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Frogs & Dogs

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Everything posted by Frogs & Dogs

  1. I also love smoothies. I hike a lot with my dog and I live in muddy Oregon. I despise picking dirt, leaves, burs, etc. out of dogs' coats, so smooth it is. People are always commenting on how clean/soft she is, even after a muddy hike. And she's white, so dirt the dirt that sticks really shows up! Not sure if you'd be open to this, but it seems to me that a lot of BC mixes are smooth-coated.
  2. Recently, Kit was breaking her sit/stays in class. The instructor suggested that it had to do with tension on the leash as I removed it. She suggested keeping a very loose leash as I put Kit into the sit/stay and removed the leash. I was shocked that it worked! The tension on the leash was translating to tension in her, and all that anticipation was just too much for her.
  3. Thanks for all of the recommendations, everyone! I ended up getting one of these. It arrived yesterday and so far I like it a lot. Nice length, seems pretty durable, very comfortable to hold. My only complaint is that the company charged me $6 for shipping, and the box said $2.40 on it. To clarify what I said about pulling, Kit is easily able to walk with a loose leash under normal circumstances (although that took quite a bit of training). However, she has a slight obsession with meeting people, and especially people that she knows, like the agility folks in our area. Try as I might, curbing her enthusiasm seems pretty impossible. As these folks are likely to have their dogs near them during trials or class, it would be rude of me to let Kit approach, so a short lead that won't choke my dog is a must. Normally I just use a flat collar (lupine) and 6' leash.
  4. For disc doggin', Kit has to give the disc back to me - not drop it on the ground, because in a timed trial, it takes too long for me to pick it up. The "give" command was very useful in training this. I don't think it would have been possible if we hadn't done plenty of practice on this command at home first. Now she'll do it with a ball, too if I bend over and reach out my hands.
  5. I recently bought a curry comb (I got the Kong brand - "zoom groom"). It works wonders to help get out some of the undercoat on Kit - she's shedding a lot right now. Best of all, it doesn't seem to be messing up her soft sleekness. I make sure to use it outside only, and I've actually seen birds come by and grab clumps of hair for their nests.
  6. Yes, that's pretty much what I'm worried about. I have yet to meet a dog with more drive than Kit. Those look like very nice leads. Maybe I'll call their customer service tomorrow to see what they have available.
  7. We're just getting started in agility (doing plenty of disc dogging, though!), and I'd like a lead that I can use for both sports. I've heard good things about Mendota brand, and someone showed me a lead that could also be used for tugging. Or what about martingales? I'd like something fairly short that Kit can't wiggle out of, because she sort of has an obsession with meeting people, and it's worse when she's already wound up (like after running a course). Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. What do you use?
  8. Good to know it's not just Kit who likes to eat grass. I was starting to get a bit concerned, too. She's very food motivated, and when we're outside doing some training/tricks/agility/frisbee/whatever and I don't offer a treat when she thinks she deserves one, she'll treat herself to a blade of grass. She knows it's off limits during training, so sometimes she'll prance/run around with it just to show it off. She also eats a lot of grass during the zoomies, which usually happen after baths or swimming.
  9. Crows and geese are Kit's favorites (probably because she's never had the chance to work any real stock). At the first sign of a flock of crows, she's looking at me waiting for the release. A quick nod and she's off. The outrun is gorgeous. She scatters them with a burst of speed and then circles back to me. The first time she did this, I just about fell over laughing. What's that saying about BC's finding jobs if you don't give them one??? Then again, I strongly suspect that Kit's other half is pointer, so it's not really that surprising that she likes to work birds as if they're stock.
  10. Thanks. Kit was also listed as BC x lab at the shelter, but I have a really hard time seeing any lab in her. I'm sure it was just a guess. Based more on personality and behavior than on looks, I'm pretty sure she's part BC.
  11. Well, you learn something every day don't you? I'm a relative newbie to the board and the world of border collies in general, and while I don't believe I've ever referred to our beloved breed as "borders", I apologize for making a few of you cringe by saying that my dog herds animals. I agree with the poster who said that the use of the term doesn't necessarily reflect any allegiance to the dog fancy world. I'm just about as disgusted with that bunch as anyone here, and that's one of the many reasons I fell in love with border collies. Regarding the use of the H-word, I didn't know better than to use it, and now I do - simple as that. I'll probably continue to use the H-word around folks who wouldn't have any idea what I was talking about if I said "working stock".
  12. Awesome, I'm totally stealing the walk-forwards/walk-backwards trick! You definitely have the foundations for some great freestyle stuff there. The intelligence of other breeds tends to pale in comparison, doesn't it? Oh, well - can't blame the dogs for it.
  13. Breed-specific rescues can be pretty picky about who they'll adopt to, but not all of them are. I enrolled my dog in a frisbee class last summer and there was a lady there with her BC she was fostering through the BC rescue organization. Upon hearing that I "only" had one dog, she handed me the foster's leash and said "Here, you take her!" I balked, but she pressed pretty hard. The lady had no knowledge of me other than the fact that I own a BC mix, like to play frisbee with my dog, and only own one dog. I'm sure the real application process is more involved, but even so, I feel like she would have made it work if I really wanted the dog. I lived in Miami Dade for 18 years and still have a lot of ties there. I've gotta say, though, herding breeds aren't common there. Until I moved away, I probably would have had a hard time recognizing a BC or an Aussie, had a seen one. Maybe I was just oblivious, not being a dog person at that time. I do know one non-breed specific rescue there, if you're interested.
  14. Kit loves to let me know if there's someone outside (a couple of quick alarm barks) and she goes nuts with excitement if someone knocks. I've had guests say to me "Wait, that was all her? Judging from the ruckus, I thought you must be dogsitting a couple of extras!" She also has this high-pitched shriek that she lets out when she's super excited. It's triggered by the word "READY?" ("Yes, mom, I'm READY"). I've finally trained her that she's not allowed to bark out of impatience to tell me to throw the ball/frisbee, but as soon as it's out of my hand, she shrieks as if to say "GOT IT MOM - this one's mine!"
  15. The first dog pic you posted looks very much like a BC to me. The ears and head shape are very spaniel in the second and third, I think. I liked this part: "The original cross of birddog/sheepdog may have been accidental, it may have been a search for the multi-purpose dog. Whatever the reason, this behavior, added to the sheepdog, made a better working dog--one that was more effective and easier on the sheep than the old style that probably moved sheep by barking and biting." My Kit is suspected to be birddog x sheepdog; either pointer or springer crossed with BC. I can see what they mean about the multipurpose dog. I think the cross takes a little off the harsher edges of both breeds.
  16. Awe, you're making me want a second dog! And he's way too close for comfort.
  17. That's so true! I'm a first time dog owner with a BC mix, and I can't help but snicker when people compliment me on how well I've trained my dog. Any idiot could train this dog - she has the intelligence of a BC with the food motivation of a hound and the friendly nature of a lab - all I do is supply the food. But of course people don't see that when they look at her.
  18. I'm just getting into sports myself, but my suggestion would be to lay a lot of groundwork before you start any formal classes or anything. You want your bond to be rock-solid. Once you've got the basics down, work on some silly tricks. Work on recall a lot. Work on targeting an object. In the meantime, your pup is growing, so by the time you're ready to start classes, your pup is physically ready to do what is asked of her. As far as motivation, try some irresistible treats. You don't have to stick to dog treats, either. Chicken or beef heart, liver, and other organs can be cut up and cooked. Small pieces of chicken work well. I like to keep a small jar of "dog peanut butter" around (a jar that you can dip into with a finger after the dog has licked it clean). Popcorn, hotdogs, and cheese are also favorites. And if your pup is more motivated by toys than by treats, use a ball, tug toy, or frisbee as a motivator.
  19. I was thinking the other day that "Spunky" could be a good name for a dog - Spunk for short. It would fit most of the agility dogs I know and would work for either gender.
  20. These aren't tug toys per say, but if you're looking for a cleaner, less smelly substitute for pig ears, knuckles, etc., I like treat dispensing toys, and Busy Buddy's line in particular. It's basically a kong, but more challenging. I like squirrel dude, the waggle, and the chuckle, and I've also heard good things about tug-a-jug.
  21. Good dog! We had an incident one night and I wished later that I had paid attention to Kit's warnings. She woke up and began low growls and barking. I could hear a little noise coming from outside, but that's not a rare occurrence since I live 5 mins from a college campus. Not wanting to awake my roommates, I shushed her and went back to sleep. The next morning the neighbor told me that there was a string of car burglaries in the neighborhood the previous night. Next time I'm going to listen when she sounds the alarm!
  22. First, welcome to the BC boards! After only a month with you, it's possible that Jack is still settling in. This process can take a while for some dogs. Here's my advice: BC's are bred to take commands from humans (for herding). Use this to your advantage and teach him some silly tricks. Yes, these tricks won't have any purpose per say, but they can keep a dog mentally stimulated when he might otherwise be bored. I keep a running list of all of the tricks my dog knows, and we rotate thru them all every few days. We're always working on new ones, too. This can be a great way to bond with a dog and build confidence as well. We use clicker training, but that's not everyone's cup of tea. Start with basic obedience and then as you get better, add tricks like spin, spin backwards, bow, speak, quiet, roll over, play dead, around (you), touching a target plate, beg, etc. You can play "find it" by throwing treats and having the dog find them using his nose (more challenging in the grass!). Another favorite game of ours is the toy game - teach your dog the names of all of his toys and then make him fetch the right one on command. This never gets old, because you can always add more toys or other objects. If your dog is food motivated, try a treat-dispensing toy. I like Busy Buddy's line of toys a lot, because most of them will hold up to strong chewers. You can find toys that the dog pushes around with paws/nose and toys that release food slowly when chewed. We have a small army of these types of toys lying around, and I generally stuff one or two per day for my dog. Even though your dog isn't showing much interest in the ball, stick with it. Even short rolls in the house along the floor, if that's what it takes. Sometimes it can take a while to instill an interest in moving objects. Good luck!
  23. Yep, that's her. My best guess is BC x pointer, so yeah, you're right on the money with the bird dog guess. She came from a shelter, so really there's no telling. Her looks scream bird dog, but if you knew her personality, you'd cry BC. She herds livestock, other dogs, crows, geese, children, and even me on occasion. She excels at frisbee and agility. Her drive is like nothing I've ever seen in a non-herding dog. And then there are her eyes. I've attached a couple more pics. Don't let the cow spots fool you! (She does have the nose and appetite of a bird dog, though!) I know better than to judge a herding dog by its looks, but I fail to see how people are always so confused by BC mixes. Maybe I'm part sheep or something, but to me, it's all in the eyes. With very few exceptions, BC's (and mixes) older than a few months all have such distinctive eyes!
  24. 1. Kit cleans out the dregs in the popcorn bowl while I'm out of the room (BAD DOG!). This is particularly strange because I season my popcorn with cayenne pepper! 2. Kit HATES live music. Some crazy dude showed up to the dog park once with a set of bagpipes and began playing. Most dogs ignored him, but Kit went running right up to him barking her head off, as if to tell him to bugger off. 3. One day on a regular walk, Kit went nuts. Froze, turned towards a house on the other side of the street and began snarling/barking. When the same thing happened again the next day, we investigated (I was curious). Crossed the street and IDed the object of her obsession: a tarp laying in someone's driveway. Nothing under it or on it, but it was pretty dirty. I was throwing treats to show her that there was nothing to fear when the owner of the house came out to see what we were doing. I explained and he said "Well, I know why she's acting weird!: I shot a bear this weekend and wrapped it in that tarp! It's covered in bear blood." My jaw hit the ground when I realized she was trying to protect me.
  25. I get asked all the time what breed Kit is. She's a mix, and her smooth coat with lots of white makes people think she's not BC. Plenty of BC people have asked me whether she's pure, and plenty of other folks have looked at me screwy when I say BC. *Shrug* As to the cold question, Kit shivers when she gets wet in the winter time, so I don't let her swim this time of year.
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