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Everything posted by d112358

  1. Pulling on leash can result in some unintentionally aggressive body language from dogs. If you look at a polite off-leash greeting, dogs approach each other in a wiggly or circular path - coming straight on is a charge. Stiff tail wagging and nervous play can be signs of a dog that's highly stressed - look for loose eyes, ears, and body posture to distinguish lower-arousal situations where you can let him greet. I like to practice U-turns with my leash-reactive dog rather than picking him up. It seems to give him a chance to focus on something else.
  2. Have you read the Mary Ellen Barry article on 2x2s? http://www.kineticdog.com/Files/2%20x%202%20PDF.pdf I found this pretty easy to progress through.
  3. I get the feeling that your criteria may be too high with the fast-paced game if you're resetting multiple times without rewarding. You could also try making the game involve a sit/stay component, with the time he waits to be released directly proportional to how fast he sat.
  4. Their use of averages (adding all the trials and dividing by the #) may not be entirely appropriate if the distribution of times isn't symmetric, unless you selectively throw out outliers. I would use the median or a fixed percentile instead.
  5. We do a foundation agility exercise of 'fast downs', where you have a toy out, are playing with it and getting the dog hyped up. You cue a down, then selectively reinforce with short play (tug is perfect for this game) if it's in the top 30-50% of speed for the behavior. If it's slow, you just say 'too slow', release and start again immediately. It's kind of like GentleLake's suggestion, but it keeps the game fast-paced (which is important when you want a fast behavior). The top 30-50% of reps is a rolling target; he should start getting faster and you can increase your criteria, but you still want to reward fairly often so he doesn't disengage.
  6. For every low drive or over-the-top border collie I see in agility classes, there are at least 5 that are easy to train and two of those are naturals. This is a better ratio than I see in almost any other breed of dog I work with - with the possible exception of miniature poodles, but my sample size is a lot smaller and miniature poodles aren't built for the fastest course times.
  7. If you're not willing to make breed generalizations, what's the point of breeds except for looks? The border collie breed was developed to work stock. Beagles were developed to scent track game. JRTs were developed to kill vermin. The complexity of stockwork and the need to work at a distance semi-independently but in concert with a person predisposes border collies as a breed to be more biddable and focused than a lot of other breeds. Once you have a specific dog in hand you should be working with that dog. However, breed informs where I start and what jump size in difficulty I think is appropriate until I get more specific information.
  8. I think a lot of people are framing 'easy' as compared to other breeds, and I've got to say that I agree with them on that point. Even the hardcore resource guarders and socialization basket-case border collies I've worked with have been more tractable than other breeds with similar issues (usually terriers).
  9. Sekah's Canadian, so the jargon's spread across the continent.
  10. This is similar to an exercise I do to start jumpwork with my dogs, but I keep my focal point firmly on the landing side and prioritize getting a treat out before the head-check to keep the dog's focus forward.
  11. Front-clip harness? Should just redirect him back to you if properly fitted.
  12. If you think about his ideal take-off point (1x bar height away for collection or 3x for extension) and know his stride length you can pace it off more consistently, although scoping exercises with different leadouts are always useful.
  13. The 'not letting dogs play together too much' technique might be a mistaken generalization from preventing littermate syndrome, where you do run the risk of the dogs not bonding well to people. Since the adult dogs in the household are already people-focused, they won't foster the same sort of codependency that you can see in littermates. It's not a bad idea to do some separation training every day while the pup is young, but it doesn't need to be near-total.
  14. In addition to the '3 obstacles then run out and party' approach, do more fun runs that allow toys and/or treats in the ring. UKI allows you to run NFC at normal competitions and use non-audible toys (no food), so if your dog is motivated by a ball or tug, this is a great choice to work through competition stress. Your wife should also check to see if she has any 'tells' that make it clear to the dog that there's not going to be reinforcement. I know at least one dog whose approach to agility depends entirely on if he sees his owner wearing a bait bag. I also know for myself that I don't run the same in class as I do in the ring; I end up providing a lot more frenetic energy that makes my crazy dog just a hair crazier.
  15. If he's not terribly noise-sensitive and he is treat motivated, I would get a clicker. Start with a few sessions charging it so he know that hearing a click means he'll get a treat, then play with free-shaping or capturing behaviors with no cues, only naming the behavior once he's offering it reliably. Free-shaping is clicking/treating for small steps towards a behavior, gradually building it up to the finished behavior. Capturing is waiting for the dog to do something he would do naturally, then clicking for it - 'sit' and 'down' are pretty reliable to capture. Both of these techniques are pretty hands-off, which can be less overwhelming for a shy dog than all the body pressure you give when you're trying to lure or (more so) if you're using compulsion-based methods. However you train, keep in mind that right now 'sit' means 'something scary's going to happen, run away'. I would teach the behavior completely on hand signals before you name it, then do a cue transfer to a neutral word (you may be able to transfer it back to 'sit' again eventually, but I would get it on verbal named something else first).
  16. I think it's useful to go to a trial without a dog and volunteer in the three 'easy' jobs for at least one class each: leash runner (so you get a very strong sense of where people are dropping their leash and picking it up), scribe runner (easy job where you can mostly sit back and observe), and ring crew (so you can watch all the dogs run from the best seat in the house).
  17. Cats don't do houseguests very well - it can easily take weeks or months to settle into a new routine. If you're staying for an extended stretch (> 1 week), I would treat this like introducing a new cat to a nervous resident cat, which is a process that takes a long time and moves very slowly. It starts by keeping them completely separated and doing scent swaps for at least a few days - take Nelson's bedding into the cat's area every so often so she can get used to it. When she's acting normally with closed doors separating them, then I would start feeding on opposite sides of a closed door. Once that's going OK, I would work with Nelson on a leash and a gate closing off 'her' area. You can play 'Look At That' with Nelson (where you mark when he looks at the cat rather than waiting for him to turn his attention away) - if he's staring, he's too close to her and you need to move further away so he can choose to turn back to you. I was a cat owner before I got dogs, and my cats have all been pretty chill and adaptable. However, as a cat owner I do a basic cat-test on the dogs that come in my house: if they fixate on my cat, I put him away in his room for the duration of the visit, because it's not fair to him to be harassed. If I had house-guests with a dog that would bark and/or chase my cat, I would expect them to have the dog on leash whenever my cat was loose, and to put the dog away if it was reacting to my cat.
  18. Makes perfect sense. The shelter I went through will let you put a hold on a dog for a few days (with very few exceptions), but you have to go in and meet with them first.
  19. I'm sorry that happened to you. I've had good luck going through a rescue and going through a shelter, but my shelter experience was more a 'go and see what's there, decide on a dog' experience rather than having one in mind to begin with.
  20. They're showing total percentages - with that and your total N of 1627 surveys, assuming for border collie it looks about 26% injured and 17% uninjured, I can already tell you that's a significant difference. But for completeness sake, here we go: ~423 injured ~277 uninjured So of the border collies alone (700 dogs), 60% are injured (exact CI 57-64%). Normal approximation to the binomial will provide a very similar answer, since N is large and p isn't close to 0 or 1. Let's compare that to Aussies, about 11% injured and 14% uninjured: ~179 injured ~228 uninjured Of the Aussies (407 dogs), 44% are injured (exact CI 39-49%). This is quite clearly different than the border collies (p<0.0001 with chi-squared or fisher's). Now I'm not speaking to limitations of the study, but as long as you have an N with your reported percentages you can make inference pretty easily. If you prefer social scientist-style stats, the margin of error in percentage points for something with a sample size of 1627 and a very large population size (~40 million) is about 2.5%
  21. I really wouldn't classify how you described this as 'textbook definition of a fear bite': Basically there was no warning, no apparent provocation, and she sought him out to bite him. This is why you need to be super careful about reintroducing her to that environment. My vision of a textbook fear bite is a dog that's cornered, is showing a lot of signs of being nervous or uncomfortable, with someone moving forward into their space - stuck in the 'fight' choice of fight or flight. E: I don't mean to be overly harsh. What's done is done, and I understand that you were stuck in a hard situation. My reading of the original bite is why I would recommend she is crated in your office away from everyone with an extra physical layer of the crate keeping her from biting rather than depending on people who enter your office to be smart about it, even with her on a tether.
  22. Yeah, at this point if you absolutely have to have her at work I would keep her in a covered crate and not let anyone approach.
  23. There's a natural advantage to use food rewards for calm or stationary behaviors and play for active behaviors - physiologically food calms and play stimulates. Same thing with verbal praise: 'yes' and 'good girl' usually exit my mouth in an upbeat, exciting tone. I use a very calm 'there' to mark when my dog has settled in place, so I have something that won't cause her to break.
  24. I would take lessons with both, but trial with the older dog only for at least 6 months or a year, bringing the younger one to hang out and get used to the environment. That way you don't have two dogs competing in starters at the same time, and can get used to the flow of the trial.
  25. I probably wouldn't correct for overreacting and guarding unless you need to break up a fight, just calmly remove him to a calmer area and manage the interaction. It's easy to reinforce 'other dogs approaching'=bad if the behavior chain is the other dog getting too close, him snarking then getting told off or corrected.
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