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Discussion Starter #1
Bella's now 17 months old, many older members here will remember she has long term health problems. She's holding her own at present although she has many poorly times.

We have a problem though; her manners and recall are non existent.
Today she chased two women in the park, reducing one to tears. She means no harm and just wants to play with everyone.

As her diet can only consist of one type of food (because of her medical problems) we can't use anything for training treats except this one food. She never responds as she dislikes the food anyway :( Getting her to eat is another struggle in itself and she is permanantly on anti biotics. We did however find a fantastic new vet who is managing to keep her fairly stable.


We HAVE to bring her behaviour under control whilst she's in the park; she fully understands the commands but chooses to ignore them more often than not.

She’s cheeky and very intelligent, a beautiful dog in every way. She’s also very stubborn.

How can we train her without being able to reward her?
 

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I'm certainly no expert, but, it sounds to me like she should not be allowed off leash in situations where you need to control her. Then, if she doesn't obey, you can give a jerk on the leash or pull her in to you to make her obey. You could put her on a 15 ft. leash at the park to give her some freedom but still have control.
 

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I think if I remember correctly my trainer said there are different ways to reward and praise was one. You could try stuffed animal too, just anything she likes would be good.

But the thing I wanted to mention goes along the line of what Kim mentioned, our trainer had a lead that was about 1 foot long and he attached it to our dogs collar and it made her think her leash was on. He then attached a really light weight line very very long and I would allow the dog to go and then be able to correct her and get her back when she wouldnt return. it also alleviated any going after things. If I remember it was the first step to off leash training and it seemed to work real well. My dog wasnt prey driven in other words she could care less about treats so I just made a huge deal when she did it right. Maybe this could be a starting point in her behaviour training.

When Jac sees this I know she will have some wonderful articles that will probably deal specificallly with what you need (sorry to put pressure on you Jac! but you always do!!)
 

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hahahaha...seems I am getting a reputation! :oops: (Thanks for having confidence in me...)

As I read this I was thinking how difficult it must be for you to train without the first "motivational" treat...but I do believe that it is not impossible. Our dogs love treats, but I have been told that they are not really treat motivated, that they prefer to be praised. How is Bella when it comes to praise?

Being off leash creates some serious problems if your dog doesn't come back when called...I spoke with an excellent trainer last week (at the Guide Dogs of America) and she said that the best thing to teach your dog is to sit on command, every time, no matter what circumstances you face. She said that if you can get your dog to sit, you can go to your dog and get her, even if she won't "come" to you.

You will probably need lots of help with training, especially since there are some issues that are long-term...but your dog will learn...you just need to be very consistent.

I have been taught to use the short lead (we call it a pull-tab) when our dogs are indoors, that way we can always give a quick snap of the lead to get attention...and we have used a 50 foot lead for teaching "come" and "stay" at a distance. They are both good tools.

I suggest that you get a 50 foot lead, ask 2 people to hlep...stand in 3 different areas of a large circle and play this game: one person calls Bella (with a happy voice) and when she comes, Bella is rewarded with lots of cuddles and praise and tummy rubs or whatever she enjoys...then another person calls her, with same reaction...but if she doesn't come, "reel" her in with the long lead...still praising and loving her when she comes.

You could use a ball...tossing the ball from one person to the other, and when Bella arrives at the person with the ball, lots of love and praise...but she must sit to get the reward (ball or praise).

This won't be easy since she has had a long time to be on her own...but I am sure that you can get her under control if you are patient and very consistent.

Never use the "come" command if you can't enforce it...like on the long lead.

Now, although Bella is not OLD (and I believe that much of her chasing will subside as she ages), still she is not a tiny puppy so I am sending a link to training older dogs because I think it has some good ideas.

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=2382

And here is one about different motivators:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=2364

I hope that this helps Bella...I know that her life is hard, and I know that you want her to be happy ...and I believe that she will be happy when you and she can get together on some of these training methods...good luck!
 

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Well not much I can add here since Jac did such a wonderful job and those before her. But I can tell you there is hope I have seen several people who don't believe in treats for training even though my trainer does and they mind wonderfully, they do agility and are therapy dogs, so again there is hope you will have to use lots and lots of praise and hugs and really besides food that is one of the things dogs love to do is please us.

Also I'm glad you found a vet that is maintaining her for you the best they can, although I do remember Bella and you I don't remember exactly what was wrong with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you so much to everyone that replied, especially Jac :D

Bellas problem is that she has no immune system at all in her tummy, never will have so she's always picking up infections of one kind or another.

She does know all the commands but being so stubborn she just ignores us, She is walked every day with her best mate Madge the lab and they love to run and run, it's hard to curtail her when running around is one of the few pleasures she can have.

She will sit, lie down, shake hands, when the postmas knocks she's told to sit on her bed and wait (which she does) so we know she's not daft, just stubborn

She's very gentle and has never gone for anyone but with the recent spate of dog attacks over here right now the public are very scared (understandibly) when she goes running over

When we call her she turns and looks our way then in a doggie kinda way sticks two fingers up and runs off anyway :p

We have a short chain lead (she has chewed through every other type of lead) We did try a halti which was brilliant at stopping her pulling but each time we used it she threw up which then started her on a slide health wise so we had to stop using it.

We've tried calling her in a happy tone, endless toys as bribes but no joy. She loves praise but not enough to come back if something grabs her attention.

We think she'll have a short life (maybe 4 or 5 years) so we want to make it as happy as possible but we can't have her frightening people either :(

If only she'd obey the recall :oops:

We'll keep trying with the leads for now I guess, thanks again everyone :)

Jamie
 

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Jamie, I just cried when I read this...I agree with you, if her only pleasure is to run and play with people, I'd want to allow it as well.
You are a good doodle mom and I know that this will work out...I will keep you and Bella in my prayers.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about Bella's health problems. She really got blessed when she got you for her owner! I can understand why you would want to do all you can to give her the happiest life possible. Offering prayers for finding the best solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey don't cry, we feel blessed just to have her, even if it may not be for as long as we'd like. :) Good job she is insured though as it cost us thousands in vet fee's so far :shock:

Today I brought her another two new toys, I've been ill with flu and she's been really good and snuggly, besides I can't resist treating her :oops:

She's never known any different so to her it's normal to have medicine every day. (she's even learnt the word 'meds') At least with the new vet she's a lot more stable. He's about to swap foods again (she's running out of foods to test) So she'll be put on steriods whilst the new foods introduced. The new vet is obsessed with his job and he's had a few cases like Bella's, he gives the very specialised care she needs, which is great news for us and Bella.

As sick as she is, she loves nothing more than to run around for hours with her mate madge, they are addicted to each other. Bella never knows when to stop so we have to watch her energy levels for her. Today she's having a non walk day so she can recharge her batteries so to speak.

She's a beautiful dog though and worth every minute we spend having to hand feed her. Hopefully she will like the new food and it won't make her sick.


One question I do have have if anyone can help, Jac?

Is it possible that permanant anti biotics can cause joint stiffness? Or do I need the vet to xray her back leg, she limping now and again but no obvious cause

Thanks everyone, gota go rescue bella as she's trapped between two cats on the stairs and that always spells trouble in this house!
 

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Wow, Jamie...you and Bella are truly inspiring!

I have not heard of any type of joint problem as a result of antibiotic treatment...but you can bet that I'll do some research and let you know if I come up with anything.

Hugs to you both!
 

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Hi again, I just checked and it appears that certain types of antibiotics can cause joint pain, but I think it is important to know what type of antibiotics that Bella is taking...
Here is a link to a little info, http://www.srdogs.com/Pages/medicine.info.alerts.html
but I'd bet that if you look up the brand name of the drug, you can find out more...perhaps do a search using the brand name and joint pain as the search terms.
If you want to give me the med name, I'd be happy to do some searching for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good morning Jac

Thanks so much for all your help and advice over the months. I'll go downstairs in a bit and find out the name of her meds.

We took her to the vets yesterday, she's had a cold for about a month now. The other anti biotics haven't worked so tomorrow they want her to go in and be put out so they can look inside her tummy with the camera again. They will also xray her legs, she has a permanant 'hot spot' on the inside of one back thigh so they want to investigate this as well, Bella wasn't happy to have that leg manipulated either.

We're gutted for such a young dog she's had so many Anasthetics, we wonder how much more she has to endure. She has bloods done monthly as well. Each time she goes into hosp we dread the results, one day they'll say they have done all they can :(

About to take her to see Madge as she didn't want a walk yesterday either. She's being very cheeky today, right now she's just brought me a decapitated rubber chicken :D She's got a lot more energy after a couple of days rest!

[/img]
 

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Jamie,

I'm glad you can stay so positive when you know she may not live as long as another dog her age would. That shows how strong of a person you are, and I think Bella would know if you were down about it just in your everday. So I must say it one more time you are a very strong person and Bella is blessed to have you as her Mother. :wink:
 

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I certainly agree with Diane!
You are a remarkable doodle Mom! And I know that Bella's life has been blessed by coming to your home.
I love the happiness in your line about the decapitated chicken! hahahaha What a cutie that Bella is!
I hope that they can find out how to ease her suffering and allow her more happy times.
Lots of hugs and kisses from me to sweet Bella!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Evening Jac and All

Bella has had her op, they are confident her 'cold' will go in it's own time, her lungs are clear which is great news. A swab of her nose has been sent away again in case

But

it turns out she has a cracked fibia (sp) in her back leg. :shock: She still runs around like a loon with Madge so it wasn't hurting her, hence us not noticing except for some stiffness. She has a course of anti inflamitries and for the next two weeks is only allowed out on a lead for five minutes, twice a day, so no playing with Madge either :cry: It seems to be healing ok by it's self so far.

They have sent tests away for rumatoid arthritus but are confident they will come back clear in a week or so. After the two weeks are up she has to return for another check up

In many ways it was good news today, We dreaded loosing her so we can smile a little now. Can't wait to have her home tomorrow :D

god it's worse than having kids huh!
 

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Yes, Jamie, it IS harder than having kids....because we love them as much and yet they can't tell us what is wrong...thank God that you found out what is troubling her!
Now, it is a matter of keeping her still long enough to heal and then she will be back to her normal self! Bless her heart.
I am so glad that you love her as much as you do...you give her the kind of care that she needs, even though it must be extremely costly and very difficult for you. I can't tell you how impressed I am with you and your family!
You deserve good things...and here's hoping that the good part starts now! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Jac, I hope we were the norm rather than the exception, We're nothing special, we just love our girl to bits :) We are very grateful for the support that's always come through here, next time I swap pc's I'll remember to save my favorites :oops:

She'll be on three different lots of pills (including her normal ones) House arrest for two weeks (though god knows how!) and wait for the rest of the results.

Her bloods we're 'normal' for her anyway so that's something, she's holding steady. Can't wait to have her home with us snuggled on the sofa.

How do we keep her and her beloved Madge apart!! They love playing 24/7 even indoors, they chew each other faces off for hours on end then snuggle up together :p

I can see the next two weeks being filled with Bella glued to the front door demanding to be taken to madges house, followed by hunger strike, finished off with me me spending hours on the floor with her turning meal times into a game in the vain hope of keeping her eating 8)


Bring on the games! Today I ordered more toys off ebay, Heather will kill me 8)
 

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Hooray

Bella went to see the vet last night (as did the cat) :lol:

He's happy her leg is doing well and has declared her period of house arrest over! :D

Thank god for that, so far she has ripped three dog beds to bits, shredded one computor box, one scanner box and destroyed countless toys.

just the cat to fix now :roll:
 

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Whoo Hooo! Jamie, congratulations to you and to Bella!!
I loved reading your account of this whole thing...you have a good sense of humor and it came through during a tough time for you...that says a lot about you (good things, of course!)
I am so happy that Bella is well...and able to play again!
 

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Thanks :D

All her test results came back clear as well, tummy was acidy but that's part of her illness so the vets not worried.

lungs were clear, hips great and arthritus clear, so we're dead chuffed.

She has begun being sick again this week but we're hopeful that it's just a reaction to the reduction in the extra meds she had for her leg. Wev'e also begun mixing in the new food he wants her to try so it could be that too.

Other than that she's very happy to see Madge again, whilst we are breathing a sigh of relief, nothing worse than having a hyperactive doodle in confinment :roll:

The cats got a long way to go yet though.
 
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