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About teresaserrano

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    Dogs, literature, nature

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  1. teresaserrano

    Abca lookup?

    I've never used an e-collar so not experienced with it, but I do know a bit about dogs and training and my instinct is to not use it on a fearfull dog as it can make things much worse by scaring him even worse. There are many thechniques for building confidence that don't include something that may backfire. On the other hand, I do know some trainers use it on very low settings, not as a correction but as an attettion getter, and that sounds as what your training is proposing. It can work if it is well done, the risk is if it isn't. If you decide to go with it, just be very aware of your boy's reactions and attitude. Remember he may seem calm and compliant but in fact be just shut down. Best of luck.
  2. teresaserrano

    Advice on Potential Adoptee

    His coat was already looking so much better! Another update, please
  3. teresaserrano

    Sudden Death Pining

    That's so absolutely great, DSG. I'm very happy for you. And Roan
  4. teresaserrano

    Foster dog

    Thanks everybody. He's doing great, appart from lifting his leg to my wall, but that's to be expected, so lots and lots of prevention. He's already very much into me , when we're out walking he alternates between running with Tess and coming to me to get pets and treats. He loves playing and when I take the toys out of the bag there's two dogs completely focused on me, walking backwards in front of me and saying, throw it, please! Along with the sheepherding dogs, I've always liked very much the gun dogs, not really the labs and goldens but the GSP, Brittany and the english brown and white ones. He sure is sweet as can be, has a lovely personality, and since decompressing a bit, is an extremely joyfull energetic boy. The vet tech at the kennel said he should be about 1.5 to 2 yo, I'm thinking maybe even less, he squats half the time when peeing, is a bit clumsy and sometimes stumbles on his own legs when chasing a toy. And now I have to go take the two little hellions for a walk
  5. teresaserrano

    Failed Obedience Class

    At that age, Tess was a little wild shark. She was learning all the time but was waaay energetic and everything stimulated her. Se began to settle somewhat about 6/7 mo. She had a month crate rest by that time (post-op) and I thought that helped (poor pup) but maybe she would have settled anyway. She's now 5yo and a wonderfull dog. I think he's just too young, give it time, he'll get there.
  6. teresaserrano

    Sudden Death Pining

    DSG, thank you so much for this thread. Rereading it has helped me a lot regarding my dog before current one that died 5 years ago today., at 5 years of age. She was killed by a car on the dirt roads at the woods, where we had been hundreds of times and that I felt was a safe place. She was very well trained and would come running to walk at heel whenever she heard a car coming, far before I noticed it. And then that day it all went horribly wrong. I'm currently nursing a depression, with a couple of psichiatric meds and weekly psicoanalithical sessions. Looking back, it's clear it started 5 years ago, but it was so insidious that I didn't realize it was a depression until after the first psichiatric consultation, which I started by saying "I feel like shit, physically and emotionaly, but it's not a depression, I'm quite sure of it. I had one a long time ago and this is completely diferent". Doctor kept saying, "oh, but it is, they come in diferent flavours". Anyway, I talked with the therapist about the two big losses on my life, my father's and Sara, my dog, and she commented that I hadn't gotten over either. I was puzzled, as in what should one do to get over these kind of things, I have no idea if I did the right things or not... This thread has helped me realize that I didn't really share my overwelming pain, guilt etc. I'm not very good at sharing emotions. Although I was lucky to have family and friends that understood my pain, I did try to lighten things up so as not to overburden others. They where quite worried about me as it was. But I think my next session with the terapist will be all about remembering Sara and why I loved her so much. And for that I thank you. My father will have to wait a bit longer, that's an ever bigger thing.
  7. teresaserrano

    Non Sequitur

    Love this. Loooove.
  8. I had two dogs once, not bc's, and added a very young pup, 4 weeks old (long story). Next two weeks my older dog would growl and bare teeth when the pup was less than 3 steps away from her. Then she resigned herself to the situation and began breastfeeding the pup. And she breastfed her for the next 3 years.
  9. teresaserrano

    Foster dog

    Not a border collie. ----------------------------------- I'm fostering this lovely dog, a Britanny. He was at the council pound and is with me since last thuesday. He was absolutely terrified and shut down after 3 months at the kennel. He and a female of the same breed where found down a cliff by the sea, they where rescued by the firemen as there was no way for a person, or dog, to get down there, so they may have been thrown there. He as made terrific progress in just six days and has gone from not wanting to come out of his crate, no way, to running for the door all happy and excited when he sees we are going out. We live in the center of a small town and he was super scared to walk the few steps from front door to car so we could go of to a calm place to do some leg stretching. He's still somewhat anxious about trafic, people and noises, but sooo much better. He happylly jumps in and out of the car on command, is getting much better on leash, loves playing, already has the start of a good recall, brings a toy back to my hand half the times, looves swimming. I have him on a long lead but am already letting him drag it in calm isolated places as he shows zero signs of wanting to wander of, wants to stay near me and Tess and comes beautifully when called. And the best part is Tess, who can be iffy with other dogs and even a downright bully, loves him. They play a lot and she shows no signs of "jealousy" whatsoever. She does tell him off now and then, but she thinks she's the queen of the universe and that's what queens do. I know her, as she gets to know him more she'll stop feeling the need to correct him. Today I took the dogs to the beach, very early in the morning, and they ran and played together with such joy. Then Tess, as usual, decided it was time to glue herself to me and say, where's my toy? I'm used to have one dog begging me to play, but suddenly I had two dogs staring at me and asking, pleeease, play with us. So I played with them I love dogs but don't easily fall in love with one. The fingers of both hands are more than enough to count the dogs I've deeply liked, as in I would take them home in a heartbeat, in my life, and I'm more than half a century old. But this guy, in just a few days, has won me over, and I'm sensing a foster failure When I told my bf, who lives in London, I was fostering him, I was expecting a "what, another dog?" and was surprised to hear him saying, "so, well keep him. He'll be my dog, you train him, I pay the bills." I was the one who said, "hey, he just arrived, literally 2 hours ago, hold your horses! I have to see what he's like and how he fits in first!". Well, he fits in beautifully. My bf will end his contract in december and will come to live in Portugal and work as a consultant for FAO. He will have to travel a lot but I will be glad to have the dog those times (we don't plan to live together 24/7, he'll be living at his house in another town but we will spend a lot of time together). He is now having some reticences about the dog because he might have to go to Rome for 6 months after he's left London, and hes, I think, partly thinking it's too long away from a dog that's suposed to be his, and partly reluctant to have me be the sole carer for so long. So, I'm thinking it's my job to convince him it's actually a brilliant idea Pic of the two little beast, Tess and Josh. He had a terrible name, Quebrado, which is the name of the place he was found at and literally means broken, and that couldn't be, so I changed it to something João liked when he talked about the possibility of keeping him. If we end up not keeping him, he had to have another name anyway. And well, Teresa and João have Tess and Josh. See what we did there?
  10. teresaserrano

    Sudden Death Pining

    It's wrong and nothing makes sense, I know. Been there. Hold on to the good memories, all the love that has been does help now. I know many people that swear they'll never have another dog after a beloved one dies, because they can't stand the pain. But I suspect you, like me, will come across another friend when the time is right. A bit of Annie and a bit of Mags will be in him but mostly he will be his own self, and awesome. And he will also help. Hugs.
  11. teresaserrano

    A Few Questions About My Growing (7.5 Month) Pup...

    I forgot something. I believe there's a method that would work wonders with Tess: going out the front door and the moment she gets ahead of me, turn around, go back in, remove her harness and ignore her for a couple of minutes. Repeat and repeat and repeat, even if it means that an hour long walk only got us to the grass in front of my house. The problem is she doesn't do inconsistency at all. Like, she doesn't forgive the slightest inconsistency. If she can pull once, then she can pull every time. And I suspect I would have to do this every single time we went out the door for at least a fortnight, if not more. We live in an apartment and I work, so that's very difficult, there are times when I just have a short time to take her out to do her business. I also strugle with that mentally myself. I love our walks and, fighting a depression right now, I need those walks with the sun and wind in my face and the companionship of my dog. I strugle with the idea of just not going for fun walks for a while. But I suspect this method might work If I was absolutely strict with it for long enough.
  12. teresaserrano

    A Few Questions About My Growing (7.5 Month) Pup...

    About the pulling on leash: Tess is my first bc and by far the smartest dog I've ever had. She has also been the the hardest by far to train loose leash walking. She was reactive to cars, interested in everything, sensitive to the environment (not scaredy, but easily aroused), and a huge sniffer. She's 5 yo now. For the first couple of years we worked a lot on walking with a flat collar and desensitising to the environment, with rewards (she isn't much interested in food so we had to work on building her food drive up). But things where getting worst instead of better so we added a prong for a few months. It didn't dampen her love of life and did somewhat curb the pulling, but I realized that I was relying on it and not working as hard on the behaviour itself, which is not what I wanted. So we tried a front attachement harness, which worked for some time but she eventually learned to pull with it. I then tried a bach atachement harness and weirdly it's the tool she does better on, coupled with intensive work on leash manners (which we have done her entire life). She wont accept food for the first half of her walk so we work on stopping when she pulls, turning around, figures 8, etc., and when she has spent some energy and starts accepting food, I reward heavily for walking by my side. She is now doing all right if nor perfectly. I joke she will be awesome on leash when she's 15 yo. When I first got her I noticed imediatly she was different form my previous dogs. More intense, more alert, more tunned in with me but also with the environment. She has extensive obedience training and we do a lot of different stuff together (swimming, hiking, fetch, frisbee, trailing, tricks, dock diving, scent games, etc., and I mention this because I think if I expect this kind of dog to have good leash manners she has to have a rich life), and she loves learning and working. She has a nice off switch also. But it's like she gets sooo bored from walking at my pace she just can't stand it. I can see when she's really trying and she keeps looking at me to see if she's at my side, but she has to really make an effort and any excuse is good for her attention to wander. All my other dogs where easy to teach this and fell in sync with me easily, Tess just struglles with it. It's who she is, I guess. It's been a long road and there where times when walking her was NOT fun, which obviously isn't the goal. But she's getting there, finally. Sooo... maybe you will be lucky and your dog will learn it quickly, maybe he's a little like my Tess and it will be a struggle, but if you keep working on it he will get better, I promise. Hope some of this helps
  13. teresaserrano

    Question regarding leash biting

    I've had dogs that instinctively loved water and needed no encouragement to swim, and dogs that wheren't that inherently interested in it. I live by the sea and near a dam, so I really want my dogs to like and be comfortable swimming. With the ones that needed it, I worked extensively on teaching them to love swimming. I started when they where quite young, taking them to the dam (sea waves are scary at first, so not good for beginners) and getting into the shallow water while playing with a favorite toy. For dogs that are uncertain, it's important that we go with them. We played fetch in shallow water and slowly built up the distance the toy was thrown. First times they ventured swimming for even a foot to get the toy I went wild with praise. Then I worked on slowly building the ease in the water, the stamina and the overall swimming skills. I never forced them but worked on it for as long as it would take, frequently going to the dam every day for their first summer. All my dogs ended up being crazy about swimming.
  14. teresaserrano

    Aggression Advice

    My dog is in some ways similar to yours. She has never bitten anyone and shows no desire to deliver a serious bite, but she doesn't like some people (particulary strangers that want to pet her out of the blue) and will growl, raise hackles, and sometimes try to lunge and nip. She has also tried to lunge at and nip people that are just passing by us and that are in no way interacting with her (this is a rare ocasion, but it has happened). She loves many people though, some at first sight. My dog is not afraid of people, she is majorly pissed at what she considers invasion of personal space and disrespect. I must say I do simpathize. I deal with it in several ways: 1. She is leashed if there are people around. No one is allowed to aproach her unless I know and/or she tells me she likes them. I'm very proactive about this. Her leash is short, but not in tension, when we pass people. I may distract her with a treat if I think it's needed, or distance ourselves a bit from the other person path. 2, She is not allowed to aproach people, unless I think it's okay (when she wants to aproach it's not to bite, just to sniff. But, most people equal dog aproaching with dog wanting to be petted, and often that's not the case with her). 3. I'm always aware of out surroundings. I know what's happening all around us. (This may sound like a superhuman effort but, actually, by now it's just routine, it became instinctual. It may mean I don't give much attention to a person that's walking with me, but that's not that important). 4. If someone aproaches I tell my dog to switch sides so I will be between her and passerbys. Every single time. 5. I take her to lots of different places. Basically, she goes everywhere with me. She is very well socialized to different environments and kinds of people so stress levels because of strange stuff are minimal (if she is stressed her reactions will of course be more extreme, her tolerance level much lower). I pay attention to her stress levels and if something happens that stresses her we get out of there. 6. I try to give her a happy life. I'm sure we all do, but I mean I've noticed that on days that we had a lot of fun she is happy, relaxed, and loves everyone. If the day was boring she's a bit more impacient, and if the day was stressing she can be more intolerant. For her happy means doing stuff with me, so I try ro train and play a lot. 7. This means her obedience is pretty good, which is important in a dog that has a tendency for some reactivity. 8. I'm vigilant but very relaxed when out with her. I don't think of her as an agressive dog, but as a selective dog with a bitchy temperament that has to be carefully managed. 9. I make sure she has many oportunities to hang out with the many people she loves, and no opportunities to harrass people she dislikes, or be harrased by them. 10. She's 5 yo. I know her very well. I know who she may like or not, both because she tells me, and because I just know how her mind works. I know what to allow and what to avoid, and if in doubt I try not to take chances. Your dog is different from my dog, and maybe for him, the things I do with my dog won't work. I don't know. For us it works well, it's just the two of us and I have control over everything. It is a bit of work, but not that much really because it becomes routine. I don't get nervous or sad because my dog isn't everybody's friend, I just try very hard to not put her in situations where she could harm someone.
  15. teresaserrano

    How to deal with 'alert barking'

    Just wanted to add that's quite possible he won't keep batking at everything for long. When I moved house, my dog, who is not a barker, spent the first few weeks alerting to everything and anything. Then she got used to the new neighbourhood and settled, only alerting to the very few really unusual things.