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Posts posted by Shandula

  1. I don’t know why Border Collies get this reputation for being out of control monsters. Do they need mental stimulation and exercise - yes. But so do all dogs. I know a couple people with GSPs and they seem way more insane than my Border Collies. 


    I am a little curious as to why you chose a BC with children, they are kind of notorious for trying to control their movements and getting over-aroused by running/screaming kids. Any dog really, minus maybe a bulldog, would be active and fun for children. (I mean there is a reason the “picture perfect” family has a Golden Retriever...) 


    But, you’re committed now! As you said, she’ll need exercise, but more importantly she’ll need mental training. They’re such incredibly quick learners. Teach her obedience, teach her tricks. The one thing people neglect to teach their dogs/puppies is how to relax and settle. This is one thing the working Border Collie seems to excel at over the “pet” BC. (What farmer wants an insane dog all the time?) Teach her to relax on a mat or a crate by giving her a bone, or a stuffed Kong or whatever - and don’t let anyone bother her. She’ll learn if she needs a break from the kids she can go there and relax, and be left alone. 

    I’m not a fan of underground fences, for a variety of reasons, but that’s a whole other topic. 

  2. I personally would just keep doing what you're doing. It sounds like he has a lack of self-control and your girl is too patient to do anything. Our new puppy was a holy terror to our Aussie. She would bite his face, make him yelp, but I've NEVER even heard him growl, so she knew she could push his buttons. We would interrupt her, put her in a crate/ex-pen if she wouldn't leave him alone. Now she is much more respectful of him and other dogs in general. 

    Our female BC gave her some very appropriate corrections, so they've never had an issue.... :lol:

  3. My first BC was a nutcase in class. I think she found the pace boring (3 minutes of practicing sits, then listening to the instructors...booooring) She also (in classic female BC mode) had zero interest in socializing with those other puppies in the free-play session. When she was ON she was amazing, totally focused, put the other puppies to shame. When she was bored and/or over-stimulated, she was a nightmare. We started feeding her, pretty much the entire time, tossing a treat for her to catch every 5 seconds when we weren't working, and we changed it up a lot, sits, down, etc. 


    My new puppy also came to me with some reactiveness. So when taking my classes with her, I let the instructors know that I would probably not be following along in class, but I would stay out of the way, and keep quiet. ALL I DID with her was sit in the corner and pay her for looking at dogs and people without losing it. Then eventually paid her for looking away from dogs and back to me. We MAYBE did a couple sits, or a nose touch. Now she is in agility and nosework and lays there completely calmly when the other dogs are losing it. 

    The biggest change happened when I recognized that we didn't need to work on the stuff in class...while we were in class. We practiced at home, and focused on being chill in class. I now have a dog that really enjoys other dogs and people, but isn't obsessed with them, and works like a champion. 

    Hang in there, and adjust your expectations and plan! :) 

  4. I've taught it several ways, for different dogs. My Aussie steps forward into the stand, where as my BC has a beautiful obedience kick-back stand. Not sure why as we don't do obedience, but I digress. 

    1. Nose touch - Can you teach her to touch her nose to your palm? Once they can nose touch, put them in a sit and offer your hand at a distance where they will have to get up to touch it, the moment they get up to touch, click and reward. 

    2. Luring - Using a treat, put it to your dog's nose, and essentially trace it down their chin towards your chest. This causes them to drop their head to follow the treat, and eventually their back legs will kick out. This can be tricky, and every dog has a sweet spot so you might need to play around. 

    3. Capture It - Every dog is standing at some point. When you see it, mark it and reward. This way can take longer than the others, but it is an option! 


    Let me know if you want to see any of these, I'm sure I have videos somewhere...

  5. I can't believe I haven't made one of these yet, but I thought it might be nice to keep track of videos or issues in case anyone has any ideas. I am a new agility handler and Heidi is my first agility dog. She has a TON of obstacle focus, so if we NQ, it tends to be because of Off-courses. 

    We started trialing last November, and are currently competing in Advanced and Masters in AAC. When they are available, we also trial in UKI and I'm hoping to try some USDAA next summer. :) 

    Please enjoy me struggling to keep up with my dog. :D


  6. Crazy ears are one of the most fun parts of BC puppies! 

    My oldest has airplane ears, since the day we brought her home. 

    Logan's ears were straight up at 10 weeks, spent the next two months going up and down, then settled fully pricked. Her mom and dad both have floppy ears, but almost every puppy in the litter got prick ears! 




  7. I love dogs parks. At 6 am. When no one is there. :D

    I don't enjoy dog parks. I've lived in three different cities (and they have been mighty different from each other), and all the parks I've been to have been the same: Too small, way too full of feces, and full of dogs that shouldn't be there, and people that have zero interest in interacting with their dogs. Or even watching them. 

    The whole idea of a dog park is weird to me. Just a pretty boring, fenced-in area filled with dogs where this outing is probably the only exercise they get all week. And then you toss a whole bunch of dogs in together of different ages, play styles, and temperaments and are like "Go make friends!" I just think it is odd. I have known three separate friends with very happy go lucky dogs that got beat up, attacked or pestered to the point where they strongly dislike other dogs now. So even dogs that DO enjoy other dogs can have pretty terrible times at the dog parks. 

    The amount of bad behaviour I see from dogs and people is enough to make me bow out. Plus there is this weird sentiment of "Let the dogs work it out" that I am 100% not on board with. 

    So we used to go early in the morning (or on really crappy days, no one is out if it is pouring!), but now I just find alternative. Once their recall is solid we find big fields and let them run that way. And before it is 100%, we do fenced in school yards or long lines. 

    Again, this is my take on the dog parks I've seen. And this is my account from ~10 dog parks. 

  8. 47 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

    This is the beauty of LAT. The dog is indeed given the choice (and the opportunity) to take a look at whatever's scaring her and then make the choice to look to you for guidance and protection. Trying to insist that the dog not look at the scary thing at all can actually increase anxiety. 


    Yes! Not to mention people tend to get nervous/anxious when they see something they know is going to trigger their dog, and there is just no way your dog (particularly those sensitive Border Collies) doesn't read that. Someone I know has a BC and she doesn't let her look at ANYTHING because she "knows she's going to react". In the 5 minutes I spent hanging out with them at a trial, the dog was pretty happily pointing out dogs (at a decent distance) and staring pointedly at me ("There's a dog lady, give me my Goldfish cracker")


    51 minutes ago, GentleLake said:

    There are one of 2 things going on here. Either the woman's never successfully taught the "watch me" cue in the first place, or she's trying to use it when the dog's over threshold and at a point where it's incapable of responding.

    I'm pretty sure it is both. Plus she almost always has to use a cookie to lure the dog's face up, so I'm going to assume it was never really "taught". She's also a Great Dane who I don't think particularly enjoys the agility class. Plus she's reactive. It's not an ideal combination for sure. 

  9. @Baderpadordercollie If you're a Facebook user, Fenzi almost ALWAYS has "Lurker" groups for their classes. You send a screenshot of your library (so they can see you're actually in the course) and then you get to hang out with all the other Bronze students. People usually post videos and you can work through it together, without instructor feedback. 

    And make sure to join the Fenzi Alumni Group :) 

  10. Forcing my dog to look away from a trigger (with a cue or cookie/toy) is what has been mentioned above: management. More of a "Oh no that dog came out of nowhere, I need to remove myself and my dog now" type of deal. 

    My new puppy was quite nervous of dogs when she came home, so we used a combination of "LAT" and "Engage/Disengage" game to get her to look away without me having to nag her. (Seriously there is a lady in my agility class "watch me, watch me, waaaaaatch me, watch ME!"). In my opinion it helped a lot because looking at the trigger and looking away from the trigger were her choice. If she could turn away within a couple seconds, I knew we were good. If she couldn't I knew we were too close, or we were about to get some barking and lunging. 

    She's now 6 months old and loves meeting other dogs. We went to a pet festival this past weekend and she met dogs (that I felt were appropriate),  watched an agility demo, saw dogs running/swimming on the beach, and we only had one little barking episode. (This Pug was charging at her on leash, walking on an angle and snorting, and she was just like "No"). More importantly, she was able to just BE around things that used to trigger her without losing her mind. 

  11. Heidi is a black tri, and just turned 3 years old on July 4th. 

    We were petting her a while back, and we noticed on her head, there is some random copper/red coming through. I didn't think much of it, just figured that her coat was changing a little bit. 

    Then I did the worst possible thing and Googled it thinking maybe there was a name for it. Instead I came up with all the diseases and sun damage etc. that she could be experiencing and freaked myself out. We aren't out in the sun that much, and being a black dog, she tends to seek out the shade and she's had no new changes to her diet/vet care. 

    Has anyone seen this sudden emergence of copper before? 


  12. 13 hours ago, prozach2 said:

    Is that a special kind of paint? I’d be concerned about getting it all over the dog, my house, or her eating it.

    No, just your standard paint. The behaviours are trained to fluency long before paint enters the picture! Her mouth actually never goes near the paint. 

    I do use a drop cloth around/under the canvas just because when she hears her click she drops the brush, so paint would land on the floor. 

    It is surprisingly not as messy as you'd think. 

  13. Hi everyone!


    Little Lo is now 4 months old (Have I really had her for 6 weeks?!) and I am really pleased with how her training is coming along.

    She is really getting some good coordination, has really turned on to training/shaping and is such good friends with my older dogs that everything seems in harmony. She has an excellent retrieve (which we mainly use for tugging, since I'm not big on fetch), and her "obedience" cues are coming along nicely.


    She is in two puppy classes a week. One is a "Beginner Obedience" and the other is a "Socialization Class". I'm friends with both of the trainers running the classes, so I just sit in the corner and kind of do my own thing. The real reason I am going to the classes is to get her used to ignoring other dogs motion and barking.


    In the obedience class, she is not too bad, since there is no interaction between dogs. She has an issue with one dog, some sort of Cocker Spaniel/Shih Tzu cross. He's over a year old and has some pretty stiff body language when other dogs get close, so I think she reads it and gets defensive, because she is very relaxed with all other dogs in the class.


    She has a much tougher time in the socialization class. When other puppies bark or play, she goes into full "policing mode" - barking and lunging. What I'm currently doing is that as soon as I hear a bark, I click and drop a cookie. This process has resulted in way less barking, and she is sometimes now turning to me expectantly when she hears a bark. I've also been doing a lot of engage/disengage work (look at the dog, click + treat. Then look at the dog, look back to me, click + treat).


    They were working on recalls this past week, and I was treating her like crazy (probably every second or so), and she didn't bark once, and looked around occasionally. She did get quite snippy when someone let their dog run over and pounce on her, but I'm okay with that.


    Are we doing the right things? I'm really just trying to get her to not be quite so sensitive to movement and noise from other dogs.


    Thanks everyone!



  14. I'm fairly new on the agility scene (only training for a little over a year, competing for several months), so take this with more of a salt lick than a grain of salt, but here's what I've noticed.


    My dog does really well. We almost always Q, and usually a first or 2nd place in 20", which is fairly competitive. I think the reason she does so well is that she is my buddy first, agility dog second. Yes, I want to Q, and honestly I want to/like to win. But, not at the expense of turning my dog into a crazy beast. She has a level head, and I don't let her get bananas.


    A lot of the people at my local trials have dogs that fit into one of two categories:


    1) Over-the-top insane. Sometimes they Q, but I mostly just see them frustrated/angry at their over-aroused dog.

    2) Very slow, nervous/not having fun dogs.


    There are very few logical thinking dogs at these things.

  15. Okay, good to know I am pretty much on the right page, and my gut is reasonable. I just feel like doing those things to the dog I have would make a very difficult to live with dog.


    I definitely don't let her eye other dogs, I don't let my older one do it either, because as you said I also think it is very rude and has real potential to start fights. So I don't let her stare at things too long.


    She will sometimes "eye" birds, and sometimes stalks my dogs if they aren't looking and a chewing on a toy. She'll only jump on the Aussie, the BC has made it crystal clear that you don't jump on her. :P


    So my instructor saw her at a trial we were at, and she was stalking some birds in the parking lot. :P

  16. Thought I would give a quick update.


    Logan is just over 13 weeks and is settling in pretty nicely. Housebreaking is going pretty well, minor accidents here and there (my fault) but sleeps beautifully through the night. She gets up earlier than I'd like (between 6-6:30) but once we take her out to pee, we put her in bed with us/the other dogs and she sleeps for another hour.


    Her barking has gone down A LOT. I can now play some chase/tug games with her without her little brain exploding, and she barks way less at the older two. We still have a tough time not barking when it isn't our turn to work, but we'll get there. So far her main enemies are joggers, dogs barking at her, and sadly, kids. So we have some work to do there, but with the nicer weather I'm hoping we can see more of that stuff from a distance and eat our cookies.


    A couple questions based on lots of stuff I'm reading (and I don't know why I do this to myself, my other two turned out fine...) So, Logan is going to be my next agility dog (and also hopefully herding dog!) and I'm reading some stuff out there that makes me wonder if I'm going about things all wrong (almost all from an agility perspective).


    1. Building Drive. Everything I read to do with foundations for puppies is about building their drive, and increasing their intensity for agility/work. I get the sense from Logan that I should not do anything to increase her "drive" to do things. I personally never did any real drive-building with Heidi, and as a result, I think I have a pretty quick agility dog, that keeps her head on. No screaming, barking, or blowing contacts etc. and can hang out at agility trials without losing her marbles. I have big dreams for this puppy, so want to get her foundations right, but my gut is going against what I'm reading.


    2. Separation from Dogs. Every big agility name I read talks about keeping the older dogs and the puppy TOTALLY separate, and allow almost no interaction between them. I think the idea is to build a solid bond between you and your puppy, since they should have no problem bonding to other dogs. Not only does this seem like a lot of extra work for me (ha ha), but I want my dogs to really enjoy hanging out together. Puppy is removed if she is being annoying, but I've never had any issues getting any of my dogs to work instead of play with each other. When one is working, the other two are free to do whatever, but they are always laying close, hoping for their turn. Should I be keeping her more separate from the older two? I take each dog for a walk individually, because I like spending one on one time with them, but maybe they should have less free time together?


    3. Getting rid of their "Border Collie-ness" I read this A LOT. Alarmingly so. Wanting to get rid of the eye, or the stalk. My instructor has already commented that she thinks Lo might have too much "eye". My response was "Well...she's a Border Collie?" What is the deal with that?


    Sorry and thanks in advance for any insights!


    Enjoy a picture of Logan's ears, doing whatever they're doing this week :P



  17. Hi everyone!


    Quick little update (while she is sleeping... :) ) Things have settled nicely here over the past couple of days. She has turned onto the clicker, and she is starting to become more confident and comfortable offering behaviours, so we are having lots of fun shaping things.


    The over-arousal is ebbing, as when she gets fired up, I give her a chance to redirect to a toy, and if that doesn't work and she keeps being nippy (to either me or my poor Aussie) she just gets popped in the pen or her crate for a bit. She hasn't tried to bite me in the face since that first post, and her biting is WAY down, unless she's super tired.


    She is actually an awesome puppy who self-settles really nicely, I think I was just having a slight "Oh my god...puppies" moment.


    Her reactions to people and dogs has MASSIVELY improved. We went walking in a park where I know there are people and dogs, but also lots of space so we can get away as needed. She was happy to watch the dogs, and was very happy to run up to meet the people. She wanted to meet a big black German Shepherd, and although she was a little nervous when he stood up, her body language was good and she seemed happy.


    Thanks for talking me off the ledge. :P

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