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Everything posted by D'Elle

  1. Excellent to hear this. I use a clicker in training, for the reasons you have learned. And I am convinced it makes learning much faster and more precise. I noticed the difference right away when I was first using it, and have never looked back.
  2. Very good news, and thanks for the update. These dogs are remarkable, aren't they.
  3. What do you mean he enormously hates you giving him space? What have you done to address the growling? And, are you aware that a dog shouldn't ever be punished or corrected for growling. and the reasons for that? Some dogs hate to be "messed with". If your dog is like that, one solution is to have another person help, and they manage the head while you deal with getting the burr out, or whatever. "Managing the head" doesn't mean holding it, but giving treats in rapid succession (tiny bits) to keep the dog's focus elsewhere. If a dog is in pain, that is a different matter, and although you can try the treats, it's unlikely to work. If you have a dog who really hates to be handled in that way, take him to a competent vet when he is in pain. Which is probably what needs to happen anyway, most of the time if pain is involved.
  4. Yes, I do off leash training. And have had dogs who were excellent when off leash. So this not something I "don't do" . This is not an opinion about something I know nothing about, and your statement that it is, is making a huge assumption about someone you don't know anything about. Your comment seemed to advocate for allowing the dog to go off leash, which if it is in an area with cyclists, is not a good idea, and that is what I commented on. I did not have any questions. I did not "hijack" the thread, but was commenting specifically on the topic the OP started the thread with, and replying to your advice on it which, unless I misunderstood it, advocated for letting the dog off leash. I disagree, and said so. And I was not the only one who suggested that letting the dog off leash was not a good idea. There is nothing in my post that could be called "negativity", although your reply to me could possibly be called that. And your post above has nothing to do with the thread topic, but was rather a negative comment on my post, so is is more along the lines of "hijacking". Let us not continue this conversation, as it adds nothing to the information that the OP is seeking.
  5. First, you have not given the method being used enough time. The thing with training a dog is you pick only one method, a good one recommended by people who know what they are doing - and then you simply stick to it and never stop, no matter how long it takes the dog to learn the new behavior. The fact that it takes a long time doesn't mean it doesn't work. It just means it's taking longer to get that dog to learn that particular thing. So, try this. And keep doing it. And do it 100% consistently, and never ever let the dog pull on the leash without doing this. Anyone else who walks the dog has to agree to this also because if one person lets her pull she will not learn not to pull. The dog pulls, and not only do you stop walking, but you turn around and walk in the other direction until the dog is up next to you, whereupon you ask the dog to sit. You count to 5 while the dog is sitting, and then start walking again. Dog pulls - repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And if it takes 6 months, you keep doing it for 6 months. The idea is this: as long as the dog is not pulling, she gets to go over here or there, sniff whatever she likes for as long as she wants to, but if she pulls all the fun stops and she has to sit and wait before starting again. The dog learns (however long it takes) that pulling never, ever results in getting anywhere, but walking nicely does. The click when in heel position is fine for heel training. But doesn't apply to leash pulling, as you have found. And the person who told you to try it for a month was wrong. You don't stop after a month. As for calming her down outside, if she knows down, you can try putting her into a down and asking her to hold it for 5 seconds every time she gets overexcited. And also, you need to be aware of the triggers that make the dog so excited, so that you can ask for the Down before she goes overboard, because it's hard to get through to the dog who is already excited.
  6. Just my opinion---- If your vet is that scared of your dog even if the dog has a muzzle on, then you need a new vet. A good vet is confident to handle most animals, and will not be afraid of a dog just because it growled, and certainly will not refuse to touch the dog even when it is muzzled! I don't think much of your vet.
  7. Question: You say :" I tried clicker training - didn't really work, I tried just stopping until she relaxes the leash - didn't work, I tried working with the voice command slow and a slight pull (only with the harness!) if she ignored the command - didn't work. " How did you use the clicker when you were trying it, and for how long did you try that method? How long did you work with her using the stopping method? I ask these because a lot of people are not yet fully familiar with how to use the clicker in training this, and also I am wondering how long you kept at it because it does take a very long time with some dogs to train them to walk nicely. The thing to do is choose one good method and stick with it, be 100% consistent and simply do not give up....ever. And eventually it will work. If you only gave each method a month or less of working on it every day, that is not enough time.
  8. As has already been noted, letting the dog off leash when there are bicycles present and the dog has an urge to chase them is a bad way to do this because it is potentially dangerous to the dog and the cyclists, and is also rude to the folks on bicycles.
  9. She is not rewarding the barking. This is a specific protocol, which is well known and works well in this kind of situation, although it is not understood by someone who has never used it or doesn't understand how it works. Simply keeping a dog away from anything to which the dog might react is not going to teach the dog how to properly react when he does see those things. A dog should be exposed to the world, and trained gently and consistently in the best ways to manage and to interact with the environment, with surprises and noises, with distractions, and with unusual things.
  10. You are on the right track. These things take time, but I have seen this method work wonderfully, and I bet it will for you as well. Just keep at it and please let us know how it is going.
  11. I think you are handling this OK. You are not rewarding her for barking, from the sounds of it, but for stopping the barking and coming to you. Don't leave her outside alone so she cannot get any gratuitous barking in. Always be with her when she is outside and if she stops barking and looks at you, give her whatever you are using to mark good behavior ( a click, or YES, or Good!), call her to you and praise her and give a treat. I don't think she is barking in order to get the treat, from what you say it sounds as if she is learning that if she stops barking and looks at you instead, she gets treated, and that is exactly what you want. While she is sitting in a stay next to you instead of running to the fence to bark, keep giving her treat after treat (tiny little pieces) and saying what a good dog she is, to reinforce that sitting quietly is a rewarding thing to do. The thing is with a dog who wants to bark at things, the goad is never to try to train the dog not to bark at all. That would be trying to go counter to the natural instinct of the dog and wouldn't be fair, or likely to be successful. If you can get her to the point that she stops when you say "that'll do" and comes to you, you have done well.
  12. In my experience, dogs usually will take cues from other dogs, and in this case I have no doubt that your young dog will be greatly helped by the older dog's chill attitude. Leaving them both there overnight a couple of times ahead of time will probably help as well. I have fostered dogs a lot, and it is always very interesting to me how the new and very confused foster dogs so often take cues from the resident dogs. It seems they settle down far more quickly because, hey, these dogs are here and they are happy, so this place must be all right. They also learn their rules and manners much faster because the other dogs are doing them. Usually the younger dog in a situation like yours "looks up" to the older dog, and it will help a lot that he is there.
  13. I hope you meant it 100% when you say that your dog has been leashed at all times in this area recently. It is not fair to the people on bicycles to suddenly have someone loudly yelling at them to slow or stop, while a dog rushes at them, even if the dog follows the cue to stop and drop. This is disruptive to the people on bicycles and could also be very frightening. Additionally, it is rude to yell at someone who is only doing their own business and is innocently riding by when it is your dog that is the problem, not them. Keep your dog on leash at all times and work on techniques to get the dog to focus on you instead of the bicycles. This is not something you can train while the dog is off leash, in any case. The "Look At That game" is an excellent protocol for this. You can find it online. I also recommend looking up the training videos on the website KIKOPUP. this is something you can train your dog not to do. But I would strongly recommend planning not ever to allow your dog off leash when there are bicycles around. If it is a strong temptation for him, you cannot expect any training to be 100% Best of luck.
  14. Excellent advice, and well put. Of course, this is true of all dogs, getting the dog you create, but goes ten fold for border collies.
  15. I think this is something that can be resolved if you keep working on it. It may take a long time, and he may never be friendly to all dogs. But it sounds as if you have made wonderful progress with him and my advice would be to keep doing what you are doing. Sometimes it takes what feels like forever. I had one dog who took 2 years to fully learn something, a thing that was really hard for her, that she didn't want to do, and do it 100% of the time. When you are going through 2 years of training one thing, it feels as though the dog will never get there. But she did. And then the rest of that dog's life she knew it and life was easier. My feeling is this: that time will go by anyway. If you persist, there will come a point where you have succeeded with the training and the dog will have that the rest of their life. If you give u p thinking the dog will never get there, then the dog definitely won't. So, my approach is just to keep doing it. Glad you didn't go to that other trainer. As for agility, this issue probably has to be completely under control before you can take your dog to agility lessons. But if you feel it is very close to 100%, you can always talk to the trainer ahead of time before signing up for a class and be completely honest about your dog. Since in agility classes, the dogs are on leash unless actually running the course, one at a time, the teacher may allow you in the class. No harm in asking.
  16. I agree that you don't need a special ball to do this unless you want to go to some competitions. A soccer ball works great for this kind of play. My former foster dog Kelso (whom many of you may remember) loves to play "trieball" with his soccer ball, and also has enjoyed an exercise ball or beach ball in the same way. He noses them down the hallway as fast as he can, and his person sets up obstacle courses for him to go through.
  17. Personally, I am opposed to the e-collars, and I think every other kind of training needs to be fully explored, and fully exhausted, before resorting the use of one. And only in a life-death case, which I do recognize this is. There are situations in which using the e collar to train a solid recall ends up allowing the dog to have much more freedom than they would otherwise, if all other training methods fail. But my suggestion would be to use the long line (hold onto it all the time if it's too hard to grab) and rewards for at least a few months if you have not already before using the e collar as a last resort. You may not need to use it at all. I wouldn't throw the frisbee, because that's a reward rather than an attention breaker. The sharp sound (pennies in a can or whatever) is better, if you need something to break his attention away from the distractions. I wonder also if there's a place to work on the recall that is not so distracting. It is probable, seems to me, that he is just not solid enough on it to be working with that level of distraction. Unless you have gone back to the basics of training the recall in a non-distracting environment several times over several months and still he has always failed to come when there are distractions, I would keep working on that for some time before deciding that the e collar was necessary.
  18. Cheyenne, the border collie who lived with me on the beach in Mexico (and then later in the US) loved the ocean, and we played with the waves every day. My Jester, with whom I lived on the California coast at the start of our time together, was the same and we always played you chase me I chase you on the beach. He also loved to chase the waves out and get chased back in by the next wave, and was very adept at the game, never going very far out, keeping his feet on the ground. It was a joy to watch.
  19. Thanks for that information, Journey. Although I am not ready yet, due to having an elder small dog who should have a peaceful life, I will be looking for a good border collie puppy at some point and will remember this as a possibility.
  20. I am so sorry to hear this. I know that you will make her last days as wonderful for her as possible, just as you have done for her life before this. It is so hard to let go. I wish you good days with your lovely Cressa while she is still here. Sending her a little gentle petting......
  21. All dogs are different, and how the game is handled makes a huge difference as well. My experience is that if the fetch toy...ball or frisbie or stuffy....is something the owner strictly controls, if the fetch is not more than one of many activities the dog gets to do on a regular basis, if the ground surface and temperature and other such safety things are considered, and the owner is the sole decision maker as to when, with what, where and for how long the game is played, it's great. I have not had a dog obsess about it to the point of it being a problem. Jester was the one who loved it the most among border collies, and was what I at the time called "obsessed" with it, but that wasn't really the right term to use because it was not a problem for him or for me. He knew that until I told him to go get the throw toy it would do no good to bring it to me. He also knew that when I said "last one" there would be no more throws no matter what and he accepted that and stopped expecting it for that day. Of course, I never threw a stick and he knew not to bring them to me. My childhood dog was also a fetching dog, and the same thing was true with him. I think it needs to be managed properly. And I think it's not the right thing for some dogs who are prone to obsession to the point of not being able to think about anything else. .But given the right dog and management I think it is wonderful because even on the days when I am not able to go out and do a lot of activity with the dog because I am ill or the weather is terrible I can always throw a soft toy in the house. With Jester, he didn't care whether the toy was thrown indoors or out, didn't care if it went 3 feet or 30 feet, he just liked to bring it back. It made him joyful and that made me happy too. I think the risks, apart from obsession in a dog for whom that could happen, mostly are about injury. That can be managed by paying attention to the surface and so on as I said above. If it is frisbie there's the danger of leaping and landing wrong. But a lot of other activities such as agility can be dangerous in that way as well. One of the dogs I have now tore his knee ligament landing wrong from a jump through my arms that was only 15" off the floor. Anything can be risky. Doing a whole lot of high leaping is not a good idea, though, so I didn't always use the frisbie because the ball goes too fast for the dog to get out ahead to catch it in mid-air. Or, I would sometimes ask Jes to sit and wait when I threw it and then let him go to find it.
  22. I don't know if this will be helpful or not, or even if it is applicable. It's just what I thought of right away when reading your post. So, take or leave as you think is best. I one time went to help someone with a behavior problem with her dog on leash. I let her walk the dog where I could watch so I could see what was happening, and noted the behavior. Then I asked her to go inside, and I took the dog's leash, expecting to start from the beginning to train the dog. But instead, instantly the dog behaved. The owner couldn't believe it when she came out to watch. In this case it boiled down to the fact that the woman was not assertive. Not with the dog, not anywhere else in her life either. Of course I don't mean any BS like dominance. I just mean, expecting to be obeyed. Expecting to be in charge. Assuming she was in charge. She was someone who did not expect to be listened to, or be in charge of anything in her life. It may not be that with your situation, or maybe it is just a little bit of that.....it might be worthwhile to examine that possibility. Or, not that your partner is timid in her life, but maybe she projects an air of not really being sure she is in charge. Whether my insight has anything to do with your situation or not it seems to me that the solution is for your partner to start doing more of the training, and for the two of you to make sure you are both doing the training consistently in the same way. Watch each other, and find out if there is something you are doing differently. It sounds to me as if your partner may not really be consistent in her training with the dog, and is giving the dog mixed messages which confuses the dog and makes it a lot more likely that the dog will act out. Bringing that into line and both of you doing the same thing will help.
  23. Good for Parker and Piper! And good for you, too. :-) I love success stories, and isn't it fun to see a puppy discover he can do something?
  24. You are welcome, Michael Parkey, but to be clear I don't think anyone meant that a person was mindless for playing fetch with a dog; they were cautioning against letting it be mindless for the dog. I have never had a dog who loved to fetch do it in a way that I would have ever called "mindless", or "ocd jacked up behavior over an inanimate object" myself. But apparently this can happen, because the people here who have said that must have seen it themselves or they wouldn't be saying these things with such certainty. As I said, one's opinions are formed by one's experiences. I have had different experiences with it with all of the fetching dogs I have had. I think it is a very individual thing and dependent on the dog, the owner, the circumstances and so on.
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