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Everything posted by Lawgirl

  1. Looking it up now, Bladerunner's main character is actually Deckard, not Decker, oops. Another possibility is Fenrir, the wolf who swallows the sun during Ragnarok in Norse mythology. Janus, the Roman god of doorways (has two faces, may be good for a dog with eyes in the back of his head!) Horus - Egyptian god of Pharoahs Indian gods - Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva etc Seldon, Daneel - characters from Isaac Asimov series Haku - boy/dragon from Spirited Away movie. Ok, I am going to quit before I get started on anime names.
  2. OK, I will spout some ideas about names. Decker - main character from Bladerunner Loki - Norse god of mischief Frodo/Pippin/Merry/Gandalf - LOTR Rimmer/Lister/Kryten - Red Dwarf Picard (I see you already have a Riker!) Aslan - Narnia Neo - Matrix Bender - Futurama Riddick - as in Chronicles of Nemo - 20,000 Leagues under the Sea Mulder - X Files Any number of Star Wars names - Vader, Lando, Ackbar etc Ares - Greek God of War Angus - Celtic god of youth and beauty Odin - Norse supreme God Hermes - Greek messenger god Riddler - Batman Sherlock - as in Holmes I could go on.... but I always feel that you need to meet the dog to work out what name suits them. Congratulations on your new dog,and welcome to the family of BC addicts, I mean, owners!
  3. That is so good to hear! I am very happy Gabe had such a good time. I am excited that a new herding training facility has opened, not close to me exactly, but only 20 minutes from where my mother lives. I have been in contact with them and they will do a private training session for all three of my BC's for a reduced price. Early in the new year, we will be there! I may have to travel over four hours to get to my mother's house, but once I am there, the training facility is virtually next door! Can't wait to see how my boys go on some sheep for the first time.
  4. I have only been to a few trials, but using a gazebo that is 3m by 3m, we have had up to four 36 inch crates under cover with room for three or more people to sit in front. I tend to use the top of my wire crate as a table for bag, catalogue, water container, food etc, which you can't do with a soft crate. I always share my gazebo with a friend (we went halfsies on buying it) and we have always had room to share with other friends. I also find that the wire crate, when folded flat, fits nicely into the boot (aka trunk) of my mid-size hatchback. My boy is 21.5 inches tall at the shoulder and probably weighs about 50lbs (going to the vet for his annual check up/vaccination today, so will know for sure after he is weighed then). I tend not to fuss about weight so much as condition.
  5. Hi CptJack, The second trial went well, Oscar actually nailed his weaves in one run, and had two runs where he only had two course faults. His previous best was three course faults, so he is still improving. On one of his jumping runs, Oscar ran the entire course perfectly except the tyre was the first obstacle and he decided to run straight under it. Then in a later agility course, the order was scramble, tyre, table, then three jumps to home. Oscar went scramble, tyre, table, tyre..... He can't decide if he likes the tyre or not. He is still sticking his contacts and having fun. And I always praise him and make it a happy experience. If he misses a jump, well, on to the next. One thing I found very amusing was how many compliments I got about my lovely calm dog. Oscar sits in a covered crate with the front of the cover lifted so he can see out. He has his head up and ears pricked watching the world go by, while other dogs next to him are barking and barking, even when fully covered. He does not whine, growl, bark or react. But for much of his early obedience training, I was working 20 metres away from the other dogs because of how reactive he would be to them. Trials actually seem to make him calm down. The seminar was great. Oscar was probably not as advanced as some of the others there, but I have decided I like the H360 system (from what I have seen), I just need to teach Oscar properly. I came away happy with what we learned but also seeing how much we have to work on, but I think any good seminar should leave that impression. I was told that I should do Recallers with Oscar, and I need to build his toy drive (essentially non-existent at the moment except for rare occasions at home). I don't have any more trials within easy reach for the rest of the year, so there will be lots of work to do before our next trial, and plenty of time to do it!
  6. Well, overall I was happy with how Oscar went at the trial. I can honestly say that most of the problems were handler error. I think Oscar learns much more quickly then I do! He did not manage to do the weaves properly in any of his three runs at agility, but by the last run he did them all except for the last three poles, so he was improving over the course of the weekend. He stuck the contacts beautifully every time and he is a lot more confident through the runs, so it was still a good trial. He even managed to not get disqualified on his second agility run. Three course faults (the weaves, one refusal on the entry to the weaves and a bar down) but not disqualified. I would have got a pass on the first jumping run if I had remembered not to lead out too far when the tyre is the first obstacle. I went too far and he ran straight under the tyre then completed the rest of the course beautifully. I will have another chance this weekend, as I have 12 runs at a trial, 4 in agility and 8 in jumping. Then on Monday I am attending a half-day handling seminar run by a H360 trainer. I do have a couple of videos but I am not sure how to put them up. Most of all Oscar seems to love the excitement of the trial. He sits very calmly but alertly in his crate, watches all the other dogs go by, tries to pull me into the ring but is totally focussed on me during the run. I just wish I was a better handler for him. Still, while he is having fun, we will keep trying. Next goal is a qualifying run. I know Oscar has it in him, the question is do I?
  7. Thanks CaptJack I am fully expecting that he won't do the weaves at trial. My first trial with him he refused to jump a single jump in our first run although he had no problems in training. Then the next run he decided he did not feel like going through a tunnel. I will be really happy if he does a few weaves, but my motto with a dog trial (or going to the movies) is expect the worst and at least you won't be disappointed. I suspect it will be 1, 2, skip a few and out! We will give the weaves a go and then move on whatever happens. On the bright side, I have been really happy with how he is entering the weaves. We set up a practice course and he went from a touch position at the bottom of the scramble into the weaves at a run. The two items were at right angles to each other, about six big paces apart. It definitely was not a straight line entry. I have 12 weaves set up in my back yard and I will take him out once a day (most days) and practise weaves for about 5 minutes, then take a break, do some touches or tricks then do a few more runs. I doubt I would even spend 10 minutes on weaves with him, and it is not continuous. His current issue is doing all the weaves except the last pole. But it is such a huge improvement from where he was a month ago I am still impressed with him.
  8. Well, after some weeks of low pressure training, Oscar finally did a full weave of 12 poles in the backyard. It may have been slow but he got there! For the last couple of weeks he has been doing great with the poles oh so close together, or he would do six poles in a line then pop out. Then he started repeatedly skipping the third last pole. He finally put it together, and it was with my other two BCs running around the backyard to distract him. I was so excited and happy he got huge praise and pats. And then he promptly kept popping out of the weaves. Sigh. At least I know he can do it, and hey, I still have just over a week to the trial!
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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!
  14. As a lawyer who is a border collie owner/addict, I want a print of this!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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!)
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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!
  22. 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!
  23. 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?
  24. 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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