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juliepoudrier

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Everything posted by juliepoudrier

  1. Your farm is so beautiful! And I'm glad Bonnie is no longer having her heart broken. My old man is losing his hearing (normal at 12.5 years) and I formally retired him from working trials a couple of weeks ago. But I can still find some jobs for him at home to keep his heart whole!
  2. Just FYI, I've had two cryptorchid males. I waited until they were 2 years old before having them neutered. The biggest risk to retained testicles is undetected testicular cancer, which is unlikely in a young dog. There should be no harm in waiting till his growth plates have closed before neutering. J.
  3. Doesn't the burdizzo just crush the spermatic "cords"? Could it be a possible burdizzo fail or the ram is producing extra testosterone in the adrenal glands? J.
  4. Have you tried a drag line on him? If he doesn't come when called, you simply pick up the line and reel him in. That way he's not practicing being disobedient--you can call him once and then just reel him in. I wouldn't let him off leash or a drag line until he was reliable with a recall. At his age, they are approaching "teenage" years and will test the limits. One of mine at about that age, who was trained, would look at me when I called and then take off to the pond two farm fields away. Usually when I was trying to head out somewhere. I'd have to go walk her down. But I did. And she got no emotional response from me whenever it happened. So she finally realized that she gained nothing from it and stopped. She had a reliable recall the rest of her life. It doesn't have to be all positive (treats, treats, tears) or all negative (e-collar). My normal process (which is the foundation by which I train stock dogs) is that I will give a command/request, if the dog complies, it gets praise and perhaps a treat (if I've planned ahead and have some with me). If it doesn't comply, it gets some sort of correction word (a sharp "hey!" or "aaht!" especially if it's sniffing around and ignoring me), and a repeat of the command. If it still ignores me, then I'm going to walk it down or reel it in. I start this when they are quite young, and I do use treats when training basic manners on a pup. With a slightly older dog you didn't raise yourself or that has "issues," it's up to you to figure out what motivates your dog and adjust your training to that individual dog. If he's behaving aggressively toward other nearby dogs when on leash, then I'd avoid putting him in those situations while I trained him to improve his confidence (basic obedience, tricks, agility, whatever can build a dog's confidence). I'd work on his leash walking skills away from places where you're likely to encounter other dogs that trigger him. Once he's reacting, he can't learn (because he's full of adrenaline at that point, and that overrides everything else), and all you can do is remove him from the situation. One of my dogs, whom I got at around 18 months, was fear aggressive. I found that out the first time I grabbed for his collar, I don't even remember why. My first reaction when a dog snaps at me is to whack it across the muzzle, and that's what I did. There was an instant change in his demeanor--his lips came forward and his eyes hardened. It was clear to me that he was prepared to meet my aggression with escalated aggression of his own. So I had to figure out how to communicate with him in a non-confrontational, non-aggressive way. I never used treats or what might have been termed purely positive training with him (not because I was against it, but because it simply wasn't part of my training lexicon then). Instead, I took my cues from him, figured out what his triggers were and minimized them, and let him "tell" me what what training methods were suitable. He was a biter, but he lived with me until he passed away at 15 and I got bitten once in all that time, and that was my mistake. The point of this missive is that he was a clear case for which any training method that was harsh or hurtful would have just solidified in his mind that he was *right* to be fearful and that his aggressive reaction to protect himself was necessary. By figuring out a way to communicate with him that didn't add to his fear and worry I was able to have a long, productive partnership with him with minimal damage to either of us. The irony was that he was generally very friendly with everyone, but I had to be careful because I couldn't always predict what other people would do that might trigger a fear aggression reaction. An e-collar on a dog like Farleigh may have extinguished some unwanted behaviors but I'm certain it would have turned him into a ticking time bomb. Because I wanted a dog that I could take places (I was doing a lot of trialing then so traveled a lot to places where we were around a lot of other people and dogs) without fear of random aggressive behavior toward others, I took the time to figure out what things made him fearful enough to react badly and then worked on those things while also letting him learn to trust that I would protect him so that he wouldn't need to react. It did work. J.
  5. I've always has cats and dogs together, but not outside cats that need to get used to dogs. Consider that from an outside cat's perspective, larger predators (and dogs are predators to cats) are dangerous, so it's not surprising that the cat reacted badly. Had it been a neighbor dog bent on destruction or a coyote instead of your new pup, the cat's response might have been what saved its life. And border collies do tend to have an especially predatory stare. If the pup can be confined to something like an xpen in the yard while the cat is out and about, then the cat will eventually get used to the pup. If your sister can go out and interact with her cat while you interact with the pup nearby, but outside of the cat's "flight or fight" zone, you can eventually desensitize the cat. Unfortunately, the nature of having outside cats is that it's much more difficult to set up and control meetings between the two. Your pup will get over the encounter you described, but I think it'll take you and your sister working together regularly to get the cat adjusted to the pup. And that includes you making sure the pup never chases or threatens the cat. J.
  6. When you say other options are failing how long have you tried any of them? Training is a process and not an instantaneous one. Most people who turn to ecollars do so for expediency--they want change and want it now. Yes, training involves stress, but the stress of using the pressure of my voice or body presence is way different than the stress of giving a dog an electric shock. At any rate it seems you've already made up your mind and really came here seeking validation rather than being open to opposing opinions. Personally I think giving your dog time and space to get over fearfulness is *always* a better option than trying to force lack of fearfulness (how does that even work?) through aversive training. So if your dog gives a fearful response to something you "punish" it with a shock. Can you explain what, exactly, the dog learns from that? You may extinguish certain behaviors or reactions, but I wouldn't trust that you'd have actually somehow increased the dog's stability in situations that make it fearful. In fact, I'd posit that all you've done is teach the dog not to exhibit the fearfulness that it is assuredly *still feeling.* How does that actually help the dog to feel safe and comfortable in its environment? Rather than more fearful that the things that scare it will also result in punishment if it shows fear? For example, if you have a fear of spiders or heights and someone hits you every time you exhibit fear behaviors in those situations can you explain how that gets you over your fear? You may stop exhibiting the fear behaviors to avoid being hit, but I'd bet you'd still be afraid of those things--but just more afraid of being hit. Wouldn't an approach that actually helps you get past your fear, even if it takes five times as long, be the better, more productive approach to ensure that you could better enjoy your life, even if you can't eliminate all spiders or high spots from your activities? J.
  7. Are you so determined to use an e-collar that you're just going to keep posting links about using them? Listen to what these folks are telling you. Quick fixes aren't really fixes at all. Despite all the explanations and concerns expressed here you're still determined this is the solution to your dog's issues? If so, I feel very, very sorry for your poor dog. And just FYI, I am a trainer who will use "positive punishment" (is that the right terminology?) when necessary (it's rarely necessary) when training a stock dog. But I'd never use an e-collar except in the most desperate situation if the dog's life depended on it. J.
  8. Just a bit of a quibble with this. I train stock dogs, and although I train the dog in front of me and adjust my methods to the individual, I also use my knowledge of an individual dog's bloodlines to inform myself of behaviors to be aware of, to not exacerbate, to be prepared to mitigate. For example, the first border collie I raised from puppyhood and trained to work was a naturally wide running dog. I was a novice handler/trainer when I started her and I made mistakes as all newbies do. I probably could have mitigated the wide running through training so that although she had the tendency I would have had the means to correct it on the fly, so to speak, as needed. As it was I had to live with my mistake and work around the tendency (which became habit) to run wide. Later I started two of her pups. The joke was that they started as "bowling balls with alligator teeth"--straight up the middle, no wide outrun in sight. But I knew their mother well and over time had seen lots of close relatives, so I knew what the genetics created, and that was a tendency to run wide (along with a bunch of other things, but I'll leave those off for simplicity). Many trainers would automatically push out/widen a too-tight youngster, but knowing what I knew about the genetics, the family tendencies, I chose to let it go and as the youngsters gained experience the bowling ball stopped and the normal outruns developed. Then, right at age 3, BOTH of those youngsters started to kick really wide when leaving my feet to go gather stock. Having more experience than I had with their mother, I was ready to train a call in so that I could manage the tendency. I realize that this discussion is about pet dogs, but just wanted to point out that at least when training for the purpose for which a breed was created one absolutely wants to consider the genetic heritage that comes along with the pup or dog you're training because knowing what the dog might be inclined to do in various situations can save a lot of headaches and training mistakes.... J.
  9. I love this. Non sequitur is a favorite of mine.
  10. Is there a reason not to put him on the same diet as your older dog? J.
  11. Smh. Someone likes to hear him/herself pontificate and tell the rest of the world how misguided, rude, and idiotic we are. I have you an answer: Pawprint does genetic color testing. I imagine they could also give you the information you seek regarding possible coat and eye colors that might result from a particular cross. None of us here is a color genetics expert and it's unlikely any one of the inbreds here could answer your question in any meaningful way. Why not get the genetic testing done on the bitch and two potential sires and let the genetics experts tell you what they think the possibilities are? I mean, I know it's more entertaining to lecture the people here, but you've been given a simple answer to your question, one that has the best chance of giving you the best possible information you can get. Why not take that and run with it? J.
  12. I guess after rudely telling everyone how rude and elitist they are the OP has run off to revel in his victory. I wonder if that lovely missive was composed in advance? Seems like another troll has come and gone. At any rate, how would anyone be able to predict colors without knowing the colors of the sires? And don't the genetics companies offer genetic color tests? Couldn't someone do those tests and then decide what colors would likely be produced? If they really wanted to spend $$ doing that?
  13. I second asking your extension agent. I would guess that the amount of copper in the grass would depend on whether it's taken up by the plants or runs off or is somehow sequestered by other chemicals in the soil. J.
  14. I just think about it in terms of the dog's left (come bye) and right (away). It doesn't matter which way the dog is facing--it's either going to go to its left or right.... J.
  15. Oh yes, and those who chose not to feed raw just don't have the fortitude to be bothered. We're a lazy bunch, lol. J.
  16. Wow, you're blaming ABCA for your poor choice in a breeder? Registries don't "guarantee" quality. Your own research does that. Everything you described about that breeder should have been a huge, waving red flag to you. And yet you bought a pup anyway. That's on you. The ABCA secretary is one person. She can't police the gazillion breeders out there. J.
  17. You should ask your trainer for some actual data from a reliable source to back up his/her claims. And keep doing what you're doing. If it works for you there's no need to change it. J.
  18. I have a friend who used it on her extremely thunderphobic border collie with good results. J.
  19. As someone who owned and managed a fear aggressive dog, I can say that at least in my case, escalating or trying to punish never did anything to diminish his fear biting. Recognizing what triggered him and managing *that* is where I had the greatest success. The first time he snapped at me, my immediate reaction was to swat him across the muzzle. He taught me pretty quickly that reacting to him with any sort of aggression or violence (no matter the mild) was a recipe for increased fear aggression from him. In those 14 years he only seriously bit me once (my mistake) and never hurt anyone else. J.
  20. I'm so sorry for your loss. Cherish your memories; they will help you through this. Mags is waiting for you on the other side. J.
  21. Maja, I think the reason the work didn't necessarily show the condition of the hips is because working dogs are generally fit and well-muscled, and that muscling provides support to bad hips so they may go unnoticed (without radiographs) when the dog is of breeding age. My Jill had terrible hips, discovered on radiographs when her original owner wanted to breed her. She never had any problems from her hips until she was quite aged, no longer working, and of course less muscled. Now that it's possible to view a dog's hips, dogs with bad hips shouldn't be inadvertently bred, but the nature of the beast is such that there can be no guarantees. I honestly think in the case of a dog with relatives with HD that the overall incidence in that family, how good a worker the dog is, and the overall hip "history" of the potential mate would all need to be taken into account. J.
  22. I think genetics plays a role, helped along by good diets and good weights, as well as active lifestyles. All things that are supposed to confer longevity in humans too.... J.
  23. Quality of life is my criterion too. I have never actually been told that I *should* put an old dog down. My vets have always trusted me to do the right thing at the right time. But having worked for vets and having numerous friends who work for vets, I can say that it happens way too often that owners refuse to put a pet down, despite all medical indications to the contrary, because they can't face doing so. The extremes are the people who insist that a dog be brought out of anesthesia during a surgery that finds something like inoperable cancer so they can say goodbye. So if I encountered a vet who suggested my dog was coming up on that time and I didn't agree, I'd either just nod my head and continue to do my own thing or simply tell my vet that I disagreed and that I'm fully prepared to do the deed when I believe my dog's quality of life has decreased to the point where such a decision is necessary. No need to feel guilted by a vet, and when something like that happens, just try to remember that vets likely see far more owners who hang on too long than the opposite. J.
  24. I don't get here much anymore, but an really sorry to hear this. One more "old timer" gone from this forum. Godspeed Pam. J.
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