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 Post subject: Re: What to do about an unreasonable neighbor in Woodside
Post Posted: Jul 12, 2012 9:30 pm 
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A new neighbor moved in buying a house "dirt cheap". Now she thinks she is the "queen" of the neighborhood, running around making her neighbors miserable by telling them their dogs can't be dogs. She wants to force them to debark their pets just for barking during the day at times. Dogs bark, that's what they do when they see things. She is an evil, lonely, angry person looking to make other people miserable like herself. Isn't it cruel to de bark a dog for occasionally acting like a "dog"?


I don't think you or any of your neighbors have anything to worry about. This person can not make you or anyone debark their dogs. She will have to deal with the fact she lives in the mountains and there are dogs along with many other animals up here. Like de-clawing a cat, debarking a dog is one of the many unnecessary alterations some people opt to do to their dogs for various reasons. While it is not against the law or seen as a type of abuse in this country , it is seen as just that in European countries. Along with docking tails, cropping ears and removing dewclaws. However, if a dog is barking for a considerable amount of time day or night on a daily basis, a neighbor can complain and the owner of the dog can be fined and required to quiet the dog. At that point the owner has to make a choice on how to proceed. There are several different types of bark control collars and devices available, along with the simple solution of not leaving the dog out when it starts to bark. On going barking can be a sign of a stressed animal, one that is bored and neglected, also obviously unsupervised.

I have dogs, they bark, but it is my responsibility to control the situation and manage my dogs while keeping the peace with my neighbors as a very important part of being a good dog owner. And, NO I would never consider debarking my dog a solution, ever.

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 Post subject: Fear/Defensive Aggression
Post Posted: Aug 3, 2012 5:21 pm 
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Hi, Natalie. You met Drake when he was a patient at Mountain Paws. He is the same age as your perfectly-behaved dog (about 18 months); they sniffed each other and you saw that Drake was not good with other dogs. He is not good with people outside the family, either, and I have not been successful at changing that. He is always fearful/defensive when he sees someone he does not know well. His hackles go up and he barks very defensively. If the person does not directly approach him he often is okay, and if they continue to go up to him and pet him he is also okay, though he will repeat the behavior ten minutes later if they approach again. I ask people to ignore him. It is so embarrassing. He has never bitten anyone but I am not confident since he is so suspicious of people. He is wonderful with the family. I am not a very strict person with him, and do give him lots (too much?)of affection. He has never been mistreated in any way since we got him at about 6-8 weeks of age. He was picked up by the Humane Society and spent only a night or two at the shelter. We don't know his breed-markings like a German Shepherd, Rottie or Doberman but a small frame (55lbs). He sees daily when we go on runs, but has little direct contact otherwise. I brought him to a picnic yesterday and felt like maybe it was rude to bring an unfriendly dog. Please help!


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 Post subject: Re: Fear/Defensive Aggression
Post Posted: Aug 4, 2012 12:01 pm 
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shapeshifter wrote:
Hi, Natalie. You met Drake when he was a patient at Mountain Paws. He is the same age as your perfectly-behaved dog (about 18 months); they sniffed each other and you saw that Drake was not good with other dogs. He is not good with people outside the family, either, and I have not been successful at changing that. He is always fearful/defensive when he sees someone he does not know well. His hackles go up and he barks very defensively. If the person does not directly approach him he often is okay, and if they continue to go up to him and pet him he is also okay, though he will repeat the behavior ten minutes later if they approach again. I ask people to ignore him. It is so embarrassing. He has never bitten anyone but I am not confident since he is so suspicious of people. He is wonderful with the family. I am not a very strict person with him, and do give him lots (too much?)of affection. He has never been mistreated in any way since we got him at about 6-8 weeks of age. He was picked up by the Humane Society and spent only a night or two at the shelter. We don't know his breed-markings like a German Shepherd, Rottie or Doberman but a small frame (55lbs). He sees daily when we go on runs, but has little direct contact otherwise. I brought him to a picnic yesterday and felt like maybe it was rude to bring an unfriendly dog. Please help!


I seem to remember you and Drake, and yes, he has a challenging issue. When socializing a dog it is important we can recognize behaviors worth praising and the ones we need to redirect and stop. It is imperative you get a handle on his behaviors sooner then later, you can do this with redirection and then praise. You will have to get him more focused on you then his surroundings, and start by teaching him to look to you when he is unsure of the situation. At no time should he ever be put into a position he will act defensive, and when he does he needs to be removed immediately.

Sometimes when we are unsure of our dogs actions or intentions, we send the wrong signal to them. They expect us to be a leader for them, if we are not acting like a leader and are being uncertain ourselves this can communicate to the dog the wrong message, leading them to think they need to be the leader. Some dogs don't handle this very well and proceed to make wrong choices. (like barking, biting, lunging on the leash) It can be the catch 22 situation... the dog is scared, you are scared of what the dog will do, he becomes more scared and behaves exactly as you thought he would thus confirming both your fears.

I would love to help you, but I honestly do not think I can give you adequate support this way. Please, call me. 720-272-1668

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 Post subject: I need help taking my puppy places.
Post Posted: Sep 10, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Hello! Thanks for doing this!

I have an 8 month old Border Colllie/Blue Heeler/Aussie/Terrier mix. She is a wonderful dog and easily trained. I have had dogs all my life and she by far the easiest to train - having a combination of intelligence and desire to please. We have bonded very solidly and I love her alot.

The problem is that she doesn't like strangers and (even though she loves me and my family - she would never bite us) she can be agressive towards people that she doesn't know - only if they put their hand toward her to pet her. This becomes an issue when I take her places, such as a walk at the park or to run errands. I love to have her with me, but people always want to pet her and will come up to her without asking first. She is a friendly, stable dog but she loves to play and doesn't particularly like being petted. Even when I try to pet her, she wiggles away. She tolerates me petting her, but cleary doesn't enjoy it as much as she enjoys hiking, frisbee playing, leaning new tricks, etc. She is an active dog and likes doing and learning. Sitting and being petted is boring and annoying to her.

I got her at 8 weeks old - her mother had died giving birth to the litter and so whe was hand raised by humans from birth. I would have thought this would teach her to love humans, but not so. She loves her family and doesn't want anyone else. I used to take her everywhere with me and people petted her everywhere we went. After awhile, I started noticing that she wasn't enjoying the pets and that it made her tired and stressed. I started asking people not to touch her, but many people do it anyway. Eventually she started growling at people who were approaching her. I am afraid that this will escalate into biting, even though at this time, she has never bitten anyone, yet. I have stopped taking her places with me because of this. It is a shame, because she is a great companion and loves to be with me, just as I love to be with her.

She never lunges at anyone who isn't trying to come toward her, but she is strong and wants her space to be respected. I don't blame her for that, but she does need to learn not to growl at people who are only trying to pet her. I try very hard to warn people who come toward us but sometimes they are putting their hands out before I can see it coming - especially children.

Is there any remedy for this - short of making her stay at home at all times? Having visitors isn't a problem because if I expect them I can warn them before they come over and they know how to approach her. When they get here, I just quietly tell her "settle", and the person approaches respectfully and allows her to sniff them. Then she wags and invites them to give her a quick pet, after which whe likes to be left alone to sit quietly at our feet. She simply doesn't like overbearing fawning, petting, talking, etc. But she loves to play with frisbee and if anyone will do that with her, she is their friend for life and will allow pets even if she doesn't particularly enjoy it! She just wants to get to know the person who is touching her first. I do fear that if I cannot figure out how to nip this behaviour in the bud she will escalate to full blown agressiveness. The other day, I was taking her for a walk around the neighborhood and she growled at another dog who was trying to sniff her. She doesn't pull at the leash or lung, but she doesn't want any person or dog to approach her, even in a friendly manner.

Thanks for any help you can suggest. She is such a exceptionally good dog and this is her only behaviour problem.

Her only other issue regarding going places is that she gets carsick and it is getting worse. I am hoping she will grow out of it, but was hoping to find a remedy that will help her overcome her nausea and vomiting in the car. She has been to the vet about this, but he couldn't find anything wrong with her and suggested she would outgrow it. I do sometimes wonder if the reason she is so cranky to people when she is out and about might be realated to the fact that she is nauseated and out of sorts.

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 Post subject: Re: I need help taking my puppy places.
Post Posted: Sep 12, 2012 10:25 am 
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Rubicon wrote:
Hello! Thanks for doing this!

I have an 8 month old Border Colllie/Blue Heeler/Aussie/Terrier mix. She is a wonderful dog and easily trained. I have had dogs all my life and she by far the easiest to train - having a combination of intelligence and desire to please. We have bonded very solidly and I love her alot.

The problem is that she doesn't like strangers and (even though she loves me and my family - she would never bite us) she can be agressive towards people that she doesn't know - only if they put their hand toward her to pet her. This becomes an issue when I take her places, such as a walk at the park or to run errands. I love to have her with me, but people always want to pet her and will come up to her without asking first. She is a friendly, stable dog but she loves to play and doesn't particularly like being petted. Even when I try to pet her, she wiggles away. She tolerates me petting her, but cleary doesn't enjoy it as much as she enjoys hiking, frisbee playing, leaning new tricks, etc. She is an active dog and likes doing and learning. Sitting and being petted is boring and annoying to her.

I got her at 8 weeks old - her mother had died giving birth to the litter and so whe was hand raised by humans from birth. I would have thought this would teach her to love humans, but not so. She loves her family and doesn't want anyone else. I used to take her everywhere with me and people petted her everywhere we went. After awhile, I started noticing that she wasn't enjoying the pets and that it made her tired and stressed. I started asking people not to touch her, but many people do it anyway. Eventually she started growling at people who were approaching her. I am afraid that this will escalate into biting, even though at this time, she has never bitten anyone, yet. I have stopped taking her places with me because of this. It is a shame, because she is a great companion and loves to be with me, just as I love to be with her.

She never lunges at anyone who isn't trying to come toward her, but she is strong and wants her space to be respected. I don't blame her for that, but she does need to learn not to growl at people who are only trying to pet her. I try very hard to warn people who come toward us but sometimes they are putting their hands out before I can see it coming - especially children.

Is there any remedy for this - short of making her stay at home at all times? Having visitors isn't a problem because if I expect them I can warn them before they come over and they know how to approach her. When they get here, I just quietly tell her "settle", and the person approaches respectfully and allows her to sniff them. Then she wags and invites them to give her a quick pet, after which whe likes to be left alone to sit quietly at our feet. She simply doesn't like overbearing fawning, petting, talking, etc. But she loves to play with frisbee and if anyone will do that with her, she is their friend for life and will allow pets even if she doesn't particularly enjoy it! She just wants to get to know the person who is touching her first. I do fear that if I cannot figure out how to nip this behaviour in the bud she will escalate to full blown agressiveness. The other day, I was taking her for a walk around the neighborhood and she growled at another dog who was trying to sniff her. She doesn't pull at the leash or lung, but she doesn't want any person or dog to approach her, even in a friendly manner.

Thanks for any help you can suggest. She is such a exceptionally good dog and this is her only behaviour problem.

Her only other issue regarding going places is that she gets carsick and it is getting worse. I am hoping she will grow out of it, but was hoping to find a remedy that will help her overcome her nausea and vomiting in the car. She has been to the vet about this, but he couldn't find anything wrong with her and suggested she would outgrow it. I do sometimes wonder if the reason she is so cranky to people when she is out and about might be realated to the fact that she is nauseated and out of sorts.


It is hard to tell by what you are saying if the issues are from fear, or of misunderstanding on her part. How you have responded to her behavior is very important too. If her "dislike" of being approached by strangers (dog or human) was fear based, protective, uncertainty, lack of proper socialization or is this a communication malfunction? Hard to say, I could speculate and say that the fact she was raised by humans did not give her the dog on dog training and experience she would have gotten from her mother and siblings, there for she did not learn the basic communication skills to understand other dogs natural body language. At the same time, she may have a general misunderstanding of human direction and leadership because she never learned the natural order of the pack. So what you have is a situation, that while she is comfortable with you in non-social situations and is "obedient" ( I would say as a result of being raised by humans and not knowing to be any other way.) As soon as you put her in a situation with other dogs and humans that are not part of her "pack" she is incapable of understanding their intentions you see her aloof, or assertive response depending on how close the dog or human get.

From what you said, you tried to make her more comfortable by acknowledging her stress, even though she was accepting the pressure and removed that pressure (people petting her) thus (with good intentions I realize) you encouraged her fears instead of helping her cope with them. In life, we can not grow and learn with out stress and pressure, without going out side of our comfort zones. She needed those situations to learn other people and other dogs exist and must be accepted as part of polite society, even if they are not the people we may choose to allow into our homes.

So, to fix this issue and to help your pup not be stressed you have to reintroduce her to society. You are going to need to take away the irrational fears and turn them into trust of your leadership. You may have to start with a basket muzzle (you can get them at a local pet supply place) and work with her, walk her up to strangers and make her look to you, feed her (food is calming), not to much touching but lots of verbal praise. If she lets a person pet her with out growling praise her and walk her away. If she growls or snaps, correct her with a sharp "leave it" DO NOT walk her away, have the person try again. As soon as she allows the petting, praise her and walk her away. As she progresses, the petting sessions will be longer, what you are looking for is her acceptance of the kind gestures. As a result you are is correcting her incorrect response to pressure and praising her acceptance to that pressure, her ultimate reward being she can leave when they are done. The goal being her understanding that there are situations, that require her to be accepting and patient. When she is at home with you work on the same thing if she walks away before you are done call her back, have her sit with you longer you determine when she can leave. Keep petting her, she has to accept kind gestures from you fully, her understanding is she is in charge and this is flowing into the other situations with other people. She needs to know you are in charge, you will let her leave when you decide.

Let me know how it goes and please, feel free to call me if you have any questions. 720-272-1668

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 Post subject: Re: I need help taking my puppy places.
Post Posted: Sep 12, 2012 11:08 am 
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Natalie wrote:
It is hard to tell by what you are saying if the issues are from fear, or of misunderstanding on her part. How you have responded to her behavior is very important too. If her "dislike" of being approached by strangers (dog or human) was fear based, protective, uncertainty, lack of proper socialization or is this a communication malfunction? Hard to say, I could speculate and say that the fact she was raised by humans did not give her the dog on dog training and experience she would have gotten from her mother and siblings, there for she did not learn the basic communication skills to understand other dogs natural body language. At the same time, she may have a general misunderstanding of human direction and leadership because she never learned the natural order of the pack. So what you have is a situation, that while she is comfortable with you in non-social situations and is "obedient" ( I would say as a result of being raised by humans and not knowing to be any other way.) As soon as you put her in a situation with other dogs and humans that are not part of her "pack" she is incapable of understanding their intentions you see her aloof, or assertive response depending on how close the dog or human get.

From what you said, you tried to make her more comfortable by acknowledging her stress, even though she was accepting the pressure and removed that pressure (people petting her) thus (with good intentions I realize) you encouraged her fears instead of helping her cope with them. In life, we can not grow and learn with out stress and pressure, without going out side of our comfort zones. She needed those situations to learn other people and other dogs exist and must be accepted as part of polite society, even if they are not the people we may choose to allow into our homes.

So, to fix this issue and to help your pup not be stressed you have to reintroduce her to society. You are going to need to take away the irrational fears and turn them into trust of your leadership. You may have to start with a basket muzzle (you can get them at a local pet supply place) and work with her, walk her up to strangers and make her look to you, feed her (food is calming), not to much touching but lots of verbal praise. If she lets a person pet her with out growling praise her and walk her away. If she growls or snaps, correct her with a sharp "leave it" DO NOT walk her away, have the person try again. As soon as she allows the petting, praise her and walk her away. As she progresses, the petting sessions will be longer, what you are looking for is her acceptance of the kind gestures. As a result you are is correcting her incorrect response to pressure and praising her acceptance to that pressure, her ultimate reward being she can leave when they are done. The goal being her understanding that there are situations, that require her to be accepting and patient. When she is at home with you work on the same thing if she walks away before you are done call her back, have her sit with you longer you determine when she can leave. Keep petting her, she has to accept kind gestures from you fully, her understanding is she is in charge and this is flowing into the other situations with other people. She needs to know you are in charge, you will let her leave when you decide.

Let me know how it goes and please, feel free to call me if you have any questions. 720-272-1668


Thanks! I don't know why I didn't think of that myself. I will start taking her out with me again and be mentally prepared to make it a training session - treats and all. ~Linda~

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Post Posted: Oct 30, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Do you know any good trainers in Aurora for Aussie I'm looking for a friend
Thanks!

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Post Posted: Nov 2, 2012 10:22 am 
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trotingalong wrote:
Do you know any good trainers in Aurora for Aussie I'm looking for a friend
Thanks!


I would suggest she give http://www.karmadogtrainingdenver.com/ a call! :-)

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Post Posted: Nov 5, 2012 9:20 am 
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Hey Natalie! I have a question for you... My 7mo old Berner, Perry, sleeps in a crate at night. He is really good at letting us know when he has to go outside at night by giving a little howl/bark. Lately, he has been waking up and deciding he doesn't want to sleep in the crate any longer. He is giving me his "I have to go outside notification", but instead of having to go outside the little stinker refuses to go outside and then refuses to go back into his crate. I don't want to ignore the "I have to go outside", but then I also want him to stay in his crate (especially at 3am). I don't "trust" him yet to have free roaming in the house while the rest of us are sleeping. Any ideas? I try to lure him back into his crate with his favorite treats, but he won't have any of it and I end up pulling and pushing him in there and then feel bad for doing it...


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Post Posted: Nov 5, 2012 10:11 am 
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when I'm transitioning my foster dogs from crate to not crate, I have an inbetween stage - I block off my bedroom so they have access to the bed but not beyond the bedroom - and I put blankets, towels and pee pads on the floor(easier to wash than the carpet). and it actually works!
I also started this routine by letting the dogs out early in the morning (when I have to get up too, ) and when i go back to bed then if they peed outside, then they can be out of the crate too -

now the crate phase is over and out of the bedroom for these two - but i still have blankets/towels on the floor just in case and still blocked in bedroom with a gate i can step over -


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Post Posted: Nov 5, 2012 12:41 pm 
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First, make sure to let him out just before you go to bed. Actually go out with him to be sure he did his business. Then put a treat in his crate so that he will go in without a fight. Try feeding him his meals in his crate, as well. Then if he starts crying late at nite, do not acknowledge him at all. This may have to be done for a few nights, until he gets the idea.

Unfortunately, once you woke up and took him out of the crate, the first time...he's trained you. :hugegrin: So, now he thinks every time he fusses, you take him out of the crate, it's play time. It's also the age where they start testing you.

As WildGoose2 has mentioned, you can also start allowing more "freedom" by making sure the pup has gone outside, then bring him back in allowing him time outside of the crate. If you do feed him in the crate, leave the door open, as long as he stays there and eats.


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Post Posted: Nov 5, 2012 1:23 pm 
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"I try to lure him back into his crate with his favorite treats..."

I'm reminded of old advice from another context entirety: if you were sure to get warm milk and love in the middle of the night, wouldn't you wake up for it? :hugegrin: The bottom line on that page was, try being much less welcoming in the night than you will be at 7 AM, assuming you're convinced to get up at all.


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