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About corvus

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    Resisting hysteria
  • Birthday 07/03/1983

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  1. You can win this mind game with start button behaviours. Just shift them to places he thinks mean will predict no more work. E.g. "I only train dogs that are in a quiet down on that mat. Great! Now let me send you to other mats before and during real training. Great! Now let me send you to the car and then back to the mat for more training." As long as you avoid letting the places predict things other than work, he will stop caring about them. I would expect once you're on top of it, he will forget about it and you won't have a problem again. And if you do, then just go back to a little remedial work. Start button behaviours are handy for dogs that have learned ways to be demanding. If they know a behaviour that starts training, they abandon all the other less effective ways they know.
  2. I have found this a distressingly common pattern in GSDs. I have worked with some that do the same thing to people and dogs and to pretty much anything else they are not 100% comfortable with. Most of them are more display than serious about biting, but I'm not remotely interested in knowing where their limits are. I've seen some that were made considerably more dangerous just from one training session with a trainer that punishes it. They are trying to buy space. If they don't get it, they often escalate. I have had success just drilling alternative coping strategies into them with a lot of repetitions, but they tend to remain a dog you have to be on the ball with, and some of them do better on medication. In these cases, medication acts to basically knock the top off their arousal so they are less easy to trigger and their reactions are smaller. Makes management and training a lot easier. I swear, I do not understand why people get these dogs. A good GSD is a rewarding and very fun dog to work with and their loyalty is amazing, but I just see so few good GSDs!
  3. Well, I don't think they are especially different compared to other head collars. Only reason I ever use a head collar is if a dog can still pull someone a few steps with a front attach harness on. FA harnesses are well tolerated by the vast majority of dogs if they are well fitted. I've worked with a few dogs that react in big ways and for safety reasons we need to use something stronger. For these dogs, I use a front attach harness/head collar combo. The leash on the head collar remains loose. If the dog reacts and something more than the harness is needed, you grab the head collar leash and bring them around. Takes some conditioning to get them to respond the way you want them to to pressure on the head collar, but IME for most dogs only a few sessions. The conditioning is important. They have to know how to escape the pressure on the head collar or they will fight it or just be miserable. Some dogs seem to find them very upsetting, but I don't think it is common.
  4. I have a podengo, which is a hound rather than a gundog, but I suspect more of a flushing dog than a hunting dog. Mine comes on trail runs with me. She is pretty good off leash. Phenomenal sense of direction. I don't really worry much anymore that she is going to get lost. More that she will end up on the road while adventuring. She doesn't range far, though. She is small (5kg), extremely personable, and a pleasant house companion. Full of personality and Opinions, very cuddly and charming. She invents games and they are funny and engaging. They are known as a very cheerful breed, and her tail wags probably about 80% of the time she's awake. She doesn't need to get out every day, but she will run 15km with me. She bounces around in the bush and looks for animals. She doesn't have a lot of persistence with it unless it's rabbits. She is fascinated with echidnas and keeps finding them for us. Blessedly, she just stands there and barks at them. She has a great nose and she's surprisingly trainable. Otherwise, Field Spaniels as people have suggested. I would look at Murray River Retrievers. My brother has one who is quite lovely. The gene pool is very small, though. Some breeders are health testing.
  5. Designer dogs

    You know, some people don't want an ANKC registered dog, and that is okay. They are not wrong just because they don't make the same choices as you do. They are not necessarily uneducated just because they bought a dog you would never buy. A little tolerance goes a long way. I train oodles all the time. I do behaviour consults for oodles. By and large, it's obvious to me why they are so popular. Purebreed fanciers always start with the premise that there is a problem with them and how can we tell people what those problems are. Well, if there was an overall problem with them, they would not be half as popular as they are. They are here to stay. Get used to it. My podengo is glad, at least. She is totally discriminatory about oodles. SHE LIKES THEM. They are usually polite with her, so she is more comfortable approaching them than other dogs. All kennel club recognised breeds were mongrels at some point. Breeds were developed when people decided they wanted some traits from some dog types and some traits from others so they selectively bred them until they had a good bet they could reliably get those traits.
  6. I work at Hanrob. Shoot me a PM if you would like to chat. How you go about pursuing this career depends a bit on what your strengths and weaknesses are and where you are located etc.
  7. There's no difference really between "naturally dominant" and "trying it on". Both of them don't necessarily explain what he is doing and why, though. Some individual dogs have a very proactive coping style, which means when they are stressed, they are likely to choose a strategy that involves actively taking on the stressor rather than passively avoiding it or tolerating it. I had a puppy 9 years ago that was doing this kind of thing. I worked to avoid eliciting those behaviours in the first place and also worked gently on improving his tolerance of the stimuli that provoked them. For him, a lot of it comes down to stress. Things worry him and he thinks he should do something about it. Encouraging him to choose more passive strategies and rewarding him for tolerating things has helped enormously. He's a dog that has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but I don't think that is why he was like this as a puppy.
  8. Hanrob

    Sorry, this is probably a bit late. I'm currently the senior trainer at Hanrob in Heathcote. Things are changing in the training space at least. I can't speak for the pet boarding side, really. It's probably no better or worse than most boarding kennels.
  9. Socialising a dog - daycare?

    My dogs in general walk calmly by other dogs except Kestrel, and Kestrel is the one that has had the least socialisation with other dogs out of the three of them. They can all also interact politely with strange dogs and all of them will play with unfamiliar dogs and I honestly find that not only gratifying but also useful and I believe it helps them a lot in coping with suburbia where they do meet a lot of dogs inevitably. Furthermore, my most social dog is an awesome stooge dog for work with reactive dogs, and can do close work like few dogs can. There is a lot to be said for stellar social skills, and dogs don't get those without direct experience to help them develop. I see dogs all the time that have had little to do with other dogs and over time this drove them to become fearful and anxious. It breaks my heart to see dogs that are afraid of their own kind for no reason other than that they just don't understand dogs well enough to be able to interact with them confidently. On the other side, I see dogs that are dog park regulars whose owners cannot walk them past other dogs because they so badly want to greet (very often staffy mixes!). Give me the latter any day of the week. It's usually easier to work on, and much HAPPIER dogs. There is a happy medium. I don't think a dog daycare is a terrible idea, but it depends on the individual dog. For some dogs, their social interactions really need to be carefully watched and managed to ensure they build the right kinds of experiences. Two of mine it would have been madness to send them. For other dogs, they are more resilient and a well run dog daycare can be a good environment for them to visit once or twice a week. My most social dog went to daycare twice a week for several months as a young dog. He adored it. He was always very excited to arrive and couldn't get in there fast enough. It did not turn him into a dog that loses his mind around other dogs, because guess what, I trained him.
  10. My dog ate a blue bottle

    One of my dogs once ate SO MANY bluebottles that she threw up and managed to give herself a taste aversion to them. All of my dogs have eaten them from time to time, but only the dried ones that have been on the beach for a while.
  11. Vet warns of Greyhound Adoption Risk

    Like I said, it's hard to know what is driving her comments at the moment. She should be prepared to quote numbers, even if they are educated estimates at best, but lots of people are not, and I'm not sure if anyone has asked her to. I'd like to know what's going on for real as well. Wait for another Four Corners report, I guess.
  12. interesting article

    Thing about dogs is I'm smarter than they are, and I have more tools at my disposal, and better foresight, and I'm more compassionate and empathetic, and much better at planning. Nature gave me those advantages, so I'm happy to use them and call that "natural". ;)
  13. Vet warns of Greyhound Adoption Risk

    I'm not sure exactly what Karen Dawson's experiences are with human-directed aggression and anxiety in ex-racers. Frankly, the industry has chewed her up and spat her out, and it's hard to know what is driving her comments. Whatever her stance and however right or wrong she is, no one deserves the sickening way she has been treated. That being said, what do you do? She's still seen a lot more ex-racing greyhounds than I have, for example, and seen them from more sources and regions. The industry isn't the same everywhere, and in the past perhaps there has been more self-selection occurring with the greyhounds that get sent for assessment with GAP than there is now that in NSW at least, it's a lot harder to euthanise a racing greyhounds than it used to be. So, I wouldn't comment, I guess. I don't know what the situation is. I haven't seen much evidence of human-directed aggression or anxiety from dogs I've seen at tracks or in training. That might be because it's not very common or it might be because they don't usually make it to the track, or maybe I have missed out on seeing a sizeable portion of the greyhound population.
  14. Vet warns of Greyhound Adoption Risk

    It's not "singling a breed out" to acknowledge or indeed warn that potentially dangerous decisions are being made about their management. I don't think many people appreciate what these dogs can be like. They may never have seen a small dog, but they have been trained to chase and grab things about the size of a small dog that are fluffy and make noises. They have been trained to do little else, and they have been so heavily conditioned to do it that often they are not able to think beyond doing it. I worry that many more people will appreciate this in the near future the way the industry is attempting to "address" their problems. It won't do greyhounds any favours, that is for sure.
  15. I'm not sure you can assert that it is something put forward by so many organisations when it hasn't even been stipulated what exactly this training looks like. As I said, Delta wants trainers to refer aggression cases. So, what training method are we talking about, exactly? The OP has vanished, so my guess is it was a pot stirring post and that's it.