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Everything posted by Mariji

  1. I go to formal training once maybe twice a week. Depending on what we are working on we will do a small sessions everyday of agility, many times this includes jumps which we will use to work on weaves, contacts or just working on jump grids alone. (Which is what we are doing now) There may be a week where I will do just formal training away from home but it depends as I said what we are working on. If it is something new then it is frequent. If it is just "maintenance" training then it will be perhaps 3 times a week. Agility training could also just be start line stays, play, drive, control or particular skill sets with or without equipment.
  2. The Furry Fleece Martingale slip lead is fantastic. I just got 2 from Clean Run. They are nylon webbing handle and slip collar with a soft fleecy and fluffy lead part. Its like a tug toy but a decent length.
  3. I haven't read all the previous posts as I am feeling extremely lazy today but I will just tell you what I did to teach my contacts. You first need to decide and not be told by your instructor what contact you wish to do. I was told to do a 2o2o with a nose touch which we quickly discarded only doing it in class for the good of the instructor. I am now in the process of changing my A Frame to a running contact and leaving the dog walk 2o2o. This is purely for the physical points of my dogs safety. She has a perfect contact with all the proper weight shift training before we did the contact position but because of her high drive and the high value of the object itself I have decided the stopped behaviour is not doing her any favours on the A Frame. If your dog is not particularly fast then a running A Frame would be fantastic especially if he is a dog that shuts down quickly (my older girl does too so I sympathize). To teach the 2o2o I shaped everything. Although it is easier to have a dog that is clicker or shape savvy I just clicked every time her back feet hit the board. Obviously I started small just looking at a flat board on the ground and then moving towards it till feet (any feet) were on it. Then refined it to back feet and forwards facing etc. These were tiny sessions a few times a day maybe about 30sec-1 min because she shut down quickly. We did this over a few months eventually starting at the other end of the board and moving into position. If shaping is too much for him help by putting the plank against a wall and using your body to block the other side. As him or lure him to move forward and reward when he feet hit the floor. I then tend to wait a second and if they stay like that reward again with lots. Dogs that shut down need lots of reinforcment and short sessions also finish with a game of ball or tug or even his dinner. Recognise the signs of stress and finish before it gets to a stage they start to shut down. For a running contact which may be more fun and motivating for your dog depending what he is like use the Box method. The trainer name escapes me at this point but it does start with S. Try looking for videos on Youtube they can be very helpful. Contacts should be taken slowly and take alot of care to make sure the dog enjoys every second of it. You don't want a dog that hesitates when they get to every piece of contact equipment anticipating having to go into a position that was no fun to learn. Maybe if you are confident in what you are doing refrain from doing them at class and just work on them at home before moving to a new environment to practice a behaviour that is not yet figured out. Just explain to the instructor what you are doing so they can help you if you are doing something wrong but just work on it at home. Good luck I am doing contacts with my puppy at the moment and they do prove a little difficult.
  4. I am an extremely lazy person so taught my dogs to bring the ball all the way back and pass it up and into my hand and let go making sure it stays in my hand. I basically trained in a session they only got a treat if it came all the way back. Of course my dogs have a strong history of recalls (or at least my puppy does) so I can call them back and put my hand out. When they get it close to me they get a game. They generally want to play so much they bounce around waiting for me to take the toy and try giving it to me if I don't take it. I haven't have a dog that is that obsessed or shall we just say "dedicated" about their ball so it is a bit harder. I feel for him as he has probably only ever had someone chuck a ball occassionally and thats it. The terrible co-ordination with the ball is probably because of his weight and just general lack of co-ordination which will get better with more play. I would just encourage him to bring the ball, try running the other way, calling, or tempting him with something. If he gets close (may not be very close at all but its a start) reward either treat or verbal and throw ball again. Each time wait for him to bring it a bit closer. I often see with dogs that "dedicated" if you wait long enough they will start to whine and perhaps push the ball closer. Its a patience thing I think and he has no idea about what you want as what he's doing may have always worked. Try putting the ball on the line and reeling him in lol. Then reward and throw the ball again. Try stop the staring in all facets of life so he doesn't have the chance to practice it so much and it may help decrease that behaviour. Also just relationship building which takes time may help in bringing the toy back. I would start with a toy that is perhaps less special, one he may bring back. My foster has made a huge step with confidence and now is extremely "dedicated" to my puppy. She follows my puppy everywhere even when puppy is sleeping she is running circles around her. If I hold her she bucks and cries trying so hard to get back to running circles around puppy. So to fix it I just try decrease any chance she has to perform the behaviour. He sounds so cute as annoying as it may be I can just laugh when I see a dog so "dedicated". It's not particularly good behaviour but it is a laugh.
  5. A dog I recently got was just like that except not so severe. I made sure a crate was available to her all day and still is or a kennel so she could hide and have a safe place. I just spent time giving her treats and sitting with her but left her alone most so she could adjust. It has been a couple of months and she finally chases the girls around when they play but won't join in. She puts her ears up when I am in the room, she wouldn't put her ears up whenever I was within her sight and she was always cowardly but now she will stand tall with her ears up and tail up. She is extremely high drive with food because she was basically starved and she is extremely clever just needed the chance to show it. But she still needs her crate during the day but now needs the girls around too as before she wasn't too fussed with them. I would leave the introducing the dogs till later as it is a brand new environment and the poor baby is terrified. Just do some one on one trust building getting her to take treats and sit close to you. Toys may take a long time, we still have had no toy success and it wouldn't surprise me if we never did. It will take a while but you will get there. Just yesterday when I took the girls out, my foster never enjoyed walks and would run cringing along the road until she found our house or car, she had a couple of moments where she ran and bounced around. Whilst they were fleeting she did look beautiful and it was apparent she was enjoying herself. Time is a major factor, but I would like to think she will stay for as long as it takes to be completely comfortable before throwing her into a new situation with a new family.
  6. For me I like my dogs to be looking at me that way they can read my body language as to where we may be going next. I don't teach them to look at me it comes naturally with just being handler focused. The second I bring out a clicker or treat they know it is time for training and time to look at me. There are times when I have trained the dogs to look away i.e. forward focus in Agility but they are to watch me first and when I assume position look back to where they are going. Just rewarding higher so they have to look up to get their treat or holding you hand up at you stomach not handing at the side but if you have always trained with your dog looking at you I would expect it to become natural. I would start just standing still to get the dog to look at you, if they can't look at you whilst standing still then moving is much much harder. Just start in a standing position and reward every time the dog looks at you. I would use a clicker for such a precise movement but that is personal. Reward so the head up upwards and towards you. If you reward only when looking at you the dog will catch on. When the dog is looking at you then start taking a couple of steps, do baby steps.
  7. My 10 month old is 26 pounds. And I have 7 year old and a 21 month old that are both 35 pounds.
  8. There is a tonne of "scientific" reasons why or why not to neuter, what age to do it at etc I think it comes down to personal opinion. If you don't want to neuter you don't have too. As long as they are safe from wandering males, or you can stop your own males wandering then it doesn't really matter. I only do so my dogs won't come into heat during a big trial or something important and to completely stop them from breeding, as I keep my dogs fenced in but other people do not show the same courtesy. Females can also bring other females into heat which could be a problem. As for males most of the males I see at agility aren't desexed and it does not hinder them if they are focused more so on their work than on the ladies. It doesn't hinder their performance at all as long as they are completely healed. I have heard about dogs putting on weight but have never had it happen to me and I'm sure monitoring their food would help with that anyway. For me again personally I like to wait till they are about 14months which is usually after their first heat. It has nothing to do with them having their first heat, just that I prefer them to be physically mature. I have no scientific reasons to justify my decision but I have been told the only issue with desexing them later on, is the fatty build up which there is no chance of happening because my dogs are extremely lean. So it all comes down to personal preference, I just like to wait till later. I wouldn't choose a time if you do it at all, just because of someone said something and they have scientific facts to back it up because there are so many varied reasons when and why to desex.
  9. That's a perfect way to explain what I see from the outside (having never owned an Aussie). I am terrible at explaining things, well done.
  10. From what I've seen (and this is a personal account) they are very hard headed and stubborn. They are extremely high drive, there is always the exception but even those are stubborn. The drive is not controllable though from what i can tell, and this is in agility, they aren't as handler focused as you would expect a border collie to be and seem to assume to be able to run the whole course themselves. They are beautiful dogs but from my point of view a bit uncontrollable. I haven't seen any that are aggressive, just recently one was attacked by a foxy and it just stood there until its mum picked it up and even then didn't make a sound even though the foxy was screaming and grabbing its legs. I don't know if i would get one, they are quite solid and I don't like the heavy dense coat they have, but i do believe it is the colour that first attracts people.
  11. I was sent this from a club member. It really is beautiful and has sparked discussions here about having a kinder agility. (In Australia as far as I am aware you have to be 10+ to compete. Anyway heres the link:
  12. That cracked me up! Poor puppy, does make me wonder how stupid the dog really is? I'm pretty sure a dog that had never performed the obstacle would realise it solid?
  13. It happened to me with training my first dog early on. While it is not the same (counter surfing) she was told off for doing something and from there on was wary if I asked her to do similar. So it does happen and I can see where you coming from, not all dogs are that soft but there are many that are so it was a valid statement.
  14. My dogs do not counter surf because as puppies food was never left on the bench so there was no reason for them to jump up. They know they are not allowed to touch our food which was learnt from not being allowed to sit anywhere near us when we eat. They have never counter surfed nor really had the opportunity too as I have manipulated the environment to do so. I agree it is not really training but my dogs just don't counter surf because there is not reason for them to. They have never rehearsed jumping up on the bench so the behaviour to them is just not in their "vocabulary" per say. I suppose teaching them not to touch our food elsewhere has transferred to the bench as well, dogs are clever creatures. They are not allowed in the kitchen anymore anyway which was a recent development, so I wasn't tripping over a hairy dog that was trying her best to be inconspicuous so when food is left out now though I know my dogs won't touch it they aren't allowed in the kitchen anyway.
  15. I would say the click does not end the behaviour. I look at this way, the click is not a release cue it is simply "good work you got it right" and "there is a treat coming your way" but it does not mean "break". If my dog was to release itself when I clicked I would be annoyed because I have not released her and would look at it as her breaking a stay. Simple if you do not want the click to mean release, don't let it.
  16. To me the check chain or prong collars don't really teach the dog anything. I used a prong collar ONLY for safety so my dog could not slip out of her collar (so I didn't have to have it on so tight. ) I never tugged on it or corrected her with it and we have since graduated to a normal collar and now no collar as she is reliable off leash. Although since then I have not used one with my other dogs. I personally do not put down corrections as I use them with my 21 month old. (Verbal Corrections I mean, I never touch my dog) But I thought with my puppy I would try no corrections at all more so as an experience. I think a good trainer would have tried a few different things and choose what works best. How would I know if it worked or not if I haven't tried it. It doesn't work for all dogs but I am very lucky to have a puppy that it works perfect for. Looking back I would have loved to have done it the same way with my older dog but that is in the past and there is nothing wrong with her now. She is a brilliant performance sport dog and companion. I hardly ever have to tell her what to do anymore. She knows all the rules and obeys them religiously. Everyone always asks me where I got her from as she's such a wonderful dog, but her training has nothing to do with her breeding. So correction based training works fine most of the time! I have just expanded my knowledge to try non correction based training and there is nothing wrong with that. You advocate what you know works for you and what may work for a certain situation, whether it is using a clicker or not. By corrections here I mean verbal corrections, not physical. I think it's not so much the clicker that people advocate but more the idea that the dog is learning for itself instead of the outdated method of pushing your dog into a sit. I don't think there are many people that use no correction type methods that never ever say No to their dog. I try my hardest not to, but it is old habit so does slip out every now and then. The argument here has gotten way out of control, and I think the idea of a huge void between corrections (verbal) and positive is wrong. Using corrections (verbal) I would still consider as positive training. I think the argument should really be between physical and non physical training. Anyway people use what works for them and their dog. Only THEY know what is best for their dog/situation and they should pick and choose what information would work for them. Whether it is physical, verbal or otherwise to a certain extent. CHEER UP EVERYONE!!!!
  17. My girl was a bed eater so for a while she simply got nothing. Then we upgraded to an old towel, then a thicker bed sheet and we just the other day go her first poofy bed. Just in time for winter! She's not bothered by sleeping on the plastic, but then again I did heaps of Crate Games so she's not bothered to be sitting in there for hours on end if the situation arises. Although she will pulll anything I leave on the top of the crate through the bars.
  18. Brilliantly said Julie. I never really had a problem with breeding for sports (although I won't do it), but when you say it that way I can see exactly where some points of view are coming from and it certainly is justified.
  19. I am thoroughly confused. I was explaining MY training. You questioned ME on being "angry" when I trained in which I reiterated to mean firm in MY training. I haven't put down anyones training method. Although I will disagree with those that use check chains and hitting corrections, the corrections we are talking about here are simple verbals. There is NOTHING wrong with that. I was just going to try another way. Where are getting this all from?! I haven't put down correction based training as I did it for 2 of my dogs and are currently using some method of correction with a foster dog. I am saying positive reinforcement made a huge change to my life and my dogs lives. It doesn't work for everyone including my foster dog. I never attack those that choose a different method it is up to their circumstance. You have come flying at me with accusations that are unfounded, if anything it was you that started on me about whether I think it is acceptable if my dog doesn't understand the word "No". I never mean any malice out of what I say, but I cannot talk for you. I am not here to argue with you over nothing. I am sorry you have come at this completely the wrong way but I am not talking about stock work but more so general puppy obedience. I am taken aback that you have come out so furious I am sure you should re read my posts.
  20. Yes firm tone is what I meant but couldn't think of the word. With all her training I have pretty much used purely positive and only occasionally a verbal correction will slip (as I used corrections with my first dog until she was 6 months old when I discovered Shaping) but it usually because I left something out which is my fault anyway but I don't have time to get to her. Like I said it very rarely happens because she is so well behaved. If you had asked me a year ago whether I was alright with her bouncing around like a goof ball I would have said outright No. But you know what? I am happy with that as it shows me how well I have done in training her with no verbal or physical corrections. Some would argue there are downsides to a dog no understanding no, but I try my hardest for there never to be a reason for me to tell her off. I will manipulate her environment to help her get this right and if she does something wrong it is because she hasn't been taught what is right or better to do than what is wrong. I have mellowed in my training and allow her to jump and bark when we are training as it shows drive as long as she will be calm and quiet when I ask. I think corrections after having my first dog dampened her personality and never really let her show me what she was capable of as I was forever telling her off for what she was doing wrong rather than showing her what was right. And I do think it takes longer at first to shape a dogs responses and it is the same with no corrections. It is so firmly placed (generalizing here) in society to tell the dog it is wrong rather than reward when it is right. So at first it can take a bit for the dog to understand and it can be harder for the owner to control themselves from correcting. Once you and your dog have got it, it is a breeze! From the untrained eye shaping takes longer to accomplish than pushing a dog into a sit. I think once people understand the method then they will see that shaping may take a bit longer but the outcome is better and more reliable.
  21. I think the general public don't want to spend the time training using no corrections. They want results and the faster the better, to train using no physical corrections can be arduous with certain dogs and the idea can wear off very quickly for some people. But when you make it through that first year it is soooo worth it. My pup is 10 months and I have used entirely positive reinforcement. I might now occasionally say "No" but she has no idea what a angry tone of sound means so she just bounces around like a goof ball. I will say some of it was extremely frustrating but the dog soon cottons on and If I think of it from her point of view then I feel much better. As for training anything from Rachel Sanders I love. I don't use all her methods but she is such a fun instructor to listen too.
  22. On Targert Border Collies crosses Staffys and Border Collies, and Whippets and Border Collies. All these dogs are sold well in advance but what confuses me is they all have pedigree names? How can something have a pedigree name if its a cross bred? They are interesting dogs to say the least and they must work because they are going for dog sports.
  23. Awesome!!! Any little difference is success. Just make a huge fuss of him when he is so calm and he will catch on. He will get used to being walked it just takes time. You may notice he will calm down just by you walking him each day so he can get used to it. And he is ADORABLE. My instructor has a dog that is a spitting image and she's the most highly titled dog at our club in agility.
  24. I'm no expert in Genetics but in Australia they are indeed referred to a Chocolate, Chocolate Tris and Chocolate merles. ee is referred to as red and the very pale reds are champagne. I also have seen the Lilac and Lilac tris as well as Blue tris come through more often. Also Chocolate merles I have seen a fair bit, before a year ago I didn't even know they existed. I have noticed people in agility anyway have veered away from the more common classically marked black and white and are getting more heavily white marked dogs or Standard Tri colours seem to be very popular too.
  25. I don't really see a difference between the majority of dogs from different countries. For me the differences are minute and the country differences aren't much more than just natural variety within a breed. Australia tends more towards working Kelpies, Cattle Dogs (Stumpy tail, Smithfield, Heeler etc) and Koolies more so than Border Collies. From what I see everyday, our Border Collies in Agility, are mostly short legged, very lean and have long feathers, with short coat on the body. Saying that there are a few that are tall and lanky with short coat. In the pet community they are bigger and have thicker coat with the more standard marking, classically marked b/w. Whereas in Agility you get the variety of colours and I know this is abuot structure but I was told a couple of years ago there was a movement to get less white in Border Collies, but I have noticed more and more dogs with heavy white markings or mismarked. Such as a b/w dog with white patches across its side/back, split faces and full white faces and then the extremes such as my solid white girl. I have had a couple of people disgusted by the colour of my dogs because that is not the "standard" nor are their coast apparently "standard" but at our agility comp on the weekend I had soooo many compliments of my dogs body type, coat, colour and temperament.
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