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JBgirl85's Achievements


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  1. Thanks for the replies and the encouragement! After reading through others' posts about anxiety, I realize that Bear's issues are pretty low on the totem pole. I am grateful for all of the advice and feel a lot less helpless. I would never force a dog to play. I simply encouraged it because I thought that was their natural state. I equated not playing with some sort of behavioral issue. Also, I thought going to the dog park would desensitize them to loose dogs running up. I love being outdoors and watching the dogs experience new places, so we tend to go to a lot of offleash places that aren't necessarily labeled for dog use but one tends to find the occasional loose dog. For instance, the big park on the nearby lake is mostly horse trails but there are parts that have good swimming areas for the dogs. It's so big that we rarely see another person, but when we do, that person usually also has a dog who almost always runs up to my pack.
  2. Ironically, Bear started out as a black lab and over time his BC traits have begun to show through the wiggles, weaponized tail, and water obsession. After reading your comments, I am beginning to realize that Bear is mentally much more BC than I thought. Besides one on one, how does one go about successfully socializing as best you can a BC? I take them to the pet stores to walk around and see other dogs on lead as well as the local college campus. In fact, at Petsmart a few weeks ago, a dog on leash crept up to Bear while neither his owner nor I was looking. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Bear puppy bow and wag his tail when the dog came within reach. I am wondering if it the overstimulation comes from loose dogs or just many dogs. EDIT: Also, do border collies exhibit overstimulation in a common way? Sometimes the only way I can tell he is stressing out is when he stops responding to commands. ( like look here or sit).
  3. Thanks for the reply! I have been researching the Look at That strategy but am hesitant to emply its use. I see from several reviews where it backfired and caused the dog to actually focus on the distraction more. Not sure if my timing is good enough to use this. Any other suggestions? The dog park anxiety is so frustrating considering how much we tried to socialize him. We went at least once a week, always made it made it a happy time, and made sure he was never attacked during his critical period. Is this a border collie thing or a Bear thing? For a period of 6 months or so we never had a problem. He never played, ran around though checking stuff out, but he also never acted aggressively. I know I am now part of the issue as I tend to tense up when i anticipate potential problems (short leash to and from starting gate at the dog show, loose dog runs up when we are on leash). How can I manage myself? Is there a training method that I need to implement on myself? Lol Thanks again, Julie
  4. We adopted Bear when he was about 9 weeks old. He is a BC/Lab mix. We've never owned either of the breeds before. We have a beagle who is a few years older than Bear who we also raised and trained from puppy hood. Both are hobby agility dogs (meaning we show fewer than 6 times per year and train with a club weekly for fun's sake). Bear was not very good with new situations when he was a puppy, probably due to being taken to the vet so much due to an eye issue. He would throw up in the car due to anxiety every time we went anywhere. We still made him go places though, poor guy, and gave him a lot of positive reinforcement. He loves the car now as he knows it means we are going somewhere fun! When we first started going to the dog park, we took him to the small dog park and he seemed to have a great time romping around. We went 5 or 6 times and he was always relaxed. So we took him to the big dog park which is connected to the small dog park and completely in view. He ran screaming when the dogs came up to him. We didn't think much about it as the same thing happened to our beagle but she quickly got over it. Long story short, Bear was always uptight when we would go to the park. I thought he was just excited. He was submissive to dogs who paid attention to him but he never played. Eventually, however, he would start lick-attacking dogs that came too close to me. We worked on this by me holding on to his collar and saying ah-ah if he lunged and then saying yes (mark word) when he sat down and looked calmer. Eventually he ignored dogs that came near me and we were good...or so I thought. We rescued a 6-month old Great Dane/hound/lab pup, Happy, from the road in July. Bear let him know that Bear was allowed access to the porch when Happy became possessive the second day. They have been great friends since, constantly wrestling and tugging. Bear frequently flops on his back in front of the pup when they are playing. The pup was attacked by a dog a few weeks after we got him. We were desperate and let Bear and the beagle play distraction as the dog, who had slipped out of her collar, refused to get off the pup. Bear has again begun to lunge and snap at dogs who get too close to me when he is in his crazy state which is caused either by agility happening nearby or water being nearby or balls being thrown nearby. This almost always happens when he is on his leash. However, we went to one of our fairly regular dog parks recently. Bear and Happy had a stand off with two other dogs just a few moments after entering the park. I attempted to diffuse this by running off and singsoning, "Let's go, puppies!" Both followed me as well as one of the stand off dogs, whom my dogs promptly ignored. About half an hour later, a small dog decided to get snippy with my pup who responded by barking loudly at it, which set Bear off. He came zooming in from behind and growled and snapped at the little dog. the little dog drakes out and ran back to the bench its master was sitting on. My dogs followed the little dog and I immediately walked in the opposite direction and called them. They came to me and we put some distance between us. They calmed down and when the pup walked near the little dog later, he seemed calm but wary. Bear ignored the dog in favor of playing fetch with a little boy. Yesterday, I purchased new dog food. Bear joined his beagle sister in raw feeding a week ago. He growled at the pup for being near the food bin and then attacked him when he got too close to me on my chair. I grabbed him, gave him a firm no, and then rolled him on his back. Positive reinforcement when he calmed down. I have no idea if this was right but it was all instinct. I have little experience with aggressive dogs. He didn't break skin on the pup, but the rest of the day was pretty miserable with the pup being submissive and Bear doing a lot of posturing. Bear gets a lot of exercise as we have a fenced in back yard and 10 acres behind that. Also, he and the pup wrestle for hours. We do some sort of training about 15 minutes a day with each dog. Lastly, I have been doing some research and noticed there are stages of aggression, the first being growling. Bear has never growled before lunging. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it? Did I break Bear when he was puppy? Is that why he plays like a maniac at home but won't play at the dog park? I know he has gone through a lot of changes recently, but I want to make sure he is successful, even if this is just a phase. Also, I have been researching calming methods, but wanted to get some direct recommendations from experienced BC handlers, particularly those who do agility or dock jumping or have ball obsessed dogs. I apologize for the long post, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. Thank you, Julie
  5. Awesome! I actually do use the word yes and I use his name for the look at me. Right now he looks when not super distracted but not for very long so we are working on length and more distraction, separately. I use the clicker at home but when I am out or practicing agility with my beagle then i use the word yes as I am terrible at multitasking with my hand while trying to position my body or looking out for potential distractions. I just wasn't sure if there was a specific way to get him to associate weird things with sitting and looking at me. With my beagle, the only thing that ever made her suspicious was a pile of rocks on the side of a park trail. I just had her come close to sniff it and then she was fine. This works for Bear too but it isn't feasible to let him sniff everything that makes him suspicious, unfortunately. It seems to be a protective thing when he is in a spot he claims as his own. For instance, we went to a new dog park today (his first road trip to visit family) and as I was clipping on their leashes in the car, he briefly woofed at a couple of dogs walking by but once he was on the ground, no problem. I've never had such an extreme watchdog before, just one who would shy and woof if people tried to get near him, so this is all new to me.
  6. Yes, my pup is quite hilarious and has very few faults. He is so willing. I do look forward to seeing him as an adult. Again, the shock collar was a last resort in the most dire of senses and I take full responsibility for him having the opportunity to go after someone. I really do like the idea of having him sit and look to me when he sees someone strange. Do you have any suggestions on methods for training that? Maybe a youtube video? Lol. Thanks for the great replies!
  7. Good afternoon, I have an neutered 8-month black lab/border collie mix pup. I have never owned either of these breeds before; my other two are a 4 year-old beagle and a 14 year-old husky mix. The behavior issue that I find most pressing, and that I really don't know how to deal with, is the watchdog behavior. The example situation was completely my fault as my attention was not fully on him. Anyhow, I was outside messing with the hose when a neighbor walked by with their dog on a leash. Bear, my pup, immediately started barking and ran out into the street to bark at the neighbor. Luckily my inlaws live in a very laid back neighborhood and the chance of him getting hit was slim, but I want to nip this in the bud. It took me about 30 seconds to call him back during which he was barking with his insanely deep bark but at the same time wiggling super hard like he wanted the person to pet him (he has never seen this neighbor before). He has been socialized quite a bit. When we take him to the dog park or Lowes or equivalent, he is totally chill with new people and dogs. Well, as chill as a wiggling monster can be. I have an e-collar for my beagle, but would like to use it on Bear as a last resort type thing as I think he is smart enough to figure out when it is on him and when it isn't. When I am with him, I can usually get his attention in seconds and he doesn't run after the distraction, instead focusing in me. He was about halfway between me and the street in this situation and took off before I could react. Relevant suggestions would be most appreciated.
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