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Flora & Molly

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About Flora & Molly

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Netherlands

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  1. Really interesting to watch! I am a complete beginner and it fascinates me to watch the differences in dogs starting out. Molly stays much closer to the sheep, but is slowly getting what I want from her. Nice looking dog too.
  2. It is amazing how resilient dogs can be. Also sad sometimes how much crap they will endure. I'm glad you found a trainer in the end that worked for you and your dog. Even as an inexperienced handler it is so important to listen to your gut feeling.
  3. First of all, great name choice I've never thought about milestones in weeks either, but rather with "basic manners every puppy/dog should know". I think it is really important to start with the end in mind, meaning teaching the pup the things you would want your adult dog to do and discourage behaviour that is no longer cute in an adult dog. So the basic manners I would teach all my dogs are: - waiting politely for their food at dinner time - waiting politely when I open the door to go outside - coming when called - walking with a loose leash - paying attention to where I'm going when off leash - being relaxed inside the house, not constantly demanding attention - "go away" - command to indicate the dog should go entertain itself somewhere else, very useful - place training (or crate if you prefer a crate) - no alarm barking - sit, down, stay - bringing toys back to me - behaving properly when staying at home alone for a while - no jumping up or biting - respect the cat (and all animals we meet on a walk) It's quite a list and I think I could add a lot more things to it that I teach my dogs, because you can already teach the pup a lot of fun stuff as well. Of course keep in mind that the pup won't do these things perfectly and she might need a little help to get the rules at first. At this age I never did any formal training sessions, but would teach "as we went along", for instance I would teach "sit" as a ritual for putting on the leash and before she gets her food, or before crossing a road. As the weeks go by you can up the requirements, for instance have the pup sit for a little while longer before dinner. Another good example is the loose leash walking. I expect my adult dog to walk right beside me when on a leash, but I wouldn't expect a puppy to do that. I would be happy as long as the pup doesn't pull and of course the puppy will pull sometimes, so that is a teaching moment. It really depends on the pup how quickly they learn things. Molly was very quick to learn 'come', but it took a very very long time for her to respect the cat, because she loved the cat we have a bigger scarier tomcat now, which has helped. He won't let her walk all over him. I hope this helps We love puppy pictures by the way
  4. Absolutely love smooth coats. Although I would take a rough coat in a heart beat if I came across the right one. Molly doesn’t have a very slick coat which I really like. She has more hair on her butt and throat. Her throat is very very soft, it feels like a stuffed animal. When she sheds she looks a bit ridiculous, because we’re not used to the more smooth look she gets then
  5. About a year and a half ago I started Molly on sheep. At the time I posted here about it and it went really well. After a while though, I felt we were stuck on the same level and I saw my dogs eyes change from eager to unhappy on the field. So we stopped training. Fast forward to now: I have found a wonderful knowledgeable trainer who has taught me more in the first session we had than I have learned in the couple of months I trained at the other place. We are at session 6 now and it is so much fun. Every time I feel like we have learned a lot. I wanted to post about it here for everyone who might be in a similar situation or who is in the process of looking for a suitable place to train their dog. For a while I thought I had difficulty getting Molly to understand what I wanted, because training a dog to work stock is hard. Then I thought it was me, and that I had trouble paying attention to everything at once: myself, the dog and the sheep. And I thought Molly was very sensitive to the way I was feeling and I thought she thought I was angry/grumpy because I was concentrating so hard. I hadn't seen them work stock with their own dogs and when I did I was a bit puzzled. They were switching the sheep we were training with to give them a break and the way they moved them to another field just seemed so chaotic to me. Things started to slowly change for me then. I had some trouble with Molly, when we walked to the field she would be so excited that I didn't really exist for her anymore - and she would "yodel". I asked my trainer and they didn't have any clue how to help me with that. Which I thought was a bit odd. The final straw was when the ewes we trained with turned out to be pregnant. Somehow the ram got to them, probably through the fence. Such a difference with my new trainer. From the moment we walked on the field she started teaching me. Explaining what the dog training before was doing and what the owner was doing. Plus, we would do sessions with another duo, so we could alternate short working sessions and breaks to give the dog time to think and learn. She always has one of her own dogs in the field with us who makes sure the sheep don't stray too far away from us when something goes a bit wrong. Great working dogs who listen very well to very quiet commands and tend to know what to do before she asks for it. Within three sessions Molly has slowed down and I don't have to run backwards as much. Something which we hadn't managed at the other place. We are working on distance which Molly finds very difficult and trying at the same time to keep her keen to work. My trainer explains every little step of the way and I start to understand the "delicate dance" of getting a dog to accept your guidance without it feeling like punishment and the dog losing interest in working. Molly ate a lot of sheep dung at the last place. I already knew then that it was to avoid pressure/have time to think/because she was tired. The trainer there joked about it "don't you feed her?". I didn't think it was something to laugh about. She still will eat a bit of dung, but now I know it's time to call her back to work and if she does it a lot I know it is time to do something she likes and take a break. Or my trainer will call for a break. I'm very proud of Molly and I'm so glad I didn't give up on stockwork, because I very nearly did. The best thing about it is that she is keen to work again, and she doesn't "yodel" anymore when we walk on the field. She has improved so much in such a short time that the girl I train with thought I must have taken extra lessons in secret and was jealous (her dog is 9 months old and hitting puberty hard - Molly is 5 ) The value of a good trainer is not something to underestimate!
  6. If you are reluctant to get a second animal I wouldn't get one. I have a cat and a dog and they tolerate each other, I wouldn't call them friends. They mostly ignore each other. I don't think it makes staying at home alone for my dog any easier. I think it does make a difference for the cat to have the dog around when I'm not there, because the cat is happy with just someone in the house. But my dog just wants to be with me and doesn't care about the cat. The best thing you can do to help your dog is to not feel sorry for her. I've noticed that makes a lot of difference for how my dog acts after I get home. She is a lot calmer and less clingy when I just act as if this is the way the world works. When I feel guilty I think she just wants me to feel better and gets a bit unsure of what to do. Which results in a dog that wants to sit in my lap constantly
  7. I have a "licki mat" for both my dog and cat. They love it. It's for wet food. Unfortunately for me they can't get into the small corners, which makes cleaning it a bit annoying. If you have a dishwasher that would make it a lot easier. I also have a Kong Wobbler. Which Molly absolutely loves, but is a bit loud so I didn't use it too much when I still had downstairs neighbours. I usually give it to her in a hallway so it won't get stuck under the couch. I had to teach her how to use it which was a lot of fun (I had to push it with my face to get her to understand).
  8. Molly and I finally moved! We now live on the ground floor in a newly made appartment in what used to be an old shed/barn. Molly is very happy to be back with me and is very keen to do anything and everything for me (I think she's scared I'll bring her to my mum again if she doesn't listen well enough). It's definitely a lot more fun to be stuck at home with a dog, especially since there are many opportunities to walk here as it is surrounded by nature. Molly watches me all day long, I tried to take a picture but she pretended she wasn't staring at me or she wanted to look like a model in the picture. I hope you are all well and hanging in there!
  9. I’m a bit jealous of everyone who gets to spend more time with their dogs! I have had to bring my dog to my mother, because I don’t feel it is safe to take the elevator in my apartment building anymore. It’s not well ventilated and I’m pretty sure the cleaners no longer clean it. Plus people don’t really keep there distance. So I have to take the stairs and I live on the ninth floor. Not good for the doggy. Luckily we don’t have a full lockdown here in the Netherlands, so I can still visit her, keeping some distance from my mum. And we can go to stock work training once a week. But it is so very very quiet in the house. In two weeks I’m moving, not great to have to do now, but it’s on the ground floor and really close to very nice hiking trails. Can’t wait to get Molly back. She’s looking out the window and waiting for me every day to come and take her home. Breaks my heart.
  10. hahaha! Looks like more fun than my job!
  11. Really nice looking dogs Love the names too, we have this thing in my family where all our dogs have names starting with M, might steal one of your names for my next dog
  12. Good news: Bobby has found a new home! Saw it posted on the shelter’s website today.
  13. My cat decided I did not buy the new big comfy pillow for the dog. Molly is very polite about the whole thing. I thought I’d get the cat his own comfy bed, but this plan has turned out differently than I thought. The cat threw it from it’s nice and high place and I was very surprised to see Molly in it - she lies in it all the time now. Silly girl. Sure she fits... barely.
  14. I love how he is really posing for the picture
  15. I didn't know that saying I love it though Can't wait for an opportunity to use it in class ( I'm an English teacher at a high school) I'm sure my students will like it too
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