Author Topic: New Dog in Northern Virginia  (Read 13695 times)

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Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2018, 12:41 AM »
Greg, thanks for sharing that.

Offline Tinker

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2018, 11:36 AM »
My (our) most recent dog ws the Golden Rescued mentioned in a previous post. within a couple of weeks of bringing her into our family, I noticed that she ws walking a little oddly. We took her to our vet and he confirmed my suspicion that she had hip dispaysia.  He said it was severe enough that he wanted to bring in a specialist the look at her.  The specialist wanted to break her pip in three places and put her back together. I said "NO WAY".

 read up on her problem and discovered that some times the hip will heal with scar tissue buildup in the joint if the young puppy gets plenty of exercise.  We live in a small neighborhood where many dogs runn free in their yards.  I just let Maggie go where she pleased.  By that time, she was trained to come when called (I thought).  When i called her on the second day of her freedom, she did not come.  i searched the neighborhood and soon discovered her running and playing with two other pups about the same age and size.  i realized, after watching a few minutes, that thepuppieswere chasing each other, but not the same two chasing only one.  They were switching off who was chasing who.  I let them play for little while and finally called Maggie.  she paid no attention.  after calling a few times, I decided to go catch her.  As I started across the lawn, she stopped but still did not come.

I walked up to her, and cuffed her very lightly on her front shoulder.  She did not cower as she had done that first night.  She just walked along beside me, head high/tail high as if to tell the world "this is MY man". From then on, she nearly always came when called. I even took her on jobs with me and we developed a pattern where-by she would be familiarized with the boundaries of the property. Once established, I could let her run free all day and she would never go out of bounds. 
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 619
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2018, 12:23 PM »
I have to admit that I am a sucker for puppy pictures.  Congrats!  What a cutie.

When you think about pups versus kids I offer the following when people ask why have adopted numerous versus having human kids:

1.  Love is unconditional

2.  If they mis-behave you can put them in a cage (crate) without penalty.

3.  No college financial planning is involved.

4.  They don't talk or text on a cell phone.

...

Peter

Good points.

Congrats!!  He’s super cute!  He will settle in in a few weeks, don’t worry.

I sure hope he settles down!  We've only had him 3 weeks and I think my wife is sick of him.  6 months until hopefully fully potty training is a long time to go!  At least he slept through most of the night last night without waking up barking.

He is a real cutie, that's the main reason why we picked him.  In hindsight, maybe we should have picked his quieter brother (who we origially wanted to begin with).  We picked Parker because he was super friendly when we first met him.

Losing the greys as we have and knowing we will lose another any day now has been tough. I just hope Rommel can continue to beat the odds as long as possible.

Sorry to hear about your greyhounds.

My (our) most recent dog ws the Golden Rescued mentioned in a previous post. within a couple of weeks of bringing her into our family, I noticed that she ws walking a little oddly. We took her to our vet and he confirmed my suspicion that she had hip dispaysia.  He said it was severe enough that he wanted to bring in a specialist the look at her.  The specialist wanted to break her pip in three places and put her back together. I said "NO WAY".

 read up on her problem and discovered that some times the hip will heal with scar tissue buildup in the joint if the young puppy gets plenty of exercise.  We live in a small neighborhood where many dogs runn free in their yards.  I just let Maggie go where she pleased.  By that time, she was trained to come when called (I thought).  When i called her on the second day of her freedom, she did not come.  i searched the neighborhood and soon discovered her running and playing with two other pups about the same age and size.  i realized, after watching a few minutes, that thepuppieswere chasing each other, but not the same two chasing only one.  They were switching off who was chasing who.  I let them play for little while and finally called Maggie.  she paid no attention.  after calling a few times, I decided to go catch her.  As I started across the lawn, she stopped but still did not come.

I walked up to her, and cuffed her very lightly on her front shoulder.  She did not cower as she had done that first night.  She just walked along beside me, head high/tail high as if to tell the world "this is MY man". From then on, she nearly always came when called. I even took her on jobs with me and we developed a pattern where-by she would be familiarized with the boundaries of the property. Once established, I could let her run free all day and she would never go out of bounds. 
Tinker


Great story.  Thanks for sharing.
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Offline Sparktrician

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2018, 01:13 PM »
We don't have kids, but I'm thinking that it's actually easier having kids than a puppy - babies aren't born with teeth and can't jump and bite!!

Then again, you don't have to worry about your dogs drinking and driving or enjoying recreational chemicals, or knocking up (or getting knocked up by) a classmate.   [scared]   I vote for dogs any day.  Dogs grow up quicker.  Dogs are more loyal.  Dogs don't try to drive their trikes down the stairs to the basement.   [big grin]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2018, 03:02 PM »
@GoingMyWay

Congrats on the new puppy.  I'm going to give you a hint on getting the young pup to stop biting.  Next time he bites or nips at you, bite his ear just until he makes a whimpering noise.  Generally you and your wife will only have to do this once each.  This trick was told to me by a vet when I was breeding German Shorthair Pointers.  Basically a young puppy gets disciplined by its mother by biting, and young dogs tend to think of humans as mom for about 1 year.  I have never had a dog try to bite me after doing this. 
Bryan

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Offline RKA

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2018, 04:26 PM »
Then again, you don't have to worry about your dogs drinking and driving or enjoying recreational chemicals, or knocking up (or getting knocked up by) a classmate. 

Well, to be fair, it's not socially acceptable to have your kids "fixed".   [wink]  As to the drinking and recreational chemicals...my dog is worse than a curious toddler or teenager.  He will eat or swallow anything (except medicine)...completely senseless. 
-Raj

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2018, 05:57 PM »
We don't have kids, but I'm thinking that it's actually easier having kids than a puppy - babies aren't born with teeth and can't jump and bite!!

Then again, you don't have to worry about your dogs drinking and driving or enjoying recreational chemicals, or knocking up (or getting knocked up by) a classmate.   [scared]   I vote for dogs any day.  Dogs grow up quicker.  Dogs are more loyal.  Dogs don't try to drive their trikes down the stairs to the basement.   [big grin]

Then again, you don't have to worry about your dogs drinking and driving or enjoying recreational chemicals, or knocking up (or getting knocked up by) a classmate. 

Well, to be fair, it's not socially acceptable to have your kids "fixed".   [wink]  As to the drinking and recreational chemicals...my dog is worse than a curious toddler or teenager.  He will eat or swallow anything (except medicine)...completely senseless. 

Maybe babies are only "easier" in the short term, but not the long run.  We'd like to have kids too.

@GoingMyWay

Congrats on the new puppy.  I'm going to give you a hint on getting the young pup to stop biting.  Next time he bites or nips at you, bite his ear just until he makes a whimpering noise.  Generally you and your wife will only have to do this once each.  This trick was told to me by a vet when I was breeding German Shorthair Pointers.  Basically a young puppy gets disciplined by its mother by biting, and young dogs tend to think of humans as mom for about 1 year.  I have never had a dog try to bite me after doing this. 

I recently discovered the dog trainer Zak George.  He's apparently the most popular dog trainer on YouTube.  I also bought his book.  I think he's really great.  He's only about positive reinforcement, nothing negative so I have been trying to avoid inflicting any type of negative reinforcement and definitely no physical correction.  We're enrolled in a training class at PetSmart and the trainer told us to shout/yell "AH AAAAAH, NO" when the dog does something we don't want him to do.  The whole "positive only training" sure sounds good on paper, but I now realize (the vet also suggested) that sometimes you have to mix it up a little.  Try different approaches from different trainers.  We don't have to only listen to Zak George or only Caesar Milan or whoever.  We've since adopted the "AH AAAAH, NO!" technique since the whole redirection thing - "chew this, not that" doesn't really seem to work.  This too is having limited results.  I already tried the "ouch" and yelping when he bites me.  When I yelp he usually stops and lets go, but then goes right back to biting me.  This morning he was really excited and he bit me quite hard.  We may need to try the bite his ear trick.
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Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2018, 10:12 PM »
It does work.  A guy I used to work with got 2 dogs, they both bit him and his wife, told him this, he did it and never bit him again.  His wife wasn't thrilled with the method, so she decided not to try it.  A month later after being bit almost daily she did it, dogs never bit her again.  Good luck with the training, finding the method that works is almost as hard as the training at times.
Bryan

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Offline Tinker

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2018, 04:48 AM »
Another trick in training a puppy:  We raised a couple of Guiding Eye puppies.  One actually graduated to leading a blind man.  The second was decided to be kept for a brood mother. We whelped two litters with her. That is another long story. During training, we had to go to classes every week. I think two classes per week. We had to subject our trainees to all sorts of problems they might be faced with in the real world. One problem we found difficult to set up in class was chasing cars. Our instructor suggested that as we walked our dogs at home, or wherever, the puppy,if so inclined, would try chasing cars while on their leash. If voce command did not work, do not punish by slapping. Do not actually give the command to stop chasing a car as it whizzes past.  Just give the leash a little soak whn you know the problem is going to happen. As the puppy gets full steam to go after the car, yank on the leash and continue walking s if nothing has happened. Don't even say anything. ddon't admonish and don't praise. Every time the puppy goes after the car, do the same thing. Some dogs, it only takes one time.  Others, it might take three or four times, but they will quit very soon. Our first trainee took only a couple of sestions to break her. Our second trainee was easily trained with just he very first, and firm "NO".  Maggie was trained with the very first yanking incident.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline RKA

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2018, 10:13 AM »
Be patient, he's just a puppy, they play with their mouths, so what we perceive as biting is usually just play.  What they need to learn is not to apply pressure and it may take some time for him to understand how hard is too hard.  He's also got sharp pointy teeth, so it's not entirely his fault that even the slightest pressure is a bit too much.  A loud "OUCH" serves to startle and get his attention, then stop the play and attention for a minute. 

As they get older (4-6 months), if you don't want them being mouthy, the same technique works, just stop the play and tell them no.  But the play/attention stops for longer intervals (15 mins) as they get older.  They will learn what not to do.  Don't underestimate the reward value of play and attention.

-Raj

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2018, 10:44 AM »
It does work.  A guy I used to work with got 2 dogs, they both bit him and his wife, told him this, he did it and never bit him again.  His wife wasn't thrilled with the method, so she decided not to try it.  A month later after being bit almost daily she did it, dogs never bit her again.  Good luck with the training, finding the method that works is almost as hard as the training at times.

I kinda started to try the technique last night, but I didn't bite down hard or long enough for him to yelp.

Another trick in training a puppy:  We raised a couple of Guiding Eye puppies.  One actually graduated to leading a blind man.  The second was decided to be kept for a brood mother. We whelped two litters with her. That is another long story. During training, we had to go to classes every week. I think two classes per week. We had to subject our trainees to all sorts of problems they might be faced with in the real world. One problem we found difficult to set up in class was chasing cars. Our instructor suggested that as we walked our dogs at home, or wherever, the puppy,if so inclined, would try chasing cars while on their leash. If voce command did not work, do not punish by slapping. Do not actually give the command to stop chasing a car as it whizzes past.  Just give the leash a little soak whn you know the problem is going to happen. As the puppy gets full steam to go after the car, yank on the leash and continue walking s if nothing has happened. Don't even say anything. ddon't admonish and don't praise. Every time the puppy goes after the car, do the same thing. Some dogs, it only takes one time.  Others, it might take three or four times, but they will quit very soon. Our first trainee took only a couple of sestions to break her. Our second trainee was easily trained with just he very first, and firm "NO".  Maggie was trained with the very first yanking incident.
Tinker

Thanks for that suggestion.  Right now he's scared of cars and other loud noises.  For some reason he doesn't even like going out into the garage even with no cars in it.  I was working on luring him out into the garage with treats last week so he wouldn't be afraid of the garage.  I guess right after he overcomes his fear of cars he'll start wanting to chase them.

Be patient, he's just a puppy, they play with their mouths, so what we perceive as biting is usually just play.  What they need to learn is not to apply pressure and it may take some time for him to understand how hard is too hard.  He's also got sharp pointy teeth, so it's not entirely his fault that even the slightest pressure is a bit too much.  A loud "OUCH" serves to startle and get his attention, then stop the play and attention for a minute. 

As they get older (4-6 months), if you don't want them being mouthy, the same technique works, just stop the play and tell them no.  But the play/attention stops for longer intervals (15 mins) as they get older.  They will learn what not to do.  Don't underestimate the reward value of play and attention.

I suppose patience is key.  We've only had him 3 weeks.  Since he's a mix of 2 pretty intelligent breeds I suppose my expectations are a little bit high.  He does seem to know:

  • Look
  • Sit
  • Sit + Wait (albeit a very very brief duration and I don't walk very far away)
  • Down
  • Shake (I think I'm most happiest that he knows shake since none of our previous dogs knew that for some reason)

pretty well at home anyway.  At home is the easy part though.  Last week in training he didn't want to listen to or do anything.  I have been getting kind of conflicting stories about whether the biting is good or not.  I have read about the importance of teaching bite inhibition when they're young.  I have been letting him very gently "mouth" my hand with his teeth.  Sometimes it's very soft so I don't mind.  It seems that when he gets excited that he bites much harder.  Others say the dog should never have to actually bite you to teach bite inhibition.
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Offline Tinker

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2018, 01:12 PM »
One thing you need to do in training a puppy, especially if it is a very strong willed puppy, is be consistant with your commands.  verybody in the house should use the same commands.  If there is no consistency, the dog will be inconsistent in his reactions.

About the biting, some of the biting is the same as a child cutting teeth.

We have always supplied our puppies with chew toys. Some puppies are gentle and a toy will last a long time.  Others are very aggressive and a toy might last no more than a day or so. Wetry to observe and the supply to match the personality.

Our first puppy (a gift from a friend who's business was raising English Setters)was always very playful and loved to chew. The thing was, she mostly chewed on ME.  I always played with her every evening.  Almost all of my sweat shirts were tattered from the elbows down from her rambunctious play and biting. But she never bit my hand. My wife would play with the same puppy, and never had her sleeves torn. Not a thread. Our children, who actually came along after we acquired the puppy, could play with her for hours and she would be ever so gentle,no matter how rough the kids got.  We had to teach our children how to be gentle with the puppy, not the other way around.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2018, 01:30 PM »
Yup the consistency is also hard to maintain.  That's one of the reasons why we started off by using the clicker to praise the dog.  We haven't used that as much lately since even though we have 4 clickers, it's not always on or near us.

We have lots of chew toys of varying consistencies and textures.  Rope toys, antlers, teething nylabones, kongs, animal toys, etc.  I noticed yesterday that some of this molars are coming in the back.  Parker also discovered the fun he can have chewing on an empty plastic water bottle.  I was amazed that he was able to unscrew the cap - not once but twice.  I will say that he doesn't bite his toys very aggressively.  All of his chew toys are still whole (he did manage to break one squeaker, but they're not very robust to begin with).  I've known other dogs that absolutely destroy anything you give them - like stuffing ripped out all over the place.

I guess the dog can mostly tell who he can "boss" around and who he can't.  He likes to hump both my wife and I's legs.  I know Zak George is very much against the dominance, alpha, pack leader mentality, but both the PetSmart trainer and the vet said it sounds like he's trying to dominate us.  It seems like he might in fact trying to dominate us.
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Offline Sparktrician

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2018, 04:39 PM »
Depending on where you live in NoVa, Dulles Gateway Obedience Training Club might be a good option for you.  As for the dominance thing, give him "the buzzer" when he tries humping.  It's worked on my dogs for that and other undesirable behaviors. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline GoingMyWay

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2018, 05:17 PM »
I live just outside of the Fairfax City limits.  Do you have to become a member of the Dulles Gateway Training Club in order to get training?  Loudoun County is a little bit far, although my wife's family lives out in Leesburg.

What is "the buzzer?"

On a side note, do people have opinions on pet health insurance?  I heard that Consumer Reports did not recommend it.  I think I can get a discount on pet insurance through my employer, but I'm not sure if it's a good deal or not.  This seems like one of those situations when you need a crystal ball to know what's going to happen in the future.

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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2018, 06:24 PM »

On a side note, do people have opinions on pet health insurance?  I heard that Consumer Reports did not recommend it.  I think I can get a discount on pet insurance through my employer, but I'm not sure if it's a good deal or not.  This seems like one of those situations when you need a crystal ball to know what's going to happen in the future.

If you can afford it without reservation then get pet insurance.  Otherwise don't do it.  I have never bought it.

Now to a story:  Many years ago my vet - now retired - asked me if I was interested in buying pet insurance.  I looked at him squarely in the eyes and said "not until I have insurance."

Years later he would recount that as being one of his favorite reactions.

I loved Gene Moon as a vet.  He was old school and would do surgery versus sending you to a specialist.  He removed a fatty tumor from Zorro that was as large as three grapefruits and also a tumor from Shadow that was about 9 lbs and the size of a gallon milk jug.  His tumor was bigger than mine and he only stood knee high.  Doctor Gene was so concerned about his recovery that he came in over the weekend and sat with him in his kennel.  Later I saw him give a kiss on the forehead and a whisper in his ear.

He also prevented me from putting Mr. Moose down 18 months before his time.  I was sorry to hear he retired.

Shadow "gave" Dr. Moon a Christmas present after his surgery.  It was a Clothtique casting of Santa as a vet holding a black puppy.  I heard later that it was the first gift in 40 years as a vet from a patient and that he placed it on his piano at Christmas.

Go find a good vet.

Peter

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2018, 06:31 PM »
I live just outside of the Fairfax City limits.  Do you have to become a member of the Dulles Gateway Training Club in order to get training?  Loudoun County is a little bit far, although my wife's family lives out in Leesburg.

What is "the buzzer?"

On a side note, do people have opinions on pet health insurance?  I heard that Consumer Reports did not recommend it.  I think I can get a discount on pet insurance through my employer, but I'm not sure if it's a good deal or not.  This seems like one of those situations when you need a crystal ball to know what's going to happen in the future.


Years ago they offered classes at Frying Pan Park through Fairfax County.  That is no longer the case, although I think classes are available through Fairfax County Parks.  DGOTC was well-managed and had some good instructors.  I took one dog through the Fairfax County class, and was very disappointed.  The instructor was more into running her mouth and not so much into guiding group and individual exercises. 

The buzzer is a loud vocalization that sounds like a buzzer.  If you can't imagine that, PM me your phone number and I'll call you with a demo.   [big grin]   

I wish I'd had health insurance for one of my dogs that contracted hemangiosarcoma.  His illness was very costly. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 4944
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2018, 11:45 PM »

Go find a good vet.


Amen...that’s probably even more important than finding yourself a good doctor. You’ll probably survive to the next day...your pet, not so much.

I’m serious...

Online Cheese

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2018, 11:55 PM »
Our 2 most recent family members. Jackson and his 15 month old daughter Kylee. Which one’s which?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 09:16 AM by Cheese »

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1223
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #49 on: February 08, 2018, 12:04 AM »
Fortunately or not, there are specialists for your dog that will treat just about anything and meds are available to manage chronic conditions.  How far you go is limited by your wallet and the quality of life you expect to maintain for your pet.  Once upon a time, that wasn’t the case and you put them down. 

So as much as I hate purchasing insurance, next time we probably will.  This time we did not.  It’s cost us dearly since he was 18 months old.  He’s made it to seven (which is nearly a miracle) and still running the tab.  As long as he can still live a good life we can’t put him down.
-Raj

Offline deepcreek

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2018, 05:11 AM »
I'm sure the quality varies store by store but I would recommend taking some training classes at Petsmart.

I have trained dogs before but it helped refresh me on commands and I learned a few new things.

The biggest benefit was that my puppy learned to be comfortable around other dogs AND other people of both genders and all races.

This is more important than you might think in avoiding inadvertently raising a "prejudiced" dog.
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

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Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 619
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2018, 09:49 AM »

On a side note, do people have opinions on pet health insurance?  I heard that Consumer Reports did not recommend it.  I think I can get a discount on pet insurance through my employer, but I'm not sure if it's a good deal or not.  This seems like one of those situations when you need a crystal ball to know what's going to happen in the future.

If you can afford it without reservation then get pet insurance.  Otherwise don't do it.  I have never bought it.

Now to a story:  Many years ago my vet - now retired - asked me if I was interested in buying pet insurance.  I looked at him squarely in the eyes and said "not until I have insurance."

Years later he would recount that as being one of his favorite reactions.

I loved Gene Moon as a vet.  He was old school and would do surgery versus sending you to a specialist.  He removed a fatty tumor from Zorro that was as large as three grapefruits and also a tumor from Shadow that was about 9 lbs and the size of a gallon milk jug.  His tumor was bigger than mine and he only stood knee high.  Doctor Gene was so concerned about his recovery that he came in over the weekend and sat with him in his kennel.  Later I saw him give a kiss on the forehead and a whisper in his ear.

He also prevented me from putting Mr. Moose down 18 months before his time.  I was sorry to hear he retired.

Shadow "gave" Dr. Moon a Christmas present after his surgery.  It was a Clothtique casting of Santa as a vet holding a black puppy.  I heard later that it was the first gift in 40 years as a vet from a patient and that he placed it on his piano at Christmas.

Go find a good vet.

Peter

I guess I should check and see how much the insurance would actually cost.  I have no idea what it goes for.  Dr. Moon sounds like a great vet.
I live just outside of the Fairfax City limits.  Do you have to become a member of the Dulles Gateway Training Club in order to get training?  Loudoun County is a little bit far, although my wife's family lives out in Leesburg.

What is "the buzzer?"

On a side note, do people have opinions on pet health insurance?  I heard that Consumer Reports did not recommend it.  I think I can get a discount on pet insurance through my employer, but I'm not sure if it's a good deal or not.  This seems like one of those situations when you need a crystal ball to know what's going to happen in the future.


Years ago they offered classes at Frying Pan Park through Fairfax County.  That is no longer the case, although I think classes are available through Fairfax County Parks.  DGOTC was well-managed and had some good instructors.  I took one dog through the Fairfax County class, and was very disappointed.  The instructor was more into running her mouth and not so much into guiding group and individual exercises. 

The buzzer is a loud vocalization that sounds like a buzzer.  If you can't imagine that, PM me your phone number and I'll call you with a demo.   [big grin]   

I wish I'd had health insurance for one of my dogs that contracted hemangiosarcoma.  His illness was very costly. 

I wouldn't have liked an instructor that loved the sound of her own voice that much.  I can't stand people like that.

I think i get the idea of what it sounds like  ;).

Insurance seems best for serious illnesses.  I wonder though, would the hemangiosarcoma been covered?  I haven't done much research into pet insurance, but I seem to recall one of the main complaints being that a lot of stuff wasn't covered.


Go find a good vet.


Amen...that’s probably even more important than finding yourself a good doctor. You’ll probably survive to the next day...your pet, not so much.

I’m serious...

We picked Town and Country Animal Hospital, which is super convenient as it is just down the street from where we live.  They also have a sister 24/7 location for emergencies.

Our 2 most recent family members. Jackson and his 15 month old daughter Kylee. Which one’s which?

The older dog must be on the right with the lighter colored nose.  They do almost look like twins.

Fortunately or not, there are specialists for your dog that will treat just about anything and meds are available to manage chronic conditions.  How far you go is limited by your wallet and the quality of life you expect to maintain for your pet.  Once upon a time, that wasn’t the case and you put them down. 

So as much as I hate purchasing insurance, next time we probably will.  This time we did not.  It’s cost us dearly since he was 18 months old.  He’s made it to seven (which is nearly a miracle) and still running the tab.  As long as he can still live a good life we can’t put him down.

It is rather amazing to me that there is even such a thing as a pet specialist.  I don't know that we'd want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to treat something.  I know my wife thought her friend was crazy when she said her dog needed some kind of treatment that cost I think maybe $3 or 5k.  My wife's opinion will likely change when it's our own dog though.

I'm sure the quality varies store by store but I would recommend taking some training classes at Petsmart.

I have trained dogs before but it helped refresh me on commands and I learned a few new things.

The biggest benefit was that my puppy learned to be comfortable around other dogs AND other people of both genders and all races.

This is more important than you might think in avoiding inadvertently raising a "prejudiced" dog.

Right, it really ultimately depends on the trainer.  We're currently enrolled at PetSmart and I guess our trainer is okay.  At first I didn't care much for her, but I've warmed up to her.  It seems like I had already been training Parker on all the stuff that she showed us.  It seems super easy to learn how to do just about anything nowadays with the internet and especially YouTube.  I agree that the biggest benefit from the class is the interaction and socialization with other dogs.  Parker wasn't even scared of the border collie in the class or the HUGE anatolian shepherd that showed up last week.  That is a big dog!!  The other good thing about having a real life trainer is that she was able to correct me when I mixing up what tone of voice I should be using.  I was using the higher pitched excited voice when I was supposed to be using the commanding voice when I was telling the dog to look or sit.  I guess it is more a matter of training the owner and not the dog.
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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 4944
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2018, 10:02 AM »

The older dog must be on the right with the lighter colored nose.  They do almost look like twins.


You're right, Jackson has winter nose, the vet said it'll go away come this spring/summer.

You're smart to have chosen a vet that has ties to 24/7 service.  [thumbs up] 

Our vet will actually make house calls if the situation arises.  [smile]

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1223
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2018, 01:01 PM »
You're right, it's all about training the owners!  Dogs pick up relatively quickly, but humans take a little time.  Dogs also pick up on the the tone of your voice, your body language and visual cues as you found out.  Humans are very verbal which take a little more time for dogs.  Initially it can be a little difficult for us to communicate, but eventually both human and dog find a way to bridge the gap.

On the costs for medical treatment, sometimes it doesn't come all in one blow.  Think about healthcare from your perspective.  Something is wrong, you go to the doc, that refers you to a specialist, who runs some tests.  Maybe they know what to do, maybe they don't and want to try some things.  Maybe they determine it can be managed with medications, diet, and regular check ins.  So you get over that hurdle (eventually), time passes and there is a new development a year down the road.  Could be related, could be a reaction to the medication, could be something completely new.  Back to the doctor, rinse and repeat.  It's complicated, and even if you remove emotions from the equation, there is so much more you can't control. 

I say all this after going into this thinking anthing over $5K is rediculous for a "pet".  It's probably unlikely to happen and if it did, that bill would make the decision easy.  So I passed on the insurance knowing full well that absorbing up to a $5K bill was okay, but beyond that is excessive.  The joke was on me because it did get complicated.  We slowly paid out for each test and doctor's visit, then found a solution we thought would allow him to live a good life.  As time went on, we discovered more than one issue, found ways to manage them, decided it wasn't too much of a financial strain, and again, decided his quality of life was still good.  That rollercoaster has gone on for some time, some months better than others.  His lifetime tab is many multiples of that simple limit I foolishly thought was the answer to any dilemma that we should face.  I also underestimated my principles.  It turns out, I can put a dog down if he's suffering too much.  But if he can be a happy puppy 95% of the time, I can't do it.  I've tried to convince myself that money could help a lot of other animals, but instead it benefits just one.  Doesn't make a difference.  Any my wife, her principles are even stronger as is her attachment.  When the day comes, I don't know how she will come to terms with a "decision".

Sorry, don't mean to be long-winded.  Sometimes things aren't as simple as we perceive.  Go in with your eyes open, it's not exactly the same as considering whether you're getting an extended warranty on your TV.
-Raj

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3658
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2018, 02:20 PM »
@RKA, You are describing our daughter's problem with her last puppy to the letter.  She had a huge Yellow Lab that as she would point out, "He was my million..., oops! make that two million dollar baby." Every time she visited us, she was describing another expensive problem. That went on for maybe three years.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 619
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2018, 03:34 PM »

The older dog must be on the right with the lighter colored nose.  They do almost look like twins.


You're right, Jackson has winter nose, the vet said it'll go away come this spring/summer.

You're smart to have chosen a vet that has ties to 24/7 service.  [thumbs up] 

Our vet will actually make house calls if the situation arises.  [smile]

Oh it's a winter nose - I assumed the nose got lighter because of age.

I didn't actually consciously make the decision because they have a 24/7 location.  More like just a coincidence.

Wow a house call would be nice.  There's a mobile vet around here who covers the DC Metro area.  He came to my mom's house to put her dog to sleep.  He also does regular veterinary services too.

You're right, it's all about training the owners!  Dogs pick up relatively quickly, but humans take a little time.  Dogs also pick up on the the tone of your voice, your body language and visual cues as you found out.  Humans are very verbal which take a little more time for dogs.  Initially it can be a little difficult for us to communicate, but eventually both human and dog find a way to bridge the gap.

On the costs for medical treatment, sometimes it doesn't come all in one blow.  Think about healthcare from your perspective.  Something is wrong, you go to the doc, that refers you to a specialist, who runs some tests.  Maybe they know what to do, maybe they don't and want to try some things.  Maybe they determine it can be managed with medications, diet, and regular check ins.  So you get over that hurdle (eventually), time passes and there is a new development a year down the road.  Could be related, could be a reaction to the medication, could be something completely new.  Back to the doctor, rinse and repeat.  It's complicated, and even if you remove emotions from the equation, there is so much more you can't control. 

I say all this after going into this thinking anthing over $5K is rediculous for a "pet".  It's probably unlikely to happen and if it did, that bill would make the decision easy.  So I passed on the insurance knowing full well that absorbing up to a $5K bill was okay, but beyond that is excessive.  The joke was on me because it did get complicated.  We slowly paid out for each test and doctor's visit, then found a solution we thought would allow him to live a good life.  As time went on, we discovered more than one issue, found ways to manage them, decided it wasn't too much of a financial strain, and again, decided his quality of life was still good.  That rollercoaster has gone on for some time, some months better than others.  His lifetime tab is many multiples of that simple limit I foolishly thought was the answer to any dilemma that we should face.  I also underestimated my principles.  It turns out, I can put a dog down if he's suffering too much.  But if he can be a happy puppy 95% of the time, I can't do it.  I've tried to convince myself that money could help a lot of other animals, but instead it benefits just one.  Doesn't make a difference.  Any my wife, her principles are even stronger as is her attachment.  When the day comes, I don't know how she will come to terms with a "decision".

Sorry, don't mean to be long-winded.  Sometimes things aren't as simple as we perceive.  Go in with your eyes open, it's not exactly the same as considering whether you're getting an extended warranty on your TV.

Thanks for that thoughtful post.
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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3634
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2018, 03:41 PM »
You're right, it's all about training the owners!  Dogs pick up relatively quickly, but humans take a little time.  Dogs also pick up on the the tone of your voice, your body language and visual cues as you found out.  Humans are very verbal which take a little more time for dogs.  Initially it can be a little difficult for us to communicate, but eventually both human and dog find a way to bridge the gap.

Right on the button!!!  Dogs are smart, but sometimes it's difficult for them to overcome humans' lack of comprehension. 
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 619
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #57 on: February 08, 2018, 04:22 PM »
Parker seems pretty smart already.   He's already figured out that he doesn't need to chase me all the way around the kitchen island.  He'll just stop and turn around and then I'll run right into him.  He's also figured out that he can bring his chew toy over to the steps and chew there.  I think he's chewing on the steps and about to yell at him only to see he's chewing on his toy.  I turn around for another minute to find he's now actually chewing on the steps!
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Offline GoingMyWay

  • Posts: 619
Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2018, 04:48 PM »
I finally tried biting his ear until he yelped when he was biting me.  Unfortunately, it didn't work.  He's still biting me.
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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: New Dog in Northern Virginia
« Reply #59 on: February 09, 2018, 05:43 PM »
Most of my last dogs have been retrievers known for their "soft" mouths.  I have used two techniques on mine for biting.  I have taken my thumb inside their mouths and placed it against the roof of their mouths and rest of my hand on top of their muzzle and applied pressure.  All the while saying "no" while looking them in their eyes.

I have also - and I don't recommend this for the squeamish - stuck their entire muzzle in my mouth, clamped down, looked them in their eyes and growled softly but deeply.

My dogs are more human now than I am dog.

To each their own.

Peter