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dallasbc

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About dallasbc

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  • Birthday 08/16/1991

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  1. Forgot to mention, I just bought the book Scaredy Dog! Understanding & Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog by Ali Brown. Has anyone read that one before? Thoughts on it?
  2. I love that! I'll check out your post in the abca thread. But the fact that you have no regrets, I love that. Definitely. He is frequently reactive like that if someone comes so close to us (in fairness, the lady was really close just because it was a narrow sidewalk - I could have touched her shoulder). This was just the first time in a long time he managed to actually get close to someone. Muzzling him does give me more confidence. I still don't let him near people in case he jumps on them or noses them, but at least I can rest assured if we get too close to someone without me realising he won't be able to bite them. And he is improving. i can't deny that. Just last week, we passed 3 boys about 10 years old who were walking quietly and calmly. They were probably 10 feet away from us, maybe a bit closer. Dallas wasn't bothered in the slightest. He just looked up at me and did as I asked (heel). If this had happened when we first started, he would have probably gone ballistic. I'm still not sure if this incident has affected the progress we've made, but we'll see. So far it doesn't look like it has. Yesterday I took him for a walk along a path that is quite narrow and has a low wall on one side and a fence on the other. I only use it because most people don't use it, and if they do there are exits quite frequently along the path that I can get to if we need to get away from someone. Well, yesterday when we were walking, a woman was coming up from behind us and walking quicker than we were. Rather than exit the path, I went into a little dugout they have along the path where they have benches. I was feeling ok with that since he had his muzzle on and with me in front, a wall to one side, and a bench to the other, I didn't think he'd be able to jump on the woman. In the dugout I had Dallas do a sit while we let the lady pass. She came right up behind me, and Dallas was completely fine. He maintained his sit and didn't budge. (Heavy praises for that!!!) He was neutered 3 or 4 weeks ago, so there was almost a 2 week period of no desensitisation training going on. I think that did set him back a little bit. I'm not completely pushed past the point where I feel like I can't go on training him, but I have to admit I'm getting there. I feel like there's only so much I can do. But the fact that I can see him improving keeps me going right now. Also, our behaviour therapist is just so good. She's super encouraging and makes me feel like we can do this. @Kennedy thank you so much for sharing your story!! It's so uplifting and encouraging, really! Well done to you for all the work you've done with yours and how far you've come. That's so cool! I'm not sure if we can do a small group training just because of lack of classes in our area, but I'll look into it. That sounds super beneficial! At the moment our walks are no more than an hour each, depending on what's going on outside, really. We went to the park this morning to do some training and play like we do every morning. Only one person and his dog came into the park the entire time, and it was someone Dallas knew and wasn't bothered with so we actually stayed in the park for an hour and got some great training and play in. If it had been busy (like it has been on other occasions), we would have just stayed for maybe 10 minutes then gone. There have been times where loads of dogs are at the park or loads of kids so we just don't even go in. I might adjust it though so we're doing frequent short walks throughout the day. That might help. But thanks again I'm going to try to incorporate some of what you've done into our work.
  3. @Kennedy that's so cool! Well done to you guys on all that hard work you've done. What amazing results! I hope we can get there with Dallas. I've emailed our behaviour specialist asking about meds to help relax him. I can even get the adaptil that dumbbird7 mentioned. Is Ellie able to go off leash on hikes? We've been working super hard on recall with Dallas and I have the goal of eventually being able to let him off leash... whether or not we get to that point is another story, but I like to have hope. What sort of things did you do to get her to the point of being able to walk downtown without issues?
  4. Thanks for all the responses everyone! I appreciate your views and input. I'm feeling better today than I was yesterday. Dallas is in a muzzle on walks now. He's not a huge fan, but he's doing really well with it (and quite frankly, he's just going to have to put up with it). You guys are right that 2 months hasn't been very long, and the behaviourist has said he's doing really well. She thinks yesterday it was too much too soon like jami74 said. I'll give him more time and put in more work with him and see where we get to. If he doesn't improve though, I think I will have to put him down, as much as it breaks my heart. At the end of the day, I've got to do what's in the best interest of myself and the people around me. Plus it'll be probably a year at least before we try to have kids, so that gives us time to see where we get to! I'll play baby sounds and stuff like that in the meantime My husband has a friend that comes to our home fairly often. At first, Dallas would bark at him and growl at him. His fur would stand up. So what we did is every time his friend came over we put him in his crate until he calmed down. It's gotten to a point where he's totally fine with my husband's friend. He even went up to him today to be pet. So I feel that he has every chance of being rehabilitated. It's just so emotionally draining sometimes, especially when things happen like yesterday or when he doesn't seem to be making progress. It makes you really doubt yourself. But I'll let you know how we get on as we continue. Thanks everyone!
  5. Mine's doing that as well! Except his crate is in our bedroom next to our bed. When I say bedtime, he flops down and refuses to move (but is happy to go in his crate any other time of day). I never let him get away with it, though, and more or less have to physically drag him to his crate. On top of that, he always gets a tasty treat for going to bed, so it's not like he's not being rewarded for going into his crate. He's been doing this for a few weeks now, but I think we're turning a corner. It used to be that I'd have to drag him all the way into his crate. Now after a few seconds of dragging him he gets up and walks into his crate. Tonight we're going to try letting him sleep outside of his crate, though. Wish I had advice, but I really don't! Just wanted to let you know I know how you feel (and really am looking for tips, too)!
  6. Hi, everyone! I've not been on the boards in a while just because it's been a bit busy here. I wanted to update on Dallas's fear aggression and ask an opinion. So I think around 6 months old is when Dallas started having fear aggression issues, possibly 7 or 8 months. It started with kids. He would lunge, bark, and growl at them. I didn't realise the severity of the issue until he bit my neighbour's granddaughter. That's when I contacted a behaviour specialist (wish I'd done it earlier). His fear aggression spread, though. It's gotten to a point where when we're on walks, I always cross the road when someone comes towards us. There have been moments when I couldn't get away from someone headed in our direction, so I sort of block Dallas off from them. (He has bitten me in an attempt to bite whoever is passing us before - didn't break the skin but stung like heck and left a bruise!) We started behaviour modification with our local behaviour specialist officially in July or August. She recommended we use Behaviour Adjustment Therapy by Grisha Stewart, so we've been doing that. Typically what we do is we go to the park and keep a safe distance away from kids (for both Dallas and the kids). When he notices a child, we do our cue where he touches my hands and heels next to me as we walk away. We have been journaling his progress. The behaviour specialist believes Dallas is improving. To be honest, I do, too. It's very slow progress, but he seems to be becoming more tolerant. He's learning to look at me when he sees a kid as well. I recently asked if I could incorporate stuff from Click to Calm as well. The behaviour specialist thinks that's a great idea so we've been doing that. But today I messed up. As we were going for a walk, I didn't notice a woman rounding the corner we were coming to, and Dallas bit her (same that I experienced - no break in the skin or ripping clothes but stung). The woman was understandably upset but told me to keep Dallas on a muzzle (as I should have been doing - my own fault I completely admit to it). So from now on I'm keeping him on a muzzle. The only reason I hadn't been doing that is so it would be easier to click and treat quickly. I can't even tell you how much of an idiot I feel like - and rightfully so! That was dangerous and stupid of me to do. I do muzzle him when we are in busy areas (if I even have to take him there in the first place), in places where I know he'll respond poorly (like the vet's), and in places where I'm not sure how he'll respond, but I hadn't on walks in our neighbourhood just because there aren't a lot of people and it's pretty quiet. But, like I said, that was incredibly stupid of me so he'll be muzzled from now on. The thing is, I have my doubts. I know he's responding well, but what if I can never get him out of this? Despite everything I'm doing? The incident today has really shaken me. My husband and I want to start having kids in the next couple of years. Am I being naive thinking I'll be able to keep him and have kids? I'm just feeling so down about it and so concerned. I can't rehome him. That's too irresponsible, especially with how he is in regards to strangers. I love him to bits. He's so good at home. He's such a joy to train and play with! What would you do in our situation?
  7. dallasbc

    Agility at Home

    Was gonna say, no idea who are you are, so secret is safe with me! I need to start up a YouTube channel as well and start recording with Dallas. Will be following yours!
  8. dallasbc

    Help with my puppy

    One thing I did with mine to help with puppy biting is anytime he'd bite me I'd go, "Uh-uh" and offer him a toy instead. It took a bit of time, but he caught on. Not sure if that would help yours just because mine was with his litter until he was 9 weeks old so he did have that extra time with his littermates, but might be worth a go. Good luck! Your pup is super cute! With the training, do you try using his toys as motivation/reward instead of treats or food? He seems like he's always willing to play so it might help him be a bit more trainable!
  9. dallasbc

    Focus and Aggression

    Super interesting! Dallas does know "look at me" and he does a great job obeying that whenever I ask when we aren't near a trigger. I haven't been able to identify his threshold yet of when we get too close to a trigger and I lose him, but I think we're going to be doing that with the behaviour therapist soon in the next couple of weeks. Recently we've just been avoiding the triggers as much as possible to keep his stress levels down. (I need to get him comfortable with a muzzle before we move on to actually working on the behaviour - got that conquered now so we have an appointment soon to move on to the next step). I've never heard of LAT training so I'll be searching that out. I'm eager to read more about it!
  10. dallasbc

    Agility at Home

    @Baderpadordercollie I'm bronze too. Totally checking out the lurker groups @Shandula is talking about! I'm in the Fenzi Lumni Group as well
  11. I like to read a lot of different dog trainers and see what methods they use. Recently I came across a dog trainer who mentioned that teaching your dog to focus on you can help minimise aggression. I have to say, it seems to make sense. I've mentioned before that Dallas has aggression issues, so I've been paying a lot more attention to his body language and his behaviour in different situations mostly so I can avoid him reaching his stress threshold and also so I can just understand him better. One thing I notice is if he's focused on something, he doesn't take any notice of his triggers. For instance, if he we are on a walk and we pass a dog and a kid,, he doesn't even notice the kid because he's so focused on greeting the dog. If he's really focused on a good smell, he doesn't notice any bicycles that pass near us. However, if he isn't focused on anything when we see a kid or a bicycle, he lunges, barks, and growls at that trigger. So, to me it makes sense. I hadn't heard any other dog trainers I've read mention this, but I might have just missed that. Has anyone else heard anything about this? Even if it's not something that applies to all dogs and seems to just work for Dallas, I do want to concentrate on him focusing on me. I'm conflicted because I like letting him sniff and just be a dog while we're on walks, but also, if focusing on me helps him to not react or be stressed by triggers, it could be really good for him. Do you guys let your dogs just be dogs or do you have your dog focus on you while you're on walks? Final question, how do you train your dog to focus on you? We do a lot of training. He knows look at me, stay, and lots of fun tricks and basic obedience. He is currently learning heel. He can hold it for probably 30 seconds before he gets distracted, so it's something we're working on to improve. Are there any techniques you use that help your dogs focus on them? Should I just focus on heel?
  12. dallasbc

    Agility at Home

    Aw bless, that does NOT sound good!! Definitely not something to brag about. Excited to check this out! Thanks Diane! Eeek, excited you joined too! I think the first lesson is being posted tomorrow. I'm so excited.
  13. dallasbc

    Agility at Home

    We are all signed up for the agility foundations class on Fenzi. Thanks everyone! Thanks for the tip on the equipment! I did at first think that CptJack meant hula hoops, but after doing a search on Amazon and eBay I realised what she meant I'll follow along these classes online and get equipment as recommended I think and just leave it at that. Hopefully the woman who does agility near us will be back at it again next year, but if not we'll do what we can with these online classes. Either way, I can't wait!
  14. dallasbc

    Agility at Home

    I had no idea weaves could be so difficult! The free ones are old so I might leave those and just see if I can find some newer ones. I hadn't thought of going to trials to chat with people and see how they do it. Such a good idea! I love it. I watch videos on YouTube a lot from competitions, but being there would be so much better to actually get the full experience. I'll have a look to see when the next trials are near me. I'll register for that class on Fenzi today! I thought registration had closed for some reason (just me being silly - don't know why I thought that) so I'm super happy to hear it hasn't. I'll look at DaisyPeel as well to see how it compares. Thanks guys! I love all this advice you've given me. I'm so excited to start agility with Dallas. I know he's going to love it... I know I will, too! I just love working with him. It's so much fun teaching him new tricks. Agility will be fantastic.
  15. dallasbc

    Agility at Home

    Thanks for the advice! Yeah, Dallas turns a year old next week. This is how beginner I am - totally just assumed weaves weren't hard on his body that is so good to know. Thanks so much! I'm definitely investing in Fenzi Academy and getting some hoops and cones. That will be great to start off with. And of course, nabbing the free weaving poles we'll work up to it when he's older. Until the woman's injury is healed, I'll be checking out Fenzi Academy and the agilitynerd blog. I love that agility is about fun and positivity for the dog. That's something I really want to do with him. As it is, we do a lot of "find the food!" and "find the ball!" which is good, but I feel like he could use something that's a bit more high energy and also uses his brains. I've been looking forward to introducing him to agility since I brought him home, really! Oh I'm so excited. Thanks again for the advice!!
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