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Posts posted by deadlywarbler

  1. Just to note- the search function will often bring back 'no results found', and if you wait about twenty seconds and try again often the results will come up the next time.


    I'm still getting no search results on that subject. Can anyone share their stories of training border collies in this way? Mine is about 20 months old. She has had a start in livestock and is very well trained and socialized. Thanks!

  2. Dear Aspiring Sheepdoggers,


    Problem's almost certainly stress and you'll make it worse insisting on commands. Ease up. Retreat to where she succeeds. Try some silent work. Let her have a little fun.


    Donald McCaig

    Donald, Thank you for this. I am suddenly remembering the last time she made a small break-through was when I did away with the flag and commands and simply worked off body language. I am going to go back to this. I could feel my own agitation as well as her growing discontent with our sessions Tuesday. I could tell she wasn't having fun. I should have cut it short but I was so adamant about trying to end on a good note.

  3. How did I miss the part about defiance?


    Yes. What they said.


    I'm also especially uncomfortable about the interpretation put on the behavior. I'd be looking for what had the dog so distracted and feeling the need to display displacement behaviors to deal with what may well have been anxiety.


    And I agree that I'd be looking for a trainer who had a better understanding of canine behavior and body language and wasn't so quick to label it defiance.


    Now I have to question whether there might not have been too much pressure being put on the dog.

    The trainer didn't call this defiant behavior. I did, after the fact. She was concerned, however with the pup disregarding commands. For example, I will have my pup in a down about 25 yards or so from the sheep and our exercise is to give a "that'll do" and take her off the sheep. Often she will totally ignore that command and blast straight at the sheep. This happens maybe half the time. The other half of the time she comes off the sheep happily, which I reward her with by setting her up to go back to work.


    My BC is especially sensitive, so we have been working on ways to minimize pressure as much as possible. I'm guilty of glowering over her too much in an effort to time corrections, so I've been working to change my posture and positioning. Anything you could add?

  4. I understand that this behavior is avoidance. The trainer and I recognize this in the dog, but we're trying to avoid habituating her blowing off commands, which she was doing yesterday. I'm sure it was an off day and she could have been tired from the day. I just want to know how to move forward with this mixed behavior. Poop sniffing and then suddenly zipping at the sheep looks very much like fear/uncertainty. If this continues, is this a sign that she's being worked to much? Too much pressure? She gets one training session per week (2-3 10 minute runs) in a small fenced yard.


    Thanks everyone!

  5. Yesterday's work day shed a whole new light on my 1.5 y/o BC. She has been working sheep periodically since she was about 9 months old. She's shown quite a bit of talent, a nice easy demeanor with the sheep and the ability to pick up commands. Things were going quite well.


    Yesterday, however was a mess. She would go from complete disengaged sniffing the ground with her back turned to the sheep to exploding in after the sheep, especially when I would give a "that'll do" command. Often she would do a nice small "fetch" and as soon as I would say "down" she'd lay down, but then turn her attention elsewhere. The whole day seemed to be a about the sheep poop on the ground. She showed some seriously defiant behaviors that the trainer and I could only interpret as her feeling the need to be in charge.


    So, I am curious if others have encountered this with their dogs and how did you interpret that? How did you change your training? I understand she's still a pretty young dog. I work her 1x per week. Thanks!

  6. I think it is important - when raising any dog, but especially with a Border Collie - to just take it for granted that mistakes are going to be made.


    I made a stupid mistake with Bandit. I went outside with him every time to make sure he eliminated. The way our deck is situated, you can't see the dogs in the dog yard if they are right up against the deck, so I just went right out with him every time he went out. I did this in May, June, July, August, September, October. Yeah. Then it started to get cold. And guess what? If I didn't go out with him, he would go out, turn toward the front door, sit really nicely and just wait for me. And he waits, and he waits, and he waits, and he waits . . . I will sit on the sofa inside and watch him from the window and it amazes me how much focus and drive he has to wait at that door.


    Now I have a very determined young Border Collie who has it in his head that if I am not outside with him, he should not go down off the deck himself to ease nature.


    My fault. We are working on changing it, and I've had a little success, but when push comes to shove and I have 5 minutes in the morning before I leave him in the crate while I'm at work, I have to just bite the bullet, and go out with him. I can only wait him out when I have the luxury of time.


    In the grand scheme of things, I laugh at it. So now I get to spend an awful lot of time out in the fresh air. I've learned some things, being out there at 11:00 at night, that I haven't known in all my years of owning dogs. I think Dean is still confused by the fact that I go out there with them so much, but it hasn't entirely been a bad thing.


    I've done a lot right and, for the most part, I love who he is turning out to be. But I knew going in I would mess some things up.


    I think it's pretty much inevitable. Honestly, I'm finding dealing with the ramifications of my own mistakes a little easier to deal with than having to handle things that someone else caused. At least I pretty much know what I did, or didn't do.


    Root beer, I was very very close to having this problem with mine too, but somewhere along the line she just felt like she could do it on her own, so I think I lucked out there. But there's probably five things I don't want her doing for every one time I lucked out. I love her all the same. The nice thing, and the thoughts that keep me sane are than she's perfectly house trained, won't touch a SINGLE thing that isn't hers, she's great with people including babies and is a generally happy dog.


    I need to make a sweater than she can wear that has the words "Don't forget, I could be chewing your house to pieces right now." stitched on it. =)

  7. Exactly the opposite. This ^^^ is a common misconception.


    The other misconception is that because they are so smart, they don't need much training. :rolleyes:


    I totally understand, and luckily I realized that way before I got the pup. Still, it's hard not to be human and imperfect because she's picking up on ALL OF THAT! One sheepdog handler I worked with was noticing that my command for "lets go get some sheep!" and "that'll do" sounded virtually the same even thought I didn't see it that way. We were working on a problem of her diving in from a lie down at the ship when I gave the command "that'll do." How many other mistakes am I making, I have to wonder!


    Lately I'm trying to remind myself that she's a young dog still (thank you to everyone in this thread that reminded me of that) and to keep calm and consistent with training...and to NOT let her mistakes affect me personally. I realized last night that that is a big part of these "low points."

  8. Rievaulx was not my first dog or my first border collie, he was my first puppy and we made mistakes along the way, mostly with house training but the biggest thing that has made our partnership great is that training is just a game, he is now 5 and still we play games together. Sometimes they are just silly games, sometimes he is learning something but to him anything we do together is fun even his boring physio exercises I still try to make fun so that he wants walk slowly through cavaletti.


    I think I've made quite a few mistakes along the way. I think I over used certain command words, and tied a reaction to certain words like "ok". These have been hard things to overcome. I decided around 15 weeks to just play with her and stop doing any structured training. It was my hope that she'd start to associate playing with training and vis versa. This worked to an extent, but she learned the difference really quick.


    I've been thinking a lot the past few days that even thought I've never been abusive or hurt the pup in any way, I've been too emotionally reactive with her. It comes from my inexperience in training and not knowing exactly what to do in certain instances. I'm regretting the way I reacted when she got into a scuffle with my sister's dog. I misread what was happening and reacted loudly. I think that only makes things worse.


    I would like to think that being as intelligent as BCs are that they would be MORE accommodating to dummy trainers than they are. =)

  9. I think you answered your own question about respect in the first paragraph I quoted, it really is just a label. You are developing a relationship with your dog, there are different ways to build that and we all want something a little different. For example I have never thought of my current dog as having or needing respect for me, rather I think of us as a team each bringing something to the table, and we make a dam good team and that is what makes me very proud.


    This is great alligande! I'd love to share the sentiment, but it doesn't feel the same around here. I need to change up my perspective a little, but it's been a constant process to get the pup to work with me.

  10. There's another way of looking at this that doesn't involve "defiance."


    It could be that she was over threshold, has not yet learned sufficient impulse control and doesn't yet have a reliable recall, all of which point to a need for more work on your part -- i.e. working on impulse control and strengthening her response to your cues.


    What I see hear is that you tried to coax her to come to you rather than used a well proofed cue in a situation where she was already highly aroused. There's a difference between this and having a solid, reliable recall, and in particular an emergence recall cue as has been suggested in previous posts.


    I'm not there and can't see what's going on, but is it possible that you have expectations of her obeying you when you haven't really proofed your cues yet? IOW, that you haven't completely taught her that you expect her to respond each and every time? Border collies are incredibly talented in learning things we don't intend to teach them, and one of those things can be that we don't always mean what we say. If you don't follow through with cues 100% of the time and let her get away with things sometimes, or even just let her responses be slow or sloppy sometimes, she may have learned that you really don't expect her to respond every time, even though you think you have that expectation. Does that make sense?


    I'd also caution against placing values on her behaviors. Things like "defiance." You can't really know what's going on in her head. You can't know whether she intended to be defiant or simply wasn't controlling her impulses. But by choosing to interpret her behavior as defiant, you set up an adversarial relationship between the two of you in your mind, and this colors your relationship with her and your feelings about her. If you can look at it instead in more neutral terms of "she's exhibiting this or that behavior, what do I need to do to change those behaviors," I think you'll experience less exasperation with her and probably be happier with the results in the long run.


    Now, if I can just remember to practice what I preach with my own "Pig Fly" dog . . . :P


    Best wishes. It's not always easy.


    ETA: I Hadn't read Alligande's post before replying. It looks like we're saying the same thing about value judgements like "defiance."


    You are right, GentleLake, I have been lax on certain commands. The recall issue is a really hard one. She's already learned that "come" isn't a super important command. I'm beginning to slowly apply a whistle command to times when I know she'll come to me, so that seems to be helping outdoors, but I'm certainly not going to whistle loud inside.


    Anyway, she's outstanding a blowing me off, which ups my frustrations, but I hear what you are saying about labeling or coloring behaviors. I'll work to view them more objectively and figure ways to change them.


    I thought a lot yesterday about the notion of a dog "respecting" an owner and what exactly that means and how you earn that respect. I don't feel like my dog really "respects" me, but then I'm struggling to figure out what that means. Training is a challenging process!


    I agree with the posts that have talked about your dog being over threshold rather than defiant when she ignored your gentle command. You want to work up to her being able to obey even in the face of strong provocation. In the situation with the cat, you also need to figure out how to keep the cat from upping the ante too fast or attacking the dog.


    With Watch Me, you also need to work up to using the command when there are greater temptations or closer triggers. I try to increase the criteria when my dog is at least 85% successful at a level. So if the dog is doing well (85% of the time able to look at me) at 20 feet away from the trigger, then I would move a couple feet closer and then moving closer still when we are 85% successful at that distance. Otherwise it is too easy to either creep along with our progress or else move too fast, overfacing the dog, resulting in failure and possibly even setting our progress back.


    I will use the word Yes as a marker when I dont have a clicker with me or when I find a clicker difficult to juggle, such as on walks with a dog. When training a specific behavior, I have the treats on me and when I am addressing some ongoing situation such as polite behavior (rather than pandemonium) at the front door, I will stash treats strategically so I can reward on the spot. Otherwise, if I dont have treats nearby, I will mark the behavior with a Yes! Then very enthusiastically say, Lets go get a cookie! Such a good job! so the dog has a connection between obeying and the reward. Once the behavior is well trained, I often just praise the dog . But periodically I will still give treats.


    At any rate when I am actively training a dog, which it sounds like you are doing, I want to always be ready to mark and reward. That is why I like to use a verbal marker as well as a clicker. In addition to treats, I also use toys and play as rewards for behavior. And of course, praise. :)


    This is great, I appreciate everyone's perspective. I agree about the defiance vs. over-threshold perspective too. I think the defiance idea came out of my own frustration with the situation. I forgot to see it from her perspective. It takes a lot of work to stay in that head space.


    One problem I see is that the words I always used to verbally praise her "Yes!" or "Good dog!" are now very arousing to her. In instances where she might turn from the cat and come to me, often if I enthusiastically reinforce that with a "Good!" she will excitedly zip back to the behavior, if that makes sense. For example, when I use verbal reinforcement on walks, saying "good girl!" when she falls into a nice walking position simply forces her to zip forward (makes me crazy!). The clicker is still the only thing that doesn't arouse her, but juggling a leash, treats and a clicker is a pain on walks. Anyway, what frustrates me is that verbal commands seem to signal to her to run back to whatever she was doing a lot of the time rather than pay more attention to me. This is frustrating because I spent months simply conditioning the positive verbal commands with treats before applying them to many activities. Bah!


    So, what I need is a way to calmly reinforce her in a way that says "good girl, you are doing what you should, keep it up..."

  12. Now I am going to say this with the sole intention of being helpful. Your dog didn't blow it. You blew it. We all blow it at times. I have blown it with every one of my dogs and definitely more than once. I am not always smart, on top of things, patient, calm, know when to quit, etc. The reason I am making this point is when we realize we are the ones who blew it, we can learn from what went wrong and look for better ways to train. As you noted, what you did was not how you want to interact with your dog and not what you consider effective training.


    The cat situation sounds complicated. Your dog needs to be protected as does the cat. I like Robin's suggestion of feeding the something wonderful when they are calmly next to each other. You may need to work up to that. Just scolding/correcting the unwanted behaviors doesn't sound like it is enough. I strongly recommend using the techniques in Click to Calm. I have also heard good things about Control Unleashed but haven't used it myself. However, the cat can't be allowed to attack your dog. This kind of situation can escalate to dangerous levels, so you and your girlfriend need to come up with a plan.


    The walking. Have you tried a no pull harness? That worked well when Quinn was a youngster. A few years ago I bought him a harness that is supposed to be very comfortable and worried he might start pulling harder (he was ok but never truly a loose leash walker). To my surprise, he walked better with the harness. Just some thoughts.


    Finally on the subject of her bugging you to play in the house, you could teach her a command that means no, I am not playing with you (that could even be the command LOL). For things like that, I use a Three Strikes rule. I will say it twice but if I have to say it a third time, there is a consequence. In this situation, I would take the toy and put it up for 15 minutes or however long it took me to remember to put the toy back in reach, which given how easily distracted I am, might be hours. She should pretty quickly learn it is better to have the toy without your immediate attention than to not have the toy or you to play with. I don't think all balls need to be thrown away. If she doesn't get rewarded and isn't allowed to obsess, that behavior can be fixed.


    Shetlander, thank you! I know you are being helpful and I appreciate the reply. I'm trying to be constantly aware of my shortcomings in her training. In this case she got aroused at the sound of the cat behind the door (tail slowly raised and body position slowly shifted forward). I saw this and assumed a gently tone and said "Hey buddy, come here!" I kneeled down in a position I know gets her to come over to me. She looked at me and turned back and charged the door. That's about as defiant as a dog can be. So I corrected her for that. It worked, but it's not the way I want to work with her. Can you see where I came up short here?


    The click to calm and control unleashed philosophy makes so much sense to me. I've been working on reinforcing her looking at me, especially when I say "watch." I only do this when I'm sure she'll look my way. The one thing that gets to me about clicker training calm behavior is...do you need to carry treats and a clicker around every waking moment? In the above instance, it was first thing in the morning and I was just waking up and getting coffee going. The clicker was up in the cabinet with the other dog stuff. What do you all do in this case?

  13. Finally regarding the cat: I get how this situation is self reinforcing. Unfortunately the cat is sequestered into a certain part of the house as a result. I could start to reintroduce them on leash, but the cat needs to be on a leash too. Brix doesn't have issues with any other cats, unless they startle her outside. I've seen her laying calmly in a house with a cat near by. This cat has attacked her multiple times, so she obviously has her tagged as a threat/interest. The problem with reintroducing them is that the cat is as likely to charge the dog as the other way around. My inclination is that they need to be separate, but this isn't a long term solution since my girlfriend doesn't like having the cat put away in a back portion of the house.

  14. Regarding new activities, I have been feeling that pull as well. We have a general routine, but I feel like we need more. I am a mountain biker, so naturally I love the idea of having her come on rides with me. The only problem there is that I can't entirely predict her behavior with other dogs/bikes/people on trail. Not that I think she'd be bad, but that she just doesn't understand the trail and might knock someone off a bike accidentally. The other one is that we occasionally encounter horses on trail and I can't be sure she won't spook the horses, which would be REALLY BAD.


    I like the idea of new walks, but her leash walking is really bad. I've been working on this with her since she was 10 weeks old using treats, clickers and the "red light, green light" game. Still she is the perfect example of what Leslie McDevitt calls a "yo-yo dog." She will hit the end of the leash at which point I stop, she returns to my side and the minute I start to move she shoots straight forward to the end of the leash. So, after a year of constantly working on this, new walks are not exactly fun relaxing explorations, they are tiring and frustrating. This is something that I am still working on diligently, but I would love to be able to take long walks with her. One thought I had was simply extending the walk distance so she tires out a little bit. In that mindset I can start to reinforce the nice walking. What do you think?

  15. Hi Everyone, sorry for the delay in responding, I was away from my computer. So many things to respond to, but so many good suggestion. You called it, I was having a bad day... I felt very disconnected from my dog and that is new for me because I LOVE her so much. She started the day by introducing a new challenge: charging the cat through a closed door. This was the first time this had ever happened (normally she just looks curiously at the door when she hears her behind there). She did it once and I calmly tried to redirect her. She did it again and I got frustrated, poked her hind side which knocked her over a bit and yelled "No!" I never know if this is too much. I vowed to never hit or abuse this dog (I'm not that kind of person and i don't believe it is effective in training) but she blew it and I was mad. This is when I knew we were both having a bad day. Thoughts?


    Regarding the ball, she gets a lot of ball play, I admit. The game is highly structured, however. In short, no the balls are all put away if we aren't playing. After a ball session, I conclude with "all done!" and she enthusiastically goes to drink water and lay down. I stopped using "last one" because she figured that one out right away. So now the game ends suddenly and she doesn't protest. That being said, if there is any toy inside or outside of the house, she will drop it at anyone's feet and stare at it...literally for a long long time. This is cute in some instances, and annoying in others. I keep inside toys handy so she has something positive to play with and doesn't get the idea that shoes or furniture will do.

  16. I think I'm in a bit of training fatigue. This is the first time I have really not enjoyed my pup since I got her just over a year ago. She has been a handful from the get-go, but has also developed into a sweet dog. She's well manured around the house, no chewing or unwanted behaviors. At 15 months old I would expect the puppy behaviors to be through for the most part, which many of them are. What is frustrating me lately is that many of the challenges that I have been working on relentlessly with her simply are not coming to fruition.


    The big one is her excitability and charging/growling at the cat in the house. I will give her the one point which is the cat is a major jerk, but i can't seem to get her to relax. The other day I found a portion of the porch screen pushed through where the cat usually sits and I know it was her. I've worked SO HARD to get her to stop and she simply will not. Seeing that porch screen was very discouraging.


    So, I wonder how others have dealt with the low points in training a young BC. At the moment I'm really feeling no joy whatsoever around the pup, which is very hard since she is always there and always wants to be involved with me.


    What I want for this new year is to get her weaned off the ball a little bit. She's definitely ball obsessed, which I take full responsibility for. It was the best form of exercise I had available. I need her recall to be better and I need her not charging cats or generally being reactive (outside of the normal BC behavior). What I want most of all is to feel like the hours and hours of work I put in will actually pay off. Thanks everyone!

  17. Thank you all for your posts, it has been great to read. I wanted to pose the second question whether anyone has recommendations for books specifically geared toward training therapy and service dogs. I would love to do some reading!


    Brix comes from a strong working line. Her dad was a strong cattle and sheep dog with all the amazing qualities of a working BC. Her mom dabbled in working sheep, but spent most of her life as a family dog keeping an eye on kids, and her surroundings. Both dogs were good manured.


    Brix has some weaknesses that I will have to address, mainly surrounding her reactivity. She does however LOVE people and if she's in a room, she'll go from person to person putting her head in their lap. She acts particularly calm and sensitive around one of our older relatives (102 years old!) in that she doesn't act to boisterous around her. She simple sits next to her and awaits her slow pet. I think this was the one thing that turned me on to the idea.


    I would love to keep reading more and start pointing our training in this direction. Thanks everyone!

  18. I really wish I understood what to do when I can't post below the quote.


    Anyway, I forgot to address this. This is another perk to border collies' self cleaning coats. I rarely bathe Bodhi. He sheds any dirt or mud when it dries so I give him a good brushing and we're good to go. I might wipe off his feet if he needs it, but that's all. People always ask me how often I bathe him because he always looks and smells so clean. It may be partly because I feed him raw, which keeps his coat healthy, too.


    So I wouldn't worry too much about desensitizing her to bathing. Handling, yes. The handling sort of approximates the kinds of unusual handling that a dog may get from non-dog people, especially kids. I've got some kids in our elementary school reading program who vigorously pet Bodhi against the way his fur grows. And one has a nervous habit of twisting bits of his fur. It's not exactly like checking for mats, but if your dog doesn't like that kind of handling then she probably won't appreciate things like this. Again, I'd approach it with basis desensitization and counter-conditioning. Tansy was extremely reactive to handling when I first got her (went totally cujo on me the first time I tried to brush her. What a trip that was!), but now I can do just about anything to her without issue, except for more than 2 toenails at a time.


    And toddlers are notorious for wanting to touch ears, feet, noses and even eyeballs. :rolleyes:


    Her self cleaning coat is astounding sometimes! I think I just need to be more diligent about having the clicker and treats handy when the brush or scissors come out. Correct?

  19. I've taken a break from it but am getting ready to start working with Tansy again on desensitization and counter conditioning for her dog reactivity. Really, it's just the basic stuff we've talked about here in different threads and the willingness to be consistent and put a lot of time into it.


    This is something I'm really interested in hearing about. My pup has so many self rewarding activities that she reacts to and I want to find a way to get her to listen to me more. When we are out and about, especially when there is something she wants, she will virtually never look up at me. I know this is sign of her either not respecting me, or being confused by me. The Control Unleashed book tells to do the "whiplash" game, but that hasn't really taken yet.


    The other issue, which is the one that gets her into trouble is rushing up at things. She rushes up to things that she's curious about, mainly other animals. She's gotten into trouble with our very grumpy cat because she reacts very aggressively when this happens, which causes Brix to then react. She also got into a fight with my sister's Jack Russell because she won't stop rushing up at her, and if you know JRTs you know they don't tolerate that kind of behavior so it escalates into a fight. No good. How have you addressed this?

  20. Both Celt and Megan were TDI certified. While Megan had an excellent personality for a therapy dog (outgoing, confident, attentive, obedient, loving physical contact, positively child-loving, eager to perform her basic obedience tricks, and enjoying dress-up for holiday and seasonal visits), Celt was not good therapy dog material and only barely passed his certification. He lacked confidence, sociability, interest in children, interest in physical contact, and was absolutely anxious about silver-haired women. But he was obedient, well-socialized and used to going everywhere with me, not nippy at all, and easy for me to read - and I felt he could do anything in my naivete.


    While Megan was a star on our visits (we went almost exclusively to a rehab facility), Celt never ceased to amaze me with how well he did, making connections to residents that I'd never have expected and adapting to new and strange situations with aplomb. And he certified just as he turned a year old.


    The other dogs on the rounds of the monthly visit to the rehab were often "typical" therapy dogs - Goldens, a Greyhound, other "townie"dogs, but my two "farm" dogs were always well-received and well-behaved.


    If I was on something other than my phone, I'd love to tell some stories...


    When you get to a computer, Sue, please do share those stories!!

  21. Thank you all for your responses! This is encouraging. Brix is a very sociable little pup. When we have her at family functions she does "lap rounds" where she goes up to everyone and puts her face in their lap and awaits pets. It's very sweet and I could see that being very useful in a therapy dog. She also displays a much more controlled behavior around my girlfriend's very elderly grandmother. She loves Brix, but she's so old she can't handle a dog jumping up. Brix always seems to greet her much more calmly than others, which is actually what gave me the idea in the first place.


    She does have her 1 year old BC tendencies though. She's very reactive and this is my top goal this year is to slowly work her to the point where she's not needing to be "in the fray" all the time. She can be fast asleep in the back room in her crate and I can shuffle my feet just a little at the other end of the house and she'll come running to investigate. I'm sure she's just looking for the next game of ball, but she does show some reactivity toward other animals (one cat and one dog in particular) but never toward humans. Some timidness, but that is getting better.


    I am reading through the TDI testing and man...I think there is a bit to work on. I think it's all doable, but she does have some cruxes that we work on constantly, mainly walking nice on leash, reliable recall and situational reactivity. You can see some of my previous posts to get a sense for these challenges.


    The other, perhaps minor concern, is that she does not like being bathed. She's find with me handling her paws, but she doesn't like me checking her coat for mats and certainly hates the bath and the towel-off after a run in the rain. I'm still figuring the best way to reprogram that for her, but I'll save that for a different post. I just read that TDs need to be ok with a stranger examining their coat, nails and ears. Bah!


    So much to work on. But I think this is a great pursuit.

  22. I'm curious if anyone has successfully trained their BC to be a therapy dog. I feel like I am constantly searching for purpose in my training with my 14 mo. old BC. I've dabbled in agility, I take her out somewhat regularly for sheepdog class as well as basic obedience. I search for purpose both for her and for me. Seeing her learn about herding is like watching a fish jump in a lake, but I personally don't have much intention or inspiration around livestock. I do, however, have experience in medicine. Has anyone had luck or stories to share about training their BC to be a therapy dog? How early did you start? What was the dogs temperament before you started and how did it change? Were you successful? I ultimately want to find something that allows us to work together and be inspired together. I'm happy throwing the ball for her forever, but I know she and I will want more.



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