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Lawgirl

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  1. My Oscar tended to get distracted by other dogs around and in the ring. My response was to ask him to do tricks to get his focus on me, rewarding with high value treats. This would be things like spin, sit, drop, paw, sit pretty, roll, etc. Things he knew very well, and I would often ask him to chain several together for a reward. This had an effect of moving his focus onto his own behaviour and me. I have also seen other people who have little squares of snuffle mats that they use to distract and calm their dogs around the ring. .
  2. So sorry for your loss, but so happy you had so many wonderful years with her.
  3. I am absolutely unable to judge a working dog's skill, but figured he must be good if the video was enough to get that sort of a price. One thing that struck me is that in videos I have seen from the UK, a flock of sheep that size would have at least two or more dogs working it, and he was working it alone, and the guy on horseback did not seem to be doing anything much to help him move them.
  4. https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-06-14/hoover-the-kelpie-working-dog-sael-record/100213124 Not far from where I live is the town considered the birthplace of the Australian Kelpie, and each year they have the Casterton Kelpie Festival, which includes a kelpie working dog auction. It would have taken place this weekend, but due to COVID and lockdowns in Victoria, they had to cancel the festival, and move the auction online, with videos of the trained dogs working rather than being able to watch them live. Still, they reached a new record for the top dog at the auction, a 2 year, 4 month old trained kelpie called Hoover who sold for AU$35,200 (USD$27, 147, GBP19,233). He can work sheep and cattle, and in paddocks or yards. There is a longish video of him working sheep in a paddock in the above news article, and a couple more videos on YouTube of him in yards and working cattle. The previous record was AU$25,000 or so. I know it is not a BC but it is a working dog, so I thought people might be interested.
  5. I have never actually used a Kong, as I have multiple dogs who generally have no problems settling, and either play with each other or chew on antlers, so I cannot give good advice on how full, but my guess would be completely full. The Kong may even end up being one meal for your Sadie. In my experience, so long as the dog's mind is engaged, that becomes their "job", no matter what it is. You don't have to tell them, just do something that engages them and makes them think. Ideally it is something you both enjoy. Formal training in whatever you choose may be once or twice a week, but there will be lots of little exercises you can do, even inside, on a daily basis. You can even have multiple jobs, like learning loose lead walking outside, and learning nosework inside. My understanding of clicker training is that you have to "charge" the clicker before you start to use it for training. So in a quiet location without distractions, you ask for a simple action that your dog already knows, and then click and immediately treat with the highest value treat around. Click/treat, click/treat, click/treat until your dog immediately associates the clicker sound with a GOOD THING/REWARD. Only then are you ready to start adding in distractions. With the stop, you must be completely consistent. If you allow any sort of pulling/going to the end of the leash, you undo all the progress you have made. You may or may not be able to use these methods now, as Sadie knows if she waits long enough, you will give up. You may need to try the turn and go in the other direction whenever she pulls method, if you have not used that yet. You may end up travelling over the same four metres of pavement over and over and over. She is smart, she will work out what causes the change in direction and what she has to do to get where she wants to go. But be aware of an "extinction burst" - it is mentioned multiple times on these boards. Search and you will see it described. Things may get worse before they improve, especially with a teenage dog.
  6. Firstly, Sadie is absolutely cute! For chewing, you can either get a kong and freeze treats/kibble inside with something to stick them together like natural yoghurt or peanut butter. That will keep her occupied while she tries to lick the goodies out. Alternatively you could look at getting a deer antler for her to chew on, or a goat horn. Antler is harder, does not smell and will last longer, but has some risk of tooth damage (as does bones). I recommend getting pieces of whole antler, not split antler. Goat horn is softer and a bit smelly but probably less risk of tooth damage. A quick Google translate says a bully stick is called ein Tyrannenstock in German. Essentially it is dried bull penis, often braided, used as a chew. A job can be as simple as Sadie being your shadow. What is meant by giving a BC a job, in my mind, is that they need some mental activity. If you do not work their mind, they can become bored and destructive. Sometimes just being with you and anticipating what you are doing is enough stimulation. Other dogs need more active work, like nosework (smelling things out) or trick training, or agility, or sheep herding. Some will pick their own job, like guarding the house from everything going past, including planes and birds. This last one is not a good thing. Every dog is different in what level of job they need. As for the cuddle bug thing, one of my boys will seek attention from every guest, but does not come up and cuddle with me very often. It may just be that Sadie feels secure in her connection with you, and does not need a physical touch to be reassured, while she does seek assurance of physical attention from strangers that the two of them are on good terms. If Sadie follows you around, and keeps her attention on you when you move, you have a bond even without cuddling. And that may come back when she gets out of her teenager phase, which it sounds like she may be in. I am afraid I have no real advice about the calming down when out and about. I have not really had a lot of luck with my boys with that; the great outdoors is just too exciting. I was told that rubbing circles on cheeks and rubbing down on the chest was calming, but it never made a huge difference for my boys. As for loose lead walking, the advice from Rosalee above is good.
  7. Braden, my boy Oscar was somewhat similar. He was reasonably leash reactive to other dogs, especially larger, black dogs, or dogs he thought were giving him too much eye contact. When I started training him in obedience school, I was working him 30 feet away from the other dogs to try and keep him from lunging and barking. This gradually improved. I am in Australia, where agility is outdoors, and I train in the country, where I was able to train in very small groups of one or two dogs, who Oscar all knew and got along with. Also Oscar was in the tallest height group, (600mm jumps) where there was never more than five dogs in the group, and we were often either the very first or the very last dog to run in our grade. I managed by keeping him in his crate until it was time to warm him up, warming him up away from other dogs, taking him to the ring just before his run, keeping his focus on me with tricks before the run, keeping a distance from other dogs, and taking him straight back to the crate after his run (and after his treats). But once we reached the entry to the ring, I never had any problems, because Oscar absolutely LOVED to be in the ring. Nothing was going to distract him from his run because it was the BEST THING EVER. I also second what gcv-border says above. While at agility trials, you will see dogs interacting, these are generally dogs that are not competing, perhaps puppies that are there to socialise, or retired dogs. Dogs that are there to compete will be on leash outside the ring, and will be expected to be focussed on their owners, and their owners will be trying to maintain that. That may be relaxed a little in the owners' personal areas, but around the ring, everyone should be exercising control and focus. This is not playtime. Generally agility seminars/lessons I have attended have expected dogs to be inside crates when not being worked individually, or on lead if waiting to go next. Agility dogs often tend to be high drive, and space is appreciated by everyone.
  8. I have also found that BCs are very sensitive to the person on the end of the leash, even when that person is one and the same. If I had my boys at dog club, and I was tense, or expecting things to go bad, then they did. If I went out there head up, shoulders back, confident that it was all going to go well, it did. Or at least, it did more often then not, and the dogs responded a lot better. Confidence is transmitted through the leash, and in tone of voice and posture and other body language, which BCs are very sensitive to. Training the person is perhaps important here? It is hard to tell without seeing the situation, and we may be being harsh on your partner. But as always in puppy/dog training, consistency is key.
  9. What sometimes works for me is looking in their eyes (if you can get their attention), and rubbing ears or rubbing their cheeks in circles, or else if you can get them to sit by your leg, to rub ears or their chest, deep down on the chest, almost at the bottom of the ribcage. Otherwise, asking them to do tricks, even just little ones they know really well will help them to refocus on me sometimes, especially with high value treats. These won't work when they are well over threshold, but if they are just a little over excited, it can work.
  10. Just in general, if he cannot exercise his body, it is time to exercise his brain. Doing things like nosework, which are low movement but high on brain work, or teaching him new low movement tricks that require him to engage his brain are ways to use up some energy. I have also found that taking my dogs for a drive, where they cannot move around but can sniff out a window also does something similar. Good luck!
  11. No special advice, I just wanted to mention how cute your puppy is.
  12. Patience and love are working miracles with Mouche; she could not have found a better home! She is a beautiful dog and bless you for taking the chance and now reaping the reward! Hopefully the two of you will have many happy years together!
  13. I have four border collies. They are all different. They all will seek attention at times, in different levels, but will all go off happily for hours to different locations around the house to snooze the afternoon away. Mind you, if I get up and move around, at least one will be right there, and toilet breaks by myself are a distant memory. My first BC was an incredibly laid back, sleep 23 hours a day if we are not going anywhere type dog, and the others have kind of taken their cues from him.
  14. Congratulations Cressa! Happy Birthday!
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