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Everything posted by Lawgirl

  1. Each of my three boys is different. George loves to snuggle and lick. The snuggling is when we are on the bed or the sofa. Most of the day he just insists on lying down in sight of you, sometimes resting his chin on your foot. He adores ear rubs and butt scratches. He will try to pin your hand, arm, leg etc under a paw and lick, and lick, and lick..... If he is lying on the rug in front of the sofa, and some bare feet come near him, he gives amazing foot rubs with his tongue! He has also earned the nickname Nurse George because he always wants to lick your boo boos. George relentlessly tried to lick my partner's blisters from new shoes, even under a band-aid and a pair of socks! Oscar is the demanding sort. He will nudge his head under your arm or hand, or rest his paw on your knee (or simply paw at you) until you commence or resume patting him, loving ear rubs and belly rubs the most. Sometimes he will stand next to you and lean against you until he gets a butt scratch. On the bed or the sofa, he will paw at you for pats, then while you are patting him, he will push you away with his paws. If you stop patting him, he will paw at you or nudge you with his muzzle until you start again, and then immediately recommence pushing you away with his paws. Bailey, the youngest of our dogs, is both the most cuddly and the least. He will spend most of the evening at a distance staring at the other dogs. We may be on the sofa with Oscar, and Bailey will be lying with his head peeping around the door frame, very focussed. You can try to pat him and he ignores you. But when he jumps on the bed in the morning (and it is pretty much always in the morning) he will lie fully on top of you, will gently paw at your phone or tablet which is interfering with his pats and will snuggle right up under your chin and give you a hug. In the quiet times, he loves ear rubs the most, and rubs around his collar. Bailey will lick you hand and then gently start mouthing it, never hard enough to even leave a dent on my skin. He always looks at your face when doing this. I am not sure why he does this, whether it is an affection thing, or something else. One thing that all three of our boys love is a gentle rub with a single finger between their eyes. They lean into your finger and the look of bliss on their face! Is this unusual?
  2. Thank you to everyone, I will keep training and have a go, emphasis on the FUN! dsmbc I have been lucky enough to be able to attend a half day seminar by a H360 instructor on basic handling, and will be attending another one a week after our Club's trial. The first I only audited, the new one I will be participating in with Oscar. I only have to travel two hours each way to attend! I am unsure but I gather Susan Garrett does online courses? You film yourself and get feedback, or something similar? I may need to look into that. Our club does have an agility judge who is a member and occasionally she puts up courses for us to run, but she is often away at trials. She will give us the occasional piece of advice, but she is not a coach or instructor.
  3. Thanks CptJack and Donald McCaig, that is what I was thinking. Better to have a go so long as I make it positive for him. And if he is not ready it is more my fault than his! I entered Oscar in his first trial (our Easter home trial) this year having only really trained for a couple of months. The day before trial, when he was measured for height, I found out I had been training him on jumps that were 10 cms or 4 inches too low. He was one millimetre over the height limit! I was also acting as steward in another ring during the trial, my boy can be a little reactive, and I had no understanding of how to get him ready for the ring. Needless to say our first run was a disaster - he went through one tunnel but refused to jump a single jump. By the end of the trial (on his fourth run) he was doing much better and was starting to string together nice sequences in the ring. For our second trial I had just one goal - not to be disqualified in every run. On the last run of the trial, he had two refusals and a bar down but did not DQ. I don't think the judge had ever seen anyone so happy not to be disqualified! I suppose what I am saying is I am not super competitive and think I will have a go. Even a complete disaster will not be a new experience for me. I know I can cope and not take it out on Oscar. And you are right CptJack, I do not believe in overdoing any sort of training. I train with a friend and we take it in turns to run our dogs. I may do a dozen runs with the weaves, then go run a jumping course a few times then finish up on a few more weave runs. Or we set up a little course with a tunnel, the weaves, a few jumps and the scramble and run a few circuits of the course in turn. And we let the dogs have some fun chasey time before and after, while we set everything up or pack away. Besides, I am not built to run weaves over and over beside my dog, which I currently need to do.
  4. HI everyone. I am looking for some advice. I train at an obedience club in country Australia, which has all the agility equipment and holds agility trials twice a year but does not have regular agility training or a coach. My friend and I started training at about the same time, essentially self-taught. We had some advice and assistance with foundations, but not a lot since then. We pretty much learn by trial and error, and by the odd helpful piece of advice from fellow triallers. So far I have only done two trials, and ran my dog Oscar in jumping only. In novice jumping, there are no weaves. I have been training Oscar on agility equipment, and he has pretty solid contacts, does the scramble, the walkover etc with no problems. I have also been training weaves through the channel method for quite a few months, but fairly inconsistently. I think he has been making good progress, and I was recently able to narrow the channel from about 8 inches to about 1.5 inches. So my dilemma is, I was so excited by being able to nearly close the channel that I went ahead and entered Oscar in novice agility as well as jumping for our club trial in late October. Now I am having second thoughts about whether we will be ready. I know the trial is a month and a half away, and I will do my best to get Oscar ready with more regular (but unpressured) training, but I am not sure what is best to do if he is not ready. Do I scratch Oscar from Agility if I am not very confident on his weaves? Should I let him have a run, attempt the weaves and see how he goes? Or should I run the course but bypass the weaves and not even attempt them? We will be disqualified but he loves the scramble etc so I know he would still have fun. I really am doing this for Oscar's enjoyment (I recently posted some photos from his second trial on the gallery board, and he had a grin on his face in every shot!) and the mental challenge for him. I am leaning towards the "have a go" mentality, which is very Australian. I feel he is learning a lot every trial run we do. Should I perhaps try the first run and if it is an abject failure, scratch the rest? And of course, this may be me just being over-sensitive and Oscar may be weaving nicely before the trial. I would love to know how other people have approached this issue. Do you enter trials only once you are confident your dog is ready, or do you enter to give you something to work for?
  5. I am afraid I have only had male border collies and so I can't be any direct help. There have been various posts about this topic on this forum and others. My personal choice was to wait until my boys were 12 months old before castration, as there are so many hormones involved that I wanted them to be pretty much fully grown. Some recommend waiting to 18 months or 2 years, if at all. It is very much a personal choice. In my opinion, if you are not planning to breed your border collie, he or she should be de-sexed because of accidents and other irresponsible dog owners. So we agree there. I also think if you are a responsible dog owner and can keep your female dog safe, allowing the dog to fully grow before de-sexing should still get your dog the potential benefits while minimising the potential downsides. Disclaimer: I am not an expert, a vet or a scientist!
  6. As a lawyer who is a border collie owner/addict, I want a print of this!
  7. I love the video from the 1930s or 1940s that was mentioned by Maxi - if I am not mistaken, the sire of the litter of puppies who is shown working the flock of sheep is a merle.
  8. George aka Georgeous, G Dog, Georgiesnorous, G Attack System (itself shortened to G-tacky) or Mister George Oscar aka Oz, Osco, O Dog, Mister Oz Bailey aka Baz, Mister Baz, Bailey Boy or Baileybaileybaileybailey until I run out of breath Oscar and Bailey together - Rufus and Doofus It is usually my other half who comes up with the nicknames, and I may have missed a few. George and he have an amazing connection where they essentially read each other's minds. That may be why George has the most nicknames.
  9. I heard a long time ago that one reason for odour can be that you did not get all the urine. I was told that cat urine glows under UV light, and this was how you could tell where to clean. Not sure, but maybe it is the same for dog urine? UV lights can be bought cheaply online, and can also be used to look for uranium in glass, and scorpions at night (they both fluoresce!)
  10. Hi everyone! One of my BC boys, George (2 years old), has a fly phobia. He is ok with small flies, moths etc, but we live in Australia, in a country town, in an area with lots of dairies. We get plenty of humongous blow flies, with a very loud buzzzzzzzzzz! These ones freak George out. Whether he is outside, or one manages to get inside, he cowers, tries to hide under desks or underfoot, in the smallest space he can squeeze. For the next couple of hours, even after we kill the fly, his ears are back, his tail is down, his head is down except when his eyes are darting around trying to find non-existant flies. He seems hyper alert. He slinks from 'safe' spot to 'safe' spot. Our other two boys have no problems, and Oscar (our other 2 year old BC) actively hunts flies, snaps them out of midair and eats them. When we are out and about, George is fine. He will snap at a fly if it comes too close, but at obedience, at the beach or on a run he pretty much ignores them. George is usually a very laid back dog, content to snooze the day away when home. He can be a bit sensitive, and reacts when we tell off the other dogs, but most of the time nothing upsets him. Storms are no problem, sirens etc don't worry him. Just blowflies. Even saying "Bzzzzzzzzzz" causes him to snap his head around with his ears back and that scared look in his eyes. We are coming into summer here, and although we clean up the doggy doo, and exclude flies from the house as much as possible (and my partner hates them too!), we are in country Australia, and flies are a fact of life. So, my question is, do we worry about it? Is there something we can do to help him, or do we accept this one quirk and just try to minimise his exposure, provide him with a place he feels safe in and let him be? We already have an open door crate outside, which is one place he hides when in the backyard. I must admit, it seems a strange thing to scare a working dog breed. Anyone else have dogs with a strange phobia? This is George.
  11. Thank you everyone for your responses. I guess I will allow Bailey to sometimes gently mouth my hand, but only when I allow it, and not for very long. He mainly does it when he is excited or wanting to play. I guess, like many other things, it is a case of you setting the boundaries on what is and is not acceptable, and communicating it appropriately to your dog. I am loving having a puppy again, even though my two older ones are only 2 years old. I have learned so much from them, so hopefully I don't make the same mistakes with Bailey. New ones, though.........well, no guarantees, but reading these boards helps.
  12. Hi everyone. I have recently got a third BC (at least, I am pretty sure he is a BC). This was not planned, but I spotted him as a giveaway in my town on an online classifieds site. Bailey is a very pretty chocolate merle IMO, and I was afraid he would go to a BYB (and, ok, maybe I wanted him too!). He was 20 weeks old when I got him, and had apparently been given as a gift to his previous owner a few weeks before, but she was in a rental that did not allow pets, and had an inspection coming up..... I asked the owner if she knew anything about his breeding, but apparently not. Bailey has settled in very well with George and Oscar, our two older BCs. He has responded very well to training, and looks to have the makings of an excellent agility dog. He seems to have excellent herding instincts as well, always stalking Oscar when they go for a run. The only thing is that he is a little mouthy. He loves to chew bones and toys, but he also likes to mouth my hand. I don't know what other word to use to describe it, as he just puts his mouth around my hand and sometimes applies some gentle pressure. It doesn't hurt, and I never have any broken skin, or even a red pressure mark. He is now 7 months old. I respond by pulling my hand away with a sharp "Oi" sound, and try to redirect him to a chew toy or bone. I don't want to make a game out of it. Our older two never had this issue. Am I doing the right thing or is there something more I should do? Is it really an issue if he is only gently holding my hand with his mouth?
  13. I have two border collie boys (littermates) who have just turned two, and now have a 23 week old chocolate merle boy puppy. Our new boy was a surprise, as he was advertised to giveaway on an online website, in our rural city. I classify him as a pre-emptive rescue! Yes, they were/are energetic, and inquisitive, and eager to learn and to please and occasionally are destructive. I did not really know what I was getting into, but would not trade the experience with Oscar, George and Bailey for anything! And, yes, they were far easier than I thought!
  14. Thank you to everyone for your helpfull suggestions. Sue R, I have had a blood panel done, and the vet said all of the enzymes relating to the organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas etc) were normal, so I think we are OK there. I am considering trying some home cooked meals, but will ahev to do some research into raw food diets. Thnuderhill, Oscar shed a lot of fur when he was poisoned, but it just seemed to be the very fluffy puppy fur. He still has a thick coat with good shine and colour. I will have to try and post a photo of him for everyone to see, maybe on the photos board. And of course one of George (aka Georgeous) too. I had to try and de-spud the backyard, and after digging up about two buckets worth from about 1 square meter(for the second time), I covered the entire area with a tarpaulin and weighed it down with rocks, so there is no access at all to the potates anymore. Gideon's Girl, I will google and look to buy a probiotic supplement. I can't see that it will hurt either of my BCs, and if it stops Oscar getting sick again, it will be worth it! Thank you for the suggestion of C perfrigens, urge to herd. Oscar is now on antibiotics, amoxycilin and clavulanic acid in one (a combination I have personally been precribed before) which worked last time, and he seems to be improving. If he has another bout, I will ask for a fecal test, but if I give him probiotics, hopefully the good gut flora will stop another attack. While Oscar and George do eat some fruit, G. Festerling, it is not a huge amount. Fruit is an occasional treat, and not more than once a week from us, if that often. The only fruit we cannot control completely is the apricots and plums. Most of our apricots were eaten by birds, and ended in about December. The plums (because we have two trees - early and late harvesting) are still going but we pick them up from the ground every couple of days, and they are almost completely finished. We also take them off of the dogs whenever we see them with one. If it was the fruit, I would think they would have had constant problems over the last few months, but there have just been these two attacks. I am going to try some probiotics, and keep an eye on what Oscar eats and see if that fixes things. I will try to keep you updated!
  15. Thank you for your welcome. gtokitty, Oscar's last bout was today. It was not as bad as last time, as he just had runny stools and was lethargic and droopy, which is VERY unlike Oscar. The last time was in December where he had runny stools, a 41+ degree temperature (celsius) and sore abdomen and was also off his food and water, very lethargic and looked sooooo sad. He had a blood panel today which came back normal except for his white blood cell count, which was elevated indicating (I was told) infection or inflammation. George has not had a sick day in his life thus far. I actually took Oscar to the after hours vet when he first became unwell with the solanine poison, and they thought he had a chest infection because he had a fever and crackly lungs. It was later, as his fever did not respond to meds and he became unable to stand that we took him back in and they figured out what was wrong. Oscar got sick one afternoon and two mornings later he was in the vets. Apparently the crackly lungs was a symptom of solanine poisoning too, but there was nothing else to suggest it, and no one had any experience with it. I am now possibly overcautious in taking him to the vet when he seems unwell, but I would rather be safe (and poor) than sorry! When Oscar is well, he is very active (I know that goes without saying for a BC, but he is more active than his brother!) My partner calls him a Tigger dog, because he is always go go go and bouncing around. Thank you for those suggestions Gideon's Girl. I don't think it is a problem with grain, as he has eaten rice with no problems, and his usual kibble doesn't seem to cause problems. I would be interested in giving him probiotics. Are there special dog probiotics, or do I use the ones designed for humans? Any idea where I would find them if I need canine probiotics?
  16. Hi everyone! I am a first time poster (and first time Mum to two gorgeous BC puppies!)from Australia. When my puppies were about twelve weeks old, one of them, Oscar, became very ill. The vet could not work out what was wrong, until I suggested green potatoes (solanine). I had found Oscar and George both eating potatoes from the back corner of our yard (left from previous owners of the house). The vet had never come across solanine poisoning in a dog, and had to do some research before confirming the diagnosis. Oscar had three days in the vets' clinic on a drip, and came home with his hindquarters still paralysed. It was another two days before he could support his own weight and take a few steps. Oscar appeared to have fully recovered, with no side effects aside from losing his puppy coat early. He has had blood tests to confirm there is no organ damage, but he is now 7 months old and has had two bouts of gastritis within two months. I suspect that the solanine poisoning has left him with either a sensitive stomach or a weakness to stomach viruses. I currently feed Oscar Bonnie puppy dry food, with a quarter of a cooked chicken shared between him and George each night. I don't measure the dry food, and it is available on demand. Oscar also eats raw carrot as a treat, some seedless watermelon when it is hot, and other treats are pigs ears and pigs tendons (dried by a local samll business from local pigs killed at a local slaughterhouse) and Schmackos. Occasionally they might have some rockmelon/canteloupe, a bit of capsicum or some plums or apricots from the trees in the backyard. The vet has suggested doing a food trial with Oscar on a hypersensitive dog food. I suspect it will be Royal Canin they suggest, as that is what I see at their clinic. I am not sure if I should try that, or look to move to homecooked. I am a little worried about the expense of homecooked. George has been perfectly healthy the whole time. As a first time owner, I want to do the best for my dogs and I love them to bits. It kills me to see Oscar looking so sad and droopy. Help?!?
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