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Everything posted by MaggieDog

  1. Honestly I think I just never went over to the dogs waiting to switch unless they were quiet. Plus when I say short sessions, we're talking about 2-3 minutes so they don't have a lot of time to wait. If I'm actively training all 3, then each dog is trained for a few minutes about 3 or 4 times. Often I also do work with them on walks, as a group, and when I take one to work with me.
  2. Mine realize that there's no point in complaining while someone else is working or they won't get to work. Generally I keep their sessions short and multiple vs. one long one per dog and that helps. The dogs not working are babygated or crated in my home office while the working dog gets time with me and the clicker in the living room. Additionally I find it incredibly helpful to enroll dogs in separate training classes to ensure they get quality training time with me on a weekly basis. Kes currently is enrolled in a Puppy Agility class and a Levels-style basic obedience class. Z is enrolled in Excellent Agility right before Kes' Puppy Agility class. Maggie isn't in classes but I am working on setting up a regular therapy visit at a local special education class for her.
  3. Thanks for the tip on Nicole - I'll pm her later this evening.
  4. Ah forgot to mention - this is for someone I ran into on another board who I offered to help since she thought AKC was the only option. She's in Vermont; the dog in question is a 7mo ACD.
  5. LOL yea I luuuurve my boy. And yes, he's taught me a lot about the proper installation of an off switch (it's almost fully installed now!), the joys of stuffed kongs, and the awesomeness of mental work when it comes to tiring puppies out. He's the only dog I have that will play with an empty kong - he just enjoys play! It's so cool! Heck he's making me reconsider SAR already
  6. I've always wanted an intense dog that was "hard" and fearless; well I got him: Kes came back from 4 hours of daycare today with one skinned pad and 3 well worn pads. The boy doesn't know when to stop! Of course he's not phased at all - he's meandering around my home office trying to get into trouble...Off to look up the numerous posts on the topic!
  7. How would one go about finding a trainer who can teach someone about cattle work instead of sheep? This would be for someone looking to turn a dog into a helpful dog around a large beef operation.
  8. Hey it sounds like that did go better than expected in that they didn't fight - the correction from Quinn sounds quite effective and appropriate from your description!
  9. Just a clarification - I use prong collars on about 3% of the dogs that enter my training classes. My first choice is a front lead harness, then a head halter, and then the prong and only if the dog is not overly sensitive to correction or at all fearful or aggressive/reactive. Unfortunately it sounds like your vet has ruled out the first two, so my opinion is the prong is the lesser of two evils given those restrictions - not ideal, but better than no exercise or re-injury. Do try the plastic version or using the rubber prong covers since your boy can be sensitive. And make sure you get a good one - the ends of the prongs should be smoothly rounded, not flat cut. A BC does not need a heavy weight prong, the one I use for most dogs is a prong with links about 1" in length.
  10. If I was going with a correction collar I'd go with a prong waaaaaaaaaaay before a choke. I really prefer the even distribution of pressure, the ease of fading, and the self correcting nature of a prong, plus there has been at least one study that indicates that chokes cause permanent damage to the structures of the neck, whereas prongs do not. Do be cautious of the side effects of punishment, but for a sound dog a prong used appropriately should not cause issues. My biggest concern is associating corrections with the same situation (greeting animals or people) over and over = defensiveness around them - it happened to my Maggie so it is possible, but she wasn't as sound mentally as she needed to be to do well on a prong imo.
  11. What about parallel walking? That's what always helped Maggie adjust to fosters. It would avoid the initial stiffness and get them back into a group mindset by doing something together.
  12. He's a beautiful guy and sounds well loved; he certainly looks like a number of BCs I know of - I think it's diet time!
  13. I had a pitty mix client who would do this when she was getting overaroused. It was a very reliable signal to tone things down or end the session or you'd get pinched for your troubles.
  14. I don't find the comprehensive plans helpful, mainly due to cost and hassle related to having to file for every little thing lol. I do however have a plan for both Z and Kes that covers accidents/injury/illness up to $8000/yr. Z's policy is $120/yr and Kes' is $135 (Kes is a bigger dog, hence more $$). Each dog has a $250 deductible and the plan pays 90% after that is reach (70% for specialists). I've heard bad things about banfield (crappy vets, poor service, overcharging) and VPI (old references for payout limits on procedures, no coverage for congenital stuff). My plans are through PetPlan and include congenital conditions and do not consider newly developed conditions pre-existing after the first year like many plans. As long as you keep the premium current they will still cover expenses in the following years assuming the pet was diagnosed while under coverage.
  15. I don't try to guess at the dogs' dominance hierarchy because you can do a ton of damage by accidentally "supporting" the wrong dog. Instead I spend my time and energy teaching all dogs to follow the same rules about behavior. In my household, older dogs are allowed to correct younger dogs who try to take possessions or do not respect their body space. They are NOT allowed to guard me, the cat, or just be witchy in general. All dogs have assigned eating spots and may not bother the other dogs while they are eating. All dogs must sit/stay before eating and must be quiet and calm while I prepare food bowls or they will be put in a down/stay for the remainder of prep time. Unwarranted snarking gets a verbal "that's enough" and if it happens again, a time out in a crate for the instigator. We've had two more serious incidents between Maggie and Z, so for now they are separate when I am not home and I'm gradually adding resources back into the mix. Incident 1 was right after Kes came home in April so stress levels were high and Z tried to take Maggie's bone - she overreacted and I had to break it up. Incident 2 was last Wednesday and occurred because I was not paying attention to triggers: I allowed Maggie to watch me cook the hamburger for dog food and she was guarding the stove, I still allowed her to hang around while I put food stuff together and let it sit on the counter, I then removed her to show DH something and when she came back to the kitchen Z was in "her" spot by the stove = a one sided altercation I broke up. You can see in both situations that when triggers pile up it causes issues, so being aware of potential triggers for conflict can be VERY helpful in eliminating problems.
  16. So glad to hear that all is well in your world!
  17. Tim - you've just gotta be creative sometimes when it comes to search terms. here's what came up under the "rawfeeding" header: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.p...e=%2Brawfeeding
  18. LOL at this point I'm jealous of anyone close enough to do stockwork on a regular basis. I may get to put Kes on sheep soon though - the available lesson times are sporadic and it's a good distance away so we don't go as often as I wish we could (plus that minor detail of money!).
  19. Is that all the detail we get?! There are people living vicariously here! Glad you had a good time!
  20. Kristine has a great point on the location of the treat delivery. It's something I have to remember myself in heeling practice sometimes. Could part of the heeling issue be the lure you mentioned? Perhaps Cheyanne has a hand signal (lure hand) that hasn't been faded yet? I see this a ton with my students when they are teaching sit and down - they inadvertantly use a hand signal and then when they don't put it in the sequence like they used to the dog's performance suffers. This is how I teach LLW and heel in my basic and advanced classes - perhaps this is similar to what you're doing with the clicker? I use a choose to heel method with c/t. It can be done on or off lead, but I prefer off-lead since many dogs use the leash as a cue to pull/forge/etc. The basic premise is that you walk an a random fashion (lots of turns, few straight lines) and whenever your dog is in the "magic box" (invisible floating "box" that is your reinforcement area) near heel position they are clicked and rewarded. If off lead they can meander away with no consequence other than no c/t, if on lead I will stop when they move out of the box and then return to moving and c/t when they are back in the right area. The box starts out large (i.e. 2x2 or so) and then shrinks to perfect heel as the dog gets the idea. High rates of reinforcement can be especially helpful in the beginning stages; you can start to wean the dog off c/t as they "get" the idea.
  21. I'm pretty sure TDI does a one time registration evaluation and then annual or every few years registration fee. I think Delta is the only group that requires periodic re-evaluations and for that they should be highly commended. IMO their evals are also the toughest around and they provide the best training for the human side of the equation, but I might be biased as I am an evaluator for them.
  22. DR - I can train to high levels, sure, but around here there are very few places that allow dogs, so finding challenging training scenarios is very difficult. I'm basically limited to sidewalk work, Petsmart/Petco, TSC, Lowes, and Home Depot. Dogs aren't allowed at street fairs or similar events and certain public parks, baseball fields, etc. and the local businesses aren't pet friendly. I can drive 30 miles to a slightly more friendly city, but it's nothing like any of the big cities on the West Coast I've visited (Portland, OR and SanFran, CA). The "taking dogs everywhere" idea is what draws so many people into breaking the rules, not the task training unfortunately. If it were the training we wouldn't have the problems we do.
  23. I'm all for owner trained assistance dogs, but it does take a very special person to do it right. My first exposure to OT service animals was through the OC-Assist-Dogs list and the likes of Debi Davis - the people who do hold their dogs to high standards, wash when needed, etc. They do amazing things with their working partners and do it right! Once I started training pet dogs myself it became quite obvious that many of the people who called me wanting help to train their pets as SDs were not at this level - I've had several run ins with people who just don't get it when it comes to what is required of a SD and I can't help them see it, so I decline to help them train their pet as an SD. The most difficult was the woman whose dog predicted her seizures by having seizures of her own - she was taken everywhere as a SD but not trained at all and I had serious doubts about the wellbeing of that dog. I discussed my concerns but it fell on deaf ears unfortunately. She now has a new dog and has asked for my help but I've told her I can help with obedience but will likely refer out to another trainer for SD stuff. It's a really sucky situation to be in. I do think that the flexible nature of the current laws is being taken advantage of more than ever. I fully admit that I have considered pushing the boundaries myself because I would love to be able to work my dogs to the level SDs are worked (you really can't replicate the distractions and challenges of an airport, a shopping mall, etc. in a pet-friendly setting), but I do not have a disability and ethically I cannot cross that line, despite knowing that my pet dogs are often better behaved than some of the self-proclaimed SDs I see. I hate being ethical sometimes , but in the end my being able to control my desires in this realm makes me even less tolerant of those who take advantage of the laws to gain access with their untrained companions. I hate that people are ok with breaking the law and in the process making things so much more difficult for those with legitimate needs. Does that make any sense at all???
  24. I posted this on Chaz too - you guys deserve major kudos and that trainer was waaay out of line. CGC is not supposed to be that complicated.
  25. I've had a borderdoodle come to a playgroup - he looks like any other poodle cross and acts very unlike a BC - if they hadn't told me what he was, I'd have assumed he was a labradoodle or maybe lab/terrier since his coat was wirey.
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