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About philospher77

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    Sr Grey Lover
  • Birthday June 25

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    North of Los Angeles

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  1. You put more effort into trying with her than most people would have. As they say on the fearful dog list: It's ok to realize you want a pet, not a project. I spent 7 years dealing with a very fearful dog, and five of those years dealing with a "slightly timid" dog. And I now have have a happy outgoing puppy, and am realizing how different it is to deal with a truly happy dog! Don't beat yourself up, and look for a more balanced dog. You will make a good owner for the right dog.
  2. I will gently point out that rules need to be followed! Can we get a picture of your girl, and a name? Although it has gotten to be a lot harder to add pictures since photo bucket changed their policy! (any advice on that is appreciated!)
  3. At one point, I did a cost analysis of the insurance I have. I'd point you to it, but can't find it right now. However, what I realized was that there are two kinds of vet costs: really high, unusual things, and then low-cost, easy to overlook things. Examples of the first type: surgery for slipping patellas (app. 3k per patella), emergency treatment when your dog has eaten an unknown substance (1k, after-hours emergency vet), dealing with cancer (that was somewhere in the 13-19K range, I believe, and what got me to get insurance on my other dogs). Then there are the little costs that add
  4. First off, my Katie was also one of those "worst case" dogs. I had to get rid of her crate, or else she would just plaster herself to the back wall of it and refuse to move. Then, my early work with trainers was on "how do you get a dog to leave a safe spot", without it being extremely traumatic to the dog? And yes, the person giving that advice spent her first several sessions unable to touch Katie, but just observing her and giving me advice on things to do. So I feel for you, but also want you to know that they can get better, and that this does sound like a dog that is going to benefit
  5. Trainable, yes. My Katie never really was much of a player, but would occasionally play with a toy or do zoomies. But that may be more of a greyhound thing, than a spook thing. Also, while they can be trained, it takes time and patience, and an understanding that they are not as resilient to change as other dogs. Basically, you train in stages: in a familiar place with no distractions, a familiar place with distractions, an unfamiliar place with no distractions, and an unfamiliar place with distractions. With a spook, there are lot more "unfamiliar" places, and a heck of a lot more "dist
  6. One thing that may help your girl indoors is to set up a comfy bed in your living room, in an out of the way area, bring your dog into that room, close off the exits, and then just ignore her while you do whatever you normally do in that room (watch TV?). As my trainer told me when I first got my spook, just being looked at can be a lot of pressure on the dog. If the dog does something that seems to be soliciting your attention, you can respond in a low-key way... say her name, good girl, give a small treat, that sort of thing. The idea is to gently force the dog to observe you in the new r
  7. I second the fearfuldogs website recommendation. I had a dog a lot like your Mollie, and it did get better, but it takes time. And it is difficult for some people to handle that, because you don't get a lot back from the dog during the early stages. Most people want dogs who are bouncy and happy and eager to see them, and when you are dealing with a shut down dog, you don't get any of that. Personally, and I don't say this lightly, given how extreme your situation is, I would talk to your vet about possibly getting some anti-anxiety drugs for your dog. Anything you can do to reduce the
  8. Count me in as another happy Healthy Paws customer. The only time I have had issues with them covering something is when I combine things with dentals. Once was x-rays, and the other was removing some growths, since I would prefer not to put my dogs under twice. And that was resolved by sending them very detailed notes about the procedures, and math to exclude the strictly dental parts. And here is my ever-handy link to my post on insurance and cost/benefit discussion, for anyone interested. http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/319159-pet-insurance-discussion-costbenefit-analys
  9. My Katie-girl was definitely a challenging, special-needs dog. Generalized anxiety, and very non-resilient. I'm going to tell you one thing I did that helped me through the difficult early days: every night, before bed time, I would sit by her, pet her (once she got a little braver), and tell her one thing that she did that day that made me proud. And yes, in those early days, it was often something like "I liked it when you lifted your head and looked at me when I walked into the room" or "You were such a brave girl when you took the cookie from my hand". Because they do try hard, but it
  10. Could you make a little elevator? I'm thinking a box, attached to a pulley, that could be used to hoist the dog up and down. I'm also assuming this is a loft, given how steep those stairs are.
  11. Lots of concentration, and it's something that the dog needs to figure out on their own. The first class (at least the way I was taught) consists of the handler standing still, dog on leash to start, and marking and rewarding the dog for coming in front of us. Then doing that with the dog off-leash. No commands, although we are allowed to say the dog's name. Then adding in movement... step to the side, pivot left, pivot right, move fast, move slow, big steps, small steps, so that the dog learns to move with us. Only after all that do you actually bring in a ball. Now, I have the probl
  12. I agree with everything listed above, and will also throw in that behavior inside and outside the house aren't always the same. I have a rat terrier, 9.5 pounds, not cat-safe, who ignored my cats inside, and has apparently come to a truce about the neighbor's cat when she is in the yard. But if we see a cat when we are out on walks, she will try to chase it, and if she caught it, it wouldn't be good. So just be aware that, even if your grey is good with the littles inside, that may not transfer over to outside.
  13. Hello! If you are interested in learning about a new sport to do with your dog, there is going to be a Treibball clinic at Action Dog Sports on Dec. 19th. Here's the flyer: Work with PUSH Treibball founder, Michael McManus, on all of the skills you will need to compete and learn the game rules. Then get a chance at a mock competition. Clinic from 9am-Noon ($40), Practice Match ($5 per run). In order to get the most out of this event, your dog should already be able to push the ball at least 10 feet to you. ​It's $20 to audit the clinic, and free to watch the practice matches. T
  14. I just wanted to follow up on this, since there is an important distinction to be made. YES, backing off shows the dog that she can "get what she wants", which is distance between her and whatever it is that is causing her distress. NO, you really don't want her to learn that growling gets people to do that. So, this is where your part of the equation comes in. For now, keep track of when she has growled (because that same situation is likely to cause her to growl in the future, and you will need to know what her "triggers" are), and figure out how to manage that situation. For example
  15. You need something like Nature's Miracle for cleaning up the spots where she's had accidents. It has enzymes that "eat" the urine, and thus eliminate the residual odor. If you see that she is about to pee inside, interrupt her and take her outside to finish. (I know, easier said than done!)
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