Levi, Xena & Me

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by LeviTheOutlaw, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. LeviTheOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone...

    I'm happy I found this website. I've been looking for a place to get training advice and this forum seems great for that.

    I love animals and seem to have a zoo at home. I started out with my cat, Ripley. Then rescued a Boston Terrier named Xena. She was not treated well at her old home but now that I have her, she is definitely spoiled rotten. She is sweet as pie and right from the started she has hardly needed any training. She just seems to know what I want her to do. She has no interest in learning tricks for treats.... every time I try she puts her nose up and walks away like "Pfft...I'm not doin that."

    I decided to get another dog for a number of reasons: 1) Xena stays home alone all day while I am at work and I thought it must be lonely for her. 2) I'm a very active person and I wanted a dog that would run and hike longer distances with me then Xena had been willing to do. and 3) All my life I have always rescued full grown dogs. I've never had the experience of having a puppy in the house. So, along came the cutest puppy I ever seen... Levi. Levi is a year and 4 months now. I got him when he was 8 weeks old and was told he is a mix of australian shepard and blue heeler. He is the most high energy, fur flyin, ball chasin, practical jokin, hungry and lovable outlaw there ever was...

    I knew having a puppy was going to be a big challenge. I knew it was going to require a lot of training and patience... but OH My!!! Levi is something else. I started taking him to manners class when he was 4 months. After repeating the class 3 times and lots of hard work on both our parts he finally graduated. At this point he knows how to behave and does it 85% of the time. He has even learned a few tricks. He shakes paws, spins around, sits, lays down, fetchs the ball (which is his all time favorite game), when I put his food down he sits and won't touch it till I tell him ok. We have other tricks we are working on but those are the ones he has mastered.

    Xena and Levi are best buddies. Before Levi, Xena had no interest in chewing on any toys. She still doesn't but She loves to get something and pretend to chew it so Levi will chase her and try to get it. If Levi is chewing a bone or toy she loves to hop around trying to get it from him and when she succeeds, she takes off running. It's so funny to watch them play. They are both constant comedy.

  2. LeviTheOutlaw Well-Known Member

    I think I figured out how to post a pic of Levi and Xena. Hopefully this works...

    Attached Files:

    skyedog, bekah1001 and Dogster like this.
  3. Dogster Honored Member

    AWWWWWwwwwww!!!!! WELCOME!!!!! That is just the CUTEST PIC!!!!!!:love::LOL: I LOVE your dogs!!!!! It's sooo great that they have eachother!!!! And you!!!!! LOL!!!:ROFLMAO: And it's AWESOME that you rescue dogs!!!! Most of us here LOVE it when people decide to rescue!!!! Are you planning on teaching Levi more tricks, or agility???? Do you use a clicker??? If not, clickers are GREAT training tools!!!! If you have any questions, just ask!!!! I hope you find this site as AWESOME as the rest of us do!!!!!(y)
  4. sara Moderator

    Welcome to the DTA!

    Your dogs are just adorable!!! I should hope his all time fav game is fetch, being the mix that he is ;)

    Enjoy the forum, there is alot of advice from pos. only trainers on this forum!
    Dogster likes this.
  5. LeviTheOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the great comments. My dogs ARE awesome but I know I'm a bit bias... lol
    I think rescue dogs are great. And I just can't see buying a puppy when there are so many dogs in need of a good home. plus, they seem to make the best dogs because they really realize when they have a good home... I suppose because they have experienced the opposite. Levi, on the other hand has no idea how good he has it...lol

    I plan to never stop teaching Levi tricks. I love it and he seems to also, plus teaching tricks is a great way to keep him occupied when its rainy weather and we have to stay inside.
    I started using the clicker with them a couple months ago. I've used it before with other dogs I've had and had great success. In the training class I went thru with Levi, the trainer had us use a pinch collar. I was against it at first, but Levi just wasn't getting anything with positive training (I'm sure I was doing something wrong tho) and I was desperate because he was so out of control. I made sure to watch him closely tho. I didn't want him to become timid or scared of me. His personality never changed and that he never got hurt. He still acts as loving and happy as always. He still wears it but I never have to use it. I'm ready to start him without it now but I'm just not sure how to transition off the pinch collar. One of the things that the trainer told me is that when a dog pulls on a regular collar all the pressure goes to the front of the throat and can really hurt a dog. He said with the pinch or slip collar, when the dog pulls, it tightens all the way around and there's less chance of injuring them if you are using it correctly. What do you guys think about that?
    Dogster likes this.
  6. Dogster Honored Member

    EXACTLY!!!!! There are sooo many dogs in need of good homes!!!!:D
    I don't think the trainer is right. Pinch collars hurt. I've heard of dogs who had them stuck in their neck and there was no way of removing it.:cry: If Levi still pulls, a martingale collar or an easy/gentle leader could be a good alternative. Teaching Levi heel and loose-leash walking is *I think* waaaay better than all the products. Here are some kikopup videos on teaching loose leas walking and heel:
    tigerlily46514 and bekah1001 like this.
  7. Dogster Honored Member

  8. bekah1001 Honored Member

    Dogster likes this.
  9. LeviTheOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Dogster... thanks. I will use those suggestions.

    Bekah... Thanks. I'm glad I found this website.
    tigerlily46514 and Dogster like this.
  10. Dogster Honored Member

    YOUR WELCOME!!!! Glad we could be of assistance!!!!!:D
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    WELCOME!!! and GOOD ON YOU for rescuing a dog, sounds like a lovely 'family' you have there!! this is great that you are already onto "clicker training"!!
    and i LOVED Dogster's post, she is so right, pinch collars gotta go. No reason ever to use one, and they can hurt or even damage a dog's throat. Dog throats, tracheas, thyroids, etc, were never ever intended to bear that kind of pressure. Don't feel bad, i've been given misinformation by both my vet, and dog trainers, too.:rolleyes: but i've learned a lot from hanging around here on DTA.

    And Dogster posted some great videos!! Those are the exact videos i used, too, to help my dog learn not to pull on his walks. MY dog was terrible puller.:rolleyes: That method in the video does work, not in one day, not in one week, but, it does work. Stay with it!! GOOD LUCK!!

    bekah1001 and Dogster like this.
  12. Dogster Honored Member

    Well, what can I say, I have learned from YOU, Tigerlily!!!!:ROFLMAO:

    Oh, and GOOD LUCK with Levi!!!!!:D
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  13. southerngirl Honored Member

    Welcome your dogs sound amazing. Levi sounds like a really fun dog sounds like he keeps you very busy and like dogster and tigerlily said please don't use a pinch collar they hurt the dog. There are other humane tools to prevent your dog from pulling such as the gentle leader and the easy walk harness.http://www.petsmart.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=gentle leader&origkw=gentle leader&sr=1 http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2751027
    and the videos that dogster posted should be helpful. I hope you stick around. This is a great site.
    Dogster and tigerlily46514 like this.
  14. LeviTheOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone, Thanks to all of you for your helpful suggestions. It's great to be able to draw from the experience of others. I looked up martingale collars online today and I really like them. I think that will be great for both my dogs.

    Southerngirl - yes, Levi is a trip. He definitely keeps the whole house on our toes. I keep saying I need to keep a journal of all the crazy stuff he does. I have so many hilarious stories of the stunts he pulls.

    Oh boy... Mud to play in!!!


    This picture was taken soon after the cat knocked an ink pen off the table....
  15. bekah1001 Honored Member

    Those eyes are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! So beautiful!
    Dogster likes this.
  16. Dogster Honored Member

    BEAUTIFUL DOG!!!!! Messy too!!!!! OH so muddy!!!!:ROFLMAO: And yes, LOVE his eyes!!!!!:D
  17. sara Moderator

    Awe a sable merle! Notice the only place the merle affects is his "black" mask? Merle is a very interesting gene! Merle gets hidden in the sable colour, well, it gets hidden in yellow dogs too, so possibly a yellow rather than a sable. It only shows in black or red, which is why the only merle on your dog is his mask which is black, genetically.

    but I have to tell you, I dont think your pup is Aussie x heeler... Aussie, yes, but the black mask is not something that is in either breed. besides, he's way too big for that mix :) The spots on his face are Merle, not the ticking in Cattle dogs/ heelers.

    Honestly, I'd be very inclined to think Aussie x Akita
    Dogster likes this.
  18. Dogster Honored Member

    Hmmmm....interesting.... I also noticed that the only place with the merle effect is his face.... very interesting....I didn't think about it much though....Maybe Sara's right??? Aussie x Akita???
    Here are some Aussie x blue heelers:
  19. LeviTheOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I really am not 100% sure what he is mixed with. When I was looking for a puppy, I had called a few breeders cuz I wanted a full aussie. They wanted soooo much money for a full aussie pup. I guess the part of me that had always rescued dogs couldn't see paying 5, 6, $700 for a pup, plus my budget wouldn't allow it. I asked the last breeder I talked to he he knew what I should look for in a mix at a shelter to get the same behaviors and personality that are typical to an aussie. Thats when he told me he had a litter of aussie/heeler mix that he was trying to find homes for. He said he breeds both the dog breeds and his aussie and heeler had a litter. He didn't charge me very much. He said he wanted to find them good homes and just re-coup some of the cost of the vaccinations. I never saw the parents, so I really don't know for sure. Levi is around 55 - 60 lbs. I did read that aussies can get to be up to 65 lbs. I just never had any reason to doubt what the guy told me.

    Here are some pup pics of Levi....


    bekah1001 and Dogster like this.
  20. Dogster Honored Member

    He looks strikingly similar to the pup I found!!!!:) It didn't have a reallly black mask back then....

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