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About DogsAndTheMob

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  1. Golden retrievers and exercise

    If you’re looking for an on-lead jogging companion, a Brittany might suit. They’re a Hunter-pointer-retriever breed and in the US they’re used by hunters on horse-back. Off-lead, they’re variable in their tendency to stay close. My girl runs far and fast, despite extensive training and obedience competition success, but some other Brittanies stay close to their owners with little training. My girl is great with other dogs and people, which seems to be typical of the breed. I’ve been to breed meet-ups and all the Brittanies I’ve seen have been very social. of course, you need to check the parents’ health testing status.
  2. Golden retrievers and exercise

    I’ve just noticed Sandgrubber’s comment on cooling down via swimming. My son’s goldens have opportunities to swim during their walks.
  3. Golden retrievers and exercise

    I follow goldenretrieverforum.com (a mostly US based forum with expert commentary by conformation breeder/exhibitors) and I think that would be on the low side of their recommendations for exercise. I get the impression that even the conformation bred goldens there are a lot less mellow than Australian goldens. My son and daughter-in-law have two goldens from mostly European lines, which they take for long walks in the bush. Their dogs set their own - mostly much faster - pace and I’ve never seen them flag, even on the hottest days.
  4. Exercises for low impulse control

    You might find this blog by Denise Fenzi useful. https://denisefenzi.com/2013/08/impulse-control/ The video is a great demonstration of using the dog’s biggest motivators as both temptation and reward in teaching impulse control. I routinely use food rewards to teach impulse control. When I’m teaching a stay or a watch-me exercise, if my dog breaks position as I bring the food towards her, my hand with the food moves quickly behind my back. Once she’s in position again, the food reappears. If she’s struggling to maintain focus as the food comes close, I hold the food at a less distracting distance and bring a second reward around in my other hand in a way that prevents her seeing the alternative reward until it’s close enough for her to take without breaking position. Here’s another example of using what the dog wants to teach impulse control: I live on a farm and my young dog didn’t get much practice in informal loose-lead walking. She was either off-lead or formally heeling (which I taught off-lead). Just after I realised she had a problem with pulling instead of loose-lead walking, I stayed at a B&B with a garden full of rabbits. I taught her loose-lead walking in a weekend. I walked around the garden with her on a harness and long line, following rabbit trails. Every time she pulled on the line I stopped and walked backwards until she took some steps towards me. Then, with the line loose, she got to follow the rabbits again. When, inevitably, a rabbit hopped out and she lunged towards it, I shortened the line and took her inside the B&B. She quickly learnt that impulse control gained her more of what she wanted. It sounds as if physical activity may be your dog’s thing, so perhaps you could use some age-appropriate agility, retrieving or “fly” around a pole as both temptation and reward.
  5. Lameness in 13.5 yo husky

    I had a couple of thoughts when I looked at the videos. I’m not sure that they’re correct but I think they’re worth mentioning. The first is that he looks a little down on the right pastern - possibly more so than the left - and that may be the point of weakness when he stumbles. I’m not sure about the best way to treat that in an older dog. An expert in canine nutrition might have some ideas. Ensuring his toenails are very well trimmed may also help adjust his gait and relieve any strain on his pasterns. The second thought is that the harnesses (and the heavy lead in the first video) are hampering his movement. A flat collar might be preferable, provided he doesn’t pull against it and twist his neck.
  6. Adolescent dog throwing tantrums

    I agree with Tassie. Also, wherever there's a potential link between a desired behaviour and an aversive (e.g. Recalling > stopping off-lead play: jumping in the car > leaving the fun place), make sure that most of the time the desired behaviour is followed by more fun. So you might ask him to jump in the car, then do a spin or puppy push-ups or stay while you walk around the car before you give him permission to leave the car again. Depending on the set up, you might even make jumping into the car part of the agility sequence - like a pause table. Edited to add: I also have a crazy girl, but at three years old she's still got time to grow up sooner than my first BC, who was 16 before he outgrew his crazy behaviour. The crazy ones are the most fun to train.
  7. Adolescent dog throwing tantrums

    I haven’t encountered this behaviour but my general approach to unwanted behaviours is “this will not profit you!” My response would be to quickly tether the dog to a tie-out or something nearby, then walk away and look busy nearby until the dog is on his feet again. Remembering that any emotional response could be a “win” for your dog (or, alternatively, increase any stress component of the behaviour), keep your response as low-key as possible.
  8. Am I being unreasonable?

    Thank you. I think I’ll buy on-line next time.
  9. Three months ago, my 14 year old border collie was diagnosed with heart failure and prescribed Cardisure. The medication price - $386 for 3 months supply - was a shock, but I didn’t see any other option. I phoned last week to order another box of Cardisure and was told they had it on the shelf waiting for me. I collected it and paid another $386. I was looking up information on Cardisure this morning when I saw an ad from an on-line pharmacy - same manufacturer, same packaging, same 10 mg dosage, same number of tablets (100). The price was $185. I understand that vets have overhead costs to cover but more than doubling the counter price of an already expensive medication doesn’t seem reasonable to me. What do you think?
  10. Limited Slip Padded Collars

    I bought one of these from the Wolf’s Den outlet at a breed show. They look quite similar. https://thewolfsden.com.au/?s=Collars&post_type=product
  11. Getting a new puppy

    Brittanies are Utility Gundogs, or hunter/pointer/retrievers, bred to find game, indicate it for the hunter and then retrieve it. Some American lines in particular are bred to travel up to 60 miles a day, working with hunters on horseback. They’re one of the few breeds without much separation between working and conformation lines. It’s said that there are more dual Conformation/Retrieving Champion Brittanies in the U.S than any other breed. Their working background means they need to be managed well in a pet home. My Brittany needs to run, but has no instinct to stay close to me. Luckily I have fenced paddocks, but even there I need to supervise her very closely, which was a shock after my border collies and German shepherds. On the plus side, she has an excellent off switch and is quite trustworthy with cats and poultry. I know other Brittanies which stay close to their owners without much training, but could never be trusted with cats or poultry. My girl is a wonderful dog to train - cleverer than a border collie - but she’s a social butterfly and I think she’d be unhappy if she was left alone all day. There is a very active Facebook group - Australian Brittany (L’Epagneul Breton) Owners Breeders and Enthusiasts- which is a great place to find out more about the breed.
  12. Online Dog Titles / non-ANKC titles

    Have fun! My nervous GSD learned by finding family members, so by the time she was working unknown-person tracks she was accustomed to the routine. But she was only apprehensive of strangers (particularly men), rather frightened by a broader variety of triggers.
  13. Online Dog Titles / non-ANKC titles

    Have you considered ANKC tracking? It’s many years since I competed in tracking, but the judges and stewards used to keep well back from handlers and their dogs, so they didn’t impose the same “pressure” as obedience judges do when they watch a dog. My first GSD was quite timid but she loved tracking. I also like the fact that it’s a sport which puts the dog “in the driver’s seat” rather than the handler.
  14. Yes, she could be a purebred GSD. The ANKC GSD breed standard states “Unobtrusive small white markings on chest as well as very light colour on insides of legs permissible, but not desirable.” Your puppy’s white marking stands out only because she is black. If she was black and tan, you mightn’t even know the marking was there.
  15. White factored Border collie eye/ear issues?

    Deafness in white-factored dogs is caused by a lack of pigment cells (melanocytes) in the inner ear - specifically the stria vascularis. Black patches on the ears probably increase the chance that there are pigment cells in the inner ear. However, there seem to be other genetic factors in play, and I’ve known a few border collies with white ears (and owned one), none of which have been deaf. This form of deafness isn’t thought to worsen with age, and by the time the puppies are old enough to take home, you should be able to identify any that are deaf in both ears from their response to sounds. BAER testing would identify puppies that are deaf in one ear. Puppies that are deaf in one ear cope very well and , according to some research, twenty to thirty percent of dalmations are deaf in one ear. (Failure to hear commands may partly explain their reputation for stubbornness.) From what I’ve read, blindness is usually associated with the double-Merle genotype, rather than the piebald gene which these puppies probably show (as mum looks to be black and white, not Merle.) I’ve never heard of vision problems in white-factored border collies. If “Dad” might be a border collie or border collie cross, and particularly if he might be related to the mother, I’d be more concerned about three known nasty genetic diseases in the breed. The big advantage of getting a well-bred border collie is that the parents should have been DNA tested and at least one should not be a carrier for each disease. (Both parents need to be carriers for puppies to be affected.) In this case, where dad is unknown and mum (I’m guessing?) hasn’t been DNA tested, there is a risk that the puppies could be affected.