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urge to herd

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  1. My first bc, Samantha, LOVED water. Never met a puddle or creek she didn't love. I didn't manage to get any photos of her swimming, but boy she loved it. Ruth & Gibbs
  2. If it comes off easily it's probably just dust that's somehow mixed with a few drops of water. Is your garden watered during the day? Is a there a sprinkler going that they could be getting a bit of drizzle from? Now I wanna go run through a sprinkler like I did as a kid! Ruth & Gibbs
  3. He looks a bit over to me, as well. As far as cutting back to one meal a day, I'd stick with 2 meals, and take maybe an eighth of a cup out of one. 1) You're likely to get dogs demanding to be fed both evening and morning if you cut one out. 2) Reducing by an eighth of a cup might be all you need. Do you use treats as training rewards? You can switch to kibble, slowly, and count that as part of their meals. You don't mention living with any other humans, a spouse, family member or roommate. If there is another human in the household, make sure that person(s) is not feeding the dog, unbeknownst to you. I had a room mate years and years ago who fixed himself popcorn several times a week as an evening snack. Since I was working evenings at the time, I had no idea he shared his snack with my dog, until she turned roly-poly. Neither of them was happy when that happy ritual came to an end. Ruth & Gibbs
  4. See if you can replicate any part of the sound that sets her off. If you find something that will work, start at barely audible and give the BEST TREAT EVER, one small piece. The treat needs to be something that Tizzy will turn herself inside out for, that might need a little experimentation. ALL of my dogs have loved fruit, one went nuts for dried cranberries. Couldn't open a bag without that dog being right at my feet. Don't use grapes or raisins, they're not good for dogs, raisins particularly. Anything meat based, (dried liver is a winner here) is fine if your dog LOVES it. Whatever treat you use you will ONLY use at those times you're doing the sound training, keep it special. Very, very gradually make the sound louder. Do this over several sessions. When she's hearing the sound and whipping her head around to see where that Very Special Treat is, you can take her outside. If you can predict the timing, even roughly, of the ice cream truck's arrival, you can go on to offering the Very Special Treat when the truck is going to come by. Have it handy. Repeat, very slowly decreasing distance from The Scary Thing. It takes a lot of time and patience, but with a dog this frightened you've got to take it slowly or it won't work. Best of luck ~ let us know how it goes. Ruth & Gibbs
  5. My Gibbs is a re-home. He's got great working dogs in his immediate ancestry, and somehow he's sort of 'meh' about the working stuff. I got him when he was 2 and a half or so and he's been a wonderful pet/companion for me. Michael's idea is a great one. Ruth & Gibbs
  6. It's so painful to lose them, especially so young. You and Chummy are in my thoughts today for the next several days. Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on. Ruth & Gibbs
  7. "I do praise praise all the time with her,when she does not pull.... Suggestion: Simplify it ~ give her a solid 'GOOD GIRL!' and keep going. The constant praise may be 'watering down' the communication, which is really, "THAT'S what I want you to do!' 'yes maybe i need to stay calm', Many dogs,certainly border collies, respond strongly to their human's tone. Your remaining calm and unflustered can only improve your communications with your girl. Raising a voice means there's something to worry about, and a worried dog is less able to respond appropriately. You could practice at home, with whatever cues you give her. Congrats on the success with 'Settle'! Way to go!!! I'd work on one thing at a time. With the main road you need to cross to get to the park, ask her to sit. Once she does that and it's safe to cross, get across that road. 4 hours is very much overdoing it. Right now she's experiencing 4 hours of over stim, and it seems evident that reassuring her is not working. You're training yourself while you're training your dog. Had a trainer tell me that when I had my first bc. It's true. Take one thing at a time, even though it seems there are many things to work on. As your training gets more consistent and easier for her to understand, everything will go better. By the way, none of these issues are unique to any breed. I've seen dogs of all kinds be incredibly badly behaved. It's always the responsibility of the human to train the dog. Best of luck! Let us know how you get on. Ruth & Gibbs
  8. Never heard of a dog who starved itself to death. Your vet says he's healthy. It's hard to wait them out, but he'll eat when he's hungry enough. It can be a challenge for us humans. BUT, if you give in and hand feed him, it's very likely to escalate. And you'll be dancing to his tune. Possibly escalating to more than simply food. Put his food down, pick it up if he doesn't eat it, just as GL says. He won't refuse to eat for long, maybe a few days at most. And that won't hurt him. I'd suggest leaving the room as well, which may be hard to do, but might be helpful for you in the longer run. Don't limit his exercise or increase it. Leave everything else in your routine as it was. Let us know how it goes. Ruth & Gibbs
  9. Consistency is key. Pick one approach and stick with it for at least 6 weeks, could be a bit longer. And trust me on this, you'll have put the 6+ weeks in and think you're done and BAM ~ you and your pup will run into a situation that scares her out of her skin, or intrigues her beyond anything else and you'll have to continue training. Another important thing is to curb your own frustration. A lot of dogs pick up on their human's feelings and it can affect their behaviors. Stay calm, keep your voice steady, give the command and encourage/enforce if necessary. And REINFORCE when necessary. That means praising her when she does what you want her to do. It might mean only a couple paces at the correct position, but acknowledge that THAT is what you want from her. Praise is ok, and food rewards are more powerful. If you're not already, allow her some leash after she's been nicely at your side for a few steps. Are you walking quickly or slowly enough for her? At 6 months she might need to go a little faster or a little slower than your natural pace. She might lose some or a lot of it when she hits doggy adolescence. Go back to Step One if you need to. Ruth & Gibbs
  10. Tehanu, here's how I got my first 3 b collies. The first one I was offered for free by a breeder. She was a friend and I mentioned that I wanted to get a dog and she gave me Samantha. The next one I got at a rescue run by 2 women who were friends with a friend of mine. The 3rd one I took from the jaws of death ~ he was due to be put down that day at a local shelter, having been picked up off the streets by a animal control guy. I found out about him from the women who gave me the 2nd dog. The 4th was given me by another friend and he is still with me. My point is I knew or knew someone who knew every person who I wound up getting a dog from. My best advice is to not only list your name with rescues and shelters, but do some work with them. Volunteer to walk dogs, or answer phones, or whatever it is you can offer. Getting your face/presence out there with rescues and shelters is like gold. No, it's like platinum. The workers at the rescues and shelters KNOW that you're sincere. They see you interacting with the dogs they're caring for and see that you're a good match. They see you show up, week after week, to walk the dogs or whatever, and see that you're reliable. If there are no BC rescues in your area, volunteer at an all breed rescue. Keeping your name and face in their minds is, IMO, the best thing you could do towards getting yourself a bc. Depending on where you live, you might get some direction of where to look for volunteer gigs from members here. Best of luck! Keep in touch and let us know how you get on. Ruth & Gibbs
  11. Ooooh, my kinda Supreme Ruler of Everything. We'll have two thrones made ~ no, FOUR thrones. 2 very fancy ones for public occasions and 2 plain but extremely comfortable for just lounging around the castle. With room for a dog. Ruth & Gibbs
  12. Great! I've had dibs on Empress of the Universe since my mid=20s, I believe. I'm a Leo ~ we do grandiose very, very well. So, we can be the Ruling Immortals, right? Ruth & Gibbs
  13. Find something that he does naturally and reinforce/reward that action. For example, does he tilt his head? Something very simple. When he does that natural, simple thing, give him his favorite treat. Don't say anything. If/when he does it again, treat again. (I'm sure you know by now to use tiny smidges of yummy stuff for treats) With any luck he'll start 'performing' for you. You can give the action a name and put it on cue. You don't say how long you've had him. Maybe he's still settling in to being a house dog/pet. I wouldn't worry about it. He might never be into doing tricks, but he sounds like he's a great pet and wonderful hiking partner. I had a dog who had been terribly abused. She was suspicious and took a long time to trust me. When she'd sit, I'd toss her a treat. She was too shy for me to give her a treat directly. She was also very, very bright, probably the smartest dog I've ever known. After the second or third treat toss, she'd come a few steps closer to me, and then the next day a bit closer still, until finally she'd come to wherever I was, sit at my feet, and woof in a very restrained fashion. From that point on we were golden. Ruth & Gibbs
  14. He was a wee bit loopy from the anesthesia. Got him home, he drank some water, fed him a light repast a couple hours after that. The next a.m he was rarin' to go on the morning constitutional. They took out three teeth altogether, so he got to eat kibble soaked in chicken broth for a couple days. Fit as fiddle! Thanks for asking, I totally forgot about the whole dental thing! Ruth & Gibbs
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