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Everything posted by deadlywarbler

  1. Yes!! A few of you had mentioned this, but that "spark" is what I am after. I have not interest in my pup working for me or laboring through exercises. How terrible! I would love for her to crave working with me and respecting me for the time we spend together as a result of how rewarding it is for her. I have no interest in achieving dominance. I see dominating dogs with force as a clear sign of weakness in people. I know I, like any human am prone to this, but I will avoid it at all costs. I think dogs lose respect for humans that act this way. That being said, it is important that she know that I am actually in charge of things. She is starting to show signs of pushing me and being defiant. I see this as normal but an apt time to work on it. I guess in my inexperience I am unsure of exactly how to achieve that role while avoiding dominance behavior. I keep going back to the saying I heard while watching the documentary Buck, "Solvitur en modo, firmitur en rey: Gentle in what you do, firm in how you do it" I've been trying to apply this to my relationship with my pup and she offers constant opportunity! I am current looking up the Control Unleashed Puppy and just bought a new treat that I suspect will be of very high value for her. Onward and sideways!
  2. My 15 week old BC pup has been a real dream come true and in some regards a real challenge. I anticipated the difficulty of puppyhood well in advance, but she manages to find ways to challenge me unexpectedly. Where she excels is in early training, crate training and potty training (thank god for that!) She went through a brief period where she was very sweet and manageable but now has returned to being rather difficult. I will admit I can be a little obsessive about training worry, but for all my efforts (and there are many!) I don't feel like I am getting the results appropriate for her age. I met with a friend who owns her little mate recently and was quite discouraged to find that he was far better trained that mine was. He would wait in doorways, recognized invisible lines and generally was far better behaved. His owner takes a more dominance based approach with him. This conflicted with my goal of using the positive reinforcement approach since she appeared to be getting such better results. I have made some significant headway on things like biting/chewing with the reward method. Lately she has become quite pushy and some evenings is a non-stop terror from about 5pm to 11pm when I have to crate her. Some evenings she's wonderful. A friend told me she thought my pup has started to get a sense that she's in charge (or that she should begin to assume that role because she's not getting that from me). I'm not sure how much I buy that, but I can see where she's coming from. So my question is, what are your opinions on these approaches? I am so interested in establishing a positive relationship with the pup so she enjoys the work and play we do. I would like to have a bit more control over her, but I am not really willing to "dominate" her through harshness. Any help would be most appreciated!
  3. Thanks for all the advice. I brought her out to a nice little beer bar the other day and let her sit on the patio with us. She met all kinds of new people and got to learn about people with weird laughs or loud voices. =) I am curious what people think about taking her out into the woods. I've been thinking about getting her up into the foothills here. Dog traffic will likely be very minimal. Does this sounds safe?
  4. Ahhh, well I guess this is a lot of what I have already heard, but then it's good to hear that folks were getting their pups out more. I am really not sure what the prevalence of parvo is in our area, but there are a fair amount of shady dogs around the downtown area. I guess I'll just have to be mindful of where I am taking her. My drive to get her properly socialized has me running all kinds of strange errands with her in my arms just to get her meeting new people and things. She loves it!
  5. This little pup is getting big so fast. It seems like overnight she went from a little clumsy sausage to a small agile, fast and smart dog! Impressive to see the change so quickly. She's 12 weeks old and has had the first two of her vaccinations. The vet projects another two shots, which means she will be 19 weeks old before I am able to get her out into "the world" This has worked out fine so far, but lately she's developed so much mobility and curiosity. My question is concerning the risks for parvo. I know this is a very vulnerable age for pups and have read all the warnings (know the history of a yard, lives up to 1 year in soil, etc.) This week I have had the strong desire to get her out of the house a lot more in a controlled way. The vet mentioned that concrete or hard surfaces were probably ok, but I am curious what everyone's experience is with the true risks here. I have no plans to take her to the dog park, or busy hiking trails yet, but I would like to walk her in the neighborhood and take her on errands around town to keep up with her socialization (which she is doing so well with!) As it stands I only take her to a few places I know are safe and carry her around outside of the house. I'm worried now that I'm being one of those parents that won't let their kids touch any dirt for fear of "germs". Then again, I don't want her to get sick! Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!
  6. Yes, the digging has begun... She loves to scratch through the dry lawn, which leads to lovely smelly soil and holes pop up pretty quick. She's tough headed too, so pulling her away from it does nothing. Instead I have to distract her with something more interesting and then cover the hole with something for a while. My lawn looks like a yard sale.
  7. That is very encouraging to hear since she doesn't give that "special" treatment to anyone other that me. I will keep watching her and making sure she doesn't get smothered or overly stimulated as she gets into adolescence and hope it fades away. Diversion with a toy works great too, so I'll definitely keep that up! =)
  8. Thanks everyone! I have scoured the yard for hazards or escape holes and feel confident in her freely roaming about. Honestly it's a joy to see her chase her tail and tumble around on the grass without a care. Having a dog that can chill out on its own is one of my goals, but I wanted to see what others thought about it. I'm encouraged by the responses. Thanks! The other day I walked her through the "heel" routine and after a week of struggling to get her to sit next to me she popped right into position literally over night and has been doing it perfectly (well, almost...) since. Very happy about this!
  9. This is a tough stance to take since she is a puppy and biting is basically the only thing she does. She will shift attention from the chew toy to my hand so quickly and so often that I'd be stopping play all the time. Basically, whenever she does bit at me I let out an "ouch!" and then go away or ignore her. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. But I think with time it will sink in. Occasionally I will let her chew on my hand a little and let out the "ouch!" when she bites down too hard. I have no plans of doing this with the face, so I am concerned this might all be a little confusing for her.
  10. She's not unattended, I am out there with her. I just sit and read or catch up on emails while she plays. I am working on developing a sense that there are times when she is supposed to be with me and times when she is not. She seems very content just meandering around at times, so i let her do that (but then she is a puppy afterall) Just curious.
  11. Quick question about free time in the yard. I am lucky enough to have a nice sized yard for my 11 week old BC to play in. Many times I will do 2-3 hours at a time out there, which is also really wonderful. Usually I will start out with a 5-10min training session on the basics using the clicker and then just release her for her own free play. Every 10-15 minutes I'll join in for a tug game or throw the frisbee (which she either does not get or grabs and runs off with). My question stems partially from me being a worrier and a doer, so when I see her romping around in the bushes, chewing on all kinds of stuff and generally showing zero attention span I wonder if all that free time is good for her. Part of me thinks that of course she will need time to develop her sense of independence, but I definitely do not want to squander opportunity to help her develop. Thoughts? Thanks!!
  12. I am a little late getting back to this post, but it was nice to read through all the responses. My pup has improved greatly since I first posted. I continued trying various approaches, but what worked at first was a loud clap that startled her and then either ignoring her, or literally jabbing a new toy in her mouth. Since then I haven't had any of the "battles" that we were having a week or two ago. She still goes for me, but not as persistently. I can even initiate a chase game with her (which is amazing since she is SO FAST) and have it end well and not with her locked onto my pant legs. So, preliminary success, but I'm continuing to work with her. The next big one is biting at faces. When she greats a face at her level (someone lying down or bending down to say hi) she licks two or three times and then bites. Seems completely normal, but I'm having to draw hard lines on that one without damaging the "fun" experience of having me or another person visit her. This is obviously a very important one for me since I will want her to be around kids and adults without biting. Some people have said to allow the pup to chew on your hands (not clothes) and yelp when she bites too hard. Others say do not allow any biting of any kind. I'm inclined to go with the allowing of biting on hands only to teach her mouth control, but I'm afraid that she'll translate that as being able to bite any skin...like a face. What do you guys think about this?
  13. This is such a good point, I wasn't even thinking about that... I even read the books which said "don't repeat your commands!" Ok, I'll work on a more hard and fast approach. I was avoiding the crate as a punishment, but then maybe it doesn't have to be a punishment as much as just a time out. So, you say "no!" once and it doesn't work... Is that when you switch your approach? In an effort to not focus on the negative, she did just come walking up where I was watching TV on the floor and curled up right next to me. She's a pretty sweet dog.
  14. Exactly my situation. I've had the most consistent results with the toy approach. Thanks for the guidance and the reminder to stay patient!!
  15. These are the stories that haunt me because the times that I've made a big fuss about her biting me (yes, I felt like submitting to the academy too) she gave me this look like, "ah, you made a noise, great, back to biting you!" The whole "end of play" thing doesn't work at all. I've yelped, thrown up my hands and gotten up while she's still attached to my pant leg. I've said "no!" released her from my pant leg and then walked away and she comes right back at me. I've gotten into "No" matches where i have to say it almost 20 times before she loses interest. Now, if that's what it takes, then I'm fine with that. I am just worried I was doing something wrong. I will definitely watch out that she's isn't too tired, and if I feel like she is I'll put her in the crate, or on a short leash for a time out. What I'm gather, though, is that a stern "no!" is ok to use, and not detrimental to the relationship. Anything else? She is especially persistent and loves to have things escalate. This morning I swept off the porch and found that the broom makes her crazy with a capitol C. I just want to have things be consistent and positive for the pup. Thanks everyone!!
  16. I doubt this is at all uncommon but I am starting to lose options for my pups biting. Her thing is going after my pant legs. I have heard advice on both ends if the spectrum from harsh correction to lure and reward. I've tried both with limited success mainly because once she gets going she just won't stop. The more I correct or intervene the more escalated she gets. One time she bit my hand fairly hard and I reactively let out a loud "no!" while leaning at her. That got her attention and made her stop, but I don't see yelling as a long term solution. First question is: what methods are getting the most success in training out this behavior? I am not willing to be harsh with the dog but I'm not opposed to being strict. She is great on leash and doing quite well with training. Thanks!!
  17. Thanks again, everyone! She seems to be adjusting to the crate well. She barely wines, which I take as a good sign. Yesterday she had to put up with three 2 hour crate sessions, but had a nice stimulating play session following each. She seems to be genuinely happy about that. Hearing everyone's stories actually helps with MY anxiety about her being crated when I have busy days. Oh, and yes, she is VERY cute except when she is relentlessly trying to get up on the furniture. I have been doing basic obedience training things like trying to get a quick down and stay, sit and stay, walk at my heel, sit at heel and come when called when I can. Being 10-weeks old, can you recommend any other fun tricks she can work on. I like the idea of teaching her the names of toys. I think she'd pick up that pretty quick.
  18. Thanks everyone for the supportive words! It makes a huge difference to get support from those who have gone through raising a BC pup. She's really a great dog, but as expected a brilliant animal can bring out all kinds of insecurities in yourself. I am working to stay consistent and positive with her as she learns her way around her new life! Here's a couple shots of the girl.
  19. What great advice, I'm really glad I posted. What I am doing now is scheduling myself to be able to come home every two hours to let her out (if I have a day where I have to crate her a lot) She seems to be getting the routine and doesn't fuss much. I'm mainly just training her to understand her routine and boundaries right now, not so much on the exercise end. I just give her activities that burn up that puppy energy. Thank you all for the helpful advice. It will require a lot of effort to keep her happy while being around a household rather than our working on a farm, but then it was always going to be a lot of work anyway! I will look into bringing her to the office at school to see if she does well there. There is a lot of anxiety and worry that comes with wanting to take a great breed and make a great dog!
  20. This is my first post on the boards here, but I have been following frequently. I brought home an 8-week border collie a couple weeks back (put deposit on her a few months ago) Since putting a deposit on her, life has begun to get quite busy with work and finding out that I will be attending graduate school and I've begun to doubt my ability to provide the environment I had hoped for this brilliant pup. I recently found myself trying to figure just how much i can crate her during the day to get what I need to get done, but it often feels like all day (with visits to let her out, of course) This is the exact scenario I hoped to avoid for such a great dog that will require so much attention, stimulation and exercise. I am so conflicted over what this might mean for this puppy. Her needs are such a high priority for me. Have other owners come upon this situation? How were you able to remedy it? I have done such extensive research on the breed, which is why I have so much worry. The worst thing I could imagine would be to bring her up in an environment that didn't foster her abilities, which even at 10-weeks she is displaying so brilliantly. I'm literally tearing up inside. I would love to hear people's insight and experience. Thank you!
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