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Flora & Molly

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About Flora & Molly

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Netherlands

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  1. Buddy is one of my “guest dogs” (I’m a parttime dogsitter) and when I first met her she was a bit scared to swim. Just getting her paws wet was enough excitement for her. Now though, she is an expert water jumper! I was merely the ball thrower in this whole process and my dog Molly really deserves all the credit: she taught Buddy how to swim. I’d throw a ball and Molly would get it and then in the shallows would play with it a bit to entice Buddy to get in the water, very cute. That finally led to Buddy now jumping right in - Molly even lets her get the first ball which she never allows another dog to do. Very proud of both the dogs. If it were up to me I wouldn’t give Buddy back to her owners, but alas, they love her too... (It’s a safe spot to jump in like this and they can wade in as well if they prefer)
  2. Such a sweet photo! The dog on the right looks a lot like my dog
  3. That's not a raccoon, it's a tiny tiny weird looking border collie!
  4. You are not a useless dog owner! The way you describe how well he is adjusting means you are doing a great job! When I tried to train my dog Molly indoors to do some tricks she would try to climb into my lap. After a couple of failed sessions I gave up, because it wasn't fun for either of us. I recently picked it up again, because Molly was getting discouraged at stockwork training because she felt everything was a correction. The advice of my trainer: start teaching her all kinds of things at home so she learns how to learn. Some things I discovered: - training outside while on a walk really helps, I think it puts less pressure on her somehow - she needed more direction from me - I now tell her a kind "no, try again" which has helped her to try more different things and eventually get the right thing Perhaps a more "informal" training type would help or a different training style. A couple of kids once tried to teach Molly paw, but she would just flop down instead and invite them to pet her belly. I think she didn't really understand what they wanted from her, but wanted to do 'something' for them and knew most kids like it when she lays on her back. Those kids demanding paw, even though they were very kind and tried to show her what they meant, was just a bit too much pressure. Now on walks I ask for a couple of commands and then release her, she can run a little bit and usually comes straight back for more. I hadn't realised before that all the "regular" stuff I taught her I had taught her outside or in a certain context (sit before feeding or leaving the house), but really never in such a "formal" way in the living room. You know, like Kiko pup or other trick training videos show you on youtube. How did you teach all the other commands? It could be that trick training is slightly different. Maybe you are sitting when you are usually standing, things like that. Some thoughts on agility: my dog is hesitant to jump onto things, (over things no problem). I asked her once to jump onto a chair and she tried to crawl on it, which was hilarious. We jump on and over things together now, which I started by inviting her up on something low I was standing on. She is a lot more sure of herself now and will jump on more difficult surfaces where she has to balance herself more. I don't know much about agility, but have read on these boards about first doing foundation exercises, maybe that is a place to start - if it is confidence related. But it could of course be he just really doesn't like it. There's no cure for that
  5. What my dog loves the most is doing things for me/with me. It still amazes me sometimes. On walks I sometimes do a little "routine" with her where I ask her to stay at a distance, come and sit on the left or right, heel on the left or on the right and switch, walk in between my legs and all of those in different variations. I started this by accident. I just wanted to teach her to sit on my left side as well as my right side, but Molly found this quite difficult. So I started to ask her a couple of times during a walk. She liked it so much that I incorporated more commands and the "sessions" go on a lot longer now. She is always a bit disappointed when we stop. In the house I taught her to fetch my slippers and plan on teaching her the names of more items. It is such a joy to watch her proud and concentrated face when she brings them to me my friends sometimes think it's silly, but Molly really enjoys it. I think this is what sets her apart from other dogs - I mean other breeds- in that she just really wants to be a part of everything and work for me. It doesn't even really matter what it is, as long as I am showing her how happy I am with what she is doing.
  6. I haven't met a dog yet that really enjoyed bathing. Molly doesn't either, although she loves swimming. I think it's because when I give her a bath she is soaked to the skin and in the rain her coat makes sure that doesn't happen. Can't blame them, you can never be too careful @Irish Collie Could be that headshape plays a factor, although I'm not sure I can see a drastic difference in headshapes in collies (but I haven't met many and haven't examined them closely ) Lovely picture, I especially like the cheeky face of the collie sitting next to the malinois. @danorocky Come to think of it, Molly doesn't do too well in hot weather either. Slows down quite a bit. I sometimes think it's because of her coat. She has a smooth coat but with a good undercoat. Perhaps her coat is great for cold and wet, but a bit too warm for the summer.
  7. Since it has been a very rainy week I was wondering if anyone else has a dog that seems to be okay with any type of weather. No matter how bad the weather, storm, rain, snow, Molly is happy to go on long walks. Although I am a firm believer of "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing", sometimes I am not that enthusiastic to go out. I still go out though, because Molly doesn't understand my problem. As I live in the Netherlands we mostly have to deal with extreme rain and not so much extreme snow. But I suspect Molly would still want to go out even if we were snowed in. She would find a way. Other dogs I know are very different: just a quick pee in the rain is fine, even prefered. Or if the walk takes longer, they look miserable. So far I've only met one other person with a dog that doesn't mind the weather one bit and he has a working cocker. (Further investigation is still pending, I haven't asked my trainer yet who has a lot of dogs, might be interesting). So my question is: could this be a working dog thing? Or perhaps a drive thing? A border collie thing? A personality thing? A coat type thing? A Molly thing ? All of the above? I'm curious to know your thoughts! One thing I do love about walking in the pouring rain is that it is so quiet. That and when I come home to a warm house and a nice cup of tea.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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!
  13. 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
  14. 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).
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