Postings by Alva BH

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Behavior & Training > Opinion on Open Fencing
Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 31, '14 4:09pm PST 
There was a house with a fence I could not see through where I lived before. I tended to forget that the house and yard was inhabitated by a white husky/shepherd like dog. So every time I passed by that house and the dog was in the yard, I jumped at the corner of the fence because the dog said WOOF and I did not remember it coming and could not see the dog before because of the fence.

I am lucky, Alva does not care at all if other dogs bark or growl, especially if they cannot get to her.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Onyx & Ruby, Mar 31 6:49 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > What breed is this?
Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 9, '14 6:57pm PST 
Yep, it looks like a Finnish Spitz. Their tails are down, maybe they don't feel so confident in the picture. And Finnish spitzes are not very big either, their breed standard (FCI) says they should be 47/42 cm (males/bitches) -3 cm and weigh 7 to 13 kg, but it is just a description of the ideal so I don't know how big the spitzes in the picture are.

I think Finnish spitzes are pretty, too bad I do not hunt. They may also bark easily because they bark when they find their prey and they alarm for intruders by barking.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Alva BH, Mar 9 6:57 pm


Behavior & Training > Training to hold/carry things

Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 2, '14 3:43pm PST 
I started Alva's obedience retrieve by keeping an object in my hand. It was a roll of cardboard, later a piece of plastic tube, for I had heard rough collies don't like to retrieve (but I forgot to watch how she plays, lol). Later, I asked her to sit before allowing her to grab the object. She cannot take sidesteps when she is sitting, so it was pretty easy to shape it into 'just sit and hold this item for me'. Then I had to build the rest of the retrieve around it. I've also been adviced to ask the dog do all kinds of things while carrying a dumbbell - last time I asked her to spin.

Fetch is a game for us and Alva wants me to throw the toy again and again. She also likes to tug. I taught her to return the toy into my hand using these two. When she approached me, I only threw the toy again if I did not have to move to pick it up. Then the dog was dropping it at my feet, not 2 metres away. From the tug-o-war she had learned that I can touch the toy and that is fun too. So when she once more came to drop the toy at my feet, I was quick and grabbed it before it fell. Then I only threw if I managed to pick the toy before she dropped it and when she realized that I expected her to target my hands with the toy. Off course she sometimes dropped the toy, then I just encouraged her verbally or took a couple of steps backwards so she could pick the toy up again.

This probably does not work on your dog because you had to work hard to make your dog to pick up the item in the first place. Alva had nothing against grabbing an object if it delivered a treat or a funny game and she was ready to try again if the first attempt did not yield.

I have a secret mission to teach my parents dog to retrieve and I had my second session with her today. At this point she mouths the dummy I made for her from an old sock. I guess that after I succeed to turn those short bites into a hold/carry I can do the sit thing I used for Alva. This dog does not fetch but sometimes carries toys on her own and she learned to teeth the dummy very fast. I've already learned that she is one very smart little dog.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Alva BH, Mar 2 3:43 pm


Choosing the Right Dog > Is there a breed like the Pomeranian but larger?

Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 20, '14 2:43pm PST 
FCI recognises a whole size range of spitzes: the pomeranian < kleinspitz < mittelspitz < grosspitz, keeshond. But if your kennel club does not know these, they are probably rare.

Finnish Lapphund could also be an option but I don't know how common they are there and if their temperament amuses you. I only know that they are very cute, sometimes stubborn but often good companions.

If you like the herder attitude but in a less demanding package, how about rough and smooth collies?
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Alva BH, Feb 20 2:43 pm


Behavior & Training > He Hates the Crate

Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 20, '14 2:30pm PST 
I was asked to teach a rehomed jack russell terrier to go into his crate last week. I took it as a challenge and grabbed my clicker and some treats. I clicked and rewarded every time he even looked towards the crate door. Then he went to sniff it. I started to click for that. I raised the bar slowly and finally he went inside. I also taught him to come out and wait until he gets the 'come out' signal.

I noticed that he did not like to be forced into or out of the crate. I was later told that he was pushed there against his will earlier. He gave me a warning snap when I grabbed his harness when he was in the cage. So I also trained him to come out when someone touched his harness. The crate will be used in transportation and his new owner might lift him in and out of the crate if it is in the car. Otherwise I recommended to just attach the leash while he is in and then asking him verbally to come out.

I heard that the new owner had continued the training and he goes happily into his crate. I am happy that he got so good start although I had so little time to train him.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Alva BH, Feb 20 2:30 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > What makes a dog "loyal"??
Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 14, '14 2:03am PST 
I had to learn not to expect a dog to show loyalty. I was very fond of our dog as a teenager but that animal adored my mother! Then on a class I and other teens switched dogs and Netta did fine with another girl and that girl's papillon refused to move with me. I was so jealous.

So I think I have to focus on bonding. My dog should follow me because she knows me inside out and trusts me. I only get bad feelings if I want a loyal dog and that dog decides to focus on someone else. So my dog is interested in other people? It's OK. Anyone can look after her and I do not have to worry for her feelings when I'm away and someone else walks, feeds and cuddles her.

Alva though has some quirks that make her MY dog. She was tied outside and I was out of sight when my aunt arrived and untied her. Alva decided it's OK to walk to the car (which she was familiar with) but when my aunt wanted to take some stuff into the recycling bin, Alva refused to move.
Alva greets me rather discreetly, but that is probably result of training. But she is overwhelming when she meets my parents and other people we know. Strangers get calm sniffs and she allows people to pet her and shows slight signals that she likes it.
Alva also listens to me better than others, but I blame training again. She is not taught to expect commands from other people and other people do not know which commands she knows.

I am daycaring a jack russell terrier now and he is very, very social towards humans. I guess you could not tell that his owner gave up on him a week ago and that he lives at his breeder's place until he finds a new home.

I must admit that although I try to avoid feeling bad, I might be slightly disappointed if I had a dog that sees no difference between me and that random Pete that passes by us on the street. I might think 'what did I do wrong that I am not so important to that dog'.
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» There has since been 10 posts. Last posting by Scruffy, Feb 19 10:42 am


Behavior & Training > Puppy has food aggression

Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 7, '14 1:14pm PST 
In case someone reads such in my message, I must tell that Alva does not have to snarl/growl when she is fed with other dogs. She only does so if the other dog seems too interested in her food and that does not happen often. And if it does happen, her warning should be enough to keep her food safe. I was just happy that she had learned to give a fair warning so the other dog had a chance to respect her space. I should though observe her body language more during feeding if there are any signals of stress when she eats faster than alone.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Clyde, Jan 15 8:23 am


Behavior & Training > Puppy has food aggression

Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 7, '14 1:52am PST 
I was staying at my parents' place and off course we fed our dogs (my Alva and their Belgian Tervueren and water dog mutt) together. Alva attacked the mutt without a human-clear warning just for being in the same room with her food. The mutt is shy and sensitive and she has never liked Alva and this, off course, did not help at all.

Alva clearly sees or wants to see who is weaker and pushes her limits. I almost thought she would never try the old Terv, but once she did. Instead of fleeing as the mutt does when harassed, the Terv returned the favor. I yelled and they stopped the fight.

I made quite clear to Alva that I was not happy about her actions. That though, does not solve the problem. The dogs were then fed strictly supervised. I body-blocked traffic around Alva's bowl. She should not leave it or approach someone else's bowl and no one should approach hers. If the mutt walked past Alva's bowl, I stood there as a barrier.

Alva learned, that no one comes to her bowl and she has not attacked the mutt during feeding since. I still supervise the feeding, but I don't have to interfere any more. I can ie. read the news. After the dogs have finished, they check each other's bowls in peace. I have though noticed that Alva eats a lot faster with other dogs than alone. So she is probably still a little nervous about losing her meal when other dogs are present.

The Terv died and my parents got a lagotto puppy after her. This little bundle of willpower has actually stolen Alva's food and Alva did nothing! They have also licked the same plate without problems. But the lagotto is picky and leaves her bowl allowing Alva or the mutt to steal her food if we are not alert.

I have always been able to deliver treats for all dogs and Alva does not guard them. She also does not guard my food. But I think she tries to protect one table from the cats. She doesn't understand that it is the table the cats' bowls are on and that it belongs to them, not her.

I was actually happy when I saw her snarling at the bowl because now she gave a warning 'you are too close my food, go away'. The other dog heeded and took a step back.

If Alva ever goes to be looked after by someone else than my parents and they have dogs, I'll ask to feed her separately in another room or a crate. Just to avoid fights.
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by Clyde, Jan 15 8:23 am


Choosing the Right Dog > This breed is for "experienced dog owners only"?

Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 5, '14 3:31pm PST 
This 'practice dog' thing is somewhat complicated. Some dog has to be the first one of their kind and if so called easy breeds do not count as practice dogs... Well, none of us would have the so called tough breeds except if we are kids of some difficult breed owner/breeder.

I read 'needs an experienced owner' as that the breed has strong instincts or other temperament traits that without proper rearing and responsible owner may end up being a serious problem or a dangerous dog. In real life that means that you have to be prepared and ready to pay attention to proper training and/or to commit time for exercising the dog through its life. I some cases, you have to have proper environment for the dog (ie. a large property in the countryside for your East-European/Asian livestock guardian to guard). For a newbie in a challenging breed this would mean a lot of homework, research, discuss with breeders and owners, meet the dogs, be involved, be honest with yourself, think not twice but at least three times, and be ready for anything...
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» There has since been 28 posts. Last posting by Scruffy, Jan 15 11:24 am

Choosing the Right Dog > Worried no other dog will live up to her...
Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Fri Jan 3, '14 6:11pm PST 
I would have given a limb if it would have made our Netta heal and live another 12 years.

I've said that I do not want a Tervueren for I would unintentionally expect it to be like Netta and end up being unfair to the new dog. But time has passed and I don't think I could mix a puppy with a dog from my past. Nevertheless I'll prefer a groenendael if I decide to take a Belgian in.

I don't think I want a dog exactly like Netta. No. I just miss her as she was. I miss the bond we hand and I miss the chances we never got. I am glad every dog I'll have will be a personality of their own.

Alva is a good dog and I'll miss her when she will be gone. But I know I'll not regret having another dog after her. Though I intend to take another dog before her death because I might do rushed decisions in grief.
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» There has since been 13 posts. Last posting by Sonny, Jan 14 2:44 pm

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