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Flora & Molly

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Everything posted by Flora & Molly

  1. 1. Well, because that is the ideal time to pester the dog 2. It really depends on the dog and cat in question. I agree with D’Elle that you have to experiment to see what works. 3. I have a big black cat who takes shit from no one, but luckily is sensible enough to know when he is outmatched. Meaning that he will run away when a dog chases him outside, but inside is different. He used to bully my mother’s Jack Russell when they came to visit, blocking her in the kitchen just sitting or lying there staring at her menacingly. We thought it was funny at first, because the terrier is such a feisty one normally, but not when it came to my cat. We did help her out of the kitchen when it happened. Every time my cat got a bit bolder, eventually he dropped almost on the terrier from countertops. Not fun, but I did manage to train the cat to stop it - still have to keep an eye out though. It was simple: whenever the cat was bullying the dog I calmly picked the cat up, told him “no” in a stern voice (not angry!) and put him someplace else away from the dog. I’d go for an elevated place in your case, as the dog is too interested in the cat. Maybe combine it with treats and pets for good behaviour around the dog. My cat is very trainable, so it might not work for you and you have to be very consistent - plus be calm, a hint of anger and I feel cats get offended and won’t listen. I’ve kept a visiting Dutch shepherd tethered to the sofa because she wasn’t to be trusted with cats (as in: might eat them). My cat stayed away at first, but knew the dog was tethered so would walk around to show the dog it was his house... Bit nerve wracking for me, but also nice because once the dog calmed down a bit I was able to pet both animals at the same time and treat them for good behaviour.
  2. Very cute pup! Love the prick ears Higgings has a lovely wise look. Beautiful dog!
  3. I mostly use the leash when I want the dog to walk next to me. Off leash time to me is sniffing time. I do give a “free” command for the few times my dog is allowed to sniff on leash or to relief herself. I feel this makes things a lot clearer and at the very least ensures that training loose leash walking is not too long and has a great reward at the end (as we’re training while walking to a place the dog can be off leash). Might not be doable for everyone, since you might not have the same off leash opportunities that I have here. This method has worked well for me training the dog I dogsit (is there an easier way to say this? In Dutch we have a word for it “oppashond”), with the adaptation of asking the dog to get back in position next to me before continuing again. She wasn’t used to walking on a leash either and was about one and a half when I started. It took a couple of days, but I think it would have been longer if my own dog wasn’t setting such a good example. She does need a little reminding every now and then though and I am pretty sure she would pull with other people holding the leash.
  4. What a cutie! But I am a bit biased, because his face reminds me a lot of my Molly
  5. A dog is always learning, so training starts as soon as you take the pup home. But I haven’t really ever done formal training sessions at home with a pup. We usually taught the pup things “in context”. So a sit before dinner for instance, wait at the door, stuff like that. But I do keep in mind that it is a puppy so I don’t expect the same level of obedience as I would of my adult dog. Baby steps. Waiting at the door would for the pup be “don’t dash out in front of me” or perhaps a brief sit at the door. We’re just making a start at teaching the pup the house rules. Most of the things I want to teach a dog will come up naturally. A drop it, for instance, will come up when I am playing with the dog. So I’ll teach it then. Place/crate training comes up when I want to relax in the evening, or when I have to cook or do something besides seeing to the dog in the house. This has always worked well for us, but if you want to do more “formal” training sessions I’d say see how the pup reacts. If she’s relaxed at your house then give it a go. If she’s a bit timid and scared, maybe let her be for a while. Now as to bringing the pup into more busy areas... it’s the same answer. It depends on the pup. If she’s outgoing and happy on walks in your neighbourhood than you can gradually introduce her to more busy areas. If she’s more timid you have to take it slower and in tinier steps and build up to it. I can’t put a time on it, it really depends on the dog. But as a rule I’d say the pup has to be comfortable with you and in your house and your neighbourhood before venturing further out. This can happen quite quickly. I have no experience with OCD. But a dog can develop unwanted behaviour when they’re bored, yes. Or when they are overstimulated as well and are always “on”. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. It is all about finding what works for your dog (and you).
  6. About six months ago I lived with my BC on the ninth floor of an apartment building in a city. The area wasn’t super busy, but not quite the suburbs either, I lived close to some nice parks and open green spaces. Now I live in a tiny village in a rural area with lots of forests at walking distance. The move didn’t really matter to Molly. She was just as happy living in an apartment as where we are now. Sure it is an upgrade, she loves the smells in the forest and we can walk out the door off leash. But mostly it is me who is a lot happier here. Molly just wants to be with me. As long as she has her daily routine she is happy. Our routine remains the same, it’s just that the view and smells are a lot nicer for both of us now. Molly was raised by my mum in a rural area and came to me when she was 3 years old. She wasn’t fazed at all by the change to a city. Molly’s mum was raised in Rotterdam very close to the city center and we lived on a very busy street. As I was a teenager then I didn’t have the full responsibility, but I don’t remember any problems apart from finding nice places to walk her. We cycled a lot with her. She wasn’t as high drive as Molly which made it a lot easier on us humans (and that’s why Molly is no longer with my mum ). I’d say go for it, especially if you have already found a nice pup! The most important thing is to figure out a structure/routine that works for you and the dog, but it sounds like you won’t have any trouble with that
  7. You can go ahead and send him to the Netherlands when you don’t want him anymore! I’ll take him. What a cutie
  8. I switched my dog from normal kibble to pressed kibble. She has a sensitive stomach and the switch has helped. In the evening she gets raw meat or an egg on top of her kibble. I would feed completely raw, but at the moment it is too expensive.
  9. Pretty obsessed I’d say, although more dog than border collie. I call dogs my hobby, makes it sound more sane. My friends still think I’m the crazy dog lady though... I read a lot of dog training books and articles on the internet. Plus watch a whole bunch of dog training stuff on YouTube. I would love to be a dog trainer, but in my country it is really difficult to make a living training dogs unfortunately. Plus classes to become a dog trainer are expensive and not close to where I am. So in the meantime I am a dogsitter in my spare time to meet and work with as many dogs as I can. BCs are my favourite breed and I can’t imagine not having at least one. They have been my favourite breed since watching Babe as a kid, mostly because they are farm dogs and I really wanted to be a farmer (still do!). Plus there was a window washer in my street growing up and he had a border collie who was such a quiet well trained dog, I loved watching that dog patiently lying at the foot of his ladder, watching his owner work. I also love the variety in the breed and the fact they are bred for purpose and not for looks. Although it is getting rarer to find working bred collies... People are usually surprised when I tell them Molly is a border collie as she is a short hair. I know some of my friends think I am a little bit crazy because I work with my dog so much (it’s not even a lot honestly), but that is exactly why I love BCs: I make my dog’s day when I ask her to fetch my slippers. She loves to do things with me or for me. And when I have to cycle home with her at night after visiting a friend she loves it, even though it is late and she was sleeping 5 minutes before and maybe had a busy day. She is always in for anything anytime. Best dog ever. I could go on and on
  10. How old are you children? Children tend to want to hug and kiss dogs, which can be too much for most dogs. I wouldn’t leave my dog alone with any children even though she loves them and even loves hugs and tolerates just about anything children do. Still, even though she loves them, she does get insecure around them and I keep close watch to make sure everyone is still happy. She is 5 years old and I’ve known her from birth - so I know when she’s at her limit and needs a break. It does depend on the age of the child how close I am. For instance I am always at her side when my niece is around, because my niece is a year and a half. We keep it short and sweet. But when the child is older, say 10, I don’t have to supervise so closely, but wouldn’t leave the room and from a distance would keep my eye on them constantly. At 6 months your pup still has a lot to learn and is now learning that the only way to stop a child from doing something he doesn’t like is to bite. Which is a shame, he shouldn’t be put in that position. It’s an easy fix though: always always supervise. My dog Molly was very mouthy at that age and we couldn’t pet her without her being over stimulated. We settled for short pets (like 5 seconds), which worked for her. She grew into a dog that loves hugs and pets and fussing I was bitten on my cheek by a friend’s dog when I was around eight. Left a red mark but didn’t pierce the skin. It was my fault because she was in her bed and I had hung over her to pet her. I couldn’t see the signs she didn’t like it, but I was taught to leave dogs alone when they were in their bed... I knew that but did it anyway, because the adults in the room had their backs turned and were at the other side of the room. I was so ashamed I didn’t dare to tell anyone and never bothered dogs again like that. Had a good relationship with that dog after that and she hasn’t bitten anyone besides me that one time. This is just to say that even when a child knows better, they can still make mistakes and with a dog that mistake can have a horrible ending when no one is there to stop it (although this time it didn’t). I am not there to see the dog of course, but it sounds to me like there isn’t a reason to get rid of the dog. Not yet anyway. I would monitor the dog closely and watch for signs whether the dog is comfortable with the children or not. One rule in our house growing up was that the most important thing for the dog was peace and quiet or rest (not sure how to correctly translate the notion from Dutch). Which meant we weren’t allowed to fuss the dog too much or pet the dog constantly, but learned as children that simply being with the dog in the same room was fun already and there are loads of activities to do outside with the dog. Inside is quiet time for the dog. Worked very well for us.
  11. Wouldn’t say no to the cute BC in the first photo...
  12. Thank you D’Elle. I have been doing just that and came to the conclusion that the boots aren’t helping. Paw pad seems a bit better today. Sometimes I need a little reassurance I’m not crazy thank you!
  13. It sounds like you are doing a great job I’m not a fan of leaving dogs out alone in the yard, just because they can get themselves in all kinds of trouble and mischief and learn some stuff you might not want. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, it’s just something to be aware of (and I know lots of people do it). It’s a good thing to start training the dog to be left alone by itself inside. It’s an important skill to have even if you are home most of the time. You never know when that might change. Slowly build the time up though for the best succcess!
  14. Welcome! That is a beautiful picture of your dog!
  15. That is pretty cool! I recently put the lead through the lock on my bike to feel a bit more secure. Still, I really only leave her outside stores where I can see her, because I still worry. Pretty sure she would go with anyone as she is so friendly.
  16. Molly has chewed one of her paw pads open on her back paw. This isn't the first time she has had wounds on her paw pads, but it is the first time I am certain she chewed it open herself. I'm guessing it's some sort of allergy. Last time it started with one pad and after limiting her running around suddenly a second pad was open. So I went to the vet, who had no clue at all and only gave me some honey ointment that didn't do anything. Really felt like money wasted. I remember Molly licking her paws a lot (with or without the honey stuff on them). I think this was about a year ago. So now I actually saw her chewing her paw open. We were at my mother's house where she had gotten different kibble than what she usually gets at home. That might not be the cause, but she has a sensitive stomach and gets pressed kibble at home(at least that is what it is called here, not sure if "pressed" is the correct translation). Anyway, she hasn't chewed her foot ever since and it hasn't bled or anything, but it is pink (her pads are black). It doesn't seem too painful, she walks normally, but it must be sore by the looks of it. I am restricting her exercise as I don't want a repeat of last time. We usually bike everyday but that is of course out of the question now. I am a bit unsure of what to do exercise wise. I don't want to do too much and make her wound worse. On the other hand, I don't want to restrict her more than necessary. Today I tried out the dog boots I got for her and I am not sure if they're a good idea. They are great as they stay on really well and she has good traction with them. So no complaints there, they are excellent. But when we got home and I took them off she started licking her paw again and wanted to chew it again (I asked her not to and she did stop). I wonder if they can make it worse by chafing? Does she even really need them? If she's not limping or showing signs of discomfort can I let her run around on the grass? I know dogs can hide pain well and Molly is a dog that will go on with pain, so I don't ask her to do anything. So no biking, no fetching. But if we go on a walk off leash she will gallop around - and I'm not sure if she should. I'm limiting the galloping though, and try to do other things as exercise. Bit of a long story to basically ask: To dog boot or not to dog boot? No more running around?
  17. My dog does this too. For me it is usually a sign she is getting too worked up/tired when she can't find the ball and start doing weird laps all over the place and starts to look in places where the ball clearly isn't. There are times where she can find the ball pretty quickly. That's why I think she's too worked up/tired when she can't. She, too, is super focused on finding the ball and won't be open to my "suggestions" - although she will come to me if I insist. What helps me is that I won't let her chase the ball right away. I ask her to wait so it won't become a mindless thing she is doing. In between throws I am working on some "tricks" she has to do. Right now it's not very impressive, because she has a hard time focussing on what I'm asking her to do. So we do some heelwork, sit, and down. She is quite ball obsessive and this really helps getting her to a more 'normal' level. We keep sessions short. We're also working on leaving the ball and coming to me without it. I also do some retriever training with dummy's where one of the exercises is the "memory". We walk towards a point and I place the dummy, we go back the way we came and I send her over to fetch it. This has helped her really use her nose as well as her eyes when she loses a ball when we play fetch. Usually when she runs the super wide circles she is only using her eyes. Another fun thing we do is go to the local tennis club and I send her into the adjacent bushes to find tennisballs. It is amazing how quickly she finds them, when most of the time I can't even see them. Fun and cheap way to get new tennis balls, really handy as we lose them often in the water - or sometimes other dogs steal them or put holes in them. She has gotten a lot better at finding lost tennisballs and doesn't do the frantic circles much anymore. And if she does I usually stop her and go find it myself. It's a lot quicker. And then we end the game because I know I went on too long.
  18. It took me a while to get to a point where I could train my dog indoors. Outside I had no problems at all, but somehow inside I was inadvertently putting too much pressure on my dog, even though I was positive and friendly to her so I recognize the lying down instead of trying something. My dog would sit everytime I tried to teach her something new and when that didn't work she would lie down. Wouldn't follow the food in my hand. Because I could train outside I knew she did love to train with me. What was different inside was that I sat or crouched near her or touched her or bent over. Outside I did all my training standing up. Plus she had breaks to run around and sniff, training was short and mostly informal during walks. So when I thought about it, training at home put a lot more pressure on her and she didn't understand what I wanted from her and was to insecure to try something other than a sit. Or when she really wanted me to stop: lie down. What I did was give her a break and not try to train anything inside for a while. After that period of rest I introduced her to some interactive food puzzles. I started with a Kong Wobbler and she just sniffed it but didn't know what to do and went to her default: sitting. So I showed her what to do (felt like an idiot shoving that thing with my nose...) but she eventually tried it herself. This way she got used to figuring things out partly herself but with help from me. Hiding food and chews also helped. I started with obvious places and when that went well hide it in the weirdest places or slightly above the ground. It is a lot of fun and a good opportunity to praise your dog a lot I then slowly introduced training again by asking for things she already knew inside and giving lots of treats. Kept the sessions very short, maybe one sit and a down. This showed her it was fun (treats yay!) and that I didn't expect a lot from her. Sit - treat - down - treat and walk away. Increased it with something a little bit new: going from a down to a sit. And increased to more difficult things and slightly longer sessions when I saw she was gaining more and more confidence. Now she absolutely loves our training sessions and has mastered something she found very difficult and scary: going from a down to a stand. Huge thing for her. (Ex-bf fault, he tried to teach her by lifting her rear with a towel...). And some other pretty cool stuff: walking between my legs, pulling my socks off, putting her head through her harness, shrugging out of her harness. Currently working on putting her toys away. She can go a lot longer now, but I tend to keep sessions very short, but practise multiple times a day. Be patient and start with the smallest steps and you'll get there!
  19. First of all, if you're scared she is going to bite someone: don't let her get close enough to people so she can bite, which means she shouldn't be off leash. And don't let anybody pet her or even talk to her or look at her. She shouldn't be able to run after children ever. That is an accident waiting to happen. I'm not an expert, but have some experience with a fear aggressive dog who was very scared of people. The way we managed it was to have a safe space for her where she knew no one would bother her. This could be her crate or even another room, as long as it is a place she can retreat to slightly away from the guests. Guests were instructed to ignore the dog completely, meaning: no touching the dog, no looking at the dog and no talking to the dog. The dog needs to learn that people mean no harm and people approaching a fearful dog puts pressure on the dog, eye contact and talking too. For that dog this helped immensely. It gave her the time to wait and see and decide whether she wanted contact or not. She didn't completely warm up to strangers, but she didn't bother them and they didn't bother her and that was fine. Another thing you can do, which I am doing with my current dog, is the "look at that" training. My current dog isn't fear aggressive, but she is insecure around other dogs and completely obsessed with children (loves loves loves them and loses all focus on me). I bought the book "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt because it was mentioned so much on here. Honestly a game changer for me. Quite an expensive book here in the Netherlands, but definitely worth it. So how I started with my dog is from a great distance sit her down next to me and let her look at the scary dog approaching us or a dog that was walking by. I treated her everytime she looked back at me (so later found out when I got the book this is not how you should do it, you treat for looking at the scary thing, but this worked for me). When this goes well you slowly decrease the distance to the scary thing. It is very important to not go to fast, just go far enough away that the dog is able to focus. You could do this on your walks when strangers go by, or for instance at your front door - just watching people go by. Today there was a school trip in the park so I practised this with my dog, just watching the children go by and sometimes turning around and walking away if she wanted to go up to them. Of course with a dog that might bite you have to be very very careful and know that you have your dog under control. This is where the distance comes in. Set the dog up for success and stay where the dog is comfortable and able to learn. I really recommend you buy the book (or perhaps your local library has it), Leslie McDevitt explains it all so much better than I can.
  20. I think it is very cute especially since she's the "big" dog in my family and the only one that does this.
  21. Even though Molly has loads of beds to choose from, somehow she ends up in the smallest that barely fit her. Some were bought for the cat (in vain, the cat doesn’t want them) but most are the beds for my mother’s Jack Russell terrier who is the Big Dog in the house, so naturally she only sleeps in the bigger beds meant for Molly and Mus (Molly’s mum). Molly doesn’t seem to mind though. Might be nice and snug, or it might be she gets lots of laughs and cuddles and pictures when she does it again. Smart dog.
  22. The only experience I have with a dog that isn't interested in toys was the rescue we had growing up. She was a stray pup in Greece that someone took home to the Netherlands with them and that didn't go well, so she ended up in a shelter when she was an adult. Slightly different situation than your dog, because she really didn't know what a toy was. We went to a trainer who advised us to play with toys in the living room and have a lot of fun with it, without inviting the dog to play with us. Basically: the humans played and ignored the dog whilst making enthusiastic noises. We looked like idiots and felt very selfconscious at first, but it was a lot of fun once we got over that. And it worked. She had the freedom to investigate and decide for herself she wanted to join in. I think this wouldn't have worked so well if we played with other dogs instead of only humans. The competition with other dogs would have put too much pressure on her I think. So I think it was a good decision to play with him without the other dogs. And 5 minutes is already something and a whole lot more than no minutes I'd say keep it short and sweet and stop way before he loses interest, even if that means playing for 10 seconds. Leave him wanting more. And perhaps you will find that he really isn't interested in more than 5 minutes of play. I see no harm in trying as long as there is no pressure on the dog and the dog is having fun.
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