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Posts posted by Lawgirl

  1. That is a good photo of Blue from above.  I would agree that he is a little overweight, and cutting back on his food should be all that is needed.  He does not seem dangerously overweight, in that he does have a slight waist, but he is a little blockier than is ideal.

    I tend to adjust my boys' diets constantly depending on how their body feels, as their metabolism seems to vary with the seasons etc.  They pretty much get weighed when they go the vets, and that is all.  I find that body score is so much more individually accurate than weight.


  2. I have not read it myself, but have read some good things about "The Shepherd's Life: A Tale of The Lakes District" by James Rebanks. Another British author is David Kennard, who writes about his sheep and his border collies.  Again have not read his work myself, but seems to get good reviews.


  3. My introduction to the Border Collie breed was the Footrot Flats comic by Murray Ball from New Zealand.  I read the comic from childhood, owned some of the books, loved the movie.  Then ended up with my very own Dog.  I defy anyone to tell me Oscar was not the spitting image.


  4. powerfulgazelle when you said Kip was Rudyard Kipling Dog, and then said your puppy was Walt, my mind immediately jumped to Walter Whitman Dog as his full name - the literary connection perhaps?  I love it by the way, great name and a gorgeous puppy (which I think I mentioned on another thread).  Feel free to post as many photos of him as you would like:P

    urge to herd Do we assume that L. J. Gibbs came through his dental procedure okay?  I hope so


  5. There is also Dances with Dogs, which is also not a collie thing specifically but which BCs are excellent at.  It has competitions but you can also just do it at home, and be as creative or not as you want.  It is really a routine of tricks set to music. 

    The trick with a dog that does not like to be told what to do is to capture their natural behaviour with a reward ( eg bow while stretching - click, "good bow!" and reward). That way they are doing what they want and getting a reward - win/win!


  6. I live in Australia and have been competing in agility, with a mostly black dog.  In Australia, most agility competitions are outside and during spring/summer or autumn(fall), with temperatures often reaching into the 30 degrees Celsius range, which is 86 degrees Fahrenheit.  A lot of competitors here use cooling coats for their dogs, between runs.  May be something for you too look into?

    Sounds like you both had a lot of fun, which is great.

  7. I am very sorry for your loss, and hope that your new friend goes some way towards helping fill the hole.  Although I have learned recently that is not really true, rather your new friend expands your heart to create a new place for him/herself!

    Also, photos please whenever new friend arrives!

  8. Okay, here is a test.  Photo is of my red merle Bailey.  How would other people classify his coat?


    To me he is a mid-length rough coat - definitely not smooth, but he is not what I think of as a long coat (which is more the show dog long coat).  He has a super fluffy butt and tail, minimal feathering and thick but not long ruff.

    And just for fun, Bailey as a 20 week old puppy:




  9. All of my BCs so far have been rough coat, but none have been long coat, all ranging from quite short with bloomers and ruff, to very fluffy and properly mid length.

    Have had two tri-colours, one red merle and two black and whites, one of which had a full white face.  Two of my dogs have had one blue, one brown eye.  Oh, and by coincidence, all have been boys.

    Also, all of my dogs have had different feels to their coats, different tendencies to mat, and different amounts shed.  I can actually pick which dog I touch in the dark by the feel of his coat.

    The only thing they have all had in common is that magical teflon quality of shedding dirt once it dries.

    I don't think that I would want a super long coat, or a smooth - I like my mid-length rough coat dogs.  You can sink your fingers into the fur but they don't get tangled.

    And I probably am a complete sucker for tri-colours and white faces, like my first two who we got two days apart.  Although white-faces kinda break my heart still, after losing Oscar last year.  I weirdly like the BCs who do not meet the classic look, who look a little unique.

    But honestly, if I fell for a BC, I would not care about its looks, I would love it anyway.

  10. I have four BCs currently, three over 50lbs, one is 46.5lbs, none of them are overweight.

    I remember that one of my larger puppies was about 11kgs (24lbs) at 12 weeks, and ended up being perfect weight at 25.5kgs (56lbs), and his brother was very similar.

    I quite like the bigger dogs because I don't have to lean down to pat a head when they are sitting by my leg.


  11. On our fifth BC, we have one who will air snap so much we started calling him "Snappy Tom" (not sure if the joke translates across countries - it is the name of a catfood brand here in Australia!)

    Basically, when you are patting him, and he is excited, but then you stop and start walking away, he will snap his teeth in the air in the direction of your hand (but inches away).  If you walk with him and keep a hand on his head, he does not, so we have worked out he is protesting you stopping the pats.  It genuinely is a form of communication for him.

    Of course, we do tell him no snapping, and ignore him if he snaps, and he has significantly improved, to the point where he rarely does it, and he has NEVER made contact with skin.  Being a rescue dog, who came to us at over 2 years old, we expect some bad habits that we have to work to fix.

    The previous four have only ever air snapped when other warnings to leave them alone have been ignored, and that has been probably on fewer occasions than rare.

  12. Update on my above comment.  All four dogs had vet visits and weigh ins yesterday.  One was 21.1kgs (46.51lbs) and he is a healthy weight by body score but definitely smaller than my other dogs.  The next was 23kgs (50.7lbs) and the last two, who are father and son, were 26.2kgs (57.76lbs) and 26kgs (57.32lbs).  All of them got the clean bill of health from the vet, and strong approval in relation to their weight from the vet, who owns a border collie herself, and was very happy with their tuck, waist and her ability to feel ribs.

    For information, the smallest dog is around 2 and a half years old.  The 23 kg dog is 6 years old.  The father and son are nearly 8 and 4 years.

    I would think your dog may end up around 23-25kgs as a full adult, which was about the same size as my Oscar.  Oscar was a large dog, and in agility he jumped the highest jump height because he was tall (by one millimetre over the limit!).  This height he shared with viszlas, golden retrievers, dobermans etc.  BCs can be quite large, or very petite.

  13. I have four boy dogs who range from 21kgs to around 25kgs, none of whom are overweight (judging by body score - can feel ribs easily, clear waist from above, good tuck from the side).  Do not worry too much about weight, judge body score!

    The dog in my profile pic was tall and long - his perfect weight was 25.5kgs.


  14. GentleLake is absolutely right, puppies have developing joints, and if you want to have a healthy dog as an adult, jumping and weaving, which put a lot of pressure on joints, are a no-no until at least 12 months old.  Having said that, it will make your agility training SO MUCH EASIER if you have trained foundation skills before the fun stuff of jumps and a-frames/scrambles etc.  Tunnels are an exception, because they are on the ground, but even they can cause injuries at high speed.

    So to start everything is on ground level.  You need to start with strong obedience skills, recall and stays especially.  Also being able to work your dog on both sides of your body is a big help, because no course will be able to run with the dog always on your left, like classic obedience.

    You need to be able to build some drive away from you.  Your dog has to want to power down a line of jumps or race away from you to a tunnel or weave poles, so building toy drive is helpful, and is also a great reward for your dog while training.  Tugging is another good reward game.

    Teaching your dog to be able to turn in tight circles around obstacles is also a really useful foundation skill.  On an agility course, your dog will be asked to make turns around jumps, and knowing how to 'wrap' a jump can save fractions of seconds, improve jumping lines and generally make your job easier.

    Teaching your dog to use its hind legs, called rear end awareness, is very important to improve general agility, and also to avoid injury.  Teaching them to put all four feet in a box, or to turn circles with front paws up on a box is a common exercise for this.

    Another very useful skill is touching, which you can teach with a board on the ground.  The aim is to have your puppy walk all four feet on the board and stop with its front two feet off the board, and hind two on.  You start at slow motion with you alongside, until your puppy has reliably nailed it, and then progress to you being at the end, and then increase speed and stopping, etc.  This is to help with the contact equipment like the seesaw, a-frame/scramble and dog walk, where your dog has to put a paw in the colour at the end of the obstacle. 

    All of this can and will take time to perfect, and when you nail it reliably when you are close to your dog, you work at doing it from further and further away.

    But these basic skills are the among the foundations of agility training, and if you have trained these, you will find the more advanced skills SO MUCH EASIER!

    Also, start thinking about attending some agility trials (when they reopen) so you can watch how people handle their dogs, read some agility articles (older articles can be found online for free) because there is a whole language to learn, and a way of looking at things that will be completely new.

    Most of all, have fun with your dog!

  15. Hi DavoPreston, and welcome to the Boards!

    Firstly, congratulations on your new dog, and thank you for rescuing.

    It sounds like you have several issues here.  Both of your dogs are adjusting to changed dynamics within the household, and it will take time for them to adjust.  This is the reason most rescues will give at least a two week trial period, and will accept the return of a dog at any time.  Issues do not always become apparent immediately.

    Max has had your sole attention, and he is no doubt feeling a little put out at having to share.  Giving him lots of love and attention, and perhaps some one on one time while Drum is crated or confined to another room will assist him with adjusting.  But most of all time is what will allow things to settle down.

    As for Drum attempting to 'hump', this is more a dominance act, as even female dogs will sometimes try to do this with new dogs.  Yes, you must intervene and stop the behaviour, and perhaps use the reaction of matter of fact, you try to hump, you go in the crate as a consequence.  This is not a punishment, so do not use an angry tone, but more an inevitability; do this and this occurs.  You can try castration, but if you are unsure about permanent castration, you can try chemical castration, which is temporary (six to twelve months) and has the benefit of near immediate cessation of hormones, while traditional castration still takes a month or more for the hormones to work themselves out of the dog's body.  I adopted a rescue dog who was over 2 years old, who had been chemically castrated for this reason.  The chemical castration has just worn off, so he is going in today at 2 and a half for a more permanent solution.

    The peeing inside is more straight forward, I think.  Treat him like a puppy, take him out after eating or drinking, watch him like a hawk for any sign and reward for peeing outside.  It should not take long for him to understand, given his age.

    Best of luck with both of your dogs, hopefully with some time, patience and consistency they become the best of friends!

    PS we love photos here!

  16. I agree with D'Elle that the first step is a precautionary vet check.

    Second possibility is that you may want to think of moving to a single feed a day, and maybe leaving some dry food out for her to graze on if she feels like it.  I have four boys who get fed once a day - it does not harm them to eat once, and a longer time between feeds may stimulate her to eat with more appetite.

    Third option is to try putting something enticing on top of the food as an appetite stimulant.  Whether that is some meat, or fish, egg, broth, cheese, yoghurt, whatever might stimulate your dog to eat.  This may result in her only eating the treats on top, but you can mix it through a bit.

    Fourth option is that she may have slowed in her growth and no longer have such high food requirements to fuel activity and growth.  This may be temporary or permanent.  But this may just be her regulating her own intake to her needs.

    Another option is that she may just be off her food a little.  I have one dog who always starts to eat less at the start of Spring (which is around August/September here in the Southern Hemisphere).  It lasts a month or so, and then his appetite picks back up.  

    And yet another option is also what D'Elle said, maybe she no longer likes the food.  So maybe try a different food (bought in small quantities, or see if you can get a trial pack to test until you can see if she will eat it) because would you want to eat the same thing every meal, day in and day out?

    Sorry I don't have a definitive answer.

  17. Randy is gorgeous! Welcome to the Boards!

    Is Randy your adopted or your original dog?

    Many of us here fell in love with our first BC and have ended up with multiple - my OH and I currently have four.

    They are indeed a special breed, with quirks and intelligence, and we love them all the more for it!

    By the way, I do not believe that stuff about too gentle a personality to handle BCs.  That sounds like dominance theory to me.  BCs are sensitive, even the headstrong ones, and will do more for love than for fear.

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