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Everything posted by mtnfrank

  1. Already doing some of that, pulling gets him nowhere. We are in the process of proofing sit-down-stay on walks. He is good enough that most people comment on how good he is when I get him to sit-down while we talk about our respective dogs. But I have a higher standard on behaviour I expect from him than most people have from their dog. (such as the guy that chased his dog for 5min at the park this morning and than proceeded to physically restrained him and somewhat robustly fight him until he released the ball he had stolen from another dog... let's just say we stayed far far away from that area). He is learning 'stay' at the moment (or rather that sit-down are sit-down unless told otherwise), will introduce the treat tolerance. And when good will try with a ball at home.
  2. Looks like my earlier reply was eaten by the forum. Yes he has good recall... until he doesn't. I have been recalling him while he plays, treat than release again. But there is a point, and I can't quite identify exactly where that point is yet, where he turns (mostly) deaf. After that, commands are (mostly) ignored. He eventually listens and come back and usually settles and is good again. If not he gets put back on the leash. Had to do it once on the walk today. Will keep practicing and will look up recall games.
  3. Speaking of self-control, what specific exercises would you recommend for Dyson? Listed so far: - Leave it/drop it - trade game Also, all of this being related. How best to improve his focus/listening in high distraction environment? For example, tonight on a long walk -my toe still hurts and is an interesting colour but since I can bear weight it's likely not broken- with some offleash at the big park (where there are rarely balls). I could get him to recall, down, sit even with some distance and some medium distractions. By medium distractions I mean a few people and a few dogs. Even a few times while he would be running with another dog I was able to call him back. However, and as I practiced it a few times to call him back, giving him a treat than releasing him back, I noticed that there is an 'excitation level', for example when playing all out with another dog, when he simply doesn't hear me anymore. This being said the other dog owners weren't any better at getting their dogs back but I have higher standards! Eventually I would get his attention but certainly not fast enough to my taste. That area is at a low risk since cars are far way but there are still things like the mud pond where the owner would rather like him not to jump... (actually I was able to stop him within inches of the pond, but wasn't able to prevent the rolling into something unspeakably bad smelling) So... how best to progress between the "it's too easy, he's almost 100% on his commands" to "it's way too hard he's near 0%". Thanks again, F.
  4. Thank you all for your responses. I should first put the disclaimer that he is not that bad at the moment. What I don't want is things getting worse. My original question was, in short, should I try to manage at the park or avoid for now. The responses have been to work on self-control and avoid putting him in a situation where he can get in trouble and/or is not listening to me. i.e. avoid the park for now. I thought I might have broken my toe last night, meaning a run or long walk was out of the question this morning (turns out it's most likely just badly bruised rather than broken). Out of necessity I limped to the park hoping no-one would be there on a rainy Sunday morning. There were a few dogs playing ball... This is what I did: 1) Approach: I approached the park very slowly, turning away anytime he would pull on the leash. Then asking him to focus, sit-down, then we would move closer to the park. 2) At the park: I picked the furthest corner (it's a 2acre+ park) and while holding the leash, I asked him to do a few sit-down-stay. He would then get a ball toss directly to him -while I'm still holding the leash. A few times he wanted to go run with the other fetchers but a quick squeak from the hidden squeaky ball and he would focus back on me. Relax, focus then when good another ball toss. 3) When the other dogs left: I unleashed him, did a few toss practicing sit-down then gave him a few short throws. I was able to get him to do some sit-stay down-stay then gave a release word before giving the throw. Maybe I'm imagining things but he almost seem to like the tension before the release word. 4) Leaving the park: I soon as he saw him getting more aroused, i.e. dropping the ball than picking it up again and walk-circling way. I put him back on the leash and we left the park. Observations: - On the leash, I was able to get him to focus on me even if other dogs were playing in the background -even if far, it knew they were there. - Off leash, I was able to get him to focus if I had the ball in my hand. That's already better than before when he would just zone out and fix the ball. - If the ball is on the ground, I can't get his attention yet - Leaving the park was much easier this morning, no jumping and trying to block my way. So overall I'd say a little bit of progress. I'll definitively keep working on it as long as it takes. On basic obedience vs self control, it's not an either or. It's just that I'm slowly increasing the amount of 'learning' each day as I get to know his limits. I'm careful to keep session shorter than his attention span. There are already so many things to work on! I have to do the obedience class exercise - we wouldn't want the border collie to look bad in class would we- but there are so many other things I would like to train at once! Recall, 'stop' as in a down-stay and 'leave it' are priorities.
  5. Drop it has been a bit of a challenge to teach. He doesn't know it yet. At home he does it naturally without me having to ask for it so I have to capture it somehow, at the park he will leave it if I put my hand under the ball but obviously not if asked since he doesn't know it yet. Not sure if it's prey drive (squirrels, birds, etc he ignores) but definitively he gets stimulated. And yes I was throwing for him to retrieve. I've been walking him off when he does not behave and stopping the play but I'm wondering if he hasn't learned (for the moment) that me = the fun sometimes stops vs other people = they are always fun. I'm of course trying to break that and asking other people not to play with him. I've tried with two balls, usually he fixates on one and completely ignores the other one. To the extend that he'll let the other one hit him on the head if thrown his way. Food will not break the focus either. I do have a squeaky tennis ball that he REALLY likes (I limit play with that toy, in fact hasn't been out in a few weeks) I could try using it as an interrupt to get his attention outside. I was initially thinking to have basic obedience down before focusing on self control but looks like I may have to do more self control now. And less ball and none if there are other dogs. For now and in time start again as long as he behaves, if not go one step back and start again. And yes, it was fantastic up until a couple weeks ago to have a dog that could be so well focused while playing. I was thinking on how I could use that focus for training. For now I need to work on being able to always get focus on me instead of on the activity.
  6. There is definitively an 'over excitation' component. Tonight I decided to test if it was only balls and it is not only balls. At 'the big park' (where offleash is tolerated but not a dog park per say) someone was throwing a stick to their dog. Dyson was interested and was reacting with the same focus as if someone was throwing the ball. A few throws later, he did get overexcited and same 'snap' at the other dog that I've seen with a ball. There is growling and snarling in that snap. So "I think" there is a component of aggression in there as well. As a side note, he was apparently beating up by his sire growing up until given up to rescue. He is very submissive to other dogs but does have this 'toy aggression'. I don't know if it also translates to food or other resource. At this point, I want to deal with what I experience with him rather than 'explain it from his background'. However, since rescue did warn me about some tendencies to be possessive around balls-toys, I have to assume that the behavior didn't start with me and simply surfaced in the last couple of weeks once he started settling in his new environment. This also means it is likely more deeply learned and may take more time to change. I agree it's not fair to the other dogs, I'll thus avoid for now -as much as possible- any situation where he would be in an area where someone else is playing with their dog. We are working on basic obedience and he is pretty good in low to medium distraction but once in 'aroused' state he is not. He is making progress since even last week it was only in very low distraction that I could get his attention. On walks I can now get him to focus almost any time I ask (there are still the odd impossible to resist smell to sniff or roll in). If there are other dogs present or people to greet, it's definitively getting better. If he is in 'ball mode', then I can sometimes get his attention but I can see it's very fleeting.
  7. It is not his sole form of exercise, not counting training, I've been going on long walks as well on/off leash after work. For example there is a great park I have gone over the last week for hikes and where we meet dogs and he can run-play offleash with minimal chance of ball interaction. That is a great plan from spring-summer, at least for after work, but this time of year darkness comes around 6pm and next month after the time change it will be dark by 430pm so not the best for offleash running (he does have a light, is decent on recall and the park is large but still don't like to let him run too far if I can't see him). With winter coming there will likely be less and less people out with their dogs in that park and it doesn't help for his morning exercise. I can arrange for some one-one play dates but... not everyday! Easier to organize on week-ends... which is when I have more time to go on extended hikes anyways! I may start running with him (4-5miles) and see what happens. But for example, last night I went for a 1hrs30m on-leash walk while doing exercises (loose leash, sit, down) and he was still bouncy inside for a while. Offleash running or fetching really looks needed for him. But maybe onleash running will be good. And yes I realize that 6weeks is very soon, I just don't want bad habits to take root. He is otherwise settling in pretty good. He only eats other people's shoe laces and leaves mine alone
  8. Ball only, as far as I know but I wouldn't make the assumption that it is only the ball. He does play with other toys but will abandon them if there is a ball to be seen.
  9. Looking for ideas on how best to proceed to diminish ball aggression. Both in the short term and in the long run. Dyson is about 14months old and I adopted him 6 weeks ago. He is a very nice little fellow but... He was always ball possessive and ball focused but things appear to be getting worse: - initially he was only focused on me and ignoring everything else at the dog park, but starting a couple of weeks ago he'll now abandon his ball and run to someone else playing with their dog and want to run after their ball. If the owner waits for me to retrieve my dog before throwing the ball, he'll get impatient and either start circling or snap at the other dog. No serious fights yet but I don't want to get there. - if running after his ball (or another dog's ball) and another dog runs after the ball or after him, he'll snap as well (and keep running) We have just started basic obedience and I do plan to start working on some focus exercise (eg Control Unleashed) in the near future. However, what do you think I should do in the mean time: a) avoid any ball play (and by extension the 'ball' park) b ) only play ball if he is the only ball playing dog at the park (for example by going off-hours) c) still go but manage closely. The problem with a) is that on days I am short on time (eg morning before work), fetching is a great way to exercise quickly. He also goes to another dog park at lunch time with the dog walker where he plays great with other dogs, as long as there are no balls!!! But from time to time there will be some left (she takes them away) or someone playing ball with their dog. The problem with b is that he gets excited just getting close to the 'ball park' and also if he gets exposed to balls at lunch time. I've mostly been doing c) at the moment although I've also reduced ball playing to max once a day and have avoided it on some days when there are too many dogs at the park. When he runs over to someone else, I ask them not to throw the ball, I catch him (I leave the leash attached in order to be able to catch him when he gets excited), walk him away. Do some sit, look at me, and other exercise until he focuses back on me and calms down a bit. But then, after a few more throws he'll run back to the other person and potentially be aggressive to their dog. It is also harder to deal with other dogs wanting to follow him while he plays with his ball. In a way I am less concerned about that since the other dog are then 'annoying him' (rather than him annoying them) but still not a desired behavior. I don't tolerate aggression and he gets a very stern 'no' when doing so and gets taken away from the situation. Treats do not work to redirect as the ball is so much more important. In a perfect world he would play nice and be tolerant... perhaps with time? Certainly I don't want it to get any worse!
  10. To nuance a bit my previous post, all that is in the OP is correct. There is a risk associated with vaccination (even if small). For that matter the risk exist with any infection (eg more people suffer neurological side effects from the flu virus every year than from flu virus shots). And of course if the dog has kept immunity there is no point in re-vaccinating him. Better research in establishing an appropriate vaccination schedule is good. I personally plan to have the tither test done before re-vaccinating.
  11. This is simply not true. It depends on the vaccine. Some are not re-required later in life because the risk of contracting the disease as an adult is low enough as to not require vaccination. Other vaccines require periodic boosters, and not for monetary return to drug companies. Most of the vaccines can be done by generic companies nowadays. Not a big profit maker... For example, just off the top of my head: - Yellow fever is required to be renewed every 10years if traveling to an area at risk - Tetanos vaccine booster is required every 10years Now, their is a small risk associated with vaccination but usually overestimated by people (eg the old autism link that was fraudulently made up and now completely debunked). There are also a lot of "correlation" issues that people take for "causation". When considering genetic, food, environmental factors the "vaccine are bad" case becomes very very weak. What one has to consider is: risk of vaccine side effect (usually very low) vs risk of contracting disease X impact of the disease If there is a tither test, it allows to evaluate that risk of contracting the disease goes down thus not needed to vaccinate again. But usually, risk of side effects is lower than the alternative. Thus vaccination is indicated. If your dogs never get in contact with other dogs, vaccinating for infectious disease may not be needed. It all depends on the overall risk. But thinking that "vaccines don't work" or "vaccines are bad" are not rational statements. With humans, we can also avoid vaccinating at risk people since "herd immunity" will protect them. In dogs, not so much since many people don't vaccinate their pets (due to cost). F.
  12. Dyson, adopted 15 Sep from GHF. About 1yr old and a sweet little guy (and ball obsessed).
  13. Animal abuse is a strong indicator of sociopathic tendencies and so is setting fires... the kind of things that can progress to serial killer activities (or so I've been told by a friend working on rehabilitation programs in the correctional system)
  14. Yes they are on GoDaddy (just did domain check) and Yes GoDaddy is down intermittently from being under attack.
  15. It's "love has no age limit" http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/store/Love-Has-No-Age-Limit.html Just finished reading it, an easy read and a nice little booklet. And agree with previous posters: - likely fear-stress, not 'guarding' - maybe too much too soon - same thoughts on building positive association with stranger (to the dog) Other tools could be: - BAT: http://functionalrewards.com/more-on-bat/bat-steps-for-reactivity/ - Exercises in control unleashed (eg LAT-Look at That) - There are some video on Youtube, or the book can be found here http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=3080 F.
  16. The eyes! They look so full of hope and supplication. "I need a friend, can you take me home. I'll be a good boy" Yes, anthropomorphizing but such expression.
  17. Nothing new but illustrative of why BYB/Puppy mills thrive and why rescues are overflowing. a few days ago my sister sees her neighbour walking a young BC pup, just over 2months old, and engages conversation. "Is that a Border Collie" "Yes, it is" says the proud Lady "My brother is looking to get one from rescue" "Why would anyone turn them in rescue, my pup is so great???" said the lady puzzled "Because they are very smart and energetic dogs requiring a lot of time everyday" "Oh, I just walk my pup 20min in the morning and evening, I don't have much more time than that with young kids at home" My sister a little taken aback, "So where did you get your pup?" "Oh, I went to buy fish food at the pet shop and that cute puppy was there, so I bought it. I wasn't planning to buy a dog, I never had one, but he was so cute." I've asked my sister to keep an eye on that pup...
  18. I look forward to exploring Bruce Pit steering clear of the mixadoodles and finding the BC Hill... should be in a few weeks
  19. A bit further away but Glen Highland adopts in MD as well. http://www.glenhighlandfarm.com/ghfdogs.htm - just don't take the one I have my eye on before my request is processed
  20. I disagree that history is irrelevant. It puts things in context, is the behaviour new or has been building up to it, could it be medical, is there are a trigger that can be identified, etc. Now that doesn't mean taking pity and rewarding (or punishing) submissive behaviour. And it doesn't mean trying to find the why of every behaviour, sometimes one doesn't have any idea what's going on in that furry little head. But being aware of history including triggers, what training was tried, any medical conditions, etc does help formulating a training plan. I've witnessed a couple behaviourist consults, and both times history was taken in consideration (among other things) before formulating a training plan for the clients. Granted two is a small sample but the procedure for 'information gathering' was the same in both cases even though they were very different. Frank
  21. I'll take first stab at an answer, but don't take my word for it I'm not a behaviourist-trainer nor do I play one on TV... Loki does see to have quite a few issues: - Highly submissive behaviour (peeing on himself) and I assume bad recall (if he freaks out when his name is called) - Leash reactive - Pulling on leash - Dog reactive - Fixating on things At this point I don't think it would be a good idea to bring him to agility classes or any advanced training before improving on some of his other behaviour and building his confidence. The best might be meeting with a good trainer in your area for some one-on-one. At this point it doesn't have to be someone familiar with herding dog, just someone good with fearful and reactive dogs. Sorry I can't recommend any. (to answer one of your other questions, The Agility Connection was the club at the Kingston SDT and 'ready set go' flyball was there last year; there are other clubs in the Kingston-Belleville area as well -I think) What is his history? Was he abused before? How old was he when taken away from his litter? A lot of questions that would help providing advice. 1)submissive behaviour, there are some threads about this on the board. Never punish him for coming to you and never punish him after the fact if he misbehaved. Actually with how you describe Loki, any type of punishment based training would be counterproductive. Go slow. Make recall fun, always. If his name is a poisoned cue due to past abuse, you might even want to consider changing it. 2) Leash reactive, classic counterconditionning could help you here. Start by associating the leash with good things, then put it on inside the house. Then outside and reward for calm, etc. Don't use the leash to jerk or correct the dog. 3) Pulling on leash, there are some threads on the board about this. But you may want to work on leash reactivity before. Practice in an area away from distractions, especially other dogs. 4) Dog reactive, there are a number of protocols to help with that. There was a post recently on the board with a link to Patricia McConnell's blow. 5) For fixating, Control Unleashed the Puppy book by Leslie McDevitt, would provide a number of exercises to work on to help with that (look at me being the main one) Sorry I don't have time to provide more in depth answers today, in the mean time I would recommend you: A) provide more info on his history, temperament and what/how you've tried to train him B ) perhaps break down your questions as specific topics "eg urination on himself, leash reactivity & pulling, etc."
  22. I agree that science has to be public, data, analysis methods and conclusions. This is how peer review works. There could be a reasonable reason for not releasing things: "While we wait for data to be analyzed properly we don't want to share it broadly so that uneducated people don't draw bad conclusions" The less good would be "Some breeders only accepted to participate if they get exclusive access to the data". The bad would be "We found something that doesn't support our beliefs thus we are suppressing it instead of changing our breeding practices." Hopefully it is not the latter, and nothing would indicate that it is given the intention of their research but the only way to counter that possible perception is publishing the data.
  23. Her "argument" is a collection of logical fallacies. Compare with "drunk driving is dangerous" - No I drove drunk and nothing bad happened - No, I wasn't drunk and had an accident therefore drunk driving is not dangerous Add to that 'appeal to authority' with the "breeders know better" And a bit of ad-hominem against the "doom and gloom babysitters" There are no merle only breeds (AFAIK), and even if that existed. It would be possible, just a lot of puppy culling of the ones with two-copies of the gene.
  24. The reporter is Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, so no dummy himself. (and yes he is one of the people responsible for demoting Pluto from full planet status)
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