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  1. Years ago I bought a Rotti from trainers who were on several acres. They were offered a Cattle X that was facing euthanasia because he was a problem barker. The trainers put the dog on a wire run above a dam that overlooked their training area where he spent the day running back and forth yapping it's head off at any dog being trained. He, they said, was the perfect distraction for the dogs in training to learn to ignore. A win win.
  2. Hemp seed oil can be helpful for many conditions but a full spectrum CBD oil is much more effective, especially for neurological conditions. CBD oil is safe for children and pets and will not get them high. I've just started dosing my GSD with CBD oil before bed when storms are forecast overnight which lowered his anxiety at our first try. It must be awful to see ones pup having seizures. Good luck.
  3. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Behavioural issues like this can be so hard to correct. Unfortunately it sounds like Penny will not ever be a happy confident dog. Several years ago I bought a 10wo Rotti pup. He was a handful from the get-go. He had chronic PICA so bad that I had to take him to toilet muzzled and on a lead. He treated life as one big game and would not take me seriously unless I stood over him and read him the riot act. Taking advice that dogs will often settle down by 18mo, I persevered with him. At 16mo he triggered a permanent back injury. I could barely walk and needed to be in hospital. Over three days I tried to find a kennel that could take him but as soon as I mentioned "60kg with behavioural issues" none were prepared to take him on. By the 3rd day my health had deteriorated where my GP ordered me to hospital [as it turned out I was also suffering from diverticulitis and a lung infection] I had no other choice but to put him to sleep. [No way could I have sent him to the pound - he was my responsibility] As hard as that was, although I loved the big lug, while laying in the hospital bed, I realised that I never really enjoyed him. He was just hard work. Although putting him to sleep was terribly distressing [which he thought was a big game] I felt relief that a load had been lifted from my shoulders. I did my best and gave him every chance. Sadly, sometimes our best efforts are not enough. Once one has exhausted all avenues to rehabilitate, sending a dog to the rainbow bridge is the kindest act of all.
  4. My GSD, a rescue with a terrible history of abuse and neglect, is a very confident boy who jumps towards loud sudden noises. So it came as a shock that he's terrified of storms and fireworks. The first storm rolled through during the first week I brought him home. Wooki had not ever received any positive attention, much less any affection, and did not like being handled. His fear of storms helped with our bonding. Wooki was shaking and distress panting so I encouraged him to lay under the table at my feet where he quickly settled himself. Two years later just before Christmas, a storm rolled through after we retired to bed when he totally freaked out. The vet prescribed Xanax but I'd only medicate him as a last resort. Last week another storm rolled through after we had retired to bed and Wooki again totally freaked out and would not settle. Since sleep was out of the question I got up and sat at my dining table. Wooki got under the table at my feet and settled himself. I'm unable to figure out why he freaks out when I'm in bed but will settle under the table, except to think that under the table at my feet has become his 'safe spot'? I'm buying a crate that I'll put in my room and cover with a blanket to create a 'den' and hope that that will do the trick. If not, at least we have an alternative. My main concern is not being home if and when a storm passes. It's awful seeing him so frightened.
  5. My GSD, a rescue, had received no positive handling from his previous owners [just abuse and neglect] and hated to be touched or handled. GSDs shed a lot and when they moult their winter/summer coats the fur just comes out by the handful. To make brushing an enjoyable experience for him I used dried liver treats and incorporated training into the exercise [Wooki loves dried liver] Wooki is an extreme case but he learned to tolerate a brush. Two years on and he's still not fond of being brushed but with the offer of a few dried liver treats he will allow me to brush him without too much fuss. Since your poodle is still a pup, it would be much easier to brush him after game time or a walk after he's burned off excess energy.
  6. Yes, often it's just an excess of energy. Why on earth anyone thinks that that's an ideal time to train a pup is beyond me. Always play or exercise a pup before a training session is sound advice. Tennis balls. One thing that was pointed out to me several years ago was one of those things that should have been obvious to me; look at the surface of a tennis ball - it's similar to those scouring pads for washing dishes. A tennis ball is quite abrasive and will wear down the enamel on dogs teeth. Since then I've only ever bought rubber balls for my dogs.
  7. Poodles are quite intelligent dogs. A pen is an excellent idea for 'time-outs' - a crate should not ever be used as a punishment but if the crate is in or attached to a pen then that's fine because then it's the dogs choice whether they go into their crate or not. Once redirection fails to work, especially when a pup is overly excited, putting them in a pen and totally ignoring them for several minutes gives them the opportunity to 'think about it' and settle themselves. Not saying this is the case but ensure that there's no knucklehead in your family who is encouraging the biting by stirring the pup up like it's a game. [When I was a young teenager I was one of those numbskulls] Good for you that you're seeking to rectify the behaviour now while he's still a pup. Make sure you get recommendations and check out the techniques used by the trainer. Two years ago I 'fostered' a highly reactive GSD who has a shocking history of abuse and neglect who took crap from no one. At the time I felt desperate for advice so was delighted when GSD rescue had organised a training day for rescues with a dog behaviourist whom I'd heard many good things about. Silly me thought I'd actually learn some valuable lessons. In the first demonstration the behaviourist used harsh techniques [that made the dog yelp in pain] and used the owner as the distraction, which in my eyes was betraying the dogs trust in his owner. Not anyway to treat any dog much less a rescue with a history of abuse. The behaviourist used aggressive and domineering tactics on other GSD rescues, a couple of whom looked close to attacking him. The behaviourist got the shits and stormed off when I refused to allow him to handle Wooki. When I told him that Wooki would not tolerate such treatment and would bite him, he replied "I've been bitten heaps of times!" as if that was a badge of honour. Not on my watch you moron. The positive that I gained from that experience was it showed me that I needed no advice from a cretin. All Wooki needed was time and patience using firm consistent direction and soft hands. Wooki is now like a different dog who actually is a rather nice natured boy. That's an extreme example but shows that even 'experts' like this dog behaviourist need to be checked out and avoided like the plague. Good luck.
  8. Bless you and your daughter for stepping up. Although Katie is in her elderly years, she finally is living out her days with loving kindness and care. Look into a full spectrum CBD oil for her arthritis which has brought relief to many beings, humans and dogs alike. [Cannabis oil has brought me much relief] There's an excellent FarceBook medicinal cannabis and CBD oil for dogs group where one can get further advice [FB banned me for quoting the Koran so I'm unable to link sorry]
  9. It's been over 15 years since my beautiful Rotti boy passed peacefully at 14yo. He was one in a million. As he entered his elderly years I shed many tears at the thought of losing him yet his passing was so peaceful that I didn't shed a single tear. Rarely a day goes past when I don't think of him with a smile. What a privilege it was to share my life with a dog that had more commonsense, better judgement and was so reliable compared to many humans I've known. He still visits me in my dreams occasionally. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll be waiting to greet me when my time comes. No, a special furry friend cannot be replaced. That's why I should not have bought another Rotti after his passing because comparisons [and even expectations] are inevitable and totally unfair to the new dog. Not that I was looking for another dog, it worked out for the best that I ended up with a GSD who is totally different to Rotti boy. It allows me to enjoy him for who he is rather than experiencing any disappointment due to any expectations from comparing him to Rotti boy.
  10. Maybe that suggests that you do need training after all? I've not had a dog that would not obey. My GSD, a rescue who had had zero training and who looked psychotic when I first took him into public, was an extremely confident, independent, highly reactive boy, yet he's been the easiest dog to train [he'll do anything for a bit of dried liver] Gaining his respect however, took time. He tested me for many months. I will not repeat a command - you heard me the first time - so I became very good at stare-outs while standing like a statue with hands on hips while Wooki 'thought it over', but with firm consistency [and soft hands] eventually he just fell into line. I love strong minded confident dogs but even they must learn that I'm the alpha otherwise things can and will go wrong. [like racing onto the road chasing a cat or biting the 'wrong' person for e.g.] It boils down to respect. This is why training is essential for all dogs. Although Wooki is now 99% obedient at home and mostly when in public, we still do training drills several times a week. Not because he's stupid but because as a rescue with a shocking history of abuse and neglect he does have triggers [that may well stay with him for life] but also, regular short training drills reinforces in him that I'm the alpha. Too many dog owners will not 'pull rank' on their dogs. As much as I love my furry friends I expect obedience and I'll do what's necessary to attain that.
  11. That's interesting considering that the English Alsatian was a result of inbreeding. Many will argue that the Alsatian is the same as a GSD. Originally they were. Due to hostilities with Germany, English breeders sourced GSDs from two French towns [Alsace and Sebastian IIRC] and called them Alsatian to dissociate them from German Shepherds. [Alsatian being an amalgamation of the names of the two French towns] Unfortunately the breeding stock was too narrow. Due to inbreeding, the Alsatian became a smaller dog in stature, had a narrower head and often had yellowish eyes. They also had a reputation [whether fair or not I'm unable to say] of turning on their masters. I'm not sure when English breeders rectified the issue - by bringing in new stock from OS - but pics I've seen of todays English bred GSDs now look like a GSD should. The GSDs in that doco you mentioned must have been a result of that reform of the breed in England.
  12. @Ray27 you're partner was the only person there that day that had more than half a clue. One can only imagine how much worse it could have been had she not intervened. ["Stick your finger up it's arse!" Yep. Works every time, especially effective on male dogs] In that situation I'm the type of bloke who would have roared at the clueless owners to get training for themselves and their dogs. Once I had their attention I'd suggest that they get a trainer to conduct group training. Dogs need to be able to stretch their legs for sure. Since my jogging days are over, my GSD trots alongside me as I ride a mobility scooter for 40 minutes every day. I'd love to let him off lead but my local dog park isn't much better than what seems to be the norm.
  13. It is a helpless feeling. In my glovebox is a pack of dried liver. Most dogs can be coaxed to me by throwing bits closer to me with each throw until they'll take one from my hand. The ones that will not come to me, I'd expect would stay close enough with the treats, long enough to make a phone call and to get help. [Haven't met a dog that did not love dried liver bits] My local vet clinic, [Tom Lonsdale the raw advocate] is simply brilliant with looking after stray dogs [And they do a heap of work with rescues, emergency boarding, doing operations, de-sexing and are part of a chain with rescue groups. Vets like Tom are no doubt as unimpressed with the RSPCA as most of us are and have stepped up to the plate to ensure a much better fate for rescues at their own cost. Bless them] Twice it was a simple matter of finding the owner through the microchip. Whenever a dog has been loose, several people in my neighbourhood have stopped to help. It's so good to know that so many people care. In your situation, I'd be looking at your local vet websites and phone the ones that sound promising and ask if they help with strays. I'd expect that a vet clinic is either one way or the other; they'll have the same attitude as my vet, or they'll see it as an unprofitable waste of their time and resources. Finding out now where to take a stray will save time when you do come across one.
  14. You've done the right thing by your dog. Dogs will settle with a new owner soon enough if treated properly. It sounds like you're the one who is suffering the loss. Totally understandable but if she's happy then that's the most important thing. GSDs are a strong, confident and protective breed. In the future when you're in a position to get another dog, if you want another GSD, may I suggest that you get the training required to confidently handle such a strong breed of dog? Training a dog is easy. Training an owner, on consistency especially, is the hard part. [My GSD, a rescue, had received zero training nor socialisation yet he's been incredibly easy to train] There's been many times over the years when friends have been baffled when their dogs will listen to me in situations when the dog ignores them. It all boils down to attitude. Those friends found it hard to 'pull rank' on their dogs. [More than once out of pure frustration I've said "Don't ask, command!". Asking infers that there's a choice] Dogs are similar to kids in many ways; like how consistent firm boundaries makes them feel secure. All dogs need to respect their owners but not all dogs do. I've known a few dogs over the years who consider themselves the alpha of their 'pack'. The scary thing about that, is that when I point that out to the owner, rather than arguing different the owner usually hang their heads in embarrassment because they know that's true. Not ideal for any dog but with breeds like GSDs, that can be dangerous in certain situations. As for your girl, be very grateful and take comfort in the knowledge that a good home was found for her and that she's happy. Bless you for doing what was best for her under the circumstances.
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