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About erin_ohagan

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  • Birthday April 28

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    Tacoma, Washington
  • Interests
    Gardening, camping, hiking, skiing, sports, reading, baking, traveling and just about anything that catches my interest.
  1. I got my girl Dublin at about six months of age from a rescue group. She hadn't been abused, but she certainly had been neglected. She'd spent the first five months of her life in a small kennel with two momma dogs and their 17 puppies. She hadn't been very socialized with people. She has many BC tendencies (she's only half BC) including a powerful need to please her person and a very soft disposition when it comes to correction. Couple those things with an extremely submissive nature and you get a dog that runs and hides at the strangest things. For the whole year+ that I've had her, she has run to hide when I start getting ready for bed. I'm not 100% sure what about the routine stirs this in her, but I've been patiently working with her on this as well as a myriad of other issues that used to make her run and hide. It isn't that I don't want her to do this if she truly is feeling the need to find a secure place to disappear....but I also don't want her running for the corner every time something happens....especially something as innocuous and routine as a night-time ritual. (I might add that there's nothing loud or out of the ordinary that I have been able to identify about getting ready for bed that would have triggered this in her.) Many of the things that once sent her into her corner no longer bother her....or, don't bother her nearly as often as they once did. For example closing the blinds used to send her running for cover and now she sticks around more often than not. So, my breakthrough is this: two nights ago for the first time, Dublin didn't run and hide at bedtime AND actually followed me into the room after I'd turned the lights out and hopped into bed with me! Debate all you want about the pros and cons of a dog sleeping with you in bed or not....that's for another post. I was just so excited that it was evidence of her becoming more and more comfortable with things that used to send her scurrying away. Of course last night it was back to hiding. But, baby steps, baby steps. I shudder to think what would have happened to her had she ended up with someone who treats their dogs with a heavy hand. Anyway, just wanted to share a small victory for my rescue dog!
  2. All of the above (leave it, drop, wait, all done, come, etc.) but my favorite non-essential is "wiggle." When she's been outside and it's raining, before she can come in she has to shake herself off. I already had "shake" on cue to mean put her paw in my hand....so wiggle it was. It rained today for the first time in many weeks and after letting her out to go to the bathroom this morning I gave the "wiggle" cue....and in came a half-dry dog!
  3. It looks to me like there could be some Australian shepherd in there. Just my $.02
  4. A little background on my girl Dublin since it's been a while since I posted a question: She is a BC mix (Not sure what she is mixed with. Mom was BC and dad was roving neighborhood lothario). She was rescued at 5 months from a dog hoarder who had two mama dogs and their 17 puppies in an outdoor kennel. She was in foster for a month and I got her at 6 months old. She will be 18 months old on the 26th of this month. She is SUPER dog friendly....loves other dogs most of the time. The gals at her doggie daycare talk about how she plays all day long with everyone. At dog parks she is awesome. I have fostered other dogs for short periods and she has done great. I have dog-sat for friends at my place and she has done great. There are even dogs in the neighborhood who come over for play dates. However. When a dog she doesn't know walks past our yard she goes bat-$#!+ crazy at the fence line. On both sides of our house there are dogs who live in yards that abut our yard with fences separating them. She HATES them. Sight unseen. She has gotten into "fence fights" with both of them. Additionally, on walks with her, she often gets her hackles up and growly/barky at other dogs through the fence. If we see a dog who's being walked (not behind a fence) she's eager to meet and get to know that dog and is really friendly. So, I don't think this is leash aggression. I am 99.9 percent sure that on walks, she mostly just scared of fence-aggressive dogs because if I pull her up right next to me and don't give her the length of the leash and then put myself between her and the other dog behind the fence, and reward her for calming herself down, she does better. She is also fine with friendly dogs behind the fence (for example there is a big white fluffy dog who does the play bow/tail wagging thing through the fence and we can walk past that house just fine). Some of the fence-aggressive dogs we used to walk past with issues are less of an issue now. But it's like she doesn't realize that the dogs behind the fence can't actually get her. So, my questions are: 1. Am I right about it being fear when we are on walks? Am I doing the right things with her on walks? 2. What is going on with her own particular fence issues at home? Is this a territory thing? It's just so weird because she just loves other dogs so much of the time and has even had other dogs into the yard and she has done great. Thanks for any advice in advance!
  5. Apologies for contributing to the problem.
  6. So, been a lurker on this thread for a couple of days and I have a small comment to add. I am a new BC owner, not new to dogs. They ARE very different from other dogs. So, HJTRAS when you post things about your dog that MIGHT be true of another kind of dog, there are often very different explanations for that behavior for border collies. For example, staring is not Prozac for a border collile and is often a sign of a dog who is NOT calm and relaxed. What works for other dogs, often does NOT work for border collies. This forum is full of a wealth of VERY helpful information from people who have years and years of experience with this breed; if you would only swallow your pride and listen in the beginning, we would not have four pages of replies to a topic like this one. So many of the people who reply lead very busy lives and often posts can come across as terse or taciturn. If you step back and are not so quick to react and realize that people just don't have the time to give long-winded, flowery responses and take what they have to say at face value, everyone wins. I have had a lot of great advice from people about my dog. So from one newbie BC owner to this forum: Thank you!
  7. Oh my! What a cutey! I have a BC mix. She's about a year and a half....my neighbor has a black lab about the same age and I tell you that lab is as wild, hyper, energetic and drivey as they come. My dog looks like a masters degree candidate compared to a preschooler when compared to that dog! My dog lives in a smallish house, with a smallish lot...she gets one long walk a day in the mornings and lots of great mental stimulation in the evenings. What she really craves is just time with me. I often just take her with me where I go and she LOVES that and is great! I'd say, yes, all dogs are different and what you read about BC and their exercise needs is highly variable from dog to dog.
  8. My dog was doing zoomies around the house about 6 days after surgery. So, I caved and we went on short, calm walks throughout the day to help with the pent-up energy. She did develop some swelling, but that was there because of the zoomies. Short of crating her 24/7 except for potty breaks, there was little I could do to stop her. Short, calm, leashed, walks seemed to ease her through days 6-10. My vet said 10 days was long enough. I did VERY closely monitor her incision.
  9. I really like the command "all done." I give two pats on the head (which they generally don't like) say "all done" and that means we're done with whatever. Even if we never actually *start* she knows that all done means there's nothing more she can do to change my mind. Best. Behavior. Ever.
  10. Just a short background: I adopted my gal Dublin at six months from a rescue group that had rescued her from a dog hoarder. She's now 14 months old. The whole time I've had her she has exhibited the typical border collie trait of being very sensitive to correction. She runs and hides in the corner of the kitchen table bench when she even THINKS she's in trouble for something. She will even do this when one of the other animals is "in trouble." The problem is that she has recently been doing this same behavior for things not even remotely related to "being in trouble." (And, let me just add that I never raise my voice or scold her...I'm super gentle and the most I have ever done is say a sweet but firm "No" and redirect her.) For example, for some reason she has started to associate closing the window blind in the living room with something "bad" and will run and hide every night when I close the blind. For the life of me I cannot figure out why she thinks this is a negative thing. The drawer I keep her doggy toothpaste and toothbrush in is the same drawer her leash is in. If I open the drawer, unless I clearly say we are going for a walk...she thinks I am going to brush her teeth (which she HATES) and then slinks away. I guess I could just move the toothbrush. I wipe her paws off after coming inside, but if she's eaten poop (GROSS) and she knows she's not supposed to do that, I will wipe her face too. So, if I'm not careful and get the towel too close to her face when she hasn't eaten poop, she'll run and hide. Sigh. These are just a few examples. I know this is very typical border collie stuff, but I'm at a loss to figure out what will trigger her (sometimes it's really random stuff) and then how to make it not such a bad thing without having to constantly have treats with me to give her so she starts to associate some of the things with "good." Any ideas? As a side note, some of the things that she used to run and hide from, she has started to emerge from her hiding spot a lot sooner than she used to, but mostly because I just don't make a big deal out of it.....I think she realizes that nothing bad is happening, but I'd like to de-sensitize her to some of these things.
  11. I'm actually glad you posted this as my dog has a similar habit. She's only developed it in the last few months, and I'm not sure why. If we go on a longer walk, she can't hold it an eventually goes. But on our normal 2-milers she won't go and then when I let her out one last time before going to work, she always poops...but in the yard and not on the walk. So strange.
  12. So many good posts! I agree with Camden's Mom. I am very new to owning a Border Collie, and as a rescue with a "who-knows-what" sire, it's likely my gal would never be good on stock. She also probably does not come from any working lines. Based on speed, and what I have seen so far, she'd probably do great at agility or obedience. But, I have not once heard a single peep from anyone downplaying what I chose or don't chose to do with my dog. Please don't stop sharing your opinions, those of you who have, or I suspect over time our beloved working Border Collie will all but disappear.
  13. Agreed with the above posts^^....I do a lot of the stuff mentioned above with my gal on nasty weather days when it's just not possible to go out. I also highly recommend mentally stimulating toys. I bought this for Dublin a few months ago and it can occupy her easily for half an hour to 45 minutes. I had gotten her the Buster Cube, but it doesn't roll as easily as this and she lost interest fast. http://www.shopourpets.com/OurPets-IQ-Treat-Ball--5-Ball_p_166.html There are lots of great toys like this out there! The company Petsafe also has some pretty good mentally stimulating toys.
  14. I have had similar issues with my dog, Dublin. We have been working on this for several months now and often she does great, but sometimes still she gets over her threshold. With Dublin, she's so EXCITED that she can't control herself. Unless the dog is barking aggressively along fence lines, she mostly just wants to meet and play with the other dog. If the dog is barking aggressively at her through the fence, then she can get hackles raised etc. I suspect it's mostly fear with her, because she is such a submissive dog. I actually took her to a special one on one session with a behaviorist for this. Essentially what I have to do with her is reward her heavily for self-calming behaviors and then reset/start over when she starts to approach her threshold. You have to REALLY monitor them. As I am walking towards another dog with Dublin, I am watching Dublin. I say "yes, yes yes" (or whatever cue you use to indicate that the dog is doing the right thing) as she is doing self-calming behaviors like relaxing her lips, blinking her eyes, turning and looking away from the other dog, shaking (like they do when wet) and we keep moving toward the other dog as long as she's being calm. The SECOND she starts to get over the threshold I turn around and we walk back the opposite way and reset for about 15 seconds. Sometimes I even block her from being able to see the other dog with my body and wait until she looks up at me. Then, we start over doing the same thing. If possible, I move a little further away from the other dog as we pass. But, at times this can't be helped (there is one dog in a yard next to a very busy street and I cannot move out into the street so we must pass fairly close to his yard). Some days Dublin gets it on the second try (and gets LAVISHED with praise after we pass the house) and there are other days it can take six or seven tries. (she still gets praised when we successfully pass the house). Anyway, this has been several months of work and there is progress, but it is slow. There are several houses we had to walk on the opposite side of the street that we can now successfully pass right by with little to no reaction from her. These are mostly dogs that are friendly at the fence line. The more aggressive the dog toward Dublin, the harder I am having to work with her. Ironically, dogs who are also on-leash she's pretty good about. She still gets excited and we still have to reward her self-calming, but it's nothing like dogs behind fences....especially aggressive fence barkers/lungers. Hope this is helpful.
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