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About esantorella

  • Birthday December 2

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  • Location
    Medford, MA
  • Interests
    Trail running, agility

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  1. I no longer give mine soft toys unless I'm watching her like an eagle. Parts of them can easily be ingested, and foreign body surgery is expensive and dangerous. A friend of mine has a dog who nearly died from it. No tennis balls either, since those wear down the teeth. Check out this photo: https://whitebearanimalhospital.com/something-to-chew-on/ Sorry to be the fun police! If I'm not there to supervise, I'll let her have Kongs, Chuck-It balls, and a spherical puzzle toy that she rolls around. The "Pet Zone IQ" treat ball toy has stood up to over a year of regular use. When I am around, we use some toys from Clean Run for training and they have all been very fun and high-quality.
  2. I'm 3 months late, but I strongly recommend the book Agility Right From the Start. It goes over many foundation exercises in huge detail, and provides explanations that will make you a much better handler.
  3. This question really speaks to me because I'm in a similar situation. When we got our first dog two years ago, we did it "right" and got a rescue. After a long search, and failing to find any suitable dogs in shelters, we adopted a dog from an excellent breed-specific rescue. They did a great job and answered all of our questions, but we ended up with a dog with much more sever behavioral issues than we anticipated, including fear-aggression. After tons of training, she's made huge progress, and entirely stopped resource guarding and reactively barking at people. But she still has body handling issues and occasionally snaps at me for trying to take her leash or collar off. She'll tolerate my husband's hands near her head, but not anyone else's. The rescue was surprised to hear of her intense fear of people's hands, since she apparently did not show this with her foster parent. (Somehow, she is excellent with dogs, even though the rescue said she wouldn't be.) I want another dog, and I really don't want a second dog with behavioral issues -- what to do? I know most rescue dogs are not as difficult as mine, but still, almost all of the Border Collies, Border Collie mixes, Aussie mixes, and Kelpie mixes in rescue near us seem to be adults with behavioral issues. No surprise -- rescues come from bad breeders and usually not the best owners. And it's still a roll of the dice whether more issues pop up post-adoption, as happened with my dog. On top of all that, rescue is very competitive around here. My dog's foster parent rejected literally dozens of applications for my dog before approving ours. We are a sort of sports home, so rescuing a mystery mutt isn't appealing. So breeders are looking more and more tempting -- specifically a breeder with a history of producing dogs with good temperaments and who values socialization. I really like the idea in this thread of trying to buy a dog that washed out of herding. Do you all think a dog used to farm life would struggle in to a suburban environment? I.e. strange dogs walking by, screaming kids on bikes, the commotion of an agility event, house parties, etc.? How old are dogs typically when they are rehomed due to a lack of herding ability? I'd prefer to socialize a dog myself if possible, since after seeing the effects of poor socialization so starkly, I don't really trust anyone else to do it. But if I could spend a lot of time with the dog before buying it might be okay.
  4. While my dog was still learning this, I tried playing "look at that" in a situation that was too scary and now she thinks it's the "bark at that" game. Oops.
  5. We tried everything to teach our dog to work on a loose leash. She always wanted to charge forward and nothing we could offer her was as good as going forward. The only thing that worked was turning around and walking in the opposite direction every single time she pulled on the leash, then resuming our original course after she made eye contact while on a loose leash. It took months, but it worked.
  6. Interesting, has anyone ever seen a purebred that looks like this? No white on her face or neck, apart from some stiff, short hairs under her nose. I've been asked if she's part Kelpie, but the long hair gene is recessive so I don't think she could have a purebred Kelpie parent. I know it doesn't matter but I wish I knew where she came from!
  7. Can anyone recommend a trainer? I live near Boston but am willing to drive for a while. I know nothing about herding. My dog is a two-year-old rescue dog we adopted six months ago. Experienced people believe to be a Border Collie. I would definitely expect her to herd in a stalky, strong-eyed style based on her behavior. Is it important to find a trainer who specializes in strong-eyed dogs? The local ones I've found through Google seem to train "all herding breeds" and the competitive ones use Aussies. Also, what are some prerequisites to introducing her to stock? My concern is whether she would pay attention to her handler. She has great recall, a pretty good down-stay, and she's shown in agility that she's capable of amazing things when she's "in the zone." However, when she encounters a wild animal, she sometimes fixates and acts like she can't hear or see me. With tons of training she is now a good off-leash dog. (She runs with me or my husband every day, and we're always training her and working on building attention skills.) When she sees a squirrel, she mostly stays near her person and pays attention to him or her, and if she starts chasing it, an "uh-uh" can sometimes get her to stop. But I think she might go totally deaf to people around stock. A bit more about this dog: I heard that her first home (of many) was with someone who bought her for herding, but when she was less than 4 months old they decided she wasn't cut out for it. Since she was so young I'm hoping they made a mistake. She is extremely eager to work for food or toys. She is not soft, timid, or a "velcro dog."
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