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Everything posted by Mariji

  1. My older pup came into heat a bit after her 1st birthday. I have had this discussion numerous times as when to desex your dogs, if you can get past the "nuisance" of being on heat then there is nothing to worry about if she comes on heat before they get their act together. But it will be a while away anyhow. As long as you can lock her away where she is safe then you have nothing to worry about, not much changes when they are in heat.
  2. Perfect! When my dog does something wrong, I will look at where I was standing, what I said or how I directed her. If I can't find anything wrong, it is simply because she doesn't understand and that is my fault again for not teaching her. There is nothing wrong with your puppy, he just needs confidence. So you need to take the best exercises you think are suitable from what everyone has suggested (and there are some brilliant ideas) and work on them. I know it is hard, before I couldn't really say too much as both my dogs are fairly confident but I recently got a rescue that is 7 and she is in training for agility too. It is going to be a very very long road with her as she is the softest dog I have ever seen. She clings to my lap and won't leave for anything, even when I'm standing up she stand on her back legs and wraps her front ones around my waist. Take it little successes at a time. For now I am just happy with the fact I can get this dog to let go of me for 5 secs. She's the sweetest thing on the planet but just needs to learn to be confident.
  3. Fantastic! That's what I do. I am doing contacts at the moment with my pup. (Just on the ground) And we start out with some recalls, stops and fun stuff. Then we will work a few rounds on contacts and take a break by doing some circle work so she gets too run and so on. Echo loves to run so I break it up with exercises that involved running, as thinking about where your back feet are is a lot of work.! She figures it out when I jackpot her and it only takes a second to have her repeating what i just jackpotted. As with our new rescue anything other than trying to claw her way up onto my shoulders is jackpotted. I will walk around with her and try get her to engage with me (she is EXTREMELY soft) and then go back to practice not jumping on me. In which I will just stand there and wait for her to finish trying to climb up me, the second her bum hits the ground she gets a huge handful of treats. She figured that out pretty quickly. She finished with tonnes of cuddles as she doesn't know how to play and is very, very clingy so cuddles are her favourite. If my dogs get something right that is hard I give them the rest of the bowl and we finish with a game. That was one thing somebody never taught me how to do when I first started. They tell you to train at home but they never explain how. Sure each dog is different but there is a general outline, start with a game, finish with one etc. Its something I make sure to tell my students.
  4. Both my dogs can speak on command but my pup took it to a new level. She "sings" for me instead. That or she makes the movement like a bark but nothing comes out only the sound of her mouth shutting. That's great that you do that. I've seen kids do the same with my dogs because they wear haltis and they think they are muzzles. So I just ask Myla if she is shy and she will get down and cover her face with her paws. That always makes anyone laugh.
  5. Unfortunately I was not always around to correct the said person or reinforce her if she did do it correctly. (Was a roommate) We did reteach her sit and now it is better than it was before and since then she has not lost any of her cues. For a bit she was losing some of her tricks as people thought it was cute and would cue her over and over and over again. But we put a stop to that before we lost anything else. You explained it perfectly. (I'm terrible at explaining things) Your dog will shwo you what you reinforce the most and what you don't. My default behaviour (what my dogs always resort too) is a down because it is soooo highly reinforced, they see it as a way to get heaps of treats so is always what they try first in shaping and always the one they listen to 100%, treat or no treat. But that doesn't mean they get a reward 2 out of 3 times I may ask them. It is only fair if your dog does such a good job that you reward them. I'm pretty sure my dogs would go on strike if I never rewarded them again. And Pam, yes we changed the sit cue to "down". Took me ages to come up with a different cue. That way I can cue it but no one else can unless I tell them.
  6. Certain people were constantly telling Myla to sit for no reason and if she didn't, they didn't bother to make sure she did. They would ask her to sit and if she went "yeah right" and walked off because she knew she wouldn't get anything, they wouldn't follow through. She's too clever and soon generalized it to everyone and even me, if i asked her to sit she'd stuff around or not do it at all. My dogs will always do something if I ask them too with the emphasis on the "I". So when she wasn't being expected to follow through when somebody other than me asked her to sit, she generalized that too me and somewhat forgot how to sit. So i had to redo a sit, stand and drop. Now no-one that comes over is allowed to ask them to do anything as it ruins my training. Yes with clicker you eventually don't need a reward but that doesn't mean they shouldn't still get one. I see this alot with new puppy class participants, they assume that since they did the class that their puppy is trained and they never have to do it again. You will find you reward him somehow, whether it be a "good dog" when you release him after a sit he gets to go back to what he was doing, or even a pat. Training is ongoing and I don't think it is ever finished. Sure a skill is taught and learnt, and once it is proofed your pretty much set, but a dog can lose that skill just as easily. Saying this it all depends on the dog, as my dogs don't work as well with other people. They show all the interest but don't understand the commands, they musn't be able to generalize to another person as the way that person says that command is different to the way I say it. Anyway I no longer use a sit, I teach one but hardly use it. I saw in my puppy people constantly telling her to sit and I'd laugh because she doesn't know how, that way in her training stage they couldn't do the same that happened to my Myla. It's the same as start line stays. The handler puts a dog in a stay and walks out to the course to take their position. They turn and release the dog not realising that the dog moved a foot. Next time the dog shuffles forward slightly and soon the dog won't stay but move forward 5 metres. Because it's in a comp most people won't remove their dog from the comp and the dog is free to break a stay and move forward. They learn very quickly when they can get away with not listening. They are reinforcing themselves for not waiting and its the same for the sit. She is asked to sit but doesn't have to and buggers off to whatever she was doing, same when you don't release a dog. You tell it to lie down (which means don't move until I release you), you don't release the dog and forget, the dog gets up and walks off. Hence it has just learnt it doesn't have to wait for a release. Off course this happens over time but it is extremely common. I hope that makes sense.
  7. Mine are just regular huskys. It makes everyone laugh to hear them go at it. They howl and screech and make all sorts of weird noises you'd swear collies couldn't make. They backchat too like a husky if I tell them they can't do something.
  8. When you get a new puppy you should spend as much time as you can building a relationship, working or not there still needs to be a relationship. My lil Echo is 7 months and exactly the same, she adores other people and would quite happily follow someone out the door. Her affection consists of coming to look at me and make sure I'm still there then zoom off to some miscreant activity. I will give her that she is very affectionate towards people and is constantly licking to say hi but her problem is she won't stay still for a cuddly. HOW BORING! My older dog is also the same, will sit at my feet wherever I go but when I pick her up for a cuddle, she'll give me a dirty look the whole time. It's weird because she can be so clingy but would rather sit next to me than be patted. Anyway just work on your relationship, show her it is worth her while to play with you. This means lots of time together at home playing or training. As much as my Echo loves people I can direct her away from them with a single "Eka!" (her nickname) and she is ready to work with her full attention on me. Its just spending time with your puppy to build a relationship, but she may just not be a particularly cuddly dog. At least she follows you around and shows some interest in what you are doing, even if that means she's rather not be smothered every 10mins because she would be just oh so cute! As for working with her in class, extra extra good treats or a game she loves and just work on it at home. Theres a billion distractions at a class, so just work on obedience and tricks at home to she learns it is definitly worth working with you. And when you go to class work on the outside of the class where she is less likely to get distracted and slowly gets closer to those distractions. It takes time and she's only a tiny baby. Good Luck! Puppies are so much fun!
  9. I make videos of each of our training sessions from the start to the final product for my pups Breeder. I will post one if I can about my pups heeling training. She was way more difficult than my older dog as she was so reinforced in the front she had to always be in front. After 2 lessons I have her heeling on the side, regarded it isn't perfect (she bunny hops in between steps) that's nothing was can't fix. All using her dinner (plain biscuits) you can use all the corrections and games in the world but you need something he wants to work for. You'll find it just needs value before he will do it at training. You'll probably find that the behaviours you are doing at training and that he is doing successfully are the ones you work on more and reward more. Maybe you just didn't reward high enough for the heeling. So simple but usually is the root of all evil. My pup when training has a default position which is a "stop" (drop and stay). So no matter what i teach if I give it too long she reverts to a lie down because it is so highly reinforced. If we are out and i ask her to "stop" she instantly drops no matter where she is and waits, simply because it is so highly reinforced. I don't teach my dogs sit because twits will keep asking my dogs to sit and not reward them and soon enough they don't have a sit in their vocabulary. Also it takes longer to get out of a down than a sit if we are by a road or something so it gives me more time to realise they are breaking a stay.
  10. The lead is brilliant. I do it all the time with my 7 month old pup. Wherever we go she is leashed even if I am not holding it so if she misbehaves I can reel her back in like a fish. At home she is very lucky and has free roam now but I used to block off an area or use a playpen to seperate her and give her toys and things to keep her amused. Take her out only to potty and have some supervised play with the older dog. As for introducing them, I never do anything special, I simply leave them up to their own devices and I've never had dogs that don't get along. Although when I did have my son Myla was extremely put off and hated him and sooked for months. I just did some training with her in which she had to target the baby anywhere on his body. Of course she would pretend to touch hima nd say "I did it!" It just started with touching his toes then i managed to get her to touch his hands and slowly up. Just last week I saw her put her head up on the the arm of the couch and lick him! That is unheard of! She would always get up and move if he even looked at her from the other side of the room, and he is now 10 months. Although that is a child and a dog the dog/dog principle is the same. It takes time to adjust especially if the new dog is an adult as I think dogs can tell if it is just puppy and doesn't really mean anything it does. But you oldest has been the only one so she will of course be thrown off. I just make sure i have seperate playing time and training time, where my oldest gets time with just me. Only now has my pup been allowed to watch our training sessions because Mylie is very sure that training is just for her. So maybe play a game you girl likes the best just with her a couple of times a day. She will cheer up, don't worry.
  11. Thanks for all the names. I have always been terrible at naming my Dogs in particular, my rats get there names quickly but my dogs are so difficult. I have written down a list I like and will ask the partner when he gets home. I named the first dog, he named the second and so I tried to pull the "It's my turn" card but that didn't work, so we must both agree. She's a difficult one I think it's because she's older and pups can tend to grow into their names. Anyways here's some pics I took today, she is INCREDIBLY difficult to take a pic of because she's so clingy and acts like she'd die on the spot if she wasn't jammed up against me. She's come 110% and I've only had her a week, she's at almost a good weight, her coat is glossy although it's still patchy/rough and dirty it sure does look nicer. I will try get a better pic of her when she is more confident, she has beautiful prick ears that won't let a camera get a picture of them. She's ridiculously clever for a dog with that isn't even toilet trained and so sweet. Just as I write this she is chasing my girls around whilst they do their daily zoomies which is the first time I have seen her interact with them, I wouldn't say she is playing but it's definitely interaction. She just needs some confidence boosting, as she will hide in her crate when my girls gets rough with each other because they growl and howl and make all sorts of noises (I could swear on a good day they were crossed with Husky's) and it freaks her out. She will get there.....just takes time but she sure is an angel. Here's some piccys. Thanks for all the names I will let you know what we pick when we decide!
  12. I am completely stumped. We have a new rescue I have a feeling isn't really a rescue and is destined to stay. She is a 7 year old Border Collie. She is small (15kgs) and was used as a cattle dog on a property. She has had numerous litters and whilst pregnant with a recent litter unable to work so the farmer wanted to shoot her. A lady picked her up, delivered her puppies and tried to find a home for her. She is the sweetest thing on the planet and very clingy, loves all people and isn't bothered by dogs. She is so well behaved although we have had to start everything from scratch including toilet training. She is emaciated and scarred, missing patches of fur and a bit of a mess in general. Nothing good food, fresh water and love will change. Anyway she needs a name by Friday as she is being microchipped. I would love an agility name as we will be doing agility with her but me and partner cannot agree. I love the name Swift, he does not So I need ideas. Something like Focus, Rush (agility orienteered) or something different like Rumour or Feature. (None of which I can use as they are friends dogs names) Any suggestions would be great. I just cannot think of anything, I suppose these names just come up, but it isn't working for me
  13. I know this might sound sooo simple but try using something to make the excercise of heeling soooo much fun he would be crazy to pass up the opportunity to do a heel. I had to do this with my oldest, her agility training lessons were deteriorating fast, she was getting distracted, displaying displacement behaviours and overly not motivated. And this was a dog that would train for hours just for the heck of it. So we went back to basics and i used steak, chicken, dog roll anything that stank basically to train with at home and i built up the value of her tug toy. We just went back to training over the Christmas break and what a maniac! She only stopped to sniff once because there was a treat, she was completely focused and toy mad (this is a dog i couldn't get to even glance at a tug toy 4 months ago). I do this with obstacles she is scared of (see saw) or not fast enough on, i take it back a step and pull out the big guns (tennis ball and raw beef chunks), voila! her seesaw is amazing and if she sees one she will fly over it before she completes any other obstacle. Maybe the value just needs to be put back into heeling. My girl would train hard at home but not at training much like Duncan heeling at home but not at training. Build up the value for the exercise and he would be crazy to pass up the opportunity to to perform.
  14. It is never too early to start training for a dog sport. There are physical limitations till they are a year old as to what they can do but there is ALOT of foundations you can do meanwhile to make them the best athlete you possibly can. I would suggest joining a club that does your required sport whether it be agility/herding or flyball. They can show you how to have a working relationship and work together as a team. As for keeping her motivated i don't understand this if you are using yummy enough treats or fun enough toys you shouldn't have to motivate them your pup should love training with you. My girls go ballistic when they see my clicker and are ready to have fun. As long as she understands what is asked of her then you wouldn't be able to overwhelm her. I had my first dog before she was six month old know most of her 30+ tricks and then agility and her obedience commands. They are like children they soak up whatever you teach them. Just as long as you think she really understands each command before moving on to the next one. I am doing things slower with my newest pup who is nearly 7 months but she still has learnt alot and what she does know is rock solid. Good luck with your training, it so exciting. Soon you won't be able to wait till she's old enough to compete. I have waited nearly 19 months and now me and Myla have our first competition in 2 weeks! So exciting!
  15. Never have and never will! My dogs are to sit at least a few meters away whilst I am eating. They are not allowed past the kitchen door when I am in the kitchen and if they see me pick up a piece of food they are to immediately move away and then they may get some. Nothing worse than having them staring at me salivation while I'm eating.
  16. My little girl is 7 months next sunday and is 26 pounds and 18" tall. And she is tiny compared to all the Border Collie pups i have met.
  17. I'm in Australia so i won't be much help but....even our small department stores have toys in their pet section. I found a fantastic one the other day, it was a soft toy raccoon with a soft head and tennis ball body and a soft long tail. Fantastic for tugging and rolling! Other than keeping an eye out clean Run would be a good idea, they are relatively cheap and designed to last.
  18. I think if I were you and my instructor would not allow me to do something that is working for my dog even if it were just one thing I would find another instructor. I almost left my puppy class luckily my instructors changed and that was just for sits and stays. You don't want to be messing around with training different ways for one contact, it could confuse your poor puppy. I am teaching contacts now with my 6 month old. Just the basic position and we are clicker training. I basically just wait for any contact with the board and click then refine it down to back feet on front feet off. I suggest when choosing an instructor, before the course starts just ask them if there is anything they disagree with or don't recommend doing in their classes. Ask them if they are willing to let you experiment even if it is not their preferred method as long as you are using the method you choose correctly. They can offer input but it is ultimately up to you and it should be fun. I was using a ball as a motivator for a bit in the weave poles and my instructor explained to me why it was not a good idea so i took her advice on board and whilst i still used the ball in class we cut back how long the ball was used for. If i can explain why i am doing something and it makes sense or it won't somehow mess up the thing i am teaching my dog then she is all for it. Afterall it is what works for me!
  19. God knows what your instructor is thinking. the click is what the dog will be waiting for and will be looking at you for it. So just use the clicker at home and you instructor cannot tell you not to use it at training. Just work on the edge of the class when it comes to contacts or refrain from working on them at training at all until Ido gets it. I often do this if an instructor disagrees, i just save it for at home and then work on it at training when they understand. Move the contact plank your working on as she will be sniffing for treats because there would have been some there. So you need to be teh first person to work on contacts and make sure noone else has had treats in that area or move the board. If she mucks around give her a release and no reward and start again. If she looking at you the second she hits the contact rewards or release and reward. Eventually ask for a longer time for her to look at you. Just becareful you dont ask for something your not meaning too. I did that and now my oldest screams whilst nose touching but is silent if not=conclusion? no nose touches
  20. To redirect his focus on a long leash use a Halti! Fantastic things, it will give you the ability to turn his head away and pull him in. Simply don't accept the behavior in the first place, he will soon learn to run with the big dogs he must act like one. Good Luck he is beautiful!
  21. My first dog i was determined to have her toilet trained and did it I am ashamed to say quite harshly but she was toilet trained within 2 weeks. My 6 mo. old now was a different story. I had since learned that puppies hold on and don't have absolute and complete bladder control until they are nearly 4-6 months and so to expect them too is silly. So her toilet training was slow but she was very good, she never pees in her crate as i won't leave her in there long enough. The door is always open so she can come and go but if it is not open and she is locked inside she won't tell me she will just go to a hidden room and toilet somewhere. I don't get angry it's just my fault for not letting her outside. So just take her out every hour or so she is after all just a baby. Not all dog learn or grow at the same rate.
  22. For me it just has to be someone that will accept where i am at (learning wise) and help me individually rather than attempting to run the whole class at one level. Saying this it may be hard to run a large class as such so maybe look for smaller classes of only a couple of dogs. Perhaps with people and dogs that are at your level also. I found in my Pre Agility classes i was way ahead and my instructor was forever getting angry at me for ridiculous things because she thought she knew it all. In my Beginner course i was at the same level as most in the class and the class was only a few dogs so more one on one time and more equipment time. You also need someone who you agree with. It won't help if they are an agility champion if they do not train the way you want to or can't embrace the way you want to train. Once again i had this with my first instructor for my puppy obedience class and she couldn't wrap her head around the fact that i was shaping everything and would not smack my puppy's nose to teach a leave it command. Then my instructors changed and i got a couple of wonderful ladies who could embrace that and understood that although i wasn't going to take over their class it was okay for me to do exercises differently on the outskirts of the class and join in for socialization. So you need someone who wants to help you train the way you want to or be okay with it if you disagree with a method of training without being self righteous. Just someone you get along with i think. None of my instructor were "qualified" but had many years experience and funnily enough 3 of them made it onto the WAC team for Australia. But their methods of training were trial and error and their dogs aren't specially bred or chosen but do fantastic, so i'd just make sure your instructor isn't a know it all. And i mean that in the nicest possible way.
  23. I'd agree with what root beer said actually. Sometimes you need to think out of the box and it sounds like you puppy hasn't got as much reinforcement in general when it comes to jumps because he keeps getting it wrong. I had to do this last night at training with crate games. You are only supposed to reward when the dog returns to the crate after you have released them out of it, but it was confusing my girl and i could see her release word deteriorating infront of me. So I rewarded her for releasing then waited for her to return to her crate. Although if you are going to reward for jumping, i would start with the jump very low such as only a few cm's off the ground. Then you need to reinforce CONSTANTLY! This will show his that jumps are fantastic and when it gets to the point that he is looking for a jump to go over then raise it just a little bit and go crazy with the rewards! Slowly raise the bar, but because of all the reinforcement he has gotten he will already love the jump and not notice as it gets a little bit higher. If he knocks it lower it a bit act excited (but no reward) and try again, if he gets it throw all the rewards you have at him. Its called jackpotting. The dog will go hang on i just got shit loads of treats, i better do whats gets me more treats than do what gets me a few. You have probably worked on it so much his confidence is way low. I did this with handling and the seesaw, so for a while i took it back to contacts (which my girl goes mental for) Her jumping also wasn't speed demon jumping and i knew she could do it so i took a break completely and took her back after a few weeks. She went ballistic and since then has flown through all the obstacles with huge drive but also with great accuracy. Sometimes they just need a confidence boost. I read in Susan Garretts book Shaping for Success that she had trouble with Buzz dropping bars constantly, so they went back to do grid work and teach him how to jump but it didn't work. She enlisted some help and would reward Buzz after a length of jumps with his toy and miracles happened and he didn't drop a bar again. It was simply reinforcement he was lacking and also getting someone to stand at the end of the jump with the reward held high instead of on the ground. Hope that helped, Good Luck!
  24. If he's such a soft dog then try not giving him "orders" as such. Just be happy and playful, nothing about agility should be a chore. If he does it right once or twice then end with a game instead of getting him to do it 10 times then starting over when he stuffs up. He could lose his confidence and not want to do it anymore. I did this with my oldest and the seesaw, i have since learnt and sessions are kept short and when end the second she gets it right the 2nd time just do we know it wasn't a fluke.
  25. I see this way too often. Dogs that are as big as that Border are commonplace in kennels. Its quite disgusting actually, i don't understand that if they don't realise by their dog getting fat that they're over feeding it then wouldn't they realise by how much the food is costing them. I think it is related to humans that if you can see bones then they are anorexic so they assume if you can see/feel bones on a dog they need more! My oldest gets 1/2 a cup a day (regarded it is Royal Canin 4800) and she is 17kg. My little one is only 6 months old and she gets 1 cup a day and she is as skinny as they come. I don't understand. We have a constant battle at work as for the feeding amounts for the cats and dogs. There is one lady that tells me i am feeding not near enough, but when she feeds the dogs are just eating because it is there and will make themselves throw up. She even has the nerve to go back and re feed dogs i have already done...
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