Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by vangorm, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. vangorm Well-Known Member

    Hi there! I'm Vangorm. I'm a college student(undeclared), I go to a tech school to become a certified veterinary technician, I have a job walking dogs/taking care of hospitalized animals on weekends at a vet clinic, and I work at an animal shelter(in the dog area). Needless to say, everything I do right now is about the animals. Haha.

    At home I have an 11 year old mutt we rescued five years ago(honestly, I have no idea what she is) named Bellamy(Bella).

    And I also have a three year old mini poodle mix, Annie, who is actually the reason I found and joined this website. I adopted her two years ago to help Bella get over her fear of dogs. Before my family moved across the country, we lived in a place heavily populated with stupid people owning pit bulls. Don't get me wrong, I love the breed. The owners were just horrible and these dogs have a lot of strength. They didn't keep their dog aggressive dogs on leashes or in fenced yards--they'd just let them roam free. On our walks, Bella became a bait dog. In a six month period of time, Bella got attacked by pit bulls(I should mention that the reason I specify the breed is the size difference. Bella weighs 38-42 pounds and the pit bulls from my old neighborhood were these 60+ pound creatures) 5 different times. Luckily, none of the attacks were too severe since other people often came in to help us break them apart, but Bella had been terrified of other dogs for a long time. I took her to one of my vet tech classes once to bathe her and Annie was there as a foster from the shelter I now work at. She had been really sick and Bella actually tried to play with her! Huge breakthrough and all. I think the Annie's size(she's 12-15 pounds) and that Annie was still pretty lethargic made the difference. After a few more meet ups, I decided to adopt Annie. Two years later, Bella now gets along with other dogs pretty well. Overzealous dogs still freak her out and she doesn't hesitate to give a warning snap, but I'm glad I can take her places without her being terrified(we recently took her to the dog park for the first time -ever- a few months ago and she did fantastic!).

    Sorry about rambling--I'm horrible at this introduction thing. Anyway, Annie the poodle is my main concern right now as she's developed some behavioral issues(door dashing, toy possessiveness, etc.) that I'll be bugging you guys about soon. :)

    And here are pictures of the two of them:
    ^ Bella
    ^ Annie

  2. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    Your dogs are beatiful! I'm in love with Annie's face! Welcome to the forum:)
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  3. sara Moderator

    Awe you're dogs are just gorgeous! Welcome to the DTA! don't hesitate to ask anything, we have alot of members that're experienced with the problems you've mentioned :)
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  4. vangorm Well-Known Member

    Aww, thank you!
    Haha, Mr-Remington! Don't let her fool you--she's extremely mischievous!

    Thank you as well Sara! I'm super excited to be here. Everyone seems incredibly helpful.
    MaryK and Mr-Remington like this.
  5. Dlilly Honored Member

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  6. Gracegeorgina Experienced Member

    Your dogs are so sweet!!!
    MaryK likes this.
  7. vangorm Well-Known Member

    Thank you!
    MaryK likes this.
  8. Jean Cote Administrator

    Those are some good lookin' dogs! :) Welcome to the DTA!

    You will definitely need to do some counter-conditioning to get rid of the bad behaviors that you described. There is one exercise in my eBook "The Power of Positive Reinforcements" which talks about building a positive association to you being near your dog's food. The same concept can be used with toys so that in the beginning you "exchange" toys for a treat, so that your dog doesn't see you taking the toy as a loss. And then you give it back to them so it's a double bonus for them. I've done this with my dogs and they don't care if I take the toy or bone away.
  9. Mutt Experienced Member

    Welcome to the forum.
    Your dogs look lovely.
    Don't hesitate to ask questions :)
    MaryK likes this.
  10. vangorm Well-Known Member

    Thank you Jean Cote!
    I've downloaded your ebook! Now just to find time to read it, haha. Thank you for offering that!
    It's sort of strange with her toy possession. She's a tug-of-war fan. So usually when I go to take a toy, she gets crazy excited and we'll usually play a bit before I take it, then I give it back. Some toys on some days she'll get this idea that I don't want her to have it at all and that's when she'll get sort of nippy about it. It's just strange to me that it's not always the same toy(in which case I could just take that toy away and let her have something she knows I'll let her play with) and some days she thinks she can have it and other days she doesn't think she can. At least, that's the feelings I'm getting from it.

    Thank you Mutt! You guys are extremely helpful. :)
  11. Caiti Experienced Member

    Welcome to the DTA! :D
    MaryK likes this.
  12. Dogster Honored Member

    Welcome to DTA!!!!:) Your dogs are absolutely gorgeous!!!:love:
    MaryK likes this.
  13. vangorm Well-Known Member

    Aw, thank you! <3
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  14. MaryK Honored Member

    Welcome to D.T.A.:) Both your dogs are gorgeous, just love them:love:

    With your problems, just start a thread, you'll receive so much advice and help.:)
  15. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    Welcome to DTA! Love your dogs super cute. Love Annie's smile in that photo. Do you have any wild guesses at all at what breeds Bella might be? Feel free to post more photos :p
    Guessing mixed breeds is such a fun game for me after my friend got what pretty much looked like a at least 75% black lab mix DNA tested to find out it was a german shepherd X Staffordshire Bull Terrier X pomerianian X bull mastiff. What a shock haha.
    MaryK, vangorm and Dogster like this.
  16. Evie Experienced Member

    Hi and welcome!!!

    I hope you enjoy this forum as much as the rest of us do :D
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  17. Linda A Experienced Member

    Welcome! We are very happy you and your lovely dogs have decided to join us!!
    MaryK likes this.
  18. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Welcome to the DTA!
    I am glad you are interested in dog training. It is a very useful skill for anyone going into any dog field and I wish more vet techs and shelter workers would learn more about it. I am sorry to hear about Bella's awful experience with aggressive dogs. It sounds like you are doing a really good job with her though. I am sure you will make tremendous progress with Annie as well!
    Enjoy the forum!
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  19. vangorm Well-Known Member

    MaryK: Aww, thank you! I have made a post and you guys had some -amazing- suggestions!

    CarmenR: Thank you! Annie is a super happy girl all the time, haha. Not a care in the world!
    I agree though, guessing dog breeds is super fun! I was guessing since day one with Bella! I still have no clue at all. She was just listed as a terrier mix at the shelter/rescue(anything they don't know gets listed as a terrier mix if it's scruffy and lab mix if it's smooth).
    Feel free to take some stabs at Bella's mixing though! I think it be absolutely fascinating to do one of those DNA tests(even though they're kind of iffy on the result accuracy).
    (^ this picture is by my little sis)

    Let me know if you'd like some more!

    Evie: I am enjoying it SO much thus far!

    Linda: I hope I can add something good to the community :)

    srdogtrainer: Thank you! I completely agree. As a shelter worker, I can't even tell you how often what I do know of training(which I realize isn't a whole lot, but it's a basic amount, I guess!) comes in handy when telling potential owners how they can house train adult dogs, leash train dogs, crate train, and more. Super common questions that I've heard some of my coworkers say "I'm not sure, you'd have to ask a trainer like at PetSmart." While a trainer is completely beneficial and I always recommend obedience training for the dog, them knowing they don't need to rub dog noses in urine, use a choke collar, or put a dog outside while they're gone and can't supervise it is great for them to know to bridge the gap between when they adopt and when they take the dog to obedience class.
    MaryK, CarmenR, Dogster and 1 other person like this.
  20. Dogster Honored Member

    Great pictures!!! I love them!!!!:love:

    I am not good at guessing dog breeds, but I'll guess Bella is a terrier mix. She has the wire hair of a terrier.:)
    MaryK likes this.

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