Vent!

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DianeLDL
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Re: Vent!

Post by DianeLDL » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:52 am

gwd wrote:
Nettle wrote:lead (leash for my USA readers :wink: )
Interestingly, all of the show folks I know say 'lead' on this side of the Atlantic............. pet folks seem to generally go with 'leash'
Nettle and gwd,

I seem to use them interchangeably. But, mainly, I use leash as that is what I grew up with and what all the signs in the parks and "leash" laws say.

I am sure the show folks are on a higher level and follow the lead (pun intended) of our British counterparts.

Never really thought of it much, though.

And speaking of leash (or lead), our next door neighbor's dog, "Cowboy" was spotted by OH yesterday about 7am when he took Sandy out for a walk which ended up shorter than should have been as Cowboy was running around "off leash". It looked like he had left our property and headed down the street the opposite direction. It appears that our neighbors dont like to walk their dog, and just open the door for him to go out. Now, I and OH have seen poohs on our property that are not Sandy's and too small to be from the Setter or Standard Poodle who stay within their fenced properties most of the time. We havent caught Cowboy (large Jack Russel) in the act but seeing him running around loose in the morning and other times tells me that they may be his.

And OH has spoken with both the neighbors (husband and wife) but they ignore us. OH checked with the Town Office and if there is no fence, the dog must be leashed when outside. And Cowboy's recall is bad. They had the same thing with their former dog, who we used to see running around loose in other neighborhoods a good 1/2 to 1mile away. So, obviously they do not care enough to take the dog on leash for real walks and let him terrorize the other dogs in the neighborhood. Bet they will be happy when we leave for the winter, Oct. 30th to return to Albuquerque where they do have fenced yards and leash laws.

Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

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delladooo
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Re: Vent!

Post by delladooo » Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:57 am

delladooo wrote:new puppy...who has a martingale collar
Just a quick note on this in case anyone was interested. I asked his owner today and he's a kelpie! I didn't even consider that as something he could possibly be (although you can see it) because I didn't think there were any in the UK! Turns out there's a breeder in Wales who works them on their farm and he's registered with the Australian Kelpie club. :D I had to get to the bottom of it

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Sanna
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Re: Vent!

Post by Sanna » Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:46 am

Aargh stupid sweary shouty woman at the park who has the audacity to tell me to get my effing dog under control when her dopey rude ENTIRE teenage off-lead lab runs full pelt all across the park (completely ignoring her shouting and swearing at him, strange that... :roll: ) and throws himself at my on-lead unsuspecting P :evil:

Having seen what was about to happen I'd already shouted across to please call her dog as mine's not good with boy dogs, but she didn't seem to care much and I guess she was fighting a losing battle anyway.. Do you think it occurred to her to come get her dog? Did it heck (until he was on top of P being SHOUTED at and I told her to COME GET YOUR DOG WILL YOU)!!

Credit to P bless him he only ROARED at the lab to back the hell off and responded really well to me jollying him along outta there so he gave me a wonderful opportunity to respond that my dog out of the two was in fact very much under control which was lucky for her and maybe she should consider not letting her dog off lead if he would not reliably come when called :twisted:

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delladooo
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Re: Vent!

Post by delladooo » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:15 am

Not good Sanna! To try and be slightly fair to the woman, Laufey does get let off lead and he doesn't have 1000% recall because dogs distract him BUT that's why I'm vigilant and he doesn't get to hurtle off after strange dogs but it's happened to us many a time :x

I was casually talking to a lady this morning with her 14 week old cockapoo (I hate that word) and she asked how often I take him out and when I said all the time because he won't pee in the garden she told me a therapist could help and not to give up on him :lol: I'm sure she was just trying to help and be friendly (and all credit to her for giving advice) but I'm baffled at how a therapist could get him to pee in the garden.

We're off out (again) and then I'm off to uni for a couple hours whilst baby sleeps it off. I think a bath might be in order later, he's rather muddy :roll:

ScarletSci
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Re: Vent!

Post by ScarletSci » Fri Oct 17, 2014 10:00 pm

Aaaw, Sanna, feel for you girl! Sure she was blaming you partly because she assumed the worst of a rottie, mainly because part of her knew she was in the wrong! Hopefully she knew she was in the wrong... she most certainly is, and it's a good thing for her lab that Precious is so good. If she doesn't get her lab under control, he'll do that to the wrong dog one day...well done you, and well done P, for handling it so well.

I have a few vents saved up, apologies!

Walking the dogs the other day, saw two people sitting on a bench in the park. Nothing to be concerned about, until mum warned me that these two women often sit there, and if a dog comes anywhere near them, they raise a walking stick ready to hit them if they get too close. I find that bizarre - I can sort of understand if they're afraid of dogs, have been attacked before, but think that the agressive body language and pose might be more likely to provoke an attack?? Apparently they've done it whenever our dogs have been anywhere near them, despite the fact we walk there a lot and they've seen multiple times that our dogs don't approach strangers. I gave them a wide berth so there wasn't a problem, but I really don't know how I would react if someone threatened my completely non-threatening dog. It wouldn't be pretty, for sure.

Weight issues - Pixie is booked for her spaying on the 30th (I am so nervous about that) so I took her for a general check up a couple of weeks ago since she hasn't been since March. Turns out she's gone from 15.6kgs to 17.1 kgs! So vet wants her to lose a kilo before the op if possible. On the plus side, she said she's very fit otherwise (you can see her muscles are good) and health wise all looks great. She doesn't look fat, but I can see the difference, and want to nip it in the bud now - she's not even two! And so high energy and active that weight should not be an issue.

Problem is parents when I'm not here. Pixie managed to steal a whole pack of scones recently because dad forgets to clear the counters. Mum is a habitual treater; they get a dentastick after dinner, three of those awful winalot shapes biscuits each at night, and a couple of treats while on walks. Oh, and after grooming. And if they've just been shopping... etc etc.

Dad is king of the kitchen, and Pixie knows it! She hoovers up scraps he's dropped, sits on a chair in the kitchen while he cooks and doubtless gets plenty of tidbits while that's happening, and he prepares her meals.

After the vet visit we had a talk, and he's full of guilt for getting her fat. He said, and I quote: "she's so active all the time and so atheletic, I didn't think she could put on weight". :roll: He's not a stupid man, he's just a softie! He adores Pixie, and me, and she gets some of that substitute spoiling when I'm not here.

I'm blaming myself a lot as well, because if I hadn't had a breakdown last year, and had to live somewhere I can't have dogs until I'm recovered, she'd be with me. If I came over more often, I'd be walking her more, but support workers don't like me to stay here for long, because then I'm not technically living in the supporting housing I'm in. It can take about two hours to travel between my house and theirs, and my recent agoraphobia is making that hard.

I'm not mad at my folks - they're looking after her for me, and I'm so, so grateful for that. I can't complain that they love her too much and spoil her! I'm also lucky that they'll listen, and have reined in the over-treating. They won't ignore me and give her whatever they want, although I'm sure they'll still sneak her enough to keep her happy! Jack, on the other hand, is looking in better shape, having lost the extra weight he'd put on. He's looking good, and he's 8. Will keep an eye on him though in case there's something else causing the weight loss. His waist is looking better than Pixie's at the moment, but he does love to play fetch and does it more now the weather is cooler. With his thick coat, he's been easily overheated and tired while the weather was so hot.

With the weight gain being a concern, I've been working hard on teaching Pixie to play fetch. It's weird, 'cos I've never had to actually teach a dog how to do it before! For a smart dog, she's remarkably dense about how fetch works! But she's getting the hang, and despite a slight reluctance to drop the ball, because she wants to run off with it and chew it instead, she's really enjoying it too.

That was long! Sorry, has been a while since I've been able to post, and feel weird talking too much dog stuff with non-dog friends!

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JudyN
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Re: Vent!

Post by JudyN » Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:14 am

ScarletSci wrote:I'm blaming myself a lot as well, because if I hadn't had a breakdown last year, and had to live somewhere I can't have dogs until I'm recovered, she'd be with me.
Hey, if you had had a broken leg or a physical illness you wouldn't be feeling guilty, would you? It's exactly the same thing - we don't choose to have breakdowns :D

Jasper doesn't do fetch either. He will now bring things to me when asked, but it's taken a lot of work, and he does it for treats, he doesn't regard it as part of a game. He did bring me my slipper socks last night without even being asked though :lol:

Sanna, I think Precious did great and the woman with the lab was an idiot. I don't expect people to have perfect control over their dogs, but they should at least be aware of dog-walking etiquette, make an effort, and apologise when they fail to control their dog.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Nettle
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Re: Vent!

Post by Nettle » Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:44 am

I have a certain amount of sympathy with people who don't want dogs near them. They could be fearful, could be phobic, could be allergic, could be afraid a dog will slobber and muddy them....so many 'could-be'. So I don't think they are being unreasonable, and it's good for us to remember that not everybody likes dogs. We here have ethnic minorities to whom dogs are filth, and while I am sad that they miss the loveliness of dogs, I respect that they don't want dogs near them.

Re: parents - to change a behaviour :wink: we need to show them what we DO want not just what we don't want, and to make it rewarding for them! So how about you make a star chart for Pixie's weight loss, so that parents can help Pixie earn a star every week? And create some tiny tiny treats to be used instead of walloping great ones. Then create an incentive so that instead of food treats for Pixie, she gets a walk, a game, a scent-trail to follow, paper to shred, anything active, and get parents to list what she has done each day that is active. And a special something for parents with each pound lost.

Once she is spayed you/they will have to be even more careful with her weight, so it's a good idea to start now.
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DianeLDL
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Re: Vent!

Post by DianeLDL » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:45 am

JudyN wrote:
ScarletSci wrote:I'm blaming myself a lot as well, because if I hadn't had a breakdown last year, and had to live somewhere I can't have dogs until I'm recovered, she'd be with me.
Hey, if you had had a broken leg or a physical illness you wouldn't be feeling guilty, would you? It's exactly the same thing - we don't choose to have breakdowns :D

Jasper doesn't do fetch either.
I agree with Judy. Do not blame yourself. You have as much control over you having your breakdown as my having fibromyalgia and dystonia. They are called invisible illnesses or disabilities. As an RN, I see this often. We never know what someone has or doesn't have.

You are so lucky that your parents were able to take Precious and Pixie in and that they love them so much.

I think Nettle has a great idea with the board and stars, and of course, reward your parents. It can be something as simple as taking them out for coffee or tea. Or if you have the money, tickets to a movie, if they like that. Put their reward on the board, too, so they know what they are working towards, also.

As to fetch, Sandy hasnt gotten the hang of letting go yet. VS has a good video on YouTube on what she calls drop it and take it. I do it with Sandy with two balls. I throw the first and tell him to take it. Well, he never brings it to me or drops it on cue. So, I get next to him and show him the second ball. I say drop it and then throw the second ball and say take it. When he drops the first to get the second, I say good drop it. It is funny, though, when he won't drop the first ball and still tries to pick the second up with his mouth. Occasssionally, will do what we call soccer, you football, and tries to hold the second with his foot. I will then go in and pick up the second saying it is mommy's ball. Then, we do it again. Needless to say, I end up getting exercise since if he does drop the ball it usually is where he is and may roll so while he is getting the second, I have to run around to grab the first ball. Or, sometimes, he will stop going after the second and try to reclaim the first.
Now, if that made any sense, I get a star :lol:
Basically, it is teaching him to replace what is in his mouth with something of equal value (both balls are the same).
Then, I have used it in hotel rooms when he picks up something not good for him, and to get him to drop it, I present him with something higher value.

All in all, it can be fun and a learning experience. And gets him to use his brain, too, to figure out what ball he wants and how he has to drop one to get the other. :lol:

Also, what Nettle said about fear of dogs is so true. When I was a child, I was so scared of dogs, I made a fool of myself trying to run from a dog in the neighborhood. Of course, he caught up with me and I was in the middle of the road screaming at the top of my lungs. One of the neighbors was able to get the dog off me. It was when I learned that running from a dog makes them think you are playing.

Needless to say, it took a long time for me to even let a dog in the house and as you notice, he is a chihuahua. And, we also need to watch his weight very carefully. He is larger than the regular chi, but even as a deer chihuahua, his last visit, he was up a half pound, so we have had to cut back on treats and increase his exercise. When it is hot, it is hard to exercise him, but being small and athletic, it is easy to play ball in the house. :D

One of his favorite exercises, is we have a strip of fleece that I will wave around and dance as he jumps to try to catch the end flowing around. When he does, we dance around the living room and usually loses his grip so then it is jumping to catch the end again. We let him win from time to time and let go of the fleece then, surprise him when he lets go and once again the game is on. And it is all done inside. :D :lol:


One day, my cousinf was visiting my parents while we were there, and my husband was walking Sandy in the front yard. She would not get out of her car until Sandy was safely in his crate in our car. She said that as a child she had been mauled by a dog and will not go anywhere near one or as I described wouldnt get out of the car. And Sandy was on leash at the time.

So, these are a couple of ways your parents can play with him for five minutes at a time. And then chart it.

Since we have to watch Sandy's weight, too, we have cut down his treats by cutting his favorite biscuit like ones in half. Also, your parents can give Precious ones for smaller dogs. Here in the US, we have Zukes that are for training and only 3 1/2 calories each. He gets two dental sticks a day for mini dogs. But Sandy only gets one meal of kibble with pieces of turkey or chicken a day around lunch time. Also, we need to make sure to take into account any treats when figuring out his kibble meal. It is all calories in versus calories expended. (Same as for people).

You need to take care of yourself, too. Eat right and get exercise which is great for mental health, too. So, in the meantime, enjoy visiting when you can, and importantly, give positive feedback to your parents when you see the chart. And remember, no one is perfect. You parents will mess up and P will get something she shouldn't get. But, with the chart, they will be more aware of it and be able to correct it with an extra walk or play time. Make it fun for your parents with rewards for them. I bet when things are going well, they will call excitedly to tell you something great that they did with Precious.

All any of us can do is the best we can under the circumstances we each find ourselves.
Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

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minkee
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Re: Vent!

Post by minkee » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:42 am

For Pixie's treats - I was thinking along the same lines as Nettle. If you replace the boxes of 'treats' (dentastixs are disgusting! and absolutely full of salt, I think) with ready made boxes with random amounts of treats in them, then perhaps that would satisfy your mum's treating habit, be fun for Pixie, and be better for her too. You could make up the boxes if they have room in a cupboard where they could be stored while your not there, then all they have to do is open the cupboard and hand over a pre-prepared box to be shredded.

How are they with vegetables? Do they like chomping on carrots or apples? You could suggest those as an alternative to dentastix, too.

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Nettle
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Re: Vent!

Post by Nettle » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:57 am

Another useful ruse is to substitute a smaller food bowl. We humans love to fill a bowl right up.
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ScarletSci
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Re: Vent!

Post by ScarletSci » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:19 am

Yep, Pixie loves most anything, so I've reminded them to give her a chunk of carrot or a piece of green bean as a treat. She shows every sign of enjoying them just as much, and will even steal green beans given half a chance.

Dog food rations isn't such a problem, they have, and use, a measuring cup for both dogs. The problem is basically those big treats mum hands out too often as part of routine, and "extras" that add up, like whatever Pixie is given or scavenges at mealtimes, and things like bacon rinds on the weekends.

The dentasticks - I'm very aware of picking my battles. I won't be using them when I'm Pixie's main caretaker again, but mum likes them because she believes the adverts and thinks she's helping dental heath. They're accounted for in their meal rations, so I'm not gonna fight her on that.

Since Pixie has only gone up by a kilo, this isn't that she's massively overweight and needs a very strict diet, more that they've got used to spoiling her and didn't notice the weight creeping on. My dads eyesight isn't great either, but I've taught him the rib technique so he can feel how she's doing.

I suspect he's the main culprit, since she's in the kitchen with him for around 2 hours a night while he cooks and listens to music, and he's smitten with her. She's also very good at looking appealing with those spaniel eyes :wink: But I don't think I've ever seen him look so guilty when we talked about her weight after the vets visit, he knows that he needs to cut that out.

Another problem was that he's trying positive reinforcement after seeing me do it, but doesn't understand how classical and operant conditioning works. Like when Pixie was first going for walks, I ALWAYS carried treats, and she was heavily reinforced for recall and training that we did as we walked. But I used a mix of high and low value treats, only used tiny half-fingernail sized pieces that I might use as a jackpot on rare occasions. He used to tease me about giving her too many treats! But I was also phasing them out, and not giving a food reward each time, and also use praise and toys as a reward.

Dad has picked up on using treat rewards - but not the other stuff. Turns out he's recently been putting a handful of their usual food, or WORSE, some of those awful winalot shapes biscuits (which are huge to use as treats, for those who haven't seen them) in his pocket to take out with him, and giving them a treat pretty much whenever they 'checked in' on a walk. Which of course, meant they checked in with him a lot, expecting a treat! I only discovered the size of the treats he was using very recently.

I found out just how much he was treating them when I walked them myself after a long absence and was practically tripping over dogs who were checking in every two minutes, expecting a treat. Saw dad giving them far more treats than they'd earned. So we've talked, I've tried to explain, and he's cut down on the treats, and has been banned from using those giant things! Dogs have realised they won't get a treat every time they check in (although it's still reinforced occasionally, but I'm encouraging him to use verbal praise or a tennis ball instead). Dogs get to enjoy their walk without the constant focus on food, I can walk without tripping on dogs expecting treats.

So it's well meaning overdoing it, and quite sweet that at the age of 78, he's willing to try using my training methods - he just needed to follow through to the next phase that I obviously didn't teach him well enough, and rethink treat sizes! :lol:

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JudyN
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Re: Vent!

Post by JudyN » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:33 pm

Could you work out, if Pixie was a child, what the equivalent weight-for-weight is that they would be giving that child in, say, biscuits? If they realise they are effectively giving her a whole packet of Jammy Dodgers a day they might think twice.
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MPbandmom
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Re: Vent!

Post by MPbandmom » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:16 pm

Little snack sized dogs who are off leash when their owners admit knowing dogs are supposed to be on leash. :evil:

OH has been feeling poorly so didn't walk with the dogs and me yesterday. I had set a goal of 3 miles for the dogs towards their DSA traildog titles. Things had been going really well considering I was walking both dogs together. We had reached our mileage goal and were headed back to the van as the sunset was starting to become colorful. Critters were apparently starting to stir as we passed a stand of trees that both dogs found VERY EXCITING and it took a fair amount of effort and on by commands on my park to keep from investigating the trees more closely. :roll:

We had just passed the trees when we spotted a small/young frenchie looking dog that I soon realized was off lead. He seemed to be being pursued by 2 children who I thought would collect him, so I just stopped and waited. (I didn't want to turn the dogs around as we were 3/4 of the way back to the van and turning around would have required passing the EXCITING trees again. Sky had also started to limp for some reason, so I wanted the most direct route back to the van as possible.) The adults in the group called the children off from their pursuit of the dog. :shock: :evil: I asked if they were aware that dogs were supposed to be on leash. A little girl allowed as how she was. :evil:

I continued to stand and wait for someone to retrieve the dog. The longer we stood, the more interesting we became to Frenchie. He started to approach and Sirius shifted her wait forward on high alert. Sky likewise was at full lead extension and tense. I advised that they did not want their dog to come over here. The only one who seemed to register this message was the little girl who had admitted knowing that their dog should be on lead. I don't know if it was my tone in warning the family to keep their dog away or the dog taking another step or two towards us, but Sirius then went off with her best lunging, junk yard dog attitude while Sky slipped into her "oh my gosh whatever shall I do, where shall I go to escape" routine. :evil: :roll: I ordered the dogs to back up and started moving backwards against their still freaking out, but also moving backwards somewhat with me. I had given the back up order 3 or 4 times and as we were backing up, Frenchie was continuing to come forward, still in a seemingly warily curious manner. He wasn't really getting any closer that I could determine, but we weren't getting any further away from him either and we were getting closer to the EXCITING trees although by this point my dogs' focus was totally on the approaching frenchie.

Suddenly the man of the group came running towards us and scooped up the little dog and returned him to their vehicle. While I was grateful that someone had finally retrieved Frenchie, I was not the least bit appreciative of how it was done. Sirius was already kicking off at the dog and the man running towards us just added 3 more major Sirius triggers into the situation. I was already struggling to stay on my feet as I really didn't relish the prospect of loosing my footing and being drug across asphalt as we were walking in the roadway at that point. Probably the only reason I was able to maintain the control that I did was because I was walking the dogs on my Walkabelt, so while I had to throw all my weight and force into preventing myself from being pulled forward, the pull was from my waist and not from my shoulders/arms which likely would have pulled me over. Had I been on grass instead of pavement, I probably would have thrown myself to the ground because I make a much better anchor that way. I did give throwing myself down on the pavement some passing consideration when I wasn't' sure I would be able to maintain my feet, but the pavement aspect of it kept me fighting to stay upright against the surging dogs.
Grammy to Sky and Sirius, who came to live with me, stole my heart, and changed my life forever as I took over their care and learned how to be a dog owner.

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Nettle
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Re: Vent!

Post by Nettle » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:34 am

*Sigh* sadly you can't fix stupid, and there seems to be a lot of it about :?
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Sweetie's Human
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Re: Vent!

Post by Sweetie's Human » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:56 am

Half a dozen black hawk helicopters doing training execerises over my suburb tonight. And every time they fly over and Sweetie barks at them, I feel like joining in with her.

Apparently I can expect this joyful event to continue until 11:30pm :evil:

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