Wednesday, April 22, 2015

But. But. My Pit Bull is friendly!!!!!!

Last night I got a really disturbing phone call.

My friend, a fellow IPO club member's doberman was viciously attacked by an 80lb Pit Bull.

My friend was walking her dog, on leash down the street when a Pit Bull who was off leash came running at her dog. The pit owner fruitlessly called the dog - who would not come. The dog proceeded to attack my friend's dog, grabbing onto him and holding on. My friend with the doberman is a doberman owner through and through. She kicked the crap out of the dog trying to get it off but couldn't. The Pit Bull's owner could not get her own dog off initially. She did pull the dog off once and he re-grabbed the doberman.

It's not clear to me how they finally separated the dogs, but they did get them apart. The pit bull owner was just in shock because, you know, "her dog goes to the dog park
and he's never done this before".

The first mistake here is taking your "dog friendly" pit bull for granted. I don't care how low your dog's drive is. It is still a pit bull. You cannot determine if your dog will ever 'turn on'. As a pit bull owner it is your responsibility to be cautious with your dog. Be careful with introductions, don't go to dog parks, and to always have control over your dog. For ANY dog owner this should be basic information, but when you own a powerful breed capable of killing another dog you need to take these things even more seriously.

To top it off, if you own a pit bull, regardless of how nice the dog is - you should know that choking a pit bull off of another dog is your best course of action for getting your dog off of another dog. Again, owning this breed it is OUR responsibility to know how to care for our dogs. To know what to do if a fight does happen to break out!

My friend's dog is okay, but they had to place a drain in his shoulder. It's funny because my friend was like "Well, maybe my dog set the dog off."

It doesn't matter! My friend had complete control over her dog on a leash.

My friend's dog is her pet, but he's also her sport dog. She has spent thousands of dollars to have this dog and he could have been killed last night. It isn't about the money, but we are talking about the dog's career being ended before it even began. Simply because one person failed to be responsible for their powerful breed of dog.

I am not a perfect pit bull owner but I have spent a lot of time learning about the breed. I try not to put my dog in situations for him to fail and I don't go out of my way to let him socialize with other dogs. When I do, I make sure I am completely in control of my dog. I've spent a lot of time working on obedience and I also try to be extremely vigilant of our surroundings when we are out and about. While Seppel is okay with some dogs, I am always aware that he has a side to him which is very intolerant. I have seen a few instances where he would gladly go after another dog. How far he would take things, I have no idea. But I have no desire to see.

I hope my friend's dog recovers okay and doesn't become super dog reactive because of this incident. I hope that the pit bull owner stops going to the dog park and makes an effort to keep their dog on leash in the future. It only takes ONCE for something horrible like this to happen. The whole idea is to not have it happen at all. The pit bull owner DID offer to cover vet bill's for my friend's dog and at this point seems to be cooperative, so that's a good thing. However the situation is still really a scary one, and one that happens all too often.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Senior Dog

I was thinking today, while playing ball with the dogs, that I wanted to blog about keeping my senior dog fit.

My dog LiLo will be 10-years-old this month. While I don't consider her really 'old' yet, she is considered a senior dog.

With LiLo, I include her in all of the activities that I do with my other dogs. She plays ball, she chases the flirt pole, and she runs on the slat mill. She also has tagged along on several 4-5 mile bike rides and she keeps the pace along with the boys.

My other dog, Sophie, lived to be 14 years old. While she was never overweight, I did not do a good job of keeping her fit. The last few years of her life I tried to take her biking and it was too much for her. I really didn't have a 'plan' back then and I want to do things completely different with LiLo.

LiLo has hip dysplasia - I've mentioned it in previous posts. Because her hips are crappy it is even more important that she stays fit and in shape. I have her on adequan once a month and she gets flaxseed oil and fish oil daily. I keep her slightly underweight and I give her NSAIDs when she over-does it on the exercise. I do make some small exceptions for LiLo when exercising. I do not throw the ball for her until she is so tired she doesn't bring it back. I do not play flirt pole until she is dead tired. I do not make her run on the slat mill for too long either. I do allow her to get moderately tired when we play, but I try to gauge how she is feeling because I do not want her to be overly sore later.

I plan to keep  playing ball and doing active things with LiLo until she tells me she can't or she doesn't want to anymore.

I think it's really important to keep your dog active into old age, as long as they are physically able to be. Much like human people, I think it makes for a better life for them. As LiLo ages, she may start to slow down and I will alter the things that we do to accommodate that. However, for now at this time, she seems to be keeping up with everything I ask her to do.

Here are some pictures I took of her yesterday:

I think she looks really good for her age :D

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Oh Seppel

On our way to training this morning I couldn't help but think to myself that I can't believe Seppel and I are where we are at now.

When Seppel first arrived I had no idea what I would be doing with him, if anything. Before being exposed to IPO, I was very frustrated with him. He's very different from Seth. Seth picks things up quickly, when I have taught him things it takes little effort and within the first session he usually has some idea of what I am asking. With Seppel he was completely different and much less focused.

It's amazing to me now what I can do with him. I never thought I would ever be comfortable with the idea of him being off-leash. Don't get me wrong, I do not trust him in extremely exciting situations and when he is off-leash I have to be especially vigilant. However, I am able to have him off-leash and trust him mostly to listen to me and to not take off. In a trial setting I don't worry at all, he has no interest in visiting with other dogs and can stay pretty well focused working around them.

It's just really kind of amazing to me. We are still hoping to go for the BH in June. I applied for a scorebook and it should be here in May hopefully. I've been watching a lot of videos and I think we will be okay. The biggest thing for me is remembering the pattern and keeping calm.

We have been going to club on Saturdays. It sucks because it isn't that organized but one of the members has been making a huge effort to help me and one of the other new members. I learned more about tracking and track laying last Saturday. Seppel is doing really well tracking, I am trying to make longer tracks [200 paces] and putting in a few turns and a couple of articles for him to find. He is still not 100% clear on article indication, but we are getting there. I don't know that we will even attempt an IPO1 this year [if he gets his BH]. But I think without a doubt we will be ready next year.

In May I am also going on vacation and will be boarding Seppel with my trainer. I am kind of nervous about it, only because I feel bad that I have to leave him - but I know he will have a good time and I know he will be well taken care of while I am gone. I chose to board him because he has to be crated when no one is home and two weeks is a long time to spend most of the time locked up in a crate. Even though Seth and LiLo will be in the house, they at least can move around. I also think it will be easier on my friend who will be caring for them to just have to deal with them and the cat.

I feel extremely lucky that I found such an awesome person to train with, who will also let me board my dog with them so I know he will be well taken care of. Even though it's hard [omg it's the furmom coming out!], I know that he will be in very good hands.

And speaking of June...

In June it will be TWO years since Seppel's FHO surgery!!!!! I'll need to make a new video, I am so pleased with how successful Seppel's recovery has been.