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LearningToBorderCollie

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  1. Thank you for replying to this thread! I'm glad those are all working for you! We used them all; raindrop/relax on the mat, worked through Karen Oteralls relaxation protocol each of us, worked on the same waiting at the bottom of the stairs, teaching toy names, big energy releasing walk at the start of the day and impulse control with treats. It didn't really seem to help him relax. But thank you. Actually a month after this, we found him a new home. We found someone wonderful, who had two border collies and lost one and wanted another to keep them company. She lives in a quieter, more rural place, has had several difficult dogs and it seemed like a better home than we could give. Thank you though, I appreciate you replying.
  2. He was already neutered when we got him. What kind of mind exercises do you do with your dog? I feel like I've listed everything you can do in this post. I agree on the slow and clam it's one of the reasons to re-home him. We live by an estate, near a main road, near three train lines. It can get busy outside. I agree, we don't react when there is a sudden noise. I do breathing exercises to avoid tension by walking and I've been observed and told I don't react.
  3. I'll ask about that, thank you. Here you have to get a behaviourist to recommend the medication for the vet to prescribe but I'll see.
  4. We completely didn't do the research when we started. We'd never had a dog, let alone a collie. I look more into the impulse control. Our rehoming idea was to work with the centre, try and go home to home and continue to help the new owners. I'll continue to work with him though.
  5. I think I'm not very good at describing everything, its not that we have to give him attention (play/petting/treating) its that we have to manage him. We did a lot of work on relaxing. When he first arrived he had been really sheltered, he would pace for hours unless made to stop and reacted to every noise (draws opening, cups dragging on a surface, planes in the distance, cars outside). We spent hours for months doing relax on the mat and crate training. We used positive reinforcement on every sound to get him used it it (pepper grinder, cracking eggs, opening each draw, opening every cupboard, moving things in the draw, opening the fridge, trains outside, planes outside, cars outside, people outside, sneezing, coughing, sighing, humming, the list goes on, people jumping, rising an arm, showing him a flat hand, showing him a fist). We also play doggy music, use a thunder shirt sometimes, hidden all the mirrors, yucalm. Now he'll rest. But he still needs to be managed because he might react to something, then stay reactive and work himself up. He might hear an unfamiliar sound (skateboards, counting, people in different rooms, stretching, blowing air between your lips) and react and needs to be calmed down. If he's crated to relax him, he'll bark up to an hour. The vet gave him Trazadone, which was initially more effective, but has continued to calm him in the house and on the street. He is still noticeably more anxious without the medication.
  6. That makes sense the classes might help with his reactions outside. I'll have another look at that.
  7. We've taught him "sheep ball" and the herding commands to do that. What kind of mind games do you mean? We've taught him Nina Otteson puzzles, to search for food, to wait when something is thrown and then go find it. We've been using a combination of Look at that and Watch me to break his stare at things and walk more calmly, but he still lunges. We've used tracking and nose games too. We have looked for classes, but most trainers say that can't teach more than what we've already done. I'll look into finding the original breeder, that's useful. Thank you.
  8. Thank you replying. Do you think rehoming him is a cop out? He's 21 months old, almost 2 years old. When we first got him he was unable to self-entertain or chill. But we've managed to get him to sleep more and play alone. We had exhausted every exercise from our trainer, that's why we moved onto a behaviorist and using medication. But the trainer thinks its our noisy and busy city environment which is hard on Diesel. What kind of rules do you mean? And exercises for bite inhibition? What kind of classes do you suggest? We've taught him to herd, to fetch, to find things to jog together, what else is there? Thank you again.
  9. Nobody wants to rehome their dog, but I wonder what you think. A short history: We got Diesel at 11 months, directly from the previous owner He was kept in a pantry 7-8 hours a day with another older dog He hadn't had much training, but did have a 2 hour session with a gun dog trainer to improve street walking with a figure of 8 loop He's our first dog (I realise how silly we were) When we first got him, he would pace for hours unless occupied with play, training or a chew We would spend 16 hours a day occupying him for the first month He was also nervous of the sound of planes, trains and would jump at cars and people while walking He was given a clean bill of health from the vet At first we worked with a trainer for two months, to get him give him a recall so he could run outside and to relax at home We worked on the sounds one by one and he began to relax at home but was still nervous street walking We changed to a behaviorist for 8 months, he was put on anti-anxiety medication He would get 1 hour running a day, two 30 minute walks, plays sheep ball, fetch, left and right, jogging together and tons of other tricks We play sniffing games, Kongs, snuffle mats, Nina Otteson puzzles and other games But he still requires attention when we're at home and can't be left at home unless crated (which means we can only leave the house for 3-4 hours). On a good day it's 3-4 hours on a bad one it's 12 hours. And we have to keep an eye out in parks for kids, people on bicycles and walking on paths around the park. He has continued to lunge while street walking and has nipped people on the street or in parks but not broken skin This weekend he bit my partners mum on the leg and punctured the skin It's been 10 months and we were going to board him for a bit so we could have a break. But with the bite, we're thinking whether boarding won't help him (possibly make it worse) and we should find him a quieter home. What do you think?
  10. Enzsound, it sounds like you're really trying and it takes time (and is worth it) Indiana, your dog sounds like my Diesel, who I've only had for 4 months (he's 15 months old) and he had a sheltered start. He used to lunge at everything; cars, people and dogs. We have some walks to get off lead time in the park and walk as best we can. We have other walks just to practice walking well; first it was just in our housing courtyard, once he could do that we've been adding more and more streets. When something triggers him, we either turn, cross the road or sometimes I pick him up. Its taken time but things are triggering him less, but its still work. He's also food motivated on lead, toy motivate off lead. We taught him fetch at home and now we use it as his recall; we raise a hand and call his name. He runs back and he gets one or two throws of fetch and then goes back to it. He now always checks in on me incase we get to play. We also play sniffing games at home; hiding 5 pieces of dogfood around the room and letting him find it. Three times and it chills him out at home, it chills him out before a walk and if he's become overwhelmed on the street. Dog meetings were tough at the start; he would lunge on the lead and freeze when meeting other dogs. I started to limit meetings to 3 second before calling him away (or picking him up) and slowly by meeting more dogs this way he has become better (but not perfect).
  11. I pretty much second everything said already. I use Lawgirl's technique, I get a sit, I get some eye contact then we walk away with a treat. D'elle is on the money, I've been doing settling exercises twice a day for 4 months with Diesel and the improvement on the street is fantastic. I'm also working up to the look at that game. Probably against the rules, but I've started to pick him up when something happens and walk away which calms him down. You can do it.
  12. Hey all, I love how supportive this forum is; I've seen some discussion carpal pad injury's here, here and here. I wanted to ask if anyone has any advice on carpal pad toughening mixes (like Musher's Secret or Tuf-foot) or carpal pad wraps (Leather Stopper Wrap or Neoprene Stopper Protector? Diesel had a sheltered life for 11 months and then has been with me for 4 months. He tore his carpal pads on frozen ground and it healed up. But he's torn them again and they keep almost healing fully, to get torn again. I'm thinking of getting wraps to make sure they fully heal, then try and work on toughening them. Anyone else had something like this?
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