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About DogsAndTheMob

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  1. Escape artist

    These are some of the ideas I’ve found effective: A large run (approx 20 metres by 5 metres) made from 1.8 metre chain wire and 2.4 metre star pickets, with an electric wire on the inside. When we moved to the country, I had no experience building fences, but my teenage children and I were able to build that run for a few hundred dollars and it lasted 15 years. Most of the time my dogs are inside with us, but the run was a safe place for the my German Shepherd and Husky when nobody was home. More recently, I’ve used pool fencing around the verandah. When I purchased a puppy a couple of years ago, I took a panel out of the pool fencing and installed a commercial run half on the cement and half on the grass, where the puppy would be safe when we weren’t home. When I was helping a relative whose dogs were digging under her fence, I loosely fastened star pickets to the bottom of the fence, parallel to the ground, so that their edges bumped against the dogs’ noses when they tried to squeeze under the fence. I have used star pickets in the same way to keep goats in their paddocks, and as an alternative way to stop goats squeezing under fences (for long fence lines) I have used heavy fire-fighting hose (10cm diameter). I spend a lot of time recall training my young dogs, walking them on a long leash and calling them back to me for treats. This was so effective at conditioning my husky’s recall that, on one occasion, when a flock of birds burst from the long grass just in front of her, I called her and she turned to me out of habit before she could set off in pursuit. ( I learnt my lesson, however, and I was more careful about keeping her on leash after that.) Huskies are notoriously unreliable off-lead, but I didn’t want my husky to miss out on companionship or exercise, so I’d take her with me when I was working around the farm, but I’d walk her on a long cord and tether her when I needed both hands for a task - taking care that she couldn’t get tangled or hang herself by jumping a fence. A caution about electric fencing: If it is installed, be wary about leaving it switched off. One of my dogs was injured when the wire of an electric fence tangled around her leg. If the fence had been switched on, she would have avoided it. I would also worry about installing it on the outside of the main fence, in case the dog pushed under the main fence, touched the electric fence and was trapped there, getting shocked.
  2. After all this time I can’t remember how long it was - between six and twelve months, I think. With Sammy, the precipitating factor was when she wore her hind claws down to the quick; Back then, GSD sized booties weren’t available. She still had some hindquarters mobility and enjoyed bark on command and shell games in lieu of more active training, and the DM wasn’t causing her pain, but I worried that the damage to her claws would hurt. Missy had lost most of her hindquarter strength but was still very strong in her forequarters when I gave her her wings; we helped her walk using a towel under her stomach to support her. For her, the precipitating factor was when a passer-by leant over the fence and persisted in talking to my other dog even though I asked her to go away. Missy dragged herself down the path and the passer-by reported us to the RSPCA. Thank goodness I was able to demonstrate that we’d been actively canvassing vets for treatment. However, I felt that I could no longer protect Missy from harm.
  3. I had two GSDs with DM a few decades ago. The disease wasn’t well understood then, and there wasn’t much available even for therapy or support. I considered acupuncture for one dog but the vet/acupuncturist didn’t think it would help. Surprisingly, my happy-go-lucky Sammy didn’t cope well and became very frightened of falling, whereas Missy - an introverted dog - adapted well and taught herself to seek support from walls and fences. I even found her, on one occasion, propped against the clothes hoist while she showed her young apprentice how to dig holes in the lawn. The fact that your dog has developed a technique for getting through the doggy door seems like a good sign - confidence and adaptation is so important, I think. Have you considered a mobility cart? I found an overseas vendor’s website with a lot of information on carts for dogs with DM, but I don’t know if there’s anything available in Australia.
  4. Veterinary records/notes retention

    I’m sorry for your loss, Sharon. I do know what you’re going through, as I’ve lost two dogs in the last decade when vets failed to take my concerns seriously. If it’s any consolation, Egg may have received better care than the notes indicate. Clinicians caring for people not infrequently fail to record the care they provide, despite warnings that “if it’s not documented it didn’t happen”. I doubt if busy vets and vet nurses would be any better at documentation. Have you considered your options for ongoing routine and emergency vet care? In my experience, finding accessible after-hours veterinary care can be a struggle, and something that needs to be considered before an emergency occurs. In the last few years, I’ve alternated vets for routine checks and vaccinations, because I’m not happy with the closest after hours emergency vet, but sometimes any vet is better than none. I’ve also lost a dog to snake-bite on route to a more distant specialty after-hours vet practice.
  5. Aggression towards other puppies.

    Be careful about the off-lead play sessions. That doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience for the poodle puppy, to say the least; experiences like that can cause ongoing anxieties.. It’s also very bad for Nugget to have the opportunity to rehearse problem behaviours. I’d seek out a reputable behaviourist or trainer specialising in that sort of problem.
  6. Help!

    I’m so sorry for your loss. i think dominance is often a simplistic explanation for complex emotional and behavioural reactions and doubly so in your situation, where the dogs and you have endured so much change so quickly. Milly may be particularly affected because of her age and developmental stage. I’d advise consulting a behaviourist who can explain what’s happening and - more importantly! - how to deal with the problem. In the interim, try to anticipate triggers and intervene before trouble occurs. You already know that mealtimes are a trigger, so it would help to separate the dogs into different rooms for their meals, and keep them there until they’ve calmed down. Anything that causes excitement - including rough play - can act as a trigger. As you can’t control this in your absence, could you separate Milly into a run while you’re out? Having three dogs together unsupervised can be risky, as a two-on-one fight can inflict a great deal of harm.
  7. Types of dogs for 6ry old with autism.

    Markable are ANKC breeders of curly coated retrievers, who breed dogs for use as assistance dogs. They say they have two adult dogs available for placement as assistance dogs. I don’t know if it was one of their dogs, but I recently saw a curly coated retriever working as an assistance dog for a young adult with a disability. It was in a very crowded supermarket and the dog seemed to be very “grounding” for the young woman. The dog didn’t look entirely comfortable with the crowds - who could blame it? - but coped well and gave the young woman something to focus on while her father got the groceries.
  8. Darwin's dog identification survey!

    I can’t find kelpies on the drop-down menu!
  9. Baladi - the dog getting over its bad image “The Baladi dog breed is so prolific in Egypt that they are often found as strays while people prefer to buy more expensive pooches. But things are changing as their character, street-smarts and loyalty have been giving them a fan following.”
  10. Importing Breed not recognized by ANKC

    Have you reached out to other Klee Kai breeders in Australia? I found the website for Auskleekai in Sydney They seem to be doing all the right things in terms of health testing and providing UKC registration. (I checked, and they are a UKC registered kennels, despite being in Australia.) They may be able to offer advice or even willing to help - I would think it’s in the interests of all breeders to build a solid gene-pool for the breed locally.
  11. Extremely Timid Vizsla

    I haven’t owned a visla but I have owned timid dogs. It’s difficult to comment without seeing the pup, but your parents should probably contact a behaviourist to improve the pup’s quality of life and forestall further problems. Speaking generally: Timidity can be genetic or learned, and is often a combination of both. Some timid dogs will bite if they feel threatened. Timid dogs are frequently frightened by quick movements, exciteable behaviour, human appearances they’re less familiar with (e.g. walkers, hats and beards, shorter or taller people), loud or low growly voices, direct eye contact and people who ‘loom over’ them. This latter may explain the changes in your parents’ vizla’s behaviour. Children tick several of the ‘scary’ boxes for timid dogs, so supervision with children is even more important than usual.
  12. Japanese Spitz Breeds

    Some spitz breeds are also a big responsibility on a rural acreage. We moved onto acres from suburbia when my husky was middle-aged. I already knew she had a powerful prey drive and lacked the tendency to stay close to me that my other dogs showed. Even so, I spent a horrible Christmas holiday searching for her in 40+ degree heat (and terrified that a farmer would shoot her) after somebody left a gate open on a Christmas Eve. After that, gates were locked. I found it sad that I could rarely let her off-lead for walks, even on my own acreage. I loved owning and training a husky - she was great around people and other dogs, and her facial expressions fascinated me because they seemed much more cat-like than dog-like - but I will never again get a dog primarily because I like the look of the breed.
  13. Pet Friendly Accommodation

    We holidayed in southern Victoria last week with our Brittany and I highly recommend; Pennyroyal Farm Cottages at Dean’s Marsh, north of Lorne. Honey was welcomed with a dog biscuit on a dog bed - such a nice touch! We were asked not to take her into the bedroom, which we were okay with. The cottage was beautiful, as was the secluded bush land setting. The yard was fenced. BIG4 Holiday Park Hopkins River, near Warrnambool. The cabin where we stayed was set up to accommodate dogs, with a fenced and gated front verandah. There were poo-bag dispensers and bins throughout the park, and a path led to a partially fenced off-lead dog exercise park alongside the river. When we went to the park it was very quiet, with only the occasional fisherman and, on one occasion, one other dog.
  14. Livestock guardians???

    My neighbours’ Maremmas bark at both sights and sounds. Several times, I’ve got up in the middle of the night to see if there’s a problem because their barking has been more frantic than usual, but been unable to identify what they’re barking about. They take a long time to settle down, too. As a neighbour, I’m prepared to tolerate their noise because we’re a reasonable distance away, but I’m not sure I could do so if we lived on a smaller acreage. It may be worth investigating other guardian breeds. Their youngest dog is less hysterical and may be a different breed (possibly Pyrenean Mountain dog, although from what I’ve read they bark a lot too), a cross or come from different bloodlines, because he looks a bit different - he has a squarer body, a higher tail-set and a more solid head.
  15. Livestock guardians???

    An excellent post, PC. I second your comments about Maremmas barking. My neighbours have Maremmas, which bark day and night and still bark when we drive in our own front gate, even although they’ve grown up with us doing so. On the one occasion when they had a serious crisis, I thought I heard voices but they were drowned out by the sound of dogs barking, and in the end I didn’t investigate because those dogs always bark. I don’t think they’d provide much protection from crows. We keep finding sawed up bones in our paddocks; the magpies steal them from the Maremmas and drop them over here. On the plus side, they happily co-exist with cats and other dogs, although when one of their other dogs picked a fight the maremma caused a lot of injury. They seem to be okay with visiting children but treed a tradesman on top of his car. The owner - who was there and thought it was funny - told me about it.