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  1. Thank you, again, for the very thoughtful and valuable post. All great content. About your first (very valid) point. Although I do not attend the training meetings, I do train my dog, mostly at nights and on the weekends. From me, he's learned quite a few tricks, toilet trained, not to jump on furniture (though he loves that), etc. I have also gone to the training facilities and spent time with Mack and his trainer, though not very much. I have no complaints when he is with his "family". He is great. It is when his environment changes (walks in different places, different dogs or different people) that he is acting out. My guess is that he does so out of fear. Your second point is of more concern and it is a thought that has been troubling me since he started acting out. I mentioned in my original post that he is very happy when he goes to camp precisely because that is a cue I was looking for as a proxy test of how they were treating him. So, if he's happy, he does not associate going to camp with mistreatment. For now, that is my working theory. As a puppy (before camp) he used to drop to the floor in extreme submissiveness (head down, slightly tilted to one side, completely still) when a stranger approached him. I ignored him when he did this and thus reinforced "normal" greeting behavior. But, with the person who picks him up for camp, he is still like this. He wags like crazy until he gets near, then drops completely to the floor in a very submissive way and then walks away with him, again wagging his tail very happily. I don't like this behavior but can't say it is negative consequence of camp. That is the way he's always been. My guess is that he is quite nervous to begin with and overreacts with strangers. With some, who he met as a puppy, he is overly submissive. With others who he meets as a young adult, he is frightened and reacts aggressively. That is my theory for now... As for the veterinarian, I have consulted him as well. Although cagey about vouching for other professionals, he did say he had heard good things about this camp in particular. The vet was also surprised at how aggressive our dog had become from earlier visits and thinks that it is because he associated pain and discomfort at the vet's office when he was being treated for a scratch in his cornea. We'll continue to monitor him over the next few days and weeks and see how it goes. I will keep an eye out for anything that might seem relevant in the context of your comments and post here if relevant. Thank you all, again.
  2. Thanks again for the comments. GentleLake: I do not go along for the trainings (that would imply quitting my job!). How / why would this be negative? Ruth & Gibbs: That is a good point. Thanks. I'll keep that in mind and see how he reacts to time off. Thank you all.
  3. Thank you all for your helpful comments. I've asked for his trainer at camp to also take him out on walks. He also had his first competition this past weekend and was exposed to lots of people and different dogs. And he has started twice a week walks with another person. We'll also be talking to his vet about neutering him in a few months. We'll see how he evolves. Thanks again.
  4. Thank you all for your posts. For now, I can't think of anything that we might be doing "terribly wrong" so as to be the cause of the dog becoming aggressive. He receives a wide variety of positive attention and activities from many knowledgeable and caring handlers, including his family. My feeling is that his aggression is a result of fear. The aggression also started only a couple of months ago. It coincided with a time where he had to go to the vet five times in one month to treat a scratched cornea. He was definitely scared, uncomfortable and aggressive during treatment. He had to have a muzzle on. So, for now at least, I will bet that he is going through a phase and eventually, as he finishes maturing and gaining confidence, his "true" character will show which, I hope, is what he is when he is comfortable and feels safe. I will have a talk with his trainer at camp to get his thoughts. What I am more concerned about is neutering. His vet says we should only remove one testicle and leave the retained testicle where it is. But I have read contradicting information. Also, we have no trouble in keeping him under control (away from mating possibilities, etc.) so that the only consideration about neutering is the best timing for his health. Considering he has one retained testicle, I would want to consult a specialist. Does anyone know of a specialist I could consult online or by email so that I may contrast with the vet's opinion? Thanks
  5. Hi, We have a wonderful 14 month-old male BC. We have not neutered him yet on concerns that doing so too early might cause problems later on. I have read that we should wait at least until he finishes puberty. He also has an undescended testicle. He goes to training (agility) camp five times a week, is toilet trained and so has free access to the house. He wags his tail so hard I think he is going to break himself in two when it is time to go to camp. When in his normal routine, he is happy, fun and great. It is when things change a bit that he goes a bit (or a lot) crazy. When we have guests, he might be ok or he might lunge at someone to attack him. On one occasion, he lunged at a 13 year old boy (we were obviously there to manage him) and the dog peed himself. We have also tried to take him out on walks but he is extremely difficult to manage. At camp or in our back yard he walks perfectly. Right beside the owner. At camp he even does so without a leash. But the moment we step into somewhere that is not his normal routine, he goes crazy. Part of his craziness is to mark territory everywhere he can. He is also quite eager to engage other dogs aggressively. My guess is that he is just going through puberty and will eventually calm down. My plan is to 1) keep pushing forward as best as possible with socialization events, like having guests over, taking him on walks, hiring someone to walk the dog, keep sending him to camp, etc.; 2) to wait until he is fully grown and neuter him (18 months?). So, I would very much appreciate any comment, suggestion, critique, etc. Are we going about this the right way? Is 18 months a good time to neuter him? Thanks,
  6. Hi Everyone: In my yard, there is a meter-high fence that closes the yard from a public space (that leads to the dangerous world). I think that this meter-high fence will not be enough to secure my future adult dog (now he is a puppy). How high can an adult BC potentially jump and, thus, how high should the fence be? Thanks
  7. He saw the vet today and is taking medication. He is also on the exact diet you suggest: rice with chicken breast (in small servings). Hopefully, he'll be better sooner rather than later. Thanks about Penn Hip tip. Thanks again.
  8. Hi: We got the puppy at a breeder. We went to see the puppies with their mother. The mother seemed well taken care of, healthy and happy. The father was not theirs so not available. The breeder had papers and had properly vaccinated the puppies. All puppies seemed healthy and well cared for. The breeder seemed genuinely concerned about the puppies and their well-being. I have no reason to doubt that the breeder was a good one but, of course, this is my one and only purchase. About his hind legs, I will try to get videos and upload them. The vet says he does see something is a bit off but thinks it is hardly noticeable, nothing to worry about and way too early to x-ray him or do other tests. Yes, the puppy has more or less learned to go in one part of the yard. He usually is quite good about it. Except for the past 10 days, he has been a delight. I am hoping this is a phase. He came down with diarrhea so he will be a mess for the next week or so. I hope we get back to normal soon! Then, we'll see about his hind legs as he grows. Thanks again to everyone.
  9. Thank you all so much for your posts full of information and things to try. We have had lots of visitors in the past couple of weeks because of the holidays and some are actually staying with us. Maybe this change in routine and surroundings has been hard on the puppy and he is acting out. If they are that sensitive, this could be a cause. We should return to normal by the weekend and hope that helps him. The frozen washcloths seem like a great idea. I will try that as well. As for the food, I think the details posted might be for a slightly different version. The bag says the food is for puppies from 6 to 41 weeks. Thanks for the tip on xylitol. Had not heard of that risk. We've only given him a bit of peanut butter once to try to get him hooked on the kong. From us he usually just has kibble and dog snacks for training. On his own, he swallows dirt (when he is in the garden) and cement from the wall! About crating, we do use a crate to housebreak him, transport him (to vet), and he sometimes naps there out of his own preference. However, come to think of it, he does spend little time actually locked in the crate. Maybe we should increase that. Thank you all, once again.
  10. Thanks very much for your reply. I should have added that information in my original post, sorry. The puppy gets plenty of attention and interaction. He is almost always with someone. He gets exercise by chasing balls, playing chase, or just running in the yard. He has plenty of toys, including chewing toys. He particularly likes stuffed animals which he growls at and bites. He also chews a lot on rawhide snacks (by the way, is this safe?). I also train him in short sessions. He has learned sit, shake, stay, lay, come here, go to your crate. He has also come a long way in being toilet-trained. As his housebreaking reliability increases, he has increasing freedom in the house and usually stays close to one of us by either interacting, napping close by or just keeping each other company. He does have a crate and we use it to housebreak him and to keep him safe when we can't watch him for short periods of time. For longer periods, we hesitate to leave him there for so long (say over a couple of hours). As always, thanks for your help.
  11. Hi Everyone: It seems to me that our puppy (13 weeks) seems to have weak hind legs. He sort of crosses his legs when he sits, seems to use his front legs first when going from laying to standing, kind of walks by moving hips from side to side (vs. keeping straight and moving legs forward and back), back is a little curved when sitting, is not sturdy when sitting (twists and falls relatively easy), etc. He has not had any injury and does not seem to be in any pain. I am wondering (hoping!) that this is because he is a puppy and wanted to pick your brains for comparing against your experiences. Do all puppies go through this? Is this normal? When should he be completely "well-coordinated"? Will be discussing with vet tomorrow but was hoping to hear from you all as well. Thank you.
  12. Hi Everyone: I was hoping there might be some information out there that can be useful. Our puppy (13 weeks) is obsessed with eating the cement wall. Usually he picks a part that has moisture and eats the paint and the cement. He might be attracted to the fungus that I am guessing must form in humid walls. But he even starts chewing in parts of the wall that are not visibly humid. He has already made himself sick (vomiting and diarrhea). It is impossible to watch him 24 hours a day and we do our best but any time he is left alone, he will find some part of the wall to eat. I am feeding him Cibau for puppies ("super premium" dog food) and I am not rationing it. That is, he eats what fills him every meal and he gets three meals a day. I am therefore pretty sure he does not do this because he is hungry. As a matter of fact, I have seen him go after the wall seconds after finishing his meal and leaving the kibble on his plate. This is absolutely frustrating and we are concerned that he is poisoning himself. Not sure what to do! Thanks
  13. Hello everyone: Not lost, just busy! I have been reading all the posts and thank you very much for all the comments and suggestions. So far, we have been getting along great with our puppy. He's had a handful of accidents (the most recent a few minutes ago) but nothing too worrying. We have peeing down to a science. Every two or three hours, I take him to the backyard, tel him to "go potty" and he goes. Excellent. Hardly ever fails or has accidents. Poo is proving more difficult. He never goes while on a leash. I don't know if he is extraordinarily sensitive and picks up that I don't like his poo, if he is shy or what. The fact is I can wait hours with him, go back every half an hour, or whatever. He will hold it in until he has a few seconds alone. He does get say 20 minutes or so in the backyard (supervised) two or three times a day and this is when he will find a time to go. I have not stopped him to MAKE him go on a leash. He is, after all, going outside. But, it is clear that he is learning to go while not on a leash. For a couple of days I tried to force him to go while on a leash by denying him time without a leash. He ended up going in a small terrace we keep him at times when I can't watch him. I guess I could still go further and make sure he is always in a crate or on a leash but it seems overkill. As I said, he is going outside, after all. So, my question is, should I be this strict? Is it bad if he gets used to going while not on a leash? I know it would be great if he could poo on command and on a leash but I am reluctant to get so strict. Also, he does seem to love to eat dirt (and anything else he can put in his mouth). I can take away leaves, twigs, barks, rocks, etc. But dirt is tough. He is desperate for it. Dives to the ground to get it. I have read on other posts that this is relatively normal. But how much is safe? And, when is a good age to start basic training? Sit, heel, come here, etc. Finally, is bathing ok? How frequent? I know I am getting off topic but I appreciate your feedback. Attached is a pic for all who kindly asked (at 8wks, on the day he arrived) Thanks again.
  14. Thanks for the tips. Can you provide some more information on the vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide procedure, please? I WAS watching the puppy when he peed on the rug and he had relieved himself outside about an hour earlier. Actually, he bolted from where we were to the rug (another room) and started peeing. By the time I "distracted" him, it was too late. Another question, please... If I want to teach him to go outside and I am crating him and taking him out on a leash when he should go, and he is in the yard playing without a leash and stops to pee, should I praise him or not? Although I am reinforcing peeing outside, I am also reinforcing peeing while not on a leash. So far he has never pooed inside but has never pooed while on a leash either. He holds it in until he is leash-free and then poos in the yard. Thanks
  15. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. If could just pick your brain a little further... Our dog has been really good with housebreaking in that he has never had an accident in the crate or in any hard surface (terrace, hardwood floors, etc.). However, he has had three accidents on rugs. I removed one rug (which was on a porch that leads to the garden) and solved that problem but the other is difficult to remove. It is in our dining room. I anxiously recall that our first dog (the one that eventually ended up relegated to the "outside") never learned not to go on the rug. He also had a medical problem that probably made it more difficult for him but nevertheless it was frustrating for all. I really want to make sure our puppy is properly housebroken. - So, is it a good idea to remove the rug and allow him some additional liberty of walking around the house with out a leash or better to stick it out with having him on a leash and crate? - And, I have read that there are certain products that help remove the odor from a rug (enzyme-based?) If these are not available where I live, are there household products I can use? Vinegar or something similar? Thanks for the help.
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