Postings by MT TOP's Secret Agent, C.G.C.

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Choosing the Right Dog > Potential first-time dog owner
MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 2, '12 11:31pm PST 
As someone who grew up with Bernese Mountain Dogs, I might be a little biased, but I think they are definitely worth a look in your case.

Berners are a large, generally mellow breed. They are trainable, low-prey drive (read: they don't typically chase cats), fluffy balls of mush who love nothing more than to be by your side (or *in* your side as they do their characteristic leg lean laugh out loud ) all day long. They are snuggly butterballs around their family members, but naturally more reserved with strangers, though if you're cool with someone the dog typically won't mind them.

If you want a dog that looks (but doesn't act) a bit big & scary, who is always game for a long walk, but won't eat your house if he's not bushed, and you don't mind grooming, Berners are awesome. Males tend to be calmer and less drivey than females, though it depends on the individual dog. My roommate's cats were TERRIFIED of Kahaus, but they could dart out in front of him and all he would do is watch them run in fear while he yawned at my feet. laugh out loud

Check out http://www.bmdca.org/rescue/ for more information on rescuing adult Berners, if you're interested!
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by Ellie, Apr 4 10:10 am

Choosing the Right Dog > Dog-Experienced Owner Looking for Pit-Experienced Advice
MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 1, '12 11:42pm PST 
So, both of my canine "authors" mottos have begun with "R.I.P." for about two years now, as my Kahaus boy passed away from hemangiosarcoma in December 2010. I am moving soon, and ready to look for my new companion as soon as I get settled in!

My new place is not so much big dog-friendly as big dog-tailored. It is a 1 bedroom apartment attached to a single family home owned by some close friends that I have known for several years. Hardwood floors (yay! SOOO done with carpet!) and the owners have extended their already huge dog run and installed a security key dog door to accommodate a new canine member of the household.

My question/concern is this: I would like to rescue a medium/large dog from a local shelter once I've settled in, and many of the shelter dogs in my area are pits and pit mixes. I have significant dog experience, but nothing pit specific. The homeowners have two large dogs--a rambunctious, rather rude, adult, male Lab and a somewhat calmer, female Siberian Husky puppy--and the dogs will all share a run. There is no reasonable way to keep them separate when they are outside, other than by restricting my dog's access to the run and taking him/her out on walks to potty rather than allowing free access to the backyard. This might be tricky because I have a long day/short day schedule where every other day I am either gone or home most of the day. I have several options in the way of people I can pay to walk the dog on my long days, though, an plan to take advantage of them either way.

I live an active lifestyle, I am a dedicated and responsible dog owner who is willing to put the time and effort into proper nutrition, training, and medical care, and I would love to provide a home for an at-risk dog, but I know that dog-selectiveness/aggression is the pit bull's Achilles heel. For those who have/have had pits, would you *ever* trust your dog unsupervised with another dog of the same sex? Or another dog, period? If you would, what precautions would you take beforehand to ensure that the dogs are safe together? If not, why?

Basically, I'm trying to gauge whether an individual pit who can deal with the homeowner's Lab, particularly, would be a good fit for me, or whether I should seek out another breed.
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by , Apr 3 12:57 pm


Choosing the Right Dog > Are there any breeds you think you just couldn't handle?

MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 21, '12 10:57pm PST 
I think my "no" list might be longer than my "yes" list. laugh out loud

Honestly, it depends on the individual dog, but there are many breeds that I would not intentionally seek out. Border Collies, for instance. I can handle smarts OR energy... I have neither the time, nor the patience for both.

I also appreciate being able to trust a trained dog off-leash, and being (I won't lie) their center of attention. (I love me some clingy cuddlers.) That means no hounds and no aloof Akitas, Shibas, or Chow-chows.

I do not personally care for dogs smaller than 40-ish pounds.

I love Berners--always have--but them big boys can't keep up with me anymore. My next dog will likely be a pound puppy of primarily Shepherd, Pit, or Lab descent, to satisfy the big dog lover in me and make sure that the dog and I both keep on another on our toes.
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» There has since been 58 posts. Last posting by , May 2 4:01 pm


Puppy Place > Why does EVERYONE want Female puppies???

MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 19, '12 12:33am PST 
Yeah, I would agree that gender preference varies by breed. I could easily see people preferring small, female dogs and others (like myself) large, male dogs. But that is obviously completely anecdotal.
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» There has since been 22 posts. Last posting by , Mar 21 9:43 am


Food & Nutrition > Kirkland dog food warning

MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 19, '12 12:21am PST 
Yeah, the reason I have trusted Kirkland dog foods is because they are made by Diamond. Diamond Pet Foods was the first major company to be affected by the recall, and I figure with as much press (and initial blame, before the melanine rice from China link was discovered) that went their way on that, they would be extra-stringent about food safety. I would be interested to hear about the results of the testing, and if it is only the Lamb & Rice products that were affected or not. It's so sad that the dogs had to die for this to get out frown
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Ginger, Mar 20 9:46 am

Behavior & Training > GSD puppy screams and howls at night during crate training
MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Mon Mar 12, '12 12:04am PST 
I don't think I have much more to add beyond what has already been said. My only admonition to you you sound like you're already in the know about: fight any temptation--no matter how frustrated--to do things that will counteract your training, especially talking to the pup when he whines or barks. Comforting, talking, yelling... it's all off-limits so long as he's whining. Otherwise you'll be dealing with this a lot longer than you have to.

I wouldn't be too worried, though. Nighttime whining is typically one of the easier things to train a puppy out of. The clock trick helped my talker a lot when he was a pup.
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» There has since been 25 posts. Last posting by Sadie, Mar 17 9:45 am


Behavior & Training > Hilarious Dog Park Spoof--Portlandia

MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 11:57pm PST 
I love Portlandia! I'm a born-and-raised Portlander and I relish the weirdness of my beautiful city--nature meets city smog; bikes meet serious traffic; tattoos and ear-plugs meet church; etc. And I find it hilarious when the Portlandia folks caricature our quirky behavior in skits laugh out loud
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by MT TOP's Secret Agent, C.G.C. , Mar 11 11:57 pm


Senior Dogs > Well Now I Get It. Sort Of. Rant.

MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 11, '12 11:49pm PST 
When I had to put Kahaus down, our vet charged me only for the euthanasia and personally paid for the communal cremation. I thought it was very sweet of him; he had always worked very closely with me and my limited budget as a college student as we tried to diagnose and treat Kahaus during his battle with hemangiosarcoma. It would have been difficult for me to pay for the whole thing myself. I've never personally been one to keep things like ashes, of people or of dogs. In Kahuas's case, I didn't want to remember him the way he was at the end of his life; he was too miserable.

I'm sorry for your loss. The tattoo looks very nice; awesome detail work.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Mar 12 4:40 pm


Rescue, Adoption & Happy Endings > Too difficult and time consuming to rescue or adopt

MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 7, '12 11:49pm PST 
I can see both sides of this issue.

I understand where people are coming from who are in high-kill shelter areas and are going "What the heck? Why is this such a big deal?"

But, coming from an area where the adoption rate is high enough that even county animal shelters do home checks, I can understand where the original poster is coming from, too. In my area, the rescues and shelters can afford to be picky--sometimes to the extreme--and they are very intimidating.

Having grown up in a dog show family, I can easily get a free puppy from one of my relatives. I would, however, like to provide a home for a dog with behavioral problems that other people are not willing to deal with, who is older than others might care to take on, or who is of a breed that might have more trouble finding a home. However, I'm not sure that one of the more independent, volunteer-run organizations in the area would adopt to me (or at least have me high up on the list) because I am not an established homeowner with lots of free time on my hands. (Guess I'll find out when I apply to adopt in a month or two!)

However, even as a shaking-in-my-boots potential adopter, I can understand where the rescues are coming from. Those who take in dogs from neglectful or irresponsible circumstances understandably don't want to put a dog back into a potentially unstable situation, and they have reason, from the work that they do, to seem a little gruff/jaded. They also don't have a personal relationship with me, and so they have nothing more than the paper I write on and the references I provide to determine what kind of dog-owning character I have. And if the fact that I am a 21 year-old renter makes them nervous, I think that a bit of acknowledgement of their circumstances and a bit of pluck to show that I am a responsible dog owner will ultimately cause reasonable people to give pause.

If this is a situation with an individual rescue, I would recommend talking to the rescue coordinator and respectfully acknowledging their situation in some similar fashion to what I just stated above (and what you had already acknowledged in your post), while--equally respectfully--asking for more consideration of yours. You didn't know their expectations, you don't know why you were denied (you're not psychic, for goodness sake!), and for {insert your reasons here} you are a worthwhile dog owner. This is the way to start a conversation that can change minds. Getting defensive will only widen the gaps of mistrust that already exist, IMO.
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» There has since been 21 posts. Last posting by Bianca CGC TT HIC Thd ♥, Apr 10 1:49 am

Behavior & Training > using "potty patch" during work hours
MT TOP's- Secret- Agent,- C.G.C.

R.I.P. Kahaus
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 6, '12 8:06pm PST 
Yeah, I wouldn't recommend plastic grass. In my area they have sod patches available for dog-owning apartment dwellers, and some companies even deliver fresh sod bi-weekly. If you don't have/can't afford a service like that, I can't imagine it being that hard to build one and use (dog-safe) soil and plants from a garden shop. Just build a wooden box, or buy a plastic one, decorate it to suit your personal tastes, line it with plastic and voila! It shouldn't be all to difficult to train Nicky to go out the doggy door if he's solid on housebreaking in general now.

My only concern after that is making sure that the balcony is dog-safe. Is Nicky a Pomeranian? If so, I'd be ultra-careful about how the balcony is secured before giving him access to it unsupervised. A lot of apartment/condo buildings in my area have only an iron fence-like barrier with plenty of space for a small dog to fit under/between, and will not permit anything on the balcony regularly that violates whatever aesthetic standards the building has (e.g.: some sort of additional barrier to prevent the dog from falling out).
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Nicky, Mar 7 11:15 am

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