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Behavior & Training > Safely Socializing Ria

Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Tue Apr 16, '13 2:02pm PST 
See... With their reactive class, I'm wondering if it will even do anything for Ria, because she pretty much ignores other dogs unless they meet directly face to face and if I have something she wants, she won't pay them any attention for nothin'. It's not until after a few minutes of sniffing that she behaves that way. I'm almost wondering if I should USE her ability to ignore other dogs with rewards around to my advantage by letting her greet with a quick sniff, then pulling out the reward? It'll take her focus off the other dog and reward her for a sniff without the snarling/pinning.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Apr 16 2:15 pm

Behavior & Training > Safely Socializing Ria

Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Tue Apr 16, '13 9:54am PST 
Lupi - Dogma was actually who I was considering. I know they use positive reinforcement, have classes specifically for reactive/fearful dogs too, and they have a levels class program which I really like as well. My fiance and I are considering looking into setting up some classes soon after we move at the end of the month. If she does have to be spayed though, we'll have to put it off for a bit longer..

Kagra - The classes we're looking at are solely positive reinforcement based and are based on helping the dog to learn how to be calm in the presence of other people/dogs. It focuses on teaching appropriate behavior, and on teaching you how to read your dogs signals too. It's an eight week course, and again, uses solely positive reinforcement.

The incidents were with both males and females. The only female was the Setter. The rest were all male. That and her going after puppies both make me believe it isn't as simple as just being SSA. I believe it's generalized and more focused on strange dogs she doesn't know in general. She is fine with female dogs that she knows.
» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by , Apr 16 2:15 pm

Behavior & Training > Safely Socializing Ria


Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Tue Apr 16, '13 12:22am PST 
I'm definitely not concerned about her being a social butterfly. It wasn't one of the things we even wanted in a dog or cared for. But being able to calmly tolerate other dogs is a definite must and something we do expect to be able to achieve at some point. Not rude behavior of course, but other calm, well-behaved dogs, absolutely. I'm just trying to figure out ways we can achieve it, lol. She's an amazing little dog otherwise and we're incredibly happy with the way she's turning out. smile
» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by , Apr 16 2:15 pm

Behavior & Training > Safely Socializing Ria


Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Mon Apr 15, '13 12:38pm PST 
Well... Now I've seen it. The problems that can arise, that is... And I'm worried about them escalating after she matures, so I want to nip this in the bud QUICK.

She's GREAT with dogs she knows or after getting familiar with another dog. She's excellent in parks with other dogs because she's so focused on me or my fiance that she doesn't pay any attention to the other dogs.

However... Here's the things that I think lead up to this...
- Being an unwanted farm dog litter, the owners were just giving the pups away and wanted them gone. I convinced them to keep her for longer, but ALL the other pups were gone within four-five-six weeks minimum. She was the ONLY puppy there when we went to pick her up. I was sorely disappointed with this, but we took her all the same as was planned. I was aware this could cause later issues.
- We didn't get her out to socialize as much as I would have preferred for her as a puppy. We only knew so many dogs that were good with puppies, and most of them, she has continued socializing with her entire life. She hasn't had an influx of strange dogs to meet on a regular basis and that hasn't helped the situation. We went to pet stores, etc, but typically avoided dog parks cause we don't like the unpredictability of other dogs.

So... While her basic obedience and off leash skills are GREAT.... She's turning out to not handle meeting strange dogs all that well.

I'll list the incidents with her:

1. She re-met that neighbors Irish Setter pup after they moved back(they had moved away when Ria was four months old, and moved back when she was nine months old). This other puppy is an incredibly appeasing, deferring dog, who socializes extremely well with other dogs and is typically on her back submissive in her interactions. Upon meeting her the first time, the other dog did her usual belly-display. Charlie sniffed and moved on, he recognized her and he socializes pretty well. Ria, sniffed, fur started to stand up, then suddenly stood over her and began snarling. She was removed from the situation immediately. We tried again on several occasions, on leash afterwards, she only got snarky with her one more time and now plays wonderfully with her.

2. She was off leash at a park(not a dog park, but a designated off leash area all the same), and she snapped at a puppy who came over to say hello. Said puppy was about 12 weeks old and had just wanted to meet her. Ria backed off instantly though and the puppy left her alone after that.

3. A neighboring townhouse renter moves in with a Golden Retriever - senior dog who still romps around like a puppy. Very sweet old boy. She runs up to him, gets down on her belly, wiggles all over, sniffs and licks at his face, then does zoomies, all excited to have made a new friend and plays really well with him.

4. She gets snappy with a friends dog, but I don't blame her on this one and actually don't let her socialize with this friends dog anymore because I don't want the behavior to continue or be associated with other dogs. Said friends dog is intact, is only eight months old Border Collie mix and he likes to jump on the backs of other dogs and hump them. Charlie has told him off before too. Ria tells this dog off, but never takes it further like she did with the Setter, so I never really thought anything of it.

5. The other day, she met another puppy - eight weeks old. Charlie isn't a huge puppy-fan, but he even wanted to play with this little puppy who was just happy to sniff, meet and move on. Ria was fine sniffing the puppy and checking him out for about ten minutes while he wandered around. I thought she was going to be fine, because she was doing really well. The puppy wanted to play and tried to initiate play with Ria. Suddenly, she jumps on him, fur stands up and she begins snarling and snapping at him, pinning him to the ground. He was yelping out of fear but was otherwise fine - she did not make contact other than keeping him beneath her. I hauled her off and removed her from the situation. She acted very, very fearful and nervous with me and my fiance after the situation for the rest of the night - trying to appease us, as she could tell we were upset even though we did not take anything out on her.

I've decided I want to enroll her in a local positive reinforcement Reactive Dog class to help socialize her and teach her how to be calm around new dogs/people.

I'll be honest, at just under a year old, this behavior is worrying me quite a bit. BOTH of her parents were very social, friendly farm dogs who loved everyone - people and other dogs included. I am aware that the entire problem was started by the situation as a puppy and only got worse as she got older by us not getting her out to meet a new dog each day and make more positive associations.

She has NEVER been attacked by another dog. She has NEVER had a bad association or interaction with another dog where she was the victim. She plays incredibly well with other dogs after she gets to know them.

I'm kind of lost, to be honest. All I can think to do is enroll her in classes and start all over now. Classes will be a LITTLE difficult cause I'm pregnant and my fiance's work hours are all over the place, but I think I'm going to call around and see what I can find anyway.

Any ideas or suggestions would be great!
» There has since been 8 posts. Last posting by , Apr 16 2:15 pm

Food & Nutrition > Tips for Slowing a Speed Demon - Speed eating and gulping.


Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Tue Apr 2, '13 9:57pm PST 
Sweet, I'll definitely try the rock trick! Ria would grab her ball and be more interested in playing if I used a ball, lol.. I did the water trick today and while she was still a bit faster than I'd like, it DID slow her down and she couldn't gulp in huge amounts of food and air because of the water, so that trick helped. smile
» There has since been 11 posts. Last posting by , Apr 15 11:09 pm

Food & Nutrition > Tips for Slowing a Speed Demon - Speed eating and gulping.

Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Mon Apr 1, '13 11:20pm PST 
Ria is starting to concern me with how fast she eats her food. She's always been this way, but so far, the things I've done to curb it is place a smaller dish upside down in her current dish(still doesn't slow her down or make her chew!), and hand feeding(sooo time consuming, isn't it?). I'm honestly getting a little lost for what else I can do. Stuff a Kong maybe? I dunno. If I put food in a puzzle toy, she sits impatiently, and waits for me to give it to her and won't try to work it out! She lacks patience... A lot. I've even tried showing her, and Charlie's done puzzle toys with her enough that you'd think she'd get the gist that moving this gets you that, but nope.

She's getting gassy(likely from gulping her food), and you can see her stomach TENSE up visibly when/after she eats. I'm terrified she's going to cause herself to bloat.

She's just under a year, she's fit, she's healthy otherwise, she's about 30 lbs and TINY, and she's Lab/Borer Collie. I am aware that this tends to be a common problem in Labs..

So... Any tips on how to curb the speed eating and gulping?

She won't even TRY with a puzzle toy. Just sits and waits expectantly for you to tell her to do something to get the food.

Hand feeding can be time consuming and messy, but I'll keep doing it if I have to..

Smaller multiple meals hasn't worked.

The smaller dish upside down in her dish doesn't work(maybe it's not big enough?), as it doesn't slow her down, or stop her from gulping instead of chewing.

I've also held the dish at an elevated height to force her to slow down, but this doesn't help with encouraging chewing either, and is also time consuming.

Her and Charlie are both on Acana dog food when I can't afford raw, which, up until our paychecks at my fiance's new job even out, we'll be stuck on Acana.

Any tips on what to do and how to get her to CHEW her food and take it slower? She eats like she's been starved for a year! I've never had a dog that was SO crazy for food. If it was raw, it'd be easy, cause I'd feed her the food frozen, bol. Harder to do with plain dog food and healthy canned food is expensive.
» There has since been 24 posts. Last posting by , Apr 15 11:09 pm

Behavior & Training > This dog is awesome!


Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Sat Mar 30, '13 6:23pm PST 
I'm going to start off by saying I LOVE push-button dogs. I love eager-to-please(even just for the sake of pleasing) dogs! Toy driven dogs! Yep.. LOVE.

I had some concerns with Ria barking at strangers, and getting snarky with other dogs..

She still barks at strangers until they pet her(she's unsure in those situations with people she doesn't know, but relaxes once she's getting attention and positive reinforcement), and she still gets snarky dependent on the behavior of the other dog, but she's doing great!

Her recall is SOLID. Which surprises me for her age. I have been keeping an eye out on the off chance a teenage phase hits and she decides to push boundaries, but she's doing EXCELLENT. Her off leash is beautiful. Her basic obedience is beautiful.

You ask for a down, and she hits the ground as quick and hard as she possibly can, smiling up at you with a wagging tail, waiting to find out what you want her to do next! You ask for a sit, she plants her butt and waits for the next command! You tell her to stay and she stays firmly until you give the okay!

She's extremely toy driven and focused on her frisbee and ball. They're her favorites. Fetch is her favorite game. We often use her ball as a reward when teaching her new things.

If you have a ball, she ignores EVERYTHING(dogs, rabbits, people, cats, you name it) except you. Her focus is solid on you. She's everything my fiance and I wanted, and MORE!

Being Lab/Border Collie, I expected a bit more challenge with training her. But she's incredibly EASY. She has an off switch. She can GO GO GO when you want her to, and settle instantly too. Extremely tolerant with people, and so much fun! She has no bad habits around the house anymore(chewing is gone, no more accidents, doesn't garbage dig, no longer counter surfs, nothing).

Other than being a little shy and a little lacking in skills with other dogs, she's getting there and doing great!

In the future, I'd like to get her into some obedience classes to help build her confidence a little, and then I think she'd have a blast in something like Flyball or Agility and excel even.

We took the dogs down to a river the other day for a walk and some fun, and Ria LOVED splashing around in the shallow end of the river. She had a blast and even got Charlie playing around the water(Charlie doesn't like water at all).

When meeting some new dogs, she only snarked at a puppy that tried to jump in her face(was telling the puppy off and backed off right away), and at a friends intact Border mix who kept trying to jump on her back(he was being rude, so she told him off too). She did great in every other situation, and in fact, had little interest in any of the other dogs, and far more in my fiance and I.

If anyone has any ideas for things to do with her while I'm pregnant, I'd love to hear them!

One thing I REALLY have to work on is leash training. More for safety purposes and for when I'm walking her, as I prefer to obey leash laws and can't currently walk my springy, bouncy, crazy happy little dog on my own lol.
» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Mar 31 10:45 am

Sports & Agility > What Sport? Video suggestions?


Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 12:14am PST 
I won't be getting into anything immediately, mostly due to my pregnancy and my fiance working long hours 6 out of 7 days a week. But I do intend to once baby is old enough to get a babysitter comfortably. As Ria is only eleven months old or so, there's still A LOT I can do with her on my own to start on basics and gain a good bond and level of obedience with her. And I wouldn't do any strenuous activities with her til after the age of two anyway because I don't want unnecessary stress on her joints while they're developing.

So first of all, I'll tell you about her. She's Lab/Border Collie mix, only 30 lbs of sleek, lean pup, agile as all heck. Has energy unbound, quick as lightning to do something you ask(you ask for down, she hits the ground hard and fast!), loves fetch, has intense toy and food drive(will do ANYTHING for either), is extremely smart, eager to please, loves the water, and has excellent recall. Her issues are that she lacks impulse control and patience.

Things I need to work on now:
Impulse control

Commands she knows:
Leave it
Go(go where I point and lay down)
Shake a paw

Her recall, stay, sit and down are her most reliable. I'm talking 100% reliable. I tell her stay and she'll stay til I say otherwise. I call her to come, and she's RIGHT there because we've worked on that from the beginning so we could have a dog that could be off leash. Sit became automatic for her, she'll sit if you look at her. Down is ALWAYS complied with. I have yet to see any of these get blown off in the past two months or so(she did in the early months when she hit that stage where she had to test her boundaries and tried to push us - we didn't allow it and she quickly got over that phase).

Ideas on sports? I'm debating agility later on and possibly obedience as well, as I know she's a dog that could easily excel in most sports.

Any suggestions for what to work on? Or what commands to teach, or how to teach them?

I'd love to teach a good heel, and a pivot too - the pivot has me stumped though.

Anything I can do at home now to work on to teach her basics that can help her succeed later on if we do get into sports? Any video suggestions for training? I'll be honest, I think kikopup is a great trainer but watching her videos for me is like watching paint dry - she doesn't motivate me whatsoever, and I get bored. Michael Ellis's videos on the other hand, have motivated me and REALLY made it look fun to do and made me want to take Ria further.
» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Feb 27 11:03 am

Behavior & Training > Fear Stage? How To Handle It?


Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 5:11pm PST 
Lol, thanks everyone.

I've never owned a Lab before, nor a Lab mix. Border Collies, absolutely, but this behavior is new to me. Granted, I've always had puppies approx. 8 months and up and different breeds, haha. Charlie was the youngest dog I ever personally owned(eight months when I got him) and all others have been well over two years, including fosters. Puppy phases are new to me, same with the obnoxious behavior.

She's definitely a sweetheart once people get to her and pet her though. Just collapses in puppy love of writhing glee. laugh out loud
» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Jan 1 5:11 pm

Behavior & Training > Fear Stage? How To Handle It?

Miss Black- Magic's 'Ria'
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 3:22pm PST 
I'm sorry, I think I might be misunderstanding what you're saying.

Are you saying that I was overprotective when the group of children came up? I had a few issues with it. Firstly, they overwhelmed and scared my puppy by surrounding us the way they did. Secondly, they did not ask, not even once, if they could approach or pet my dogs. Thirdly, I'm a HUGE advocate for 'ask before you pet' due to a lot of fosters and rescues that I've dealt with that HAVE NOT liked strange people at all, or have even been unpredictable or potentially unsafe with children. Whether my own dogs are safe or not, I will continue to advocate for 'ask before you pet', even if other kids parents won't/haven't. It's a safety thing, just as much as a courtesy thing.

And.. I'm not sure if you're saying that I should LET Ria lunge and bark incessantly at strangers until they approach? Because I consider this behavior unacceptable and would much rather have a dog that can control their impulses, or is taught how to greet people appropriately. I am fully aware that a majority of this is likely mine and my fiance's fault, but I'm looking for advice on how to change the behavior, not "just let the dog lead the way."

Again, I apologize if I misunderstood, and thank you for your input.
» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by , Jan 1 5:11 pm

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