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Everything posted by albuquerquedan

  1. That looks familiar, except mine would have a frisbee or tug toy in his mouth! (Or, let's be honest, a file folder that he's about to shred...) That's a great looking dog, by the way. I love the friendly, enthusiastic look in his (her?) eyes. Getting meaningful eye contact like that is one of the reasons we love dogs so much, I suppose.
  2. Thanks, Lawgirl -- I bring Finn to the office, but I don't think that's what intended by the term "working bred border collie"!
  3. I just wanted to update the Finnegan photo thread now that the young lad is 1 year old (Happy Birthday, Finn!). Despite his intensity (and he is INTENSE!), he's a remarkably good family dog: great with my wife and 5-year-old daughter, and he comes to my law office most days and is very well behaved. He's a good boy, and getting better each day. (He is still pretty bad on a leash, but we're working on that). Here he is on a recent hike and at his dad's ranch watching a herding event back in May. There's also an action shot of him getting a sheep back in line. Good boy, Finnegan.
  4. Sorry to hear you and Sunee are having such a tough go. I'd go through Dr. Overall's Relaxation Protocol, found HERE. (You can search YouTube and watch people go through the protocol so you have an idea how you're supposed to go about it -- those videos really helped me understand how to do it). I'm sure there is much more to do, but I think the protocol is a great thing to do with a reactive dog. Good luck!
  5. Thanks for your comments, amc. I don't know a thing about herding except from what I've seen at the handful of trials I've been to and the few handlers I've spoken to, so I really appreciate your observations. I'm especially grateful to hear that the handler was doing the right things. That makes me feel better going back to him for some lessons. Finn is typically a relatively hard-charging dog, so I was surprised to see how restrained he was around the sheep. Like you said, his confidence will grow, and I bet it will grow quickly given his temperament. I can't wait to see how he develops!
  6. Finnegan is now 11 months and is turning out to be one heck of a dog. I took him out to the ranch where his mom is from for an instinct test a few weeks ago. I videotaped it and uploaded it to YouTube. I'm obviously a terrible videographer, but if you fast forward to around 3:30, it gets a little clearer. For his first time, I think he showed a lot of potential. I'll start more formal lessons with the handler over the next month or so. Anyone see anything they'd like to comment on? Thanks! Daniel and Finn
  7. I wanted to add one more thing to this excellent thread. Rest. Make sure your young pup is getting enough rest throughout the day. Just like a toddler, if my dog (10 months old) doesn't get his naps, he's much more likely to be unable to regulate himself. It's quite a noticable difference. His ideal nap schedule would be from 9:00-10:30am, then at 1:00-2:00pm, then 5:00-6:00pm. The ideal hardly ever works out, but we shoot for it on most days.
  8. PS: Everyone likes photos of dogs. What does yours look like?
  9. I'll echo walhat everyone else has said, and what you've also endorsed: Mental stimulation is more important than physical exercise (both are obviously important). A game that works for me and my 10 month old is a modified game of frisbee. To start, I have him on a heel and ask him to do something (sustained eye contact, high five, lie down, etc...). The requested behavior(s) buys a frisbee toss from me. Instead of just letting him run off to catch it, I'll make him get it in an interesting way (run wide clockwise or counterclockwise, lie down half way and then walk up to it, stop half way and return to the heel position, etc...). I mix in free throws and also some quick leash training sessions (like for 1 minute, because walking on a good on-leash heel is still a struggle with us). Anyway, my guy loves playing this game. It also underpins off leash control in any situation, which is super important. Loads of other great ideas above. Good luck and have fun! Daniel and Finnegan
  10. With regard to the cars, I have a suggestion for something else you can try. Make cars and traffic boring. Here's what I mean: go to an area that's far enough away from the road where it's not overwhelming for your dog. Have a seat with your dog next to you and just relax and watch traffic roll by. Yawn some times. Make it really boring and relaxed. Don't give treats, don't make it exciting, just suck all the energy out of it. After a few minutes, go on your way. Again, with no energy. Repeat. Anyway, just an idea. It seemed to work with my guy when he was about 4 months old (he's 7 months now). I did the same thing with geese over the past month or so to good effect. I wish it would work for us with other dogs, but that's still my boy's weak spot. Good luck! PS: what a cute dog!!!
  11. I'm in the same boat as you, song.sparrow: a 6-mo-old HIGH energy boy who I bring to my office when I'm not working from home (I'm 3-4 days at my office, 2-3 days at home working). It's a big struggle, no doubt, and some days are better than others. The only thing that's working for me is the crate. I'm lucky in that my dog really likes his crate and generally settles down easily, especially when I drape a blanket over the whole thing and make it dark. I can keep him in there and quite for 1.5 hours, usually, before he'll give me little barks or whines. When I'm ready, I'll let him out and we'll go on a short walk, then some training and some cuddling, then back in the crate he goes. If I leave him out of his crate, he's immediately chewing on something he shouldn't be, so we just don't do that anymore. He gets a good exercise in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening. Many days, I give him a kong that I've stuffed with kibble mixed with gravy and then frozen. He likes that. Also bully sticks. When I'm at home, I'll give him a raw beef bone to gnaw on outside, which can buy me an hour or so. But's it's really all about the crate. I simply couldn't live/work without it. good luck!
  12. What an odd coincidence you'd post this! I'll be putting your product to use at 2:00pm today, when I get some bloodwork done for the 1 month follow up to my second AstraZeneca shot. (I sure hope I got the real thing, but I probably won't know for a while -- either when my spot comes up for an approved vaccine, or when they unblind the AZ trial).
  13. Ouch -- what a heartbreaking thing to read. I've read your posts and know how much love and effort you put in to bringing Darcy into your family. It's tragic that it had to turn out this way. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
  14. Thanks, D'Elle -- while I don't see myself ever using a clicker, I will definitely check out the book and see if its techniques can transfer over to us non-clickers. What I'm doing now is trying to take advantage of training opportunities. For example, when I'm on a walk and see someone else with their dog, I try to keep Finnegan's attention on me as we walk generally towards them. At some distance (say 30 yards), I have him sit or lie down next to me and give him praise/treats when he turns his attention to me (either on command or naturally). I stop all praise when he looks at the dog, and try to get his attention. If he's doing well, I move in a little closer and repeat the assessment. If I get too close and he can't handle it, we back up and hang out/play/walk around in a zone where he's still able to be calm and attentive to me and I praise him when his attention is on me. My hope is that we can continue to make the distance closer and closer. The hard part is when there's no opportunity to do that, like when the dog walker approaches me. Also in more general terms, we do the Karen Overall Relaxation Protocol, and are working at it in all sorts of places. Just this afternoon, I took Finnegan to the soccer fields across from my office and we watched little kids play soccer (with themselves and two off-leash chihuahuas) while he was in a down/stay. We were about 50 yards away from the action and Finnegan did super. Observant of the action, but still totally able to listen to me. Finally, in super general terms, I am working on forging a deep bond of respect and trust between Finnegan and me. I was lucky that I had such a bond with the Aussie I put down last summer. If I can replicate half of that, then I'm way ahead.
  15. If you've read any of my recent posts, you'll know I'm no expert, but something I read somewhere (I forget the source) had an impact on me: make the thing you want your pup to ignore boring. As in, "ho-hum, there goes another car, how dreadfully dull that is." For example, Finnegan took an early interest in my 5-year-old daughter's ankles. I would sit down with Finnegan and have my daughter run and skip and jump near by (she thought this was loads of fun!) all the while I would be yawning and quietly chatting with Finnegan telling him how boring little kids' ankles were. We've done this routine for many things like bikes, skateboards, people playing sports, geese, etc... Once, I saw Finnegan take interest in a car driving by our house. For a while, I would take him out by various roads, sit him down, and go through the whole "it's so boring" routine. I can't say for sure that the technique worked, but I can say that he hasn't shown any elevated interest in the things we've made boring. (Writing this post makes me feel a bit silly because I'm having trouble with Finnegan becoming amped up when other people or dogs walk by. I guess I should put my money where my mouth is and work on my pup before I start doling out advice!) Good luck and great looking pup!!
  16. Thanks -- I'm glad I posted. I had a feeling that letting him go after the soccer ball without structure was bad. When it's controlled play (fetch), he does pretty well, so I think I'll go with my gut and only allow soccer ball play with constant supervision and clear guidance/expectations (i.e., have him bring it right back and drop it at my feet -- no exceptions).
  17. I just posted another thread in which I praised my 6-month-old for being a generally well-disposed dog. The caveat being when he's meeting other dogs or humans: his enthusiasm to get to them overrides his ability to be calm. Obviously, it's no fun to have the dog run to the end of the leash, pulling and squirming, every time another dog or human comes within 20 feet. I think a lot of this is developmental, so I'm not taking it too seriously, just trying to work at it slowly and diligently and progressively. In that vein, though, does anyone have any exercises/training tips that can help with a calm meet-and-greet?
  18. My 6-month old Finnegan is generally a very good and obedient dog (well, for his age, although we have a long way to go, especially with meeting other people and dogs!). His only real quirk is with soccer balls -- he's obsessed with them and puts the full weight of his border collie attention to the soccer ball when I bring it out to play. Typically, this is fun for everyone (especially my 5-year-old daughter, who loves to kick the ball for him). I can generally get him to bring it back to us and drop it at our feet, especially if I use some sort of lure, like treats, plus enthusiastic praise for him coming over and dropping it. However... If he's left alone with the soccer ball, he'll really get into his own world: running around with it, shaking it, bumping it with his nose, etc... When he's in this state, he's pretty much out of my control unless I can distract him with a treat, and even then it takes some real cajoling. My question to the group is whether allowing him to get into this zone is healthy, or whether I should curb this behavior by only having structured play with the soccer ball. On the one hand, it's kinda nice when he's occupying himself in a non-destructive manner. On the other hand, because it takes effort to bring him back to reality, I'm not sure if I want that part of his brain to develop all that much. Any thoughts on how I should proceed with the soccer ball? Thanks, Dan
  19. Such a great looking pup!! Congrats! I'm sorry to hear that you lost your old gal. Having lost my great Aussie earlier this year, I know how hard it is. Enjoy the new pup!
  20. Thought I'd post a few Christmas pics of Finnegan. Obviously, I'm biased, but I think he's turning out to be a very handsome fellow!
  21. Thanks for the complements, gang! Here he is at rest... Maeflower -- I've seen those awesome photos you take of your gorgeous Rylie. Keep 'em coming! D'Elle -- I think the fact that Finnegan was mostly white is the only reason I, as a pet owner, was able to get him. The rest of the pups went to trialing or working homes, where apparently white dogs aren't as appreciated. SUCKERS! Finnegan is flat-out awesome and would have made a seriously good working dog.
  22. I'm one of those new members. I'd love to post more photos of Finnegan, but capturing a young pup in a photo has got to be one of the great challenges of life. He's ALWAYS on the go! Here's the best one I could manage over the past couple of weeks. Finnegan is an incredible dog and I hope to share more soon, as soon as he slows down!
  23. Two things come to my mind that you may want to consider (but I'm no expert). The first is that maybe he's over-tired at bedtime. The only time I have trouble with my boy (18weeks old) at bedtime is if he's been up too long beforehand. He's like a toddler human and can't regulate himself as well if he's over-tired. The second thing that worked well for me is to actually lay down on the floor beside the crate and relax with the dog for 10 or 15 minutes. For me, it seems to indicate to the dog that it's bedtime for the pack. I don't do this often, but did in the beginning and still do it if he's having trouble getting to sleep. Anyway, hope some others can chime in and give you a few more thoughts. Good luck!
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