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  1. erikor


    Thank you to all for your supportive and very kind comments. And I should add that we are so grateful for our brief time with Darcy. He taught us a lot about dogs and ourselves. And although he struggled, his love for us was clear. And to GentleLake’s point, for a while I thought we were “unlucky” and wished we had gotten a different dog. But then it occurred to me that Darcy was going to end up somewhere and I am so thankful he ended up with us where he was loved and patiently cared for to the end.
  2. erikor


    This is a hard post to write, and likely a hard post to read. But I perhaps our story will provide some consolation to other who walk similarly difficult paths. Readers of these forums will know we struggled from the get go with our Darcy. Certainly a part of the issue was that we were new dog owners and needed to learn about setting the right limits on both humans and dogs. But when Darcy's nipping and high arousal began to escalate, we sought the help of a behavioralist and a trainer (who had worked with thousands of border collies over the years). They both agreed that Darcy's high aro
  3. Readers of this forum will recall that Darcy, our 8 month old BC pup, and his humans have had some struggles related to over-arousal, resource guarding, etc. Many on this forum have provided wisdom and encouragement, so I wanted to provide an update. A couple months ago we started Fluoxetine (an SSRI, brand name Prozac for the human formulation). That helped some, but he was still constantly over-aroused and it was very difficult to get any focus from him in anything other than the most controlled environments. On the recommendation of both his trainer and his behavioralist, we added clon
  4. @urge to herd so true. Darcy's humans are getting better every day. He has great hopes for them. (I told one my daughter's this morning that Darcy was making me a better human being. She said I didn't need to become a better human being. I said there is always room for improvement.)
  5. Yes that's the general idea. But the book is better than the movie =).
  6. Yes ^^^^^^. Here's a success story from me, a novice (again, first dog, first BC). We are using this approach with our Darcy who barks at noises coming from the floor above. The idea is to transform the stimulus from a signal to bark into a signal to turn attention to you. Initially I was saying "where's the noise?" (which Leslie McDevitt now recommends instead of "Look at that" I believe) when there was a noise, then I would click for any evidence of attention to the noise, and then give a treat when Darcy turned back to me. That is the official "look at that" method if I understand
  7. Yes, I think for me the strategies I would use for an infant don’t work because Darcy can run and jump and the strategies I would use for a child don’t work because Darcy has a baby’s impulse control and understands very little language. I think for the most part I expect too much because he looks like a dog but is in fact just a puppy. Anyway, it is humbling. And that is never a bad thing.
  8. Yes, and I have been surprised how little child expertise translates to puppies. I am a pediatrician with 5 kids, for goodness sake. But the rate of development and the difference in trajectory of physical vs. mental development are just too different. Also the teeth. It's back to square one from an expertise and wisdom stand point. Thank goodness for this forum, Suzanne Clothier, Leslie McDevitt, Karen Overall, and our behavioralist. Thank you for the perspective! -Eric
  9. Ok great. I have created "Darcy's Trail Mix" comprised of dehydrated liver treats (which are actually part liver, part heart), dehydrated chicken treats, and cheerios. (We had already discovered that Darcy loves cheerios as training treats, but I thought that was our dirty little secret.) -Eric
  10. Thank you all for the kind and supportive comments! I will take it easy on the liver treats--we have other types too to throw in the mix (all of which are less than 1 calorie per treat which is good because we are going through treats like they are going out of style). For relaxation protocol time I use small pieces of hotdog and cheese. I was watching him pace around tonight and thought, "someone just needs to take the weight of the world off this poor pups shoulders". I gave him a hug and a good belly rub which seemed to help some. I am hopeful that more calm capturing will help to
  11. Readers of this forum may recall that we have had some challenges with Darcy, our first dog and first border collie, now (nearly) 7 months old. These challenges included biting the children and resource guarding. After putting in place strict rules and procedures for the humans and an improved training program for Darcy (including The Relaxation Protocol for Dogs, Capturing Calm, frequent practicing of "drop it" and "leave it", etc.) things are definitely improved. Nevertheless, we kept the appointment we made with a board certified behavioralist. That appointment was today. Since some of you
  12. So this morning I combined all the above advice. We did a short bit of (attempted) loose leash walking to the wooded trails by our home, then I switched to a longer lead (15 feet, which is the longest I have at the moment) and told him to "go play". He wandered about and sniffed and there was very little pulling (a fifteen foot radius was sufficient apparently, and I stopped whenever he stopped). Then when we got back to the road I put him back on his short leash. On the way back to the house there were several pretty decent stretches of nice walking (pretty fast, but I need the exercise). A p
  13. Thank you Journey and D'Elle for the excellent advice as usual. Just to clarify one point...I am not shocked not to see results, but after doing it for the first time it seems like quite a bit of effort for both Man and Dog. Which is totally fine but I just wanted to check with the experts that this is a reasonable strategy before deciding to stick with it. I think I will (1) make these training walks shorter and (2) stick with it and (3) continue reading Bones Would Rain from the Sky in the mean time =) Thanks again, Eric
  14. A flat collar, and I have used leashes of various lengths. This morning I used a 6 foot leash. It has always been an issue but I have never done any work on it. I have been focusing on The Relaxation Protocol and Look At That! in an effort to help with him be less reactive, and during that time have not done many on-leash walks (he has plenty of yard to run around in). But I felt that this would perhaps be a good time to start work on the leash walking too. (I know I said "our usual walk" but by that I meant the usual walk we do when we go for a walk, which recently has been not very often.)
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