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jbrick83
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Who here has trained their dog to walk/run beside them without a leash?

How did you do it and how long did it take to do it, as well as how old was your dog when you started/accomplished this?

We've got a pretty intelligent pup and we're trying to train without using a trainer or going to dog/training class. So far its working out pretty well. He does well with treat training and he listens to us pretty well when we go out to dog parks and the beach. We use a gentle leader off and on (he's definitely not the biggest fan). On a normal walk, he does pretty well w/o the gentle leader, but I like to keep him on a very short leash and I'm pretty vocal with keeping him close and not having him pull. That being said, he does love people and other dogs and will pull pretty hard just to "go meet" everyone. He's not even 6 months yet, so I feel like that's almost impossible to avoid.

10/25/2012 9:32:41 AM

jocristian
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I started taking my dogs on trail runs with me about 3 years ago (they are seven now). They do pretty well staying near me in the woods, but I still don't trust them around a bunch of people or near traffic. Don't really have any training ideas for transitioning to runs on the road, but if there are any trails nearby that might be a good starting point.

10/25/2012 9:38:28 AM

CodeRed4791
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I started taking my shepherd on wood/trail walks when she was about 6 months on a leash. This was mostly because she isn't so nice . She was always dragging me like crazy but I had a second dog that was behaved she they stuck together. She pretty much learned from the older dog to run ahead, but come back and check in with momma. Now, at a year and a half, she runs ahead about a hundred yards, and then comes back. if we see bikes or dirt bikes, she comes back and stays with me. I take her with a pack, a lab, husky and a doberman and they have a blast in the woods. We try letting them run ahead and then hide if they get out of sight. They always come find you.

11/4/2012 2:19:45 PM

jbrick83
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Meh...I meant more along the lines of "running down a sidewalk of a somewhat busy street without a leash."

My pup will run on trails and at the beach and never leave my side. But I definitely don't think he's ready to do it beside roads. I've seen a couple people around town (one Doberman and one Weimaraner) that walk beside their owners w/o leashes...and that's what I want.

Didn't know if there were any tricks or specific training methods to get to this point.

11/4/2012 2:42:40 PM

E90TT
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^My 3 year old German Shepherd will stay by my side through almost anything. We've been on busy streets, on campus, and even at the range and he'll stay right beside me. It takes a whole lot of work. I just got a 14 week old Belgian Malinois and I probably won't be starting the same stuff until he's 6-8 months. IMHO it's all about positive praise and the loyalty you build. If you want me to run through some basics for you I can.

11/4/2012 4:55:29 PM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"If you want me to run through some basics for you I can."


Please do. Mine just passed the 6 month mark, so I guess its time to start.

11/5/2012 9:51:02 AM

djeternal
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The dog I had before my current dog never had a leash. I think it is best to start with them when they just kind of grow up knowing they are supposed to stay next to you.

My current dog, on the other hand, I had to leash train because I lived in an apartment. Now whenever I take him off the leash he is fucking gone. He always comes back though, so I usually just let him run.

11/5/2012 10:23:14 AM

katydid88
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Wondering if anyone has any advice on this....

I have a 3 yo black lab/mix. My fiance and I adopted her from a foster for the humane society about two years ago. She is great, listens well, walks almost perfect on a leash...but we have been having some difficulty fitting in at the dog park. Her first reaction is to growl at any other dog she sees. She has no interest in toys whatsoever and only seems interested in chasing other dogs and recently I have seen her nip at a smaller dog's butt when chasing them. It worries me that she is reacting like this because I don't want to make other owners at the park nervous. She was among a group of other dogs when we adopted her, and we have been going to parks with other dogs since we got her. This problem seems to have come out of no where. Any help is appreciated.

11/5/2012 11:12:34 AM

jbrick83
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We recently had a dog at our dog park have ^ this problem. Their owner kept the dog away from the park for a while and just started having "play-dates" instead. Having their dog only around one or two dogs at a time. They rewarded her for good behavior and scolded her with stern "NO"s when she acted up (this was easier for the owners to do because they knew the owners of the other dogs and let them know the problem). They gradually introduced them to more and more dogs and now the dog is perfectly fine at the dog park around a lot of dogs.

So basically they kind of "eased" them back into the dog park setting.

11/5/2012 12:06:27 PM

BobbyDigital
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closing on our new home in a little over a month. Previously we always had fenced back yards, and let the dogs out to play/shit/piss, but the way the house is positioned on the lot, and with the existing landscaping, a fence is going to ruin the look of the property.

so anyone had experience training older dogs (8 and 10 years old) on an invisible fence? Any recommended brands? Did you DIY or get the company to install?

11/5/2012 9:20:20 PM

years25apart
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I bought an e collar and my 8 month old English setter runs right next to me. I read about 3 books before I started using it though. If you do wrong you can make them worse.

11/6/2012 12:40:41 AM

ThePeter
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My parents had two dogs, old and middle-aged, when they moved in to their current house. They installed a wire-based invisible fence. The old dog was maybe 12 and dumb as kitty litter, and no amount of shocks stopped her from doing anything. Younger dog was maybe 6 or 7 and she learned very quickly on the shocks.

I can't remember the brand, but they installed it on their own. The wire occasionally broke and it stopped working when wires broke, but by then the dog knew what was up.

We currently have a PetSafe wireless invisible fence. It has a radius of 90 feet and it can link up to other PetSafe units, so that's an option depending on your lot size/shape. Our used unit has worked very well for the 1.5 years or so that we've had it.

[Edited on November 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM. Reason : asdf]

11/6/2012 1:31:29 PM

djeternal
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My dog was 6 when I moved to my current house. We had an issue with him trying to dig under the fence. The area we keep him (and our other dog) has an electric wire running along the bottom of it. The people that lived here before us had goats. We turned it on for a month and that took care of it. All it took was for him to get zapped a couple times and it broke him from it. We haven't had to turn it back on in years.

11/7/2012 10:38:19 AM

jbrick83
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My dog has some skin issues. It's not horrible, but he itches a little too much for not having fleas. Before we treated him months ago, it was bad enough to where he had some bad raw spots...now it's just above average itching that we are trying to stop. One of our vets (we see two at the place we go to) is obsessed with telling us about what her dermatologist thinks about changes in diet and how it can improve skin. Has anyone had any experience with this or given it a try?

We've been feeding him the same mix since we got him (a large breed puppy formula) and haven't had any problems except for this skin issue. She mentioned changing to a food that has a different primary protein. I believe our current one is mostly lamb and when I asked her what she suggested...she brought up kangaroo...fucking kangaroo!!! Is that even common (and not expensive as shit). She made it sound like it would have to be some radical protein or something.

Thoughts? I think she's banging her dermatologist.

12/1/2012 1:51:34 PM

lewoods
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There are lots of foods that would work that aren't horribly expensive. I like California Natural and Natural Balance limited ingredient. It's worth a try for a couple months to see if it helps. I have the cats on one or the other of those (depending on where I get it) and they do great with it and the older cat doesn't have dandruff anymore. Dandruff was the only issue, I switched them because I didn't want to feed them stuff I was allergic to.

When I had a dog California Natural saved her life. After she bloated she had a super sensitive stomach and it was the only thing she could eat.

12/1/2012 2:03:30 PM

jbrick83
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I've read that grains can cause skin allergies...are those foods grain free? I don't know if I should be focusing on a different protein or grain-free...or both?

12/1/2012 2:06:35 PM

lewoods
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Natural balance is grain free, California Natural just has rice. They'd eliminate both potential allergen sources (I use them since I'm sensitive to grains and don't want my house contaminated).

I'd probably try this if it was my dog, since sweet potato is going to be easier to digest than peas: http://www.petco.com/product/13791/Natural-Balance-LID-Limited-Ingredient-Diets-Sweet-Potato-And-Fish-Dog-Food.aspx?CoreCat=certona-_-ProductListTopRated_Dog_3-_-Natural%20Balance%20L.I.D.%20Limited%20Ingredient%20Diets%20Sweet%20Potato%20%26%20Fish%20Dog%20Food-13791

12/1/2012 3:22:36 PM

jbrick83
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I like the looks of that. I can only find those ingredients in regular and small breed though. My dog is 7 months old and is a large breed. The only large breed puppy formula I found in that brand has lamb...which is what we're trying to get away from.

12/1/2012 3:58:25 PM

lewoods
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You can feed large breed puppies adult food. The purpose of large breed puppy food is to help them grow slowly. Adult food does the same basic thing.

12/1/2012 8:50:45 PM

wizzkidd
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Quote :
"She has no interest in toys whatsoever and only seems interested in chasing other dogs and recently I have seen her nip at a smaller dog's butt when chasing them."


I feel like a lot of people see stuff as fighting or aggressive behavior when it's not.

This might just be play behavior. (you know your dog) If her and the other dogs' body language is loose, or they're doing a bow before the chase then it's just play and I wouldn't worry about it. If one or both dogs postures and goes stiff, then you've got some conflict but even then it may not be a problem. Dogs communicate quite a bit through mouthing and nipping, so if your dog nips one to get him to play that's not bad; even if the other dog does a quick nip back and postures, as long as your dog gets the hint and leaves him alone then that was a normal social interaction.

Again, you know your dog; so if you feel like she's too excited or being "impolite" with her approach there may be something to work on. Play dates are a good starting point but I wouldn't completely swear off the dog park.

12/2/2012 10:54:35 AM

se7entythree
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why is my dog eating dirt? she eats dogswell happy hips (so, not cheapo crap food), same food for at least a couple of years now. there's no poop there, nobody's thrown anything over the fence. she will dig a little hole, lay down over it, & chow down like it's dinner. she's been doing it several weeks now.

WTF

12/2/2012 8:54:42 PM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"There are lots of foods that would work that aren't horribly expensive. I like California Natural and Natural Balance limited ingredient. "


I can second a recommendation for California Natural, we used that for a while before switching to Taste of the Wild for our dog with horrible skin allergies. Not a cure by any means, but both kept her issues under control much better than the generic stuff.

Incidentally, I don't know if its been mentioned in this thread, but if you're in Raleigh or Chapel hill and are looking for more esoteric foods than what Pet-Co carries, check out Phydeaux: http://phydeauxpets.com/

12/3/2012 3:27:05 PM

jbrick83
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Ended up going with the Natural Balance that lewoods posted. Going through the transition period, so we'll so how it goes when that's his full diet. Don't have to worry about him liking the taste...he inhaled it last night and this morning (he inhales his meals every time...just seemed a little quicker this time around).

12/3/2012 3:31:17 PM

CodeRed4791
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my GSD used to have really bad skin issues (dry skin, patches, little pimples and even an abscess). what worked really was was oil supplements. she did ok on fish oil, but it didnt clear everything up. then i tried flaxseed oil pills and her skin was all better. plus it helps with keeping the coat really shiny. i dont think she liked the taste so it was a trick getting her to take them. you can get fish oil in a pump and squirt it on the food.

This is if you have already ruled out food allergies.

12/4/2012 12:32:05 PM

jbrick83
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Fish Oils were also mentioned by the Vet. We're going to give this new food a shot and then probably move on to the oils next. His skin issues don't seem to be as bad as your pets...but its still something we'd like to get rid of.

12/4/2012 12:42:09 PM

coolio526
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Hey guys, I wanted to know if anybody had any experience with shock training collars. I scanned all of the thread and didn't see any recommendations on which brand or type is the best. I have a 25lbs mutt who is well behaved, but has recently taken to running off after playing. She responds well most the time, but then goes crazy and takes off towards the closest wooded area. I have tried correcting this behavior when she comes back, but that is not working well. I figured I could stop this in action if I had a good shock collar. Any ideas? Thanks

12/18/2012 6:12:15 PM

wizzkidd
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What do you mean you've "tried correcting the behavior when she comes back"?? If that means you're disciplining the dog when she comes back to you, then you're training her to NOT COME BACK, so you're making the problem worse.

Sounds to me like your dog gets excited and goes after the first thing she sees OR wants you to chase her. I'd try a long lead before a shock collar, and just work on recall training. Here's the thing.. If she EVER associates you with that shock collar, it's over.. you'll have a psycho dog.

12/21/2012 9:32:11 PM

AstralEngine
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^This. I made this mistake one time of smacking my dog after he wanted to play tag in the yard instead of coming to me when I called him and it took months for him to EVER come back to me in the situations where I was in a hurry to wrap up playing so I could go somewhere. I think positive reinforcement is the best way to teach your dog to DO anything and I agree that using some long leashes and working on recall training. If the dog is young it'll take some time for them to learn to listen consistently especially in the face of excitement.

Quote :
"so anyone had experience training older dogs (8 and 10 years old) on an invisible fence? Any recommended brands? Did you DIY or get the company to install?"



The petsafe in-ground wire fence I got came with some flags that you're supposed to start out lining your fence area with. Then you put the collar on training mode (beep only) and you work with the dog and leash on approaching the fence, hearing the beep, and returning. They eventually associate the beeps with the flags and after a few days and several training sessions you turn on the shock. My dog got shocked one time at that point and then recognized the boundaries and it never happened again. after a couple of months I took up the flags and now he knows not to continue forward when he hears the warning beeps. I've accidentally thrown his ball too close to the fence a couple of times and he won't even go get it. They learn quick.

1/3/2013 1:39:39 PM

jbrick83
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Anybody's pet have skin allergies? Just dropped $250 at the vet on a ton of pills because our little man has been itching a lot and has some raw spots and a few bad scabs. Vet was very anti "diet change" saying it was a lot of Internet myths. Starting to lean towards getting a second opinion...

5/22/2013 6:30:23 PM

NCSUam0s
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Mine get itchy in the spring. My vet said dogs can have allergies too and to just give them benedryl to help with the itching.

5/22/2013 6:34:37 PM

skyfallen
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^^ diet change depends. if you're talking "Grain Free" then yes...that's bs. but if you switch to a novel protein (something they've never eaten before) like fish, duck, or kangaroo it may be beneficial if they have a food allergy. BUT you have to be VERY strict (no other treats, some dogs even need their heartworm medication specially made without meat flavor).

otherwise they may have atopy or seasonal allergies. depending on the severity....a wide variety of things could be needed (food change, special baths, intermittant steroids, chronic immune suppressive medication, etc etc etc)

and yes...i have a cat who was brought in to be euthanized due to skin issues and well....i couldn't let the owners do that. she's going to have to be on immune suppressive medication (cyclosporine) for the rest of her life probably but atleast she's not dead.

[Edited on May 22, 2013 at 8:35 PM. Reason : .]

5/22/2013 8:34:42 PM

jbrick83
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^ Yeah...he had bad skin allergies as a puppy and we switched him to a strict fish/sweet potato diet and it worked really well. It turns out that his food/treats are all grain free, but that wasn't on purpose. So about a month ago they were out of his brand of treats at PetSmart, so I got him this peanut butter/oatmeal combo and I was thinking that the grain in that might have caused his allergies...but I guess that's not the case.

Just hoping I don't have to buy a supply of $250 pills at the start of every summer from here on out. Dogs are $Clifford$.

5/23/2013 9:15:46 AM

JLCayton
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bttt

can anyone recommend an affordable place in raleigh to get a dog's teeth cleaned? boulevard animal clinic quoted like $350, which seemed expensive for the shape her teeth are in. She's about 3 and has never had her teeth cleaned, but has had a healthy supply of dentabone, etc...

6/29/2013 10:55:40 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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anyone with allergies have experience with some of these breeds they claim are allergy-friendly? i've only had outside dogs before, but we don't have a fence at our new place.

6/30/2013 12:36:51 AM

bottombaby
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I have a Shih Tzu/Maltese mix that absolutely does not shed. She has hair instead of fur, so that means that she requires regular hair cuts like you and I would, but no hair left behind where ever she goes. The only person bothered by her is the severely asthmatic son of a friend and only after he's touched her directly.

6/30/2013 12:47:30 AM

BobbyDigital
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TWW Vets/keyboard Vets-- Anyone ever dealt with Wobbler Syndrome?

I have an 11 year old Boxer. This started in mid-april, and the Vet diagnosed it pretty quickly, and a cycle of prednisone improved things substantially. However, he's been progressively getting worse. He can't put significant weight on his left hind leg at all, and compensates by putting his right hind leg to where it's more centered under his body.

Often times, he'll be standing, and you'll see his left hind leg kind of dangle, and twitch a little bit. He sleeps by my side while I work all day, and if I go to the bathroom or down to the kitchen, he follows, and has a lot of difficulty getting up.

Other than the above symptoms, he doesn't appear to be in much pain. However, he's as stoic as they come, and even if he is in pain, he isn't going to show it unless it's acute. He's definitely bothered by all of this.. but it seems mostly emotional, like being freaked out over his inability to use his left hind leg.

It doesn't seem like prednisone can be used long term, though I wonder if it's been long enough that we could put him on another cycle. This can be treated with surgery, but at 11 years old, I don't feel like he'd be a good candidate.

Ultimately, knowing that this will get worse, not better, I think it comes down to understanding when this deteriorates to the point where we need to put him down...

7/3/2013 11:44:16 AM

GRITS_Z71
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^ I am curious on how they diagnosed your pup. Did they do x rays to confirm their diagnosis? Also, it seems as though in wobbler's syndrome, the animal will continue to deteriorate in all of the legs including the front legs.

I just want to point this out because my pup had very similar symptoms, where he would favor one of his hind legs. He was 8 when it happened. I found that he ruptured his cruciate
ligament or ACL tear. It was diagnosed with a simple "shelf test" and confirmed with x rays. And these injuries are quite curable if managed in time. They are also common in boxers. But performing surgery on an 11 year old is pretty risky.

I am no vet, but if your pup was misdiagnosed and put to sleep when he could have been fixed, I'd feel bad for not bringing this up to your attention. May be worth getting a second opinion...


http://www.boxerwelfarescotland.co.uk/cruciateligament.html

[Edited on July 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM. Reason : gft]

7/3/2013 1:04:46 PM

BobbyDigital
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I was travelling for business, but my wife took him in, and the diagnosis was based on observed spinal compression.. i'm assuming they did x-rays, but I don't know for sure. There were other medical terms that I don't really understand that went along with that, but since my wife is a physician, it all made sense to her.

and it's not so much that he's favoring one leg-- he's lost all feeling in that leg (beyond surface pressure). In his mind, he's basically lost awareness of it. His left front leg is also affected, but not as badly(yet). All four legs likely are affected to some degree. it's not quite as obvious if he's walking, but if he's laying down and tries to get up, it takes a LOT of effort. going up and down stairs are like climbing a mountain to him, but he refuses to let me out of his sight if he can follow.

The issues definitely start with his neck-- even before this manifested, he'd had trouble bending down to eat, and we've since elevated his bowl so he doesn't need to bend his neck as much. unfortunately, all the symptoms seem to match up.

I'll check with her again, but i can only wish it was something like an ACL...

7/3/2013 1:44:42 PM

GRITS_Z71
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I am sorry bud. I was hoping to offer you an alternative. Sounds like its more serious than an osteo issue. And 11 for a boxer is getting up there. I guess the best thing is to make him as comfortable as possible until he tells you its time. You'll know. I send my sympathies your way. As furbaby owners, I believe we all hate to see that moment come.

7/3/2013 2:38:42 PM

sumfoo1
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sorry man


I just thought i'd post this.

Thank you to NCSU vet school...

6 months into her heart failure diagnosis my big girl is still playing.

7/3/2013 3:06:05 PM

Jeepin4x4
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BobbyDigital,
i hate that bro. My 8 year old Dachshund is starting to go through a similar issue. He was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease last week. basically disc degeneration in his spine. Out of nowhere he had lost complete control of his hind legs and was dragging himself across the hardwood floors. I rushed him to the emergency clinic and they did some tests and he regained some slight mobility, but they basically said the signal from his brain to his legs was getting blocked along the way due to a disc either being slipped, bulging, or beginning to rupture. He's currently on a prednisone regimen along with muscle relaxers and pain killers and a mandatory 2 weeks of crate confinement so he doesn't relapse.

it's hard watching him, especially when i get him out to stretch or use the bathroom.

7/3/2013 3:44:02 PM

joepeshi
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Are cow hooves ok for the dog? I've read conflicting info.

7/5/2013 12:27:40 AM

joepeshi
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Are cow hooves ok for the dog? I've read conflicting info.

7/5/2013 12:27:40 AM

jbrick83
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Eesh...pretty depressing posts recently. Good luck to BobbyDigital and Jeepin4x4. I definitely dread the day my dog starts to "age".

7/5/2013 10:43:11 AM

CassTheSass
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we just adopted a new puppy last week (our 4 year old lab unexpectedly passed in March). he's very smart and is a fast learner but is still wary about the crate. he's only 3 and a half months old and is starting to teethe so we're really working with him on crate training. typically, my husband and i believe in the whole "let em whine it out" except that we're in an apartment now and you can sometimes hear him whining all the way down the hall

we've stocked up on stuff to fill up his kongs (we have 3 total so one is always ready to go from the freezer), teething treats, antler chew thing, other toys, etc. we're slowing introducing him by throwing treats/toys in there and saying "in your crate" then sitting with him while he lays (his bed is in there so it's comfy) and then we close the door while we sit for a while, and then we walk away and do our thing. he's usually good for about hour or so and then we let him out when we see he's starting to get anxious (but before he starts to whine). once we go back to work, he'll be in his crate for 3 hours at a time (twice a day).

i'm taking him on lots of long walks and making him climb the stairs to wear him out more so he sleeps more (because homeboy had some crazy witching hour barkathon last night) but i didn't know if any of yall had tricks to help with crate training process. we threw a blanket over the front of the crate and that seemed to calm him down faster and he went right to sleep.

7/6/2013 4:53:33 PM

NyM410
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I have a 4-month old Husky/Shepherd mix. Very challenging but getting better and easier every single day. She finally is done with all her shots so we can take her to the lake and on walks. She has barely had any accidents at all inside but did have a few bouts with diarrhea the last few weeks so she is on Probiotics and the vet recommended we use Hill's I/D food which is a bit more expensive but that's OK.

Here's Avery!



^ we were really worried about the sound and finally went to all our neighbors and told them we are training a pup to be in the crate and that we apologize for any noise. They said they have NEVER heard her once so it may be a case of you think it's worse than it is. Luckily, Avery took to her crate REALLY quickly.

[Edited on July 6, 2013 at 5:20 PM. Reason : x]

7/6/2013 5:18:38 PM

CassTheSass
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It could be although I know I can hear people's dogs when I'm walking down the hall (but never in my apartment so I guess that's good). And we definitely have this one dog down the hall that is SUPER yappy and barks all day long no matter what time I pass by their place.

Anyways - we pulled out the thunder jacket because walks seem to hype up the pup and he tends to bark a lot when we first get back inside. The thunder jacket seems to calm him down and he immediately chills out which is good because its 10pm and I don't really want to him barking now.

7/6/2013 9:56:41 PM

aimorris
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We've always left our dog with my mother in law but she has so many dogs (and other animals, don't ask) that we're worried about him dealing with that environment and we're tired of the hassle.

So I looked into local boarding places and stumbled across Rover.com and there was a well reviewed woman only 10 minutes away from where I live. It's basically like Airbnb for dogs and it's very reasonably priced. Most range from $20-30/night. We're a little nervous but you can arrange a meet and greet with the owner at their house before hand to check everything out.

Basically this post is just a FYI for anybody doing a search for a pet sitter and also asking if anybody's had a good experience with the website before.

7/8/2013 12:47:49 PM

brainysmurf
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Meet Greta.

Greta will not let mommy and daddy be in a different room than her. And she likes to jump on us with her giant feet. AND the cats hate her and antagonize her all the time.

[Edited on July 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM. Reason : .]

[Edited on July 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM. Reason : .]

7/8/2013 2:01:13 PM

brainysmurf
All American
4756 Posts
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ok sorry for the double post getting picture to upload was a beast.


Now meet Greta

7/8/2013 3:20:21 PM

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