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Topics - Miranda

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Medical Conditions & Diseases / The dog next door...
« on: September 25, 2006, 04:00:02 am »
My neighbors got another dog about a month ago. Looks like a border collie/lab mix or something, but it's really short, about the size of their beagle. It stays outside pretty much all the time. He always wants tons of attention and always wants my dogs to play with him. They run up and down the fence line constantly. A couple weeks ago he started trying to dig into my yard. I can never catch the neighbors at home to talk to them about it, but I wasn't really too terribly worried because once he gets into my yard, there's nowhere for him to go and my dogs can't exactly get through any hole that he makes. Well, now I'm kinda worried. I don't know if it's because Laika's in heat, but today he's decided that he hates her. I was sitting here at the computer, and they were barking as usual, but then I noticed that his bark sounded weird. So I look out the window and he was attacking the fence where Laika was standing. I yelled out the window and my dogs came running to me, but he was still standing there with his teeth bared and I could hear him growling. And now anytime Laika walks near the fence he attacks it and barks and growls like crazy. Is it because she's in heat? That's the only thing I can think of, because I don't see how his attitude toward her could change in a day because of anything else...

Helpful Groups & Dogs in Need / Reverse rescue (really good)
« on: September 23, 2006, 07:18:49 am »
Someone posted this on Craigslist. I thought it was really good.

Please help!
After two long years of being on a waiting list for a dog, we have been notified by breed rescue that, at long last, our number has come up and ... WE ARE HAVING A PUPPY!
We must get rid of our children IMMEDIATELY because we just know how time consuming our new little puppy is going to be and it just wouldn't be fair to the children. Since our little puppy will be arriving on Monday we MUST place the children up for adoption this weekend!
They are described as:
One male -- his name is Tommy, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), light blonde hair, blue eyes. Four years old. Excellent disposition. He doesn't bite. Temperament tested. Does have problems with peeing directly in the toilet. Has had chicken Pox and is current on all shots. Tonsils have already been removed. Tommy eats everything, is very clean, house trained and gets along well with others. Does not run with scissors and with a little training he should be able to read soon.
One female -- her name is Lexie, Caucasian (English/Irish mix), strawberry blonde hair, green eyes quite freckled. Two years old. Can be surly at times. Non-biter, thumb sucker. Has been temperament tested but needs a little attitude adjusting occasionally. She is current on all shots, tonsils out, and is very healthy and can be affectionate. Gets along well with other little girls and little boys but does not like to share her toys and therefore would do best in a one child household. She is a very quick learner and is currently working on her house training. Shouldn't take long at all.
We really do LOVE our children so much and want to do what's right for them. That is why we contacted a rescue group. But we simply can no longer keep them. Also, we are afraid that they may hurt our new puppy.
I hope you understand that ours is a UNIQUE situation and we have a real emergency here! They MUST be placed into your rescue by Sunday night at the latest or we will be forced to drop them off at the orphanage or along some dark, country road. Our priority now has to be our new puppy.

Neapolitan Mastiff Discussions & Pictures / Laika "started"
« on: September 22, 2006, 04:33:08 pm »
Well, tonight Laika "started". We came home and found some lovely red spots on my white(ish) carpet, which I'm obviously thrilled about. I think it really gives the place that "homey" feel I've been going for. Unfortunately, it was after 9, so we couldn't go to PetSmart and get some Fancy Pants, so I improvised. Here's a little tidbit I'm sure you guys want to know: Laika and I wear the same size underwear! I'm not quite sure how I feel about that... Anywho, she's pretty upset about the whole ordeal. I can't say I blame her, us ladies all remember how horrible the first one was. Her unhappiness makes for some really cute pictures though, and I was never one to pass up exploitation of others, so I figured I'd share some of her sorrow with everyone! Enjoy!

Anything Non-Dog Related / Crap!!
« on: September 19, 2006, 03:09:33 pm »
I work at a non-profit after-school program with the pre-teen/teenage group. Up until tonight, I was the assistant. But tonight, the other girl was confronted about kicking a child and screaming at them on a daily basis, so she quit. So now I'm the teacher, and I have no lesson plans or anything! We thought she had lesson plans and activities planned, but it turns out she had nothing! I have lots of ideas, but nothing I can do without lots of planning, so for at least the rest of this week, I need ideas!! We have no TV, so watching movies or anything is out. No board games or stuff like that, because apparently the kids destroyed all of them before I got there. What can I do with them?! Ideas, please!!!

Since Laika was doing so great this weekend, I decided to take her to the dog park for a little bit on Sunday morning. There were a whole bunch of new people there, so I had to explain to everyone what type of dog she was. I tried to tell everyone that she was VERY shy around humans and she'd warm up to them in a little bit, but nobody would listen to me. They kept walking up to her and reaching out to her and everything. Every time they'd try to touch her, she'd run back over to me. Then one lady tried to convince me not to get her spayed and she'd pay me right then for a puppy. e's getting spayed as soon as her treatment is done. THEN one guy tried to approach her, and even though she ran away and hid behind me, he kept following her! I told him that she was very shy and if he just left her alone she'd eventually approach him, but he said that this was how one should deal with potentially aggressive dogs. POTENTIALLY AGGRESSIVE? He said that shy dogs like her will become aggressive unless they are shown that being shy isn't okay. Needless to say, we left.

She isn't potentially aggressive, is she? I've always read that Neos were actually supposed to be wary of strangers, so I just thought it was her way. And she never nips at anyone, she just runs away.

Helpful Groups & Dogs in Need / GREAT DANES IN TX
« on: September 07, 2006, 07:31:38 am »
These two great danes are in the Irving, TX shelter. They will become available to adopt on the 8th (tomorrow) and their euthanasia date is the 9th. Anybody around here? I don't even know if I can l I have is a little car and I don't know if they'd fit! They're both only 80 pounds, listed as housebroken already, the black one is female and the other is male.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / RIP Spongebob...
« on: September 06, 2006, 04:56:32 am »
I have a stuffed Spongebob that my dad got me when I left for college...I've managed to keep him intact and away from the dogs for quite awhile now! But since Laika had to stay in her kennel and she was lonely, I gave her Spongebob. Today she's feeling MUCH better, and so I let her out to play, and she decided that Spongebob needed to play, too :( First she ate the spatula out of his hand...then she tore the crabby patty out of his other. He's still pretty much intact, but I don't think he will be for long!

I love the paw on top of him in this one. She had that paw on top of him and she was just circling him.

"Do you surrender?! I'll shake you till you do!!"

"Okay, I guess I'll we can be friends...Woul d you mind if I chewed on your head a bit?"

Neapolitan Mastiff Discussions & Pictures / HELP!!!
« on: September 04, 2006, 05:55:29 am »
Okay, Laika's always been our sickly child. Especially a couple months ago, she went through a growth spurt and apparently had really bad growing pains on her back legs. She would just start freaking out every once in awhile, it looked like she was having a seizure, because she'd scream and her entire body would go stiff. We took her to the vet several times, and to three different vets, and they all did x-rays on her and complete exams and could never find anything wrong. They just said that she was having growing pains, and they were scaring her, so that she was having panic attacks. Then they'd send me home with a mild antibiotic and painkiller and call it good. Thankfully, she grew out of that, or so I thought.

Yesterday she started acting like her back right hip was hurting again. She's acting the exact same way as she used to, except she's doing it way more often. This morning she started whining in her crate, so I got her out, gave her some aspirin, and after she walked around a bit, she started to act better, so I thought she was just a bit stiff or something. But a couple seconds ago she walked by and I absent-mindedly put my hand down and it BRUSHED her backside, seriously, I barely felt it, and she FREAKED out. Started whining again, retreated to the living room, and is still whining.

Is she hurt? She only acts like it hurts every once in awhile. She had been doing fine. Ugh! It's kinda one of those situations where if we take her to the ER, a few bills are going to have to wait. She already has an appointment tomorrow to get spayed, but I just don't know if she can wait that long. All the vets always told me she acted fine when I wasn't around. They said she was just trying to get attention and I was worried and encouraging it. But I've been trying my best to act normal and not encourage it....I just don't know!! Help!!

Anything Non-Dog Related / Bunnies?
« on: September 02, 2006, 10:14:42 am »
I want a bunny. SO says no. Apparently the few friends he's known who got bunnies couldn't stand them after they hit maturity. He says they become destructive. Is this true? I've always heard they're just like cats most of the time.

Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / Kingsley and his crate
« on: September 01, 2006, 05:00:42 pm »
Kingsley loves his crate. But I'm starting to think he does a little too much. As soon as the sun sets, if Justin or I even start to walk down the hall, he zips in front of us and goes into his crate. And that's where he stays. Nothing will get him out, not even a trail of treats. He also refuses to look at us or Laika. It doesn't even matter if he's obviously not tired at all. Tonight him and Laika were in the middle of hyper-mode when I went to the bedroom to put on a sweater. I looked over and there was Kingsley, huddled in his crate, and that's where he still is. Once Justin and I fall asleep, he gets out and sleeps by the door, but if we wake up he goes right back to his crate, without us telling him to. If it's early in the morning when we wake up, we have to say "Good morning!" to get him out, but if it's after 7 or so he'll be waiting at the foot of the bed, staring at us.

So I guess my question is...Is this normal? Do any of your dogs love their crates THIS much? Is this even a good behavior? I keep getting nervous because I don't know if even an emergency would get him out of that crate...

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Reversal of roles
« on: September 01, 2006, 03:57:50 am »
Date: 2006-09-01, 8:14AM EDT

(CBS) WAUKEGAN The owner of a 10-pound "toy" dog was cited over the weekend when her dog attacked an 80-pound pit bull.

Garry Laffredi was walking his 2-year-old pit bull Capone near his apartment complex Thursday when a neighbor's Pomeranian named Tiger came running at them and attacked the dog.

"(Capone's) not a bad guy. He's real friendly. He's people friendly," Laffredi said. "He loves other dogs. (But) this little Pomeranian ran out and starts biting him on the foot."

Laffredi also said Capone "loves everything."

"He walks around with the squirrels. I got ducks coming to the back door. They dont even fly away when he comes out," said Laffredi.

Pomeranians, which are classified as Toy dogs by the American Kennel Club, can be as small as three pounds and resemble a fox in appearance, generally having a bushy orange coat and pointed ears.

Laffredi said the Pomeranian bit Capone's foot hard enough "to draw blood" also managed to nick Capone on the top of the head as he tried to pull the pit bull away on a leash.

Eventually, Laffredi said, Capone "grabbed the dog and more or less set him off to the side" before the two dogs were separated.

It was not the first time Laffredi had a run-in with the 10-pound dog.

Laffredi says this was the third attack by the unleashed Tiger. He was bit in the hand two weeks ago by the Pomeranian but chose not to report it, he said.

No one answered the door at Tiger's home as CBS 2 searched for a comment, but Laffredi identified the dog at the window as Tiger. He's an owner who is proud that his powerful best friend never fought back.

"You hear nothing but bad about pits, but it's the way you bring them up," he said.

Waukegan animal warden Tina Fragassi said she was not surprised when her office fielded the report about Thursday's attack.

"They stand their ground, those little dogs," she said.

"My mother had one at one time. They're cute little dogs, but they can be nasty," :Laffredi said. "Sometimes the little dogs are meaner than the big ones."

The Pomeranian's owner, who declined to comment, was cited with failure to prevent a dog bite, owning a dog running at large, not possessing a dog license, and not having updated rabies shots.

Each citation comes with a $25 fine, Fragassi said.

Food Discussion & Information / Fun with peanut butter :)
« on: August 31, 2006, 05:05:37 pm »
The best part about finishing a jar of peanut butter is letting the dogs lick the jar clean  ;D I tell myself it's helping their problem-solving skills.

Kingsley grabbed it first:

And then Laika got ahold of it:

(she couldn't quite figure it out at first, so she just tried eating the jar)

When she figured it out, she got every last bit of p.b. out of there!!

Behavior, Housebreaking, Obedience / Cesar Millan
« on: August 31, 2006, 06:49:10 am »
From today's NY Times:


With a compelling personal story as the illegal immigrant made good because of his uncanny ability to understand dogs, Cesar Millan has taken the world of canine behavior — or rather misbehavior — by storm. He has the top-rated program, “Dog Whisperer,” on the National Geographic Channel, a best-selling book and a devoted following, and he has been the subject of several glowing magazine articles.

He is even preparing to release his own “Illusion” collar and leash set, named for his wife and designed to better allow people to walk their dogs the “Cesar way” — at close heel, under strict control.

Essentially, National Geographic and Cesar Millan have cleverly repackaged and promoted a simplistic view of the dog’s social structure and constructed around it a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach to dog training. In Mr. Millan’s world, dog behavioral problems result from a failure of the human to be the “pack leader,” to dominate the dog (a wolf by any other name) completely.

While Mr. Millan rejects hitting and yelling at dogs during training, his confrontationa l methods include physical and psychological intimidation, like finger jabs, choke collars, extended sessions on a treadmill and what is called flooding, or overwhelming the animal with the thing it fears. Compared with some training devices still in use — whips and cattle prods, for example — these are mild, but combined with a lack of positive reinforcement or rewards, they place Mr. Millan firmly in a long tradition of punitive dog trainers.

Mr. Millan brings his pastiche of animal behaviorism and pop psychology into millions of homes a week. He’s a charming, one-man wrecking ball directed at 40 years of progress in understanding and shaping dog behavior and in developing nonpunitive, reward-based training programs, which have led to seeing each dog as an individual, to understand what motivates it, what frightens it and what its talents and limitations are. Building on strengths and working around and through weaknesses, these trainers and specialists in animal behavior often work wonders with their dogs, but it takes time.

Mr. Millan supposedly delivers fast results. His mantra is “exercise, discipline, affection,” where discipline means “rules, boundaries, limitations.” Rewards are absent and praise scarce, presumably because they will upset the state of calm submission Mr. Millan wants in his dogs. Corrections abound as animals are forced to submit or face their fear, even if doing so panics them.

Mr. Millan builds his philosophy from a simplistic conception of the dog’s “natural” pack, controlled by a dominant alpha animal (usually male). In his scheme, that leader is the human, which leads to the conclusion that all behavior problems in dogs derive from the failure of the owner or owners to dominate. (Conveniently, by this logic, if Mr. Millan’s intervention doesn’t produce lasting results, it is the owner’s fault.)

Women are the worst offenders in his world. In one of the outtakes included in the four-DVD set of the first season of “Dog Whisperer,” Mr. Millan explains that a woman is “the only species that is wired different from the rest.” And a “woman always applies affection before discipline,” he says. “Man applies discipline then affection, so we’re more psychological than emotional. All animals follow dominant leaders; they don’t follow lovable leaders.”

Mr. Millan’s sexism is laughable; his ethology is outdated.

The notion of the “alpha pack leader” dominating all other pack members is derived from studies of captive packs of unrelated wolves and thus bears no relationship to the social structure of natural packs, according to L. David Mech, one of the world’s leading wolf experts. In the wild, the alpha wolves are merely the breeding pair, and the pack is generally comprised of their juvenile offspring and pups.

“The typical wolf pack,” Dr. Mech wrote in The Canadian Journal of Zoology in 1999, “is a family, with the adult parents guiding the activities of a group in a division-of-labor system.” In a natural wolf pack, “dominance contests with other wolves are rare, if they exist at all,” he writes.

That’s a far cry from the dominance model that Mr. Millan attributes to the innate need of dogs by way of wolves.

Unlike their wolf forebears, dogs exist in human society. They have been selectively bred for 15,000 or more years to live with people. Studies have shown that almost from birth they are attentive to people, and that most are eager to please, given proper instruction and encouragement.

But sometimes the relationship goes very wrong, and it is time to call on a professional.

Aggression is perhaps the most significant of the behavioral problems that may afflict more than 20 percent of the nation’s 65 million dogs, because it can lead to injury and death. Mr. Millan often treats aggression by forcing the dog to exercise extensively on a treadmill, by asserting his authority over the dog by rolling it on its back in the “alpha rollover,” and through other forms of intimidation, including exposure to his pack of dogs.

Forcefully rolling a big dog on its back was once recommended as a way to establish dominance, but it is now recognized as a good way to get bitten. People are advised not to try it. In fact, many animal behaviorists believe that in the long run meeting aggression with aggression breeds more aggression.

More important, aggression often has underlying medical causes that might not be readily apparent — hip dysplasia or some other hidden physical ailment that causes the dog to bite out of pain; hereditary forms of sudden rage that require a medical history and genealogy to diagnose; inadequate blood flow to the brain or a congenital brain malformation that produces aggression and can only be uncovered through a medical examination. Veterinary behaviorists, having found that many aggressive dogs suffer from low levels of serotonin, have had success in treating such dogs with fluoxetine (the drug better known as Prozac).

Properly treating aggression, phobias, anxiety and fears from the start can literally save time and money. Mr. Millan’s quick fix might make for good television and might even produce lasting results in some cases. But it flies in the face of what professional animal behaviorists — either trained and certified veterinarians or ethologists — have learned about normal and abnormal behavior in dogs.

Published: August 31, 2006

Games & Jokes / What breed of dog are you?
« on: August 29, 2006, 07:31:53 am »

Click on "Game" on the far left-hand side.

I'm a German Spitz!

Neapolitan Mastiff Discussions & Pictures / Laika on the leash
« on: August 28, 2006, 06:03:54 am »
Okay, Laika and Kingsley are basically inseparable. Actually, Kingsley doesn't really mind when he's away from her, but she absolutely can't stand it. But I absolutely can't handle both of them on a walk together. They both pull and drive me crazy. So I started working on them both separately, and I got Kingsley to where he walks perfectly...di rectly beside me, doesn't get distracted, etc. Laika, also, walks perfectly...wh en she's alone. But as soon as I try to walk them both, she goes crazy. Even if Kingsley is directly beside me and minding very well, she tries to pull me everywhere. I don't understand why she thinks she needs to be the leader of the pack, but only if Kingsley is around. Is she just trying to prove to Kingsley that she's top dog? She also gets EXTREMELY jealous of other dogs at the dog park. If Kingsley and another dog are playing, she just watches for awhile, but pretty soon she decides that enough is enough and she gets in between them and starts barking. Do I just have a very dominant dog on my hands? Ever since she was a puppy I've done all sorts of dominance exercises with her. Justin just says that she's going through her rebellious phase and we're going to have to step it up on the discipline. Any suggestions?

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