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    hockey, motorcycles, Juno

ourwully's Achievements


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  1. When I was working on this I was my own worst enemy. I was always overthinking the situation (does she need to go, is that really a pull, does she need more time to sniff, etc) and as a result my consistency suffered. I discovered that if I used a waist leash with a regular collar and stopped every time she pulled I was way more consistent. We would walk along and the slightest pull on the waist and I stopped. I would then wait for a sit until we started again. This method worked pretty well but it was not perfect. At the same time I was doing a lot of healing off leash in the backyard with a 15 ft line from the dollar store. I discovered amazingly, that she was doing better off leash than on. Once I discovered this I started walking her on the sidewalk and busy areas with the long leash trailing. Juno is now 3 and I still walk her on the sidewalk with a short 6 foot line trailing. I am not so confident that I would go along without some sort of emergency measure (the short line) but it seems clear to me that she walks way better when she is off leash and can walk by my side because she chooses to do so.
  2. One of Juno's superpowers is her selective hearing. When I am on my laptop Juno never asks for attention, but no matter how quietly I close the laptop, and no matter where she is in the house, when the laptop closes she is at my feet ready to go. Now, when she is playing with the cat, or should I say when the cat is playing with her, she can't hear a word I say no matter how close I am or how loud I say something.
  3. Cpt. Jack, your comments are very insightful. Just today, I noticed Juno returning to me with just the slightest of a head nod. As you say they are learning/maturing in different ways every day.
  4. I haven't been contributing for a while now because I haven't had any pressing questions to ask. I also know this is a little bit selfish when there are many others asking for advice. Anyway, the one question that I was always asking in one way or another was When Do Border Collies Mature? Well I finally got my answer. When Juno turned two and was still highly distractable I wondered how it could be that some Border Collies seemed to be perfectly behaved and self controlled at six months while Juno, despite a lot of training and effort, was still struggling. Mostly I wondered what else could I do to get her to the point where she could walk off leash with me without me worrying about her jumping on a stranger, chasing another dog, or just running off and not responding to recalls immediately. Juno has just turned three now and she is that dog. The biggest change seemed to occur when she turned two and a half. Although she has always been a wonderful dog, at two and a half the changes were profound. I am happy to say that she is still full of character and runs in the woods with a sheer sense of joy, but now she is calm enough that I don't have to worry about her reacting to every little thing. Earlier this year Juno and I met a one and a half year old male Border Collie who was literally bouncing off the walls. Compared to this Border Collie, Juno was a superstar when she was that age. When I was speaking to the owner I was surprised to learn that this was their second Border Collie. I was even more surprised to learn that the reason they had got a second Border Collie was that their first one had been easy to live with and calm from the day they got him. With virtually no training, by the time he was six months he could be left alone, could walk off leash and could be trusted in almost all situations. So my answer to the broader question, When Does A Border Collie Mature? has to be It Varies! And this is an important answer because first time owners like myself need to know that some Border Collies seem to be born mature while others take two or three years, maybe even longer.
  5. When Juno was young she searched for rocks in the yard to chew. I removed as many as I could but eventually she just grew out of it.
  6. Well I'm glad to see that I am not alone here. Juno is not a big fan of the hose but I guess she'll have to learn to like it!! cheers Bill
  7. Juno is so well behaved these days that she is off leash quite a bit. Unfortunately this gives her a chance to roll in stuff. Sometimes I see her start to roll so I can call her off but sometimes I do not see her in time and she returns smelling and covered in stuff. Other than keeping her closer to me I am not sure what to do other than take her home and bathe her. I do not get angry with her as she is not aware that she is doing something unwanted. Any thoughts on what I should do when she returns in a smelly state. Thanks Bill
  8. We trained Juno to use a doorbell with a big yellow button to let us know when she wanted to go outside. She learned this really quickly when she was still a young puppy. It has been very useful in preventing her from scratching the door or screen and she can let us know when she wants out when we are in other parts of the house or if we are busy watching TV. This in itself isn't that amazing but a couple of weeks ago Juno and I were getting a lesson at our local training facility. At the end of the session, while I was talking to the trainer I noticed that Juno had wandered over to the door and was pushing something. When I went over to see what it was, it was the cap for a central vacuum. It looked very much like our doorbell and after a half hour of exercises Juno was tired and wanted to go home. Bill
  9. I got Juno at 10 weeks and she was obsessed from day one with my watch. She would bite/chew on my watch and arm at every opportunity. My hands have always been rough so I just played with her to the point where she had removed every hair from the back of my hands. At times when she was biting too hard I would pretend to be injured and say no. She seemed to get this and scaled back a bit but I continued to let her chew/nip away at my watch and arm for a long time as long as it was within the limits of play. Eventually she grew out of it and when I replaced my watch lately I was surprised to see that, despite the continual abuse, the watch was basically unharmed. During this time I also gave her an incredible number of rawhides to chew on. This also helped as she never damaged any household items or furniture during this time (except a sweater my wife had just finished knitting but I blame that on the cat for knocking it on the floor!!) At this time I read a lot about rawhides so I tried to get her ones made in Canada or the USA but now I am lead to believe that even these aren't the greatest for dogs so I stopped them before she was a year old and changed to antlers. Juno loves to chew on her antlers but I suspect these would have been too hard for her when she was a pup. Bill
  10. I really like this thread and I am trying desperately to think of a really intelligent thing Juno has done without me asking. The thing is I am probably missing most of them because I am not the most observant. What really amazes me about Juno, however, is the way she is in general. She is just so much more than a dog. She seems to understand what I say and everyday she does something to impresses me. One time, when Juno was a puppy, she really impressed me when my wife took her for a walk in the woods by herself but fell and sprained her ankle quite badly. When Juno saw that she was in pain and couldn't get up she just went right over to her and lay down beside her until help arrived. Prior to the fall she was off leash and running around with the exuberance of a Border Collie puppy. I don't know how much intelligence this showed but it certainly showed compassion. Bill
  11. After I got Juno, my mother started telling me about the Border Collie they had on a small croft in Scotland. The only problem she ever had with Flossy was stealing eggs. She said that Flossy would sneak in to the hen house and somehow eat the eggs withoug breaking the whole shell. Often they would pick up eggs to find them hollow. Anyway, she swears that Flossie lived to 23!! My mum is quite with it, but I have noted that she exaggerates at times so I took this with a grain of salt. Last year I talked to my mum's sister who still lives near the old croft and I asked her to tell me about Flossy. I never asked her age directly but she mentioned times in her childhood where Flossy was present and how Flossy was still at the farm long after she had left to get married. Putting it all together, it seems that she did live over 20 years. Even though Flossy lived on a farm she wasn't a working dog so maybe the goodlife plus a solid diet of eggs kept her young? Bill
  12. rushdoggie/root beer - I just received "Beyond the Back Yard" by Denise Fenzi. I haven't started the exercises yet but I have read the first two parts. I am going to start the first exercise tonight and work my way through the book over the next month or so. I will give a report on the book later as I see how things are going but I can tell right from the start that it will suit me. It is very clearly written and I like the way it works towards training without treats. thanks Bill
  13. I feel the same way. It is great to have a place to turn when things go sideways. And it is also great to have a place to share success stories. Bill
  14. How many people take the time to do both; a cookie, followed by praise, with equal energy? It is funny how you can fool yourself. When I first read the Fenzi article I said to myself "Of course I am giving equal praise" but this morning I called Juno over on our walk and when she came over I automatically gave her a treat. I hardly gave her a second glance other than to give her the treat. I am not sure why I noticed this today but it was a real eye opener. I really thought that I was giving equal praise but in actual fact I was just handing out treats. Juno is very important to me and I spend a lot of time with her so I assumed that I was giving her my full attention during recalls. I had actually fooled myself into thinking I was doing something I wasn't. Anyway, I am very appreciative of the Fenzi article now that I have caught myself so now I will have to monitor my behaviour more carefully. My guess is that I am not the only one who has fallen into this trap. Bill
  15. I have just ordered the book on Amazon. It had a five star review but recommendations from you two are more than enough. Thanks again. Bill
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