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Old 09-01-2012, 06:23 PM   #46
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Thanks Lies, that makes a lot of sense to me, especially given that Pan just turned 2. Still a very hard situation to be in but I'm really glad that you have found him a great home with people that you know will keep him doing the things he enjoys and is really good at as well.

Question for you - I know you'd said that the GSDs are your both dogs and you're responsible for their care, training and so on. How responsive are they to Phil? For example, if you're out of town and he is alone with them, taking them on walks, etc? Would they come to him if he'd let them off the leash in an off-leash area or on the beach, would they heel when they walk next to him, and so on? I ask because as I'd said to you before we'd like to get a puppy over the next year or so and while I don't think we'd quite have the set-up that you do, the dog would still be mostly trained by me and be more "my dog" than both of ours. Not because my fiance doesn't care or doesn't want the dog but because he works more hours and is home less and also because he isn't as interested in the finer points of dog training beyond sitting, coming to him and that sort of thing. I don't have any experience with this as our Collies were always family dogs which responded to both our parents and were trained/cared for by them equally (though interestingly now that I think about the resource guarding theory, they both would have prioritized my Dad in that respect).

I have friends who are dealing with a similar situation, but with cats. They are at the point where their lives are basically revolving around how to keep the two cats who absolutely hate each other (one is an older cat, one is a young cat that they got as a kitten not too long ago). The cats never took to each other but while the younger one was a small kitten they kind of co-existed while ignoring each other and claiming different space in the house. That eventually escalated to physical attacks, even worthy of vet visits and treatment. Now it's a constant struggle of basically keeping them totally segregated, which is harder with cats and dogs because baby gates don't work, the only thing that works is shutting them inside bedrooms. Which results in scratching, cats launching themselves against the door and so on.

I know that this isn't the cat thread but the reason I brought it up is because you and samralf both seem to have gone through this and they are now getting to the point of making a similar decision. When I told the story to some other friends and commented about how it's for the best because it's really a totally untenable situation to have two grown adults having to physically break up animals, resulting in bites and scratches even if inadvertent, how it's untenable to live in a pretty small condo that's basically been deemed WW3 war zone by these cats and so on, they looked at me like I had suggested something horrific and launched into "they are both family." OK, I'm sorry but it's not some kind of failure for this couple as pet owners that they have not managed to force two animals that despise each other to get over it. And if you really care for them both, then shouldn't you want to find a better situation for everyone?
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:48 PM   #47
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My Pan with his new owner. Yeah he looks like he *really* misses me....NOT! He's in his glory playing fetch (without Nikon always beating him to the ball) and running around with their other dogs (another GSD, two Corgis, a Border Collie, and a Kelpie).


Martina I will come back and answer the questions about GSDs. Our Internet was down all day so now I'm at my parents and my mom is yacking at me....
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:35 PM   #48
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Question for you - I know you'd said that the GSDs are your both dogs and you're responsible for their care, training and so on. How responsive are they to Phil? For example, if you're out of town and he is alone with them, taking them on walks, etc? Would they come to him if he'd let them off the leash in an off-leash area or on the beach, would they heel when they walk next to him, and so on? I ask because as I'd said to you before we'd like to get a puppy over the next year or so and while I don't think we'd quite have the set-up that you do, the dog would still be mostly trained by me and be more "my dog" than both of ours. Not because my fiance doesn't care or doesn't want the dog but because he works more hours and is home less and also because he isn't as interested in the finer points of dog training beyond sitting, coming to him and that sort of thing. I don't have any experience with this as our Collies were always family dogs which responded to both our parents and were trained/cared for by them equally (though interestingly now that I think about the resource guarding theory, they both would have prioritized my Dad in that respect).
I get looks from a lot of people when I refer to the GSDs as "my" dogs and Coke as "our" dog but that's the truth. Phil loves dogs and comes from a family that always had a dog (whereas my family always wanted one but couldn't afford one) but in his family a dog means a lazy pet type dog. My dogs (the GSDs) are working bred dogs. They are great house pets too but with all the training and work I do with them, and being a more velcro, one-person sort of dog, the relationship is with me. That said they do respect Phil and respond to him as far as basic commands. They have never, ever so much as flashed a tooth to him and I absolutely would not allow that. I can deal with dogs that are aggressive toward each other but not toward any human in my house. Pan actually loved Phil, I really think he wanted to be Phil's dog and that was another factor that lead me to the decision to sell him. He's more of a man's dog and now has a male owner. For Nikon's first few years, Phil barely existed to him but during that time Phil was never around (full time student also working full time second and third shifts). Now that we both have "normal" jobs and a more routine schedule, I've noticed that Nikon is becoming more of a family dog and not just going to Phil for necessities like food and potty breaks but showing him affection. Phil said that if anything ever happened to me, he would keep Nikon. On some levels, to an outsider it wouldn't appear that Nikon is any more my dog than Phil's dog but when you see him actually work, like high levels of obedience, protection scenarios and those sorts of things, there's just no way he would work for Phil the way he works with/for me. Phil takes him on walks, takes him jogging, he can do all the normal pet-dog type stuff with Nikon. If I'm around, Nikon will sometimes blow Phil off if he tells Nikon to do something he doesn't really want to do but Phil says if I'm gone, Nikon always listens to him.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with a dog being in a household where he is going to be more one person's dog than the other's. I just placed a foster dog in a home where the wife was dying to get a dog and the husband is pretty indifferent. My friends (who bought Pan) have six dogs and they are all his or hers. The woman is responsible for her three and the man is responsible for his three. As long as the animals don't cause resentment or problems with the relationship I don't see the big deal. On the other side of things, Phil is into a lot of sports I couldn't care less about. I've never been to one of is soccer games and that doesn't bother him. He plays soccer with his friends and I train dogs with my friends. I know if it were up to him we'd just have one low-maintenance family dog (Coke) so I don't force any responsibility for my dogs onto Phil. If they make a mess, I clean it. I make sure they are fed, pottied, taken to the vet. If I need him to help with something I ask him specifically. If I had kept Pan, I would have boarded one or both of my GSDs when I go to DC next month because Phil has a teacher's conference the same week.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:39 PM   #49
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Thanks, that's super helpful. I don't see a problem with one person being more responsible than the other either, my only worry was that the dog would not be responsive/helpful to the spouse which of course is something I wouldn't want. Especially since whatever breed we get will end up being a large breed - I definitely want to make sure the dog is well trained and that both of us can be reliably "in charge" so to speak.

How did you deal with Nikon/Pan in the last few weeks if they couldn't stand each other? Did you have to crate them or physically separate them the whole time?
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #50
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In my case the only way I could get Natasha (GSD pup) off of Wally (Shetland Sheepdog) was to grab her by her collar and physically open her jaws. Our house was too small to do the crate and rotate so the only option was to spend a lot of time outdoors or if we were inside, then she was in her pen.

I always have had multiple dogs, and when the younger dog hits two, that's when the fights would start. With my two Shelties, I didn't trust either of them for me to physically stop it so I would look for something to distract them but before I could find anything, one of them would trip and the fight would be over. My Collie and poodle mix were another story. I trusted my Collie so I would grab his hind legs and pull away from the other dog. Sam would whip his head around but he would see it was me and submit to me and let me lead him. I was prepared to let go and back off if he kept coming at me.

As for my dogs listening and obeying me and my spouse. I do the training, grooming, and most of the feeding. My dogs listen to me and don't really listen to my husband. He mainly pets them, plays with them, and sometimes feeds them. If he has food and asks them to do a command then they would listen. The more involved with them then the more they respect and listen to him.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:55 PM   #51
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Thanks, that's super helpful. I don't see a problem with one person being more responsible than the other either, my only worry was that the dog would not be responsive/helpful to the spouse which of course is something I wouldn't want. Especially since whatever breed we get will end up being a large breed - I definitely want to make sure the dog is well trained and that both of us can be reliably "in charge" so to speak.
I think just the fact that you are/will be living together gives him an advantage. GSDs are often one person dogs but they also have a high pack drive. They learn who is in their pack and who is not. Like I was saying earlier, Pan and Nikon have never been really good friends but they were protective of each other, as part of our pack. I've noticed lately that if we're out with Nikon and Phil leaves (like if we're walking at the park and Phil wanders away from us) Nikon gets a little anxious and wants him back. While my dogs don't view Phil in the same light as me, he's definitely more important (or whatever word makes sense) to them than any of my other friends or family. I think Nikon would be more responsive to Phil but he doesn't have the same way with the GSDs that I do, if that makes sense? The way that they play, tug, train, etc feels very natural to me even with the drive, energy, and their size and power. I've watched other people try to mimic how I interact with my dogs and it looks very awkward. If Phil can't get Nikon to listen he knows he just needs to grab some high value food or a favorite toy and Nikon will listen

Quote:
How did you deal with Nikon/Pan in the last few weeks if they couldn't stand each other? Did you have to crate them or physically separate them the whole time?
I divided my house in two and they took turns being on "my side" of the house. Pan also likes to be outside and is fine out there by himself so he spent almost all evenings outside. During the day he was still in a large crate anyway but I also used a gate so Nikon couldn't be in the same room and pester him in the crate. Luckily they never were trying to get at each other. They would look at each other through the baby gate or the back door and sometimes even sniff at each other. Also after having two fights they were both quite wary of each other and didn't really want to go near the other. I'd have to escort Pan downstairs and out the back door in the morning because he would act like Nikon was waiting around every corner ready to attack.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #52
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I don't think Pan is missing my house AT ALL!!! Nikon and Coke never wanted to play chase with him (he's so fast and likes to body slam). Now he's got half the Herding Group on his heels. Also, look at the size of his new yard!










Nikon is not missing Pan either. He's reclaimed all the toys and the prime spot in front of the largest working AC vent.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:25 PM   #53
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Holy crap that's not a yard, that's like an acreage!! Our Collies would have died of happiness there.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #54
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I think it actually is an acre. I can only do one cartwheel between my garage and the other fence It always was too small for Pan's antics. He gouged paths and skid marks sprinting around and skidding tight circles.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:08 AM   #55
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It looks like he's having fun in his new home. I completely understand the decision. I get very attached to my animals, but also understand that sometimes it's better for everyone to let the pet go (something a lot of people seem not to get, and those people will guilt trip anyone who rehomes a pet).

I've had a bit of a trip with Viking and I'm not sure what his future holds. I am committed to him and helpin him be the best he can be but I am not sure how much he has. He may end up just being the house dog and in the future I can get a "real" athletic dog. He is pretty good when it comes to obedience an he picks up on stuff fast but if there are any distractions he falls apart completely. Working with him has taken a lot of patience and time and he's best if I do stuff every day rather than just once a week. It's something I need to practice more of and I haven't been able to commit to that lately outside of short rounds of obedience for dinner. I'm waiting to see how he matures and "settles" into his personality before I make my decision.

I know working with him is good for him because when I do it he is at the top of his game. When I don't he becomes a floppy slouch puppy. But with all the physical therapy and stuff I will be putting him through in order to get his body in some sort of condition to function properly and treating his low hocks he just may not be up for sport even though he loves it. I love doing the sport too and I've grown to really become addicted to schutzhund. The trouble is figuring out if he is "good enough" for it. He's coming up nicely but the best temperament in the world can't fix an unathletic body. Right now he's going through a phase where if he knows he can get away with not paying attention he will just flat out not listen and part of that has been that since I started my new job Pat has been taking him out for walks and hikes (my job is physical labor and I come home exhausted some days so he's been helping out while I adjust). Pat is not the discipliner, I am. It's teaching Viking bad habits essentially.

I'm happy with his personality. He's fearless. I wouldn't necessarily say bomb proof but some major things have happened that he didn't bat an eye at. He's very attached to me and has an intense desire to impress me and work. He LOVES working and I would not take that away from him. He's at an age (almost 10 months) where he is really distracted by everything and trying to deal with his hormones and it makes working with him frustrating. Not because he's frustrating per say, but because I have to tweak levels of distraction in ways I did not have to before (and this is a highly socialized dog). If I start working him harder during the day then he's a lot easier to manage.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #56
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It's not even fair, really.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:41 AM   #57
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:31 PM   #58
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does anyone know anything about nailbed tumours in dogs? vet thinks my lovely dog has one - i took her to the vet last week thinking she'd hurt her "thumb" (as she loves to dig like crazy) and thought it might have been infected as it suddenly got really big and swollen, even though i couldn't see any sign of a foreign body or injury...

she's on antibiotics for 2 weeks just in case but if it's no better the vet says she will need an operation

have any of you come across this type of thing before?? is it likely to spread? she's only 3 and a half, but seems to have a pretty dire immune system as she does seem quite susceptible to infections poor girl! worrying myself silly really...
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:03 PM   #59
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Yes yes yes! I've dealt with a nasty nailbed infection. Two years ago I went away for a week with my parents. When I got back I noticed some little blood spots on our bedspread where Nikon usually sleeps. Not surprised Phil didn't notice since part of the pattern is red. Right away I checked Nikon's feet and found a nail on his rear foot bleeding and he was chewing on it. It ended up taking about two months to heal up, mostly because he kept chewing on it which just made it raw. He was on antibiotics two times (different ones, I think Simplicef and then Keflex, both were 10-14 day rounds each). When the first two weeks of antibiotics and pain meds didn't work we switched to a different antibiotic and then twice a day I would soak the foot in water with Epsom salt, then dry it, apply neo-predef (an antibiotic powder with a numbing agent), wrap the foot, and then put a rubber boot on it to keep it dry. He also had to wear the cone of shame or a wire basket muzzle when I wasn't watching him to keep him from chewing it. We were very concerned he would have to have the entire nail and possibly part of the toe amputated but the vet wanted to try to save it. Nikon was originally put on crate rest but being confined and not getting exercise or training just made him stir crazy and more likely to get bored and chew at his foot so after three weeks and the infection only getting deeper the vet said he could exercise and train with his "boot" on to keep the foot clean and dry.

I would follow the vet's advice with the antibiotics and make SURE the wound stays clean, dry, and that your dog absolutely cannot lick it or chew on it. Ask the vet about soaking in warm water with Epsom salt. I did this each time I changed the wrapping/dressing (usually 2-3 times a day).

The original infection went from the "quick" of the nail into the nail bed and then the toe. The nail split and the quick became raw. I had to keep trimming back the nail which was really painful for Nikon but he let me do it.


Keeping Nikon occupied so he won't chew his foot


Cone of shame, lol. He wore the cone at night and then during the day he wore an expensive fitted basket muzzle so he wasn't able to chew his foot (a proper basket muzzle still allows the dog to pant, bark, and drink). While I was home he didn't have to wear either but I made sure he wasn't chewing his foot.


Finally starting to dry up




Soaking


Antibacterial powder


The wound was on the foot but the socks would slide off if I didn't wrap them above his hock.


For a long time wore a rubber dog boot for playing outside and training.





Hope that helps! It seems like such a minor thing, a split nail but holy crap it was an ordeal! And having a dog that is my primary competition and working dog I wasn't ready to have a chunk of his foot amputated.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:02 AM   #60
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thanks so much for the detailed info Liesje - really glad you managed to save your dog's toe! scary stuff! love the photos! they always look so miserable in a cone don't they - my girl had to wear one earlier this year after an op and wasn't happy!

the weird thing is our dog's claw isn't showing any visible signs of injury - it's just the area around the base of the claw which has swollen right up into a really big lump surrounding the whole base of the "thumb" claw... at first i treated her with local antiseptics and also soaked her foot, but after a couple of days i thought it best to take her to the vet and that's when he said he reckoned it was a tumour...

we'll see what happens - really hoping the antibiotics will work anyhow - she's such a lively active dog - she's absolutely fine in herself and bouncing around the place at high speed as usual, not limping or anything, but i guess as it's higher up it wouldn't affect her weight-bearing though... will try to get a photo!
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