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About Coracina

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  1. Kelpies

    I got to visit the puppies over the weekend, my goodness they are gorgeous. 5.5 weeks now. The breeder has her work cut out for her trying to pick a girl to keep - they're all lovely pups.
  2. Kelpies

    I haven't actually picked yet :p Just my favourite photo - I couldn't send photos of all the pups! They are only just two weeks now, got to wait a little longer to see personality and structure (I'm a sport home) so I won't pick for a couple more weeks. Having said that... The girl in that photo tried very determinedly to climb in my pocket, had to tell her I didn't think her mum would appreciate that just yet! We'll see what she says next time I visit. ;) Feels like such a long wait but I'm glad to have time to puppy proof! The whole litter of wrigglers at one and a half weeks old - 9 of them!
  3. Kelpies

    No posts in over six months I am super excited - I have a puppy joining our house in just a few more weeks! Adorable puppy photo attached :D So very lucky they're close enough for me to visit (and photograph)!
  4. Harnesses.

    I really like that idea Sheena! I might borrow that - should help with some of the problems my club is having with our intro class (not enough experienced instructors to run it well at the moment ) As far as harnesses go, I like this type (used as a back-attach): http://ttouchsa-shop.com.au/products/lori-stevens-balance-harness-neck-buckle?variant=1188205633 This one is similar, nicer quality webbing but no slider on the top and no neck buckle: http://www.haqihana.com/en/accessories/harnesses/harness-l-turquoise Both have a lot of adjustment so you can get it well clear of their axilla (armpit), don't sit over the shoulders and seem to be comfortable. I don't run my dog in a harness but I do train in one if they're going to be onleash a lot - my stresshead dog seems a lot more relaxed in a harness than on a collar (which yeah, I know, poor leash training foundations, I'm working on it!).
  5. I've been struggling with teaching Kip's weave poles for months now. He's been consistently good on his entries (yay 2-by-2), but missed at least one gap in about 50% of attempts and hasn't been improving with repetition. So, I finally got the camera out and videoed him to try and work out what was going on. Had to put it in slow-motion to see it - he's trying to weave with his eyes shut. Anyone else have a training moment where they realised their dog was being a bit "special"?
  6. Kelpies

    Hi everyone! It's been a while :) What's everyone up to? Kip has come such a long way in the last few months. I had a lot of "Oh no, what have I done" thoughts - he was always going to be a challenge of a dog, but I made some mistakes (I would do his puppy socialisation so differently given the time again ) and was feeling like we were getting nowhere. So glad I kept working at it, really feeling like we're a team now and having so much fun with him. Still got a lot to work on though! He had his first agility trial on the weekend before last. Did some really nice stuff for me - first NFC run was a shocker though, took off to bark at the judge but did eventually re-focus.
  7. Medication Help For Stressed Dog

    You can use medication for dogs with separation anxiety, it's a bit of a question of severity as to whether it's needed. From your posts it sounds like Maple's anxiety is mild to moderate, which wouldn't usually warrant medication, but that's a call for you, your trainer and your vet to make together. Anyway, did my best to answer your questions so you can go in fully informed :) There's a few different sorts of drug, but they all work by altering levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. People with moderate to severe anxiety or other mental illnesses often have unusual levels of neurotransmitters, it's pretty reasonable to assume that applies to dogs too, so it makes sense to try to bring those chemicals back to normal levels. They're the same drugs that are used for people with anxiety and depression. There's only one drug actually registered for separation anxiety in dogs - Clomicalm (clomipramine hydrochloride). Being registered means it's been proven to be safe and effective. Thing is, it's an older style of drug that's hardly used in people any more since we've got equally effective options with less side effects, but it's still the only one that's been fully tested in dogs. It's also pretty expensive (that testing doesn't come cheap). To go with one of the newer (and cheaper) drugs, like Prozac (fluoxetine) for example, you have to go off-label, which means you don't have the same extent of formal testing even though it's fairly widely used in dogs and has plenty of anecdotal support. The prescribing veterinarian takes on a lot more responsibility for off-label medication, so most vets without further training or experience in behaviour would be reluctant to go off-label, which is pretty understandable. They're quite safe drugs, outside of overdoses, but side-effects are common especially at first. Lethargy, nausea and vomiting are most common. It's also important to not miss doses or stop giving the medication suddenly, if you want to stop giving the drug you need to gradually reduce the dose over weeks to months to avoid side-effects. Cost depends on what drug you end up using, how big Maple is and what dose rate she needs. Some dogs just seem to need a higher dose than others for the medication to be effective, brains are weird.
  8. Kelpies

    Hello again everyone, haven't been on for ages, I've been away since November. Hi Skip! We probably did say hi at some point :) There were a couple of people other than me with black and tans, one of Kip's litter sisters (also black and tan) was there too. Don't think I'll make it this year, but hopefully next year will be a go (and Kip might even be running by then). Kip is a barker compared to Jep (my cattle mix), but not compared to some BCs I've met :p I think it's just that he's quite alert, and if he sees or hears something out of the ordinary his first response is to bark at it, whereas Jep would go and check it out first. He can be pretty loud in play too, trying to get Jep to move faster. I really don't like barking when training so the couple of times he's tried it I've ended the session - it's usually when he's frustrated and we should be stopping anyway. 14 months old next weekend. He loves to swim! Seems like there's a few other kelpie cross fish dogs in here :) I so wish there was dock diving/jetty jumping near me, it'd be Kip's sport I think. Our goals for 2015: Kip: learn that he doesn't need to bark at strange looking people, not every dog needs to play with him and to generally settle down a bit in public. Honestly I think once I get him through all of that everything else will be easy! I can see all the first puppy mistakes I've made with him, it's disheartening sometimes. Jep: stay healthy and be happy. Poor dog is way overdue for his arthritis shot, I've been away so he hasn't had that or any joint supplements since October and he's really feeling it. Nowhere near sound enough for agility or frisbee right now. All of us: Get enough excercise and survive the year mentally intact! I'm in my final year of uni so that'll be enough of a challenge I think.
  9. Getting a little off topic, but for anyone curious about the trainer/behaviourist terminology; It's unfortunately really unclear and not particularly well-regulated in Australia at the moment. Anyone can call themselves a trainer, behaviourist, dog psychologist, dog behaviour specialist, whatever qualifications they have (or don't have). So me with my no qualifications and limited experience, I could set up shop as a trainer and behaviourist tomorrow if I wanted to The only exception as far as I know is vets can't call themselves specialists unless they're actually Fellows (not just members) of the Behaviour Chapter of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists so they'll have FACVSc (Animal Behaviour) after their name, or an equivalent qualification from overseas. Unfortunately that rules out a lot of vets with quite a bit of experience and further study in behaviour, including some people who only see behaviour cases! Who can call themselves a veterinary behaviourist or a veterinary behaviour consultant is a bit up in the air, but at the least they're a vet with more knowledge and experience with behaviour than average. Any vet is theoretically able to give advice and prescribe medication for behaviour treatment/management, but how knowledgeable they are on behaviour varies quite a bit as you might expect in such a diverse field. If I was looking for a trainer/behaviourist then I'd be looking at their training style (for both their canine and human clients), reputation, qualifications and experience in about that order and never mind what they call themselves. For the original question; Especially with a dog who lunges, I'd have two leashes - one on a flat collar (or a martingale, or a well-fitted regular harness, whatever you're aiming to be walking on - probably not a check collar though because you can't quite pop them like this) and one on the head collar, held like the reins of a double bridle except for the handles of the leads around your wrist like normal. A euro leash (aka a double-ended leash) does pretty much the same thing, but I like to use a very light leash on head collars (like a puppy or toy dog leash, or even just a bit of light cord or rope), I think there's less confusion without a heavy clasp swaying off it and varying the pressure and it helps to keep track of which leash goes where. Anyway, if you've got the grip right you get a gentle collar pressure before the head collar engages and you can still do light corrections with the head collar even if the dog is pulling as hard as they can. It also means they don't snap their head around as badly if they lunge when you're not expecting it, and if worst comes to worst and you have to physically hold your dog back from something at least you're not exacerbating the issue by causing pain with the head collar while you do it. It also gives you back-up if they manage to slip the head collar, and a bit of encouragement to try to ditch the head collar so you don't have to keep managing two leashes :p As far as brands go, I don't like gentle leaders so much, I think ones with cheek-pieces (like the Halti brand ones) fit better. I've heard good things about the Infin-8 ones but haven't used them myself. I don't like head collars that much in general, because I see them used poorly so often but if it's the difference between being able to walk your dog and being stuck at home they're definitely worth it. ETA: I'm a vet student with an interest in behaviour, hence why I'm familiar with the terminology debate :)
  10. Kelpies

    Geez, Striker is growing up so handsome. Me and the boys are just back from our first ADAA Grand Prix / two and a bit week road trip. Neither me nor the dogs had ever driven so far, really proud of how good they were. Got to see some dogs started on herding while we were on our trip, I'd only seen finished dogs before so that was really cool. There's a bit of interest in getting herding trialling happening here so fingers crossed, Kip would love it. Stopped on the way home to have semen collected and stored from Kip at his breeder's request, since I'm planning to desex him next year. So that was pretty weird! Never really expected to be involved in dog breeding, even so peripherally.
  11. Dogs On Holidays

    Yay, glad it worked out for you! I've just got back from a not-quite three week road trip with my two, from North Queensland to the ADAA GP in Tamworth. I nearly didn't take my young dog (who isn't competing, he's only ten months) but in the end I was glad I did, it was a good experience for him and he behaved himself... most of the time :p . We had a great time, but for me the whole point of the trip was hanging out with my dogs and doing stuff that they think is awesome which isn't everyone's idea of a fun holiday :). For anyone considering a trip, if you have a smart phone I'd like to recommend the WikiCamps Australia app (on Android, iOS and Windows 8.1), costs about $4. It has locations and info of pretty much every camping spot in Australia, including whether dogs are allowed. The reviews are really helpful too, often you can find ones from within a week or so which gives you a bit of an idea of current conditions before you get there. I found it really handy, since I didn't particularly plan my trip and haven't road tripped in that direction before. Link: http://www.wikicamps.com.au/
  12. Kelpies

    Hello kelpie people, it's been a little while. :) Kip is 9 months old now. We have our ups and downs but most of the time he's pretty good :p He was having some leash aggression issues for a month or so there but with a fair bit of work and some help from friendly dogs and their owners we're doing pretty well now. It wasn't entirely unexpected since there's a bit of that in some of his rellies and we've been pretty unlucky with offleash/uncontrolled dogs while out walking. He's also a bit of a destructive chewer, but that's mostly about training my family not to leave delicious things like shoes and socks around for him to steal... He's really starting to gain focus now, as well as filling out a bit. He's bloody tall now - I measure him at 550, give or take a centimetre - and weighs about 20kg. He's got some really nice heelwork stuff happening at the moment - I wasn't planning on doing obedience with him but hey, I'll take what I'm given! Still got a bit to go with working around distractions (he really hates being barked at, you've never seen a dog leap sideways so fast) but we might just be up for a bit of Rally-O next year. Planning our trip to Tamworth for the ADAA Grand Prix (obviously not competing with Kip! Jep will be having a go at the starters courses) - the plan is to take our time on the way back and explore some of the state forests for a week or two. Should be good fun.
  13. Kelpies

    Spoony, does your local club have a puppy/introductory agility class that you could check out? I know some of the ADAA-affiliated clubs around Brisbane do, not sure about the ANKC people. You could also consider Canine Disc. You can't compete until 18 months but you can do Not For Competition (NFC) rounds as soon as you're ready (you only throw sliders and rollers so there's no leaping). Gives you a few months to work on your throwing too :)
  14. Kelpies

    Cupcake is a cutie :) I like this process: part 1 part 2 The key with desensitisation is to keep it just below the point at which she needs to react to the other dog, so for Tilly it sounds like at the moment that's just a little closer than the other side of the street. To keep her focus it helps to work fast, use a high rate of reward and keep her moving so she's too busy to be looking for the other dog. Just be wary of how much control the approaching handler has over their dog - I've had dogs lunge towards me when they see my dog being rewarded which really sets my boy off.
  15. Kelpies

    585mm, wow Chequered! Reggie is very handsome, I hope Kip grows up like him. If I was sensible I'd have picked a smaller dog, I love all the vaults for Frisbee but it's bloody hard with a big dog. I used to do back stalls with Jep who's 25kg and nearly half my weight, it was silly. I'm going through the same thing with Kip at the moment Spoony. Some behavioural development texts I've read reckon there's a second fear period around this age that can last from a few days up to a couple of months. I think that's part of it with Kip so for the moment I'm dialling back the really tricky training stuff and spending more time on socialisation and just hanging out, working on building trust and value. Part of it is personality too, I need to get used to working with a less desperate-to-please dog. He's much more toy motivated than food motivated so using that more in training is helping a lot too (talk about heelwork in drive!). If you can get hold of Susan Garrett's Shaping Success, the "It's Yer Choice" and "Don't Wanna Don't Hafta" stuff might be helpful. You can find a bit about it online if you can't get the book. Aimed at the agility crowd but most of the foundation stuff carries over into day-to-day life I reckon. Just a thought with the roll over, what surface are you asking him to roll on?