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Deanna in OR

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About Deanna in OR

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  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to get through the death of one of our beloved dogs. It's been 3-1/2 years since we lost Maile, and then Kashka a few months later--the two were the best of friends, only a couple of weeks apart in age, and now they are together at the Bridge. I just finally finished a memory photo quilt in their honor, now hanging in the living room. Perhaps creating some sort of memorial to Sam will help you to remember all the good times you shared. We have had Tenaya (our BC) and Willow (our Collie) since a little after we lost the other two, and our liv
  2. Hi Natalie, Even after 3 years of agility classes, we're still going every week and don't plan on stopping. The dogs can learn the basics of the equipment fairly easily, but there is so much more to agility, especially for the human part of the team! A big part of that is learning how to teach your dog exactly what you want. You can learn a lot from Clean Run, but a good trainer is essential if you want to be able to learn to be a good agility team with your dog. It is addictive! Tenaya (our BC) and Willow (the collie) both just starting doing trials a couple of months ago. T
  3. Tenaya's Favorite toys are fron Fat Cat--the Ring toss toy, part frisbee, part tug-toy, part chew-toy hurl-a-squirrel (her official reward when she finds someone in SAR training), and the Fat Cat Skunk Crackler Skunk They are stuffed toys, the skunk with a squeeker and something inside that makes a cracking sound. She doesn't get to have it very long unsupervised, but it's extremely durable with a very heavy canvas outer covering. Deanna in OR
  4. Congratulations to you and Blaze! Alaska said "Someone once told me that learning agility with a BC (as your first dog) is a bit like learning to drive using a Ferrari." I told that to my husband, who is learning agility with our young BC, Tenaya. Tenaya is VERY fast and very impatient with her handler. My husband responded to the comment above with, "That's not entirely true. You can still drive slow in a Ferrari"! Deanna in OR
  5. Any dog who is unknown to you should be considered likely to run if given the chance. Fostering the dog sounds like a good thing to do--just make sure she is in an enclosed area (a fenced yard, with you present) or on a leash or long line, or best of all, in the house with you. If you leave her alone for long periods of time, she may become destructive. Border Collies are really people-oriented dogs who do much better spending plenty of time with their people, not left alone for hours. They usually need some "job" to do, since they were bred to be working dogs. The job might be obedi
  6. We trained our 2 girls that they have to Sit in order to get a greeting from humans. Jumps are ignored (by turning backs) or corrected if they are really obnoxious. We try very hard with our guests/friends to get them to do the same. Well, we sorta trained them--at 2 (Willow the Collie) and 2-1/2 (Tenaya the Border Collie), they almost always sit as long as we remind them right away, but then Tenaya, especially, still wants to jump up for a kiss. I think it's because my husband lets her do it part of the time..... Deanna in OR
  7. When Tenaya was a puppy, I had a ruptured disk in my back and couldn't bend over to pick up her fetch toy (ball, frisbee, whatever...). So unless she brought it back to me and handed it to me, it didn't get thrown. She figured it out pretty quickly, since she can be obsessive about fetch if we let her--unless she did that, the game ended. We extended that to include a "sit in front" with the toy before taking it (not just a stand nearby with the toy). It's great now when Tenaya and my husband are playing or competing Frisbee--she brings it right up to him, with a quick sit, then he t
  8. One other suggestion--go to dogwise.com and get this book: "MY DOG PULLS. WHAT DO I DO?, by Turid Rugaas" It's short and sweet and based on extensive observation and experimentation with a large number of dogs and handlers. Deanna in OR
  9. Glad my post helped a little, Zoe. Like the others said, a physical cue can help. Tenaya knows that when her vest is on, she is doing SAR. Both dogs know that when the harness is on, they can pull (I use harnesses with Flexis to walk both together when my husband isn't around--I don't want them thinking it's OK to pull with a regular collar on). Thanks for the complements on our girls--I don't have any video of them available on-line, sorry! Deanna in OR
  10. One other thing--they may want to test you on the teeter or tunnel like you describe because there could be situations where your dog is in a very precarious situation and you want him to move slowly and under control, for his own safety. For this reason, they probably want to be sure you can keep him moving slowly under your control in those situations, not just charging ahead like he would on an agility course. He'll be able to do it! Our dogs are smarter than many people give them credit for. Deanna in OR
  11. Tenaya's SAR training doesn't include an agility test as such, but the issue you bring up is one we have addressed in the context of training similar behaviors for different situations. Many dogs get kind of freaked out by the teeter at first, and what you describe for the SAR teeter test isn't too different from how we trained our dogs to do it (Tenaya and Willow the Collie, who is 5 months younger than Tenaya). It looks like a dogwalk to a dog at first, and they can just go charging up it and get worried when it suddently goes down under then after they hit the pivot point. So we
  12. Here's an idea for dealing with this-- If he is OK with the jump against the wall but does the "uber-focus" thing once it is away from the wall, try moving it away from the wall in tiny increments (like an inch at a time). See if you can note at what point he starts to notice it in the way you don't want, and make a note of that. Next you'll need his most favorite thing in the world--a favorite toy, raw fresh liver, steak, a sheep (which you will now reserve for only this situation for a while). Have it at hand, then go by the jump at a bit of a distance while it is in the position jus
  13. Zoe, it sounds like this last training session went really well! My husband started out with "run away" games with Tenaya when he started the official training, where someone plays with a toy, then runs away a bit and hides behind a building or something, while he kept Tenaya, then sent her to find the person with her toy. We frequently play hide-and-seek games with her in the house, hiding one of her favorite toys in a different room while she is in a sit-stay in one place. It has done wonders for her "stay" and she gets lots of "nose" practice. We hide the toy high or low, and latel
  14. The group my husband was training with for mostly-wilderness SAR used bark alerts almost exclusively....ca couple of people use a "jump on the handler" alert, instead. My husband's mentor in the group was a German woman who had used Border Collies in Europe for SAR and used the bringsel alert, and that's what Tenaya was taught with, but bark alerts seem to be pretty common. Like INU said, a consistent and reliable alert is more important than the kind of alert itself. Also, as the handler, you will probably NOT be the "victim" for your own dog. You will play victim for others in y
  15. The prong collar can be a great tool to remind the dog of what you want, and to keep them from pulling, if it fits correctly and is used correctly. One advantage of a prong collar is that you can wean the dog off of it over time, by using 2 leashes, one on the regular collar and one on the prong collar. The prong collar is used then to deliver a quick little "reminder" signal if the dog pulls on the regular collar/leash. AFter some time, the dog will respond to the pressure of the regular collar and will no longer need the prong collar. It sounds like you are off to a good start in
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