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Everything posted by megan_

  1. I've been meaning to start this thread for ages. I often read posts about people exercising their DA/reactive dogs in off leash areas to give them exercise. I wanted to start a thread that would list alternatives and give those of us with reactive dogs ideas on how we can keep our dogs mentally and physically sound. Of course this doesn't replace seeing a behaviourist to help deal with the issue, but often this takes time to resolve and, even with the best help, you may land up having to manage the issue for the dog's lifetime. I'll start off with a few ideas, but please feel free to add any. A few ground rules though: * Safety of the community and other dogs is the # 1 priority, so all suggestions need to keep that in mind * Ideas need to be in keeping with the law IDEA 1: A muzzle is your friend For a long time I was very resistant to use one. People would assume my dog was aggressive etc. It would be a pain to put on before a walk. She'd look like something from a horror film. I bit the bullet a few months ago and now I love her muzzle. Does it do much for her? I don't know, but is helps ME relax. When I'm relaxed, she is more relaxed. It also means I can work her in areas that I used to avoid because I was afraid of the risk of her lashing out. She is ALWAYS on lead when off my propery though. Please don't put a muzzle on your dog and then take them off leash. Dog fights start well before the first bite and your dog can send all sorts of messages to other dogs (I'm going to get you!) even with the muzzle on. Chances are the other dogs won't realise that your dog can't bite them and they will (very understandably) often fight back. So treat your dog just like you would if they weren't using a muzzle (give them space, on lead etc). I use a plastic Jafco muzzle so she can still breath and I cut a tiny hole in it so that she can recieve treats as it is very important to reward good behaviour. I got my muzzle from k9pro, along with a free muzzle desensitisation explanation. IDEA#2: Exercising the mind with the clicker/marker word and free shapping I'm not going to do a whole post on this, rather take a look at Shirley Chong's stuff. There is so much you can teach your dog with a clicker or marker word, a box and an emply toilet roll. Total cost: a few dollars. IDEA#3: Targetting This is really a subset of idea 2, but it provides my dogs with a lot of fun. There are many different types of targetting that you can teach (nose to object, pawy to object, bottom to object) but one of our favourites is nose to a standing target. I got mine from cleanrun but anything that you can stick in the ground will suffice. The game: I put them in their crates, hide the target in the house (now I can get complicated by hiding it behind doors etc) and then release them one-at-a-time to "find it". They race out and search each room to find it, touch it with their nose and get a click then treat. This is a great game to play ona rainy day and it only takes a few minutes (each gets two goes). How I taught it: i) I taught them to target the object (they already understood the clicker. ii) I put them in their crates and pu the target directly in front of them. I opened the create door, said "find it", they ran to it (it was right there), nose touch, click treat. iii) Repeated step ii) making it more further away each time, then hid it simply from view etc. I'll try to find a video of them playing this too. IDEA#4: Bubble machine. Speaks for itself. Great for dogs with a decent prey drive. Mine cost me about $20.
  2. Help - Dog Wants Guinea Pigs

    Yes - and they shouldn't see/smell/hear the dog either. They might be physically safe but constantly stressed because a predator is stalking them (they don't know the dog can't get over the fence etc).
  3. There's just no end to the money grabbing behaviour now. Bequests are a great idea. Not everyone has relatives to leave money to and, even if they do, they might want to support a charitable cause. More rescues should do this.
  4. Rival To Petrescue

    I just googled "rescue dog" and "dog adoption" (terms I'd use to find a dog to adopt if I didn't know any specific rescues) and PetRescue is waaay down the list of results.
  5. That's why I suggested contacting Great Dane Rescue - because they can give her honest advice and can at least recommend the right behaviourist if the owner wants to go down that path.
  6. Be prepared for them not to take her back. I'd be contacting Great Dane Rescue on follow their advice to the letter - heads need to rule over hearts in these cases. In the meantime, just give her space. Don't try to get her to socialise with the bulldog or the children. Let her be. It is hard when you have a fearful dog because you feel so sorry for them and they are often beautiful dogs underneath. I had a rescue mini schnauzer who had fear aggression - she was a beautiful dog who I loved very much but never, ever again would I take on a fearful dog. I should have returned her the day I got her - for her sake and mine.
  7. Not Happy Physio.

    Rascalmyshadow, if you went to the person I think you went to, she is a proper, qualified physio with a Masters in small animal physio (ie she went to uni to become a human physio and then did her masters). I have taken my boy to her and have been very impressed. She works with lots and lots of dogs post op. The actual massage at the first session didn't take to long, as she was focused on diagnosing what was wrong and drawing up a treatment plan. My vet - who has greyhounds - recommended her. I could be way off the mark though, but there aren't that many qualified small animal physios around (apparently they tend to specialise in either cats/dogs or horses, and not both). I think I paid $180 for that first session. If you're getting $ back from insurance then I'd personally stick with officially qualified people otherwise you might void your claim. There is someone in Vic who a lot of the agility people use who is meant to be brilliant. Don't know how many post-op dogs she sees though.
  8. Important to note that there are a few rounds - we need to vote for Em Sal now, and then in the finals.
  9. But then getting from a rescue is right for you? They aren't saying "don't go to a rescue, only go to the pound", they're just promoting the pound system as an option. After all, most of the dogs on PR are from rescues, so they are getting the most exposure there. Some pounds temp test, and some rescues do a really bad job of temp testing (sometimes a nervy temp means a dog is classified as soft, rather than bite risks for example) There are a number of good places to get a new dog depending on your situation and your level of flexibility: an ethical breeder, an ethical rescuer, or the pound. There are pros and cons for each option.
  10. If I have to engage a trainer or radically change how I live and how my family lives I want to know BEFORE I decide to take the dog and I dont want to take a dog in that needs thousands in health bills or nursing .Sounds terrible I know but that the way it is for me and I dont think Im in the minority. There could be enough good rescuers with good resources its just that this is the focus on how to fix the problem there are other alternatives including the one that Mita just referenced. This entire program came about because it has been decided that private rescue cant double what their contribution is.I think they can if they get the right kind of support and help. Maybe that can happen, but the dogs are in pounds now. I agree that if some radical investment is needed then people should know upfront. However, unless a rescuer does everything like you would, and unless the dog has stayed with them for a significant period of time, how a dog acts in one home can be totally different from how a dog acts in your home. That is always going to be the case, regardless of how good a rescuer is. I'm sure my fearful rescue girl would have turned into a different dog in a more experienced home. That said, from all the trainers I know, the vast majority of dogs out there don't have serious behavioural problems that require significant investment of money, treatment plans, drugs etc. They need help learning basic manners and how to walk on a leash. Again, great if a rescuer can get these down pat, but chances are the dog is going to have to relearn these things with you anyway.
  11. If people only adopted dogs from good rescuers there would be a lot of dead dogs, because there aren't enough good rescuers with resources to take on every sound pound dog. If the dog has an issue, the adopter can engage a trainer, just like the rest of us do? If there is a health issue, they can go to a vet.
  12. yip. Whether or not the pup was sold for breeding is also beside the point. If the bite is so bad that the teeth piece the roof of the mouth then then the pup was not fit for sale.
  13. Warm Dog Coats- Recs Needed

    Fergus has had his Chilly Dog coat for about 8 years and it is still going strong and in great condition. I love that it is waterproof too. I find it gets very roasty-toasty.
  14. Depends what vaccine you're talking about too. Kennel Cough is still a yearly protocol?
  15. I'll Just Throw This Into The Mix -

    positive punishment is a technical dog term that means "actively" punishing the dog - eg giving a physical correction. Negative punishment is passive punishment eg not giving a treat.
  16. Item About Victoria Stilwell

    The anti-positive training brigade have loved this incident. If you have a human aggressive dog and the issue can't be sorted out by a professional trainer in a short period of time then advising euthanasia *is* the responsible thing to do.
  17. Uber Delivering Puppies To Workplaces

    I agree, no one loses! I like the idea of fun and creative ways to get dogs adopted. Not a fan of dogs being driven around on a humid Melbourne day, having 15 mins whistle stops. Especially since most people - many rescuers included - are really bad and reading dog body language. As the owner of a fearful dog, I can tell you that as soon as a dog acts timid people flood it, talking baby talk.
  18. Urgent- Stolen

    Link to the FB page is here:
  19. I always fed separately, even though my dogs never fought over food and respected the "he/she who got it first gets to keep it" rule. If I dropped food they both went for it but never fought. I always separated them as a family friend had two dogs who ate together for over 8 years without incident. Then one day, the one dog killed the other over a bone.
  20. Dog Chiropator

    Michelle Monk is a qualified small animal physio (she has her masters). She is not cheap, but if you get a vet referral you do get it covered (provided it is in your insurance terms). She is excellent and very thorough.
  21. I've sent you a PM Caz. To others, the shelter is getting lots and lots of calls and they can't actually take bit payments. It will be sorted but maybe refrain from calling them as they are getting swamped.
  22. When I got Lucy tested, the price was very similar to the price in Australia so I opted for going straight to the US tests. I can't remember what I had done - I just did what Erny (who used to post on this forum) recommended.
  23. Fyi Pictures On Dol And Google

    Google is a search engine, so yep, everything on DOL comes up if you search for the right thing (except off topic, which is not indexed by Google).
  24. Is there a link please?
  25. Calling Breeders

    If it is a mobile number, then I SMS with a very brief intro and ask when is the best time to call.