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Shepsky5 last won the day on December 30 2018

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101 Learning The Ropes

About Shepsky5

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  1. thanks, interesting! Acana & Orijen are always ranked very high (and have the high price to go with that!)... so the allegation of "heavy metals and toxins" in their food is very surprising....
  2. Hmm, will she walk nicely on leash with no other dogs around? That's a place to start... I think the rest of the solution lies in training.... For passing: Training of the "Heel" command (or in our case, "Stay Close!" meaning a casual heel - close to the leg, but no specific side or position). Get the command working without other dogs around, then dogs at a distance, then finally use when there are dogs passing on other side of street...comes in handy for cars and bicyclists too! For planting feet: I use a firm "Come On" and a sideways jerk on the leash when he is fixated and refusing to budge. He knows the command "Come" (and its variant "Come on") very well in normal conditions - so he is choosing to ignore me. I give the command, wait, give the command again, and if still no response, he gets the firm command + leash jerk. That snaps him out of it! (He does this for other dogs once in a while, as well as when he sees Prey). Some people use a stern "Leave It" command and it works well. I use the "Leave It' for food, but have not tried it for other dogs. Or you can train an incompatible command i.e. "Look at me!" + give treat (start by training with no other dogs around, and work up to dogs passing closer). This worked with mine, up to a point. I suspect the reason it didn't work effectively all the time is that you need more distance for passing a lunging barking dog and less distance for a calm mellow dog, so it gets hard to calculate the passing distance based on the other dog's behavior! If I tried to pass too close, he would totally ignore the food. ( What threw off my distance calculations are those dogs that act very calm, and the minute you are passing, they lunge to the end of their leash and bark! So training conditions are less than perfect...:-) There are a variety of no-pull harnesses / haltis etc. that people like. . . you could see if that might help... There are people who use prong collars with this issue - but it must be done correctly or your dog may associate the sight of other dogs with pain (literally, a pain in the neck) and then you get a problem which is even worse - your dog fears/hates the sight of other dogs. While in training, you could try walking at times of day when it's not "dog o'clock". When my dog had issues like this, I avoided walking between 5 - 6 pm, which is "dog o'clock" in our neighborhood. That makes training easier. It's easier to train through 1 -2 encounters per walk, than a dozen! And if at-home approaches don't work, you could always try a group obedience class, or a session or two with a private trainer. I think this is a really common problem. They CAN get used to the idea that they are not allowed to go greet unless you walk them right up to the other owner/dog. 🙂 I used to despair of ever walking at normal times of day. My dog would rear up, howl, lunge and bark at other dogs (desperate to go meet). Last summer, we went on a popular paved walking trail - passing dogs, bicyclists, joggers at close distances, and he went calmly by ( I use the command "Stay Close" and keep him walking close to my leg. He understands this command - I am holding the leash doubled up (short) but he is not pulling). When we got home, I realized how far we had come - I barely noticed that he was improving...but a year ago, we would NEVER have been able to walk that trail. It's a process....
  3. Well, my dog is part shepherd and pretty obedient. On a long line, he always pauses and looks back at me if he is more than 10-20 feet ahead. He comes when called. So, it is tempting to let him offleash! But every time I even think about it, something seems to happen... For example, once we were all alone in a high meadow in the woods. Not a place where many dog walkers or hikers come. I was thinking, "I'll drop the leash and let him run around and explore!" But I couldn't quite work up the courage. Just as we were heading on the trail out of the meadow, a herd of deer dashed by with their white tails flashing. My dog went nuts. If he had not been on a leash, he would have taken off after them and who knows when he would have stopped? He might have gotten lost deep in the woods, or chased them across the road - probably it would have been ok, but you just never know. I am not a risk-taker!
  4. Oh no, this is so sad! 😫 So sorry for your loss...it seems so sudden and unfair.
  5. Happy New Year! It was SO warm here, almost 70 degrees! We went hiking 🙂
  6. Welcome! How nice that you took in an older dog! We did, too...they told me that I was the only person that ever asked about him! He is also about 6 - years old now, we've had him for about a year and a half.
  7. Rooting for your poor pup! 😢 I am also suspicious that she reacted right after the booster, and was perfectly OK before that. My HUMAN friend's daughter felt feverish and ill for 2 weeks after a vaccine, and wound up unable to walk for a few months. My friend and her husband became angry because the docs could not figure out what was wrong ,and even implied it was a psychological issue - the docs refused to look into any connection with the vaccine.
  8. Well, a popular training method that I use is Positive Training. The basic theory of it is that you "lure" the dog into the behavior you want (i.e. want him to go into a down? hold treat between his paws - most dogs will lay down to get it) Then, once he has performed the behavior, you "mark" (with a clicker and a treat, or a happy "Yes!" and a treat). After enough repetitions, the behavior becomes a habit...(you cue "down" . dog lays down. )...then you can start "fading out" the treat, which is, reinforcing the behavior randomly instead of every time. This method covered about 90% of what I wanted to train my dog to do, but it didn't work well for pulling. A good book to learn about positive training is "Purely Positive" by Sheila Booth. And I also enjoyed "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell. But the best way of all to learn, was going to group obedience class! For example, applying to Jumping...you want NOT jumping to be rewarding. So, when dog jumps = no reward (you ignore, turn away, or even leave again). When dog is calm with all four paws on the floor, you mark "Good girl!!!" and give a treat. Pretty soon your dog will skip the Jump to move straight to "Good Girl" + Treat...& gradually (hopefully) your dog will unlearn the habit of jumping. You can see how this works with dog psychology in a different way than pushing them away with your knee - it's kind of like they are teaching themselves how to earn rewards, and it seems to be an effective way for dogs to learn. Anyway the basic idea of "marking" the behavior you want, with some kind of reward - I have seen it REALLY work with my dog. ( He even learned some bad habits - I accidentally "marked" his behavior of getting up and coming over when I'm eating a snack, by giving him a piece just once in a while. Now he will come over and lurk next to me almost all the time, in hope of getting a piece of my snack. ) Then once dog is trained around house/yard, it's time to practice out in the real world. Gradually making it more difficult - i.e. Sit in a quiet empty street? if that is OK, then Sit in a street with people walking by at a distance? If that was good, then Sit in the pet store checkout line? Dog trainers call it "working below threshold". Anyway there is so much on the internet about positive training...so I will shut up now 😄
  9. I would ask for a relaxed, more submissive male! From my personal experience, my dog (male) almost always gets along with female dogs. He also gets along with laid-back male dogs, but there will be hackling/growling if he meets a high-ranking or dominant male.
  10. Well, just an update - his bad sour odor wasn't because of the change to salmon-based kibble! It was from spending 4-5 days at boarding and being wet a lot of the time. The dogs went out in the big yards as usual, and played in the warm rainy weather - when we picked him up, they did mention that he had been wet a lot. For a double-coated dog with thick fur, once he gets really wet, it is hard to get him really dry again. So apparently those warm moist dark conditions under his fur made the perfect climate for some kind of yeast or bacteria to grow... Although he was not acting itchy, the vet prescribed a shampoo which is antifungal/antibacterial and told us to wash him and let the shampoo foam on him for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. This worked great to rid of the funky smell. There is just a faint whiff of it left. So we may repeat again this weekend, and hopefully we can get rid of it for good! I'm also going to try using a vinegar/water spray every once in a while.
  11. Thank you for the recommendations! Really helpful. We will check them out this weekend! My husband was like, why are you asking the husky forum...and I was like, they know about tech...there is a whole section of the forum for it, ha ha 😄
  12. Hi! My husband's mom listens all the time to her Bose radio, and we want to get her into the digital music-streaming age....😁 She already has a computer and an iPad, and she has WiFi in her home. So we were thinking about getting her some kind of wireless speaker for Christmas. Does anybody have recommendations for a wireless/Bluetooth kind of speaker, where she can stream Spotify or Pandora or iTunes or something, and have the sound quality be nice? Thank you for any thoughts!
  13. Same feeling as when I lived in New York City and was standing in line to order my coffee...! If I could have growled and barked, I would have!!
  14. Too bad we can't post Smells on the internet. So I could say, "What is this terrible Smell!" Then again, maybe a bad idea.😄 There are already enough pics of dog poop...

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