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NJSwede

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Posts posted by NJSwede

  1. Thanks! We're just not used to having to deal with vet issues. All our other dogs are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and they have one thing in common: They are absolutely fearless. Lack of fear is even part of the breed standard for cavs. So going to the vet has never been an issue. They more or less jump up on the table and greet the vet with a wagging tail.

     

    Border Collies, apparently, not so much. At least not our girl. She's just very emotional about everything and she's decided that the vet is the scariest thing there is.

     

    We'll work on it. She's such a great girl and she deserves anything we can do to make her experience less traumatic.

  2. BCjetta,

     

    One thing I've learned over the years is how amazing dogs are at picking up small cues and associating them with things. We once had a boxer who would know days in advance when we were going to our cottage. He had figured out that when we were getting certain clothing and other things out of the closets, it meant that a trip was imminent and he got extremely excited (read: a pain to deal with...). Of course Seanna can't tell time, but I bet there's some minute thing in our behavior at that time of the day she picks up and somehow associates with whatever negative experience it is she's dreading (I'm still leaning towards the vet).

     

    Next step is going to be to desensitize her to the vet. I think setting up practice trips is the way to go. Since we have four dogs, we're regulars at the vet and I'm sure they'll help us set it up.

  3. Hi! It's been a while!

     

    A few weeks ago (maybe six) we took Seana to the vet for some routine shots. It didn't go well. She was trembling with fear and wet herself all over the floow. For some reason, that trip to the vet traumatized her deeply. After that, she now spends the hours around noon-time hiding in the basement. She lets us approach her and greets us happily, but she does not want to be removed from her spot, presumably because she's afraid we're taking her to the vet. It's very difficult to get her to leave the house at these times, even if it's for fun activities, such as walks or training. Once we get her out and into the car, she's fine and enjoys her activities.

     

    Also, she's totally fine in the morning and in the late afternoon/evening and willingly joins us for walks or even trips in the car. I can't think of any other explanation than that she's associating someone bringing her out of the house at that time of the day with her scary experience at the vet. Kind of fascinating that she understands what time of the day it is in that case...

     

    Other than this behavior, she's perfectly fine and interacts normally with the family, has good appetite and enjoys playing with the kids.

     

    Should we just wait and hope it goes away? I've tried to bring her out with high-value treats, but she's not interested. Is my presumption that this is correlated with the trip to the vet correct? I can't think of any other bad experiences around that time. Oh, and she's a rescue, so God knows what other experiences may be hidden deep inside her mind.

  4. Of course, the difference between us may be that you seem to have a much higher opinion of the human species than I do, and are willing to think the best while it's the utter stupidity of the species that tends to jump out at me first. :P

     

    I had to revisit this post and admit you're right. Humans are a lot dumber around dogs than I thought. I was searching for something completely different when I came across this:

     

     

    Extra moron-points for "look, he's smiling" :)

  5. I've been thinking while I was shoveling snow.

     

    Yeah, I think I misinterpreted Sandysfarm's post to be a bash on beginners/pet dog owners in general when it was a bash on certain people who think they and their dogs are the best stock worker material on the planet. I get it now.

     

    I think I can exclude myself from that group as I have a little bit of dog experience (tracking/searching/obedience with Boxers) and have spent a lot of time around sheep (my parents bought a farm when I was a young adult). That said, I'm smart enough to understand what works and what doesn't.

     

    As for our own attempts at "herding", I think we know very well that we're not going to reach the top echelon, nor do we think that our random rescue dog is the perfect material to work with. But we're having fun, learning truckloads of new things and nobody gets hurt. Not sure there's anything wrong with that.

  6. This is a conversation about respect.

     

    For me, you-all have an absolute duty, without malice and under the correct circumstance, to set pet dog owners straight as to WHAT a legitimate working dog is and WHERE it is - which is to say, it's not theirs and it's not lying in their livingroom.

     

     

    Wow. Just wow. I think I need a break from this place for a while. But at least I know that as a the owner of a pet Border Collie from unknown lines (since it's a rescue), I'm an imbecile who thinks my dog is the best herder in the world because it's black and white just like some dog I saw on youtube. Just wow!

  7. Of course, the difference between us may be that you seem to have a much higher opinion of the human species than I do, and are willing to think the best while it's the utter stupidity of the species that tends to jump out at me first. :P

     

    I don't know. I just heard about someone who refused to give her dogs rabies-vaccine because "rabies can be cured by thoroughly cleaning the wound", so you and I may be more alike than you think. There's some pretty amazing stupidity out there. But I digress...

  8. I was "reprimanded" on this board a while ago for saying something about my dog "herding" other dogs and "treating them like sheep". Let me make one thing clear, I may not own a farm or do professional stock work and I'm very new to this breed, but I'm not stupid enough to think that my dog believes that cars, joggers and children are sheep. Nor do I think most "commoners" (as opposed to stock dog nobility) are that stupid. My dog can recognize every dog in the neighborhood and knows where they live. She can also identify the breed of unfamiliar dogs (as in "collie dog- friend, retriever or labradoodle - must be get a good barking). Of course no one who's ever seen a dog do those things will ever be stupid enough to think a bicycle is a sheep.

     

    When I was talking about my dog "herding" another dog, I simply meant that her motion control instincts kick in and her behavior in some ways resembles some of the behavior a dog who works sheep exhibits (staring, crouching etc).

     

    I know you're a nice bunch of people who want to help, but I don't see the need to bash people for using the wrong terminology.

  9. The difference between the designer mutts being sold and the creation of a new breed is this...

     

    When someone is trying to create a new breed, they mix different breeds together. But, their goal is to create dogs that breed true. Breeding true means you can predict what will happen with each litter. This will take a least a few generations and involves a closed gene pool. They quickly stop introducing new breeds and only mate dogs within their new breed that match the standard most closely. You can look at the Border Collie as an example of this process. Local herding dog breeds/types were crossed to create the founding ancestors and trials were used as the selection criteria for breeding. Eventually they became a closed breeding population because only Border Collies could meet the selection criteria.

     

    The designer mutt people are crossing purebreds for every single generations. The results are unpredictable. They then market those mutts as healthier because of hybrid vigor, which is a lie. For example, Labs and Poodles both suffer from HD, so Labradoodles can also suffer from HD. In fact, the worst cases of HD I have seen have been in these designer mutts. The ONLY place you really see hybrid vigor is in the immune system (wider variety of MHCs). Otherwise, the mutts are no healthier on average than their purebred parents.

     

    You could argue that the Labradoodles imported from the original Australian breeding program are now a breed since they have had a closed gene pool for so long. However, most Labradoodles sold in the USA are not from that gene pool. Instead people are buying Labs and Poodles and crossing them. The resulting pups are mutts.

     

    Thanks! That was the best summary of the issue I've seen. I guess I was under the false impression that these hybrids were all bred from a single line (or a few lines) of ancestors. Makes sense now!

  10. Not much to add, but be sure to check out these stories for inspiration:

     

    Kelso:

    http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=31080&hl=kelso&page=1

     

    Dexter:

    http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=35956&page=1

     

    Dexter is still work in progress, but I absolutely love to read how his owner is working so hard to rehabilitate this wonderful dog. One of my favorite threads on the Internet. Period.

     

    Good luck with your dog! I'm sure that inside that abused shell is a wonderful dog waiting to come out! Don't give up!

  11. I hope I can convince my wife to post something about her experiences as a novice stock dog handler-in-training. What started as "wouldn't it be cool to see if she has any herding instinct?" has turned into a true passion in just a couple of months. She's even toying with the idea of entering trials...

     

    Honestly, after watching that horrible video that was posted here a while ago, we had to sit down and talk about whether we were doing the right thing. But this is not "let's have her chase sheep for an hour so she won't bother us" kind of thing. Both my wife and our dog are on a path together to better understanding livestock and it's touching to see the bond it's building between them! I think that passes the test of "learning meaningful livestock management" as opposed to "mindless chasing", so I'm fully supporting them!

  12. Thanks! There are two reasons this interests me: I'm a nerd and anything scientific interests me, but I also have a situation woith my own dog I need to apply some training methods to...

     

    I need to start working on a plan to work on some mounting aggression problems with Seana. When we got her (rescued at 2 yo) she was very submissive and simply avoided any dog she didn't like. Now she's coming out of her shell and she's starting to be pretty nasty to some of the neighborhood dogs. I can't figure out if she's asserting dominance that was masked by the stress of settling into a new environment or if it's fear aggression.

     

    But it almost sounds like you're saying the pairing of approaching dog/nice treat/pleasant feeling would work in both cases.

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