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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. Thanks. It is really, really disgusting. But I keep reminding myself of Charlie, my childhood dog, who was unleashed and ran free his whole life, siring many pups and living feral some weeks when the females would come into heat. What HE must have eaten... and yet he survived. So, yes, I'm going to work VERY HARD to just not think about it.
  2. I just had Cricket out in the fields. Another guy was there with his 5-ish month old giant lab pup. Cricket hadn't run the day before, and she had serious zoomies. She REALLY needs to be off leash sometimes; on-leash doesn't relieve her need to run. Crick ran into the woods; I don't worry because she just chases squirrels, and always comes back. The man with the pup said, "Oh, he will never go out of my sight." Only he did. After the lab pup ran into the woods, Cricket ran out. The man went into the woods after the lab, who ran out to me with a big mouthful of... intestines? Inverted rabbit? Man was royally pissed. I suspect Cricket killed a bunny and the big pup took it away from her. Oh, well! The point of all this is... how the heck can I keep Cricket from eating stuff? She mainly looks for dog/coyote poop and the remains of animals. She'll come out with a half squirrel in her mouth. I never thought she was much of a killer, but that thing today was wet and slimy - looked fresh. I don't want to keep her from running. She is a coiled ball of energy. Could I have her wear a basket muzzle in the woods? Would there be any danger to that that I'm not seeing? Kind of gross, overall. I never owned a terrier before. She is lightning fast.
  3. I think also people often post to a new forum when they have a pressing concern and some serious time on their hands... and then they just don't bother to go back and visit the site again, especially if their concern is alleviated or their free time curtailed. There are those of us who live a good chunk of our lives on the Internet... and those of us who don't.
  4. I guess I just don't see the big divide that some people see. I never used a clicker before, because I just couldn't see having to keep yet another thing in my hands when I was already carrying a leash and a bag of poop. (How do people manage that?) With this new girl Cricket, I decided to try clicker training, but I just use my mouth to make the click: that little "git going" horse sound people make. So, I "loaded" the click for a few days with lots of treats, and now I use it to mark good behaviors. I still use treats to teach a specific behavior: Cricket learned "paw" in about three sessions a couple days ago. For this specific purpose (letting the dog know at the exact moment she starts catching on to the behavior I want), I find the loaded clicker thing to be miraculous. It's so direct, such purposeful communicating with the dog. Meanwhile, though, I take her off leash a lot. She's been with me nine months. In the last couple months I've realized she's highly reliable to come and stay right by my side if we're passing a human in the woods. I just say "over here," and hold my hand by my side, and she comes over and walks by my hand. She'll likewise come to me immediately when I need to leash her, and she'll wait when I say "wait." I didn't train any of this with the clicker or even with deliberateness; it's just body language and casual repeated use of English in everyday situations. In this sense, she's doing what I ask "because she wants to." But she wants to because we have a good relationship and she trusts me. Using treats makes things fun and exciting and makes the dog happy to have a session. I don't think that excludes the building of an intrinsic desire to do as the owner expects.
  5. Keeping my fingers crossed! I also have lost my heart to a ridiculous terrier dog, though I still swoon at border collies everywhere I go.
  6. I will think of you often in the next few days, and keep my fingers crossed. The old dogs are the best, aren't they?
  7. That is a really excellent graphic! I wish I'd had it 11 years ago.
  8. That is very frustrating! My old dog was reactive, but only to things that got inside a certain zone of discomfort... so I would make a wide berth around approaching dogs, people, and bikes. It sounds like your dog is reacting to motion itself, not necessarily to the actual item that's moving? There are lots of really experienced folks here - maybe if you filmed a bit of his behavior people would have experience managing this specific thing?
  9. Her ears WANT to be prick. Sometimes the wind or gravity lets her be her true self.
  10. I agree with "let her live." My first dog got sick when I had just turned 14. (A bit older than your daughter, but still very sensitive!) My father let me come to the vet when we were told he was terminal, and I have always been happy for that. Kids go through so much, even when we try to protect them, and I generally think adults underestimate them.
  11. Oh, that's sweet! My neighbor has tentatively taken in an oft-rehomed chihuahua mix. Super cute little guy! Except... he is terrified to be outside (always tucks his tail between his legs), and in three weeks has not once gone to the bathroom outside. He does his business in the middle of the night in their basement. The other night, I was in the yard with Cricket. The little dog was in his backyard. When he saw Cricket, his tail immediately went from between his legs to up and perky. Cricket did her zoomy run thing around my yard, and the little guy tried to chase her on his retractable lead. A few minutes later, he started a distinctive sniffing around the underbrush, and then... DID HIS BUSINESS! Seems the presence of a cheerful dog can work wonders.
  12. I could rant about this for pages and pages. My old dog was reactive, and my new girl is 20 pounds and fearful of large dogs charging us. Either way, it's simply NOT my job to manage anyone else's dog, and I am dumbfounded at how many people with large and boisterous dogs - or worse, mini-packs of 2 or 3 or 4 - let them charge at everyone they meet. I've had to stop visiting the lovely wooded park near me, because people won't follow the rules about having their dogs under control and not letting them approach strangers. I wish there were a place to get this message across to the people who are clueless - but I suspect they're not the types who frequent Internet dog training discussions. ::Sigh::
  13. Thanks all for the advice! A couple times I've given turkey or chicken meat, and noticed diarrhea the next day. So now I'm wondering if this is a chicken sensitivity. I've transitioned back to the chicken-free food I had been using in the fall, and she seems to be OK. Time will tell! Would love the drumstick solution, because they're easy to come by, but will avoid them for now while I try chicken-free.
  14. This dog I have now (taken from a hoarding case) was terrified of toys for a full five weeks. She would walk a wide berth around them. If I moved one, she would run away. At the same time, I couldn't teach her "sit" because if I moved to put a hand on her, she'd get terrified - I could tell that training was just a scary thing for her, so I backed off. Then, one day, she started moving toys when I wasn't home. (They'd start out in one place and be four feet away when I got home.) After that, she rapidly fell into "toys are great" mode, and became a ferocious player. She figured out "sit" when I learned to mark the word and treat her for randomly sitting. Within a couple weeks, she was sitting near any human she met, in hopes of getting a treat. For Cricket, it was like all the dominoes had to line up, but once they were set, they all toppled at once. She still doesn't relish head pats from me, and doesn't tolerate them from anyone else, though. I love that you're posting your progress and struggles here, because someday in the future, you'll be able to look back and say, "Oh, I had forgotten how scared she was in the beginning and how far she's come!"
  15. I completely sympathize. My old boy was a barker in the beginning - barked at every person walking by our house, which is 6' from the sidewalk and on the route to the commuter train. Barked at every leaf blowing by our house. Barked at the bats in the north wall when they would shift position on warm winter days. FLY IN THE HOUSE!?!? EMERGENCY!!! I did work on a protocol with him. I think it was from a Patricia McConnell book. Basically, it meant hanging around during the evening rush hour and get his attention EVERY TIME he barked, and then marking and treating when he got calm. It did work - had I been able to stay home all day, every day, and run the protocol, I think I could have made him not be a barker at all. As it was, it took the edge off. All day while I was at work, he could reinforce his old barking behavior, though. (My neighbor claims he didn't bark when I wasn't home. ??) In later years, I started saying, "Good job, all gone" when Buddy barked at something. The goal was to let him know that I had taken note of the intruder (leaf) and he was done with the alert. It seemed to work pretty well. (I watched my brother's birds several times while I had Buddy. The last time, Buddy decided he WOULD NOT TOLERATE the parrot being in the house with us. He literally barked nonstop for 24 hours. I could not stand it. The parrot had to go to foster care at my mother's house.)
  16. This is quite possibly a fatal dose of cuteness. Tiny strawberry blonde border collie. I am DYING.
  17. Thanks so much, Herdcentral! That makes me feel much better about possibly needing to go the surgery route. I don't understand how this could have gotten to be such a problem so fast. It went from 6 weeks to 2.5 weeks to 1 week between her having issues. I'm hoping maybe it's been a dietary thing, and will go look at LID foods without chicken. Maybe even try rice and hamburger for a week. She is SO prone to diarrhea, too.
  18. Yes, the surgery does scare me - though I completely understand when people resort to it. This is a really unappealing problem. I am lucky and live in an area densely populated with good veterinary surgeons, but I will give the problem a good year or so to exhaust all non-surgical options. I gave Cricket chicken the other day and it did NOT agree with her digestive system, so I'm wondering if maybe chicken in the kibble I've been feeding her could be irritating her? Both brands I've tried recently have chicken of some sort in them. I'm considering trying one of the limited-ingredient foods they sell, thought I wish I had a clue which ingredients to choose!
  19. I live in a fairly urban area north of Boston, Massachusetts. I want to try giving my dog some raw meaty bones as a supplement to her diet. The best I've been able to find in my local grocer is turkey necks - only at the holidays - and they were much too big for my tiny, 20-lb dog. (Heart of a lion, but my neighbor's cat weighs more than she does!). I can't find chicken necks or backs in any local store. I'm reading now that chicken legs, thighs, and wings are OK? What's you're opinion on those? Doesn't that one really sharp, pointy piece in the wing pose a choking hazard to a dog? Do any of you regularly use these pieces as part of your dog's diet? I'm not ready to go entirely BARF at this point - so don't need to worry too much about the balance with organ meat, etc., and cost isn't as much of an object since I'll only be doing this several times a week. And does anyone in the eastern MA area have a good source of chicken necks?
  20. I pre-apologize to any squeamish posters; if you're easily disgusted, please skip this post. My dog is quite small: about 20 or 21 pounds. She has anal gland issues like I've never seen in any larger dog I've owned. In the past month, I've had to have the glands expressed every 2 weeks, and even today after one week she's starting to "scoot" again. I took her to the vet to look for infections or imp actions, and she said everything was OK, but that it's likely an anatomical issue that means the glands just don't get pressure on normal elimination. (When I got her, she appeared to have borne a litter, though the vet said sometimes just a normal heat cycle can make the nipples swell like that.) Sometimes when very scared, the glands will partially express themselves. (Once on me!) Sometimes in the middle of the night they express a bit in my bed. You can imagine how this causes dismay! I'm at the point of considering the surgery... which can apparently cause rare complications. When I first got the dog in June, she was VERY smelly. I gave her a bath after 12 hours. I'm guessing that was an indication that the problem was previously existing. But it wasn't anything I had to manage until December. All summer, she would spend long minutes in the back yard rolling around on her back. (I'm wondering if she was managing the issue then?) Since it got colder, the ground is frozen AND she started eating frozen poop she finds in the woods. My neighbor actually saw her scarfing down a mouse corpse a few weeks ago. I had her checked for worms; she's clear. What I've tried: I've switched foods two times to no avail and just bought a new bag of the food I fed all summer (Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream). I bought a bottle of Glandex, which is a fiber supplement in beef liver. It does help firm the stools, though they are typically softer than my old dog's. No apparent effect on the gland issue, though. I've added pumpkin. Same as the Glandex. I'm thinking about adding some raw meaty bones; some people online swear by this remedy. (Starting another thread for advice on that!). She is very trim; when she takes a deep breath her ribs are clearly visible. She hovers at just about exactly the same weight all the time... and I feed her as much food as I fed my 45-pound border collie, plus random treats and leftovers. I'm wondering if putting a few pounds on her might help? I'm looking for any and all help and suggestions from experienced folks. Thanks in advance, and sorry for the disgusting topic. (I'd rather not have to think about it, too!)
  21. So sorry for your loss. What a great life you gave her!
  22. That is VERY scary! I wonder if he had a bad experience the first time he bolted? Scared of another dog? Noise? Poked by a kid? I had my girl at the wooded park near me today. She is a bit scared upon first meeting newer, bigger dogs; she generally will dart away from other dogs coming at her, and mostly it turns into a fun game of chase. But today a lab came at us, and she started running down the path through the snow, and he pursued her. We watched helplessly as the two dogs barreled down the biiiiiig hill, down the little hill, around the corner on the path that leads toward the exit. Honestly, it must have been 1/3 mile or more! I was afraid my dog would get to the exit and barrel into the street and get hit by a car. Thank heavens she shook the big dog off and came running back to me up the hill again. (The big dog, distracted, found a golden retriever to play with.) Anyway, super tired little dog lying next to me right now. I think I'm going to have to stop taking her to that park - too many big, loose, uncontrolled dogs = too many chances to cultivate fear rather than diminish it.
  23. Yup, my rule is: when the dog picks up her feet, she gets to come back inside. This current dog doesn't get snowball buildup in her paws, so I always know that it's just the cold. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning (wind chills around -20) were too much for her. Today it's close to 20, and she was fine.
  24. When I switched Buddy from "bad" food to a good grain-free, he put on weight right away. I realized quickly that I only needed to feed him about 2/3 as much of the more expensive food. In the end, it cost about the same as the cheaper stuff, because of that.
  25. ...but February gets a pass because the light after the storms is so phenomenal.
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