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Everything posted by Paul777

  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.
  15. One of the things I've noticed with most GSDs is that they don't bark unless there's an actual reason. So I agree that the OPs experience sounds out of character for the breed. My GSD, a rescue, had zero training [or socialisation for that matter] yet he only barks as a warning. He's very protective/territorial. When the neighbourhood dogs are all barking in unison he never joins in. He never barks to be let inside but rather, communicates by whimpering. Wooki has been with me for two years now, In summer I like to leave the front door open. He needs to be reminded each year not to go off at every passerby. Once he's alerted I tell him 'Good boy. Enough.' When the passerby is walking a dog he gets extra excited but when I threaten to 'Shut the door!' when he carries on after being told 'Enough!', although he continues to run back and forth grumbling with raised hackles, he will stop barking. I think you're right that a GSD is too much dog for the owner in this case. My biggest fear is having to kennel Wooki when I need to go back into hospital. [Because it was all he knew for his first 2.5 years of life and I'm sure he'll feel abandoned] A friend who we met on our walks was the 3rd person that Wooki befriended. She's seen how he's improved over time from the dog who tried to attack every passerby to a typical GSD who now acts aloof around strangers but who will 'make friends' sooner or later. She's offered to take care of him if ever needed. Thankfully she understands the need to learn how to handle him so we've started training. He's a very strong boy and could be quite dangerous in the wrong situation. [I'm expecting him to be extra protective of a female handler] Although Wooki really likes her, I've impressed on her that she must also gain his respect because he will test her - not in an aggressive way at all but in a cheeky disrespectful manner. it's just what strong minded dogs will do. Far too many people choose a breed for the wrong reasons rather than a breed that suits their temperament, circumstances and level of experience.
  16. Not sure where you heard that false info. [No doubt a rumour started by a pHarmaceutical employee] I've made FECO - full extract cannabis oil - for several dog owners including my own [A Rotti with arthritis and my GSD rescue to help him relax/sleep when I first brought him home - both dogs enjoyed taking the oil, licking it straight off my finger] Recommended CBD oil to twice as many and spoken to many more who've medicated their dogs with either or a mix of both oils, all with positive results. Then there's the cannabis medicinal for dogs FB group - which had a few veterinarian members - where many many dogs had been treated with CBD oil and FECO without ill effect [though one must be careful dosing dogs, especially little ones, with the THC rich FECO but that's just commonsense] Dogs need monitoring after any medication to see how they react/respond. Mammals with an endocannabinoid system process cannabis oil products without any aggravation to the liver or their guts. Personally I've been taking FECO for chronic nerve pain for over 21 years. As it turns out, cannabis has an anti-inflammatory effect that has slowed the progression of my Buergers disease that was diagnosed to kill me "within 3 years max". Just last week I had the results from blood tests - despite having a terminal illness and chronic duodenal ulcers - everything came back fine including my liver and kidneys. Cannabis oils are the safest medications on the planet. I was just trying to be helpful but if you prefer to believe propaganda from Big pHarma then more fool you.
  17. Your poor pup. Let's hope it resolves. In the meantime; glad she's getting pain relief. Personally I'd be starting with full spectrum CBD oil [legal in Oz] Multiple good reports personally and online. It's natural - dogs also have an endocannabinoid system that accepts the cannabinoids hand in glove. Not at all harsh on the gut or liver like many pHarmaceuticals. It will not get a dog high but is relaxing, calming and helps reduce inflammation and pain. [For stronger pain relief some mix in a cannabis oil with the CBD with excellent results] She's young so hopefully she'll heal soon enough. Good luck.
  18. All dogs, like people, are individuals. Understanding what makes them tick goes a long way in bringing out their best. With Chewie it was imperative that I understand him as best I could to give ourselves the best chance of bringing out the positive aspects of his nature and personality. Which is only fair. Chewie does the same for me and is surprisingly sensitive/aware of my idiosyncrasies. For example; I need time to fully wake in the mornings and can be a bit grumpy until I am. Chewie leaves me be until I've had my first mug of tea before he approaches me for a 'good morning' pat. It's especially surprising since I'm the first human with whom he's ever bonded. That in itself shows how willing they are to please someone they respect. I've not only learnt quite a bit about strong confident dogs from Chewie, he's also reaffirmed my attitude to handling and training dogs in general. Apart from one minor incident - that was my fault but fortunately no harm was done - that aside, I would not change a single thing regarding his rehabilitation. It's not often that I get to say that, lol.
  19. One interesting thing that's slowly being revealed, is that Chewie's willingness to be social is motivated by curiosity. GSDs, generally speaking, are often a bit aloof with strangers. They take their time to suss a person out but once they've accepted you you have a friend for life. Over the last few months, Chewie seems more willing to be friendly to strangers if they keep out of his comfort zone, standing still, Chewie sizes them up [without being obvious] and after several minutes he'll go up to them. Chewie is extremely inquisitive and needs to check out every little thing that I bring into our home, groceries, shopping, delivered parcels, anything new. I'm no fan of dogs who beg when I'm eating so I never encourage it. He's super interested in whatever I'm eating. Taking his curiosity into consideration, I realised that he was interested in knowing what I was eating [as opposed to begging] So when I had a mouthful of food I breathed on his snout then told him to get on his bed. That satisfied his curiosity as he went to his bed without fuss. So it appears that he's now going to people to check them out of curiosity as he's more interested in sniffing them than receiving a pat. It takes several more positive interactions before he accepts someone and shows he's receptive for a pat.
  20. Thank you, I'll keep them in mind. Hopefully our friend will be able to handle him. Although Chewie likes her a lot, I'm not sure if she knows how to gain his respect. He'll test her for sure in a cheeky non-aggressive way. We'll see. She's keen to start training so hopefully. Then I'll have him stay a night with her every so often so he has a home away from home. It was a huge relief when she offered to look after him should the need arise and she understands the importance of learning how to handle strong natured dogs which is reassuring. She's seen how reactive he can be so she also understands that Chewie could be dangerous in the wrong situation. The fact is that Chewie is totally predictable. It's only when peoples body language is all wrong or step too close for comfort that triggers him. On the bright side, the last couple of times Chewie's reacted, it was more of a 'bugger off get away from me' attitude rather than his earlier homicidal attempts.
  21. One thing that really surprised me about Chewie is that he's frightened of storms and fireworks. He's a very confident boy who jumps towards sudden noises or loud bangs. His fear of storms actually helped with bonding though. He'd been here for several days when the first storm rolled through. Chewie came under the table beside me as I sat at my laptop, shaking and distress panting. Telling him "it's ok" he lay down at my feet waiting for the storm to pass. Since then he no longer shakes or pants though he does stick to me like glue.
  22. Thank you. Looking back I realise that the need to be in a hospital bed to recover was actually the best outcome because I needed to be put in that position to face the realisation that despite my best efforts, Zagan "would not ever be right". No way could I have sought to rehome him or surrender him to the pound because he would have been confused and possibly afraid. It was my responsibility to do what was right by him [and myself] Sometimes ones best is just not good enough but I'm relaxed knowing that I gave him every chance and went above and beyond in my efforts. You've found my thread on Chewie. If you had said "find a four legged companion" before Chewie arrived, I would have said 'nuh-uh, never again' lol.
  23. Thank you. Chewie had not ever eaten a bone in his life. How do I know for certain? When I gave him his first chunk of beef brisket. he didn't know what to do with it, laying on the grass licking it for 15 minutes before he tested his teeth on it. When he saw what was for dinner over the first few months, he could not contain his excitement. He'd zoom around the backyard before racing back to my feet. Now he leaps and dances like a loony at dinner time . . . but he does settle himself by going to 'sit' and 'stay' automatically [because that's the quickest way for him to have at it, lol] I'm an independent person who enjoys his own company, so I'm surprised that Chewie has filled a few small gaps that I wasn't aware existed. It's nice to have such a fine companion.
  24. Not sure where to post this so here will do. Bear the dog behaviourist. When I first brought Chewie home he was extremely reactive and I felt that I needed advice from an 'expert'. So I was delighted when I was invited to attend a training day, with Bear the dog behaviourist, for highly reactive GSD rescues, thinking that I'd actually learn valuable techniques from a dog behaviourist who I had heard was a "miracle worker". Since Chewie was regarded as "the most challenging" dog out of a dozen dogs, the behaviourist would be handling him first. Thank goodness that I left Chewie in the shade in the back of the ute, which is probably why Bear, the behaviourist, selected a dog that was sitting in the group. First up Bear waffled on about irrelevant stuff about wild dogs. That wasted a good 30 minutes [because Chewie was considered the 'most challenging' dog, I was offered the day gratis - the other poor schmucks paid over $100 for the 'privilege'] He then selected a dog that was dog reactive. If the dog was dog reactive then should not another dog have been used as a distraction? Instead, Bear the 'miracle worker' used the dogs owner as the distraction. Before the session started Bear told me that he did not use a choker collar [with a cocky expression like he had some special secret technique] Now I do, not to choke a dog - the idea of a choker is that the dog will learn to respond to the sound of the chain running through the metal ring that's a warning after it's choked itself once or twice. No choker had me intrigued. As it turns out he uses a long leather lead, hooked up in a fashion that works exactly like a choker. Difference is that a metal choker collar will easily release when the dog stops straining on it. A leather 'choker' will not. Bear had this poor dog head towards his owner [the dogs safe place] then issued the recall command. Without even giving the dog the chance to respond, he pulls hard on the lead, snapping the dogs neck making it yelp. As far as I'm concerned, that's animal abuse. Now I'm no expert but training must be enjoyable for the dog. Using harsh techniques that makes the dog yelp is not the way to train a dog. Using the owner as the distraction, it's betraying the trust the dog has in his owner. That's even worse because they're rescues, many of whom have been abused. Gaining a rescues trust is the #1 priority. No wonder the poor dog looked confused & frightened. There were a few dog trainers there to observe the 'expert' in action. What surprised me just as much as Bears inappropriate techniques, was that not a single person there saw what I was seeing but rather, they were 'oooing' and 'aahhhing' as if Bear had just done something remarkable. Then when he moved on to two other dogs, he used dominating standover tactics - on rescues with a history of abuse no less. Chewie is not where he is today, a relaxed and content dog, because I dominated him. He's come a long way because I earned both his trust and his respect. After a few hours I'd seen more than enough. The rescue lady was most keen to have Bear work on Chewie when I was saying my good-byes. No way, no how, not going to happen. Then Bear appears as I was leaving. When I told him that Chewie would bite him [using those appalling techniques] Bear said "oh I've been bit heaps of times" - hardly surprising considering - as if that was not a big deal. [And when I say bite I'm really saying 'Chewie will savage you' without a doubt] Wtf??? We are talking about a highly reactive dog due to a history of terrible abuse, and you want to use an abusive technique on him earning yourself a mauling? Not on my watch you're not. When Bear could not change my mind, he angrily stormed off without a word. So people, that was my experience with the 'miracle worker' Bear the dog behaviourist. His ego is more important than a dogs well being. I'd not allow Bear to handle any dog so be warned. Dominating standover tactics and harsh technique may well work on some dogs but it's abusive and lazy. It's no way to treat any dog much less a rescue. Chewie proved that what I was doing was correct. It takes time, patience and firm consistent direction to gain an abused dogs trust and respect. What sort of individual would prefer their dog to fear them rather than trust and respect? Not I, that's for certain.
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