Postings by Megatron

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Choosing the Right Dog > First time dog owner, getting a corgi
Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Sat Jul 13, '13 5:43am PST 
Start your vet fund now. Start putting money away monthly for the almost inevitable vet bills you'll run into in the future.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Nicky, Jul 13 9:27 am

Dog Health > Need help for my sweet Miniature Pinscher
Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Sun May 26, '13 6:03am PST 
My Chihuahua was pretty overweight when I got her (though not straight up obese like your girl). I have a few photos of her progress on her profile.

Losing weight was pretty simple. More exercise, less food. Reducing food intake is key -- I would say it's about 90% of reducing a dog's weight. I would start feeding meals by hand as part of training sessions, or hiding food in and around a yard or room for her to search for.

As for your questions, no one can tell you on the internet how much to feed your dog. Every dog is different. Heck, I don't even measure how much I feed mine - I just have a rough idea of what they eat and if they're looking a bit too skinny I feed a bit more, and if they're too chubby I feed less. I've gotten really used to evaluating their body condition via sight and touch. Seeing as how obese your dog is, I would probably reduce food by 25% right off the bat, with the intent of reducing food 40-50% from the original amount over the course of a month or two.

I like feeding my dogs twice a day, but it's kind of up to you.

The exercise amount will also depend on your dog. For Mega, when we were starting to reduce weight, my husband and I would take her to the park once a day and stand 50-80 feet away from each other and we'd call the dogs to us, pingponging them between us. They loved it, it improved recall, and it built muscle. To start, I'd probably ensure she gets 45 minutes of walking a day, with some opportunities to run. As the weight comes off, you can increase it.

As for a guideline for weight loss, I think your vet would be the best person to speak to about that. I tend to approach weight loss very aggressively because fat dogs are a big pet peeve of mine. Your vet should be able to set out a safe schedule for you.

Also, forget about offering snacks in between meals. Just ignore begging. She's surely going to be hungry, but until she grows thumbs, you're in charge of her food.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Blaize, May 28 1:23 am


Small Dogs > How much does your Chihuahua weigh?

Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 4:05am PST 
Mega is about 7 pounds. She used to be pretty overweight and probably came in closer to 10 pounds at her worst.
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» There has since been 14 posts. Last posting by Button, May 16 8:38 am


Behavior & Training > I can't stop my dog from peeing all over the house!

Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 11:08am PST 
I went through a period of having to housebreak my Chihuahua. She was from a house where she was potty trained in theory, but whenever it was inconvenient to get outside all the dogs in the house would go pee in the basement or on a rug. I managed to solve it by doing some very heavy duty management of the dog for the first few months. It's a pain in the butt, but the few months of watchfulness has paid off in years of reliability.

Basically, you need to find a spot where she won't pee, and keep her confined to there, gradually increasing the size of the area based on her continued success. You need to ensure she's getting out often, and is well exercised since you're going to be restricting her freedom so much. For instance, with Mega, when she first arrived she was either crated at night, in an exercise pen in our kitchen, out on a walk, or sitting on a lap. After a month of that I started leaving her uncrated in my bedroom during the day since she had displayed a desire to never soil the room. We began relaxing our requirement to always be watching her if she was uncrated once she'd shown a solid month of trustworthiness. Along the way, we would give her bathroom breaks every 1-2 hours, and got to know her voiding schedule so we knew when she was empty.

Spot cleaning the carpet isn't enough. You'll need to use a enzymatic cleaner to completely remove the smell. Consider going through your house with a black light to find spots you may have missed.

I also would not grant her any freedom until she's gone a month showing herself to be trustworthy. Mature dogs can be tricky to housebreak since they've developed a habit and/or preference for voiding indoors, so first you have to break the habit, then you have to instill a preference for going outdoors.
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» There has since been 16 posts. Last posting by Star, Apr 1 4:02 am


Behavior & Training > Constant Barking- Nothing Seems to Help

Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '13 12:54pm PST 
Megatron was a pretty serious barker, though probably not to the same extent your Beagle is. I found that a citronella collar coupled with loads (and I mean loads!) of exercise, food and toy distractions and reinforcement for quieting on cue worked pretty well. I think we used the collar for a month or two alongside intensive training and the problem was markedly better after then.

Also, you need to limit his access to things that make him want to bark, like being able to see how the window. If he can bark unabated while left alone outside, or when you're out of the house, etc, you're not going to have much luck training it out. Consider crate training as well to give him a safe spot to rest, but make sure he's well tuckered out first.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Smokey, Feb 6 11:17 pm

Behavior & Training > Don't Stare at Me!
Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 8:12am PST 
Mega does this too, though due to her size it's less intimidating to other people. I basically just manage her behaviour so that she never has to go head to head with a stranger. If someone looks interested in meeting her I just call her away for some tasty treats. The parks I go to are relatively large and I'm always walking while there so it reduces the opportunities people have to interact with my dogs. Just walking away without acknowledging the stranger isn't particularly polite, but I'm not at a dog park to chat so I have little problem simply strolling on.

Sometimes I'll toss out a positive interrupter (normally Mega's name spoken sharply) but it's more for my sake than the dog's - it has little to no beneficial effect on future behaviour. You could do the classical conditioning thing, and while I'm sure you'd see good results, I would opt to focus more on management. Rigby needs to get out of the habit of barking, and should be able to expect that strangers aren't going to approach her if she doesn't wish it.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Rigby , Nov 15 7:17 am


Puppy Place > just adopted a small chihuahua

Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 24, '12 9:43am PST 
You can try to upload images to imgur.com, as long as the file size isn't huge. It might be helpful in ascertaining how old this pup is.
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» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by Kali, Oct 25 4:40 pm


Dog Health > Luxating Patella - what to do?

Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 8:26am PST 
Mega has a luxating patella, and I don't plan to do surgery on it unless it becomes a chronic problem. Right now, it only presents an occasional problem while walking up and down stairs. We keep her weight low, and keep her active. The vet said she was still fine to jump and do agility. The less weight the dog has to carry around on the knee the better, and the more muscle you keep in the leg the better.
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» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by Fritz, Oct 14 9:11 am


Puppy Place > Finally took Frankie to the dog park the other day..shockingly he did not seem to like it...???

Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 9:56am PST 
Megatron came to me at 6 years old fearful and reactive towards other dogs and people. I have another, larger, much more active dog who I took to the dog park regularly, so Mega got to tag along with me regardless. She didn't particularly enjoy the dog park to start with - she was barky, underconfident and didn't see the allure vs sleeping inside somewhere comfy all day. She had zero interest in meeting other dogs, and had to be managed carefully.

Now, about 9 months later, it's like she's a new dog. She's actually started approaching other dogs to sniff them. She passes by them without trying to avoid them. And she'll approach people if she thinks they have a treat. I have people approaching me now after seeing her earlier in the year and commenting on how much her disposition has changed. It's great.

Basically, I credit a lot of her increased comfort to getting her out to environments where she'll see other dogs, but not necessarily interact with them if she doesn't want to. Now she's very tolerant, which is exactly what I need from her. You don't necessarily need your pup to play at a park, but, as long as you're careful, it can go a long way to acclimatizing dogs to others' presence.

And to plop an undersocialized dog into a dog park and expect him to play the entire time is probably unrealistic.

Also, of course, dog parks can be dangerous. Don't mingle with people and take your attention off the dogs. It's better if you can walk laps to keep yourself and your dog moving. It keeps trouble to a minimum.
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by Rusty, Sep 7 7:55 pm

Dog Health > Fat Camp part 2...
Megatron

The Tinydog
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 16, '12 10:19am PST 
Megatron is an ex-fatty. There's one very unflattering "before" photo in her profile where she's literally propping herself up on her rolls of fat. You can see her progress at the bottom of the page. She's looking pretty good for a 7 year old ex-fatty.

She came to me about 9 months ago, and my house is a more active one so she did get more activity than she was used to. But 90% of her weight loss was simply reducing her food intake. I didn't bother weighing her. Heck, I don't even measure how much food she gets in a day - I just eyeball it. I just went by how she looked, and how she felt when I ran my hands over her ribs. Now, if she gets a bit more skinny than I like I feed a tiny bit more, and if she gets more padding over her ribs than I like, I feed less. Simple. smile

For Savvy I would reduce her food portions quite drastically. The added wear and tear on her body from the excess weight is "meaner" than her not getting as much food as she's accustomed to each day. Dogs are pretty easy to make lose weight since we're the gatekeepers of 99% of their food. Some tough love now very well may give your pups a couple more years of life to love you back.
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» There has since been 44 posts. Last posting by Shayne CGC, RL2, Nov 27 6:21 am

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