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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    5,135

    Default I'm going to be a dog re-owner! (pics added post 13)

    If all goes well, I will be a dog owner sometime next week-- a little over a year old chocolate lab male (freshly neutered). His name is Zach, but I'm not crazy about it and he doesn't seem like he cares for it... lol... He came to visit last week... he's friendly, full of energy, got along great with kiddo. He needs a refresher course (or course in general)- in heeling and other obedience work. He had belonged to an elderly lady in Philly and she had to move to an assisted living home. So, he is a good dog... housebroken, past the crazy puppy chewing stage, etc... but needs some work on obedience stuff.

    The plan is this weekend to get his fenced area ready for him and that he'll come live with us after he's neutered.

    I last had a dog when I was in high school, so it's been a few years ;-)

    I want to get him a dog house for when he's outside in his fenced area. Are there any dog houses that are better than others? Or is a dog house a dog house ;-)

    I also wondered if a typical choker collar is going to be best to work with him or are their better collars/head gear. He really wants to pull... I know the basic principle of don't give him something to pull against. I will be looking into some obedience class options... I'm not quite sure what is available and I work nights, so we'll see what I can find. I've done obedience classes before... it's just been a while ;-)

    Are there any fun dog activities that he might enjoy, that I'm not thinking about? ball, Frisbee, tug of war, walks, playing in the water.

    Suggestions for dog/cat introductions. My house cat has lived with dogs in the past, so she'll be fine. My barn cats have not lived with dogs and their only interaction is when my vet brings her dog and it chases them :-( I'm told that Zach hasn't lived with cats... where he is now, they have a cat who stays in the basement... he looked at it from upstairs... and could care less. So, I think there is a lot of promise as long as we have a good first interaction. I'm thinking on a leash in the house, so he can't chase and the cats don't really have too far to run and can come check him out at their own pace.

    Zach met the horses and sniffed their noses and didn't seem to be the type that will chase. As long as he doesn't do that, I think he'll be fine.

    I'm also thinking of what I need... he'll have a fenced area... need a dog house... collar... choke collar... dog bowls... some toys...

    I'm excited and looking forward to being a dog re-owner.
    Last edited by M.K.Smith; Jul. 4, 2010 at 06:29 PM.
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,752

    Default

    Yay, a new doggie!

    I never had any luck with the "choke" collars - my big dog is a terrible puller and I never mastered the quick jerk you're supposed to use - mostly he'd just end up strangling himself by pulling. I had much better success using a prong collar - the ones that look spikey-awful but in fact apply equal pressure all the way around the neck. If you put one on your arm or around your leg and pull, you can tell what I mean.

    About the cats, just make sure they have a safe place where they can observe the intruder without direct contact. A baby gate the cats can jump over but the dog can't works well. After a few days of sniffing, they'll be fine.

    Post pictures!
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    5,135

    Default

    Also... what is the opinion on vaccinating for Lyme Disease? I'll of course see what my vet says.

    Lyme Disease is a big concern of mine (my toddler actually has it now :-( ) My last dog came down with lyme disease, was treated and went through the full course of antibiotics and then a few months later had kidney failure and we lost her at 5 or 6 years old.

    I just was looking at the internet a bit and it seems as if there is a debate on the effectiveness of the vaccine and side effects.

    So... what is the best thing to do vaccinate or use a frontline type product to prevent ticks?
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2006
    Posts
    206

    Default

    For the pulling, the most effective thing I've found is to abruptly turn and walk the other way until he's walking nicely with you. You can then turn around and go the other direction. Choke chains have become a little bit passe. I used them years ago, and I think they are effective if you have good timing and can give a nice quick short "pop" with it. Most modern dog trainers will probably have you use food to bait him in place or do the turn-around method. Do a google search on gentle leader. They make dog halters and harnesses that also keep them from pulling.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,752

    Default

    I'm in Massachusetts, an endemic Lyme area, and my vet practice strongly encourages the vaccine. They say that without it, they would see many, many more cases of lyme than they do. I know that with the hundreds of ticks I've pulled off both my dogs in the past ten years, neither has ever tested positive for lyme.

    I also use frontline for fleas, and also Preventic tick collars in the spring and fall.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 1999
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    3,283

    Default

    Gentle leaders work really well, similar to a halter on a horse. I'd recommend getting him into a training class with your family. It sounds like he already has some training but classes are more for the people than the dogs and I'm sure it would be helpful to you all.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2006
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,374

    Default

    My cousin has a Labrador Retriever from working lines. To keep him "busy", she has taken him to obedience classes, rally obedience classes, agility classes, carting classes, and water rescue! (He actually has some titles in obedience, carting, and water rescue.)

    The carting and water rescue classes were given by some Newfoundland people/club. Look around; I think almost anything they have a class for, your dog could paticipate in!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    AridZona
    Posts
    2,874

    Default

    You can rename him. I renamed my girl since I didn't feel like the name they thought she had had any real meaning. Now we confuse people since I named her after a charactor from a SF show.

    Just sent off my short term foster dog today with his possibly permanent family. Sniff, sniff.

    I've never had a dog house. Dogs come and go pretty much as they please via doggie door to secure fenced yard.

    Collars - sometime ya gotta experiment and see what works best for a particular dog. I generally like a prong, but if the dog walks well, then imo, it's not necessary.

    Good luck with your new family member!
    Delicious strawberry flavored death!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2006
    Posts
    3,322

    Default

    How exciting for you! I am sure he will settle in well and you will soon be asking how you ever lived without him!

    Choke collars can be tricky to use effectively, and they can be down right dangerous when used incorrectly (which is how they are used by about 98% of the people who use them). Prong collars are wonderful training tools when used correctly (which also means when fitted correctly, which can be a bit tricky for someone inexperienced). They are not meant to be used forever, which is something I see a lot of around here.

    Gentle Leaders and Haltis are wonderful, but they also need to be fitted correctly and the handler needs to remember to never used a Flexi-Lead or long line with a head halter-type collar. The cool thing about the head halter-type collars is that they are self correcting, so timing a leash correction is rarely an issue when using one.

    I always tell people to sign up for a good obedience class, hopefully with an accredited trainer and not simply down at the local Petsmart store (where the quality of instruction varies to a huge extent). Training encourages a strong bond and is just a fun thing to do with your dog.

    Rather than investing in a dog house for the yard, maybe you could invest in a sturdy crate for the house for those times when you aren't home?

    ETA: Leave a leash attached to his collar for the first week or so, letting it just drag along behind him. That way you'll have access to it if he needs to be redirected or corrected for chasing the cats or other unwanted behaviors.
    Sheilah



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,734

    Default

    You can rename a dog. After all, if he was coming from a pound or humane society (like my last dog) and was a stray you wouldn't know his name either. My last dog took a couple of days to learn his name-actually the toughest part was coming up with a name that fit him. Make sure you get a name tag for his collar with your information (I think I used Boomerang pet tags the last time), and if he's microchipped (if he isn't they can do it when they neuter him) change the owner information with the company.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2008
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,876

    Default

    I don't like choke or prong collars for dog owners who do not know how to use them correctly, which most don't. Haltis/Gentle Leads are a better option, IMO. I don't like flexi-leads in general because you have to use the lock function if you ever want to train a dog to walk on a loose lead (which I prefer). I taught my pup to walk on a loose lead by doing the method mentioned above: if they start to walk ahead of you/pull on the lead, you immediately do a 180 and start walking in the opposite direction. Sometimes this means turning back and forth continually. They quickly learn they don't get to go anywhere if they charge ahead.

    I went ahead and got the Lyme vacc for my dog. He's around the barn every day and is around lots of ticks, so I'd rather be safe than sorry. He cried a little from the injection, but had no negative or noticeable side effects. He's a small dog too. I use K9 Advantix for flea/tick prevention and Interceptor for heartworm meds.
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2005
    Location
    Greytown, New Zealand (a blip on the landscape really :))
    Posts
    485

    Default

    PLEASE do not use a prong collar. In my opinion, they are cruel and are not needed with modern training methods. (Remember my opinion! and I have tried them on my arm and dont like them.) When competing, I have my BC in a fine choke chain - to remind me not to touch the lead in heel ! (It works - just got another obedience title today - including winning a cup for best overall heel work in our grade - yes, I am chufed with my girl.) All my training is done on a leather collar - and always has been - the chain is a mental prop for me.

    When walking her or the lab or the lab/greyhound (or all three which is entertaining in a good way), I use good stout leather collars (with heavy leads on the labs) on all of them. I have found the turning quickly in another direction does work - particularly if you reward them (with food or a little tug on a pull-rope) when they first listen to you. FYI, each of the lab and the lab/greyhound are in excess of 40kg (around 90-odd pounds) and neither is fat - the vets reckon they could both do with a couple of more kgs but as people with labs know - that doesnt take much.

    If you need to, a gentle leader is a very good tool or a harness.

    Games?? They all love their obedience training, agiliy training (the labs are not that athletic I have to say), pull, retrieve games, tracking, trick training .... the list goes on because I havent yet found anything they dont like doing.... except getting their nails trimmed.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    5,135

    Default

    Here's a link to some pics... I put a few up on my website

    http://www.leakycreek.com/modules.ph...view_photo.php

    Right now his name is Zach or Zack... he doesn't seem to respond to it...

    I'm thinking about re-naming him... any ideas?

    Levi &
    Hank

    are two I've been thinking about...

    No "W" names... since I already have a Winston, Willow, Wilson, & Winnie!!!

    It was funny, when he went to go home for the day... he's not going to move here till he's neutered... Winston was like... "Where's he going?? I like having a friend." It was so cute.

    I was asking about what stuff he came with and apparently a gentle leader or other type halter collar is included! So, I'm excited to give that a try.
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    9,066

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    He is beautiful, smiling and quite happy... but then, labs are my favourite breed!!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 1, 2003
    Location
    The Shake and Bake State
    Posts
    11,537

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    Oh I LOOOOOOVE him, he's a handsome boy.

    I renamed my Greyhound when I adopted him. He came to me (as a 2 year old) named Moose which did not fit him at ALL. We had him for a little while before we came up with his name... or rather, HE came up with his name, Java. I miss that dog.
    ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
    *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
    *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
    My Facebook



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2005
    Location
    Greytown, New Zealand (a blip on the landscape really :))
    Posts
    485

    Default

    GOREGOUS!! And I am a big BC fan - but love snuggling with a labradorable.



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