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  1. #41
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    I'm excited for you, Brendan! I got my first dog 4 years ago--a wee little German Shepherd puppy. She's turned out to be phenomenal. Energetic, sharp as a tack, affectionate, and obedient. Able to assess the situation and make good decisions on her own, but obedient to my instructions. It took a while to get there, though.

    I'd never been around dogs before. I used The Art of Raising a Puppy as my handbook. (Excellent book; I recommend it.) It was difficult at times. Required commitment and consistency. I'd say it took about 2 years for her attitude to steady out as an "adult". She went through stages of testing me quite a bit. It's totally worth the effort, though. Now she's amazing.

    I crate trained her and kept her inside with me for the first two years (except for walks, playtime, etc.) Now she stays outside a lot more and I hardly ever get the crate out. The other night she was sleeping on the back porch where I'd stored the crate. Got up the next morning to find her sleeping in her old "home".

    One of the keys, I think, is making the puppy/dog your constant companion as much as possible. She learns to read your body language, interpret your tone of voice, and pick up on all your subtle signals. These are things that can only come with time and interaction. The more you make her your companion, the more companionable she'll be.

    I suggest you get a female. Spay her early. As a general rule, I think, females tend to be a bit more independent and forgiving of training mistakes that you might make.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Res Ipsa Loquitur View Post
    Teaching pets special words is a must. I also recommend teaching a dog to pee on command. Ours is " get busy." I have NO freaking clue why I choose those words. Some days I feel pretty stupid standing in our front yard telling her to get busy while people are walking by wondering what the heck is going on.

    Definitely do this. I tell mine to "go potty". It's very useful.

    Also useful:
    "Get back" (Take a few steps backwards.) Especially useful for dogs who tend to crowd you and want to have their noses in whatever you're doing.
    "Crate/Kennel" (Go into your crate.)
    "Leave it" (You may look but do not touch the chimpmunk, kitten, toy, etc.)
    "Drop it" (Let go of whatever is in your mouth.)
    "Move!" (Get outta the way!)
    "Get it!" (Encouragement to track, tree, and/or attack) This may not be useful to you--mostly I use it when they find a snake and I want them to keep it "treed" in one place so I can determine whether it's poisonous and needs to be killed.

    Besides the normal sit, stay, lie, come, heel, and whatever are necessary for playtime and work.

  3. #43
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faith View Post
    "Get it!" (Encouragement to track, tree, and/or attack) This may not be useful to you--mostly I use it when they find a snake and I want them to keep it "treed" in one place so I can determine whether it's poisonous and needs to be killed.
    A non poisonous snake. Sigh, that must be nice. In australia even the cute fuzzy guys are.
    .

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

    "The platypus is the only Australian mammal known to be venomous. Adult males have a pointed spur (about 15 millimetres long) located just above the heel of each hind leg, which can be used to inject poison produced by a gland in the thigh (the crural gland). Venom is only secreted by mature males, with production peaking during the platypus breeding season in late winter and spring. It is therefore presumed that males mainly use their spurs when competing for mates or breeding territories.

    The only other mammal with a comparable spur is the echidna. Although the male echidna has a similar spur on the ankle of its hind-leg, it lacks the functional venom gland of the platypus.

    Recent research shows that the venom could actually be useful as a new type of painkiller as it acts on pain receptor cells, which is a property unique among venoms but shared with the active ingredient of chillies.

    If provoked, a male platypus can use his spurs as a defensive weapon. In the days when platypus were shot for their fur, dogs were sometimes killed after being sent to retrieve a wounded male from the water. These days, people mainly get spurred when they handle a platypus which has become hooked inadvertently on a fishing line.

    Platypus venom is not considered to be life-threatening to a healthy human. However, spurring is painful - in part, because platypus spurs are sharp and can be driven in with great force. As well, platypus poison triggers severe pain in the affected limb and can result in quite spectacular localised swelling.

    No one actually knows how dangerous platypus venom is to other platypus. In captivity, a 15-year-old male died some days after being spurred by a younger adult in December (after the breeding season). However, it remained unclear whether the resulting tissue damage was due to the effects of poison or simply physical trauma and possible infection."



    Oh, back on topic. Dogs rule.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
    Bertrand Russell

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