspective, kind of like “we go other places for fun, but we relax at home.” We go to the dog park (small dog/puppy section) several times a week plus we go on at least two hikes during which he gets to go swimming and is off-leash for part of the time. On weekends, I try to find some interesting events to take him to where there will be lots of people and dogs. Check your local dog related web sites for listings of dog friendly things in your area. Even taking a short drive to walk him in a different part of town can be a good adventure for a dog. Also, having a pet door helps a lot. Whenever Taz is bored, he goes outside to patrol the yard, work on his excavation projects or just hang out on the deck. I'm not a big fan of crating dogs once they are house trained. A dog learns to be loose in the house by being loose in the house. And I'd rather that they learn when small enough not to cause major damage. Other than the spare bedrooms, mine has full run of the house. If I need to leave him alone I put him into the MBR, which is well puppy proofed. But he's totally used to being out and now hardly ever chews on anything but his toys. Also, I noticed when I was crating him that after a nap he'd come bouncing out of the crate like he was starting a new day, ready for action. Now that he manages his own time, I don't see that kind of behavior.
  13. Just did a site search using Google. Used your ID and "getting a puppy' and it came up as the first result. Interesting thread!
  14. This it? http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=29596
  15. Maybe I'm not understanding correctly, but most dog parks don't allow people to bring a leashed dog into them. I'd suggest checking on meetup.com for dog friendly hiking groups. In my area, they do on-leash hikes to the state parks and other areas. This way she can be around other leashed dogs and learn to socialize and be calm around them.
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