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The Spotted Devil

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About The Spotted Devil

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    Thornfield ESS

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  • Interests
    Thornfield English Springer Spaniels

    Animal Welfare Scientist/Cat and Dog Behaviourist.

    PhD in Human-Dog Relationships

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7,823 profile views
  1. Where do you buy your Protexin?

    They are great DDD - I do shop around for price on worm/flea products but happily buy many things there. Yes! Free shipping today only. And they give you $ off when you earn enough points.
  2. Going after chickens

    I’m an animal behaviour scientist and I hate getting caught up in the quadrants. It’s a slippery slope to arguments that go round and round in circles. My point is that I selectively reinforce the behaviours I like, split complex behaviours into tiny parts, set my dogs up for success, record keep (notes and video) my training in order to find out what I am doing right/wrong (am I really reinforcing what I think I am?) etc. Something like a NRM is a very rare thing for me to use and is used purposefully in a specific training focus. They are generally over used. I might not even say anything if my dog knocks a bar. I might just take ages to re-set the bar, tie my shoe lace etc. That is sufficient to take the dog out of that high arousal into a thinking space. As for your example about you delivering a late cue and having to call the dog off and the dog becoming “pissed off” I will teach it differently. I have a cue that indicates to the dog that they must pull off the obstacle (again thank you SG). And they get reinforced heavily for demonstrating impulse control. I train it, I build confidence, I test it. Just a different way of approaching the same problem. I agree about treats vs live pheasant or rabbits or quail or whatever. Note I am talking about things I do not how I think they should be done. I have the SAME problems. However, as I said earlier I have learnt how to transfer the value and to use PERMISSIONS. I teach them to run PAST the duck to retrieve the dummy. Then they get to retrieve the duck. I’m always asking how well they understand the behaviour? What if I now add this distraction? I want to get them so high high high with excitement around game or an agility tunnel and then sit when cued quietly. That’s why I can whistle sit my older bitch on a rabbit at 100m. A little lateral thinking is all that’s required.
  3. Going after chickens

    Where Susan Garrett excels is her understanding of how to transfer value. I have working Gundogs - I hunt them on game and compete in retrieving/agility. Game makes their head explode and yes, I went through a stage where they would spit out a cheese reward because they were so set on either running or hunting. But I learned to transfer the value AWAY from the hunting scenario. If we have a blip I can fix it incredibly quickly because I am super consistent. I fence my chickens, however, because at home its very difficult to be consistent. And my OH is hopeless I don’t do herding so I will not comment on that. However. People told me I couldn’t train a working Gundog with food only and no punishment. I use a NRM or interrupt the behaviour only if continuing the behaviour will be reinforcing in itself. Am I a hard @r$e? Do I expect my dogs to work for their reinforcement? Yes, absolutely I am FAR from the perfect trainer and get lots of stuff wrong. However I don’t blame the science of learning theory. I blame the application.
  4. Where do you buy your Protexin?

    So hard with all the choice out there! I’m using Blackmores Paw Digesticare (???) at the moment. I think I will find a couple I like and rotate them. Again from Vet n Pet. On the advice of a top US performance vet I am now adding a probiotic plus EFAs plus 4-cyte (joint care) to every meal.
  5. Yep. Definitely wouldn’t go anywhere else. Best agility foundations and skills you could hope for. Croydon don’t really do much agility anymore.
  6. Where do you buy your Protexin?

    Vet-n-pet-direct They have other decent brand options too.
  7. I live in the Dandenong Ranges and travel to Awesome Paws for agility. Further than you are after but so worth it. I’m running 3 dogs here tonight! Obedience - Croydon is a possibility but I haven’t trained their for ages.
  8. PetRescue looking at direct donations

    Holy crap! I’m an animal welfare/behaviour scientist in a lucrative start up tech company. What I wouldn’t give to earn that!!!
  9. Top Quality Food

    Excessive water drinking is litres and litres usually by human athletes OR an animal that actually has an underlying disease or a psychological issue. Dry food plus water is not excessive. Oh and I read the peer reviewed research because I’m a scientist.
  10. Dog walkers walking multiple dogs

    I remember when CM came to Australia, the posters depicted him walking with a bunch of dogs. Everyone was raving about how wonderful he was and all I could see was the fear in the dogs’ expressions - eyes, ears, head position. Makes me feel ill.
  11. Community rallies to save dog on death row for attacking child

    @Little GiftsI would have to disagree with you on the gun incident as described. That is not an accident. That is a failure of BASIC gun handling skills 101 and storage requirements that have been ignored. I have a gun licence and often have to transport/handle guns for our retrieving trials. We only use blanks but gun safety is paramount. If you have a gun in your possession it is your responsibility to check that it’s not loaded...if you hand it to another person it’s always broken. If you climb a fence, you break it. If you are not using it or are storing it you unload the damn thing. And lock it up. Separately from the ammunition. There would have been laws broken for this to happen. That’s why the USA is rife with cases like this and it’s a rarity here. Guns and kids just don’t mix. Apologies for the OT.
  12. Top Quality Food

    Sorry but drinking extra water is not bad for kidneys. Diluted urine can actually prevent issues like kidney stones and UTIs. I feed Artemis dry - floated not soaked in water - plus yoghurt or sardines or raw egg. 2-3 nights a week I substitute with RMBs....chicken frames, lamb necks or turkey wings. Anything non weight bearing. Sometimes fed frozen or half frozen. Treats include cheese, 4 Legs et al. , diced hearts, minced frames, beef mince and various quality dried products. I’m a little more limited because my Dally needs a low purine diet. The Spaniels eat anything.
  13. Importing from NZ (new)

    I suggest you contact a transport company such as Jetpets. They will give you a good idea.
  14. Preparing for NYE fireworks

    I’ll be home and playing training games None of mine are scared but we live in a quiet place so they like to bark at the noisy “intruders”. Need to channel that over arousal into something constructive!
  15. Maremma problem, please advise.

    I can empathise as I’ve lived next door to a couple of horrendous dogs. One Border Collie that was fine with dogs but absolutely terrifyingly human aggressive. And it’s little Terrier mate was kinda the opposite. Made my life hell and we cheered when they were finally evicted. It’s a bit like my Working Springers who hunt game but curl up on the couch and play with my cats. One of their close relatives is employed to hunt cats in the NT. It’s how you raise them and train them that’s important.