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Cass C

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Everything posted by Cass C

  1. You may also look at Zak George on YouTube as he has a lot of decent videos on Obedience type skills.
  2. If you decide to go forward with the very timid dog I have some tips, but my girl was 12 weeks when I got her and still has lots of fear and timid issues at 3 with constant work. We got past a lot of it after the 2 year mark, but do occasionally run into things that set her off. I'm not sure it ever goes away to the point I would consider her 'confident' outside of the agility ring.
  3. Have you tried a chuck-it flying squirrel or the Skinneeez stuffingless toys? Also the outward hound invincibles snake has been a huge hit that takes a long time for my two dogs to destroy. One is a big fan of gutting stuffed toys. The same can not be said for the other toys in the outward hound line.
  4. My understanding is that since weaving is such a repetitive jerking kind of motion it can damage a young dog's shoulders
  5. I just have to say be careful what you wish for My border collie didn't fetch at first, but quickly caught on watching my golden border mix fetch. Now fetch is an obsession and sometimes she resorts to throwing toys at me if I don't want to play fetch. Although she would still rather fetch a running dog than a ball if the option presents itself.
  6. I mix kibble and wet food together, stuff the kongs, then put them in the freezer. I like the mix because the kibble expands and adds to the difficulty of getting it all out. I count that as part of their daily food intake. If you feed raw maybe some raw meat chunks and some canned pumpkin would also be about the same.
  7. The house I'm selling had a nice lawn, but to be fair it was a really tiny yard so they could never get much speed to tear it up. The key seemed to be good lawn fertilizer and if I noticed a path being run down in the yard I would put up something in the middle of the path like a a few garden stakes to force the dogs in a new path until the old one grew back.
  8. I was taking about a small area with something down, but it seems the majority opinion is towels or hosing off. I do have a door that leads directly to a utility room with a sink right in front of the door. I could get an adapter and put a hose there that would be hot/cold to clean them off. I'm putting a fence up in a way the I can contain them in different parts of the yard while waiting for the grass to come in or any other time I want to restrict access to parts of the yard. Then open it up if I want them to have the whole yard. Mud or no mud we are thrilled for them to have an acre vs the the subdivision yard they had before.
  9. I recently purchased a new house on little over an acre. Which is great and I can wait to let my girls have all that room to run. The problem is there is no grass yet, so until it warms up enough to plant grass and while we wait for it to grow I was wondering if anyone has a suggestion on something cheap that we could put down (maybe straw or wood shavings?) that will keep the dogs from dragging mud into the house whenever they go out to play? At this time of year my new yard is just a muddy mess as the snow melts and freezes.
  10. Lily is a very good people trainer. Her new favorite game is training people to play with any toy while she plays with her own toy. She even shows people how to play if they don't start wiggling it around like they are playing with it. Even my uncle who isn't a dog fan cracks up when she does this. Lyka has the ability to make any dog play with her. When she was about 6 months old there was a very reactive pit bull in one of her obedience classes. We made sure to give that dog its space, but Lyka continued to play bow at it from a distance every time we were going over instructions. The very last class the pit bull play bowed back and the owner was thrilled. We didn't let them play because we didn't want to risk the interaction going south, but still a victory for the owner.
  11. I don't have much sheep herding experience, but I don't see why you can't just take a quick break in a session if your dog is just failing over and over. Let them do something right a few times then back to learning.
  12. One thing that worked well for my girl Lyka was shaping behaviors intead of luring. If you aren't familiar with that method there are lots of YouTube videos on it. If you don't already have a clicker or a marker word you will need one. The way I heard shaping explained that made the most sense to me is imagine it like taking a picture of every little step of a new trick/behavior not just the finished product. For example if I wanted my dog to stand on a chair, first the dog needs to look at the chair, then move towards the chair, then put a paw on the chair, then another paw on the chair until they have all 4 paws on the chair. They don't just appear on the chair. At first click or use your marker word whenever the dog even slightly turns towards the chair then feed a high value treat in the direction of the chair. Do this no more than 10 times then stop training. In a minute or two you can come back and start again (Don't try and shape something for more than 5 minutes total a day at first, after 5 minutes you are done with structured training for the rest of the day.) After the first 10 times up the criteria by waiting until the dog adds something to just barely turning their head such as turning their head more or holding their head in the direction of the chair for a second longer. The entire time you aren't asking the dog to do anything. You are just hanging out quietly with treats and a clicker if you're using one. You can just stare in the direction you want your dog to move or stare at the body part you want them to move. Maybe day one you only get the dog to look at the chair. The important thing is the dog is successful at something even if you don't go straight to the finished product in a day or two. The more shaping you do the more the dog will catch onto the game and offer more behaviors faster. Something else to think about is if you are using a method other than shaping try not to let your dog be wrong more than twice in a row or they will quickly lose motivation. If your dog was wrong twice in a row, such as laying down when you ask for something else, you should have them do something easy to let them be right like a sit or nose touch to your hand then reward before trying the original thing again. Also as said above never correct your dog for being wrong in training. Just ignore unwanted behaviors. I also recommend the book "When Pigs Fly", by Jane Killion I believe. It has lots of great things about motivating a dog to work with you.
  13. Thanks for the warning D'Elle! I don't see Lyka having a problem as she thinks all dogs were put on Earth to play with her. Lily on the other hand I could definitely see doing that.
  14. I got my pup Lyka from the shelter and we battled diarrhea and gas for the first 3 months we had her. After spending tons of money at the vet testing for everything under the sun we discovered it was a grain/chicken allergy. We switched her to a Limited Ingredient food and her problems were solved, but do come back if she gets into chicken or grains of any kind. I would keep away from Purina its worse than blue for recalls and ingredients. I've used the grain free Merrick (but stopped when it was bought by purina), Canadie, Kirkland, and Natural Balance foods. However I've since switched to partial raw the other half is honest kitchen/ kibble soup. Kirkland Nature's Domain (Costco Brand) is the most cost effective grain free I've used if you have a Costco around. It's middle of the road as far as ingredients.
  15. I agree. I try to avoid commands that are too similar, because I feel like intentionally trying to confuse the dog is setting them up to fail for no good reason. One example is for freestyle I was trying to teach a behind position and I was going to use 'rear', but I quickly learned 'rear' sounded a lot like 'here' which means come towards me in agility. So my dog would just stare at me because she couldn't get any closer to me. Instead of fussing over it I just changed my word to something else. I can see proofing a release word with things you might say accidentally, but how often do you say okra?
  16. Hey everyone, I find out for sure on the 23rd if there will be puppies from the litter I've been waiting for, but the breeder said from her experience it looks promising. I'm getting really anxious to find out, but am already in prep mode. Even if this litter doesn't work out I've got a couple backup litters picked out due after my first choice. The question is what prep can I do before the puppy arrives to get my house and other dogs ready or at least as ready as can be? I've started gathering some puppy items that were on sale for the holidays. I've also been dog sitting friends and family dogs at my house to at least get my dogs accustomed to having other dogs in the house, which I know only goes so far. Lyka seems to think the more dogs the better and Lily seems to just ignore the new dogs unless she decides it's time to play. However she will correct them if they continually harass her after she walks away from them; which I'm a little concerned about with a puppy. It never looks aggressive to me she just knocks them over and growls before walking off. I've never seen an escalation from there, because the other dog usually stops. She never does this to Lyka, but I'm not sure if it's because Lyka was there first or if she just doesn't care because Lyka is part of the 'pack'. Is this a big concern or do you think it's ok for an adult dog to correct a puppy once in a while? They won't be loose together without constant supervision until I know they can be trusted. The puppy will be about 8 weeks old so I plan on keeping it in an xpen or leashed to me when I'm not supervising it at first. Any and all advice is welcome. It's been a long time since I've had an 8 week old puppy. Lyka (4) was 10 weeks and Lily (3) was 12 weeks.
  17. It may also be a case of AKC ruining the retriever breeds to the point people who haven't been in the hunting world using a working dog don't know the difference. An ACK lab is nothing like its working relatives. I've met and seen both.
  18. I've seen border collies in all dog sports, and they are usually the breed of choice. They are even gaining popularity as dock diving dogs, which used to be a lab sport. I feel like a border collie (usually) excels wherever the owner wants to excel whether that is dog sports, herding, s&r, or another 'team' activity.
  19. This! I use bells and for a while they thought it was a magic bell that made the human open the door for them, but now I can tell if they need to go or are just trying to train me to open the door. I use 'knock it off' if I know they don't actually need to potty.
  20. I highly recommend natures miracle for cleaning potty messes. You can even get it on amazon and at most stores that sell pet supplies.
  21. I don't get much into confirmation, so I wasn't aware of the official rules just what I have been told. That being said for all I know they were talking about what judges are looking for and not the actual AKC standards, like I said they show Belgians
  22. There are several dog shows, but the biggest one is on Thanksgiving I believe. Also I know people who show Belgians, and they have mentioned that non-traditional markings on border collies get a fault of some kind. Also of all of the confirmation people I've talked to they all say smooth coat border collies are not recognized in confirmation by AKC.
  23. I actually had to use a clicker and toy for contacts, because Lily has little to no interest in food where agility is involved.
  24. Lily never needs a toy reward, but she certainly won't refuse it if I decide to use one for whatever reason. When first training a dog to do something my trainer says to reinforce in whatever way your dog finds most valuable (whether it's human reinforcement, environmental, treats, or toys), then usually encourages sporadic reinforcement after you know the dog has the behavior or skill down.
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