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Braden

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Everything posted by Braden

  1. Update! Went to another lesson today, and we made significant progress. Looks like he is building confidence and we even moved to the bigger area to move sheep. Honestly the progress we made today was exponential and has made me hopeful that I can trial him. He wasn’t “all or nothing” like before (i.e. either timid or all out rushing the sheep) but rather slowly approached the sheep, crouched, made eye contact, etc. I was beyond ecstatic to see it “click”. It looks like I just needed to be patient and trust my trainer and the process. I’ll share any further progress I make.
  2. Hey there! I personally think this is another teen phase. I’ve worked with my Border Collie a lot since I’ve had him. He is really well trained, but I noticed at 6 months and a little past a year, he started “testing” me and either not following commands as tightly as before or reverting back to “bad” behavior. I read somewhere that this happens so I was somewhat prepared. I honestly just went back to training basics and reinforced the behaviors I wanted and ignored the behaviors that I didn’t like. So if he jumped on me, I turned around and ignored him, etc. I found that he quickly figured out that I wasn’t falling for it and went back to the dog I knew he was. It just takes patience and consistency. He is 1.5 years old now and really well behaved. P.S. your pup is super cute!
  3. @gcv-borderthanks for your input! This sounds exactly like what’s happening with Braden. We do quite a bit of training (obedience and tricks). So it seems like the main issue is him looking for me for approval like you described. I’ll try out your tips and see how it goes. Thanks again! @alligandegood point! I’ll see if we can try this as well!
  4. @NCStarkeythanks for the follow up and insight! Always appreciate the feedback on this forum
  5. @NCStarkey This was just the first day, but we practiced "Walk", "lie down", "walk", "lie down", "here", etc. to ensure the dog had basic obedience before joining the sheep.
  6. @Journey I meant she didn’t just throw us in with sheep. We practiced in a pen without sheep, then a small pen with about 3 sheep, then a larger pen with about 5-6 sheep. We started with a line and then letting the line go. There were other things we did as well but that was the gist of the progression. She gives feedback as well and is open to questions throughout. I also did a herding instinct test with a different trainer but ended up going with this one because she is only 30 minutes away and I had heard good things about her experience. All other trainers are close to an hour away or more.
  7. *I originally posted this in the stockdog expert section but didn’t realized it didn’t allow regular members to respond so I’m posting it here as well. Hello, I’m not 100% sure if I am writing in the correct topic area so my apologies ahead of time if I am not. I recently started herding lessons with Judith Kelly at Asher Dell Farm. I’ve had about 4-5 lessons so far and have really enjoyed it. She has been building it up slowly which I appreciate. We noticed lately that Braden (my border collie) is interested in sheep and engages with them but stops himself after a few seconds everytime. When he does this, he glances at me almost to check if it was ok to keep going which we want him to do, but it takes coaxing to get him confident to engage with the sheep again. We also just realized he is much more confident when I am holding the line then when I drop it. In the waiting pen he is also completely fixated on the sheep so I know he has interest. She mentioned how obedient he is and how he looks at me for approval and that may be holding him back, but now I feel like I may have hurt his potential to herd. Any thoughts on why he is apprehensive on continuing engagement with the sheep ? Do you have any tips on overcoming this? Judith seems confident that he will be good and said he just needs more exposure so he gets more comfortable but I want to make sure I’m not doing anything to prevent that and I also want to check if I could do anything to help him overcome it. Thanks for any advice! Additional information: He is 1.5 years old and comes from a herding line. We’ve only been going to lessons for the past month or so.
  8. Hello, I’m not 100% sure if I am writing in the correct topic area so my apologies ahead of time if I am not. I recently started herding lessons with Judith Kelly at Asher Dell Farm. I’ve had about 4-5 lessons so far and have really enjoyed it. She has been building it up slowly which I appreciate. We noticed lately that Braden (my border collie) is interested in sheep and engages with them but stops himself after a few seconds everytime. When he does this, he glances at me almost to check if it was ok to keep going which we want him to do, but it takes coaxing to get him confident to engage with the sheep again. We also just realized he is much more confident when I am holding the line then when I drop it. In the waiting pen he is also completely fixated on the sheep so I know he has interest. She mentioned how obedient he is and how he looks at me for approval and that is holding him back, but now I feel like I may have hurt his potential to herd. Any thoughts on why he is apprehensive on continuing engagement with the sheep ? Do you have any tips on overcoming this? Judith seems confident that he will be good and said he just needs more exposure so he gets more comfortable but I want to make sure I’m not doing anything to prevent that and I also want to check if I could do anything to help him overcome it. Thanks for any advice! Additional information: He is 1.5 years old and comes from a herding line. We’ve only been going to lessons for the past month or so.
  9. Hello, This question is more out of curiosity to help me decide on what I should do :). I am wondering if I should register my Border Collie (he is a little over a year now) in ABCA (parents were both ABCA registered) and/or USBCHA. For some background, I started herding lessons and plan to continue them. I am unsure yet if I will try to compete. I personally just enjoy it. Is there a benefit or preference for registration in these organizations? I have read up on them, but the information seems to be a bit disoriented. Also, are there any other organizations I should consider? Thanks for any input, opinions, advice, etc.!
  10. Hello, We are considering getting a few alpacas to add to our "mini-farm". I currently have a Border Collie that I have started taking herding lessons with. My question is whether alpacas can be used for herding in a similar manner as sheep. I've heard llamas cannot since they will "stand-up" to a dog and can be aggressive. However, alpacas tend to be more docile (at least from what I've read ) so I was wondering if anyone has any experience or insight into how they would react. We plan to get young ones and introduce them to dogs right away as well. Thanks for any tips and insight!
  11. UPDATE! So I contacted my old trainer (the one I did obedience and tricks classes with) and she offered some good tips to continue my reactivity progress that I thought would be helpful to share. I didn’t contact her before because I thought she was more of a obedience trainer rather than a dog behavioral issue type of trainer. That was my fault for assuming. I should have gone back to her from the beginning. She is great! The first thing she advised was using a clicker when reinforcing LAT instead of a word like “good” which is what I was doing. A clicker provides consistency in delivery and tone that a vocal word cannot and I saw immediate reinforcement improvement when I switched to a clicker. I previously used a clicker in the beginning when I did obedience with him but slowly stopped using it so he wouldn’t expect it, but I found that it is better to keep using it until a behavior is more solidified. It essentially helps me communicate better with Braden. The second was using a “dummy” realistic stuffed animal dog to practice on. I honestly didn’t think this would work and that he would know it was fake. However, it has helped so much! I used it from a distance and have been working to get closer and closer while using LAT to reinforce calm behavior. I have seen tremendous improvement using both the clicker and the dummy dog. Thought I would share in case anyone felt stuck like me. Let me know if you would like to know further details.
  12. @gcv-borderand @Lawgirl thanks for the tips, advice, and support. Especially about how agility training typically goes. I’ve never been but look forward to trying it out. Thanks again!
  13. @D'ElleThanks! That's encouraging. Sometimes we just need to keep going and stick with it.
  14. Hello again! Thanks again for everyone's earlier advice, tips, and support. I really do enjoy reading this forum and plan to be more active on it. So, I wanted to post an update and hopefully gather some additional advice. Braden has improved a lot and has even met new dogs he likes, however, if there is a dog he decides he doesn't like, he gets pretty locked in. To be completely honest, he is good 98% of the time as long as he doesn't have to interact with new dogs. Even off leash or walking by a dog he is fine, but if a dog shows interest in him, we still struggle with his reactivity (air snaps and baring teeth). I bought the book "Control Unleashed" and it has helped a lot, but my question is if this is something he will grow out of and/or something I will just have to manage his entire life. It's really not that big of a deal if so (although I would much rather prefer he didn't have this issue), because he behaves and listens so well otherwise, it just bothers me that this is the one area that I can't overcome. Another thing is that I would really like to put him in agility lessons, but I'm worried about how he will react in the environment with dogs running around and possibly coming up to him. He has taken herding lessons and did fine around the other dogs because he was so focused on the sheep as were the other dogs, but herding lessons cost a lot more than agility so I only do them sparingly as a fun "once-a-month" thing. So back, to my question...can his reactivity improve? Does it naturally improve with age (he just turned 1 ). For background on this issue, please read my first post on this thread. P.S. I met with another trainer who also said that he is "guarding" me and my other dog due to being previously attacked (basically I let him down before, so he felt the need to step up) which I have been told before. I have been working to show him that I have "everything under control" so he doesn't feel he has to do anything, but I'm not sure if it is helping. Any tips on how to improve on this would be greatly appreciated. As an FYI, I didn't move forward with this trainer because I didn't like his forceful technique and knew my dog would shut down with it.
  15. Braden (our full Border Collie) loves jumping of the sand dunes and running back up...then jumping again. Both of them (Braden and Eli) are scared of the waves though.
  16. Wow! I didn't expect such helpful information so fast! Thanks everyone. Everything everyone has posted is super helpful and also makes me feel better that I'm not alone . @Flora & MollyYour dog sounds a lot like mine and I realized that part of the issue is me not wanting to come across as rude to people. Most of the dogs we come across are "rude" and either over-the-top or in his face. It is interesting to me how often people take it personally when I don't let my dog greet another dog that I know he will react to. My other dog is a border collie mix who is patient with everyone and every dog, but it's not fair to expect the same from Braden. I will definitely be incorporating everyone's advice. Thanks again and I'll post update after some progress.
  17. Hello, This is my first time posting in any type of forum, but I’ve found all of the posts on here super helpful. I’m hoping you guys can help me with my issue. Backstory:We have a 9 month old male neutered Border Collie, Braden, we got from a reputable breeder who focuses on a working line. He has gone through basic and intermediate obedience training and a tricks class (that was for fun ). I work with him everyday and he is listens to commands pretty well, walks off leash well, has a strong recall and has been socialized with other dogs, people, and situations since we got him. He is great with people, doesn’t really react to noise, fireworks or thunderstorms, and doesn’t chase anything (if he starts to go after something he listens to “leave it” or “keep going” really well). Here is the issue: He is reactive to new, larger (anything bigger than a small dog) dogs, unless he has met them before and likes them. He is fine if new dogs don’t get close enough to sniff, but if they do get close or they bark at him, he air snaps and shows his teeth. Off leash he is a lot better with new dogs. At first I though it was due to “overly excited” dogs, but he does it to any dog that invades his bubble and especially to high energy dogs if they are in the vicinity. I normally try to read the situation and don’t force Braden to meet any dog but I would like him to be “civil” or at least not react the way he is reacting. It’s usually a problem if we take him to a public place and have no choice but to walk super close to a table with a dog or someone with a dog, etc. If there is enough distance I can say “keep going” and he will ignore the dog. But there are instances when the other dog is pulling on the leash to get to Braden which makes him react by barking or air snapping even if the dog doesn’t get near him. He is getting pretty good with the “settle” command which I use sometimes to calm him down and I’m starting to teach LAT (look at the dog) to reward him and hopefully shape good dog interactions, but is there anything else I can do? Side note: I met with a trainer and they said they believe he is resource guarding and is insecure. He was also attacked twice by dogs that escaped their house. They didn’t get to bite him, but they did pin him down and tried to bite him. I made sure he had good dog interactions after those incidents but it doesn’t seemed to have helped. Sorry for the long post. He is a great dog and this is literally the only thing that I need to work on and I feel stuck. Attached is a picture of Braden (he is the Tricolor one, the other one is my Border Collie/Lab mix - the best dog ever by the way!)
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