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Everything posted by Abroz

  1. I agree with all of the above. Especially that a little pup will come around and bond just fine in a short time so don't despair. You might also try just sitting on the floor and having her approach you and letting her make up the game. Like shellyf said, be a bit aloof. Sometimes she might bring a toy for tugging or throwing. Sometimes it might be chase me. (I've found fast crawling on a rug to be a strangely good workout). Sometimes it might even be a cuddle.
  2. Oh. And raw beef or bison bones straight from the freezer. Very effective.
  3. I like to get stuffed animals from the thrift store. 99ยข so the relatively short half life is fine. (Just avoid the ones with the little beads inside... ) Wish I had a sewing machine though! Great idea to make toys from scraps! (maybe a new business awaits for you....?) Gani also helps to pre-recycle things like empty toilet paper rolls and junk mail. The shredded bits still go in the recycling bin when she's done. Boxes large and small are fun too. Shoe boxes, Amazon boxes, pasta boxes. Add a few treats or stuff a toy in and "let her rip". She likes to make kindling for the wood stove even smaller too. Again, scraps still go into the stove when she's done. For kongs I've been using good quality canned dog food to stick the kibble together. Seems better for her than peanut butter on a regular basis, though I still mix some in sometimes because she loves it.
  4. OMG. Thanks for thoughtful feedback!!! I also never knew crates were a thing until recently. Yes, it was puppy - proofed kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms back in the last millennium. Drawbacks? Certainly. Similarities to crates? Of course. But also more room to move and generally just a short term solution to puppy teeth. I've seen the same "good as gold" look from Gani! Also regarding the couch. She was banished from furniture for 5 weeks because of her broken leg. When I let her back last week, she made herself as tiny and invisible as possible. Her eyes said I promise to be good as gold. She was. Just a question. What would happen if you gave your dear boy a chance to make good on his promise? If he doesn't deliver, crate as usual. But if he does, new level of trust and communication. No cost to try if you do it when you can supervise. Thanks for example of what I have been talking about.
  5. Geez! I never said no confinement or no rules. I only postulated that more freedom is another training tool. Maybe this forum doesn't work as well as it could because it's too easy to oversimplify and categorize complex ideas. [Aside: kinda like politics nowadays] I live in a very small town (~200 people, 35 dogs) surrounded by open space. The mores here are similar to those described in Merle"s Door. Some people let their dogs roam. I do not. For me, it's dangerous for the dog and also rude to my neighbors to leave piles of poop around. Others disagree. Underscores how there is a huge diversity of opinion on best ways to treat a dog. Kinda like our present issue of crates. Whether, when, how long. Maybe it's time to back up and assess our similarities. I think we all passionately love border collies in general and our own dogs more than anything else in the world. (Annoying and challenging as they may be at times.) And we all endeavor to do the best we can. I haven't had a puppy in 17 years. In my attempt to do my best by my new darling puppy, I've read everything I can find about how to best treat them and raise them. I listened to many voices and considered ideas that were new to me. For example, I bought a crate and have trained my puppy to enter it freely. Sometimes she even naps in there (without ny telling her to). However I observed that for me and my puppy ithe crate does not seem necessary. I found that very interesting because it contradicts the majority of advice I see on this site. I speculate that may be in part because I am inclined to offer more freedom as an overall approach . And I wonder whether it ll that approach might be something for people to consider. Please don't make words like "wonder " and "speculate" into black n white pronouncements that I never made. I just thought perhaps other people may want to consider alternative ideas. Sorry if that is somehow threatening.
  6. I don't agree with the shock collar at all and would never, ever use one. Also, having read the book recently, I would suspect that the author would not do the same thing again now. I would guess that he was learning in the times (I think the early/mid 90s) and place (rural Wyoming) he was in. Not to excuse the use of a shock collar, however -- there would have been much better ways to deal with the situation of his dog getting fat because his neighbors fed it when it wandered around. Maybe starting with not letting it wander around. But thanks for acknowledging that I posted the book as an example of an overall philosophy. Yes, precisely. I also agree that Gani seems to be an easy puppy. And I fervently agree that I will not allow her the freedom to practice and entrench undesirable behaviors. I've been very diligent to not let her persist with some things that she showed an interest in, like chewing on my boots. Now my boots are in the closet, not by the front door.
  7. Gani is my 3rd border collie puppy. I treated the others in much the same way as I'm treating her. They turned out to be very good dogs who did not destroy things as they were growing up and who could be entrusted with dog doors etc for their entire long lives (15 and 17 years).
  8. Thanks Flora & Molly. Sounds like your approaches are similar to mine. I like the idea of the "go away" command. I have a couple versions that seem similar. One is "move" which is an immediate command that evolved in mountain biking with my first border collie, Essie, where it meant "get off the trail this instant so I don't run you over". However it evolved to be a generally useful way to say "go someplace else, anyplace, but do it right now." Useful when walking through with laundry baskets or to claim space on the couch! I also use "go lie down" to tell the dog to stop bothering me and go occupy itself elsewhere, without specifying exactly where. Those stories are so sad. I think less extreme cases are also very sad. For example, I know people (acquaintances/people at work) who leave their dogs in crates for the whole work day, like 9, 10, 11 hours at a time. I actually think that's a fairly common scenario nowadays. Abuse? I don't know. People mean well I think. Maybe their dogs get to go for walks and play with their people in the mornings and evenings. But dang, that's a lot of hours in a small space without a chance to even walk around and stretch one's legs. I mean, my office at work is small and everything but at least I am allowed to walk down the hall to pee. Thanks. I agree about other people. Training my husband is the hardest part of this! My friend and I were talking about "Man Caves" as a form of crate training. Once they are potty/manner trained out in the garage, maybe it's OK to let them in the house for short periods... but only if you keep a close eye on them. (just kidding of course) It's also been challenging to train the treat lady in the neighborhood to not give the puppy anything. "No Bea. She can't have anything, thanks." "No Bea, she can't have anything this afternoon either, thanks" "No Bea, she can't have anything today either, thanks." I do not have multiple dogs. But I imagine that changes things the dynamic a lot too. OK, that's fine. Just want to have a discussion. I have benefited from many of your other posts on this forum, but we don't have to agree on everything. Oh, and yes, I have puppy-proofed my house for safety issues, and that's worth it to me to be able to let her have more freedom. Yes. She is in fact her own nap captain. When she's tired, she somehow figures it out all by herself and she goes off in a corner someplace and sleeps. She also manages to go over to her water bowl and drink without my reminding her. Maybe she is exceptionally brilliant. Sometimes I wonder how wild animals manage to eat, drink, sleep, and fornicate without us telling them what to do and when to do it.
  9. I actually learned of that book on these boards. It most certainly doesn't apply to the specific situations of most people (myself included). But I point it out for the overall philosophy of allowing dogs more freedom, within the reality constraints of one's life.
  10. https://www.amazon.com/Merles-Door-Lessons-Freethinking-Dog/dp/0156034506
  11. The logic is this: instead of preventing a dog (of any age) from making mistakes by prophylactically limiting their freedom, an alternative approach is to start by determining the degree of freedom and responsibility that they can handle by allowing them to make a few mistakes and then scaling back if necessary. In other words, I am exactly saying that I want to start by trusting my puppy in order to determine the degree of training and restriction required instead of starting by restricting the puppy without knowing the degree to which it is necessary. Here's an example. Like most people, I do not want my puppy to eat the house while I am away. Many people deal with this POTENTIAL problem by automatically crating their pups. But in the scheme of allowing the most freedom possible, I started by allowing Gani access to the kitchen/living room and a fenced yard (via a dog door) while I am away. She could eat the couch, rip up houseplants, "read" a bunch of books, get into the trash and the catfood, chew on my favorite rug, etc etc etc. However, she has not done any of those things. In fact, she just plays with toys, chews on a bone, sleeps on her bed, and generally hangs out in much the same way as she does while I'm sitting there. (I know this because I started small and monitored her -- at first, I just crept around and spied on her through the windows. Then I left for 10 minutes. Now we are up to about 2 hours.) It's an approach that encourages and entrusts the dog to figure out the limits instead of automatically removing their involvement/responsibility. Just something to think about. Again, I'm not saying crates are never useful. I just think they have become reflexive as a first line approach, when in fact they aren't always necessary and they have some downsides too.
  12. Right. So we all agree that crates can be useful and are sometimes necessary. How about if somebody comments on topic: I posit that sometimes behavioral issues can also be addressed by allowing puppies more freedom, not less. Maybe sometimes we people would benefit from trusting our dogs more, not less. I'm not overly sensitive. Just trying to have a different conversation. One that doesn't always end with "pop 'em in the crate" as the only answer. What are puppy steps that folks can use to expand their dog's freedoms and responsibilities? What are alternatives to time outs in the crate? Might it be a good idea to consider that a dog that won't settle is asking for a different kind of interaction? What might that interaction look like?
  13. I actually agree that it's an important skill. In fact, Gani goes in the crate on own because I've given her treats and bones and kongs there. I've taught her "go in your crate" and she does. Big deal. The point of my post was to consider whether sometimes allowing MORE freedom is an effective training tool, an idea that I do not see discussed here. I don't appreciate being criticized and lectured for raising a new topic of conversation. Maybe I should keep my ideas in the box/crate.
  14. I am wondering if anybody else here does NOT use a crate. My puppy Ganeshani (Gani for short) is about 4 1/2 months now. AND... She broke her leg 5 weeks ago and so has been on activity restriction which will continue to some degree for another 3 weeks. (She's healing very well and is expected to recover 100%) So she hasn't been able to run or jump or go for more than 10 min walks or play with other dogs for 5 weeks. I've had to be creative in entertaining her with training and toys and trips to the hardware store (in the shopping cart) during her recovery. Its been challenging at times (partly because I miss MY walks). However I have not confined her to a crate. Not once. I bought one because it seems the standard in training these days. It's in the living room. She goes in there sometimes. But I've never shut the door and it simply doesn't seem necessary to get her to behave. She has puppy spells. Sometimes she gets wound up playing with toys and nips at me. I just stop playing for a while. Sometimes she tries to chew on the rug. I give here something else instead. Lately she's experimented with barking. No response if she barks at me to get me to play. Hush up if she barks repeatedly at something outside. She is good about entertaining herself with a toy or something to chew or when I'm working or when we're eating dinner. She's definitely not low energy or sick. She just seems to get it about what the limits and expectations are for her. Maybe I'm just lucky and clueless but I like to think that one tool for training is to allow more freedom, not less, the idea being to encourage and trust our brilliant border collies to figure it out themselves. Just some thoughts for discussion that I haven't seen here. Please don't torch me. It's fine if others use crates and I can understand that they are a great tool and maybe even necessary for some dogs.
  15. I'm enthralled with my new family member Gani, 12 weeks old tomorrow. She's a complete joy and oh-so-easy, just fitting right into the household, no problems at all. So far, our walks are about a mile which takes about an hour since they are leisurely, non-linear outings, mostly off-leash, with lots of sniffing and playing as well as some built-in work on recall. This seems just fine -- she runs right in to play with toys when we get home and she's always eager to go out the next time -- so I'm not at all concerned about the current walks. My question is, as I gradually start to increase the time and/or distance, what behaviors should I keep an eye out for that would suggest that we've done too much? I want to let her do all she can but don't want over-do it. Thanks!
  16. Just want to say thanks! to people on this forum for support and advice! I'm now the fortunate new person for a super bright puppy. Gan is 10 weeks old, female. Confident, happy, ok doing her own thing but also attentive to me. And smart as heck of course. She learned sit and lie down in one day, follows me naturally along a trail, eyes the cat with due respect and a safe distance, and already figured out the dog door. Oh... And snow is fun!! I can't wait to see the places we'll go and things we'll learn together!
  17. Alas. The busy new world ever expands, restricting dog and human alike.
  18. Lots of anecdotes. Not much actual data. Eileen, is coat color, eye color, or white factor noted for dogs that are BAER tested at trials? I didn't see it on the consent/questionaire form. Although asking people might not be very accurate anyhow (for example definition of white factor isn't widely agreed on). Might be better to take a picture of each dog tested so color could be scored off line according to consistent criteria.
  19. I remembered seeing this post supporting the idea that deafness may be more common in all pups in a litter where some have lots of white http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/topic/31981-white-head-pups/?do=findComment&comment=398835
  20. Should the BAER test be my responsibility or the breeder's? It's not about the cost of the test per se. It just that it seems unfair for me to test someone else's pup because if it doesn't work out and I walk away then I'm just out that investment. Personally I am more comfortable if the breeder does the testing up front but I essentially pay for it in the final cost. [Aside: To be clear, I consider the cost of a puppy to be completely negligible compared to all the years of joy. I only get around to asking the price to be sure it's within the typical range as an indication that the breeder isn't in it for money.]
  21. Is there an adequate informal test for unilateral deafness? I've tried just softly snapping my fingers near each ear but it is hard to get a reliable response. Since I need to communicate over long distance and in very windy conditions in the mountains, deafness in one ear is still a concern.
  22. Gcv thanks for your comments. I like that you said a responsible breeder would return a deposit on a litter if there weren't enough pups (which could happen for understandable reasons). I'm totally on board with putting a deposit down the second I'm ready to commit. That's best for everyone - - the breeder doesn't hold pups for people who flake out and I know that if all goes as expected I can count on one. But I've had some breeders say the deposit is not refundable under any circumstances and they would just roll it over to their next litter if they don't have as many pups as expected. That does not seem reasonable to me because the next litter usually wouldn't be the same parents and it could be a long wait. So I've decided against breeders with that policy.
  23. Islandboy, thanks for sharing your story. How did you find out about the unexpected litter where Merlin came from? Did the farmer do health checks like hips, eyes, ears, or in the end did you just figure that the parents were healthy and so the odds were good? BTW I love your bicycle side car. Did you make it? I've about given up on trying to arrange anything in advance for my next pup. I am just biding my time, trying to trust that things will work out when I am ready. It's interesting that I've found pups that are ready right now (a bit too soon for me and my grieving process), possible litters for 6-8 months from now (a longish time and uncertain; just have to wait to see what happens), or else long waiting lists with mandatory deposits for a year or more in the future (an impossibly long time to live without a dog; and how can they be certain enough of pregnancy and number of pups to accept a deposit now anyhow?).
  24. Amy thanks for the additional info about the trial. I'll follow up with a call and I'll contact Irene again too. I agree that there's never going to be certainty about the future health of a puppy but I definitely want to improve the odds and avoid known problems. Cathy
  25. terrecar, thanks for your thoughts. Neither sire nor dam of the litter is a merle, but both are white factor. (I did read up on that; I'm a scientist and I find the genetics fascinating.) However even if there weren't white pups, health tests are important in general. Regarding the trial amc (Amy, I guess) mentioned that is listed on the USBCHA Sheepdog trial page in Colorado Springs for Oct 27-29 https://usbcha.com/sheepdogs/upcoming-trials-sheepdog/ I would love to go! However I cannot find any information about location or times. I emailed the organizer a week ago, but got no response. (If anybody knows anything, will you please send information my way! Thanks!) The thing about the condescension is that some people make judgements and decisions based on assumptions without any information. I'll just say that reducing what I do to most people's idea of "hiking" is akin to reducing trialing to chasing sheep.
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