I have SO many questions!! lol

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Kilkenny's- Saint Samson

Barked: Sat Oct 18, '08 10:47pm PST 
Okay, I'll try and be concise happy dance

Samson is now almost 16 weeks old (YIKES! lol) and he starts basic obedience class with me in 3 weeks. He sits and stays until my command when he eats, he has mastered sit for the most part, lie down is coming along (he throws himself on the floor, lol), and sometimes he listens to come and stay...but not usually. My roommates have a german shepherd mix and blue heeler that are good dogs, but are definately lacking some manners and skills.

I'm looking at doing an agility foundation class after Samson completes obedience school, as well as for the blue heeler. Is there anything I can do to help him get used to it beforehand? What about flyball?

How can I get my pup to come when called? I'm working on making him attentive when I call his name... sometimes he's good, sometimes you have to say it right by his ear. He comes when called inside the house 85% of the time. But almost never in our backyard or anywhere else.

Samson has also started pulling a heck of a lot. I have a front-lead harness for him, but it's still a little too big. I have a regular harness that fits him....and his collar just chokes him (adjustable nylon collar). When he pulls, I stop, bring him back to my left leg and say heel. If he stays for a second, I make a great fuss and praise him. The instant I move, he immediately starts running. I have tried turning around and going the opposite direction.... he never seems to improve and eventually just balks. I'm worried that walks are becoming less and less appealing to him.

He plays very rough with the other two dogs, snarling, grabbing skin, legs, but the blue heeler plays just as rough, and my roommates allow it. Should I allow it? I try and socialize him weekly with my friend's st. bernard puppy that's 10 weeks, and he's gotten a bit less violent...

Samson also whacks me in the face...not intentionally... he'll start licking my face and whip his head around to look at something, or lick my ear, move it back, and bash me in the face.... will he eventually learn where his body is or should I be helping him to learn that?

FOOD. oh lord. He's on Wellness for Puppies and his stool is fairly loose... not liquid, but soft enough to make it difficult to pick up. He also tries to eat the other dogs food, the cat food, our food... he recently has been trying to climb on the table!! I correct him and discourage him and praise him for eating the correct food and leaving the others alone, and we pick up the bowls after 10 minutes, but he's still getting worse. And we never feed him from the table or plates.
Also, is there food more recommended for him? He's the largest of the litter (9.6lbs at 7 weeks, 19 lbs at 10 weeks, and 26.2lbs at 15 weeks!), how much should I feed him per meal, how many times a day? how much protein, calcium, etc is best? What about home cooked or raw meals?

So my dog has fairly decent lines (to my knowledge... I've got the parent's lineage papers and I'm waiting for his reg. papers to arrive. I've been planning on getting him neutered at the appropriate age (six months is the appropriate age, right?). How do I know if he'd be decent enough conformation-wise for the show ring? I've done a lot of horse showing, but never dog showing... what's a good way to begin? (aside from youtube videos, lol)

Okay, that's most of them! lmao!! thanks for reading the whole thing!!

Treat?? Sit!- Speak! I already- did Dad!!
Barked: Tue Oct 21, '08 5:49pm PST 
Well I'm certainly not an expert. My aussie is from working lines. His father is ASCA registered and is Most versatile Aussie.

I wanted to just say real quick about the pulling, there really is only one way to my knowledge for pulling. I do not use choke collars, prong, electric ect. I have always stopped called him back and given the command "lets go". I don't really expect a perfect heel from him at this age he's around 5 months of age.

Agility...I'm sure you already know not to do anything extreme with him before he's hit 1 year? The growth plates have not yet closed and coming down from jumping or running hard can really do a number on his joints at this point. I'm speaking from medicine knowledge there....I'm an RVT at the moment going to school for my DVM.

Conformation...not really my cup of tea wouldn't know what to tell you there other than study up on breed standard.

Food is a whole can of its own lol...I feed solid gold wolf king and call it a day. The reason I feed the adult formula is because my dog is a preformance dog needs the protien but I don't want fast growth because I want to give him time to get adjusted and not get lop sided.

Congratulations on the new puppy! smile Hope I helped at least a little.

R.I.P dear Raja
Barked: Wed Oct 22, '08 11:17pm PST 
Hiya!wave I have a few answers to those questionsbig grin And samson is such a cutiecloud 9

As for agility and flyball, it is a GREAT dog sport for all dogs to get into, espcially Aussies, but keep in mind that they do have to be over 18 months to start jumping, weaving, etc. I do agility with my other staffy, and I practice occasionally with Rusty. But the only things I can practice are contacts and tunnels, because jumping and weaving can damage growing joints, and cause pain as the dogs ages.

Now, getting your pup to come when calledthinking Well, I haven't yet mastered that command with my 8 month old pup Rusty, but we're close to it. Whenever I go to the beach, I take lots of treats with me and always give him a treat when he comes back straight away. Also, to help your dog come back, run AWAY from the dog, waves your arms about, and call in a high pitched voice. That is of course, if you don't mind looking like a foollaugh out loud But I find it helps a lotbig grin

The reason Samson is pulling, is because he is wearing a harness. The harness is bred to make dogs pull, thats why sled dogs wear them when pulling a sled. Rusty pulls as well, but a check chain works wonders. A head collar does too, but I prefer not to use them, as they can mark the nose a tiny bit.

I don't know hwo to fix the roughness. Rusty does the exct same thing, and unfortunately, most epopl think he is attackingfrown

I also can't help you on Samson whacking you in the face, sorry. Rusty does that toolaugh out loud

Aussies are just amazing for foodlaugh out loud They LOVE it! If food is on the gorund, they'll eat it. We just have to keep all food out of Rusty's reach. We feed him Eukanuba, that is a very good quality food over here. It is very expensive though.

I show Rusty, even though he's not of the best bloodlines or quality. Dogs cannot be desexed if they are to be shown either. But I just love showing Rusty! It's a great experience, and most of the people are wonderful!

Samson is a groegous dog, and there will surely be many fun and memorable times aheaddogsnoopysnoopy
I hope I could helpwinkhughug


Pretty Girl
Barked: Thu Oct 23, '08 3:00pm PST 
I'll be 6 months old this weekend and my mommy has taken me to Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Obedience.

We haven't done everything you are asking, yet, but maybe some of our experience might help you and Samson.

I can't tell you about playing with the pack... I'm an only dog. But mommy might be asking a similar question when she finds the right sister for me next year. But she does take me to doggie daycare and the dog park. Even though I'm little, I hold my own with the big dogs. I usually find one or two that are about my size and I ask them if they want to run and play. If they do, I can get a little rough with them, too. I like to nip at their hind-quarters when they run ahead of me.

Mommy has started looking into agility for me. There's a lady that lives 3 hours away and has a Puppy Agility and Confidence class. No jumping... just getting familiar with some of the commands and some of the equipment. So she looked for more classes closer to home and didn't find any. But she did find one trainer that might work with her to create a puppy agility program. Mommy doesn't know anything about flyball, yet.

When we're outside, I'm always on a leash (unless we're at the dog park) so when she calls me, she gives a light tug on my leash to redirect me in her direction. She learned at my classes that she's supposed to give me treats and have a, um, I think they called it a "Puppy Party" when I came to her. She uses a really high, excited voice to call my name and it's usually appealing to me. When I'm at the dog park, and I'm off-leash, she usually lets me run until I'm pretty tired. Then when she calls me, I'm pretty ready to get back in the car and go home.

Oh, the pulling... I just have to see or sniff or get to something that's just a little bit further than my leash will reach. I'm tellin' ya! She just won't let me at it though. The trainers gave her three options to try to find the best thing. The first one is that mommy just stops in place and waits for me to come back to her. Sometimes she calls me back and tugs on the leash. The second thing is that when I pull, she stops and takes two or three steps backward. I run back to her but I get really excited and start jumping. The third thing mommy is supposed to try is when I pull, she just changes direction and we go the other way. Sometimes it's like we're walking in circles, though. Mommy says we just need to keep practicing. Oh, and the trainer said that sometimes mommy just needs to walk a little faster.

And feeding... I'd like to try my kitty-brothers' food, but mommy has it back behind a gate where the kitties can get to it, but I can't. In the morning, mommy likes to hand feed me. The trainer said it helps me learn who is the Alpha dog in the family. The Alpha dog controls all things. Mommy and I are often challenging each other for that position... but she usually wins. Anyway, as I said, in the morning, she hand feeds me. She makes me sit, down, roll over, paw, high five, stand, gentle and each time I do what she says, she gives me a few pieces of kibble. If I don't do the things she asks, or I do it wrong, I don't get the kibble. But she always make sure I do enough stuff right that I can get my tummy full. She feeds me two different foods each day... my previous mommy (breeder) makes her do that so she can offer a health guarantee. So during the day, I eat Life's Abundance and for dinner I get a puppy mush made with Flint River Ranch Lamb Millet and Rice (she also mixes in some water, vitamin supplement, salmon, pedigree puppy and yogurt.)

Mommy wasn't planning on showing me even though she thinks I'm gorgeous. She just wanted me to be a companion and watch dog. Hahaha... little did she know how much I love EVERYBODY and won't even bark at the doorbell. She had me fixed about a month ago. That went well... I was sleepy the day I went to the doctor, but the next morning, I was up and ready to herd the kitties again like nothing happened.
Kilkenny's- Saint Samson

Barked: Fri Oct 24, '08 11:05am PST 
Yay! Thanks guys!! I feel like the biggest dog mom geek in the world, lol, I get so excited I feel like jumping up and down like my puppy! (I think I got the right breed....lmao)

Well, Samson and I will be starting our obedience class soon, which will be funny, because I have ADD and Samson has puppy ADD, so we'll be quite the duo!

I've been considering getting a chain collar in addition to his regular one, so that I can give him tiny corrections for when he really doesn't listen. I'm still not entirely sure, though (I know how to put it on properly, though, so no worries on that!). I reverted back to his regular collar until his front lead harness fits him. And I'm going to try to take him on more walks by himself once I'm over this nasty cold... my roommate likes to come with his dog, or both of the other dogs, but gets impatient when I try and work on Samson's pulling. grr.

We went to the dog park a few days ago and he came a bit better. He has a very odd behavior I've been noticing once or twice. If he's playing with a dog that suddenly turns around and chases him in play, he lays his ears flat, starts sprinting and heads to the nearest picnic table and runs under it! Sometimes he'll start making high pitched yelping noises, too, but the dog is never touching him at any point during their interaction. Last time the picnic table was different and Samson ran full force into it and then sat there screaming and started snapping at the other dog until I was able to intervene. I firmly took him by the collar and told him no, patted him, then kept him with me and had him meet some more dogs until he seemed relaxed again, then let him loose. Is he just intimidated? Did I do the right thing correcting him for snapping at the dog but keeping him with me until he relaxed?
It happened to another puppy a few minutes later, and the owner picked him up and coddled him (and he was larger than Samson and just as old). Doesn't that hamper his ability to learn to socialize properly? I'm not quite sure what to do. (It was a bit hectic, because our Blue Heeler female is getting a bit assertive and dominant, so is the german shepherd bitch, so we had to keep tabs on them too.... and there were over 30 dogs there, lol). What should I do when that happens again?

As for the rough play, our 3 dogs are still at it, Samson had a long shallow scratch on the inside of his thigh the other night... I try to correct all 3 dogs if they get TOO aggressive sounding or start snapping too hard. I'm not sure our dogs know when enough is enough! They're all so hard headed!

Foodwise, Samson is....okay. He'll leave the cat food alone if I tell him no before he reaches it, otherwise he gobbles it down. I have a door that seperates him from the catfood but since it leads downstairs and the computer room is downstairs, everyone forgets to close it...Just last night I told everyone we HAVE to get in the habit of closing it and everyone got grumpy.... (I can't really afford to go through Royal Canin kitty food like water, however, lol!)

I work with a lady that has a foundation class for all ages for agility that teaches commands, how to send them behind and in front of obstacles, leg placement, and lets them dabble with a few things, but doesn't involve jumping or anything serious. It's also like an obedience class as well. I was going to maybe enroll Samson and the blue heeler, Anna, after Samson is neutered in January, but he definately won't do anything strenuous until he is fully grown and settled into his body! Perhaps we'll look into showing as well... it sounds like fun to me, except for giving him baths (he likes playing in water and the hose and doesn't mind being wet, but he doesn't like being cleaned! lmao)