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Pat P

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  1. if the choking-himself issue is only on the way to and from the park, have you considered a headcollar (halti, gentle leader, etc - I forget the name of the one I have, it is a goofy-sounding name but the item is out in my car and it's snowing and I'm not going out to check it right now :P) ... if you can fit and use it correctly (NO jerking on it EVER) it can be a useful management band-aid. Some dogs don't mind it too much, others (like mine) hatehatehate it but still benefit from its use when you have to get from point A to point B without chaos and explosions. Rather than trying to interpose yourself between him and his trigger, it would probably be better to turn him away from it or get him somewhere he can't see it (behind a corner or garbage can or whatever) good luck... my guy still pulls considerably but not nearly as much as he *used* to, mainly due to a) maturing and b) every time he starts to pull to hard we circle, like longeing a horse... I only walk him on forest trails and can't IMAGINE having to deal with a dog acting like he does in a TOWN :P
  2. also they may grow out of the puppy curliness when the adult coat grows in
  3. the "toss kibble one direction, then when dog's getting it run the other direction and toss/drop kibble there, lather rinse repeat" type game -- Leslie McDevitt's "ping pong" game -- seems to work really well for kids and they enjoy it and are impressed at how much it gets their dogs paying more-constructive attention to them. So maybe that would be a place to start? Dog could be on long line, or just do it over short distances, or something like that, if dog can't be loose. Good luck, that is cool you are helping here out, Pat
  4. yeah, I was thinking you could substitute the names of my 12- and 15-yr-old sons for "my dog" in the original post, and that would be my life right now, right there, LOL. Dogs pretty much the same in this. Have faith :) Pat
  5. also you may need to experiment to find the optimal amount/type of exercise... sometimes they can get like you describe if they have done too much or in a way that leaves them all amped up yet poorly able to control themselves. Kind of like little kids at bedtime I think it's pretty individual to each dog, in terms of what works best so can't make any general recommendation other than experiment! -Pat
  6. specifically, a good way to start nosework type stuff when neither of you particularly knows what you're doing is to play "hide the kibble" or "hide the favorite toy" in the living room. (Don't do it with a toy if the dog is crazy obsessive with the toy, only if the dog likes the toy enough to find it but is not going to start believing that if she looks ahrd enough it will always turn out to be under a sofa cushion etc!) Start putting the kibble somewhere easy and with the dog watching; you will doubtless find that you can very, very quickly proceed to blind hides and less-obvious places. Reading a bit about scent work is helpful at this point, b/c it will give you some idea of how scent moves in the air and therefore which places are likely to be harder and easier. But your dog will also tell you which places are harder and easier, and how scent moves. Also IMO it is worth working on a 'stay' while you hide the kibble, instead of just closing a door or popping the dog into a crate. I think it makes them "thinkier" about the process, which is probably what you want. Additionally, I would recommend trick training as a great way to put mileage on the brain and make the dog feel like they've done something. It is the same concept as doing obedience type stuff EXCEPT that you are likely to have much less personal investment in how the training goes and whether the dog learns things "just right". If they are tricks that YOU make up (nose-touch a target! stand in this box! go around the cone and come back to me! pick up the spoon!) then if you and the dog just don't seem to be communicating and have to bail and go on to do something different, you will not feel bad about it as if it were an Official Exercise like Front, Stand, Heel, etc; and because YOU are the one makin' up the trick, YOU get to decide how it gets performed and can take the dog's interpretations and personality into account rather than trying to force it into an externally-determined mold. Highly recommend clicker training, and either learning to shape behavior, or luring-plus-clicking (the luring just to get things started, then you shape things from there). Tricks do not need to get formalized with names etc... the point is the journey, not the destination :) Good luck and have fun, Pat
  7. I would imagine that if the manufacturer thought it was at *all* defensible to suggest there was CBD oil in the treats, they would, as a sales thing... yet they don't. Hemp =/= CBD That said, if it works for you, it works, whatever the mechanism. -Pat
  8. I think it's a combination of putting on cologne, and just fully enjoying an exciting and wonderful smell :) -Pat
  9. Well, there *are* sportbred ones that are great around the house, but you'd need to know where to find them, and it can be harder to intepret (IMO) what the flyball/agility set say about their dogs, because they will often put up with a lot more "mental complications" in exchange for a crazy-driven dog! That said, an awful lot of really good agility dogs come from working (farm dog) parents, which is probably as it should be and not surprising -Pat
  10. and for health things that can't be DNA-marker screened for, like epilepsy, you need the breeder to know allll about its presence/absence in their lines, and in similar breedings. -Pat
  11. since you mention agility as a possibility, be aware there is a third food-group of border collies, bred not to work or for foofy show purposes but for flyball/agility purposes. For what you want, I'd steer clear of those breeders (tho they certainly do produce some dogs you'd probably enjoy) b/c you are more apt to get a rocket-fuelled maniac and have to be extra careful of epilepsy etc. (That is not an insult to sport breeders, I'm basically an agility person myself, sorry everybody <g>, just saying that sport-bred dogs can be a pretty different kettle of fish and really suited best to sports) The socialization thing is fairly easy to deal with, just don't get a puppy from someone who hasn't socialized them and really if you can talk to people who have grown-up dogs from whatever breeder you're thinking of, that will probably answer any lingering questions you have on that score. Also consider rescue! Good luck and have fun, -Pat
  12. The big thing is to try to keep him under threshold when you are doing your training on these issues. Once he is at the end of his leash barking, things have already gone wrong... the game is to try to stop *before* that will happen, and do your training *then*. Obviously you will not always guess right :P and that's ok, just get him out of the situation as quickly as practical (go away, behind a bush, round a corner, put yourself in front of him, whatever situation allows) but I mean the idea is to keep the number of oopsies low, if you want the behavior to decrease rather than increase. -Pat
  13. when finding out about temperaments/personalities/quirks of the parents (and grandparents, and siblings of parents, and older dogs of same breeding if any) make sure to ask for *descriptions*, not *judgements*. "So, what does <name of dog> mostly do in his spare time?" is more likely to give you useful information than "what's <dog> like?". There is a really really wide range of variation in border collie brains compared to many other breeds, and one person's "funny, loving" may be another person's "hyper-busy, won't learn to take no for an answer, drive ya nuts". Similarly, quirks like obsessions etc may be unimportant to one person but really important to try to avoid for someone else. "Quiet" can mean floppy calm switched-off-til-needed, or it can mean "sits in corner and stares at dust specks all day, or waits for the cat to come by to chase and bark at". Just having as loooong a conversation as possible can often tell you a whole lot, just let the other person do the talking :) JMHO, -Pat
  14. is he truly lying down like HIDING (scared), or is he just crouching and EYEING the oncoming dog? Which are two totally totally different things. the sniffing is hard to say anything about without being there, because the idfference between "I smell wonderful smells" and "my nose is glued to the smells so that I don't have to deal with the big disturbing world" can be pretty subtle. If he is *licking*, too, though, then I would bet it is not fear (at least not at those moments)... is it infrequent enough that it is maybe licking girl-pee (which they do)? Given that there is never any guarantee of how a dog's going to act after neutering, personally I'd consider waiting and seeing if the behavior changes with more maturity and training... unless it is driving you and him *bonkers*, in which case he is at least old enough now that would not be an unreasonable age to fix him if you were so inclined. Good luck, Pat
  15. >> And if there's a weird thing your dog loves, use that << Yes, this! I had a dog go thru a phase where the best toy I could offer was the cardboard tube from inside a roll of paper towels to tug on, or from inside a roll of toilet paper for him to just rip it up and disintegrate it :P Also, two of my dogs learned all their fast-difficult weave entries (sorry guys, we do agility :P) using dead moles and voles that they'd caught. (I would manage to get the corpse away from them, then use it as reward to motivate their weaves). Worked *great*, other than, you know, the unreliable availability of dead rodents LOL) It is, though, important to realize whether you are (at a given moment in time) using the treat as a lure to *manage* distraction, or whether you are using it as a reward to *train attention*. The two are not the same and although each has times when it is appropriate they do lead you down different paths. -Pat
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