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About SMcNairnTurn

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  1. Border Collies are about MENTAL stimulation, not running them until they're too tired to think. If you provide your Border Collie with enough of it, you will have less problems in the long run. Don't think that if you take the dog for a run that it will leave you alone at night. I would say that I spend about 90% of my time that I'm home interacting with my dogs in some form. That's not saying that they're constantly on the move...if I'm down, they're down, but they will come and check on me. They'll try to engage me in a game of catch while I'm watching ER or the news (insert your own favorite show here)They will play fight noisily in front of the tv (this is their morning ritual while I'm watching the Today show) They think they need to help me cook dinner...go to the bathroom...do laundry...etc.. An example of their quirkiness: Periodically I take them to a friends house, who has a large yard and an 11 year old boy and lots of young neighbors. They love it, unless the kids decide to jump on the trampoline instead of play with them. Anyway, the other day, my friend and I decided to set up our lawn chairs on a patch of cement on the other side of the lawn because the ground is wet and the chairs make holes. My dogs (both Border Collies) kept taking their frisbees and toys over to the spot where we used to sit, and then would turn toward us and look at us like we were insane. These dogs are addicted to routine. My dogs wake me up at 7 every morning regardless of whether I have to be up. Every night at 10 they start demanding to be walked. Right now, it's 5 and DANGIT, HUMAN it is PAST our walk time. No dog is an accessory to be only admired as it sits in the yard or lies in its bed...but a Border Collie is even less so. They are a demanding breed. Both of mine have had bad habits I've had to break. Marengo chewed everything, wouldn't come unless it benefited her, chased kids and bikes, still chases and barks at noisy vehicles. Rave bites tail pipes unless I'm one step ahead of her and call her off, prefers to stare at stuff instead of play, is a classic case of ADHD, and used to be an ankle biter. (it was no fun to cure that one and most pet people would call me a dog abuser, but dangit I don't like to bleed) I will not leave EITHER dog alone with kids outside. For one thing, no kid I know has the authoritative voice it takes to break through their concentration if they go after a car (or whatever)and I can never really trust them not to knock someone over in excitement, and I can't trust that Rave won't suddenly decide to latch onto an ankle or a crotch if she deems someone out of control. 9.9 times out of 10 she doesn't...but you never know. People have a misconception that Border Collies are easy to train because they've seen all the cute tricks they do on tv. I would imagine that those people spend a TON of time with their dogs, because yes, they learn fast, but a Border Collie UNLEARNS just as fast as it learns. (or adapts the tricks and training to their own needs and desires) My philosophy on life (and it's worked very well for me so far)is "When in doubt, DON'T". When I started researching Border Collies, I read every article I could find (which was a lot amazingly, since it was 13 years ago and I didn't have the internet)and they all said the same thing "Doesn't make a good house pet. It can be done, but it's hard". Never ONCE did I think I couldn't handle it...and I've followed through...through the good times AND the bad. And there WERE bad. Lots of bad. I wouldn't be happy with any other breed, because I like the challenge. That is the decision you have to make. Will I relish the challenge, and will I follow through. If not, don't. When there is any doubt...don't. If you want to read an honest book about what it's like to live with a Border Collie...and the challenges you might face..and how much time was spent interacting with the dog..read "A Dog Year" by Jon Katz. Don't focus in on his dog being a rescue though, because remember that the poor thing belonged to someone who couldn't handle it first.
  2. You are on AOL...go to the Border Collie message boards there (used to be able to get there through Keyword Pets)and talk to the host of the board. She's from that area and does agility. Good luck.
  3. I have friends who had a dog with Old dog's vestibular disease. I'm afraid I don't have the best news really. She suffered for a couple of years. She did eventually recouperate to the point where she could stand, but walking was always difficult for her and she sort of stood at a tilt from that point on. She also had bouts where it got worse again. She did puke, but they thought it was because she was "dizzy". They did put her food up for her. I think though that the WORST thing they did was stop exercising her. I would take her for short walks and she really seemed to enjoy them. I really wish I had better news. I am SO SO sorry. I know what hell my friends went through and the symptoms are so scary to witness. Just try to make him as happy and as comfortable as possible.
  4. okay...here's the make-up of science diet regular (which I'm feeding now) Protein 23% Fat 14% Carb 48% fiber 1.9% the light (which I was feeding before the pro plan) Pro 22% fat 8% carb 42.9% fiber 13% Maybe she was feeling to full to jump? lol The carb difference isn't real significant, the vitamins and such were the same for each..the only thing that looks significant (besides the fiber) is the fat, and she was GAINING weight on the light...it's all very weird...maybe she was just bloated. I'm thinking dog food scientists are just as messed up as people food scientists.
  5. I've long thrown the bag away too. I'll see what I can find online and get back to you. I was feeding Science Diet before the switch to Pro Plan (on recommendation by my vet for better weight loss) but switched back because their coats got crappy and they were shedding like freaks. Dandruff gone, static gone, dullness gone, less shed and miraculously Marengo is limber. Very odd.
  6. Okay...most of you know that my oldest, Marengo, is dysplastic. For years I've been struggling to keep weight off of her (thanks to well-meaning friends and relatives) and now that I'm isolated in Iowa, for the past year her weight has been pretty good. She's by no means svelte, but my fingers at least make slight bumps along her ribs. So anyway, a couple of weeks ago out of financial tightness I bought ONE bag of regular Science Diet and have been feeding it to both dogs. In that two weeks, Marengo has been suddenly able to jump back up on the bed again...where previously she'd do this "I think I can make it this time" dance and never get anywhere. I've got one of those old really high antique beds, and she's sucessfully leaped up like it was no big deal for the past 3 or 4 mornings in a row. Now, a month ago I was feeding them fish oil treats with chondroitin (sp?)but I would think that those would be out of their system by now. Do you all think that she's getting something out of the regular food that's easing her pain, or maybe it's giving her strength that the low fat wasn't? I'd be interested to hear your ideas. If you all think it's the food, I won't go back to the diet crap.
  7. My oldest does this too...the other one just noodges me to get petted (which also drives me nuts). I used to have a "no dogs in the front seat" policy, but because Marengo is crazed and going from side to side, Rave came up front out of self defense...couldn't say no. Anyway...haven't been able to cure it in my car...though belting her in does lessen the head banging. She's selective though, and prefers to head bang only for those cars stalled on the side of the road, speeding by us, or like you said, those going very fast on a two way road. HOWEVER, a friend of mine has a little two seater TR6, with a small space behind the seats where a dog can scrunch, and because when we road with him, there was always two of us and she was so close, and he would COMPLETELY freak out if she touched paw to paint...we were able to cure her by keeping her leashed and yelling a lot of "knock...it...off"s. Which, I know, is difficult when it's the back of an SUV...maybe you can hire a teenager to ride around with you.
  8. Just wanted to jump in here. I have an 8 year old dysplastic Border Collie. I had her xrayed when she was 4 ONLY because we'd gone to Maine and after being thrown against rocks in the ocean she was limping...and it never stopped. Now, up until that point, the only thing that gave me pause was the fact that a)she didn't seem to jump quite as high as other Border Collies (though at 4 months she scaled a 4ft baby gate with ease)and b)she tired quickly in high heat, and c)she hated having her hind end touched. All of which could have been contributed to by other things. One being basic bitchiness on her part until I got the second dog. It has only been in the past year that I've seen her have problems with things like getting on the bed (which is a HIGH antique)or getting up on her back legs to look out windows. It is also only in this past year that I've noticed a significant loss in hip musculature. I should add that she was also diagnosed with arthritis at the same time. Now...when we x-rayed Marengo (at four) her hips were so bad that they (to me) looked barely in the socket. They were also rubbed completely flat on the insides. There was only 1 questionable dog in Marengo's lineage. I haven't heard of any displasia from her breeder since. Would Marengo be able to herd sheep, yes...would she have the stamina to do it for long periods of time (hours) not without rest. But, she can play frisbee for hours with 5 second rests between throws. Now, all that said...I'm not really a firm believer in the tests. I don't give a crap if the dog has excellent or "good" (because it's a rare occasion I've heard of dogs with "excellent" hips)hips. What good is THAT in determining whether or not my dog will come away without it? I have a dog with dysplasia from "good" dogs. Those studies only left me with questions..except for the last one that was posted. What breeds of dogs? Were the breeds of dogs consistent from study to study? Were the people performing the tests on the dogs consistent? Did they have the same education, the same experience? And if ONE person dubs a dog "fair", instead of good like the other two...by god then I don't want a pup out of that dog. Show me that that dog was able to work pain free until it was 8,9,10..then we'll talk. Do we HAVE 3 people doing the tests on regular dogs? NO...of course not. What if my breeder went to the guy who was wrong? What if the next persons test consists of subjects that aren't notorius for dysplasia, will they find the same results? Highly unlikely. Studies mean squat to me...and I have a degree in a field (psych)that does a heck of a lot of studies. Just because a group of people say that they found it "significant" doesn't mean the next people who do a test will. Look at the mess they make of human health..fat is bad, fat is good, cut out carbs, lose weight...eat carbs lose weight...it's all crap...just like intelligence tests studies done on white kids in the suburbs are useless for the minorities in the cities...studies done on a breed that isn't the one you're looking at should all be read with a degree of skepticism.
  9. Oh dear, Bill...that was all so beautiful you made me cry. I guess I should add that I'm not being facitious.
  10. Sorry to hear about your pup! She must be pretty bad to have to undergo surgery so young! I hope that you have been able to inform her breeder. As far as entertainment goes...tricks tricks and more tricks. Identifying toys, people, hide and seek (quietly, of course) I've found that expending mental energy is almost equally as tiring as physical. Oh...and my two really like rides in the car...lol
  11. My thought is if you did go with rescue, you would be able to pick out a dog that not only liked agility, but perhaps one that didn't like it quite as "enthusiastically" as another. My youngest BC would be a spaz in the wrong hands...not saying that I'm perfect, she's still a jumper and heeling is a pain...but she's an intense agility dog that moves VERY fast. I've seen dogs like Rave with novice showers and the dogs looked totally out of control. Now again, I'm not even an experienced shower...I started training with my oldest but found out she was dysplastic and so my trainer found the pup for me. I've worked one on one with a top handler for over a year now, and she's gotten me through a lot of problems I wouldn't have been able to fix on my own. Even so, in my spare time, it's BC's. Training, walking, frisbee, parks, swimming, walking and more walking, neighbordog playtime and lots of human indoor interaction. My two don't even enjoy being out in the yard without me...something that annoys me about people saying that BC's need a big yard to play in...heck, mine don't even like my yard, I have to take them to the park.
  12. I use the clicker for my "pup", but only for certain things...I know, sounds weird, but it's generally effective in situations where it's quicker than saying "good girl". I used it for awhile for agility obstacle training, but found it difficult to hold the clicker and the treats and run at the same time. I do use it successfully when I'm in the mood to teach silly tricks. It really comes in handy to refine a behavior...for instance, I taught her to cover her eyes with a paw, and I can "click" exactly where I want her paw to be much more precisely than I can voice it. All obedience I praise verbally.
  13. Boy, I wish constant exposure had cured my oldest of car herding. It's been a long hard road...she's almost 6. I think you need to think of it this way. You're not trying to stop a behavior, or tell her it's "bad", you're trying to tell her when it's acceptable and when it's not. I've used a "don't go anywhere" command...it's just what came out. After finally responding to this command, we solved the bike problem, the jogger problem, and the yard car problem...and MOST of time the leash walking problem. (too big and noisy or idling cars still drive her nuts) You are right...you get trained to listen for cars. You have to be one step ahead, so you can give the command before the behavior even begins...once mine'sin the mode, I know I don't even stand a chance. Interestingly, my pup is better. She drops into a herding stance, but doesn't freak out like the oldest. Rave is pretty true BC...no barking..and gets ticked off at Marengo when she does, and goes crazy on her. So, essentially, the pup might solve the final problem. Most important of all is a good recall and a good down. If Panda ever gets off leash and goes for a car, you're going to need them!!!
  14. By the way Gayle...Flurry was also a strong gripper, so that's probably where Credit gets it from.... ------------------ Sus and the girls
  15. My youngest pup, Rave, was a gripper of all grippers. When we'd run, she'd leave puncture wounds in my calves and ankles. You can teach Maddie not to do it without hitting her. Here's what I did...when she gripped me, I stopped dead, grabbed her (not hitting, not bringing her off the ground just grabbed her) on both sides of her head, bent down, gave her the look of death and told her not to do it...GRUFFLY. She's a rescue, no one's ever taught her. Don't give her back, because she'll just repeat the process all over again. It can be worked with.
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