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Discussion Starter #81 (Edited by Moderator)
Hi. This will be where I keep track of all my animals plus the horses at the barn. Unfortunately, I don’t own a horse and probably never will (insert dramatic sobbing) because of the career I want to pursue. Heck, all I know how to do is groom, lead around, and a little lunging. I will keep track of my lessons here because I want to know how much I’ve progressed.

I have a dog named Rosie. She’s a mutt. The shelter told us that she was a Bluetick Coonhound German Shepherd but I doubt it. I mean, what kind of GSD or coonhound has webbed paws? She looks like a lab, anyway.

Rosie’s a little obsessed with herding our chickens and trying to play with them (which resulted in my dad chucking a piece of wood at her -- he missed -- and threatening to shoot her). She is also scared of men. The only men she wasn’t scared of right away were the two guys from the Sheriff’s Office that pulled into our driveway -- which is another whole story I won’t get into.

Rosie seems to be smart most of the time. Most of the time. Sometimes she’s a total idiot. Like the time she hogtied herself with her tie-out cable and got stuck, or the time she jumped into the brick wall.

She’s learned quite a few tricks since I’ve had her. I got her on 12-1-20 and she already knows sit, down, stay, fronts, no, get out, hug, sit pretty, paws up on my knees, shake (which took way long to teach her, by the way), roll over, and play dead.

I regret teaching her play dead because now she throws herself on the floor when she doesn’t want to do something.

Now onto the chickens. I have thirteen of them and all of them have names because they aren’t eating chickens but layer chickens. However I will not list off all the names because I can’t seem to remember all the names and end up forgetting one, if not more.

My favorite chicken is Nugget. She was a chick when I squashed her with her water and she was without oxygen for a long time. I moved the water and found her. I brought her upstairs and we revived her with sugar water and I kept her warm until she was well enough to go back with the rest of the chicks. Now she’s slightly messed up and way too friendly.

What I think happened was that she got knocked out and got amnesia. The first thing that chicks see when they hatch is what they think is their mother. Well, she saw me and now she thinks I’m her mama ... or her slave (dun dun DUN).

My least favorite chicken is either Lady or Pigeon. Lady is very LOUD. When I go out to let them out in the morning and I’m a little late, I can always hear her screaming for me to let her out. And when I’m out in the yard and I don’t pay attention to them I can hear her. It’s so annoying.

Pigeon because she’s so dang flighty it’s almost impossible to put her up. ‘Nuff said.

Finally I have the rabbit. His name is Spec and he’s actually mine. I bought him with money I saved up from my birthday a year ago. Rosie’s only mine when she does something bad, obviously.

Anyway, Spec is an adorable little son of a gun. His nickname is fluffbutt, Mr. Spec, Spectacular (I did not come up with that, by the way), and dumb-dumb.

He’s very intelligent and has learned a lot of tricks. My favorite is paw and high five. He’s so dramatic.

Spec’s a real character. He has such a big personality. When he doesn’t like something I’m offering him, he’ll either throw it or curl up his lip and turn his back to me. He also knows how to beg. I’ll be eating on the floor and he’ll be crawling all over me, poking me in the back, the butt (rude), my arm, anywhere he can reach. Sometimes I’ll give in and give him a little pizza crust or something.

He’s a real butt too. The other day he jumped up in my lap and started scratching and biting me. He kept throwing my cheese stick on the floor. I pushed him on the floor and he jumped back up. He kept jumping back up.

About the lesson horse I use. His name is Samson -- I call him Sam sometimes -- and he’s a sixteen-year-old bay mustang gelding. He is kind of fat but he’s speedy from what I’ve heard from my trainer. He likes animal crackers, french fries, ham-and-cheese sandwiches (no mayo), peppermints … Pretty much everything.

He’s the type of horse that will take advantage of you if you let him. He’ll find what you don’t like and keep doing it. He knows that I get frustrated when he doesn’t back up, so he never wants to back up. We’ve improved a lot with that though, so all’s mostly good.

There are other horses there, too. Tawny is a big five-year-old varnish roan Appy. He’s the other lesson horse there. Me and him didn’t get along at first, which is why I didn’t choose him, but we’re cool now.

Traveler is a blind black TWH gelding who they got from a kill pen in NC somewhere. I’ve never actually met him. What surprised me is that they ride him. I didn’t know you could ride blind horses.

Hope is another kill pen horse. She’s a bay (I think) QH mare. She seems pretty sweet and she’s green broke.

Sadie is a boarder’s horse…

They got wild mustangs a couple weeks ago. Chayton, Bullseye, and another one I don’t know the name of. Bullseye is super sweet and calm. He’s only two years old and he’s adorable. My trainer said that she may use him as a lesson horse in the future.

Chayton acts like a wild horse. Which he should.

Last thing is me. My name really isn’t Hope (but I won’t tell you what it is HAHAHAHA). I take western riding lessons … I’m 14 … I live in East Tennessee … all that boring stuff. I won’t go into detail about me ‘cause this is long enough already. Congrats if you read all the way through. You have a long attention span.
 

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I used to have a hen who was like that. So loud! Squawking all the time! I hate, hate, hated her. She was also a terrible layer and was really mean to the others. I found someone who was going to take her (she was also an extremely beautiful chicken) but before I could get rid of her something got her. Oh well. I was sad, but not extremely sad.
 

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Rosie likes police and learns commands quickly-- that sounds like German Shepherd genetics. My German Shepherd knows 32 commands and she guards the chickens and guineas.

Loud? Have you ever heard female guinea hens? The constant, I mean with every breath they take for their whole life, saying of pickquick pickquick pickquick pickquick. And the males--- if ANYTHING might be unusual or strange (considered strange by birds that resemble space chickens) the quinea roosters shriek CADALAC! CADALAC! CADALAC! as loud as possible for as long as possible. Guineas are good watch dogs in a way. Also, they keep snakes out of the yard. They surround, scream and harass the poor snake until it leaves.
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I actually really enjoy the loud hens, we had one named Nellie who would follow us around and give “orders” she was the best. We also have a chicken named Peanut Butter who is a little... special, she walks around with her eyes closed and has weird knarly toes, she’s perfectly healthy just weird.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
@ACinATX Fortunately she isn't mean to the other chickens. I don't know if she lays anymore because I never see her in the nesting box. I don't think I'd be sad if she died because she's SOOOO annoying.

@AbbySmith I'm glad I'm back too :) And thank you! I hope I'm not too annoying with my constant rambling lol.

@AragoASB She's already tried to kill a chicken. I have to watch her because if the chickens get excited, she gets excited and jumps on them. I have heard guineas -- I went to a farm for 4-H and they had them and they were so fricking loud. I didn't know they did that with snakes! That picture's hilarious! 🤣

@~Wildheart~ I can't say I enjoy Lady's screaming, but we also have a strange chicken. She doesn't react to much, falls asleep on me while the other chickens panic, and screams like a dinosaur (or something) when I surprise her. She's a good layer, but I think she's the idiot who lays eggs on the ground. Her or Pigeon.

@AbbySmith and @Bettythepony I have one named Chick-fil-A too! I'm so cruel to name my chickens after food 😆 Oh well. They taste awful good ... especially fried.
 
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Discussion Starter #92
I went to Cades Cove today. For those of you who don't know where that it, it's in the Smoky Mountains which are in Tennessee.

I saw a lot of deer. I've been seeing a lot of them recently. I guess they're desperate for food or something. What was funny was my dad was going on and on about how bucks lose their antlers in January and how they don't have any antlers. Well, not to long after that we saw a huge buck with antlers -- I bet it was six to ten points, too. He seemed embarrassed. It was pretty funny.

There was also this turkey who couldn't seem to decide whether he was going to cross the road. He was a big ole tom. Finally he decided that he was going to cross and he did it very, very slowly. Then he stops just as he was about to get to the other side. Darn turkey.

When I got home I ran around with Rosie, who turned into a psychopath the second my brother opened the door to her crate. She ran full speed to me and I thought she was going to jump into me but she didn't, thank God. I let her outside and she was literally yelling at me (I swear she was telling me off for leaving her). Then I ran her around the yard a bit and she played kill the stuffed animal.

I think I'm going to teach her to jump through a hoola hoop. I bought one and treats at Target today but she seems to be afraid of it. I'm not surprised. She's scared of everything.

That was pretty much my last few hours. I hope I didn't bore you too much for my first journal post.
 

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You have done so good with Rosie! Could you try leaving the hula hoop in the yard so she can investigate it whever she wants? Before you pick it up and move it.
 

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Inga jumps through hula hoops with the command Jump. It also can mean jump off off something into water. This is how I trained her. Make a low jump like a foot high with a 2x4 and some feed tubs. Have her sit, be on the other side of the jump and call her Come and just before she jumps over it say Jump! then reward. Step to the other side and repeat. Soon just the word Jump will work. Put the hula hoop leaning on the jumb then use just the hoop. You can also use this setup to teach Crawl. Now I tell Inga to Crawl under the jump and she does. Reward with praise. They just want to please us. Then, the same set up can be used to teach Cross. You say Up and that means jump up on something, then Cross pointing a sweeping motion across the board and they walk across the 2x4. Then Wait (don't jump off yet) turn and cross again. I feel like putting a plume on Inga's head like a circus pony.

Here is how to teach not to chase chickens. You put Rosie on a Down outside the henyard gate. One at a time or few at a time the hens will run out. If she looks at the chicken, turns her head looking at the chicken this will cause the chase instinct which leads to kill instinct. If she looks at a chicken as it goes by yell NO! Next chicken- NO! You have to do this every day otr almost every day. The instict to guard livestock is deeply bred into German Shepherds. German Sheep Herds. If she goes after a chicken you have to catch her in the act chasing the chicken and scold severely. It does no good to scold a dog after the chicken is dead, and it will usually be your favorite chicken.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
@AbbySmith Thank you! She's gotten over her fear of hoola-hoops mostly. Thanks for the advice though. :)

@AragoASB Thank you for the advice. I think I may eventually use that setup but it'll have to be when it warms up again. And for the chicken idea, I don't think I'd be able to use it because our chickens aren't allowed out of their coop much anymore because they keep running off into the neighbors field with the cattle (who don't appreciate them). I do scold her when she chases them from outside the coop while they're inside by yelling at her and if she manages to get into the coop I chase her out then drag her by the collar and tie her out. You seem to have a lot of experience training dogs; I appreciate the advice because this is my first time training a dog of my own. :)

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Rosie now knows how to jump through a hoola-hoop. She picked that up quickly. We've only spent about ten minutes working on it together! I've underestimated her intelligence yet again. I guess it's hard to think a dog is smart when they jump int a brick wall that's in plain sight.

I use the command "through". I didn't intend to use this, instead I meant to use "jump" but words just come out of my darn mouth and now she knows that command. Maybe I could use "jump" for a jump that looks like the ones you use for horses.

I'm not sure if I'm going to teach her super athletic tricks like "rebound" -- jumping on and off the wall -- and things you would use in agility. Rosie is pretty athletic but I don't know if she'd keep the motivation to keep going through an agility course. She's a level two energy dog -- one is super lazy, two being a dog that will run around but settle down, and three is a dog who never seems to tire.

I'm not sure what the training method I use for her is called. I kind of use positive reinforcement but I also punish her when she does something naughty or disobeys. For instance, yesterday I was practicing our long-distance "stay". I put her in a sit and backed away. She got up and I told her "bad dog" and put her back in a sit. I rewarded her for her sit so she knew what I want her to stay in and backed away. It seemed to work okay. I think I may be going to fast for her.

I used to watch Zac George's YouTube channel so I could know how to train a dog when I got a dog, but I don't anymore. His idea of training is excessive in my opinion. I don't need to get a thirty foot leash to train a dog "stay". I didn't need to use his methods of getting a dog off-leash. How I got Rosie off-leash was seeing how she was when I dropped her leash for a short period of time. Then I put her on a thirty foot tie-out cable and let her run around to see how her recall was and where she went.

Now I don't use a leash. The only time I use a leash for her is when I go get mail. It's good practice for if we ever go to the park with her I guess because she sucks on a leash and I don't know how to leash train a dog. My mom said one day she will run off and she will, but I don't think she'll be gone long because she's a big coward.

I think that's all I have to say.

Bye.
 
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Discussion Starter #96 (Edited by Moderator)
I have more to say! Yay!

My barn recently moved to a facility of their own. Before they had been working out of a boarding stables where the boarders didn't take very good care of their horses. Some of the stalls were disgusting and the horses were mean because they weren't taken care of properly. On top of all of that they had been having to deal with barn drama.

The new facility is super nice. In February they're having a ten-stall barn built with a 100x200 arena with sand (I think). Right now they have a six stall barn with a round pen. I'm excited for the round pen because the one at the old barn was super muddy and slippery because the grass had worn down. This round pen has grass in it; it'll be warn down eventually but we will enjoy it while it lasts.

They do boarding there now and maybe eventually I'll get my own horse. That'll be a long, long time though :(. Eventually they'll be doing private shows with boarders and lesson horses so they can work up to bigger shows. It sounds like a lot of fun to me :).

I don't know if they're doing lessons now -- I think they may be doing them -- but if I have a lesson it might be on Sunday or next week (dramatic sobbing). So long to wait! I won't be riding for a bit, not until I work on lunging a bit more, but I'm super excited for when I will.

The downside of this new location is that it is now almost forty five minutes away. It was already almost thirty minutes away. I will be doing one two-hour lesson every other week. My mom says it'll make the drive worth it. She benefits from their location too because the city (if you call a 15000 tourist town a city) is really close so she'll get to do shopping and girly stuff when I get to go be with horses.

I think the two hour lessons will be beneficial to me because it seems when I finally pick something up, the lesson is over. I'll be able to learn more things in a longer period of time, too.

Here's some pictures of some of the animals:

Here's a picture of Rosie. Not the best quality because my phone doesn't take very good pictures in the wrong lighting.
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In the right lighting my phone is capable of an occasional good picture. Spec as a kit:
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Samson (not my picture):


Tawny (not my picture):


Hope (not my picture):


Traveler (not my picture):

Horse photos removed at OPs request

And just because I don't have anything better to do, here's the best picture I've taken on my phone:
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If I can find my phone I'll upload better pictures of the horses and dog.
 
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Discussion Starter #97
Tawny's the attachment. I messed up.
 
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I would like to see a picture of rosie standing and from the side like horse conformation pictures. How does she carry her tail, any fawn colored markings, the shape of her head.I used to work in a kennel so I might have an idea of her breeding.
We got a German Shepherd puppy and had no idea how to train a dog. We never had a dog that has got to be trained. If you don't train German Shepherds their intelligence gets them in trouble. So we went with the online trainer Don Sullivan. He does not recomend bribing with treats because dogs can smell when you don't have treats and what dogs really want is to please us. His rewards are praise and play. It is not all positive. Once the dog knows the command and you are sure they know it but decide to blow you off then they get a quick collar correction and immediatly get another chance. The techniques are adjusted according to the softness or hardness of the dogs character. A working line German Shepherd or Malinois for instance, is a much harder dog than a Greyhound or Whippet for instance. His traing system comes with a plastic training collar and some ropes but you don't need that You can fix those yourself but the two training CDs you can get for $20 used on Amazon

We used this method to train Inga to 32 commands, not just circus tricks but real world useful things like Bring It (the livestock animal we point at), What is it? ( a possible threat- go find out what it is, act agrerssive, show fang but do not attack) SNAKE! (jump away) Now she jumps away from snakes without being told.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
I'm not actually allowed to use a training collar, and I don't particularly like them, but I know they are necessary in some cases. I don't really need one for Rosie. She does her tricks with and without treats. I wish she was toy and play motivated, but she isn't that type of dog.

I don't know if I'll be able to get a picture like you mentioned because I can't find my phone and I wouldn't be able to get her to stay still long enough.

Rosie has the head shape of a lab. She has fawn markings. Her markings are like what a Doberman's or Rottweiler's or black and tan GSD's would be. Her tail is kind of curled. Something about her makes me think she's part Anatolian Shepherd. I think it's the way she carries her tail and how she has a deep-ish chest. I saw a lab/Anatolian shepherd's picture from the shelter and she looks like a black and tan version of it.
 
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