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Everything posted by M.L.

  1. Great news! Glad to hear of your progress!
  2. I've had to teach all the kids in my neighborhood how to approach my dogs. They all love throwing the ball or frisbee, and they mean well, but their parents just let them run wild. Luckily, all the kids have been pretty well behaved after talking to them and demonstrating how to act around dogs. There is one five year old that is just adorable, though. She knows each of my dogs by name and before she goes near them she reiterates all the rules about that particular dog to me. "This is Willow. She's shy. I have to be gentle. Blah, blah, blah. This is Bailey. He doesn't like to be pet or hugged. I can throw the ball for him. I can't tease him. Blah, blah, blah. This is Ginger. She gets scared if I run around and act crazy. She doesn't like it if I stomp my feet. I should pet her on her chest and let her sniff my hand first. Blah, blah, blah." The kid is quite cute and extremely smart for a five year old. She even makes them sit, down or stay before she'll throw the ball - using our hand signals with the word. She started doing that on her own after watching me. It happens all the time when I volunteer, too. Kids running up to unfamiliar dogs, trying to hug them. Sticking their fingers in cages. Sometimes the adults are just as bad! I've watched people continue to do whatever they are doing, even after a dog has given a warning growl or snapped at them. Then it's the dog's fault when it bites. Or they punish the dog. I think the majority of kids are pretty thoughtful, once you explain and show them how to behave around dogs. Maybe that's just because I teach and I tend to have more patience with the kiddos than the average person. You really have to be angry at the parents and just try to teach the kids what their parents failed to teach them - including proper behavior around dogs!
  3. The important thing to remember is to start small. Don't expect Cheyenne to pay attention to you out on walks because you have treats, etc. You will have to start the focus training at home, then move to the yard, then move to somewhere fairly quiet, then add distraction, etc. Then you will need to work on her focus when other dogs approach or when you approach them. The hard thing is that you will need to only work at her limitation, which may be when the dog is on the other side of the road. Then 10 ft. from the other dog. Then 5 ft. When you get to a point where her focus is off you, you have to go back to a point where her focus is on you. It is very hard to control situations, which is the tricky part, especially when you are out and about.
  4. I don't always get out before the sun is properly up. I try to get out early, but the earliest is usually around 6 a.m. and the sun is already bright and hot at that time! The air is cool, but the sun really beats down on you. I can feel a decent difference between how hot Bailey and Willow's backs get and how hot Ginger's back gets. The two black dogs are significantly hotter. There are no dog parks with lakes in Tucson. I do hose the dogs down often if we are playing outside of our townhome. The cool medic vests claim to keep body temperature 25 - 30 degrees cooler than without the vest, even in 114 degree heat (coolmedics.com). Bailey has a vet appointment today (yearly checkup). I'll ask the vet for his opinion as well. Some of you may wonder why I'm thinking about this now. I've lived in Tucson since 2003. Well, the dogs are getting older and they seem to mind the heat more than they used to - especially Bailey. Not to mention I have the summer off, so I'm bored!
  5. What if I just sew up a light weight, breathable, light colored vest type thing to keep the sun from being so hot on the black hair on their backs? Do you think that would help at all?
  6. Has anyone used one of these cooling vests for their dog? I wonder if it works well. We are in Tucson, which means it is super hot. I'd like to find a way to keep the dogs a little cooler on walks. We walk early morning and evening, but it is still extremely hot out. Here is a link to the one I'm considering Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler - Cooling Vest.
  7. Every two weeks. I trim them myself. It bothers me to see dogs with really long nails!
  8. Bailey will eat bars of soap if he can get to them. I really can't see how a bar of soap can taste good to a dog. Bailey has eaten rather large chunks of soap and didn't suffer any ill effects.
  9. I agree with Debbie's advice. It will take time and you will have to test your own patience, but you will be able to retrain Cheyenne's behavior. I used to have three out of control BCs when I got home. You heard Bailey and Willow barking - imagine coming home to that plus the crazy behavior! Now we have a fairly calm routine. I really like mat training and that may help you in this situation. You can slowly train her to "go place" or whatever your command is to have her go to her mat. You could eventually train her to go to her mat when you walk in the door where she can wait for a release command. You can either keep her there until she calms down (sending her back after release if she starts to get crazy) or you can then approach her at the mat and say hello. You can also use the mat to trigger relaxation and calmness. I do that with Willow. She gets massaged on her mat and so she is slowly starting to associate her mat with being calm and relaxed. The idea is that eventually I can use the mat wherever we are to trigger calmness when she gets worked up. I should bring it to our BC meetups! I learned this in a Control Unleashed class that I took. You can take the mat with you when you go places. I just use a bath mat. You should only use the mat for the massages and as a "go place" mat. The mat should be something new and different - don't start training with something that she has already been using as a bed. If you want the info on how to mat train I can scan it and email it to you - just let me know.
  10. I live in Tucson and my townhome community has a decent amount of grass. I have found a few ticks on Bailey over the past month and a few weekends ago I found one crawling across my kitchen counter. I have no idea how it got there. It was flat, so it wasn't bloodsucking anybody before ending up on the counter. Gross! I have lived in Tucson since 2003 and this is the first time I've seen this many ticks in such a short period of time.
  11. Do the dogs get them from your yard? My suggestion is to get some guinea hens because they eat the ticks. When I lived back in Jersey my boyfriend's family got some and the amount of ticks dropped considerably. Here is a link with some info http://www.lymediseasepa.com/GuineaHens.htm
  12. Bailey had one of those little growths on his chest above his leg. It was about the same size. We went to the vet and I had the same concerns and asked the same questions that you did. My vet also thought that I should wait because he thought it would most likely go away. It went away on its own after about two months. That was about 6 months ago and it hasn't come back.
  13. Same here! Ginger and Willow were done for the night once we got home. Bailey napped for about 45 minutes and then he was back to his usual energetic self. I had to give him some activity before bed. This morning they are back to normal. Ginger ripped one of her pads though, so she is slower than usual.
  14. Great time at the meetup! Do you think that her leg was bothering her before the meetup? There was that moment when she cried out yesterday and was favoring it. Maybe her leg has been hurting and that is why she hasn't wanted to jump up into the truck.
  15. Congratulations! Hope you can make it to the BC meetup this weekend!
  16. Planet Dog toys are also made in the US. We have some of the Orbee Tuff toys. Here is link to their Made In the USA page Planet Dog USA. Earth Dog products are also hand made in the USA. Earth Dog
  17. Toys made by West Paw Design are made in the US. West Paw Design I love all of their products and they last a long time.
  18. This might be a really dumb question. How do you clean up after your dogs have chewed on their raw meaty bones for awhile? I just started giving each of my dogs a raw marrow bone to chew on for about 10 - 15 minutes a day, supervised the whole time. I give it to them somewhat frozen, so it isn't very messy. We don't have a yard, so they chew on them inside. Everyone chews in their crates except for Willow. She goes and lays on her little rug. After 10 - 15 minutes I put them back in the freezer. Should I be concerned about bacteria on the rug and in the crates? Do I need to be super vigilant about wiping out their crates with a bleach solution to kill any bacteria? I tried to keep them downstairs on the tile so I could just spray the area and mop up, but that didn't work. They all want to go to their spots. Right now I'm just wiping the crates out with an organic cleaner and I haven't really worried about the little rug. I wash it once a week or so. What does everyone else do every time their dog eats/chews on something raw? Thanks!
  19. Does anybody use meetup.com to find local activity groups? It is a really cool website and a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Anyway, a Tucson Border Collie Meetup Group has finally been formed. I am the assistant organizer. We will be having monthly activities (play dates, walks, hikes, swimming, etc.) with BCs and their owners. We will stay away from dog parks. We have a meetup planned for May 9th at Diamond Dogs Training Facility on the NW side of town. If you are in or around Tucson and would like to join, please check out our page - Tucson Border Collie Meetup Group. There is no cost to join (this could change in the future because the organizer does pay a monthly fee to be the organizer - you can look up the cost on meetup.com) and we will have lots of fun! It is a great way for BC people to meet each other so we can discuss our favorite breed while our dogs keep busy!
  20. I make a stew for them. I have been using chicken, ground beef, ground turkey and fish. So far for grains I have used barley, oats, millet and quinoa. I add veggies - carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, celery, spinach and a few others. I haven't added any fruit to their meal, but I do share when I'm eating fruit. The dogs especially love blueberries, strawberries, apples and oranges. I also add garlic, parsley, rosemary and a few other herbs. As toppings they get yogurt, cottage cheese, dried kelp powder and anything else that is good for them. I run all the veggies through the blender before adding them to the stew, that way they are more digestible. So far, no stomach problems. I have been using a few books for recipes. I also have a few recipes from the vet. Whole Pet Diet Pitcairn's Guide to Natural Health Dog and Cat Diets Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog I find myself doing the same thing! And then I have to let it cool for a while before they can eat! We only have a normal sized refrigerator and freezer, which is annoying. I can't make a lot ahead of time because there isn't enough room to store it. I can't wait to have a large chest freezer so I can make a bunch and freeze it. Willow will drink water throughout the night and then end up having an accident on the floor. I found that taking the water up around 8:00 solved that problem. Until now! I figured that they just need to adjust to the change. I should probably try to feed them earlier in the evening as well. Right now they don't eat until about 7:00 because that is when my husband and I usually sit down to eat. We take them out for the last time before bed around 11:00 or 11:30 and we are up around 5:30 a.m. to take them outside. I'm not worried about the clear pee - just that they are having to go so often and they pee rivers!
  21. I am slowly switching the dogs to a home cooked diet. At this point they eat dry food in the morning and they get the home cooked meal at night. I have been doing this for about two weeks. The only supplement they are getting as of yet is a blend of oils for their skin and coat. The dogs all have to pee excessively! To the point where they are having accidents on the floor at night - A LOT of pee that is very clear. I take away their water bowl around 8 p.m. and they actually seem to be drinking less water during the day since starting to eat the home cooked food, which makes sense. Has anyone else had this problem when switching to home cooked? Are their bodies just adjusting to the higher moisture level? There are no other issues and it is happening to all four dogs. Thanks for any input!
  22. I've never used one, but have a few friends who have tried them. Opinions range from works miracles to absolutely worthless. Not much help, huh?
  23. Bailey likes the following frisbees from West Paw. Fling Thing Zisc They are soft, so no damage to the mouth or teeth. They are easy to pick up. They do get some puncture marks, but we have had ours for almost two years and they are still in pretty good shape. We had the Flying Squirrel at one time, but the dogs had more fun chewing on it and playing tug of war with it. It got bent out of shape pretty quickly and you couldn't throw it very far. Edited to add: The West Paw company is environmentally friendly and the stuff is made in the USA!
  24. We have been feeding the Kirkland Chicken and Rice for months. All dogs have fairly small, firm poops and they don't smell that bad. No gas, either.
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