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Posts posted by CptJack

  1. The fur pattern is just puppy fluff shedding.  Lots and lots of dogs of all sorts do that, it's just more obvious with him because he's white. 

    Doesn't answer the question of BC or Not, but it is why he has that funny widows peak looking thing.   My BC X ACD had it (less obviously), too.  And no, I'm not suggesting your dog is a mix based on it.  Just using my own photo as another example.



  2. I think a lot of his misbehavior likely stems from inconsistency, lack of clarity, and generally frustration caused by both.    I also think border collies tend to be very sensitive and pick up on the emotional states of their owners pretty well and to be impacted by them and you admitted you have been, and are, miserable.  I don't think that's an ideal situation for YOU or the dog.

    It isn't that I think BCs need a farm - I live in a suburb with a BC and a BC X ACD and it's fine - but I do think that there is altogether too much stigma in life about rehoming dogs when the fit isn't right.  I think a lot of your post reads like you're super frustrated and don't particularly like your dog.   You got blind-sided and said in your original post you feel like you made a mistake and weren't prepared  and you know what?  That's okay.    

    It's okay if you want to work on it and make it better  - in which case I recommend a professional training done regularly with both of you, and regular training at home as well as a pretty predictable routine and structure.  Also a lot of involvement in your daily life and a lot of clarity.  They are, for all their intelligence, not always the easiest dogs for people to train because they're not particularly 'forgiving' of mistakes or inconsistencies.   They also very much tend to not need exercise so much as to be, like Flora said, a hobby that you spend lots of your free time and money on.

    It's also okay if you just plain don't.  I'd rather see a dog rehomed than everyone be frustrated with each other, and unhappy, for 15 years.


  3. This may make you angry, but:

    The dog's got no major issues beyond being a 6 month old BC in a home that's a really bad fit.  You admit you're miserable.  The dog certainly seems miserable.   Why not rehome him to someone who is better equipped to handle a border collie (ie: experienced in training and will involve the dog in their daily life in the way a bc needs).

    And if you don't want to do that, please bring a professional, rewards based, trainer onboard and keep them involved in training, classes, and activities and behavioral modifications for a long time.



  4. 1xYYRvzoN6uZzDAUI7y4ZW.gif


    Are what happen as you're leaving the course, after the run is over.  

    We have a whole list of things to work on skills wise, because course designs have changed as judges start making their own in NADAC (it's cool!) and I was feeling a little frustrated and overwhelmed.  Then I accidentally watched the very end of my videos.  I stopped picking apart the agility mistakes and looked at my dogs.

    We're gonna be all right.  All of us.  The important thing's there - relationship and connection.

  5. 5 hours ago, Flora & Molly said:

    People rarely recognize my smooth coat as a BC because of her coat and because she has ticking. Most people think she is a mix with a Stabyhoun (very popular breed where I live). 

    I always tell them that for a hunting cross she does remarkably well herding sheep then :P

    Also your Molly looks a lot like my Molly :P

  6. I think that him being aroused/excited by the motion and trying to stop it is normal.

    I also think doing so could still escalate and lead to injury and that expecting you to keep a dog away from your kids every time they run fast or move is unfair to you, that expecting the dog to be separated that much is unfair to the dog, and that asking the kids not to have fun/play as normal kids because the dog can't get it together is unfair to the kids.

    So no, I don't think he is inherently dangerous, but I would absolutely look for a more suitable home for Ned and a more suitable dog for your home.

  7. When she looks to you, reward and give attention to her EVERY TIME.


    It really helps to think of dog training not so much as... stopping behaviors but of building them.  What do you WANT?  When you know that, reinforce the ever loving heck out of it.  Dogs are, like all biological creatures, animals that seek out what gains them reinforcement and avoid what causes them discomfort.   No, you don't need to reward everything forever, but when you're trying to develop a habit, the history of reinforcement is your friend.   And even thereafter the occasional bit of rewarding will keep the behavior strong.

    It's very easy to anthropomorphize the heck out of dogs and think that they should do what you tell them because you told them. Because they know.  Because loyalty.  Because you're the boss.  Because they love you.

    But reality is, even in people, all living things 'do what works to get them what they find rewarding'  - and avoid doing things that lead to negative/unpleasant consequences.  I don't like using the negative stuff much - I find it less powerful, but I will use it some - but really boil it down that far.  "What is the dog getting out of this, and how do I make what I want more rewarding/likely lfor the dog"   and stuff gets a LOT less confusing.

  8. Yes.  

    What everyone has said.  Don't allow random chasing. 


    This guy is only a little more than half BC, but he's also ACD so he's not exactly disinclined to chase and. 


    It can be done.  Really.  Prevent self-rewarding via chasing/worrying things, and build value and understanding that the goal is working with YOU.  It will pay off in the long run. (Those stupid geese followed us around hoping for food.   They're annoying but pretty easy going for freaking geese, as long as there isnt' food and there are no nests, so.  We got on with it).


  9. 40 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

    If she's not anxious, then it's highly likey insufficient reward history, or perhaps simply insufficient training.

    Because you say you've been very inconsistent, I very much suspect the latter. You've essentially taught her that sometimes it is OK to behave like this. And if interacting with the other person and getting petted is rewarding to her, then the inconsistency results in elevating the reward's value . . . and probably contributes mightily to the obsessiveness.

    Plus, I'm guessing that the times you give in and allow her to interact with other people you probably try to stop her and then give up? If so, you've taught her that when she behaves this way you may give in, and so she amps up the behavior to try to get it to work, again upping the obsessiveness. It's a Catch 22.

    Inconsistency is one of the primary reasons for trainingfailure. Really the only way to get a handle on this is to train and to do it consistently. She doesn't get to interact with other people at any time unless you give her permission to. You can use that permission as a reward for sitting quietly paying attention to you and controlling her impulses, though I wouldn't begin using that as a reward until she understands and is complying with the controlled behavior.




    Yep.  This is exactly what 'insufficient reward history for the behavior you are asking'.    It's not so much that people are necessarily SO rewarding, it's that the reward history in not going to them isn't there, and the criteria for getting reward from you isn't clear. 


    So, make it more clear and consistent, and make what you want -and attention on you- rewarding for her.  That will lower the relative reward of greeting new people and fix your problems. 


    (I kn ow it's not as immediate and easy as that in putting that into practice and have sympathy)

  10. So.  When I see this it is usually one of two things:

    1-) Insufficient reward history for the behavior you are asking, when weighed against the reward of interacting with/being pet by strangers


    2-) A kind of avoidance/displacement behavior, wherein the dog is actually stressed (by the environment + behavior being asked of it,  usually) and it's trying to escape that stress/pressure by seeking someone other than the handler.

    So.  In either case the answer is basically 'work on reward history for focus/attention on YOU, and reduce reward available in the environment by not letting other people pet her so much. - not cut it out entirely but less).  And to be careful of the situations you put her in, in the meantime.

  11. Secondarily to urge to herd's remarks I'd like to add:

    If the dog doesn't respond to an air snap or growl by going away, they are rude in continuing to approach.

    And in elaboration of dog communication going unnoticed, I'd be willing to bet your dog is at least trying to communicate 'please go away' or 'not now' long before those other dogs are close enough to be snapped at - sometimes by something as simple as turning her head away.   Not necessarily true, but probable enough I'd put actual money on there being something there that's going unnoticed by the humans.

    Which means the continued approach is somewhere between oblivious or rude and in either case the dog has resorted to stronger language.

  12. I do think owners can help their dogs not be so obnoxiously rude to other dogs, but mostly it is a matter of teaching the dog that they are not always allowed to play with other dogs and should focus on the task at hand. 

    Because let me tell you even the very best well trained I know, with high level obedience, are still rude asses when they do play. 


    Except one.  And she's not trained a bit differently than the rude ones, she's just a very different dog, bred for a very different purpose. 


    Playstyle is pretty immutable in dogs.  Ie: If a dog wants to body slam and wrestle you can train until you're blue in the face, the dog wants to body slam and wrestle. Which goes over about as well as a lead balloon with most herding breeds.

  13. Also re: Michael's post:

    I find it particularly telling that my BC will parallel play HAPPILY with other dogs who are reasonably sensible - she'll even share toys, or back off to let them have it.  She is by and large a submissive dog.

    She just really.  really.   gets upset and confused and apparently mad at dogs who are acting 'weird'  or exceedingly rude.  Like the ones who COME BACK AFTER A CORRECTION.  certainly she is not going to put up with a dog trying to jump on her or hump her.

    My ACD/BC is much the same with the second point but not submissive and is possessive so that adds some complication to the mix.  

  14. 1 minute ago, Michael Parkey said:

    Here's a view from an evolutionary perspective. . .

    Border collies and many other herding breeds retain more instinctual behavior than some other dog breeds.  This includes social behavior and signals.  When a herding breed dog is approached by another dog, the herder will usually give the appropriate social signal which reflects it's attitude toward the approaching dog.  This may be fear, dominance, caution, playfulness, curiosity, submission, etc.  This usually works well when the approaching dog also has these instinctual behaviors intact--in other words, they can communicate.

    But many breeds of dogs no long have these instinctual signals, and can't recognize them anymore.  Think of the Bichon Frise who approaches all other dogs with an aimless, mild curiosity, or the Labrador charging in oblivious to the other dog's reaction, or the bully breed who no longer can even give the facial cues and has, in fact, been bred not to do so.  Dogs with intact social behaviors really do not like any of this!  They give their (correct) signals, but don't receive the appropriate response, or any response, or the opposite of the appropriate response.  It is rather like how we humans feel when a stranger approaches who is muttering, shouting, twitching, staring at us, ignoring us, acting fearful, acting aggressively--in other words, not giving any of the appropriate social signals.

    Absolutely on the nose.

  15. 7 hours ago, mkdlin said:


    1. Should this behavior of constantly warning off other dogs be "corrected"? (i.e. training them to enjoy the presence of other dogs)
    2. Are BCs more likely to exhibit this type of behavior than other breeds?
    3. What would you do if your dog has this same behavior?


    1-) No.  Because the root of this is 'I don't want you around, go away'.  Correcting it is not going to lead to an increase in the dog wanting other dogs around. Ergo, it's useless at decreasing the behavior.  You want it to decrease you stop putting the dog into situations where it needs to do the correcting itself.   You prevent the behavior and sometimes, if you get lucky, dogs will mellow some about it because they're not on edge EXPECTING to need to do it every time they are in the presence of other dogs.   You will absolutely not train them to ENJOY other dogss when they don't.


    2-) Yep!   It isn't unique by a long shot - lots of other herding breeds and terriers and working breeds have this - but it's common in BCs too.   If you want a 'loves everyone' super dog-tolerant, wants to play with other dogs as an adult, you need to look hound or sporting (but only some of both, because there are a few in the mix of even those groups who are not fans).


    3-)  Both my BC and BC X DO have these behaviors.  What I do is not ask my dogs to play with strange dogs and tolerate rude dogs.  That's... really literally it.  They are AROUND other dogs, all the time - doing various dog sports and training for same - and they're cool.  As long as they're left alone.  That's absolutely okay by me. The BC X used to be a super friendly to all dogs pup.  Then about 18 months he got less tolerant.  No reactivity bu t he's not putting up with other dogs being assholes and that's fine by me. It's just the dog growing up instead of remaining a derpy puppy.

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