Hello from texas!!


New Member
I'm the owner of two dogs, one of which is a 70 lb pit bull mix who is great and easy to keep mentally stimulated. I am currently training him in both competative obedience and Footstep Tracking. I adopted him when he was about 18 months old (he is turning 2 on monday) and he's been absolutely great ever since.

Here's a pic of him (Stinger)

The reason I'm joining this site, however, is to find alternative ways to work with my golden retriever mix, Piper. She is extremely high energy, and needs a lot of mental stimulation. However, I cant use a lot of the outlets I would normally use for her, because she has a condition called Collapsing Trachea, and if she were to get too over-excited, she could pass out. (we came close once, before I knew about her condition, when I was trying search and rescue with her. her tongue turned blue and she started doing this really deep, honking cough.) The vet says that one of the only reasons she would have this (it's generally only something that effects small breeds of dogs) would be some sort of trauma to the area. Given how she acts around men, and some other various quirks of hers, this leads me to believe that something not very nice happened to her before I got her. The current activities I am practicing with her are Competative Obedience and Trick Training

That said, I am joining the site to learn about low-excersize activities that I can do with Piper to keep her mentally stimulated, but safe physicallly. Here's a pic of my lil crazy yellow dog :D and yes that is a marking on her head, nobody took a random permanent marker to her head!



Honored Member
:welcome: NIce looking dogs!!! OH, how unfortunate about Piper's trachea!! Wow, That must present a real challenge in being able to "wear her out" without getting her breathless...maybe she will enjoy mental challenges (they have some good ones here!) to exhaust her a bit and drain off some energy?
I'm new here, too, just crazy about this website!! I'm learning so much!:doglaugh:


Experienced Member
Welcome from a fellow Texan now transplanted to Co. Your yard looks just like mine did in Houston. :) I miss the grass but not the heat. Both lovely dogs. Have you tried targeting and free shaping with Piper? I have a few COLD days where we can't go outside to much and this is a good low rowdy factor mental stimulator that works for me. I name toys and ask for touch bone, touch ball, touch stick. And I just started free shaping putting all 4 paws in a box. Free shaping goes a little slow and is more dog thinking what gets the treat so maybe Piper wouldn't get to excited.

What is footstep tracking exactly? i know just a little about trailing tracking and ground and air scenting. I haven't heard of footstep.

Is there a great radio collar out there in the new tech stuff for GPS locating your dog that isn't huge? Just curious-we live in mountains now and I can't imagine ever letting my dogs off leash with the wildlife, but do worry if they get off leash.


Honored Member
Staff member
Howdy fellow Texan!!! Wearing out your pup is not all that difficult, even with her condition. LOOOOOTS of trick training---lots. Even though it doesn't seem like it would really effect their energy much, enough trick training can wear out any dog. If you do trick training, some obedience, and very low level activities with her you should easily tire her out. Try some tracking with her(very low level tracking, only as a HOBBY). Let her find certain things(or people) in the house or yard. Try to teach tricks that take a loooot of thinking. For instance, object discrimination, going to certain places and sitting or lying down, putting certain objects in certain places(tennis ball in the Box 1, tug toy in box 2, etc), retrieving things like keys or remotes, etc(service tasks). These are all activities that do not take much physical energy and will not get her worked up, but will wear out her mind. I would highly recommend the book "101 Dog Tricks" with Chauncy and Kyra Sundance. It's wonderful and should give you many ideas. I hope this helps, and good luck to you!!! Welcome to the Academy!