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Frogs & Dogs

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About Frogs & Dogs

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  1. Things are going well here. After just a couple of hours, he picked up a default sit. Today we worked hard on crate games (permission to exit the crate) and he's totally getting it! It's like 99% better than the behavior I witnessed when I met him on Saturday. As I type this, he's dozing in his crate with the door wide open - his choice to go in there. He also learned to jump into the back of my car today. I dug out my old basic obedience manual from the days when Kit was a puppy. It's full of useful exercises, so we'll be working our way through that. He pooped and peed twice today instea
  2. After losing my beloved Kit to cancer in April and deciding that I don't like my life without a dog in it, on Saturday, I adopted this boy from a rescue in the LA area: http://www.bordercolliesinneed.org/border_collie_rescue_and_adoptions/blackbart.html It's still early, but so far, I'm utterly impressed. Despite a rough start in life, he's remarkably stable. I haven't witnessed much fear. He notices everything, but isn't reactive. He loves people and other dogs. Good food motivation. Likes toys, but doesn't understand yet that it's a game we can play together. Very quiet. And really smart
  3. Black Bart is mine. I'll be changing that name, though. And me keeping him is contingent on good vet check including xrays. We've only been home for ~6hrs. So far, I'm utterly impressed. This boy is a blank slate - no one has worked with him at all, so he knows absolutely nothing. On the flip side, no one has messed up his training yet, either. From what I can tell, he has no baggage. I keep seeing little flashes of brilliance - there's clearly a lot going on upstairs. He has already figured out what the clicker means and mastered a default sit since we've been home. And I've barely hea
  4. Well, I'm back from my month-long trip, and starting the search in earnest now. On Friday, I'm going to go visit this guy: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35990733 And on Saturday, I have an appointment to meet this guy: http://www.bordercolliesinneed.org/border_collie_rescue_and_adoptions/blackbart.html Fingers crossed.
  5. The reason I'm holding off is that I have at least one trip coming up in the near future. I absolutely hate being dogless, but it turns out that one small advantage is the ability to travel more easily. I'm definitely away thru Aug 12, and found out yesterday that I *might* be out of the country for a month after that. So trying not to get my hopes up about any dogs currently available, because they could be gone. In part, I'm testing the waters now to see how often a dog that I'm truly interested in becomes available. This might dictate how picky I can be when the time comes. Yes, I've
  6. Depends on where you are. Kit was in a public shelter. Even got returned there after a failed adoption. She was STILL there a week after I first met her (it took me that long to get up the nerve to say "yes"). Around here (southern CA), there seem to be plenty of large dogs including herding mixes languishing in shelters for weeks/months at a time. And if I need to go North to Oregon (land of border collies), I have a whole network of agility people there who would be delighted to help. I'm looking for a needle in a haystack. The chances that I'm going to find it in the shelter/rescue I
  7. Oh yes, a very wide chest is probably just as bad (if not worse) than a very narrow one. I ordered Helen King's book "What's your angle" last night. I'm eagerly waiting its arrival so I can learn more. Thanks, PSmitty. I saw Maggie on one of the many FB pages I've recently liked. She sounds cool. Doesn't Cate look amazing? She'll probably be gone by the time I'm ready, but *swoon*! TxMom, Maissi sounds awesome! I love it when rescues take the time to type out everything they know. You just get a much better picture of what you're getting into.
  8. From what I've read, risk increases with depth but decreases with width. Hence a narrow-chested dog is at higher risk. http://www.goldenrescuestlouis.org/Bloat.asp
  9. Oh believe me, I'm not one of THOSE people. In my 7 years of dog ownership, I never gave a single cent to AKC, and have no plans to do so in the future. I think the conformation ring is slowly ruining breed after breed, and as a biologist, I worry about the long-term effects of inbreeding. That said, a narrow chest seems like a bad thing for a sports dog. Think of a dog leaping for a frisbee and then landing. Distributing weight across a larger area is going to help prevent injury. In agility, the A-frame is notoriously hard on dogs with weak front ends. Lastly, I've read that a narrow che
  10. Yes, PSmitty, I'm open to shelter dogs as well as those in rescue. I'm also 100% open to mixes. It will still be over a month before I start a search in earnest, but here are a couple of dogs I've got eyes on: http://www.bordercolliesinneed.org/border_collie_rescue_and_adoptions/cate.html She sounds pretty awesome. https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35377662 I'm not convinced about physical structure - chest looks quite narrow. https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35452479 Interesting story. I've been watching the Adoptable Sport and Working Dogs page on FB, but haven't se
  11. I think I'm getting a clearer picture. Kit had very high toy drive - at 7mo (when I got her) nothing would make her disengage from a ball. It took me months to teach her that the ball was her reward for other stuff, and it was only hers if she could focus on something else and perform in its presence. She was not easily aroused, though - she was confident enough to ignore just about any kind of environmental trigger, and was especially good at doing so if her focus was elsewhere (toy, food, me). Starting this search is breaking my heart all over again, because it's making me realize just how s
  12. Interesting. Scrolling up, I think I see a difference of opinions here. Previously, drive was defined as focus and intensity, and arousal as bouncing from one thing to another. Here the definition is nearly opposite - drivey dogs disengage from an object more readily, while aroused dogs don't. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding?
  13. Excellent! Looks like the majority of posts in this group are in CA, and many in southern CA, which is perfect! I currently live in Santa Barbara, so my new addition will get regular trips to the beach. My search officially starts on August 13th. ETA: Stumbled upon this video. Very helpful!
  14. I appreciate this perspective, and most of the sports enthusiasts I know would agree. However, I am committed to go the shelter/rescue route now and into the future. Here's article listing some good reasons why: http://teamunruly.com/?p=3399. I'm fully aware that a similar article could be written from the opposite perspective. That's all I'll say about why - I'm more interested in having a conversation about how. Several people have said it's difficult to evaluate a dog in a shelter environment. I'm curious to hear perspectives on false negatives vs. false positives. In medicine, if you g
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