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Thread: Autistic with Two Dogs

  1. #1

    Default Autistic with Two Dogs

    I am concerned that I am not giving the best care to my two dogs. As an autistic I "ignore" many cues and am reading as much as I can and spending as much time as I can with them.

    My female cattle x is 10 and was with me 7 years before my male cattle x came to live with us. She is top-dog, he defers to her though is always pushing the envelope.

    I am training myself to look at her first (he moves the most and movement "calls" me)~ when is it ok though to look and pet him? I walk them separately (her first) and make time to play with them separately~ though when they are together I am not sure how much attention I should not pay him.

    I spend the most time petting her, and then will give him a couple of seconds, then return to her, and always end with her.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Hi Learning

    If you want to see a large group of people (especially women) with Aspergers (a type of autism) - check out your local dog show or agility trial... When it comes to looking after animals - it helps to be a little bit or even a lot - autistic.

    Dogs like routine, clearly you've done just fine with your first cattle dog, so keep doing what you're doing. I find if I miss cues from my dog - she tells me very loudly or sneaks off and eats a toilet roll. If you're trying to establish alpha dog status, I think you're doing the right things in giving the first dog your attention first and last, and a bit less to the second dog. But in the general scheme of things - I find it doesn't make a whole lot of difference - just as long as they don't both push you out of your own bed, you're doing ok.

    If your second dog is much younger than the first one - he may need more things to do to keep him busy and not bored or destructive. This may require some creativity from you but may not require your dedicated attention. Eg balls of food treats can be good or a good game of fetch. The younger dog may need more exercise and this may require a bit more effort on your part, and it may be fine with the older dog. The more exercise he gets - the less he is likely to give the older dog a hard time - because hopefully he will be more interested in sleeping and recovering.

    The rules are not completely fixed - you can adapt them to suit your situation and what your dogs do. And dogs are not that fussed on eye contact either. From strangers, they find it kind of threatening, from their owner or top dog - they wonder what the next command will be. If my puppy initiates eye contact - it's usually because she wants something like play or food or to go out.

    I don't think what I've written covers nearly everything but given how long you have had your first dog - I think you're on the right track. I think in a small pack of two or three, it's ok to take turns being "alpha dog" and not insist on the same top dog all the time - this works for me but might not be right for everyone or all dogs.

  3. #3

    Default Hycinth

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    Hi Learning

    If you want to see a large group of people (especially women) with Aspergers (a type of autism) - check out your local dog show or agility trial... When it comes to looking after animals - it helps to be a little bit or even a lot - autistic.

    Dogs like routine, clearly you've done just fine with your first cattle dog, so keep doing what you're doing. I find if I miss cues from my dog - she tells me very loudly or sneaks off and eats a toilet roll. If you're trying to establish alpha dog status, I think you're doing the right things in giving the first dog your attention first and last, and a bit less to the second dog. But in the general scheme of things - I find it doesn't make a whole lot of difference - just as long as they don't both push you out of your own bed, you're doing ok.

    If your second dog is much younger than the first one - he may need more things to do to keep him busy and not bored or destructive. This may require some creativity from you but may not require your dedicated attention. Eg balls of food treats can be good or a good game of fetch. The younger dog may need more exercise and this may require a bit more effort on your part, and it may be fine with the older dog. The more exercise he gets - the less he is likely to give the older dog a hard time - because hopefully he will be more interested in sleeping and recovering.

    The rules are not completely fixed - you can adapt them to suit your situation and what your dogs do. And dogs are not that fussed on eye contact either. From strangers, they find it kind of threatening, from their owner or top dog - they wonder what the next command will be. If my puppy initiates eye contact - it's usually because she wants something like play or food or to go out.

    I don't think what I've written covers nearly everything but given how long you have had your first dog - I think you're on the right track. I think in a small pack of two or three, it's ok to take turns being "alpha dog" and not insist on the same top dog all the time - this works for me but might not be right for everyone or all dogs.
    Thank you :-) I feel much more confident and less guilty. Neither of them walk well on a lead, the older is better than the younger though. This is due to my lack of practice with them, I was trying together because the one left behind would make such a fuss. Now I leave one inside and walk the other and play with them just one on one.

    I am glad I found this forum and will draw on more training tips. Hopefully I will have something to contribute to others sooner than later :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

    Default

    Hi Learning

    Have you tried using a gentle leader nose band or a front attach harness? Both or either can give you more control on walks. I prefer the front attach harness - because my puppy dog hates the nose band (though it works - she can't pull with it correctly fitted).

    There is a thread in here somewhere that discusses these things.

    For each product - websites - so you can see what I'm talking about.
    front attach harness - I like the sensible better than the easy walk
    Dog Harness, Dog Training Supplies | Sense-ible and Sense-ation Dog Harness
    Easy Walk Harness Product Description - Premier Pet
    and
    nose band gentle leader
    Gentle Leader Product Description - Premier Pet

    and it may well be worth it - for your own sanity to eventually teach the dogs to walk nicely together. Should be possible even with cattle dogs.

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