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GentleLake

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  1. Yikes, Ruth! I've edited that sentence to correct spelling. Jeana, if he's tearing up (plush?) toys then don't give him plush toys - or at least don't let him play with them unsupervised - unless you don't mind spending money for short lived toys. There are none in my house for that very reason. Instead my dogs play with tougher rubber toys and rope toys. And Journey's right to suggest that at his age Bernie could well indeed be going through a fear period. Don't cater to or reinforce his fears but stay calm and matter of fact about the things that set him off and he should grow out of it if that's what it is.
  2. A few things I'd like to add, in no specific order of importance, to the great suggestions you've already gotten. One is Emma Parson's Click to Calm protocol and book. Don't be put off by it's being for aggressive dogs. It works equally well for fearful/reactive/over-excited dogs too. Also look into Leslie McDevitt's Look at That game, basically the same thing that Ruth describes with the "look at me" training, but ever so slightly different in intent and laid out in the 2nd (so-called puppy) edition of her book Control Unleashed. Both the Click to Calm protocol and Look at That game can be found online, with some good videos demonstrating the techniques. Yes, physical exercise is important, but try to avoid relying too much on mindless, repetitive exercise like fetch and Frisbee. It can lead to OCD - or more accurately CCD (canine compulsive disorder) - behaviors where the dog can't break focus and you've already said there's some of that going on now. Plus that kind of repetitive motion, especially when it's carried out long enough to tire the dog, is very hard on the joints and can lead to skeletal issues in later life, if not before that. While they run and work long and hard, the exercise traditional working border collies were bred to do is neither mindless nor repetitive. Their brains are fully engaged in the interplay between dog and sheep and the movements are as varied as the terrain and the ways in which the sheep move either with or against them and it has a very different effect on both their minds and their bodies. In fact, if it's something you have the means to pursue, some sheepdog training might also be a big help. Just make sure it's with someone knowledgeable and experienced with working border collies rather than an all breed hobby trainer. An off leash walk in a field or woods where the dog's free to explore and run at his own pace is far preferable to a game of fetch, especially if you're playing long enough to tire the dog out. If you're dog's not reliable off leash, then try to take leash walks on a long line where he's free to sniff and explore safely to his heart's content. Let it be his walk, not one you control all aspects of. And lastly, don't forget to quietly praise and reward the unasked for moments of calm and quiet when your dog decided to settle on his own. Far too many people forget to reinforce behavior that they like when it comes on its own, instead only engaging the dog when trying to teach him to behave differently than he is. It's equally important to reinforce desired behavior whenever it occurs, even - especially - when it happens on its own. Definitely look into nose work (aka scent work) and other brain games for your dogs. Buy or make puzzle toys, snuffle mats, teach your dog the names of his toys, etc. There are plenty of ideas on the internet to pursue.
  3. Quite a few years ago a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member who worked extensively with shelter/rescue dogs told me that on average, it's more like 3 months before a dog can really be expected to acclimate to a new home. This seems to be catching on in people's understanding of the time we need to allow a new dog to start to feel at home. As to the right dog for your situation, add me to the list to endorse a foster based rescue for all the reasons mentioned above. In many cases you'll have an opportunity to meet the dog in their current home environment or at least with whomever their current caretaker is, rather than in what might be an exciting or hectic atmosphere of an adoption event. (The rescue I volunteer with stopped doing adoption events for this reason.) There are more individual personality differences within most breeds than there are between breeds. While some border collies don't do well with young children, others absolutely adore them. Chances are a puppy raised with your daughter will bond with her. There's also a good chance that if you're patient you'll be able to find a kid friendly post adolescent border collie through a rescue if that's what you want. The advantage there is that you'll have a better indication of what the adult temperament is. Anyway, good luck with finding a dog for your daughter.
  4. I also haven't been around for quite a while and scrolling down thru old posts saw this, another loss I'm so saddened to see. 15 is indeed a wonderful age for a dog, and one that speaks to all the good times and love you shared. Hemangiosarcomas are sneaky things, but my understanding is that he was unlikely to have been in any pain. I hope he's running free in a big field in the sky with new friends and old. RIP, old boy. roxanne
  5. I'm just seeing this too. I'm so sorry for your loss and so very grateful for the great life you gave Riverdog for the rest of her life. Dogspeed, sweet girl.
  6. Thanks. That was it! Easy peasy once you know how o do it.
  7. I'm trying to change my avatar for the Boards but I'm not seeing any options in the setting Change Profile page to do that. Can anyone help, please? Thanks.
  8. . . . and while it's not official yet it looks like NEBCR came in 2nd in our region, which comes with a prize of $3,000! All our supporters deserve a big high five for sticking with us for 7 long days, putting up with daily reminders, voting every day and encouraging friends and family to vote every day too. It really does take a village. Thank you for being part of ours. We couldn't have done it without you.
  9. Their tallying software is pretty lame. It was probably initially showing an older total. (I admit to being a little obsessive about checking them.) I just cast the 4141st vote, so I'm thinking the higher number was accurate and the lower one off a little due to lag. Thanks so much for your votes and support.
  10. Bumping this up for attention. This is it, the last day to vote for New England Border Collie Rescue's chance to win $1,200 in the Fresh Pet Fresh Start contest. Time's of the essence now. With a concerted effort we can make a final push to win this contest. Here's how we do it: Make sure that everyone in your home votes. https://freshpet.com/.../new-england-border-collie-rescue/ (or https://freshpet.com/fresh-start/ if that one doesn't work). Be sure to look for and respond to the confirmation email that will come to inbox as soon as you cast your vote. Then share with all your FB and email friends. We can do this, but we'll need everyone's help! Many thanks for sticking with us this far. roxanne
  11. This is it, the last day to vote for New England Border Collie Rescue's chance to win $1,200 in the Fresh Pet Fresh Start contest. Time's of the essence now. With a concerted effort we can make a final push to win this contest. Here's how we do it: Make sure that everyone in your home votes. https://freshpet.com/.../new-england-border-collie-rescue/ (or https://freshpet.com/fresh-start/ if that one doesn't work). Be sure to look for and respond to the confirmation email that will come to inbox as soon as you cast your vote. Then share with all your FB and email friends. We can do this, but we'll need everyone's help! Many thanks for sticking with us this far. roxanne
  12. Hi, everyone. I haven't been around lately and am kicking myself that I didn't think to post here sooner. Fresh Pet's sponsoring a Fresh Start contest https://freshpet.com/fresh-start/ that runs through tomorrow (9/28) with awards of $1,200 to each of the top vote recipients in 5 US regions. New England Border Collie Rescue has been jockeying with another rescue for days now and the voting's so close that we have a real chance to win this contest if we can just get some more peeps to vote for NEBCR today and tomorrow. You can vote once every 24 hours. https://freshpet.com/fresh-start/new-england-border-collie-rescue/ They'll immediately send a confirmation email that you have to verify your vote for it to count. Voting's easy and they also make it easy to share the contest with your friends on FB or email. Can you please help this great rescue win the funds to help the flood of border collies in need that have been flooding in in recent months? We're so close that every vote will count! Please vote and get everyone in your household to vote from all their email accounts as well. International votes seem to be being counted as well. All they ask for is a valid email account. And set a reminder on your phone to vote tomorrow too. I can't tell you how much we - and the dogs this will help - appreciate it! Thanks so much. roxanne
  13. I'm so sorry to hear that, Geonni. They're never with us long enough. Cliche but true. Run free, sweet Sugarfoot.
  14. Don't have time for much of a reply right now but do want to point out that allowing her to do this can cause skeletal and/or thyroid damage. If I were you I'd switch to a harness immediately to mitigate the risk. A no pull harness may even help with the pulling, though in my experience they're no panacea and not a substitute for training.
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