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Carol Lea Benjamin

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    New York City
  1. When people see dogs in places where dogs are not allowed unless they are helping their human partner, they are quick to note reasons why the dog is not a real service dog. I would suggest they look not only at the dog, but also at the human. When working with a service dog partner, part of your attention is always on the dog - as his or hers is on you. It's not the size of the dog in the vest but the relationship between dog and handler that counts. It's visible. You know it when you see it at a trial or on a farm. it's not hard to recognize on a plane or at the bank or anywhere else pet
  2. None of the real dog people I've been privileged to know over the years would need a scientific test to know what a dog was thinking, to understand that for most properly raised dogs, love and affection trump food treats, that the bond with their person is above anything and everything else and that, yes, of course, dogs have feelings - the thing I said decades ago in Mother Knows Best that made the scientists say I was anthropomorphic. Dogs can not only read our faces, they read what's inside us, too. The dog who cringes when you come home to find an accident on the rug or a chewed up
  3. The chair was not so that you would appear to be Ian Macmillan. No dog's that dumb. The chair was so that you would relax, do less, watch the dog to see what he needed from you. For me, quiet observation is most likely to offer up the answer I am seeking. Glad you found the help you needed. At our age, the chair's still not a bad idea!
  4. Try taking a chair out with you. Have a seat. See what the dog does. The dog might do more when he sees you can do less.
  5. You don't need treats to train a Border collie and you don't need an e-collar. What you need is yourself. The bond you form by spending time with your dog, long, quiet walks, training time, hanging out time, will motivate her to watch you. to pay attention to you and to want to do what you ask. You can reward her after the session with a walk or a game of fetch. During the session telling her Good Dog will make her try ten times as hard to understand what it is you want and give it to you. Border collies learn many things in one or two tries. They are intuitive, brilliant and attentive an
  6. I live in New York City with a Border Collie who works as my service dog. She's the third BC I have lived with in a very noisy, crowded city. My best advice is to bring your pup home when he is 8 weeks old. That's the best time to have a pup adjust to a new environment. In addition, in the beginning, take your pup out, alternating a quiet block with a busier one, and watch for him to signal you that he's uncomfortable. When that happens, pick him up, tuck him inside your jacket and continue walking. After a while, put him back down and see how he does. This has always worked for me. If
  7. I would suggest you forego the off leash runs until you spend more time bonding with Luke. One of the best ways to do that, which may just become the best part of your day, would be to take long walks with him, the longer the better. I'd use a leash for now and take him, if you can, where there's not too much other activity. Gradually add in some basic training. Just a simple sit and stay will teach him to focus and listen to words. Then back up, wait one chimpanzee and call him to come in your sweetest voice. Little by little, increase the distance for his recall. Don't rush to have hi
  8. Once you start breeding for a purpose other than the one he dog was originally bred for, you are heading down a slippery slope. Well-bred working collies can take on a variety of tasks other than herding, as is true for other well-bred working and herding dogs. Exaggerating certain traits and minimizing others is not a good idea when what you have traditionally is a smart dog who wants to work.
  9. If your pup is in a frenzy, he's too wired, he's been out too long. Either crate him and let him sleep for a couple of hours, as suggested, or walk him and then crate him. Like young children, puppies are poor at monitoring themselves and get overstimulated easily. In addition, without meaning any harm, young boys often play rough with puppies and that increases the pup's desire to be rowdy and nip. You can play actively with a puppy, but not roughly. Nice bonding takes place on long walks and that might be a better way to get to know your pup and also tire him out at this stage of his de
  10. The basis of training for pet dogs (and service dogs) is that they are able to generalize so that if you ask them to sit and stay in your kitchen, then in your yard, then while out in a walk and finally where kids are playing or other dogs are racing around, they get the message: Oh, when she says that, I do it, no matter what, case closed. Most amazing to me is that when service dogs learn to check their person for whatever symptoms they help with, some will also check out other people and if they find something amiss, they will try to fix it. A journalist friend of mine was interviewing a w
  11. The dog's sense of responsibility for a person with a disability comes from being with that person 24/7. When you routinely leave the dog at home to go to work, the message is: I don't need you. By being that person's dog and being with them all the time, the dog, on his own, if he has the aptitude for this work, will begin to notice when things are wrong and these signs, even the slightest sign that he is aware of a change, should be reinforced with quiet praise to let him know that he's on the right track and that this, indeed, is what you expect of him, that it is his job. Working as a s
  12. If you continue to offer treats in a situation where your dog is growling at you, you are reinforcing a behavior, growling, that you do not want. I'd suggest changing up the whole routine and taking him for a long walk on leash off your property and cutting out the walk-time treats, at least for now. Leaving your property, he gets to explore, feel more comfortable in the larger world away from home and is also more dependent upon you, especially if you go in a different direction each day. This should increase his confidence and increase the bond he shares with you. He can surely run to hea
  13. Amen. Because I learned a great deal from watching mother dogs with their pups about how to communicate with dogs and therefore how to teach them the things they need to know in order to be useful and safe, I, too, think a dog should always know the source of both praise and correction. I never saw a mother be cruel to her puppies nor, as significant, unclear. In each and every case, not only did the puppy get the message clearly and quickly the first time, but if the litter was present, all the puppies got the message. I am not so sure that exaggerating the pain from a nip is lying - w
  14. Please think about using a muzzle to prevent more bites while you look for possible help.
  15. Over tired, over stimulated, will probably fall asleep immediately if crated.
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