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Everything posted by chene

  1. God I wish we had any border collie groups here! It's the first thing I looked for, it would be the ideal for sure. I think at this point my best bets are just to try to go during times that there aren't many dogs at the park. It's a shame because he always was unusually social for a bc but between the play styles and his confusing super snarly play growl I think you're right that his chances of meshing with other breeds are pretty low.
  2. Aed is 6 and basically he never really learned to play without toys. We only ever hung out with other dogs in open areas where they'd play beside each other or run around (like on a hike) but never actually wrestle. These days living in the city some of the only open areas are dog parks and he just doesn't have any idea how to play with other dogs it seems. He used to as a puppy but has clearly lost the talent and often just gets frustrated and snarly for no reason. So a couple of questions for y'all. 1, do you think there would be any benefit to teaching him how to wrestle with me? Any carry over? I don't have any friends with dogs to practice with unfortunately. He doesn't understand it at all right now and goes running for a toy as soon as I engage, or just starts barking a lot if I hide the toys first. Question 2 is, I guess, just in general if other people have had this experience and if they managed to solve it or never bothered? He seems to want to engage with other dogs but he's so socially awkward in dog parks right now.
  3. Fair enough, that is pretty much what I expected, if not what I hoped. The jackpot is a really good point though, thank you both.
  4. Searched but couldn't find anything. What strategies do you guys use to work on dogs putting their paws up on things? I took Aed to new vet for the first time since we moved and it all of a sudden my generally well trained dog had his paws up on every single counter, wall, and object imaginable. It's one thing to train a dog not to jump on people - don't give them attention, and if necessary knee them off, sure. And if I ask him to get down he will. But I'm having trouble finding a way to teach him to stay down in the first place when he's excited - especially because outside he can jump up on whatever log or rock he wants. It's also hard to create a situation in which I could give him a time out since he doesn't do it at my own house.
  5. I'll take the advice to heart then. Thank you, I really appreciate it. I was expecting to hear "why are you trying to take shortcuts you have to get the fundamentals perfect or nothing else will work". Hearing that you don't have to be perfect and that it's about having fun is the reality check I needed I think. I feel bad sometimes, Aed is one of the speediest, driviest dogs I've ever seen and he probably would have been a great agility dog with an experienced handler, but oh well, he'll never know the difference between competing and just having fun, and all I really want is for him to have an outlet that works him hard and gives us both something to do. Anyways thanks again Lawgirl,
  6. Thank you for the advice and the confidence boost We have been doing lots of training in preparation for sure! I guess I was /am just worried that even following training material trying to diy it (as someone who has never done agility) might accidentally cause problems in his basics.
  7. Aed is five years old now, and, albeit a little late, I want to get him into agility. Ideally I would just do all the courses with him, work my way up, etc, but I'm still a student and spending a thousand dollars getting there isn't really feasible. I also don't have any equipment or room to realistically use anything like Fenzi. I did an introductory agility course with him when he was 2 or 3, and like most introductory courses it was basically just going over obedience and introducing them slowly to each obstacle. My problem is, Aed has no issue with any of the that. His focus is good, his recall is good, he'll happily jump on or off anything I ask him to (totally fearless of the frames and teeters), he understands hand gestures to send him certain directions, he knows how to freeze and target and jump and "go around that thing over there". The thing is, I know nothing really about agility. I tried to teach him weaves at home once using sticks and my main take away was "getting the basics down is way more nuanced and important than I thought". So no matter how good all the things I listed are I'm really worried if I skip steps he'll be set up to fail. Has anyone been in a similar situation before? Any insight you can give me? If I have to I'll just do the tedious 8 week intro course again and I'm sure it'll turn out fun, it just means we probably won't get to do the beginner course this year. Thanks guys.
  8. Gentlelake/amc - thanks for the input, I have heard that before, probably from you. I'm not really worried about the humping since it's infrequent, but the licking reminds me of the weird tongue thing he does with other dogs' pee sometimes - I've heard it described when male dogs smell a dog in heat and they do the tongue flicking thing but he seems to do it way more often than is likely as a reaction to just the pee of females in heat. So the hope is that if it's more sexual in nature (or something is exciting or stressing him to trigger that) then it's more like to be fixed with neutering. It's hard to tell though. I've done my best not to let it become a habit but who knows. highway - I mean, you're not wrong that people can be biased against unneutered dogs, for sure, but he humps much less than the majority of neutered males around there. While I'm hopeful at the prospect of neutering fixing the obsessive licking issue I don't think it really factors in with the majority of his behaviors.
  9. Well obviously I would rather not stop taking him to the dog park, there's nowhere else nearby where he can be off leash. You think neutering would actually fix it?
  10. Although I'm certain there's a thread about this hanging around somewhere I haven't been able to track it down. Aed loves going to the dog park and I really enjoy it too, but he won't stop licking certain other dogs and it's starting to be really stressful to go because I'm always worried about it. He mainly licks their genitals, not specifically boys or girls, neutered or unneutered, I can't find a pattern. He will also lick their ears and mouths from time to time (not sure if it's a normal amount or tied in with the genital licking). The thing is he doesn't do it with most dogs, but maybe every 1/10 or 1/15 he'll find one that he just will not. leave. alone. I'll call him off and he'll leave them be but thirty seconds later it's all he cares about again and we end up having to leave. He also is way more likely to hump the dogs he does it to, which has made me wonder if neutering him may help with this problem but it's hard to tell. The humping doesn't seem to be a dominance thing as compared with the few times I've seen him do it in that way. Lastly, he actually seems super playful when doing the licking and seems to think it's a fun game and will even play with the dog a bit but even that tends to just turn into humping pretty quickly. I know that the obvious solution is just to train it and work on discouraging it but a big busy dog park isn't really the place to do it and I don't have any friends with dogs who he does this with. Anyone have any experiences or insights on this?
  11. I couldn't really decide what thread to put this in, nowhere seemed appropriate, sorry. I realize this is a bit of a long shot but I'm wary of boarding my Aed at a kennel without being really sure of the place. I've worked at enough of them to realize that they're not always what they seem as far as treatment goes, and while Aed is generally well behaved he can definitely be a lot for someone without bc experience. I don't have any friends with dogs but I tend to trust the people here and there seem to be people from all over so maybe I can catch someone from the area's attention. If there's a place/person that you know handles border collies well then that would be fantastic. Not for any specific date, just for future knowledge. I think I'd prefer someone who boards dogs at their house to a big businessy kennel but I'm open to either if they seem worth it. Fingers crossed. Hope everyone's doing well, happy holidays!
  12. I got my pup in second year uni, 2.5 years ago now. I can already tell it was the hard decision. I wouldn't say that I regret it or that I didn't think it through enough, but rather that it's impossible to predict your future and doubly so when you're young. It makes almost every life decision more complicated and limits your avenues a little bit or a lot. Finding dog friendly housing can be a bitch, especially if you're not sure where you might be moving to in the next few years. I ended up switching cities because it was so impossible to find housing in the one I was in. Do you want to travel the world, go on vacations? Road trips? Would your family or a friend be willing to take the dog for a few months if absolutely necessary? What if the dog gets carsick? Is there any possibility you might end up with a significant other who's allergic to dogs? You can't ever decide to spend the night at someone else's place on a whim with a dog. You can't start that yoga class right after work every day. When he's a puppy there's no telling how many important things he might accidentally destroy. You have to have back-up plans, and you have to be willing to make sacrifices - with money, with time, with living conditions, with things you want to do. Your room-mates or significant others have to make a lot of those same sacrifices with you. And, unfortunately, your dog might get the short end of the stick despite your best efforts too. You can't promise him that there won't be periods where you just don't have enough time to give him, or where you're so exhausted or depressed or overwhelmed by other things that it's all you can do to sit in the living room and throw a ball for him, or cuddle up with him at the end of the night. There could be times where he's alone 10 hours a day 5 days a week and there's nothing you can do about it. You can't promise you'll always have the money to buy him good food or new toys or hire someone to come walk him every day. He won't necessarily always get the socialization sessions or agility classes or the herding lessons that he'd love. The problem with being at this point in our lives is either you don't have a lot of concrete plans or you have plans that very likely could change. Everything is up in the air, your life is already a bit of a question mark coming out of uni and mixing that with another big question mark that is a dog is hard. So that's my warning. And it comes from experience. Part of me thinks getting a dog this early was really stupid. There have been months where he's put me through hell and months where I've only given him a fraction of what he needs. But having someone there with you to go through it all with is huge. I never feel alone anymore. After I broke up with my long term boyfriend I barely talked to anyone for 5 months. The only thing that got me through it was my dog. When I was in the middle of OCD, paranoia, anxiety, terrified of being alone at home I felt okay because Aed was there with me and I felt safe with him. He gets me out doing things, he gives me goals and makes me excited and makes me happy. He's a good dog and I love him. I don't know how my life would have been without him these past couple of years. It's impossible to say if it's worth the sacrifices or if it would be for you.
  13. This is a long shot but I figure if anyone can pin down this video for me it's you guys. I saw it a few years ago and it's bugging me that I can't find it again. I have no idea if it was from a proper herding farm, they may all have been barbie collies for all I know, but I'm curious to find it again. It was quite long, maybe 7 or 8 minutes, the cinematography was beautiful. It was all outside, a lot of border collies playing and running and herding and such. I remember it had Que Sera, Sera in the background while puppies played under a tree and it started with Arrival of the Birds (The Cinematic Orchestra) with the A Child Said, What Is The Grass? being read over top of it. Near the end of the video they're making pizza in an outdoor pizza oven. I believe the title was just the name of the farm, maybe started with a P, and I believe it was in Europe, possibly Italy. Anyone seen it or can point me in the right direction? Thanks.
  14. Your vet needs to cover their ass, and they need to reassure you. If they made a diagnosis based off of an emailed picture they would be a terrible vet and there's a chance you would be worried for months to come. What if the picture didn't accurately depict it? And a good doctor of any kind recognizes that if something worries an owner/patient enough to come to them with, then they owe it to the person to follow through on it. I highly doubt that your vet is at all worried - they're simply being a good doctor. Put yourself in her shoes. Wouldn't you have asked the owner to come in, even if you saw nothing worrying on the picture? Anyways, it looks like a skin tag to me too.
  15. ^ Yes to both of those things! Also a big reason why it's nice to have a trainer help out in this is that you need to be able to read her body language really well and notice those subtle things like stiffening or even just suddenly stopping whatever she's doing (in this case stopping chewing/gnawing). Just because she's not growling doesn't mean she's comfortable. In the absence of a trainer simba's rule becomes really crucial to make sure you're not accidentally trying to make positive associations while she's already wanting you to go away. Also wanted to add that the bigger difference in value between what she has and what you're giving, the easier this is going to be. For example, my dog WILL trade his kibble for milk bones, because why not, he likes milk bones. But he'll be way more excited to trade in his kibble for steak or liver, and that's the exchange that will stick in his mind and have him thinking "How do I make her to do that again?!" Not to mention, if he had a bone and I tried to trade it for milk bones I would have absolutely no luck. Either way, resource guarding is a serious problem and I wouldn't hold anything back here*. Give her something she really, really wants, not just something she likes a bit better than what she has. *That said, obviously don't give her something that is the highest value possible if it's something she might guard instead (like a bone or a big piece of meat).
  16. I just wanted to clarify something, in case you decide to just use this board's advice and nothing else: If you show your pup the treat then trade it for the bone, she thinks "when I see a treat it means she's going to take my bone" because that's the first thing that happens. Even if you give the bone back afterwards. That kind of association isn't going to make her look forward to getting treats as much. But, if you take the bone then give the treat, she thinks "When she takes my bone I get a treat!" and it becomes a good association instead of a bad one, because you are using treats that she values more than the bone. That said, DO NOT just go up to her and take the bone. Baby steps, like with the brushing. Start by getting her to make the association "when she's in the room while I have a bone, I get a treat", (throw them to her from the other side of the room) then "when she comes closer to me while I have a bone, I get a treat" (again throwing them to her), then "when she sits beside me while I chew a bone, I get a treat", then finally "when she takes my bone, I get a treat." (and give the bone back afterwards every time you can). With each stage, wait until you actually see her getting excited because she knows she's going to get a treat. If she already is perfectly happy with you coming up to her while she has a bone (no stiffening, no hard eye, just a happy hello) then start there, or whatever she is happy about.
  17. I will start on these suggestions and post back with an update in a few weeks. Thankfully he has no problems running near/avoiding the bike while off-leash so I just need to teach him how to slow down. Thanks everyone.
  18. It's called resource guarding. It's quite common but needs to be nipped in the bud right away. The best way to fix it is basically to use desensitization and counter-conditioning. The book "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson is an incredible resource and walks you through it really well. Here's an excerpt if you want to check it out: https://books.google.ca/books?id=_YnVDe28oX4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false Honestly this is a complicated issue and not the kind that I would tackle just based off of reading advice from these boards. I would either use that book or some other in depth resource, or find a trainer to help you with it. I know it's counter-intuitive but I would not ever correct her growling. Growling is a warning before a more serious action (like a bite), and if she learns that it's bad to give warnings, instead she'll end up just biting without any warning.
  19. Wait, scratch that. I actually looked into it (which I didn't do before answering you the first time, my bad) and if you go to your profile, then click "Edit my profile" (gray button top right) about halfway down the settings there's an "edit my about me page" button.
  20. Not bikejoring, just biking (or rollerblading) with the dog running on leash beside you. I would love to be able to do it with Aed, but as soon as he realizes I'm actually moving quickly he gets excited and wants to go as-fast-as-he-possibly-can, aka basically pulling the whole bike whether I want him to or not. It's like he only has two speeds: walking and sprinting. Has anyone navigated this problem before? Did you approach it the same way as loose leash walking or in a different way?
  21. Around 6 months a dog stops being an adoring, adorable puppy and becomes a teenager: aka a mischievous tornado in a full-sized dog suit. So yes, you're basically right. People realize exactly how much they signed up for when they adopted a highly intelligent dog with no way how to handle them. As far as handling the dogs, I would absolutely not be taking them for 20K runs. Dogs learn to expect what you give them. If you get them used to making the most out of short walks and mental games, that's what they'll do. If you get them used to long runs and a ton of attention, then the second you can't give them that anymore (either because they got adopted, fostered, or you left) they will fall apart and no one wants a dog that needs a 20K run each morning to be calm. I know that it's hard in this situation - physical exercise is an easy fix and there's a fine line between keeping them from going crazy and setting them up to be crazy in the future. But you really need to focus on giving them the kind of activity that wears them out by making them think, teaching them to entertain themselves, and most importantly teaching them that it's a good thing to have down time. The most vital thing you can teach these dogs right now is how to be happy with peace and quiet. When you do any activity with them, separate it into chunks with periods of time crated/penned with a stuffed kong or good chew toy. Praise for quiet behavior. Teach them "last one" (exactly what it sounds like, when you're throwing a toy, doing a trick, etc) and "all done"/"that'll do" or some other word that means "good work, now we're done, we aren't playing anymore, i'm going to go do my own thing" (this is when you put them away). If you are going to work them out vigorously, make it an occasional treat, not the norm. I wouldn't throw balls for them, again you don't want to start creating a ball-obsessed dog any more than they already are because you never know what the new owner is going to want. When you go on walks, hide treats or toys in the grass or behind treats and let them sniff them out. Teach them some adorable tricks to show off to potential adopters (a super easy super endearing one is teaching them to give a kiss - either a lick or a nose touch on a person's cheek). Things like that - mind things. Thank you so much for working with these dogs. Good luck!
  22. Not that common on boards like these...and this would be an absolutely bizzare choice of topic and wording for a troll. It's just not inflammatory enough. A troll wants to see people foaming at the mouth while they sit back and giggle at how they managed to make everyone freak out over nothing. Some of our AKC-related threads are good examples (though they weren't started by trolls).
  23. I get it. I really do. Maybe not on this board (or not in a long time anyways), but in general I've had the experience of asking for help and getting anger or ridicule in return. Of hoping to come back to a thread and see some help and advice and instead just feeling worse and worse with every comment I read. That feeling of dread instead of relief when you see that another person has posted a reply. It sucks. It absolutely sucks. But it can also be a huge wake-up call, whether you asked for one or not. I don't like the idea of making someone feel like shit after they reached out to us for help. But I like the idea of a dog running around on the streets even less. If the OP had shown even the slightest bit of remorse, or acknowledgement of their failure, my response would have been kind. But they didn't. Which leads me to believe that like so many people in so many situations, they really didn't understand the risks and potentially devastating consequences of their actions. Their dog could have run away. It could have been hit by a car. It could have caused the car to swerve into an object, another car, or god forbid, a person. This being near a park, it easily could have been a child. Those kind of risks are not something anyone can afford to take lightly. For every poster on this board, there are a hundred people silently reading. If we upset and scared away the OP here, that's really unfortunate, but if in return we made even one other person realize the importance of taking precautions against this kind of stuff, then it's still a win in my book. In the end, it's not a difficult thing to leash your dog, and it could save you a lot more than some worry and hassle. For the OP, their dog running off turned out in just about the best way possible, but that's really not how it's usually going to turn out. Is it likely that it's going to end up killing a kid? No, of course not. Is it likely that your dog will run off and not come back? Yes, absolutely. And no matter what the outcome, why on earth would you risk it?
  24. Are you using Internet Explorer? Many users have been having issues with various things on that browser.
  25. You're a good parent. The things we experience around your daughter's age really shape the way we see the world for the rest of our lives. I hope with this dog she'll learn that how long an experience lasts isn't what dictates how happy or wonderful it is. That knowing you'll let go of something someday doesn't mean you should enjoy it in the present any less. Most people take decades to learn that lesson - or never do. Make the most of this dog (and it sounds like you are). Let her life be all the more vibrant for its brevity. Good luck, you guys.
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