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  1. braffin's Avatar
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    Wink Doggie talk: Need Help?

    My dogs are first and foremost my pets. But several years ago I got my first Keeshond. They look like a small Samoyed but in blacks and grays with black spectacles around their eyes. They're of Dutch origin, look like the Nordic type dog I like the looks of but without the eye-to-the-horizon independence. Believe me, this is a breed that needs to be involved with its people. They love playing with us.


    My Casey was brilliant. I called him my little man in a furry suit. But because of his smarts, he was always a step ahead of me. So we went to obedience class. Hence began my foray into the most rewarding hobby I've ever had. Obedience competition. I got to travel around the lace>Midwestlace> to shows, made tons of new friends, and trained with some of best trainers in the country. I even got myself a book case full of trophies out of the deal. But best of all was doing this all with my beloved Casey.

    As a result, my next dog, a collie named Fawn also trained for competition. Though injury kept her from acquiring titles beyond the novice level, she loved the attention training got her. She would have done anything for me, including risked further injury had I chosen to treat her with the drugs that would have enabled her to take jumps without ending up limping. But, she was my pet first and foremost.

    Then came my second Keeshond, a tomboy of a little girl fittingly named Copy. I say fittingly because of the unisex nature of the name and because it’s short for copyright and me being a writer… Copy made it through obedience training, but my focus was drifting away from competition and back to writing. Besides, Copy seemed to enjoy her Attention Deficit Disorder more than the stringent confines of walking at my side in proper heeling position. She was much better suited to the free-form nature of agility. Hey, it’s a lot more fun. You can talk to your dog as you maneuver the course and she gets to run. We didn’t go for the championship level. Not enough discipline on either of our parts. We just had fun. Pet first.

    The point of this is, if anyone has issues with a doggie behavior, I might be able to help. I’m by no means The Dog Whisperer. But I did seminars with Dr. Michael Fox, one of the foremost animal behaviorists in the country and studied behavioral psyche in college. I’ve always been fascinated with why we do the things we do. Cause and effect. Motivation/Response. Perfect training for a writer. Especially when dealing with character development.

    BTW, my last book, The Mating Game, is set against the world of dog showing. Look for it at Amazon, B&N, or your local book store.

    Okay, that’s it for my shameless self-promotion. I really would love to hear about your pets, not just dogs. And I’ll do my best to answer any questions “doggie” bad habits or basic training techniques to create a well mannered dog. Sorry, I haven’t a clue how to teach your iguana sit and stay or your canary to fetch.
  2. Robbibird3's Avatar
    Reading: Lord of the Fading Lands by CL Wilson
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    Loved hearing about your dogs. I have two rescues both mixed breeds. Lady who is almost 11 years old, looks exactly like a miniature shepherd but is slightly smaller than a Sheltie. My soon to be 8 year old is a cross between a hound and labrador. He's a big boy with a loud baying bark. He came with the name Shadow after his fifth birthday he started suffering from seizures. He thinks he is a cat and just loves to lay on the top of the couch. I just wish I knew how to control his whining.

    Robin
  3. braffin's Avatar
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    Hi Robin--I love that your big boy Shadow lays on the top of the couch. Both my Keeshonds liked to watch the world from the couch back, but only when they were pups. I've always wondered if that breed was part cat.

    Did Shadow always whine or has it come on in recent years? With older dogs, the first thing I think of is arthritis pain. You could try giving him coated aspirin for a week or so and see if it stops. Make sure it is COATED so it doesn't upset his stomach. Do NOT give him Ibuprofen. Dosage depends on his weight. Your druggist could advise you on that. I gave my 80# collie one adult pill. A telltale sign of pain is a dog licking at a joint to th point of discoloring his fur. If he can't reach the painful joint because it's a shoulder, he'll lick somewhere lower on his leg.

    If the whining is behavioral, start by looking for a reason for his whining. Does he do it at just certain times like when a family member is due home, or under specific conditions like when there's a lot of activity or noise? Does giving him attention stop the whining? The answer to that last one's easy. He's doing it to get attention. One of the easiest "corrections" a person can make with a misbehaving dog it to spritz them with water when they act in a way you don't want them to act. Though I wouldn't call Shadow's whining misbehaving. If you think it's a behavioral problem, feel free to give me more details and I'll see what I can figure out.

    Barbara Raffin
    www.BarbaraRaffin.com
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    #4

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    Both my dogs are rescue dogs. They follow me everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. I'm never lonely.
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  5. Robbibird3's Avatar
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    Barbara,
    Shadow has always whined. I don't think it is behavioral. I know that he whines when he is frustrated, excited because Daddy is outside mowing the lawn and he is inside, when Lady goes into heat once a year. Hubby and I are both disabled and on a government income so we couldn't get either dog fixed so I am so thankful that there is a height difference and Shadow can't properly penetrate. Thunder and lightning storms set him off as well. Hubby also says that when I go out and leave him behind he whines a well so I suppose he has separation anxiety issues. The only medication that I give him is for his seizures at this point in time. Soon I will have to think about joint support for Lady because there are times that she snaps at us while petting her and since Shadow is such a big boy he will probably need that support as well. I did discover dog bones with glucosamine and chondroitin in them that I could probably try and see if that helped with possible arthritis issues. Lady i have noticed also has started whining when Daddy is away I'm not sure if she does it when I'm away.

    I do admit that the whining does get on my nerves and most of the time giving them attention does stop it for awhile with Shadow. I've also noticed that his seizures effect him, I actually believe that they scare him and confuse him because if he has had one while we are away from the house he sometimes growls at us when we return. I believe it is either because he has forgotten who we are or that he didn't like going through it without one of us sitting on the floor with him and making him stay in one place because he doesn't always settle into one place he tries to wander around. I think when we are beside him softly talking to him that it keeps him calmer and aware that we are there. But I still don't understand why he was fine until after his fifth birthday but I have read where beagles are noted for this health problem and it does start after their fifth year.

    Thanks for chatting with me about my furkids. Their the only ones that arrived in our life despite all that baby making practice we did.

    Robin
  6. HywelaLyn's Avatar
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    Hi braffin. I've had dogs for most of my life, including a Cardiganshire Corgi, two beagles and a Shiba Inu. I've loved them all and been heartbroken when they eventually passed over the Rainbow Bridge. I now have a Jack Russell called Bouncer, who's mentioned elsewhere in this forum. He's a rescue and has been ill treated in the past, and had a broken hip and pelvis which was allowed to heal without a vet, so he's on permanent medication. Apart from his hind feet facing outwards so that he sashays like a little penguin, you'd never know, because a sweeter more loving dog it would be hard to find, and he's full of life and mischief. I think in this picture, he's wondering if he sits on the'growbag' for long enough if he might grow to be a Saint Bernard!

    Bouncer on Growbag.jpg
    Lyn -
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  7. braffin's Avatar
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    If it wasn't that I love the Keeshond personality so much, I'd probably go the rescue route. My hat's off to anyone who adopts a dog. Good for you!
  8. braffin's Avatar
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    Hywela--Bouner is adorable. Perfect name for a Jack Russel. I take my hat off to you, too, for adopting your dog. Sounds like your special needs dog was rescued by the perfect pet people. I love success stories.
  9. braffin's Avatar
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    Robin--Often times issues like seizures come on later in life. It's not unusual. The only other suggestion I have about the whining would be to ignore it completely or give them a diversion instead of attention. Attention rewards the whining. A diversion can't be a reward like a treat. If they have favorit toys, try them. Or give them a command that will distract them from 'Dad' outside, something that will move them away from the window. Though the whinng might be based in the physical, there are some learned behaviors...like whining gets me attention. In any case, it sounds like you are doing right by your furry babies. Try not to let the whining get to you.
  10. HywelaLyn's Avatar
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    braffin I can thoroughly recommend 'adoption' from a rescue centre, especially an adult dog. The extra care that Bouncer needs is minimal apart from the lay-out for his medication, and I'm rewarded a hundred times over by his love and devotion, and the sheer joy he brings to my life!
    Lyn -
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