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Author Topic: I bought a....dog! Now with new pics!
Kwea
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I have wanted one for years, but haven't been able to have one because I rented a place that doesn't allow renters to have dogs.

I am moving in a week, and I saw a beautiful dog, mid-sized, at the local pound, so I picked him up. While picking this specific dog seems a little bit impulsive, it really wasn't. My wife and I narrowed our choices for our new apartment down to two places, and a large part of it was that both places allowed us to have dogs.

His name is Champ, and he is about 8 months old. He supposedly was crate trained and housebroken, but we now know the housebroken part wasn't completely true. [Frown] He is a mutt...part retriever, part shar pei, part pit bull and part hound....and is really, really great with people. I spent the entire day walking him around Pet Smart and the park to see how he handled being in different situations, and he was great all day long. Very smart too, and well behaved.

He supposedly likes other dogs, as well as cats, but I don't know him well enough yet to let him try to socialize with other pets yet. He barks and growls when he sees another dog, but he wags his tail....hell, his entire butt...while he is doing it. We will see.

He really has been accustomed to a crate, and I bought a home crate for him and he went right to sleep in it without a fuss at all...he was a little wary of it at first, but within 5 min I had him almost asleep in it.


He is about 35 lbs, and will probably top out at about 45-50.


I will post pics later...he is a cutie!

[ October 29, 2008, 12:28 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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ketchupqueen
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My friends got a Corgi and brought her to my dad's birthday party. I couldn't get too close (allergic to dogs) but I had a great time admiring her, she was so cute!

I'd love to see pics of your cutie!

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BlackBlade
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Post pics, it's all I really care about. [Wink]
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Kwea
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There was a couple of dogs I really liked at the pound, and believe it or not there were 2 Welsh Corgi's there....one pure and one mix.

They were at once the most silly looking and most adorable dog's in the place.

[Big Grin]


I almost bought the purebred one...not because she was purebred, but because she was soooo adorable, and so well behaved.


However, I like a dog with a little more energy, and she was too laid back for me. Being in an apartment, she might have been a more sensible choice for me, but I am happy with Champ so far. It was a tough choice....Champ, and beautiful German Shepard mix (all black) named Sammy (female), and the Corgi.


I have always preferred female dogs, but he is way cute, and very well behaved.

Pictures will follow...

[ September 24, 2008, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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theCrowsWife
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Aww, I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures. Look out, though, because he'll be going through adolescence soon and will probably become a handful to manage during that time. Get in as much training as you can before then. Do you know what training method you'll be using?

--Mel

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Kwea
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I have him on a pinch collar....don't worry, I know how to use it properly and it fits well...and he is very well behaved. I took him into Pet Smart again today and talked to a different trainer because I was less than impressed with the first one I spoke to, and this one (Tara) was great. I had Champ on a leash and she had her dog...it looked like a boxer mix of some sorts...and while we talked for about half an hour she let me get Champ accustomed to other dogs. Turns out I was right, Champ is vocal with other dogs but not overly aggressive. He ended up playing with his new friend for a little bit, and was very well behaved.

I will probably try the group classes with him, then go from there. In one day he has learned to break off contact with people and other dogs on command, to sit, and to walk on a lead in a fairly civilized manner. He seems pretty smart, and he is a charmer. It took me half an hour to leave the store because all sorts of people kept asking if they could pet him.


He graciously agreed. [Big Grin] Here is a picture of Champ. (link fixed....thanks rivka!)

[ September 24, 2008, 06:17 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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rivka
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Wanna check that link? [Wink]
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Kwea
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No. [Wink]


(be glad it wasn't a rickroll)

[ September 24, 2008, 06:22 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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rivka
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It's not April, so color me confused.
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Kwea
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Here is another.

And another....

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rivka
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The first one makes me say awwwwwww!

The other two concern me. You've got a green-eyed monster! [Wink]

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Kwea
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Who pees on floors that aren't mine no less. [Wink]

He is a great dog, and has already charmed the Pet Smart staff, who feed him cookies the whole time he is there. [Smile]

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BlackBlade
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Awesome dog, makes me want to get another cat. [Razz]
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theCrowsWife
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It sounds like you've got everything lined up. I'm glad to hear it [Smile] . I, personally, don't have a problem with pinch collars when they're necessary to manage a puller. My ACD needs one, even though otherwise she is generally quite trainable. She had four years of getting away with pulling before I got her, so it was quite ingrained. My other two only require flat collars.

Your new guy is a cutie. I think you'll have lots of fun with him.

Good luck!

--Mel

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Kwea
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You're going to get another cat? Cool! Around here we have another name for them though.....


Snacks.


Let me know how he tastes!

[Wink]

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Uprooted
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I've never owned a dog -- but Champ seems like just the kind of dog I prefer. Hope all the training issues are easily dealt with. Congrats on your new family member!
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Kwea
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I one day he has learned to fetch and bring it back (and drop on command 75% of the time), how to deal with steps, how to sit and how to walk on a leash. He also knows "OW!" means stop, and is starting to go to the bathroom on command when I take him out.


I think we will be just fine. [Big Grin]


Now I just need to get some room to let him run, and get a 40' lead so he can have fun. Tomorrow night I will take him to the tennis courts, close the gates, and let him lose with a tennis ball.

I can't wait. [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
You're going to get another cat? Cool! Around here we have another name for them though.....


Snacks.


Let me know how he tastes!

[Wink]

Psh! Cat's can easily go where dogs cannot. But I probably won't be getting any pets until I move out of this small apartment. When I do, I'm thinking a kitten and a puppy, that way I can raise them as friends.
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Kwea
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Yeah...I like cats too, but I am completely a dog person. Not even a close contest. [Smile]


I am moving to a bottom floor apartment, about 1100 sq ft, right next to a dog park. I wouldn't consider it otherwise, as it wouldn't be fair to the dog. Then again, they were about to put him down, so anything would be better than that.


Well, almost anything, and certainly anything involving me. [Big Grin]

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Belle
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I love dogs but cannot have any. [Frown]

We had some Australian shepherds but we had to find them a new home - with someone with lots of land and goats.

My life is too hectic for animals, my cat survives because she is low maintenance, but I dont' have the ability to devote the time and energy to a dog that it deserves.

It's a shame too, because I had a lab that I loved dearly - and was so well trained he could (and did!) go practically anywhere with me. I know that when you take the time and train a dog well and socialize it properly it can be a wonderful companion for your family, but when you cannot devote that time and you wind up relegating it to an ornament in your backyard you have contact with once a day at feeding time - that's unfair to the dog. Unfortunately, that's where we were with our dogs and the reason why I found a new place for them.

It sounds like you're doing what is necessary to make Champ a member of the family, and I applaud you for it. Best of luck with him!

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DarkKnight
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Kwea, Congratulations! You are doing the right thing and the housebroken thing can take some time for the dog to adjust to the new enviornment. My wife and I also rescue dogs and our newest dog had that issue for a few months. Daily walks (correctly done) really helped us with the housebreaking issue. If you haven't read books by Cesar Milan I would happily suggest you get them and read them. It's a good story filled with lots of good information. Exercise, discipline, affection. Animal, species, breed, name. [Smile] that will make more sense after you read the books. He also has a decent set of videos out now
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Kwea
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I have seen his show a few times. He is flaky, but he really knows his dogs. [Smile]

I am using crate training, and he is responding well. I am little concerned as we will be moving next week...yet another new environment for him to get used to...but I am sure we will manage.

He acts very calm most of the time, but once he gets wound up he stays that way for hours at a time. I am taking him to a dog park in about half an hour, and we will trow the ball around for a while. I had him off the leash for about 10 min last night when I took him out for a walk and he came to me every time I called. I am buying a long, 40' training lead as well to practice with him.

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Kwea
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Does anyone recommend any specific training methods? I want to get him started early, as he looks like he is high energy and I want to channel that into constructive results rather than destructive behavior.

He loves to chew on things, and has already completely destroyed the pillow he came with. [Smile]


I also saw some pit bull in him, but not that much. I looked up the breed, and I guess the pit's I was used to were not American Pit Bull Terriers, because he is that for sure. He has a lot of retriever in him as well (including webbed feet), and you can really see the Sharpei as well, but he probably is at least half American Pit Bull.


I want to make sure we can control him, and a lot fo people will probably be a little worried about him considering their reputation.


Also, I really think he has the temperament to be good with kids, and if possible I would like to see if he could become a service dog for kinds in the hospital. I know not every dog is suited to it, but he really likes people, so with proper training he might be able to do that.


Any ideas?

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Jhai
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We adopted an 8 month old German Shepherd mix back in July, so we've just been through all of this. [Smile]

For the chewing: there's sprays you can buy at Petco or Petsmart that taste really, really bitter (personal experience talking here). Put that on everything within reach that you don't want him chewing. Sometimes it can wear off, so remember to reapply it regularly until he gets the idea, or ages out of the boredom chewing.

Also try to get an idea of what things (of yours) that he enjoys chewing, and watch him closely when he's around those temptations. Our dog, Kajol, loves to rip apart soft things to get the fluff out of it - being ever-watchful has really paid off by giving us the chance to correct her when we're around, thus decreasing her desire to do it when we're not watching. Still, we can't leave blankets or anything soft with her in her crate, because it will be torn into tiny, tiny pieces by the time we get back.

As far as training is concerned, I believe that a well-exercised, tired dog is a well-behaved dog. You can tell when a two-year-old child hasn't had his nap, and you can tell when a young dog hasn't had his walk. Training anything, from walking nicely on a lead to shaking hands, is best done after Kajol has had a chance to burn off her excess energy. When we don't have time for an hour-long walk/jog, we take her out on a bike - if you go quickly enough that the dog has to concentrate on running rather than squirrels, it's really not that difficult. And she loves to stretch her legs and go full out when we can't get to the dog park. She also has a backpack that she carts around canned goods with during our walks - good physical training for the backpacking & hiking we do, and it has the added bonus of tiring her out quicker.

I personally don't really favor one training method over another. I think the main things to keep in mind are consistency, clear expectations (what exact behaviors are you trying to change/shape), and timing. And just remember basic behavioral psychology. To shape behaviors, you have four main options: give something good (treat or praise), give something bad (irritated noise, spray of water), take away something bad (pressure from the leash when he doesn't pull), and take away something good (exiting the room when the dog jumps on you, for instance). Different things work better for different dogs. When we got Kajol she had a pretty bad jumping & excited biting/nipping problem, but she stopped that very quickly after she learned that those behaviors led to us leaving the room & shutting the door behind us.

If you're interested in training your dog to visit people in the hospital, you need to focus on lots of socialization & lots of obedience training. Basically, the dog needs to have the experience to not freak out at something new he might experience at the hospital, and be under excellent voice control. I've thought about the same sort of training for Kajol, although I want to wait awhile to see how her adult personality shakes out. She's a sweetie, but might be a bit too much of a one-family dog to enjoy visiting people at the hospital - which is a pretty common trait of GSDs. Anyways, try checking out what sort of programs your local hosptials have - here's a link to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital's requirements, for instance.

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Blayne Bradley
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Cats are the superior species.
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Kwea
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You have just justified my lack of faith in you, Blayne....thanks for making it so easy. [Wink]


We went to the dog park for the first time today, and Champ was outstanding. He loves to run and play, and got along well with everything from a 10 lbs mutt to two 160lbs Great Danes. There were a few dogs there that don't like to play with other dogs...they snarl and snap, but aren't mean....and he liked to try and convince them they were wrong. [Big Grin]


A FAR better trip than I was expecting, and a very happy trip for both Champ and myself. I planned a short trip to get him use to an idea, but he got along so well we stayed for about 3 hours, and we had a blast.


Once again he charmed everyone he met, and two of the other owners offered to take us to the HUGE park in Gainesville. I guess it has two large ponds in it, and dogs are encouraged to swim there.


Champ kept chasing a huge lab around, and every time just as he was about to catch her the Lab would just jump in one of the two kiddie pools to cool off. The third time this happened Champ just charged right in after her. [Big Grin]

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Sachiko
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Any idea what is the best way to train a dog to walk on a leash? That is, walk, with a leash attached to their collar. To be perfectly clear.

We have a 5 month old Lab puppy, and his 2 year old mom. Both are accustomed to living out on a horse property and are new to the leash/suburbia thing.

I've tried walking them in the backyard, in circles, using the Monks of New Skete method, but they just aren't having any.

They are otherwise very complaint, pleasing animals.

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BannaOj
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Lab puppy. Pinch Collar, definitely. Labs tend to be spazes until they are 2-3 at which time they calm down and are some of the best "Family" dogs in the world. I haven't personally figured out how people live through those first two years though. Since they were on horse property to begin with they are even more used to running. I'd also consider the Ceasar Milan method of makign sure they are tired out before you even try to get them to heel.

Kwea, congratulations on the dog, and basically what Jhai said as far as training. You could investigate clicker training, if he is as sensitive and responsive as he seems to be.

There is an association called Therapy Dogs Internationalthat I strongly reccommend if you want to do hospital visits and the like.
http://www.tdi-dog.org/
The test they require is an extension of the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and really isn't that hard.

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Sachiko
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Thanks, BannaOj, I'll look up Cesar Milan.

The idea of getting a Lab puppy exhausted and yet still able to walk sounds like a delicate procedure. Either he's beating the crap out of my furniture and kids with his happy tail, or he's sacked out on the floor.

Today he got a fit of Puppy Naps while I was giving the dogs lunch plates to lick, and I turned around and he had the side of his head on the plate and was slowly licking it while drifting off. Reminded me of Barney passed out under a beer spigot in Moe's bar.

Gotta get a pinch collar.

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Pam Tyler
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Kwea, there is also a good book that I would recommend by Karen Pryor "Don't shoot the dog". It discussed positive reinforcement training, and I found it very enlightening when I began training my German Shephard.

Good luck with him, it sounds like you are on the right path. [Smile]

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Kwea
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The nice girl at Pet Smart, Tara, uses clicker training, and she loves it. I like her, and her dog is a good balanced dog....one that obeys her but still remains a dog, not a robot.


In 5 days he has learned sit, stay, come when called (still working a bit on it), and lay down, as well as reinforcing his crate training and potty training. He is one of the smarter dogs I have trained, and my last dog was amazing, so that is quite a compliment.


The apartment complex I am moving to saw him today and were concerned that he was a pit bull. I told them he was a mix, and then turned him into a pretzel while holding him completely off the ground and upside down. After I was done I asked "Does that look like a full pit to you?", and they laughed and said he was fine. [Big Grin]


I haven't signed anything, or seen anything that prohibits pit bulls there, and they have a number of large dogs (much larger than Champ will be) including two HUGE German Shepards, so I don't think it will be a problem.


I second the recommendation for Pinch Collars for large hyper dogs like Labs. The bigest thing to remember is that a pinch collar is just that...it pinches them to remind them to pay attention to you. Don't pull or tug hard on it like you may have done with a choke collar, but use 2-3 fingers and your thumb and tug fairly lightly on it.


My last dog, Penney, was a 105-110 lbs Yellow Lab / Rotti mix, and she was so strong that she literaly BROKE a heavy duty choke collar trying to get to another dog. She was so strong the towed my mom, who got tangled in the chain almost a full block....while on a regular choke collar.


We put her in a pinch, and within 3 days my 80 lbs neighbor was walking her. It really is MORE humane than other options.


Has anyone worked with the newer shock collars? I hear they have come a long way, and now allow adjustment to the level of treatment....but I wonder how well they work, and how humane they care. The only positive I can see is that the dog will NOT associate you with corrections automatically. That has to be a HUGE bonus, but I don't know if that outweighs the other considerations.

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BannaOj
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The politically correct term now is "e-collars" I have seen them used very effectively, and no more negatively than say a pinch collar. On the lower settings it is no more than a light tap on the arm to get your attention. However, it needs a very specific kind of trainer to train you how to use them. I've seen them used in conjunctions with other things like clickers, and the right trainer should emphasize positive reinforcment along with using the e-collar. Timing is everything with these, even more than with other training methods. One of the big advantages is that they allow you to incorporate more "distance work" almost from the very beginning.
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theCrowsWife
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I second clicker training. One thing I've noticed with it is that dogs remember things that they've learned that way for a very long time. One time I taught my dog to put her paw on a plastic lid. We only worked on it for a few sessions, and then I didn't do anything with it for over a year. I pulled the lid out one day and she knew immediately what to do with it.

I haven't actually read this book (library doesn't have it), but Control Unleashed, by Leslie McDevitt, has been enthusiastically recommended on the clicker email list.

I also like Ian Dunbar's work. He uses lure training, which can be done with or without a clicker. I mostly like his common-sense approach of (paraphrased) "teach the dog what you want him to do first, don't make him figure it out on his own by trying a million wrong ways. He may never find the one right way." Given that philosophy, you can use many different methods to teach.

I tend to look at all the different training methods as tools in my toolbox. Some things don't work with my dogs and my personality/level of ability, so I toss them out. For me, following one system exclusively is usually not very effective.

--Mel

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DarkKnight
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quote:
The apartment complex I am moving to saw him today and were concerned that he was a pit bull. I told them he was a mix, and then turned him into a pretzel while holding him completely off the ground and upside down. After I was done I asked "Does that look like a full pit to you?", and they laughed and said he was fine.
My wife and I adopt pit bulls and I am always a little sad to see how some people are totally afraid of pit bulls. Most people just do not know how to handle a large dog whether it is a Great Dane, Akita, German Shepherd or pit bull. I see so many people at the park with their aggressive dogs running off the leash or pulling the owner all over the place but when they see my two very well-behaved pit bulls (often walking with other dogs who their owners say can't be around other dogs) they freak out and say pit bulls should be banned. I know I am overly sensitive to the issue but I do what I can to help educate people about dogs and how to help your dog be a happy dog...and never a 'baby' to make the owner happy. A dog is a dog and should be treated like a dog, not like a human child.

[ September 30, 2008, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: DarkKnight ]

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Kwea
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I agree to a point. I let my dogs do things like sit on the couch (when called) that other people don't allow dogs to do, and I am fine with it.


But I strongly believe that YOU are the owner, and your dogs should know who is alpha. If they don't it is YOUR fault, not the dog's.

I know a lot of pit's that are good dogs, but when they do bite they do more damage that a small breed dog. I understand that. It is true of any large breed dog. Pit's get a bad rap, but people are wary of them for reasons that are not easy to dismiss.

I honest believed, even before buying Champ, that Pit's could be wonderful pets, but I still hesitated buying Champ because it is obvious he had pit in him. I wasn't sure I could deal with the reactions I would get from others.

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BannaOj
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quote:
Originally posted by theCrowsWife:

I tend to look at all the different training methods as tools in my toolbox. Some things don't work with my dogs and my personality/level of ability, so I toss them out. For me, following one system exclusively is usually not very effective.

--Mel

Amen
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Kwea
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Yeah, that is why I asked here. I am basically familiar with some training methods, but there is so much more out there than when I learned 20 years ago that I thought I might be able to learn something.

I was right. [Smile]

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DarkKnight
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quote:
I agree to a point. I let my dogs do things like sit on the couch (when called) that other people don't allow dogs to do, and I am fine with it.
You are doing exactly the right thing [Smile] Your dog can absolutely sit on your couch when called and you are a very good pet owner for allowing it to happen that way.
quote:
But I strongly believe that YOU are the owner, and your dogs should know who is alpha. If they don't it is YOUR fault, not the dog's.
Exactly right and well said! I do wish more dog owner's understood that simple concept. I hope you pass on what you know to other dog owners. Spreading the word on what works for you (it may not work for them but maybe they can get ideas from you that will work or at least the concepts) is one of the best things a dog owner can do.
quote:
I wasn't sure I could deal with the reactions I would get from others.
This is a very valid concern and was my point as well. Some people freak out when they see a 90 pound beefy pit bull coming towards them because of the pits reputation. If they approach and ask questions I usually try to share my knowledge with them about how they are animals first, a dog second and a pit third. Any large dog not properly handled by their owner is a danger. Even a small dog can cause damage when biting and there was a case of a Pomeranian killing an infant.
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Kwea
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I loved the dog park we went to because of the owners there almost as much as the other dogs. They were very cool, and several of them noticed Champ had Pit in him but were not overly concerned. Of course there were 5 boxers there, as well as 4 Great Danes, a bunch of retriever or retriever mixes, and two bulldogs, so these owners had all experienced poor reactions for others as well.

A lady runs this park as a non-profit fr the city, and when she heard Champ was new and was a Pit mix, she watched him for a few minutes while he was playing, and then said he was a very cool looking dog who really seemed to enjoy playing with the other dogs.

The high point of the day for me was watching my 35 lb dog taking his turn chasing the 160 lb Great Dane. When he caught him the Great Dane rolled over...and my dog sat on his head.

It was hilarious. We are going back there now, although we can only stay for about an hour. I move in two days, and I have a ton of prep work to do before the movers show up.

[Big Grin]

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DarkKnight
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We have no dog parks near us which is a shame. The city is 'considering' one but I doubt they will ever go through with it. We usually borrow our friends dogs and take them on walks with ours to keep everyone happy and socialized.
Good Luck with your move!!!

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Kwea
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I have new pictures of Champ here.
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Jhai
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What a cutie! He looks like he plays at the dog park just like our GSD/hound mix, Kajol - stick butt up to ask to play, run some, wrestle by going for the legs/belly, run some more, wrestle some more, repeat.

We just adopted a Malamute from the local breed rescue. I don't have pictures yet, but he's a cutie. Makes our 55-lb Kajol look tiny, though. She's trying to teach him to play, with moderate success.

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Kwea
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Just a quick update on both Champ and his traning.....


I took him to PetSmart to a trainer there named Tara, and she is great. I payed for a group intermediate lesson because he had already learned most of the basic commands the basic class teaches...he learns REALLY fast.

I paid about $100 for 8 hours of lessons, once a week for 8 weeks, and I found out the first day of class that I was the ONLY person in the class. Rather than paying $75 for two hours for private lessons....and Tara just started bring HER dogs in to class. The only thing Champ has a problem with so far is greeting other dogs while on a leash. He is still very much in "puppy" mode and gets REALLY excited when he sees another dog. He goes right into "play" mode, and for him that can get kinda rough.

He is doing better, although it is tough for me because I love his energy. But there HAVE been a few people that didn't like how rough he played with their dogs, so it is for the best.

He has been a blessing, although an expensive one...we are on his 4th leash, as it takes him LESS than 1 min unsupervised to chew though even a think mesh leash. He chewed one in the car right in front of me while I was driving and I didn't noticed until he got out that his new leash was in two pieces.


He has learned to sit, lay down, wait and stay (which even I didn't realize were two different actions), and come when called. He also sits up pretty and plays dead....and we are only in week 3 of 8. [Smile]

[ December 20, 2008, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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theCrowsWife
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[Smile]

I'm glad training is going well with Champ. He sounds like a fun dog.

--Mel

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Kwea
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Yeah, except for the "tail 'o death" [Wink] .
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MyrddinFyre
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Hooray! [Smile]
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Kwea
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Hi Myr! Long time no see! So.....when are you coming down to visit Jenni and me? [Wink]
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MyrddinFyre
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Hehe! Hi! [Big Grin]
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Kwea
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Champ just got a clean bill of health from the vet, and his hair is regrowing nicely. He had Demodex Mange when we got him, but after 2 months of medication he is much better.


I will be posting more pics....he is the class clown at PetSmart, and his trainer is starting him on basic obstacle course instruction after just 4 lessons. [Big Grin]

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