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Behavior & Training > Feel like venting
Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 29, '11 2:52pm PST 
This makes me very sad to see an owner call their dog a coward. I think a big part of the problem is the owner's attitude. I've rehabbed many fearful GSDs and there is hope for this dog, I believe. I don't think there's an easier breed out there to rehab than GSDs because they have such drive to please you. But if the owner refuses to see this dog's potential and is stuck dwelling on all the ways this GSD is letting her down, the poor dog is going to be stuck in an state of perpetual anxiety. Dogs know when you're not happy with them and it causes them a lot of anxiety and confusion if it's not clear what you want.

If I lived close enough, I'd offer my help for free. I do think this dog can be helped. I just hope her owner doesn't quit on her. My best advice is to find a trainer whose method is based on positive leadership and dog psychology, like Cesar Milan. The problem isn't just how the dog acts, but also her owner's relationship with her, so that all needs to be addressed.
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» There has since been 31 posts. Last posting by Sabi, Dec 31 10:36 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > Is there a good big dog for me
Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 28, '11 6:44pm PST 
@Tyler--Right now, there's not much a gap between show and working Malinois. One of the regulars at the dog park here is an ex-military dog trainer and his current dog is a Malinois. We've talked a lot about this breed, and his Malinois, though show quality, is like a powder keg in a dog body. She has TONS of drive and makes my ACD looks like couch potato. He knows what he's doing with such a dog. I don't think many other people would. I consider myself fairly experienced, with my background in dog rescue and rehab, but I think having a Malinois would be quite a learning curve for me.

@Jasper--Standard poodles are awesome! I would love one myself. They are actually pretty intimidating and are excellent for protection. Anyone who doesn't believe this should visit Paris and ride in a taxi with a French taxi driver who has a poodle for a guard dog! And you cannot ask for a smarter dog, except maybe a border collie. Plus nonshedding and low drool.
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by Orley, Dec 31 3:57 pm


Choosing the Right Dog > Horrible Breed Ambassador

Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 28, '11 6:29pm PST 
"This is why I'm a supporter of working breeders, because if the breed isn't using that trait that they are known for (herding/chasing/hunting) and the breeder isn't breeding for it, then there is a good chance it will get lost."

This is somewhat the problem with Australian Cattle dogs right now. Show breeders are breeding them them heftier, rounder, with blunter muzzles, smaller ears and shorter tails and some people who still breed them to be working dogs are complaining that the breed standard is impractical for the type of work they are suppose to do. Some ACDs from show breeders I've seen make me wonder if the breed is heading down the same path as the English Bulldog, especially with the shorter muzzle and bulkier shoulders that in a few more generations could result in serious breathing and orthopedic problems if breeders aren't careful.

Chase looks like she came from working stock, not show stock. She expresses a lot of the smooth collie genes that are in the breed, but is definitely an ACD, not a ACD/collie cross. But she doesn't look like what most people around here think of as an ACD, so they're surprised when I tell them that she is one. Sometimes I'll see an ACD at the dog park that looks more like the current AKC standard, and I can't see how such a dog could be out herding cattle or sheep. They don't even look like they could do that trademark ACD couching walk--they don't seem to have that flexibility in the shoulders anymore. There was one guy at the park once with two show-quality ACDs and he looked at Chase and then said to his pedigreed dogs, "See--that's what you two are suppose to look like!"
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Dec 28 7:42 pm


Choosing the Right Dog > Terrier Talk

Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 28, '11 5:30pm PST 
@Eponine--About Wheatons:

Wheatons are fab dogs, but they are definitely terriers. They are moderate to high energy dogs, but will mellow out a bit with age, like Airedales and Border terriers. They are playful, goofy and not quite as intense as some terrier breeds, but they are very intelligent and very sensitive to their humans' moods. This makes them good therapy dogs if they are mature and socialized/trained appropriately.

Wheatons don't thrive with harsh, heavy-handed treatment (what dog does?), so they require someone who's dog-experienced, can be a positive leader and can be patient with their terrier stubbornness, prey drive and energy, especially when they are still young. They need consistent training and socialization from the start. Like all terriers, they need socialization with smaller animals as well as training in interactive play (like fetch, frisbee, interactive toys, etc.) to help curb their terrier prey drive. They are also very sensitive to anxiety and stress from their owners, so people who aren't very aware of their own moods can trigger behavior and emotional problems in their Wheatons. On the positive side, I've known a few families who found Wheatons to be ideal dogs for their special needs children, because they are so sensitive, affectionate and attentive. If they get consistency, kindness and leadership from their owners, they're the kind of dog who just wants to make you happy. If they aren't treated and trained well, or live in a household with a lot of negativity, they're trouble, like any terrier would be.

Wheatons will usually bond very strongly to its family, but can also be social and accepting of strangers. A well-socialized Wheaton won't get overly territorial with houseguests, but should be polite and tolerant, if not enthusiastic, towards visitors. Oh, and they do bark a bit and may dig a bit, because they're terriers.
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» There has since been 21 posts. Last posting by Tika, Jan 5 7:55 pm


Behavior & Training > At Least My Dog...

Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 26, '11 12:05am PST 
Chase is just 7 mos so a lot gets rationalized as "just being a puppy" but there are things I am working on with her

--her reactivity to dog breeds she's had bad experiences with in past (pits, malamutes, chow mixes, hounds)
--jumps on people, not good with boundaries with humans (doesn't help that people want to fawn over her all the time)
--uses her mouth in cattle dog ways at times that I wish she wouldn't
--gets overly excited and territorial in the backyard
--Chases the cats more than I'd like

At least Chase:

--loves being with me
--has always been a friendly, sweet dog, even when she's being difficult
--never shown aggression toward smaller animals, and is submissive if they show annoyance with her
--wants to be friends with other dogs, not a challenging type
--learns quickly
--grows more attentive and "eager to please" as she matures
--doesn't slobber
--doesn't shed much
--doesn't have strong doggy smell
--isn't too small or too large for me
--good in the car
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by Lucille, Dec 27 12:35 pm

Dog Health > excessive poo
Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 25, '11 9:47pm PST 
Sounds like your dog doesn't get enough fiber on this grain-free diet. Since dog's GI tract are more like ours than they are like obligate carnivores like cats, what your dog is experiencing is more or less same as if a human ate a fiber poor diet. Many a low-carb dieters knows this (myself included).

Like humans, dogs need a proper balance of moisture (water) and fiber to help regulate how fast food goes through the GI tract. If food moves too slowly, you get constipated, which is what happens when you are dehydrated or eat a lot of low-moisture food. If food moves too quickly, then food passes through without absorbing nutrients properly. This is what happens if you eat a lot of high-moisture, low-fiber food, like the brand you're feeding your dog.

The feces your dog is passing is hard because it's poor in fiber. Like human feces, dog feces should be solid, but not hard. The lower bowels will absorb most of the moisture from the feces before it enters the rectum, so if there isn't enough fiber, that leaves little more than hard balls of feces that irritate the rectum, making you want to go all the time, and aren't especially comfortable to pass (ask anyone who's been on an extreme low-carb diet for a while). Fiber is what makes feces soft enough to pass comfortably and not irritate the rectum.

So, so in short, ignore the "dog are carnivores" hype--your dog needs more fiber.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Bruno CGC, Dec 25 10:59 pm


Australian Cattle Dog > Roots!



Member Since
12/22/2011
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 25, '11 11:49am PST 
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Dec 25 11:49 am


Local Tips, Playdates & Meetups > Park Question

Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 25, '11 10:20am PST 
I don't welcome vendors at my dog park because I do not go to the dog park to spend money or be targeted by a business looking for customers. I just want to be able to enjoy my time with my dog and be left alone. I want the dog park to be refuge from all the crap I deal with everywhere else, like marketing and advertising and people looking to sell me stuff. All that should matter is my dog. It's my dog's time.

I get majorly annoyed by one local dog sitting business who shows up at the park to leave magnets with their phone number on the metal benches, because they try to talk to me and other dog owners. I feel cornered and distracted from watching after my dog, and I resent it.

As for food, most dog parks ban food for a reason. Food is a resource that triggers pack behavior in dogs, which can cause a lot of conflict among dogs that don't know each other well. Some dog have food aggression. Others get overexcited by food or become competitive. And in the case with my Chase, some dogs have to be a restricted diet. Besides, the human with the food becomes the focal point of the social activity, and the dog park ceases to be a dog park where dogs can socialize and play on their terms and turns into a dog feeding park.
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» There has since been -1 posts. Last posting by , Dec 25 10:20 am


Australian Cattle Dog > New to ACD...need advice

Chase

Life's too short- to be bored
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 23, '11 1:37am PST 
Chase has been around my two cats since she was 8 weeks, and at 6 mos she still is learning to curb her instinct to chase them when they run from her. She at least knows that they are dominant over her in the household hierarchy and she has never shown aggression--quite to opposite, she often times to get them to play with her, and she doesn't understand why they respond with hissing and a claw swipe. Because Chase was so young when we got her, I trusted my cats to help teach her boundaries. They have, but Chase still has that impulse to chase them when they run away. This is where I have to remind her of boundaries.

It's important, when you introduce any new member of the family-cat, dog, human--that the cat is allowed a safe place in the house where she can retreat and be left alone--a complete, protected sanctuary. Dog gates come in handy from this. For our house, that's my bedroom and the garage. Chase absolutely cannot go into either of these places without me being there with her, while the cats have free access to them 24/7. Also, Chase is not allowed on any furniture, with the one exception of the beds but only with my permission--this allows the cats to get up onto higher places to escape being pestered by an overly interested puppy.

I hope you plan to crate train your ACD, if he's not already. This will allow your cat to be safe while you are out or otherwise cannot supervise their interspecies interactions. Please study up on crate training, as there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Improper crate training can lead to behavior problems, including some that may be directed at other pets.

Going back to teaching boundaries: it is very important that you bond with your new ACD and build his trust. When a dog trusts you, he'll defer to the boundaries you set for him. This trust can be achieved by a combination of the following:

1. Plan out a routine--when he is fed, when he is taken out to potty, when he is exercised, when he is put to bed, etc-- and stick to it, so your new dog can quickly learn what to expect from you.
2. Regular exercise, especially activities that demand your ACD to defer to your leadership, like playing fetch (you control the game by controlling the ball) or taking a new route every couple of days when walking (he'll learn to trust you in an ever-changing environment).
3. Take Cesar Milan's advice, and learn to be a calm, assertive pack leader. This means, you cannot let your new dog manipulate your emotions--you may get frustrated, angry or irritated with your dog at times, by you cannot act on those emotions. Always stay calm yet assertive--it may take practice. When you go to correct undesirable behavior, make sure your response is consistent and clear. I like the "tsshh!" with the quick, firm two-finger touch as it snaps the dog quickly out of whatever mindset they are in and makes them pay attention to you.
4. Work on simple commands, like "stop," "look at me," "come," "leave it," and "wait." Too many people rely on "NO!" as this sort of universal command for all undesirable behavior. That won't work with an ACD. ACDs expect you to tell them what you want them to do. If all you do is yell "NO!" at them, they will first be confused as to what you want, and then they'll start ignoring you. The ACD's desire to do what you ask is the prefect opportunity to *redirect* their behavior into behavior you want--like being obedient. So when Chase is chasing one of the cats, I will yell "no" to signal to her to stop what she's doing, but the I follow it with what I want her to do instead, like "come here" or "go to your bed." That way "no" isn't just meaningless noise--it's a signal to her that I'm about to tell her what I want her to do.

So that's my advice--a two-fold plan of allowing your cat to have a sanctuary where she can get away from the new dog and be safe, and to build up your ACD's trust in you through routine, exercise, calm and consistent leadership and basic obedience training. Yeah, sounds like a lot of work, but you'll get a happy dog and a peaceful house in return. Good luck!
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Jan 16 4:10 pm

Australian Cattle Dog > Hip dysplasia in ACDs--anyone had experiences?


Member Since
12/22/2011
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 23, '11 12:43am PST 
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Dec 23 12:43 am

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