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Casey12

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  1. Some good ideas here! I've been having some issues of my own with fetching. My 6 month old, Rye, is generally a good fetcher...but she has started to develop a bad habit of veering off to the side in the last 10 or 15 feet of her return to chew or play with the ball, frisbee, boomerang. This is how I've been correcting it, maybe it will work for Gibbs: First off, I think that getting them riled up immediately before a fetch is a good thing. It's probably the only time I intentionally get Rye to 100% on the excitement level. I don't do this every single time, but fetching is supposed to be FUN, right? Expect to get a little rowdy behaviour out of this at first, but I think showing excitement will give you something to work with. I believe that doing this is what makes Rye bring the ball to me when I ignore her; she wants to be excited and to chase and she's learning that it takes a return on her part to perpetuate the game. When she picks the ball up and starts the return I re-assure the behavior with a single "thata girl" and refrain from saying "good girl" because the task is not yet completed. If she brings it back to me directly (she always releases it at my feet) I praise the behavior with an enthusiastic "good girl" and a quick chest rub or a treat. I do this while leaving the ball on the ground where she dropped it so as to keep her focused on the praise she is receiving instead of another fetch being the reward. If she veers off to the side, I will break eye contact while turning my back to her and say "bring it here" once. She will usually bring the ball and drop it between my legs when I do this, to which I will say good girl, without the hoopla of a direct return. If she drops it too far, I will say "I can't reach it" and make her pick it up and bring it closer. If she doesn't do this I will turn my back and ignore her. I've quit fetching early with her a few times because she waited too long to bring it back, but we seem to be headed in a positive direction. Keeping things fun is probably the most important aspect for Rye. I will alternate between a ball and a boomerang or frisbee during most sessions and occasionally I will throw a "fly ball" to which she will hold her breath so she can hear immediately when the ball hits the ground. *Sidenote: At one point I would play fetch with 2 toys at once. When she would bring the ball back, I would throw another object to get her to release the ball and have a sort of rapid fire game of fetch. Although this was effective in giving her a workout, I quit doing this because I was rewarding a fetch with another fetch and all this was teaching her to do was to chase and catch. Every dog is different though and this is only what has been working for me.
  2. Wow! I'm really thankful for all of the advice! I feel like it says something for the breed when there is a forum such as this where people will take time out of their day just to give some advice about their experiences. I will take all of to heart and keep reading on the forum here. I'm sure I will have lots of questions as I move forward...and now I know exactly where to turn! I will keep you updated.
  3. Thanks again Jack, I understand what you mean and thanks for putting it in perspective for me. Every animal I've ever had or been around has its own quirks and opinions, I just want to try and mitigate as many problems as I can. Like you say, give the puppy the best opportunity to be who it is. Mr. McCaig, there is definitely a certain aspect of danger when working on the farm, for humans and animals alike. I guess I will have to observe how the dog reacts to things in general and adjust accordingly. Hopefully the dog will like riding in the tractor...it's the safest and most comfortable place to be.
  4. Thanks kingfisher, Cass! Kingfisher, I'm open to adopting an older pup as you suggested, but it would have to be an exceptional situation. I would actually rather not have to go through the "puppy blues", but I'm fairly intent upon raising a pup myself to ensure its long term mental stability.
  5. Thank you Jack for your in depth response! In regards to the cat situation, I don't plan on leaving the dog unsupervised with the cat until I am confident with their relationship...but I understand what you mean and will definitely take that into account. "A lot of them are very sound/motion sensitive." - this concerns me with my commute to work and the potential to ride in a tractor and be at ease, but maybe I can let her out to romp and explore until she becomes comfortable with the sounds of the farm from a distance. It isn't a must that she be able to ride the tractor all day and maybe as mum suggests I should give her some time alone as well. I plan on paying special attention to the socializing factor, so as to limit the 1 owner obsession that I can see developing. My girlfriend has 4 happy, well-behaved dogs to show her how to relax and have fun with other animals. Oh....breeders.....I'm very skeptical! Everyone's sire and dam are frisbee/flyball/herding champions, akc or abca registered with "import" blood lines. That's all fantastic, but all I really want is a full blood, non-inbred, healthy BC from a breeder who loves animals more than money...if that exists? I live in west Texas if it matters, and I'm open to suggestions of breeders that anyone knows to be respectable. (I'm calling the dog a she for ease of writing, not that I already have the dog)
  6. Hi everyone! First I'd like to start off by saying that I have a very unique work/living situation, for the time being. I live in an apartment in a "city" of a pop. around 200,000 with plans to move to the country within the next year. I commute about 30-45 minutes to work on a farm 5-7 days a week where there is unlimited space for a dog to run. I'm 31 years old and I've done quite a bit of research on Border Collies and their "horror stories". I'm quite aware of the responsibilities involved in owning such an active herding dog, but it seems like there is more caution than encouragement. From what I gather, people get BC's and say that they need "MANY HOURS" a day of intense physical activity and that they tear up their homes, cars, and anything they can get their paws on. Most of these stories seem to come from the perspective of the person who leaves them alone for 8 or so hours a day to get into whatever they want in the house. The reasons I'm looking into getting a Border Collie are: 1. I want a companion that I can spend literally almost all of my time with. 2. I work in a place that seems conducive to owning an active dog. 3. I'm an active person (Run, bike, swim) that lives sandwiched between a large park and an even larger playa lake/park. 4. I'm planning to move to the country within the next year. 5. I have friends who live in the country who have dogs, horses, etc. to help socialize my potential companion. Questions I have for you: If I am able to give my dog tons of companionship and love throughout the day, will that be enough to keep them content? Calm at night? (I'm thinking worst case scenario here, like bad weather days when I can't get out to run/bike/frisbee) I'm worried about introducing my potential pup to tractors. If I take precautions to try to limit the dog's fear in the beginning, would a BC eventually like to ride in the tractor with me? If not, do you think they would like to run along behind or beside me in the field? If given the proper attention will a BC still become neurotic and destructive by nature or am I on the right path to finding the complete life companion? I live on the bottom floor of a quiet apartment and have ground access to the front and back of my place, but should I just wait until I make the move to get a dog? Side note: I also have an 11 year old cat, so I'd prefer to get a puppy that will learn to respect her space.
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