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Everything posted by GentleLake

  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.
  15. Don'tcha just love when that happens? It sounds like she's dong really well. Good job, both of you.
  16. @D'ElleIf I have my other dog with me, who is too dog reactive to pass the greeting-unknown-dog part of the therapy dog evaluations, I'll usually just say that I'm training for calm behavior. And ppl usually respect that too. If they don't I figure I've done my part and will just turn around and walk away. But it sounds like you've arrived at a solution that works for you. If your aim is to be completely truthful I'd suggest using "support" rather than the other 2. They both have specific definitions that wouldn't be accurate in your situation. Besides, it sounds purposeful (which it is) and most ppl don't understand the nuances among the terms anyway.
  17. This. Because I'm often training potential therapy dogs now, I've found that if I say "She's training to be a therapy dog" people are more inclined to take you seriously and don't try to push the issues. If it seems like they may have a few minutes I'll sometimes explain that we're working on calm greetings and enlist them to help. Most of the time it works like a charm. Willing assistants who are truly strangers to me as well as to the dog. Win/win. And even if this isn't what you're training for, just saying that you're working on calm greetings will usually do the trick. But if it doesn't seem to I wouldn't be above a small fib in telling them that. People love the idea of helping tran, especially helping a dog to become a working dog of some sort.
  18. It takes more like 3 months for the hormones lost through desexing to abate, so it's a little too soon to know how much (if any) impact neutering him may have. But it's a common misperception that neutering (or spaying) stops marking. It may lessen the impulse . . . sometimes. For one thing it's not entirely a hormonal behavior. At some point, hormones or not, it becomes habitual with most dogs. I adopted a ~6 y.o. female border collie mix who was spayed by the rescue right before I adopted her. She never stopped marking, and she lived to be ~17.75 y.o. My recently deceased purebred male, also neutered at ~1.5 y.o., marked for the rest of his lifetime of ~16 years. This of course doesn't mean that dogs can't be trained not to mark in the house. Of course they can, and both of the dogs I mentioned above were successfully house trained. And it's achieved the same way you house train a puppy - watch them like hawks so you can interrupt and praise the cessation while getting them outside, and praise profusely whenever they go outside. It's my firm belief that ppl think it's harder to house train adults than it is puppies. That's nonsense of course, but I also think that ppl aren't used to having to keep their eyes on the adult adoptee like they (hopefully) take for granted they have to with a puppy. Or that they should rely on some sort of confinement (e.g. crate, x-pen) or tethering the dog to you when you're not able to devote that same 100% attention on the dog. So the answer to that question is just to treat him like a puppy for this. The advantage of house training an adult is that their muscle control is better so that when you interrupt they can usually hold it till you get them rushed outdoors. Even the most persistent markers get the concept pretty quickly; generally if there's a more extended issue it's because it can be hard to break the habit, but it's still a matter of persistence on your part. Don't be discouraged; he'll get it. 3 months is just getting to the end of the honeymoon period. Now's when he'll be more likely to start experimenting with behaviors you haven't seen much (or any) of yet because he's getting comfortable enough to start experimenting with behaviors he may have been repressing before now. It's such an exciting period for the relationship you're developing together starts to take form. Enjoy it.
  19. Just a few hours left!! the auction runs until Saturday March 13th at 5 pm EST. That's TODAY! You must join the group to bid. Proceeds will help cover Zest's medical expenses. https://www.facebook.com/groups/755389698246517
  20. @Kiko, welcome to the Boards. First of all, this group doesn't have anything to do with Whatsapp so I don't think anyone can add you, and AFAIK it wouldn't connect you to the Boards anyway. Secondly, when I click on your link I get a "Sorry, this page isn't available" message. So no pic to be seen. Finally, it's very hard to tell by a photo alone if a dog is or isn't a border collie. For one thing, working border collies have no breed standard that applies to their appearance or even size. I've seen some purebred border collies I would never have guessed were anything other than Heinz 57 type mixes until I saw them working, at which point there was no mistaking what they were. Because of this singular disregard for what working border collies look like as opposed to what they do, there's more variety among border collies than probably any other breed of dog. We might be able to tell you that the dog looks like it "could" be a border collie, but few here would offer any further assurances. And we'd be likely to say that an ID would depend just as much as how the dog acts as how it looks. To muddy the waters even further, many mixed breeds end up looking a lot like border collies. This is one of the reasons behavior is as important an identifier as appearance. Sorry not to be more helpful. But if you'd like to post a picture directly to the post (or at least provide a working link) and tell us why you think your dog might be a border collie I'm sure you'll find some people willing to offer some opinions.
  21. I had one many years ago and had mixed results. It was originally purchased for a pointer/retriever mix who loved to wander. Most of the time it kept him home, but if he really wanted to go we could watch him contemplate how badly he wanted to and when he'd decide to go he'd brace himself and then make a dash across the line. As someone said, getting shocked to come home was never an option. He'd sit in the neighbors' yard and bark till we went to get him. That said, we ended up getting a second collar for another dog, a border collie, later and it worked well for her as long as the collar battery was good. The instant it weakened she was off like a flash, which was more than just a nuisance because the reason we put her on it in the first place was that she like to sneak off to attack neighbors' dogs. As others have pointed out, the fences do absolutely nothing to stop anyone or anything coming in. People, dogs, cats, deer, bear - nothing is deterred in any way from coming in, which means that people or other animals with ill intentions still have free access. Or if your dog's inclined to chase and gets "fired up" to the point that she'll breech the current fence there's a good chance an EF won't stop her either. And last but not least, border collies are a pretty sensitive breed and some might be more traumatized by the training than some other dogs. Even my phlegmatic pointer mix was so frightened from the initial training that it took weeks for him to venture more than a few feet from the back door at first and several months until he was comfortable using the entire yard. It's one reason some rescues won't adopt to ppl who use them. Oh, and the underground systems, unless they've improved from the earlier models, are like lightening rods. Ours was struck a couple times, necessitating new wire to be installed. One time the whole thing needed to be replaced when a lightening strike blew the indoor unit off the wall and across the room. There are other relatively inexpensive alternatives for fencing. You can buy metal posts and rolls of plastic snow fencing or even deer fencing if you need something taller. Just something to think about.
  22. @Irish Collie, sorry to be so late in replying. At this point I'd be interested in knowing if you've had any noticeable results. I'd also like to suggest that, if you haven't done so already, you have a vet check your dog's health, including oral health. Many dogs these days already have some pretty serious gum disease or other dental issues by the time they're 3 years old. Periodontal disease can cause bad breath, as can broken teeth, and can also lead to other health issues. Another reason to discuss this with your vet is that bad breath can also be an indicator of other health issues unrelated to teeth and gums. My old guy who had chronic kidney failure at the end of his life had increasingly bad breath, even though he was raw fed and had always had remarkably good breath - to the point that other ppl would remark on it - prior to that. Bad breath can be an indicator of other illnesses as well. I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to know what you've done so far and how it's working out for you.
  23. Hi, @Hazey Dazey Wanted to offer a belated welcome to the Boards, and say thanks for welcoming a hapless working dog into a home more suited to her nature. I'm not really sure what to suggest when she's having trouble accepting that some people and dogs are interested in interacting with her, but for starters I hope you can stop thinking about her as stubborn. She's not being perverse in ignoring you, but more likely is just super disappointed and confused that others aren't as into her as she's into them. I have a dog a lot like this - she believes everyone should be her new best friend. She just doesn't take it quite so hard as you pup does; she's more likely to just keep trying to get to the person (she couldn't care less about dogs), but when I see that someone's not going respond to her advances I just say something cheerful before she has a chance to start pulling and briskly keep walking. Timing is important here; you'll have to pay attention both to other people's and dogs' reactions and try to keep her distracted and moving before she goes into drop-and-howl/bark mode and maybe have some yummy treats on hand to initially distract and then to reward her for getting past without making a scene. It'll probably take some time and practice until you get it down, but you'll start to pick up the right moment to start heading her off. Wishing you the best in helping her past this hurdle. We love getting pictures and updates, so I hope you'll let us see her and know how things are coming along with her.
  24. Congratulations, Geonni! I'll be sure to look for it.
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