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About corvus

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    Resisting hysteria
  • Birthday 07/03/83

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  1. Supposedly it can take up to 8 weeks to see the effects of the medication. Anecdotally, it seems 3-4 is common.
  2. My dog was like that for about the first 4 weeks of being on fluoxetine. It took several months for him to fully return to his usual bright and perky self (but without the insanity). I understand that is an unusually long time. It was worth it, though. He has responded well to it and is a much happier dog.
  3. Karen Riddell at Spot Dog might be worthwhile checking out: https://www.facebook.com/Spotdogtraining/ It's not necessarily that she sees "sucker", it's just that the signal isn't clear and nor are the consequences. Often people that try to talk their dog into doing something are giving a lot of signals all at once and most of them are meaningless. A puppy has to try to sift through them all to find something meaningful. With a short attention span and no quick and clear consequences forthcoming, they don't learn what the meaningful signal is. They just do what they like. They usually turn out to be perfectly cooperative once they know what they are being asked and that they will get good things when they do it.
  4. Soft doesn't have to mean a pushover. And opportunistic puppies aren't necessarily disrespectful. Learning theory doesn't need to be applied firmly, just consistently.
  5. Hard decision, biting dog. *Updated*

    I'm a bit confused. You said that the times she has bitten recently, it has all been people she knew. My response to this is to think maybe she is most expressive with those she already knows, because she trusts them more. It wouldn't be uncommon for a dog's fear to suppress aggressive responses. In other words, she is too scared of strangers to aggress towards them. However, you seem to be suggesting this is part of a bigger problem. Like any time someone comes, her responses have become more extreme in recent times, and she is not coping with them being there. If I have understood correctly, my first guess would be that the visitors stress her out, and she is most likely to express this where she is least suppressed by fear - i.e. with familiar people. But, it doesn't entirely fit the pattern. I would expect the aggression to come out when the upsetting stimulus was present. So, that would suggest she is not okay with these familiar people being near her, either. Which would prompt me to consider she is in pain. If she's not, then it sounds like she is becoming sensitised, which is undoable, but you probably need to do some detective work to identify why it happened in the first place. I'm getting the feeling this is complicated.
  6. Hard decision, biting dog. *Updated*

    Can you set up a pen for her in an area where you spend a lot of time so she can be with you but also physically prevented from doing anyone any harm? If you pay her for going in every single time, there is a good chance she will continue to go in on her own. I would talk to your vet about some behavioural medication. You could try crowdfunding a vet behaviourist visit. I would support you.
  7. So worried about snakes!!

    Snake avoidance is an interesting topic. I would like to tackle it practically in the future, but seem to be forever planning to launch projects and I only have time to launch about a fifth of them. This one is high on my list, though! Particularly because I am trail running all year 'round with a small, highly alert dog that chases critters. Recalls have served us well with dogs and snakes in the past, but we live in fear of the day we don't see the snake in time. I don't really trust any of the current methods used by most trainers, whether they are aversive or positive reinforcement-based. I question if you can learn to avoid something without the appropriate negative emotional state associated with a noxious stimulus. Having said that, I would not go down the route of snake = shock, either. It is crude and risky IMO. I have one dog at least who I suspect I could transform from curious about snakes to actively attacking snakes with that approach. He's a cattle driving dog. His solution to things he doesn't like is to drive them away. Often with his teeth. I think for avoidance training to be humane, the animal should be first set up with the skills to turn an aversive stimulus off. That way, we hopefully retain a thinking animal once the snakes are brought out. That should minimise incorrect associations, avoid panicked responses, and give us plenty to positively reinforce and a dog that knows what they are doing and why.
  8. Yeah, I would not be walking into a situation where I knew a dog was likely to bite me. Er, it hurts! And if for some reason he escalates, he can do you serious damage, more than just bruises. It's also scary as hell being around a dog that might at any time bite you. If your friend wants you to give him another chance, she has to make absolutely sure he cannot bite you. A leash at a minimum. I ask for barriers when I visit a dog with a bite history. I want a door or fence between me and it, thanks. And I want there to be a leash as well if door or gate is going to be opened. I don't want him rushing through people's legs to get to me. I explain that it's not good for anyone if the dog bites me. I don't want to be bitten because it bloody hurts, but I also don't want their dog to practice that behaviour anyway. I don't want to be the one that provokes them that far. And I don't want them to see their dog hurt someone. I would encourage you not to interact with this dog. It is too hard to say how it might go. Sometimes a treat and retreat game can win a leery dog over, but then again, sometimes it seems to make dogs more aroused and more eager to try to control you, which might make them even worse.
  9. Thoughts on Aggression

    IME with Northern breeds, you do best gaining their willing cooperation. Working with them rather than trying to be the boss. It is the same with my podengo as well. Their cooperation should not be taken for granted. They will give it to you if you make it worth their while, and that is just the kind of creatures they are. It's why I like working with them so much. They don't just do it because you told them, unless they are humouring you. You have to work to make it something they want to do, and if you do that enough, they become reasonably reliable. Barring spitz moments.
  10. Thoughts on Aggression

    Oh my goodness, people. Aggression towards humans is certainly very serious, but this is a dog's life you are deciding OVER THE INTERNET without even laying eyes on it is somehow forfeit purely because he dares to tell his humans he wants none of it. I kind of hoped we are a little more enlightened these days than "dog bites human = dog dead". Just for the record, one of my dogs bit me once. 7 years ago. I did not put him to sleep because he told me something with his teeth. I bloody listened to him. He didn't bite me again. The trigger for that bite occurs frequently and no longer triggers him to bite. These things can be turned around, but you have the best chances of doing so if you get PROFESSIONAL help EARLY. The biggest issue I find with people having dogs that may injure other people or dogs is managing these dogs so that everyone is safe. It is not easy sometimes, but if it can be done, we have a good argument for attempting to change the dog's behaviour long-term. We do that by understanding what the dog is trying to achieve with their aggression. Aggression is functional after all. They aggress because it is working for them in some way. Believe me when I tell you, it is extremely rare for the function of aggression to be asserting dominance. Much more likely that the dog is buying space, trying to prevent something he doesn't like occurring, or trying to control stimuli he is nervous about. It is highly irresponsible to advise someone on how to treat an aggressive dog without qualifications and experience to support that advice. You could genuinely make it worse, and if they felt like suing you as a result, and you have no insurance, you could be in a world of trouble.
  11. Poo bags and plastic waste

    I was told that they should be good for 2 hours at least. I can vouch for that. They are annoyingly difficult to detach from a roll, but I can live with it. I got sent some samples when I asked about them. The first sample never showed up, and I was going to leave it at that given one of my flyball team mates had been using them and assured me they were perfectly practical, but Bruce followed up by e-mail and sent me another sample. Can't fault his customer service.
  12. Poo bags and plastic waste

    We use the Oh Crap PVA ones. Seems a lot better to me than "biodegradable" bags that actually break down into plastic soup. Tried some other brand, which I think may have been corn-based, and they biodegraded right in my hand. Thanks, but no thanks.
  13. Dog Park

    Best not take him back to the dog park unless you can find a time where you know the dogs that will come and know Fudge gets on well with them. Dog parks teach dogs like this to get quite defensive with other dogs. Every time another dog frightens him, he will learn to be more wary around them and rely more on snapping first and asking questions later.
  14. My first dog at age 13 was a corgi. Worked out fantastic. She was a great dog. I think shelties are not all that active in the scheme of things. I would tend to avoid a heavy coat. It's easy for it to get ugly if you don't stay on top of it pretty religiously. If she wants to stick with a full coat, I'd suggest start with a smaller dog. A large, fluffy dog is significantly more work than a small fluffy dog. If you want to go for an adult dog and/or a rescue, I'd pay for a behaviourist to assess the dog before you commit. They can't foresee everything, but they might see more than you do.
  15. Teen Pup Behaviour

    You are probably right that it is a stage she is going through. I also go and check for them. They are alerting after all, so it seems fair to honour them. But, if barking continues after I checked, I go out and warn ("enough of that or you'll have to come inside" - probably means hardly anything to them), if I have to come out a third time, they go inside. They do get a treat for coming inside sometimes, so I'm not left chasing them around the pool. They are smart. It's not exactly meant to be a penalty, but it may be sometimes. It's also worthwhile to sit outside with the dog for a while with some treats on hand. When there's a noise, call them in before they start barking and give them a treat. I have also had success with calling them in after one bark volley, reward, then get them to lie down on a bed, reward again. You can easily deal with them learning to bark to get called in by not paying them twice for the same thing. And then pay them periodically for staying on their bed. They learn the bed is more reinforcing.