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Frogs & Dogs

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Everything posted by Frogs & Dogs

  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
  15. I want to hear more about arousal vs. drive. You both mentioned it, but I don't know the difference and therefore don't know what to look for. Also, Laurelin, it's interesting that you say next time you'd want a pure herder. One thing I liked about Kit is that she was very clearly a herding x hunting cross. The two breeds really balanced each other out, IMO. I can see how terrier x ACD could just multiply things, though. A few things that I loved about Kit that I'll be looking for again: Extreme food/toy drive. Confidence. Intensity. Loved all people, ignored most dogs. Bomb proof. Han
  16. For those who have gone through this process before, I'd be curious to hear what you'd do differently (if anything) than last time. If you chose your shelter/rescue dog with sports in mind, did you get what you were looking for? If not, what were the subtle signs that you missed but should have picked up on? How exactly did you evaluate the dog (actions, not just criteria)? What tests did you perform on the dog, and/or what tests should you have performed? I'd like details because I'll be doing this in a few months. Also, anyone in the Southern California area who would like to help, please ke
  17. Congrats on the pup, Laurelin! And thanks for rescuing. You might remember me from another forum - GottaLuvMutts? It's been a LONG time since I've been around, but I stumbled onto this thread while googling this exact topic. The reason I'm googling this topic is extremely sad. I lost Kit (my first and only dog and a shelter rescue) about a month ago to cardiac hemangiosarcoma. She was only 7 years old and in perfect shape. We were one Q away from our NATCH. From the onset of symptoms to death was 8 days. Utterly tragic, and I don't know how I'll ever be anything but devastated about it.
  18. Just had to add... If a cat left a present as nice as that on my dog's bed, there wouldn't be any evidence to clean up. LOL. Kitty roca is some kinda delicacy around here.
  19. Elevators aren't a problem for Kit. I think we'll skip the escalators, though - she's not a fan of strange flooring (shiny or slippery), and I think the small grating of an escalator would qualify. Oddly enough, this flooring thing seems to be the one major irrational fear she clings to - otherwise she's always been extremely confident.
  20. That's pretty much it. Here are a couple of examples where it will come in handy to have a singe release cue: You're walking the dog and run into a friend, so you stop to chat. You put the dog in a down stay while you chat, so that he doesn't pull on the leash, sniff strangers, etc. If he doesn't have a single release cue, he's going to assume that any word that comes out of your mouth is his release, but you're just trying to have a nice chat with your friend. Your dog spies something really smelly and delicious a few feet away. You tell him to leave it. He's waiting for only one comm
  21. I usually take stray dogs I find to the shelter. It's a well-run shelter where they will be treated with kindness and will not be PTS unless they're too unhealthy/aggressive to be adopted out. I figure the fine that the owners will have to pay to spring them might make them think twice about letting their dog wander again. And as a bonus, the shelter gets a much needed donation! I've always done this anonymously, so there's no chance that the owners will seek retribution for my actions.
  22. Looks like things are coming along well! I would suggest choosing a release word and sticking to it. Several times you just gave the command for whatever you wanted her to do next ("on", for example), or even her name as a release. If you work on a single release cue (I use "okay") that applies to all behaviors (sit, down, wait, whatever else), you'll thank yourself later. This is particularly important for impatient dogs or those without impulse control. I was impressed that she didn't pay any attention to the other dog in the room, and the other dog didn't butt in too much. In effect
  23. Yeah, mine might have been luck, too. Interestingly, the out tunnel was the second obstacle in the course (preceded by a hoop), and if there's one place that discriminations often trip us up, it's the start line.
  24. Most trials in my area are indoors, because we can't count on decent weather at almost any time of year. There was a question this winter of whether one trial would happen, because road conditions were predicted to be such that travel would be unsafe for some competitors. We were promised a full refund if the trial was cancelled, though it ended up taking place as planned.
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