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Everything posted by dogrsqr

  1. Having a new puppy and a second female I've been thinking about dynamics a lot. Previously had 2 females that did not get along and don't want to end up with the same. It is never ok for one dog to take the others food. Ours also eat in their crates. I do allow the adult dog Abbey to reprimand the puppy Shay when it is appropriate, but recently I've noticed a little bit of resource guarding of me so need to remember what I was told years ago .... Get up and walk away. I do not belong to either dog. Gina
  2. I tried training a running DW. No dice. I retrained a stop and really like it. Gives me a chance to get into position for the following sequence. I have a running AF, but it would be nice to sometimes have a stop for the same reason. I might with my pup try to get a stop all four on the ground at the bottom of the AF. Gina Pizzo Abbey and Baby Shay
  3. Ok so I'm going to ask this question and hope for more answers than go to trials, observe and talk to people. I have not found herding people to be very inclusive to strangers. I have been involved in agility and flyball since 1995. I have had 4 rescued Border Collies and a rescued BC mix. I have fostered many dogs thru our Humane Society and with a BC rescue group. I have worked at herding training with two of our BCs. My current BC is a great dog, willing to do anything. She's doing ok with herding even though we only get to train once a week from Mid March thru Mid October. She does not have the confidence with her sheep that she needs to get very far in trialing. At this point we are only aspiring to AKC B course. I am not a fan of AKC for several reasons, but that's what we can be successful at. She was adopted at 6 1/2 months and missed the socialization that would have possibly made her more confident. I am looking for a good breeder of working dogs that will be willing to place a pup with a person that will keep a dog busy and trained, doesn't have her own stock but will continue on with herding lessons and go as far as the dog and I can go. I always start a dog with basic obedience and we train 2-4 times per week. We also let the dogs be dogs and go hiking and swimming and just play dog games. We are located outside St. Paul, MN. If anyone has any suggestions for a good working dog breeder I'd appreciate it. We are willing to travel for the right dog and are not in a hurry. I have never purchased a dog from a breeder so any insight into what to ask is welcome as well. Thanks, Gina Pizzo
  4. There is a very small subset of people in NADAC who work the bonus line/box type of distance. Most use much more modest distance handling. I have a very pressure sensitive Border Collie; we work big distance, but not that big. I'm sure I could get her to run bonus line distance with some work, but there is no place here to practice that type of distance and I'm not really that interested in doing it. I do get some more international style course work in one of my classes which I always handle at a distance but it requires précised timing which doesn't always work with an old handler and a fast dog. Gina and Abbey
  5. Interesting discussion. I trial pretty much exclusively in NADAC. I've done a few USDAA trials with my present dog, more with past dogs when there weren't many trials of any flavor around. I've gone to train at a few ASCA and UKI trials. I also like NADAC because the dogs can flat out run. Lots of extension, not a lot of teeny, tiny steps between obstacles. The courses are not technical except for the discriminations, but the speed of the dog is what makes the challenge. If you can run next to your dog they won't be very difficult, but then you might need to work on speed. For some reason people seem to think speed is something your dog either has or doesn't, but I find that early on in a dogs training if you work only technical sequences you'll teach collection and lose speed. NADAC tends to build speed, confidence, and distance in dogs because the courses are more obvious to the dog. I travel to run in NADAC rather than do all the local trials. I could stay home and run AKC almost every weekend, but having started with a mixed breed dog when they weren't even allowed on the site, I have no desire to trial there. We also have a lot of CPE and a fair amount of USDAA. Most of these trials are indoors on matting and that doesn't interest me either. I choose outdoor trials and horse arenas over matting over concrete. I haven't run CPE but watched a few trials. It does seem to me that the obstacle spacing is a little close for my dog. Most people who like CPE like the games, the shorter (than NADAC) courses, and the more generous standard course times. After going back to USDAA with my younger dog I found all the barking and tugging to be an issue for me. That and the fact that someone's Terv ran 30 feet to try to get my dog who was on leash and just came out of her crate. The handler was unable to get their dog to come to them at the end of their run to get leashed and instead left the ring tugging with their dog. I was NOT happy. Gina and Abbey
  6. We have these discussions a lot in BC rescue. To me a working home is a home that has stock and the dog will get to work the stock. I would tend to think that it would be more often like daily or at least several times a week. I consider sporting homes to be homes like mine that a dog would get to do activities like obedience, agility, flyball, nose work etc., and maybe some "recreational" herding. Than we have companion homes that need a dog that will be happy with daily walks, some fetch and not much else. My dog competes in agility and flyball and we go to weekly herding lessons (1/2 hour) from mid March thru mid October with the chance for a couple of lessons a month the rest of the year depending on weather and our weekend schedule. We are at some sort of training 3-4 times a week and non-herding competitions maybe 25 weekends out of the year. I would not consider myself a working home even though we get to "play" with sheep on a weekly basis for half of the year. We aren't doing real work/chores we're just working on skills. It makes Abbey happy and I enjoy seeing her do something that she was bred to do. Gina and Abbey
  7. I currently compete in flyball and agility and train herding with my Border Collie. Is flyall as mentally stimulating as agility or herding? .... no. Does my dog love it just as much? ....yes. Would I only play flyball? Heck no. Do I enjoy this mindless acitivity once in a while? Yes! Is it repetive? Yes, but teaching a good turn and working on perfect passing are not autopilot activities. Some of our previous dogs also competed at both. I had an eight year hiatus from flyball and thought I'd never go back, but tried it with Abbey and she had a blast. I do enjoy competing at multiple sports because it gives me an opportunity to be around a different group of people. As for noise our crating area is in a different part of the building from the running area which significantly reduces the noise exposure. I find some agility trials to be overall just as noisy when dogs have to be crated close to the ring. My dog barks while we're waiting for our turn, but once we get out into the racing lane she's all business and focus. Our team is also not a super competitive, serious group either which helps. Some people think that flyball is the most horrendous activity you could do. I think we all have our own opinions and that's just what they are. Our dogs see a sports medicine vet chiropractor on a regular basis to make sure we're ok for all of our activities. Gina
  8. That would be 17.8 mph. And that includes the time to turn off the box.
  9. Personally I would not pay much attention to what pitbull trainers do. I've seen them do some pretty stupid things. If my BC had a problem with speed and/or stamina I would first rule out anything physical, including doing blood work. If that didn't uncover anything I would consider mental stress. Does the dog understand what it's being asked to do?, does it enjoy what we are asking it to do?, are we putting too much pressure on the dog? are we over training, over trialing etc. Is the dog the proper weight? being fed nutritious food? I agree with all of what the last poster said. I don't think we need to do weight training with our BCs they are not bred for that, but conditioning is important. All dogs should have some opportunities to run in extension.
  10. So where did the "sport dog" people get their BCs to start breeding? Did they not come from working dog breeders? Maybe those breeders should have required the dogs to be spayed/neutered if they were selling them to non-working homes? I would personally agree that "wired" dogs are not so much bred as they are created by training. As a sport person I do not think my dog needs to bark and tug in order to be a good agility dog. I would rather she focus her attention and energy on working. Gina and Abbey
  11. We had two BCs that were afraid of storm sewer inlets. Made it really hard to get places sometimes as they would refuse to go towards the hole in the ground.
  12. Is it possible that he just doesn't like how it feels to have his body hit the ground on the end of the teeter? I know that this is the most popular method for saving time on a course, but maybe try having him pause at the tip point until the teeter hits the ground and then release him to the bottom. If you can work thru it and get him some confidence you might be able to go back to running to the end of the board.
  13. I personally don't think of giving the dog information that it is doing something that is not acceptable is necessarily a correction. Using a word or phrase like wrong or oh-oh is just giving them information to use in making future choices. Letting the dog know that their choice is incorrect is just as useful as letting them know their choice is correct. When I went to an Ian Dunbar seminar a few years ago, he said he thought that people had taken positive training to an extreme and had forgotten that dogs need information about what they're doing that's unacceptable as much as they need information about what they're doing that's acceptable. He was not advocating being harsh; just letting them know thru simple unemotional words.
  14. Kong Air Squeaker tennis ball Clutch Ball (Soft flex) Bumi Tug Toy (West Paw designs)
  15. I use a down stay. I think it's easier for most dogs to maintain a down stay, but each dog is an individual. I would go with the position the dog picks. I've always found that a stand was harder for my dogs to understand than either a sit or down.
  16. Not only have I had all of my dogs cremated, but also my two cats. Right now I have 2 cats, and 5 dogs cremains in the file cabinet in our home office. My intention is that I will be cremated when I pass and I'd like for all of our ashes to go somewhere together. Haven't figured out that part yet. My husband can come with us if he likes, but that's his decision. I'm not that sentimental about the cremains. Every once in a while I stop by and say Hi to them all. I couldn't leave them buried in the yard knowing someday I won't be there anymore. Years ago I volunteered at our local Humane Society. I'll never forget the day I saw the rendering truck stop for pick up. It made me very sad and that's pretty much when I decided that all of my pets would be cremated. Gina Abbey and Trek
  17. I was always much more attracted to the rough coated BCs. A few years ago we adopted two smoothies and now I'm sold on them. They don't shed any less, but removing any burrs that stick is easy as a wipe and when you bath them there is much less towel usage! We live in Minnesota and never put a coat on them. When it gets to windchills of 20 to 30 below we have to monitor their time out just like any rough coated dog. Other than that they are fine. I do sometimes get the question about what kind of dog they are, but I use it as an opportunity to educate about what a BC really is. I used to get that question about our red BC because she was red and had a gay tail, and about our very rough coated dog because he had drop ears.
  18. We had two BC's that would not go anywhere near a storm drain inlet. It often made getting thru parking lots a little difficult. One BC was obsessed with tires even when a vehicle wasn't moving. On road trips he'd watch the tires of the semi trailers. Our old BC mix was obsessed with chasing anything she couldn't catch. She'd chase airplanes in the back yard. She'd watch the shadows of the aspen leaves shaking in the wind for hours; wagging her tail the whole time. I know most BC people would say you shouldn't let her do that, but it wasn't bothering anyone and was not a distraction when she was working.
  19. I have personally never understood a handling system. The first time someone used that term in talking to me I thought what the heck is a handling system? Then someone explained it to me and I thought how can that possibly work? My instructor has always been a proponent of learning all the tools and using them when they're appropriate for me and my dog as a team. I'm old, short and fat. I can't run nearly as fast as my dog therefore I use distance. I use mostly rear crosses and if I use a front it's because I've sent her ahead of me and slipped across with the course doubling back. I focus on a venue that works for us. Neither one of us particularly likes tight and twisty so we don't go there. I don't like asking my dog to jump into my space and she doesn't like doing it. Be who you want to be. I wasn't one of the cool kids in High School and didn't care then. I sure as heck don't care now.
  20. I have always gotten rescues, though not puppies, and have never had a problem with them wanting to do my chosen sports/activities. I think with older dogs you can better tell what their personality is like and how active they will be. I've never had a problem with structure being an issue with my rescued BCs or my rescued mixes. I've known more than a few people who carefullyselected a breeder and their pups did not pan our to be what was expected. I think puppies are always going to be somewhat of a crap shoot. Yes, they are more likely to be like their parents and related offspring, but there's always the possibility that they won't. If you have some good criteria that you're looking for a 6 month or older rescue can be just as sure a bet as a well bred pup.
  21. We have always had rescued dogs and only one has been under a year old when we got her. Others have been anywhere from 2 to 5 years old. We almost never start formal (class) training right away. We typically spend a few months working with them at home and then start with obedience class. After they have a good handle on obedience in a class situation, good focus with distractions, and a good recall we move on to more exciting things like flyball, agility and herding. I agree with what others have said about older dogs having a longer attention span and you don't have to worry about what you should be asking them to do before growth plates are closed. If an older dog has never learned how to learn I would suggest using a clicker and shaping. I can see some of the eyes rolling now, but in my experience with my own rescues and foster dogs shaping is the best way for a dog to understand learning and that it's ok to be wrong. I've seen too many dogs shut down because they want to be right and when they're wrong they don't know how to handle it other than not playing anymore. Shaping actually seems to engage them and creates a thinking dog. Gina and Abbey
  22. I will say it all depends on the human and the dog and what other activities you participate in. While playing fetch isn't the same as working stock, if a dog has self control issues than putting rules on fetch can be a way of teaching/working on some self control. Many of us who play agility will use games with the ball as a means to work on a start line stay. Whether the dog puts the ball in your hand or at your feet is a personal preference and again may have something to do with another activity you do with your dog. Perhaps someone is really into obedience. They probably want the dog to return the ball to their hand since the retrieves in obedience should be returned to your hand. As far as pestering with the ball .... we have one such beast. He is relentless. If you give up once, he's been rewarded. I myself would put all the balls away, but there are other humans in the house. Years ago I had a BC mix that would sit in the backyard on a sunny summer day and watch the shadows of the jiggling aspen leaves. She would occasionally snap at the shadows. Some people would and did say " you have to stop that OC behavior". It didn't bother me so I didn't. She enjoyed it and it didn't interfere with anything else we did. To each his own as long as the rules are made by the human and not the dog. Gina and Abbey
  23. I can't imagine not letting a dog play fetch if it enjoyed the game. Let's face it BC's can become obsessed with anything if we let them. It's our job to teach them rules and self control no matter what activity we're doing with them. Years ago we were on a home visit with a foster dog. This home had access to a community beach so we headed down there and the father started throwing the tennis ball into the water for Oreo to fetch. He did this several times and finally asked "How do you make him stop?" I picked up the tennis ball put it in my pocket and said "Just like that". When I've had a dog that could become OCD about balls I just don't let them have free access to balls.
  24. We used to feed only once a day until we had two dogs bloat (one a BC the other an Aussie mix). They both thankfully survived. Now all dogs at my house get fed three times a day.
  25. Our two BCs are crated for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week while we're at work. We initially crated them because we didn't think it was a good idea to have two young dogs with run of the house and no one home. Their crates are not small. I think I typically use larger crates than most folks. They are neither physically nor mentally unsound because of they are crated during the day. We do some type of training and physical activity with them on a daily basis. When I occaisionally have a day off at home all they do is sleep and look at me as if I'm interrupting their usual routine. Most of us have to work outside the home. I would rather have my dog in a crate all day than at daycare. I've seen too much of what can go on at daycare. I would also rather have my dog in a crate all day than outside unattended to bark, dig, an be exposed to whatever unknown human that might be wondering around. In my opinion if you give your dog something to do each day to occupy his brain and body he should be fine. We will each have our own opinions. Ulitmately we all do what we feel is right for our dogs.
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