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Everything posted by BlazeLove123

  1. Thank you so much for your reply, it was really helpful and a huge relief. I will definitely be looking for places I can be alone with Blaze to play and make sure she feels comfortable and focused when we're playing alone. Again, thank you very much!
  2. Hello everyone, My border collie, Blaze, is turning 3 years old in September. Lately I've been noticing some behaviour changes in her. When we play frisbee, for example, if the frisbee falls and another dog is closer then she's fine, but the moment she's trying to get the frisbee and another dog comes too, she snaps and they seem to start a fight. They never hurt each other seriously, but I don't know whether this can escalate or if it's just Blaze saying to the other dog to "back off". It has also happened when another dog has lunged towards her (to say hello, but really fast) and when another dog was trying to hump her (out of dominance) when she was trying to play with a ball, which I understand is just a way for her to communicate to them to back off. She has also started acting up with overly annoying puppies that don't leave her alone (she's patient for a while, but then snaps). However, if a group of dogs is playing with a ball, she has no issues, it's just with the frisbee (maybe she associates the ball as a group thing and the frisbee as a me and her thing, I don't know). I just don't know whether this is normal or whether I should get concerned or train it out of her somehow. Basically, I'm asking how, or whether I should, handle this. Thanks in advance!
  3. Oh, I forgot to mention, have any of you had any success with massaging your dogs? I have heard it's a great way to calm them down. I have tried some Ttouch with her, but she won't have any of it. She thinks it's a game and starts panting and opening her mouth, turning on her belly and giving small, playful yelps, which is kind of not the point. Do any of you massage your dogs? And have you seen any changes in behaviour?
  4. Thank you for all your responses! The tricky thing with the elevator is that there's no warning sign before it's actually used. I have tried trying to get her to focus on me and treat her for that (focusing on me stops the barking), but sometimes she is so transfixed it's like she sees right through me and I don't even exist. I will definitely be trying the "that'll do" trick, and let you know if it works. I have the control unleashed book and am re-reading it for the third time. It's amazing, but having a dog as distractable as mine is sometimes a struggle. Lately she has become much more "hyper" (getting her zoomies when she plays with her toys) and am trying to find ways to help her calm down and relax (suggestions would be greatly appreciated). I am doing more mat work, and I'm also trying to teach her to "take a breath", but it's harder than it seems when you read it. I think her sudden barking is a part of being over her threshold all the time. It is also true that after her spay surgery we have stopped running (it's been a week now) and her physical exercise has been restricted. Hopefully now when I can start running with her again, some of that excess energy can be burnt off. Thanks again for all your help!
  5. Hi again. It's been a while since I posted anything. Blaze is doing great, she's already almost 11 months and a perfect little puppy. Except for one thing. After her first heat cycle she became much more affectionate, which is great, but she also became more reactive to sounds. The elevator opening outside our appartment door, for example. After she had her spay surgery, she even began to bark at herself in the mirror. I've been trying to train her to get used to her reflection, praising her every time she doesn't bark, but I'm not sure it's working. The elevator bark is really bad, and I don't really know how to train it away, because she's not scared of the elevator, and when she can see the elevator, then she doesn't bark. It's only when we are inside and the elevator is working outside, with our front door closed. I have tried having my parents use the elevator and praise her when she doesn't bark, but she seems to know it's not the "real thing". So, I was wondering if any of you had any advice as to how to help us both. I really love my puppy, but my parents are starting to get very annoyed. I just want to help her. Thanks in advance!
  6. I did as suggested, praising when she was doing good but not letting her self reward, and although she still doesn't like it, she settles down enough for me to place the drops on. Thank you all for your help!! There is another issue I would like to ask about, lately I've noticed that she is starting to smell like blood, that metallic-like smell. I'll be taking her to the vet tomorrow, but have any of you ever experiences something like this before? Thanks again!
  7. I will check them out as soon as I can! Thank you very much for your recommendations
  8. Obedience training, mostly. And I understand that not all of them are free, I have nothing against that, I just wondered whether you may know of any which are, since I can't ask my parents to pay a dog training course for me. I watch kikopup's videos on Youtube and love them Thanks again
  9. My puppy recently turned 6 months, GentleLake and you're right ramp, dogs have different ways of displaying their love. Blaze tends to like being scratched in the morning and when I come home from school as a greeting. Other than that, she's not a great fan of being petted. But she is always happy to play and train, and always loves to settle and play with her toys by me. Our relationship is still growing though, step by step.
  10. Since there are no positive reinforcement trainers living in my area, I wanted to ask whether any of you knew any free online dog training courses that you would recommend
  11. I do make it an issue to play A LOT with her, and I think that's part of the reason we are bonding so quickly. However, put a nearby dog in the equation and I've lost her . That's something we are working on, although still a daily source of frustration
  12. I think it's partly my fault because I keep getting the drop caught on her eyelash as she pushes back. I am using a lot of reinforcement, but she still yawns, looks away... which I know are calming signals telling me to back off. I never force her and let her get away when she wants to, but it can become quite trying. Thanks for the advice, I'll certainly try that next time!
  13. I give her icecubes all the time! Yesterday morning I wake up to her left eye all red and swollen. Turns out she had conjuctivitis I've been feeling lately that we have come to the point that she is becoming very bonded to me, but the eyedrop thing is breaking it. She hates it and I get frustrated. I raised my voice at her today, and you should have seen her face. I feel so guilty and don't want her to ruin what we have been building so solidly
  14. She seems to respond well to my voice marker, so I might just stick to that, since, knowing myself, I'm not sure whether my clicker coordination would be something to be proud of . I love your story rushdoggie, I have always thought that border collies seem sometimes more human than dog, although that might just be me anthropomorphizing them . Riverpaws, your story about that "unspoken" communication with your dog is exactly what made me wonder whether I should take up herding. I have watched many sheep trials and border collies working in farms and have always admired the understanding and trust between the owner and the dog. But I don't own sheep, I live closer to the city than the country (a town by the capital) so I also have to be practical . I love how smart these dogs are, but I have to admit I'm quite impatient when it comes to letting her figure things out by herself. That is something I have to work on What should I be expecting from a five and a half month old pup? (In terms of attention span and behaviour?) For now I am very proud of how she is coming along and responding to me, I realise she's just at the threshold of adolescence, and have heard they can be testing. Any suggestions or stories of your own dogs ?
  15. The paw licking started a while back, but I wasn't too concerned about it because it wasn't frequent. I have been switching foods, so I guess it might be that (but the vet claims she has no allergies). The nail biting however... it started when she got them clipped by the vet. Could it be that they were clipped wrong and she's uncomfortable? The vet claims that she's in perfect health. I live in a warmer climate with grass, yes. I tried cleaning her paws yesterday especially carefully around the nails, but she still continued biting. When she has a kong she doesn't chew on her nails, and I 'm trying to praise her as often as I can when she turns to her toy for chewing rather than herself (in case it's her teething bugging her and she has discovered that her hard nails are the perfect soothing tool for her aching gums).
  16. Hi! I know I'm starting a lot of posts, but Blaze has started doing something that is concerning me. When she is in her crate, she starts biting and chewing at her paws and nails. I'm worried she is going to end up hurting herself. I play fetch with her twice a day for about ten minutes (by that time she is panting quite a bit and I don't want to push her since she's just five months) and do a lot of trick training with her. It is true that she spends a fair time in her crate, but it's only when I want her to rest after being out running and playing fetch so she can recuperate (and trying to set in that "off switch" from an early age) or when I know it is time for her to sleep. I also give her frozen carrots, Kongs with some pumpkin/ sweet potato or some fruit or other in there so she can chew, she has a toy bone that she sometimes chews on and very seldomly I give her pig ears (which I am not planning to buy for her again, they make me a bit uneasy.) So I shouldn't think it's out of boredom. I went to the vet last week and she sad Blaze was perfectly healthy. Have you had any similar experiences? I just don't want her to hurt herself Thanks again for all your help
  17. Thank you all so much for your responses. I spend a lot of time with Blaze, taking her to new places, playing A LOT of fetch with her, combined with tugging, teaching her to go off leash and always checking on me, basically always reinforcng her being with me. She spends some time outside in my room and an planning to "shape" her to get to a new bed I got for her so she can hang out with me outs I do feel that we have a bond that grows every day, I just thought we would both enjoy a sport together I think agility would be more convenient, since it's more readly available around here. I do obedience a lot with her, several sessions of trick training and she is improving with reactivity and distractions . I use marker training ("yes") instead of the click, and am unsure whether to start using the clicker (I have heard that dogs tend to learn faster when using the clicker since it's just one same sound all the time). Is this true?
  18. Hi again! I am always looking for ways to increase the bond with my pup, and I would be very interested in signing up to lessons to give her the "job" border collies famously thrive on. I understand she is still too young to do any strenuous activity such as jumps, as as a plan to the future my question is: what do you recommend, herding or agility? Which one tends to build a stronger bond with the dog, or are they both the same? I just love going out and running around with my dog, and I have seen agility and herding competitions and the communication between dog and handler always impresses me. If you have any other ideas on "jobs", that would be great too! Thanks in advance!
  19. Thank you very much for all your replies. I have decided to wait at least till after her first heat cycle to spay her, since I would like to do some agility with her. With regards to the reactivity, thank you for all the suggestions. We have come quite far. Tonight for example, we were training outside (heeling and recall) and somebody had left their dog off leash. Blaze was completely focused on me the whole time. Didn't even see the other dog coming, when before she would have gone berzerk with a mere whiff of the dog at the end of the road. Of course the off-leash dog came right up to our noses, and at that point Blaze's concentration broke and she went crazy again, but progress is progress and I'm quite proud of her. If only people could just keep their dogs on leash when they should, it would have been a much more rewarding and productive training, but she still deserved the sweet potato mixed in with her dinner that night!
  20. Hey there! Blaze is already 5 months old and becoming a beautiful young dog. I still have a lot of issues with her reactivity, since none of the exercises seem to work, but that's probably because I'm asking for too much. The problem of living in an appartment is that you don't have a backyard to let off some of that excess energy or be an intermediate step in training, and the way from the house to the designated training/playing area is so full of distractions and opportunities to pull! Anyway, my main topic in this thread is actually about spaying. I have always heard that spaying a puppy before her first heat cycle reduces the chance of her getting many cancers, however, when I asked my vet (who I haven't known for very long) she said that if I did decide to spay her before the first heat cycle, I run the risk of her having a "permanent puppy brain". And although I love my puppy to death, I am looking forward to the mature dog that I'm hopefully raising her to be. What has your experience been? What would you recommend? P.S: For training, what are your highest value food rewards? I have tried chicken, cheese, turkey... but nothing seems to be better than lunging for a nearby dog. What has worked best for your dogs? Thanks a lot for your help!
  21. Those all sound pretty good. I don't give her much tuna, it was a special treat since she had turned 5 months old. Usually I just fill her kong with her kibble, frozen. Those all sound like amazing suggestions! But over here, canned pumpkin is hard to find
  22. Hey again! I was making my puppy Blaze a KONG for her lunch using her kibble (softened in water), tinned tuna, banana and plain greek yoghurt (sounds disgusting, but she LOVED it! ), and I loved watching her enjoy it so much, and it encouraged me to look for more healthy recipes she might enjoy. So I was wondering, what do you stuff your KONGS with? And how often do you feed your dogs using KONGS?
  23. Notice the sock wrapped around my radiator to protect it from her puppy teeth
  24. Thanks again for all your advice. I'd like to clarify that I am happy to have a dog who is comfortable with strangers, I just hate having to pull her back because I really do not want to reinforce lunging. But we're working on it, already making a little bit of progress (she lunges, then she sits and looks at me. At this point I say OK and give a step. If she lunges again I stop and repeat the process. She still hasn't understood the fact that she has to be calm, but the looking up is definitely getting more consistent. However, I wonder, is that creating a negative association to me?) And here she is! The cheeky monkey surrounded by all her toys and her sprawled on the floor after a good game of fetch combined with trick proofing
  25. Thank you all so much for your replies. I will be sure to search more thoroughly for an obedience class. I believe we are making a little progress, when she sees a running child or dog, she will sit and look at me, but she is still quite tense (in an excited way) and still lunges in one second (I don't let her approach them at this point). Until then, I have asked a few friends who own puppy-friendly dogs if they can help me out, since they will have the patience to walk up slowly and walk away whenever she gets excited. People on the street just want to stroke the cute puppy and let their dogs sniff, and I'm definitely not OK with that . However, I was wondering, does this eagerness to greet every single person and dog fade over time? Or is it exclusively up to the training (I am not considering stopping the training and waiting it out, I am definitely going to keep working on it, but I'm just wondering). One last question, is playing fetch good for her? I don't walk her for too long and I just roll the ball, but sometimes she has some pretty hard stops and turns. I will be uploading pictures of Blaze very soon . Just need to pass them onto my computer from my phone
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