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Camden's Mom

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  1. Hmm... this is a tough one. I guess my concern is that Camden will be locked in his crate so if the babies crying does bother him then he'll be "trapped" in the room with the squealing monsters My gut is to have him stick it out with us in the bedroom for that first month, especially since I have every intention of keeping him right where he is now int he bedroom once the girls have been moved to the nursery. I think moving him out of the bedroom would be upsetting and disruptive, even if it was a gradual thing we did before the babies got here. He's slept in our bedroom, closed in his crate, every night since we brought him home as a ten week puppy. As a routine, if I find myself getting up in the middle of the night i almost always let him out of his crate anyways and he'll stick with me while I'm up, usually curled at my feet wherever I am sitting or lying down. I wonder if continuing this trend is the best way to go. IOW, babies start crying, I get up to tend to them but also let the dog out so he has the freedom to decide where he'd like to be while that's going on. Then when I'm about to go back to sleep I'll crate him up again... Gideon's Girl, your comment has set my mind at ease a great deal. I think I might see how Camden does in the room, give him some freedom to get away in the middle of the night if he needs to while I'm tending to the girls and hope we can get through that first month in a very crowded bedroom, lol. If he's super miserable then we'll move him out of the room until the girls get into their nursery (not ideal, but we might just have to play this one by ear). Thanks again all. I'm sure I'll have more questions as the date gets closer. For now it's time to start breaking strollers and swings out of boxes and feeding lots of treats to my boy.
  2. Thank you all so very much for the fantastic advice!! And a BIG congrats to moosikins on her upcoming addition as well! Even though I've not been around as much as of late I feel so lucky to have such a knowledgable and helpful resource as these boards that I can turn to when needed. Seriously, you guys have given me so much good advice to work with Now that the holidays and all the chaos that they bring with it are behind us I do plan to start actively working with Camden on getting him used to some of the new things that will be entering his world (stroller, swings, carseats, etc.). I think this should go a long way in helping smooth the transition. It's time for me to get to work! A couple of follow-up questions... 1) We were considering boarding Camden for a few days when the babies are born. Since it's a multiples birth we're told it's likely I'll be at the hospital for at least 3 nights and quite possibly more. My husband is planning to spend a lot of time at the hospital with me and the babies and I don't think he wants to be overly worried about the dog during this time frame. Do you think boarding him is a good idea ((he boards at his herding instructor's farm, gets to work sheep everyday and be around other dogs... it's sheepdog heaven, lol)) or do you think it's better that he be at home so we can bring things home that smell like the babies? 2) Camden sleeps in our bedroom at night closed into his crate. Letting him roam the house is not an option (incontinence issues *sigh*). My concern is that the babies will be staying with us in the bedroom for the first month in a bassinet. I am worried that he will feel trapped in the room with the screaming monsters if we leave him in the bedroom but I'm also worried about ousting him from the room all together. I think he would find being crated in another room away from us upsetting. Once the girls go and live in their nursery I'm not worried about this at all... Camden will be in our bedroom and they will be in another room... however I'm really flummoxed on how to handle that first month or so when we're all sleeping in the same space. :/ Suggestions or ideas?
  3. Hello all. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and here’s to a healthy and happy 2015! I still quietly troll the boards as often as possible but it’s been radio silence on my end for quite some time now. That’s largely because 2014 was a rather eventful year for my household. My husband and I purchased our first home this past summer and then almost immediately found out that we’d be extending our two-legged family! In the whirlwind of trying to move into our house and mentally prepare for our new addition we got another bomb dropped on us. Apparently we signed up for the “two for one” discount… Twins!!! I’m reaching out to the knowledgeable people of these boards for insight on what to expect from (and how to best prepare) Camden (2 ½ year old, high energy BC) for the general chaos of two babies suddenly dropped into our lives. I want to do everything I can to set him up for success and have him develop a healthy and positive relationship with the girls from day one. So, any general advice on how to properly prepare and introduce a dog to newborn babies would be greatly appreciated. Is there anything I can do ahead of time to set him up for success? I’m also wondering what my expectations should be of how the dog interacts with the babies. Should he give them a lot of space or should I encourage engagement? And of course if there’s anything I just haven’t thought of I’d love general feedback on dogs (specifically BCs) and babies and how to get this whole thing started on the right track. Thanks in advance for ANY advice… I have a feeling I'm gonna' need all the help I can get! ETA: Oops, it might help to mention that the babies are due to get here in late April, although my doc has explained to me that multiples almost always arrive a few weeks early. Thought that info was worth adding!
  4. Camden discovered digging this spring and is hooked. He'll run through his favorite digging field at top speed while simultaneously sniffing the ground for just the right mole hill. When he finds it he'll skid to a halt, sometimes resulting in a forward tumble any gymnast would have to admire, and go at it with both front paws and his mouth. It's handy that his digging field is also near a creek, otherwise my boy would only come home from those walks looking like a brown dog. I don't know if this qualifies as an obsession but here goes... Camden has been taught to settle inside. He's actually pretty good at it for a dog who is so "GOGOGO". However, if I'm working at my desk (or anywhere really) and I even so much as shift my weight he'll be up and out of the room before I can blink. He is so eager to do stuff that he'll go from being sound asleep to excitedly waiting by the front door... simply because I decided to cross my legs or lean back in the chair. It drives me sorta' crazy and I doubt I'll ever get used to it but I do have to admire his enthusiasm.
  5. My goodness... others may disagree but I feel like your pup is responding very well in this video. He seems to be performing the trick in a very timely manner! I just want to give you a perspective from the other side of the fence. I have a dog who is, as you described - "super-excited, responds-super-quick". When trick training, he'll actually work so quickly that he'll frustrate himself in a matter of seconds. It's gotten to the point that I've stopped formal trick training lessons with him all together, it's just no fun for either of us. What I've turned to instead is "shaping" tricks (so when he bows on his own I say "Good Bow!". With enough repetition he starts to figure out what "Bow" means). It's not as fun but it keeps his little brain working without stressing him out to no end. Your dog might be performing in a "lazy" way... but he also might just be thoughtful. Learning a complex trick like the one you showed us at the age of 8 months with a young trainer is pretty impressive, IMO. Sure, you might try getting him more jazzed up with toys or play but just be careful what you wish for. An overly excited dog is rarely a focused dog. BTW, I love this video. That's a great trick!!! Mega-Kudos to your daughter for teaching it to him!!!!
  6. Sue, I was thinking the same thing! To the OP: we've had a number of discussions talking about early spay/neuter on these forums. I'm going to link to just a couple here in case you'd like to read through them. There's a lot of good information to consider and I hope you find them useful! http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=37273 http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=34732 http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=35565 http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=35343 I also wanted to say I'm glad you've stuck around and engaged in the conversation. I know you said you were "signing off" so I just wanted to share these links and wish you the very best of luck with your new pup!
  7. Not sure about the term "defensive" but "protective" would be a good way to describe many of our members when it come to the Border Collie. The name change conversation has been had many, many times on this forum. I'm just not sure there's a way that will ever happen... The working folks sure aren't going to give up the name and neither are the confirmation folks...
  8. ^^ This I think this says it all! When I got my BC I had read all the "hype" about how they would need endless amounts of stimulation and exercise. I was prepared to devote hours and hours (daily) to exercising the dog so it wouldn't chew up every molding in the house... At the end of the day the thing I was expecting the least was how much the dog wants to be a part of my life. I wish somewhere, in all of the literature I read, they had stressed how much the dog wants to really integrate into your life over how much exercise they need.
  9. Oh, I don't want to go too far off topic but I wanted to share this with the OP based on the above comment. Here's a link to a really fun online gallery that shows the practically infinite color and coat type possibilities of the border collie. They even have a section showing lilacs, like your Aria. http://www.bordercolliemuseum.org/BCLooks/BC_Looks.html I think board members preferences for long or short coats is all over the map. I am personally a fan of the medium to long coats as well. Either way, I just wanted to share that link so you could enjoy seeing the nearly endless variety of color and coat types in the border collie!
  10. Chiming in late here but I also wanted to say how much I appreciate those who manage (Eileen and Heather) and contribute to the forums making it a great place for open, thoughtful and civilized discussion. That quality alone seems to be very rare these days... especially in venue where people are discussing something they care about so passionately (as we do our dogs). Even though I've not been as active these past few months I still check the boards daily and enjoy reading and following the discussions quietly from the back seat. Thanks everyone for making this an inviting place for newbies as well as a place regulars can enjoy returning to on a regular basis.
  11. http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showannouncement=1&f=6 You might want to give this a read. It's a very comprehensive explanation of the perspective of many members of this forum. You are likely to find little to no support for show line breeding in this community BUT what you will find is a large number of people who love and cherish their dogs and the border collie breed. I would encourage you to stay, read, discuss and learn, even if the opinion of the board members may be different then your own.
  12. I was so happy to read your update about the lesson!! I'm just thrilled for you and Lady. Congrats to both of you and best of luck going forward!!! Please keep us posted, I'd love to hear how you two come along.
  13. I can't offer anything in the way of advice, as I am also a very novice handler with a very novice dog... BUT I do want to wish you and Lady the very best of luck at your lesson. I hope everything goes well!!!
  14. Sorry Liz if it sounded like I was coming at the people who suggested rescue. Heck, *I* suggested rescue in my first few posts. I think it's a great way to know exactly what you are getting. I really wanted the experience of raising a puppy when I got my first dog but honestly I don't think I'll ever have to do it again. Sure puppies are super cute but they are a pain in the a$s and take a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy. Needless to say, I discovered puppies are not really my thing. I enjoyed adolescence a LOT more then puppyhood and would probably rescue if I were to get another dog down the road. But who can say, that could change depending on my personal situation... Anyways, didn't want to give the impression I was flaming those who have advised the OP to look into rescue 'cause if that were the case I'd be flaming myself as well. It just sounds like the OP specifically wants a puppy and if that's her priority then a good breeder might be the best way to go.
  15. I think Julie is really onto something here. The question is does the OP really want a puppy? If the answer is "yes" then I think finding a reputable breeder is her best course of action, as there might not be a way to verify the health or temperament of the parents of a rescue litter. If the OP's priority is what her adult dog will be like and how it will fit into her life (agility, outdoor adventure, etc.) then I think finding a young adolescent dog through rescue is a more reliable way to go. She would have a better indicator of soundness, drive and temperament and would know the dog she's going to share the next decade + of her life with. But as Julie said, some people just want a puppy and they shouldn't have to feel bad about making that choice. Just my two cents...
  16. I'd also say look into breed specific rescues in your area. A BC rescue will be able to help you pick a young dog whose temperament matches what you are looking for. They will have high drive dogs who were surrendered because the previous owners couldn't manage them and they will also have laid back mellow companions. If you are looking specifically for a puppy I believe rescues get their fair share of those, too. You would want to contact your local rescue ahead of time and get yourself on a waiting list so that when a litter of puppies does become available you're already in the system and ready to adopt! Just a thought! ETA: Some places to take a peek! http://glenhighlandfarm.com http://www.mabcr.org ...and I just read your description of what you are looking for. I don't think you'll have any problem finding a young, active, gogogo border collie companion at a rescue.
  17. Yikes, the second place sounds like a pass... I'm amazed they require you purchase a prong collar just to attend any of their classes. That seems pretty extreme to me. :/ Per the harness verses collar question, I think you really need to find what works best for you. I never ever wanted to try a harness with my boy (I was told it would promote pulling on the leash) but when he came up lame and needed 60 - 90 days of light activity only (no running) I decided to purchase one. It was *much* more comfortable for him to wear on our long, slow, meandering walks. He could easily sniff, explore and have extra mobility in the harness that his regular flat collar and leash didn't offer. He's been back on normal activity for about a year now but I still find myself using the harness instead of the collar when we are taking longer on leash walks. Now, if we're going for an off leash romp or if we're going someplace where I need to have better control over him (retail store, busy streets, etc.) I throw on the flat collar and use that. Needless to say I'm glad I tried the harness, which I was so opposed to in the beginning, because it's really ended up working well for us. As you've already noticed, three training facilities all had different collar requirements and clearly they can't all be right. I think you should at least try the flat collar if you end up attending classes at the first place and decide what works best for you and Mya. As a side note, I like the idea of trying a variety of different activities with Mya. It'll be fun to try out a bunch of stuff and see what you both like best!!
  18. oh, I love the new name!!! Honestly, it sounds to me like you have a pretty darned good dog inside the shell of that fearful dog (which it sounds like he's quickly breaking out of)! All of the situations you have described (being startled awake and hugged while under a chair, being taken by the collar by a frustrated stranger) seem to me to be ***very*** reasonable triggers for a dog with his background to bite. And from what you've described he only nipped... which shows great restraint on his part, IMO. I just wanted to say that I think with a bit of time, patient and TLC Zander sounds like he'll quickly prove to be a fantastic family dog. Of course he might need some training and direction in situations that overwhelm him but honestly he sounds like a pretty great dog all around (especially given his quality of life for the first 6 years). ETA: I'm another supporter of crates but I think even designating a "den like" space for him under the stairs is a great idea. Just remember to let the whole family know that the new spot is his "safe place" and that it's best not to bother him too much when he's decided to retreat to it.
  19. I would suggest not trying to hug him for now... hugging can be extremely threatening to a dog, especially one with such a sordid background and with whom you've shared your home for such a short period of time. Right now I'd work on building trust. He may come around to being a love bug who doles out hugs left and right, but please don't force the issue. Give him time to feel comfortable and safe with your family. For whatever it's worth we have a recent thread about hugging our own dogs. You may want to give it a read (and there are some cute stories in it too). http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=37180 Can I just cast a HUGE vote for changing his name? Heck, I don't even want to refer to him by that name in this response, silly I know. But seriously, if the poor guy is shrinking away every time you say the word "Bandit" I think it's time to have a family sit down and decide what his new perfect name is. As others have suggested, once you've picked his new name make it all fun, games, rewards and love. His new (and better) life with you deserves a clean slate, IMO. The shadow chasing sounds to me like compulsive behavior that probably started because his needs were not being met. He was bored and ignored and it's probably a, albeit unhealthy, way he found to entertain himself. Part of me wonders if the behavior will begin to fade naturally as his new family meets his needs and his life is more interesting. I would absolutely NOT encourage (or allow any family members to encourage in any way) the behavior. I think with a new dog coming from a difficult background I'd start with ignoring and distracting him from the behavior. If you do not see the behavior begin to fade over time them you may need to actively work on desensitization or counter conditioning him to the light/shadows. He (who is awaiting his new name ) is a beautiful dog. I wanted to say "thank you" for rescuing him and bringing him into your home. He's a lucky dog to have landed with you. It's clear from your original post that you want to do right by him and give him a good life.
  20. I just wanted to thank everyone for their feedback. I took a lot of ideas from this thread into our lesson this morning and we had a number of successes. It was our best lesson in weeks. Per balancing: I decided to take a great deal of pressure off of him as many of you suggested. I decided to let him work some things out on his own without feeling so "under the magnifying glass". I didn't force a direction when I sent him so he would mostly Come Bye (his more comfortable side). He only got hard pressure/corrections when he made what he knew to be mistakes (zooming, rushing the sheep, pretty much anything that involved his tail going up, lol). Otherwise I forced myself to relax my body language and try to make him feel more comfortable. This seemed to allow him to make honest mistakes and learn from them without an overwhelming amount of pressure from me. I had much better success using the "there" command right as he hit balance, much more so then trying to get a down out of him. I actually said "YES! There!!" in an upbeat but attention getting voice and when I did he'd turn into the sheep. Anyways, I'm proud to report that once we hit a stride and he was balancing consistently on the Come Bye he even had a few successes on his Away! So, after several weeks of frustrating lessons this morning felt like a small breakthrough. Of course, to no ones great surprise, it appears I was causing the most problems out there. Per "Lie Down": I stopped asking for the down as he hit balance (instead using "there" as suggested) and that seemed to have helped his Lie Down in other situations. It wasn't pristine by any means (still a bit of creeping forward) but I normally didn't have to tell him more then twice and he'd take it. I could tell, since he was already turned into the sheep and walking up, that his resistance to down had more to do with his excitement being too close to the sheep (hence needing him to down) verses the total blow-off I've been experiencing the previous couple of lessons. IOW, I think the downs today were a little sloppy because he was excited, where as the downs the previous couple of weeks were sloppy because he was confused and under too much pressure. Well, I just wanted to give an update and thank everyone again for the thoughtful responses. They really helped AND my trainer actually commented today that my communication with Camden and my timing seem to be improving (woohoo).
  21. Yup, mine does the exact.same.thing. I call it his "Hover Butt" (basically because it makes him look like a hovercraft). Technically, he's staying in a sit but in truth he's traveling great distances with his butt never once leaving the ground.
  22. Bill, I've enjoyed following your adventures with Juno. It's clear the two of you are working very hard. But don't forget to let her have fun and enjoy the world. She's still so very young. You mentioned yourself that she does even better when she's had a bit of time to explore and do her own thing. Young children have a recess at school for a reason... they need to burn some energy off the top so they can go back and sit calmly in a classroom. I think, given how hard the two of you are working at good leash manners, that you will see improvement as she matures. My boy was much like Juno and I felt the same frustration you are feeling now. He's a little over two now and continuing to get better, in fact when he turned two I saw a marked improvement in his on and off leash skills. That doesn't mean you tolerate bad behavior by any means. Like CMP said, bend over backwards to make sure she doesn't fail but keep in mind that includes not asking her to do too much for her age. Just my opinion of course, but it does sound like things have improved tremendously with her on leash walks in the short time you've been posting about it on these forums. Don't forget to celebrate the victories you two are achieving. In the way of actual advice (instead of *just* cheerleading, lol) I found that asking my boy for an "in line" (loose heel) walk sporadically throughout an "explore" (his time to sniff and check out the world) walk helped shore up his leash skills. Instead of being expected to do long stretches of heel walking or allowing long stretches of him being distracted it benefitted us to mix it up. This has helped with surprises as well as general focus throughout a walk. We can be hiking on or off leash, he'll be doing his own thing and then a bike will cross our path. I can easily call him to me either to walk in a heel or lie down off to the side of the path while the bike passes us. We've been working on this for a very long time. From everything you've posted it sounds like you are on the right track... keep at it and you will see continued improvement, I'm sure!!
  23. Oh, I LOVE this!!!! Thanks for the morning smile.
  24. I know it sounds like you've been a frequent visitor to the vet but I wouldn't put off another visit if her eating habits have suddenly changed. That's normally the first sign that something might be amiss. The sudden change in eating habits, lethargy and abnormal bowel movements would have me scheduling an appointment right away. Maybe it's nothing serious (not trying to freak you out of anything) but it certainly seems worth having a vet look into it. Good luck and let us know how it goes!!!
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