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Behavior & Training > Problems with Wfie's Dog
Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jul 7, '13 2:13pm PST 
Great advice, Arya!!

Another thing that might help is having a comfy bed height ottoman on her side of the bed for him to sleep on. I have one with a soft memory foam mattress pad and blanket on top. I'm a snuggler, but I nudge Smokey over there if he wakes me up too many times in a row. And he sleeps there sometimes if he's hot or very tired. That way she can cuddle him if she wants to, or he can start off in the bed but move over there if it gets too crowded.

I heartily second the advice about taking a reward-based training class together. That was definitely what changed my relationship with my ex's dog, and ultimately turned me into a dog person. You will feel better when you realize that these are behaviors that respond to reinforcement, and not unchangeable frustrations.
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» There has since been 17 posts. Last posting by , Jul 18 1:24 am

Behavior & Training > Obligatory reminder to be careful about fireworks :-)
Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 4, '13 3:35pm PST 
If you think your dog may get scared, be sure to take precautions. Make sure collars are tight, and clip the leash to collar + harness if possible. Indoors, try to offer your dog a safe place to get away from the noise. Some people say melatonin helps, and a loud fan or some classical music may as well.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Jul 4 5:05 pm


Behavior & Training > Police Dog attacks child in Grandmother's garden.

Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 9:08pm PST 
If I ruled the world, there would be very, very, very few trained attack dogs, and those that were would be used only in emergencies. In a residential neighborhood to catch a thief?? Not on your life!! IMO, it is just not worth the stress on the animal for anything other than saving lives. Biting in absence of fear is not intuitive for the dog and probably requires some crazy, extreme training, such as being taught to bite a known handler on cue- a HUGE violation of the dog psyche, IMO. And biting because of fear is unpredictable and hard to control. Dogs were overwhelmingly bred not to be aggressive to humans, and having worked so hard to rehabilitate fear aggressive dogs, it makes my skin crawl to read about this kind of thing.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Jul 4 6:55 am


Behavior & Training > Telepathy between dogs and humans

Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 6, '13 12:42pm PST 
Gordy, did you call mom when you were on the way, or did she know about what time to expect you? Did grandma pack up any of his stuff in preparation for your arrival? Dogs are smart! They can learn things like talking on (or even looking at) the phone predict someone coming or notice that somebody has glanced at the door. They can also learn things like dad gets home when the sun is at a certain angle, or mom usually picks me up after dinner.
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» There has since been 10 posts. Last posting by , Jun 8 11:40 am


Behavior & Training > Telepathy between dogs and humans

Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 6, '13 12:34am PST 
If a dog can smell (what was it . . . a shirt that a human had worn and then left in the rain for 3 weeks, or something?) it doesn't seem too far fetched that they can smell sweat or changed pheromones due to cortisol levels or whatever it may be. Dogs may hear your chair wheels roll across the ground as you push your chair back half an inch from the desk and think about taking them out. They may hear you take a deep inhale or stop breathing as you contemplate changing activities or become stressed. May notice whether you move fast or slowly. My dog notices the speed at which I close my laptop. I subconsciously close it faster when I'm leaving the house versus just putting it down randomly. I also flit around when I'm going to leave- my movements are more jerky and sudden. I look at him more. I would never deny a dog's amazing ability to read us, adapt to us, and do what we need, but IMO there is always going to be another explanation for what seems like telepathy.
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» There has since been 19 posts. Last posting by , Jun 8 11:40 am

Behavior & Training > Telepathy between dogs and humans
Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 5, '13 6:36pm PST 
Toto, how about an intervening variable? Like, you have a good mental alarm clock that knows the usual time between potty breaks?
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» There has since been 23 posts. Last posting by , Jun 8 11:40 am


Behavior & Training > Patricia McConnell

Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 5, '13 5:14pm PST 
heck yes!!
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by , Jun 6 6:10 am


Behavior & Training > Telepathy between dogs and humans

Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 5, '13 5:13pm PST 
I'd have to agree with the others. It may be as simple as "why is mom standing still with her back to me? gotta go investigate." Often dogs have a default cue at the ready based on context cues. If I am anywhere near food and kind of glance at Smokey's best friend, I get a military-precision sit, lol.
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» There has since been 27 posts. Last posting by , Jun 8 11:40 am


Behavior & Training > Under socialized dogs from hoarding conditions

Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Tue May 28, '13 5:13pm PST 
They sound a lot like my mom's dogs. They were from a semi-hoarding situation. Something like 10 or 15 dogs, bullied somewhat by the other dogs, not socialized much, healthy but no vet care, and fearful of most people.

I'd work on some slooooooow counterconditioning. How fast you go will depend on them, and you might find, like with my mom's dogs, that one is much braver than the other, and need to do it separately (also may be a good idea to prevent fighting over treats or one not getting any). But to give a rough sketch, maybe:

Day 1, show them their new harnesses, and give high value treats, like little pieces of deli turkey, for sniffing them. If you have to sit across the room and use your most relaxed body language, that's fine. Say "yep!" in your happiest rainbow-sunshine-butterfly-unicorn voice and toss the treats over. Even if they wait to eat them until you leave, receiving them was still reinforcing. Aim for 2 or 3 sessions a day of less than 5 minutes each. Day 2, sit at half the distance and do the same thing. Day 3, lift the harnesses off the ground, "yep!" treat, repeat. Day 4, lift the harnesses and make the tiniest bit of contact with their noses or backs, etc, etc.

By the way, head collars are a no-go for reactive dogs who lunge and twist. They can cause neck damage. If they're strong, I'd use front-clip harnesses, and otherwise regular/mesh harnesses. Making it uncomfortable to pull tends to cause even more of a negative conditioned association with other dogs, but if it's necessary for safety, so be it. You may also be ok with a regular harness if you get one of the Kong traffic leashes with the giant padded handles so you don't get rope burn.
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» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by , Jul 18 1:21 pm

Behavior & Training > Emily Larlham?
Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Fri May 24, '13 9:55pm PST 
Sometimes the ease of posting Youtube videos leads to some weird results. She probably should have slept on that one and done a little editing. . . but generally I'm a big fan of hers. Smokey is a really anxious dog, so her approach works well for us. As a matter of fact, using a NRM like "no treat" (which would not even phase most dogs) actually did totally shut him down. He would freeze and stop trying or just quit and walk away. I think she's really excellent at modeling gentle body language, and as someone who spent two years previous with a happy, outgoing, uber food motivated, stubborn, hard-tempered dog and is still ferreting out the last traces of dominance mentality, I need that.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , May 24 9:55 pm

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