Jump to content
BC Boards

Flora & Molly

Registered Users
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Flora & Molly

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

260 profile views
  1. Flora & Molly

    Potty Training Puppy Troubles

    I always use the rule to go out with the puppy whenever he has done something. Which means: - after play - after sleep - after food/drink - after I stop with whatever I am doing Plus, as was said above, always keep an eye on the pup. Accidents do happen, so don't feel too bad about it. I have never heard about anyone training their dogs to relieve themselves outside without a few bumps along the way
  2. Ah starting to understand now. I really shouldn't open the forum on my phone It makes me miss stuff. Sorry. Thank you for your patience and explaining it to me.
  3. Ah sorry Lenie, I read you quoting me wrong thanks for clarifying. I don't think I read some post wrong, unless the article says something about enrichment, I was the one using that term and people seemed to dislike the term. So I thought it might have some associations I am not familiar with (because I genuinely don't understand the problem)
  4. I don't see how the alpha theory has anything to do with not using a bowl. (Or anything I said about enriching a dogs life)
  5. Am I misusing the word enrich? (Honest question - not a native speaker). What I meant was that I use kongs and such for a fun extra to make my dogs life a little bit more varied: thus enriching her life. How that would be disrespectful or domineering or baffling I really don't understand. It doesn't mean everyone should or that it is somehow harmful to your dog's life to feed from a bowl.
  6. I'm certainly not saying never to feed from a bowl. I like to do it as an extra so my dog has something else to do besides hanging around. I don't think a dog that isn't motivated by food would be much interested in a Kong or something like that.
  7. When I don't feed out of a bowl my goal is to enrich my dogs life, not necessarily to strengthen the bond between us, but I can see that it could help because you interact even more with your dog. I never really looked at it that way. I sometimes use a Kong or a Wobbler Kong to make feeding time more interesting, get my dog to think or I do search games with chews. I also use a bowl, but we have a little ritual to make it interesting. She has to give me her bowl, go to a specific place to wait, and I add whatever command we are working on, at the moment it is "stand".
  8. Flora & Molly

    Look Ma, No Crate.

    Allowing my dog more freedom in certain aspects of her life have really paid off, but wouldn't be doable if I had another puppy now. She has had a perfect recall since she was a puppy, because she was born at my mother's house and calling her over always meant play or food from the day she was born. She hardly had to go on a leash because my mother lives in the middle of nowhere. We could walk her off leash directly from the house, or pop her in the car and drive to off-leash forests. So "come here" never meant anything that wasn't fun. As it was the beginning of summer most days the door to the garden was open and my mother was working outside, which also meant fun for the dog Now, we may have just gotten lucky that Molly is like this (and she has her problems in other areas ), but I do believe the circumstances have helped a lot. Of course, were I to get a puppy now things would be very different. I live in an apartment building and life here is very different for a dog. Freedom has to be restricted to protect the dog. Still, I think it is interesting to think about these kinds of things.
  9. Flora & Molly

    Am I being too hard on my puppy?

    I'm quite strict with my dog, but not harsh. I just have a lot of rules for her, which helped me get to a place where I can take her almost anywhere and she knows what I expect of her. I want to save harsher voice corrections for when she really does something wrong or dangerous. The correction has to match the age of the dog and "the infraction". A puppy still has a lot to learn and won't behave perfectly, but that doesn't mean I allow things I don't want in the future. Train with the end in mind. An uh-uh can be just as effective when saying it in a conversational tone. I would not use it for every single thing I don't want the pup to do, I would find that very exhausting and sometimes I don't want to give too much attention to the dog. For instance, if I sat on the couch and the pup put her paws on it I would simply gently push the pup away without saying anything or making eye contact. You might have to do is a couple of times before it sticks, but hey, it's a pup Another thing that I think is important in training is showing the pup what you do want her to do. At the moment I am training my dog to ignore visitors, because she is obsessed with getting petted by them. I wouldn't mind a dog that would calmly greet my friends, but my dog is relentless and will keep at it all evening whenever I leave the room So I am showing her what I want her to do instead: stay in her basket and eat a chew. I tell her to go to her basket in a soft voice when the doorbell rings and when she gets out again I might say it a bit more firmly. No harsh voice necessary at all. I guess what I am trying to say is: there is nothing wrong with having a lot of rules for a pup and starting training it straightaway. But you can be kind in saying what you want from the dog. Try to find a middle ground and maybe you can talk about establishing an "escalation ladder" where you use softer corrections for certain things and the harsher "uh-uh" for bigger things. This is something we use in teacher training where you make a "ladder" of things you as a teacher do when a student misbehaves. It starts with igoring, saying a students name all the way to sending the student out. It can be useful for dogs as well
  10. Flora & Molly


    We've taught our dogs not to tug at things, because none of us enjoy the game (except the dog maybe). Perhaps it is a good idea to put a command for the tugging game so the dog knows when she is allowed to. Or stop the tugging game if you don't want any growling and try to teach a quieter game of tug when she is a bit older. To stop our dogs from tugging I would grab whatever they were holding (if I wanted it back) and at the same time hold on to their collar to stop the tugging. I'd ask the dog to "let go" and firmly hold on to what they were holding, without budging an inch. The dog will eventually let go and everytime you do this it will be a little bit quicker until she let's go immediately (even without the command). After letting go the dog is of course praised or given something in return.
  11. Flora & Molly

    Seemingly unhappy 10 week old

    I didn't like petting my dog when she was a pup. She couldn't sit still and would bite everything in reach. I used to feel a bit guilty about this. She was my mother's dog at the time, so I don't remember much about how the training went. But I'd say the petting part is normal. Not all pups are like this, but mine definitely was. She calmed down a lot as she matured and we have a great bond now. She loves to be petted and learned to sit quite still to receive lots of love from people. Hang in there! It does get better and you are creating a bond even though sometimes it might not feel that way.
  12. Flora & Molly

    Reactive and fearful eight month old

    We've had a dog in the past that was very fearful of people. We got her when she was about 2 years old. We had a routine for her when people came over. My mother worked from home as a therapist (I was a teenager when we had this dog) and we had a routine for her when people came over. Although her clients never met the dog, but the dog was in the house. She had her safe space, her basket in a quiet area in the living room and this was where she had to be when the doorbell rang and when people came in. She knew no one would bother her there. We instructed everyone to ignore the dog, which we made a little bit easier for people by sending her to her basket. We practiced ringing the doorbell and people coming in a couple of times, my sister and I would ring the doorbell and come in, making all the noises a client would make: taking of a coat, loudly talking, laughing, stuff like that. I am doing something similar with my dog now, but for different reasons. My dog is such a flirt, up to the point that she only complies to my commands for 5 seconds and then it is back to flirting with my guests. I would be fine with her calmly greeting guests, but she becomes too excited and won't take no for an answer. She will go away when I ask her to, but will find another time to demand attention, climbing in my guests laps when they're not expecting it. So I have decided she is not allowed to great guests anymore. When the bell rings she has to stay in her basket and isn't allowed to greet my guests. I give her a chew to occupy her with. This has worked wonders. There is still excitement when the doorbell rings, but she now knows what is expected of her and she quickly falls asleep when she has finished her chew. This makes for much better visits from friends. I think it might help to have a routine for your dog outside as well. Give him a job to do. My dog loves to hand me things. I have bought a toy especially to stop her flirting with people in the elevator (it really is flirting, with her big brown eyes) and she has to hand me that toy while we are in there. This makes her focus on the task at hand and not so much on the people. If he is loose in the garden when someone approaches the fence it might be a good idea to train him that if that happens he should come to you. Make it into a job. He can give you a couple of barks to alert you to a stranger's pressence and then come to you. This is of course easier said than done, I realise that. Especially with a dog that is afraid. We didn't have a garden when we had the fearful dog, but this is something we do with all our dogs (especially my mum's dogs because she is a bit deaf and can't hear cars coming or voices calling out at the other side of her big garden). It is all about trying to find something that works for both you and the dog. Try training a different routine than what he has now so he can't rush up to strangers anymore. Good luck I am sure someone with more experience with this behaviour than me will come along with some great advice.
  13. Flora & Molly

    Look Ma, No Crate.

    We don't use crates for our dogs. When a puppy misbehaves and won't settle down somewhere we would send it to their place (basket or pillow). Keep taking the pup to place (gently but firmly) until the message is received and the pup settles there, with something appropriate to chew on. This would sometimes happen in the evening when everyone relaxes, except for the pup. It can take a lot of time and patience, but I think it is worth it. Another thing we do is teach the "go away" command. Very useful. It is mostly for when the dog is trying to get your attention and ignoring doesn't work. It basically means "go settle somewhere, anywhere", which can be quite close to you as well as long as the dog settles down. Pups usually sleep in bed with us the first couple of nights, but this depends on the pup. Our oldest dog was very timid and we had to slowly teach her to be alone. My mother's Jack Russell was so confident she was fine sleeping with the other dogs almost immediately. When there is a new pup, the dogs sleep in the kitchen or the laundry room. They can't do a lot of damage there. When they get older they get bedroom privileges.
  14. Flora & Molly

    Lie down, lie down, lie down

    It has made a huge difference during training today. Didn't ask for a down as much which has made a huge difference in her attitude. Tried a couple of standing stops, as she knows this away from sheep, but she still finds that difficult. A couple of times she went into a down after a succesful stop and stand. I think I will alternate a bit to keep it fun for her. For most of the downs I asked she would comply almost immediately. I clearly was holding her back and confusing her last time. I'm glad I found out quickly. The shepherd's crook was an immense help as well. It made it a lot easier for me to help Molly understand what I wanted from her. I noticed she is quite sensitive and really wants to understand and do the right thing. She will start sniffing around and eating sheep poop when I am asking too much or the session is too long. I realised she tends to do this when we play fetch as well, she pretends she can't find the ball to signal it has been enough. I'm getting better at reading her. I feel like we made a lot of progress. Especially me, this is so different from obedience training. I absolutely love it. I think I was maybe the one that started insisting on all those lie downs and the trainer let me fumble about a bit. There was a lot more talking involved today which was really good for me. Very different session because I approached it differently. Definitely doesn't only exercise Molly's brain, but mine as well!
  15. Flora & Molly

    Lie down, lie down, lie down

    Thank you for your advice Nancy! I started the lie down training straightaway. She has become slower to respond away from sheep as well, so this is a great way to practice and make things fun again (for me as well!). And yes when wearing the sheep (forgot it was called that ) she moves too fast and is too close to the sheep. Molly is really intense with everything she does and wants to do everything fast. It is difficult to slow her down sometimes. She has quite an effect on the sheep and has to stay quite far away, or quite far in my novice eyes anyway, so the sheep don't overtake me and I have to run backwards. I find it very difficult to keep up with them. It makes sense to mildly correct her instead, I already had a feeling she didn't know what I wanted from her. I was taking all the fun out of it for both of us, very different from the fetch which feels right and it feels like we are making progress. We have another training session tomorrow. I am looking forward to putting things into practice. Thanks again!