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Everything posted by CptJack

  1. My go tos for chews are bullysticks, pig ears, pork neck bones (raw, not smoked or dried, from the grocery store), dried duck and chicken feet, and dried, braided tripe. For longer lasting chewes I use himilayan chews. Just be careful if you have a power chewer. They take time to soften and some dogs can damage teeth with them. They LIKE hooves, but I dislike stepping on them imensely and they always seem to end up in my path (worse than legos, I swear).
  2. That expectations are okay and goals are great, but at the end of the day you have to see the dog that's in front of you, not the one that only exists in your head. I've had, and fostered, dogs for most of my life but this group has been the one that's really taught me, and changed me in general and how I relate to dogs in particular - probably because it's the first time I've really paid attention and NOTICED those lessons. I always thought I preferred harder dogs. Then I got Jack, and Jack is so soft he crumples like wet cardboard at a no reward marker. He taught me that I can in fact handle it just fine, and taught me to calm down and be a lot more patient. I didn't think I was interested in dog training beyond the basics and thought sports were stupid: Kylie NEEDS to learn, loves to learn, and needed an outlet for her energy. Because of her I'm into agility and a social life and a new appreciation for the depth of interaction and partnership possible between a dog and a person. I didn't really like goofy dogs - Bug isn't really my type of dog, but she makes me laugh every day and won't let me take myself seriously. I need that in my life. Thud... is where expectations come in. I had a lot of who and what he was going to be, in spite of being a foundling, and he was absolutely none of them. I tried for more than a year to force him to become what I wanted. I eventually wised up and backed off and saw him for who he is, and our relationship has improved and I like him a lot more. What's the BC puppy going to teach me? I don't know, yet, but I bet it's going to be good.
  3. That was her very first picture after being fished out and brought home. She's turned into a pretty incredible girl. (And actually Thud came out of a rural county dump (but not inside the dumpsters) near my mom's house. One person's trash-? Definitely. And thank you!
  4. I think the benefits outweight the risks. I'm pretty conservative with how much exercise (encouraged, structured, repetitive exercise) my dogs get when they're puppies but after that the game is on. Even my 7.5 year old, 2 luxating patellas, and a high grade heart murmur Boston Terrier (also deaf, allergic to the world and generally a train wreck) Boston gets quite a lot of exercise. At the end of the day having good muscle tone can do a lot of GOOD for joints - at least in cases of things like HD and luxating patellas where the muscle helps keep things where they need to be. It's also just good for all around health and behavior. So, my dogs get quite a lot of exercise as adults. I still don't keep a strict routine, I still enforce calm behavior in the house, and *I* still determine when, what and how much, but we do a lot. Running, swimming, dog sports, fetch, frisbee, fairly hard hikes, off leash time and playing silly, silly games. I'd be careful with something like biking or rollerblading where the dog was going full out, but how far is too far? Depends on the condition of the dog. Work up to it. Pay close attention to the dog and be aware that the dog may not choose to stop on its own. Apply the same rules you would for playing fetch, where the dog is going full out and is too driven to continue to stop the game on its own.
  5. I am very new and far more likely to lurk than post (my only border-collie-ish dog is very, very young), but I can never pass up an opportunity to share pictures and talk about my dogs - or to read about other people's. So. Jack: The Rat Terrier. Jack's 7, will be 8 at the end of December. He's a sweet, serious dog who is heck on all manner of rodents. He is an all around good, steady, tolerant, *stoic* dog who will put up with anything from anybody. He's a very dignified dog, and I don't think he's could be truly goofy if his life depended on it. He's a little stubborn, but mostly he's naturally well behaved and game for doing anything you want him to, from barn clearing, to multi-mile hikes, to cuddling up on the couch for days. Bug, The Boston: Also 7 - will be 8 in March. She's deaf. She's absolutely Jack's opposite in that she's absolutely not serious, ever. She bubbles over with enthusiasm and love for everything and everyone. She is 15lbs of laughter, goofiness, a love of life and the desire to play whatever game you're up for. Right now she's doing a (very little) bit of agility with me just because it's a game I like and she wants to play along. Kylie. She turned 2 in May. I don't know what her breed mix is - we found her inside a commercial trash dumpster when she was four weeks old. I don't know where she came from. What I DO know is that she is one of those once in a lifetime dogs who reads your mind, and is absolutely the right fit at the right time. She's got some issues with being shy, but she's always willing to try anything with and for me. She lives to learn; learning is her favorite game. She's my 'serious' agility dog. And by that I mean she takes agility seriously. Thud: 18 months old - will be 2 in November. I don't even know what to say about this mess of a dog - and I say it with love. He's huge. He's clumsy. He's EXTREMELY hard, hard headed, independent. He's high energy. He OOZES prey-drive, his energy level is over the top and teaching him an off switch has taken just this side of eternity. He is smart as can be, into everything, guardy, and just... a lot of dog. He's probably a GSDXLGD. He is NOTHING I ever wanted in a dog and a lot of things I expressly did not. He is wonderful, amazing, and mine on a very fundamental level. He's changed me, how I view dogs, and how I relate to them. He's also given me gray hair, ulcers, and a new appreciation for alcoholic beverages. And, finally, the Border Thing. Molly's 10 weeks old. She's a puppy. She's 3/4 BC, 1/4 ACD and she's a doll. Hard to make judgements about what she will ultimately be. I have a lot of things I hope to do and try with her, but time will tell. She's active, curious, fearless, and eager to learn - but still a baby and still very much a work in progress.
  6. Yeah. Youtube has 9 week old puppies doing (being lured/encoursed, or dragged) agility courses on leash. It is not a real good indication of a good idea. Pretty scary, in truth.
  7. I would not be doing ANY throws that required her jump to catch them, or even enabled her the opportunity to jump. Any damage done by doing it earlier is done - I don't see any reason to compound that by encouraging her to jump now. She's close to two now, yeah, but spending a few months (3 or so) going back to low tosses for her isn't going to hurt her and *might* at least keep any additional damage from compiling. I sometimes think that in some ways people overprotect and worry about this sort of thing - but the reality is, a border collie who is chasing an object isn't really CHOOSING to exercise the way a puppy running around the yard is. It's being encouraged pretty hard just by its psychology and drives, and they *don't* know when enough is enough and to stop. Has damage been done? I don't think you can know. I'd still cut out the jumping until she's 2, cut back on the frisbee time (but not eliminate it) and I'd probably get x-rays done to confirm growth plate closure and the state of her hips and probably elbows before I resumed anything but low tosses for a few minutes a day. Also, and this is not what you asked but I'm volunteering it anyway: Your goal when you exercise your dog is not to wear it out. Give her exercise, yes, but also work her brain and, especially, TEACH HER to be calm without being tired. Otherwise you're just building stamina and not teaching them to cope with being bored.
  8. I can't definitely speak for the OP but when I throw a treat rather than hand it over, it's because it makes the dog leave hte ball/box/object/place and 'reset'. Standing right on top of the object I want them to interact with (sometimes literally, with paw targeting) can hinder progress.
  9. I can tell you what I was looking for with Molly, but you're more experienced at agility than I am. She's also 2 months old, so possibly not helpful. I was looking for curiosity rather than fear at being somewhere new (or quick transition from the two), willingness to meet someone new without coaxing, a puppy who would follow me when I walked away, who recovered quickly from being startled by loud noises, that really really liked food and really really liked toys (would chase *and* tug). Also a puppy who wanted to work with me (I sat in the barn and taught her sit) and wanted to play WITH me and the toy I brought along. That basically describes a LOT of confident, social puppies. However, in my experience, it doesn't describe a lot of puppies in general. I didn't want timidity, fear, shyness and did want toy, food drive, and socialbility. We'll see how that pans out as she grows. I think with an adult dog a lot of those basics would still be there. Willingess to engage with a new person, interest in toys for chase and/or tug, a short training session and how they responded to it and while I'd give a dog in a shelter setting a little more time to warm up to me, I'd still want a willingness to take food and work with me/learn something.
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