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Posts posted by Lawgirl

  1. I have four BC boys. 

    One is quite wary of other dogs, and by and large will bark at them to try and keep them away unless he knows them quite well, but it is a "bark, bark, see I am big and scary, please stay away from me, pretty please" type of frightened bark.  He has learned to tolerate other dogs being near to him if we are with him while he is on lead, but he is uncomfortable, and we do not push him to greet or play with other dogs.

    Another dog can be quite reactive to certain dogs, i.e. big black dogs (even labs!), boxers and a range of other dogs, especially when he is on lead.  Other dogs he will go up and greet, but then we need to take him away or things will escalate.  Off lead, he reacts better and is more inclined to play, but his idea of play is to chase, which is not every dog's idea of fun, and so we need to be watchful then too.  Overall, he is best with other working dog breeds.

    One dog (our entire male) is entirely too fascinated with sniffing the private parts of other dogs.  He will sniff them far past what is polite, and to the point of angering the other dogs, so we tend not to have him off lead with other dogs.  Also, his recall is not the best, so we only let him off lead in enclosed areas.

    Our last dog, the youngest, is by far the most even tempered and outgoing of our dogs.  I have not yet met a human or dog he does not get on with.  He has played with a giant breed dog who was climbing all over him, and he was perfectly calm and happy.  He is interested in all dogs, does not react when barked or snapped at, and would, I think, be a wonderful therapy dog for nursing home visits etc, if I had the time for it.  

    I do not believe in overly correcting warning behaviour such as growls, so long as they are warnings, not aggression.  I do not want to teach my dog not to react until it bites.  Familiarising my dogs with others? Yes, this is good.  Teaching not to warn, not good.  You can desensitise without correcting the warning behaviour.

    I do not think BCs are more prone to display this behaviour than other breeds necessarily.  There are some breeds which are less likely to display it, but most breeds are equally likely to display it, and some, particularly those bred for guarding (either livestock or property), which may well display it more.

    So what do I do with my dogs?  I take them to dog club (obedience training) where they may or may not meet other dogs and have either a brief "meet and greet" or a more extended play on lead before class, before working through training alongside other dogs.  But mostly, they have us and each other, and we go to a local sports park, where they get to run around a baseball diamond, chase each other, and, if other dogs approach, they meet through a chain link fence, which minimises risk of injury.  Or we take them to a local beach, where they run around off lead because there is no one else around.  I am a very big believer in avoiding and managing risk rather unless you can be absolutely sure of what will happen.


  2. Oh, and although I live in another part of Australia entirely, we have these spiders too.  Here is a photo of one we came across on a fence during an early morning walk, although it is a smaller version.  I have come across much larger versions in my bedroom in the past.  I do not have photos of those.  I did not stop to take photos of those; I was too busy screaming and running away.  I did not take this photo.  I would not get that close.


  3. I am by no means an expert on Kelpies, and there is considerable quiet rivalry here in Australia as to which is the better herding dog, BCs or kelpies. 

    Yards are are just that, yards where stock are gathered in, either for shearing, drenching, or in preparation for transport etc.  Paddocks are what we call fields or ranges.  So a yard dog is good at close in enclosed work, a paddock dog is good at the open field work. 

    And, of course, we also have droving, which is rare nowadays, but still happens, although it is more common with cattle.  Many outback roads, especially in New South Wales and Queensland, have VERY wide verges, which are called the long paddock, and are open pasture for flocks of livestock to be moved around when drought hits and water and feed fail.  It used to be to move large flocks of livestock to railheads for shipping, but now is used more to access better feed when a property is exhausted. 

    In Australia, Kelpies tend to be either used in the yards as a yard dog, or in the paddocks as a field dog.  A dog which is good in both yard and field is VERY highly prized, and I often see advertisements for pups boasting how one parent is a strong yard dog and the other good in the paddock.

    Kelpies are renowned for 'backing', or jumping up on top of sheep when they are in a yard or race and running along the top of a flock to drop down into them to get them moving in a confined space.  At least, that is what I understand they do.  Livestock truck drivers often have Kelpies who do nothing other than work loading and unloading sheep at stockyards and abattoirs, and travel with the truckies between.

    The Muster is fantastic, and is credited with saving Casterton, as the town was starting to fade away, as many country towns do.  It is now starting to thrive, has a Kelpie Centre and tourism is way up. 

    Sorry for hijacking your post aprilandjax! 

  4. 11 hours ago, aprilandjax said:

    I have had a couple of Australians cross streets or tap on my car door asking if he's part Kelpie, they always seem thrilled to see him so I assumed they were pretty popular over there :lol: he certainly likes them!

    I also agree with you on the prey drive thing. I am watching for that moment where he crosses the boundary and "forgets" commands or just gets too caught up. He's so good sometimes it's hard to remember he will be a teenager soon! I almost always have the 10m line over my shoulder so at least I can hope to jump on it. Have you found that you need to wait out the worst of it to get back to good recall, and do you just essentially take the difficulty back a few steps and re-proof as if you were training it against a higher distraction (i.e. hormones + stranger, etc.)?

    I live about 70 kilometres from the birthplace of the Australian Kelpie - Casterton in Victoria, and just last weekend was the Casterton Kelpie Muster.  They have all sorts of activities and competitions, a hill climb for dogs, high jump, as well as a herding displays etc, culminating in an auction for Kelpie dogs.  This year the top price was $15,000, but the record was set last year at $27,000 (this is in Australian dollars, so about half that in pounds, and one AUD is about 70 cents US).  Here are some photos of the recent Muster https://www.stockandland.com.au/story/6208628/crowd-drawn-to-casterton-kelpie-muster/?cs=4793#slide=1

    As for the prey drive, I suspect the safest thing is to retrain from the start, even if it is not completely necessary.

  5. Jax is soooo cute!

    I am Australian, so BC x Kelpie is a mix I see fairly often, and yours is an especially cute version.  To be honest, he looks a lot like what we call a Coolie/Koolie, another working breed from Australia.

    A friend of mine has two Coolies and a Kelpie.  The Kelpie is lying down 387447465_RebaDougandAce.jpg.abafa1a304c9b840db82b82d14d890b0.jpg


    I am not an expert with crate training, but I think you started the crate training well, but then jumped a few steps.  Familiarity with the crate is good, but you need to also gradually increase the amount of time in the crate until he is comfortable being in there for decent periods of time, not just with going in and being in there.  He needs to learn that the crate is for quiet time. Letting him have short times in the crate has possibly taught him that the crate is only a short term thing, not for longer periods of time.  You may need to continue with further crate training of increasing periods of time in the crate.

    Have you tried covering his crate at night?  This might be a way to signal that this is bedtime now, or at least that it is time to settle down for a sleep.  It will also make the crate more den-like.

    As you have said, if you can fix the crate training, the over-excitement can be fixed by time outs (very matter of fact - "time for a nap") in the crate until he has calmed down.

    I do not think you need to worry about limiting exercise if he is able to run around and rest at his own will.  It is more about long runs and walks on lead that are a concern, or repetitive stuff like fetch, jumping, etc that are a big concern.

    The prey drive is more of a concern to me. On the one hand, his recall so far appears to be excellent, but he is heading into adolescence, where dog's  test boundaries and will forget what you think they have learned 100%.  Hormones will surge and instincts can gain the upper hand.  If you see signs of reluctance, put him on a long lead, before he refuses to come back, would be my suggestion.

    As for barking, I have no suggestions to make.  Maybe someone else here can help there.

  6. Joni is beautiful - I love the long BC look!

    I second what Rigby says above.  Try to capture behaviour you want with a reward, rather than forcing or luring it, and then it is her decision.  This will make her far more confident in the long run.  And of course positive associations are going to be the best possible way for her to learn.

    Breaking things down into tiny steps, rewarding even looks, may seem like the slow way but will yield lasting results.

    I think Kikopup has some excellent Youtube videos about this sort of training.  Someone posted one about overcoming fear of a slippery kitchen floor in a thread a while back, last year I think.  I you do a search for Kikopup I am sure you will find it.

  7. Wow, he is really growing up and hitting the leggy adolescent stage!

    He may or may not be full BC, but I am sure it is in there.  He is still cute, and I am sure you love him to pieces.

    I can't help with the fetch issue, but I believe some others on this forum have had this issue.  Can you try a search through the general forum?  I seem to remember a thread about that exact question with lots of advice.

  8. I have four boys, three of whom are neutered.  The entire male is the most laid back dog out of all of them.

    I will always be happy to have neutered males together.  I have found them to be cuddly and affectionate.  I may consider getting a bitch at some point, but I am not fussed if I only ever have males.

    I do think that it really depends on the individual dogs, so a slightly older dog from a rescue is a great idea.  If your heart is set on a puppy, go with the one whose personality matches what you want from a dog.  He or she will have a puppy license for the first few months while your dog gets used to him or her, and then things should go okay.  They may or may not be best friends, but hopefully will get along.

  9. When I was a kid, we had some backyard chickens, and then my brother traded some baby fish from our little fish pond for a duckling, who we named Ala, short for Duck a l'orange.  We got the better of that deal, because the duck grew up while the fish died within a few weeks.

    We used to give our fowl the leftover vegetable scraps, and the thing I remember most was being so surprised to find out that our duck absolutely went 'quackers' for watermelon.  In summer, the chicken would leisurely peck at all of the food scraps but Ala would positively go nuts for the watermelon rinds, and her little beak would zoom along them to seek out every hint of pink.  It was the funniest thing I had ever seen!

    Sorry to change the topic, but I just had to share...

  10. There is another thread on here at the moment with ideas for trick training - lots of videos etc.  That would be a good place to start.

    Nosework, such as looking for treats, or more specific nosework training, will also help keep him occupied inside.  The tip to inside activities is to keep his mind occupied with either learning or brain heavy activities.

    I am not sure about supplements.  I have a boy with hip dysplacia, who has been put on cartrophen injections, which are also used for arthritis.  They have been excellent.  They are basically artificial synovial fluid, from what I understand, which is the fluid which lubricates joints.

    I am sorry to hear about your boy - he looks lovely!

  11. Maybe it is a tri-colour thing? Our first boy was a tri-colour and he was very much the same way.

    Your boy is gorgeous and adorable and you are very lucky to have him.  Enjoy him, but remember that adolescence is yet to come and his behaviour may go backwards when his hormones hit. Hopefully that does not jinx things for you!

  12. Oh, I do love a white face BC! Even though he is a half white face, your Mac reminds me so much of my Oscar!



    As for a longer lasting chew, you could try a bully stick, or beef tendon, or something like a goats horn or deer/elk antler.  Horn and antler can cause concern about broken teeth, but are much longer lasting chews, and not messy or smelly.  I will only give my boys whole, not split antlers. Obviously, you need to remove them when they get small enough to be a choking hazard.  I have heard that you can soak the antlers overnight to soften them, although this will probably mean they are chewed up more quickly, but reduce the chance of a broken tooth.

    Others on this board will recommend a stuffed kong, possibly stuffed with his normal kibble wetted and then frozen, so you feed his meals this way so as not to over feed him.  I have known people to give their dogs carrots, even frozen carrots as chews, though this can be a little messy.

    From memory, there was a recent thread about chews etc. that you should be able to find if you search.

    Hope this helps.

  13. Mental stimulation does not have to be super stimulating, if that makes sense.  I have found for our dogs, taking them for a drive with the windows down a bit, so they could sniff all the wonderful scents as they go past, is quite mentally draining.  Using the nose is a great way to tire a dog out, so I highly recommend nosework, even if it is just wrapping treats in a blanket for him to nose out and find.  A snuffle mat is another good option too.  Even just talking to your dog is good.

    You are not alone!  Your puppy is still a baby, and worse, he is one who is starting to have the size of an adult without the hormonal and emotional maturity of one.  These times were sent to try us!  Without meaning to depress you, I found that things just gradually got better, until one day I realised that my dogs didn't act like puppies any more, or did so only on occasions that were so uncommon that I specifically noticed them.

    Hold strong.  In years to come, as he is an old dog who can no longer leap to his feet as easily as he once did, you will miss these days.

  14. If you are feeding dry kibble, you can make a snuffle mat.  If you google "make a snuffle mat video" there are heaps of instructional videos out there.  Basically you use a load of fleece or other material, cut it into strips, buy a holey rubber mat and then tie the strips of fabric through the holes so the ends all stick up.   It is not difficult, just time consuming. 

    Spread some kibble in between the sticking up ends and your dog will have to nose around in between the strips and sniff out the kibble.  It will take a lot longer and will mean she can't eat as quickly.  It will also work her mind by working her nose.  When the mat gets dirty, you can just throw it all in the wash.

    You can also buy ready made snuffle mats, if you don't feel like making one.


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