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Everything posted by Star

  1. Our local animal shelter has an owner surrender BC They estimate he is 10-15 years old. Check him out at https://www.facebook.com/DentonASF . He seems to be a great dog!
  2. Thank you. I really think this girl needs to herd...in this pic she is looking at a squirrel and getting quite businesslike about it. I know squirrels aren't sheep, but she really displays very strong herding tendencies. I made that big error of getting her from technically a back yard breeder; guy who owned a ranch and bred litters here and there. I don't know much about her breeding, just that her parents were both working dogs(I saw her mother working when I went to get her, he said his son used her Dad to herd his cattle) and she was a happy and healthy puppy. Mother was well trained and happy and health as well. Which was enough for me after some very depressing experiences in my search, including a puppy mill and too many pound visits. And I fondly recalled my uncle's farm bred collies that he used for his sheep and goats. Well, I lucked out on her. She is a good dog. Too bad I don't have sheep or the time to go anywhere. Maybe someday....
  3. It's been a while since I checked in. Busy, busy. But a friend took this lovely pic of Star and I had to share. From fluffy puppy to lovely girl. She's 3 now and she's a good dog, thanks in large part to all of the advice on this forum!
  4. So, I had to learn the hard way that laughing at a border collie's behavior is perhaps one of the most reinforcing things you can do. Do they understand laughing? I laughed at Star the first time she chased an airplane (and was roundly rebuked on this forum when I commented on it for encouraging her). I kind of thought there wouldn't be a problem--only happened once, right? But 2 years later, she's sill trying to chase airplanes from time to time. I started ensuring every time I saw her do it that I made her stop. At times I had to almost run her down to get her attention, she was so intent on it. Now we have hit a point where she won't always try to chase the airplanes, and when I tell her no right away, she stops immediately. It took making sure I had her attention to start with, and making sure I ALWAYS told her no. As an interesting aside, has anyone noticed that showing general displeasure also seems to work really well? You don't even really have to say no or ah, ah. Do they understand shaming? If Star starts something that is really dumb, I'll say somethign like, jeez Star that's stupid and shake my head and turn away a little. Works every time to stop a behavior.
  5. I got some very good advice on this forum when Star was being difficult to housetrain. I followed it diligently, and it has worked: I tethered her to me when I worked from home, and took her out about every 20-30 minutes. Told her to go potty when we went outside, and threw a party when she did. Fortunately, I had a time period of about one week where I didn't have to leave the house for long. When I did leave, we put her back in her "kennel" which was the kitchen area gated off from the rest of the house. The second week, I continued to tether her/keep her in the kitchen--though I wasn't at home as much. I also extended the amount of time I waited to take her out. Someone suggested she may have a favorite room in which to have her "accidents" and, in fact, once that was said I realized she did. So, I blocked of that room once we were done tethering until I felt confident she was done pottying in the house. She is so reliable now! Another comment was that you have to start from square one, and never ever let her go in the house for this time period, or it won't work. Good luck!
  6. When we got Star, my youngest came up with Giggles, Pickle, or Starlight.
  7. Found today in Corinth (just south of Denton). Here's a link for photo: https://www.facebook.com/corinth.police
  8. Star lays on the couch with me when I invite her up, and that is only when hubby isn't around. If he for some reason comes in the room (in from the garage, or back up after having gone to bed) she'll hear him coming and jump down. She doesn't usually stay very long; I think it's too warm for her. Seven can't get up there, unfortunately, so I try to lay down next to her on the floor sometimes, which she seems to like. One night, I was in bed reading and Star just jumped up uninvited and snuggled up against me. I couldn't resist. I guess we both fell asleep because I heard about it the next morning (though he commented on it with a chuckle, surprisingly!).
  9. It's been a long, long time since I weighed in on this--2012 was a busy year and this year is shaping up the same.....Had my benefit horse show, then my parents' 50th anniversary, then the holidays, plus Seven's been keeping me busy this past year as a dog nurse (I sometimes joke to her that if she were a person I'd stick her in a home and come visit her on Sunday). Anyway, I thought an update might be useful--I think my feeling the problem was sarcoptic mites was dead on. We did Revolution, then again two weeks later, then again a month later. By the third dose, as expected, the itching was totally gone and the hair loss was growing back. So, if your dog suddenly starts itching like crazy......don't necessarily believe the food allergy/pollen count thing. Thanks to everyone for all of the feedback, which really helped me work through the problem!
  10. I've always bathed the dogs, but don't do it a lot--a few times a year. I don't think it improves the smell any (well, Star really doesn't smell very doggy but Seven is the doggiest smelling dog ever!)--just makes it more of a shampoo, damp dog, doggy parfum. I do it outside on the patio when the weather is nice enough. We trim their nails ourselves, which we all hate. I brush Star fairly regularly and Seven too (although with her short coarse coat she doesn't need it, she just likes it). My favorite trick to getting out stickers and mats--kids detangling spray. Works like a charm and won't leave the floor slippery like Show Sheen. When it's rainy or muddy, I spread a couple of towels by the back door. The dogs know to come in and sit while I dry them and wipe their feet. In the summer, I bring my horse clippers home and buzz Star so she doesn't roast to death. The first attempt was....interesting. I can do a good job body clipping a horse, but a dog is a different matter! I do sort of a modified blanket clip--start right behind her ears,leave her feathers front and back, and leave her tail. Takes a little styling to blend the tail and butt fluff, but I personally like it better than a total buzz.
  11. When Seven had her seizures, the girls said Star was "being mean" to her. She hasn't had any falling down seizures since then, but there have been a couple of times that Star suddenly, for no reason, ran to Seven, ran back to me, back and forth a few times. Nothing aggressive though. Made me think perhaps Seven was having a small seizure that I couldn't perceive. I need to give some thought to this--I don't think I could get Seven to go in a crate. She doesn't get on the furniture and I've moved things (like floor lamps) that could fall on her, but I worry if someone wasn't home what Star would do? Maybe we could put the baby gates back up and keep one of them in the kitchen.......
  12. No. The dogs have the run of the house. Someone posted a couple of pages back about other dogs attacking her epileptic dog when it seizes - now I can't find it. Can you tell me more about that?
  13. My favorite commands in addition to the basics (because they are so useful) are leave it, get out, go to bed, that'll do--I use this to signal that we are done with the game of the moment, look in your basket/put it in the basket, mine, go potty, and go long. Star chewed some but really not bad compared to my goat hound Seven when she was a pup. Star did chew on us, but a simple high pitched "ow!" a few times seemed to fix it pretty quickly. Stay on the forum and keep using the advice you get here. Star is 3 now and she's the best dog, thanks in very large part to the advice I got here.
  14. I don't mean to add to your worry, but please don't underestimate the amount of pain your puppy might be in. BC's can have a very high pain tolerance and may not "complain" at all until the pain is quite high. I've seen this in Star here at home. IOW, if you and the vet are thinking of possibilities but have ruled something out because her symptoms aren't severe enough, you might want to reconsider those possibilities. I hope you guys get it figured out in short order. :-)
  15. Perhaps she's not old enough and that's why the vet didn't bring it up? I want to say they wouldn't give it to Star until she was a year old......
  16. Just a couple of thoughts--perhaps you'll find them useful: Star hated the leash when we first started. She'd turn and bite at it. If we pulled, she'd turn and snap at it. I like the idea mentioned earlier of putting a light leash on her and letting her drag it around (supervised, of course). Also, perhaps you could then pair that with a "come". After she does that a few times for a few days, maybe try lightly hold the end of the leash and take a little step (no pulling, though) and say come. Do that a few times. By "won't walk" do you mean runs and pulls, or sits and won't move? I'm not sure as you say she pulls, also. For pulling, the best solution I found was a harness at walmart, has a mesh covering on the chest, the straps go behind her elbows and meet between her shoulder blades, which is where you attach the leash. When the dog pulls, it tightens in their armpit. Stopped Star's pulling, cold. I've a friend that can only use a "gentle leader" on her bc/lab mix. I am not sure where you live, but if you have copperheads and other venomous snakes, you should ask about a rattlesnake vaccine. Here in horse country, Texas, we have copperheads, rattlesnakes occasionally, and cottonmouths. Not sure how old the dog has to be to get the vaccine. It seems to slow the reaction to the venom for most venomous snakes. It could give you the time you need to get to a vet and start anti-venin. My Seven was bit by a snake--had never had the vaccine. We're lucky I was home, lucky the vet said to bring her in (I wasn't sure what exactly had bit her mouth) or we would have lost her the reaction was that fast. My thought on potty training is this--it may not matter much to you now if she poops or pees on your floors, but there could be a day when you have a brand new floor/carpet and it will matter a lot more then. So, my opinion is that it should matter now if she goes in the house. She is five months old and she should get it pretty quickly with the right steps on your part. Star took longer than I expected to potty train and I had some of the same trouble you're having; she'd "sneak off" and go. I did two things, suggested on this board, that worked a charm: 1. I blocked off the rooms she went in--no access to those rooms at all until she was totally reliable, 2. I tethered her to myself and if I couldn't tether her, she was shut in the same room with me, either with the door closed or the baby gates closed. Took hardly any time at all once I did those two things. I just had to be ultra vigilant and not give her any opportunity at all. I hadn't been vigilant enough I guess, probably because Seven as a puppy was so incredibly easy to potty train and I expected the same method would work with Star. Lastly, just thought I'd share that Star doesn't like our RC car, either. She acts like it's the devil incarnate. It's never hurt her, we've never driven it toward her, so who knows. She also intensely dislikes the girls' toy horses. Kind of like a two year old child that is afraid of Chuck E Cheese (Mom, there's something not right about a giant hairy mouse that dances and talks). Good luck with your puppy. One thing's for certain, these dogs learn fast and you need to watch that you aren't inadvertently teaching behaviors you don't want. Have you posted pics yet?
  17. Geez, the comment about holding a dog's head underwater really irks me. What kind of connection does that person expect the dog to make? Unbelievable. Wonder how he treats his kids. Wish I knew who it was so I could hold his head under water. Grrrrrr.
  18. I do not work Star (unfortunately) and know next to nothing about this topic. But just wanted to chime in to let you know that when I went to watch at the place she was born, her mother and mother's littermate were spending a lot of time watching a herd of goats--one on each side. The rancher wanted the goats to stay in a particular area. If one wandered too far, whoever was closest (it seemed) would go and fetch it back to the herd. They were both alternately laying down, sitting or standing, but stayed pretty much in one place. They attentively but calmly watched the goats, and when one wandered off, went to get it in a businesslike fashion. Just thought I'd share that it can be done. These were mature dogs, so I don't know how hard it would be to train a young pup?
  19. It has been a long month, to be sure, but I think we might finally be turning the corner. I took the dogs to a new vet and she saw fungal issues with a black light on Seven so we tried a fungal shampoo. Didn't work. Went back and saw another vet who took the time to listen to the whole history. She told me of a time early on when she had a dog she kept treating for allergies then finally treated for mites and it solved the problem. We dosed with Revolution and I just gave the second dose last week. One week after the first dose, the dogs were scratching less (almost not at all). Seven is also on an antibiotic as she had a mean looking hotspot and her skin was red and hot all over in the places she was itching. That is now improving, too. I finally started giving her Benadryl as well (really tried to avoid this as she's on pheno, but had to do something more immediate). They've had a couple of bouts of extreme itching, but the bet called Pfizer and they said this would be typical--increased itching as the mites die. The proof will be in one more month when we give one more dose of Revolution--then I can start backing off the Benadryl and (fingers crossed) they will not start scratching. Just in case, we also switched food (TOTW--yes, saw the recall a few minutes ago) last week. I still don't feel like we're done with this whole thing, but hope is on the horizon. The most important thing is that Seven is clearly feeling better--she actually played hide and seek with me yesterday and got really excited which was lovely to see. This is how I want my old dog to feel--bright eyed and waggy tailed.
  20. Not sure I have useful advice--just sharing thoughts. When Seven (my hound/gsp) was a puppy my oldest daughter was one. Seven jumped on her a few times and knocked her down. If you've ever seen a hounds claws--they are like bear claws! And when she jumped on Sadie, those claws were right on her face. I got pretty tough with her on that one point as a result. Very tough voice, strong reaction on my point and then I would teach her lay down (thinking, I want her to learn to lay down in the presence of small children). She quit jumping on Sadie. And she never again jumped up on a child (adults was another, much longer story!). And, seems I also taught her to lay down whenever a child cries, which she still does to this day, LOL. I really think it would have been harder to teach Star (our bc) if the kids had been little. They helped me teach her not to jump by crossing their arms and turning their backs on her with a no, same for the nipping at the clothes, ankles. I expect your kids are too little to do this. Star, though very trainable, as a 14 week old puppy would get excited and her mind was clearly on overload. Much harder to get her attention. You might try working on a down without the kids, then work on getting it when the kids are there. I also like teaching "Mine". It's a quick easy way to communicate that something the dog is trying to get or has is not for her (like the kids cookies, or toys). I taught it to Seven and to Star. I think the key is to be able to then give them something that IS theirs. So, kids toy in mouth: "Ah, mine" and take it then immediately give her a dog toy, "This is Stars" or "This is good". Same with a cookie/dog treat. This was very effective for Star. When Seven was a pup it worked after a little time, but her desire to chew (EVERYTHING) was so much stronger. As far as the pup crying when she can't get to you, she should learn to get over that. You'll have to grit your teeth and bear it until she settles down, and THEN let her in to you. I've never done crates, either. I see everyone's point, but never even knew about the concept of crating until shortly after I got Star. Never saw a dog crated in my family or neighborhood. We've done just fine without it, but I can sure see the potential value.
  21. I don't know that Star has a sense of entitlement---she's more like, "Me too, me too, me too!" But she has a very strong sense of what is and is not right around the house and will let me know when something is not right.
  22. I got all of the same advice as above when I posted about Star's potty training woes. Very useful. She would potty in her crate, so crating was not helping us. The things I think worked best for us were: tethering her and blocking off the room she preferred to use. Also, if you take her on a leash, you can lead her to the area in the yard where you want her to potty and she will learn to potty there all the time, eventually. I'll echo the value of teaching them to potty on command. This has come in handy for us so many times--when camping, traveling in the car, during bad weather, and when I have to rush out of the house and I can't remember the last time they pottied!
  23. I forgot to add that the first few times, when the quiet voice got her attention and she stopped I said, "GOOD quiet doggie, GOOD quiet doggie." Very motivating for this dog to be told GOOD.
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