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Everything posted by SecretBC

  1. I Frontlined at the beginning of last week, after finding a tick on MYSELF. Ugh. I hate them. And while I won't complain about our beautiful warmer-than-usual March weather, I will complain that it brought the ticks out several weeks earlier than usual. They are hearty buggers -- even the Wisconsin winters can't kill them.
  2. If you just completed a basic puppy class, I would recommend going on to attend a group obedience class. If nothing else, it will help to solidify your puppy's social skills and ability to work around distractions. I've had 9/10 month old puppies come into my beginner agility classes and I always cringe (the facility owner lets them in, nothing I can do). I always tell them the reasons why we keep things easy for the young dogs and never let them jump over 4" or 8". I lower the a-frame and teeter and have them work on planks a bit longer than the older dogs. My puppy is coming on 8 months and I'm certainly not saying that you can't do anything agility related with them at this age -- simply that most beginner agility classes are tailored for dogs who are already developed and ready to begin work. Secret runs through tunnels and has been introduced to hoops & jumps with bars on the ground. She also does her "bottom" (2 on/2 off) on all the contacts, but doesn't go up & over them yet -- but she comfortably walks a plank raised just a bit off the ground and turns around on it. When I bring my equipment out at home in the coming weeks, the contacts will be set up at a very low puppy height for her. Some training facilities run programs specifically geared towards puppies and they do the things I'm talking about. If your training center doesn't offer such a class, you would be better off waiting until your dog is a year old before starting a basic beginner agility class. You will get more out of the class this way. There are plenty of ways to occupy your dog in the next six months until then! Just play with your dog and teach him that running with you is FUN! My oldest dog is a Lab/Shepherd and he loves agility -- Not all labs have hip issues. If you are worried about such things, however, you can always get x-rays done to check your dog's hips.
  3. Having a puppy in the house is fun, but it is NOT easy. Somehow I always forget that fact when it comes time to bring a new puppy home... lol But I'm always reminded *very* quickly of how exhausting it is. Housetraining is completely on you, the owner, and as in all things related to dog training, depends on consistency. When I bring a puppy home, I do not like to fall into the lazy trap of kenneling it all the time. It's my job to provide stimulation, training & to keep an eye on said puppy. Border Collie puppies are VERY active, so yes, it's tiring. Secret's accidents tended to happen when I'd fallen asleep on the couch in the evening -- my fault! At 7 1/2 months, I have a hard time believing you have not yet tuned in to the cues your dog gives when it has to go potty -- sniffing, circling, etc. -- they are there, but you must WATCH the dog. Any time any of my dogs have had an accident it is MY fault, not theirs. I make a loud noise if I catch them in the act, but if I find the spot after it's already been made, I just bite my tongue and clean it up. My first dog had *zero* accidents in the house because he was my whole world at the time. We went outside frequently and he caught on very quickly. I got a bit lazy and lax with the last two and they had a few more accidents, but both were fully trained in well under two months. Training a puppy correctly takes WORK in the beginning, but the end result is definitely worth it. I happen to think that they catch on a bit quicker if they don't spend their entire life in the crate, but that's just me -- and of course, it takes more work.
  4. Breeding mixes "on purpose" is very big in the flyball world -- mostly to get "height dogs" (short, fast dogs that bring the height down for all dogs on the team). I can't say I've seen people breeding mixes intentially for agility purposes, but that doesn't mean it's not out there. I really don't see it becoming the next "big thing" in AKC agility. A BC breeder I was looking at started to breed "Borderdoodles" (BC mixed with Poodles) for their "hypo-allergenic" qualities. I crossed that breeder off my list....
  5. I used to work for a shop that sold both the Invisible Fence & Pet Stop brands of fencing. Basically, they are only as good as the training you put into it -- You can't simply install it, slap a collar on your dog(s) and go about life. It takes weeks to do proper perimeter training. I, personally, will never use it. Not because I don't trust it to keep my dogs in my yard, but because it doesn't do anything to keep other people/animals OUT of my yard. I also don't keep collars on my dogs for safety reasons, so using a fence that requires a receiver box to be worn on the collar is kind of out for me.
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