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About Jenalyn

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  • Birthday 09/09/1988

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    Border Collies, Hiking, Programming

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  1. Barb - I wouldn't be too surprised if that's our problem too! As Kai gets older, I've been noticing that he's really a very soft dog. If he gets stressed, or something gets too difficult, or he thinks that he's not doing something right, he just shuts down. Something I've also noticed is that if I show a lot of interest in a toy, he backs off. He also refuses to take a toy from my hand, or anywhere too close by me. Bec - I've been focusing on one obstacle at a time for the most part, but the next time I start training him on agility stuff I'll mix it up more, like you suggest. I used clicker training to teach him initial obedience when he was a pup, but have since misplaced my clicker. Time to get a new one, I guess! Last night, my sister was trying to get him interested in playing with a toy. She wasn't doing exactly what was described in that link, but she was playing with it by herself and making highpitched noises, then she'd roll it away from him and he'd chase it. I came along and ruined things (unintentionally!) by trying to join in the game. I grabbed the toy, said, "Weee!" and threw it up in the air and caught it. Kai dashed to the nearest corner and hid. So I guess I learned what *not* to do! I'm planning on buying a new rope toy and attaching it to a bit of twine so I can drag it around. Hopefully he won't be scared of that. Thanks again, -Jenny
  2. Brenda - the three training sessions I described took place over a 4 or 5 day period. Kristi - thanks for the link! That looks like fun. I've played with Kai a lot, but he's never been all that keen on toys. He'll only play if he's in the mood and there's nothing else to do. It's a striking contrast to my other ball-obsessed border collie! One thing I've also had trouble getting Kai to do is holding/grabbing a toy on command, which could be related to our other "troubles". Maybe the described method will help increase his toy drive. Rebecca - A problem with his joints is a scary thought, but something I'll be sure to look into. Thinking back, it's hard for me to tell if Kai's stopping our play sessions from pain or just some weird personality quirk. Do you know of any other general signs I could look for that would let me know if it's a pain problem or not? My memory might just be playing around with me, but I don't remember having these kinds of problems before Kai and I started herding lessons a few months ago. I wonder if it's possible that he's decided anything less than stock isn't interesting enough Thanks so much for all the replies! This has been a huge help. -Jenny
  3. Hi! I have a pup, Kai, that's about 15 months old now, and I've been working on teaching him some agility basics at home with the aid of weave poles, a jump, and a tunnel found at Target. I'm having trouble finding a good training motivator. The first time I worked with him, I used a rope toy as a reward. I'd throw it and play tug with him a bit after he'd done something right, and he really had a blast. The second time I worked with him, he didn't want to have anything to do with the rope toy. He'd unenthusiastically go over a jump, and I'd try to engage him by throwing the toy or wiggling it in front of his face for him to grab it, but he'd just sit down and look at me, and refuse to move unless I gave him a firm recall command. I threw the toy directly at him once, too, thinking he might try to catch it. He just let it hit him square in the face. And didn't move. And looked at me like, "What?" The third time I came armed with a nice slice of ham lunch meat, and although this worked better than the toy, he was still rather unenthusiastic, and after working with him for two minutes or so it got difficult to even lure him around with it. I try to keep training sessions short and fun. I also try to end training on a good note, while Kai's still enjoying it and wanting more, but it's difficult to even do anything in a training session when I can't find a good motivator for him. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I could try? Thanks! -Jenny
  4. I've been led to believe that beyond individual personality clashes which might cause friction even between a male-female pair, simply owning two females of similar age isn't really a definite problem, especially if one or more are spayed. Something to consider, at least! Good luck -Jen
  5. It sounds to me like Jenna was trying to do right by her dogs and reacted the best she knew how at the time. It also sounds like she learned from the experience and has been trying to improve her breeding practices. Sure. She made a mistake in the past, but I'd be surprised if there are many breeders out there who haven't. Just my two cents. To the OP: Sorry for getting so much off topic! -Jenny
  6. Whew! In a way it's nice to know I'm not the only one in this situation! I've gotten my share of funny looks when I avoided going out with friends because I wanted/needed to get home to be with my two bcs. I'm a full time college student, too. I commute, and generally get there just when classes start and leave as soon as they're over so that I don't have to leave my dogs alone for too long. This has caused something of a rift between me and my classmates. They often hang out on campus, go out to eat, study together, etc, but I find myself rushing home, because I've learned that there are some rather unpleasant consequences to having a bored border collie! It's a challenge, but my two pups are worth it, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Ryan, you mentioned that you only go to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I assume those are rather long days for you if you're taking a full load. Are you going to be willing to decline dinner/party/movie invitations on Tuesday/Thursday nights so that you don't have to leave your BC alone for 10+ hours a day? I know that's something I've had to do in the past, and it's not always an easy or a fun choice to make. If not, do you think your roommates will be willing to pick up the slack? Just something to consider :] I'd also like to vouch for getting an older dog from a BC rescue -- maybe 18+ months or so. A dog that age will be out of the chewing stage, and possibly have some housetraining and obedience training already (don't underestimate the value of that, especially if you're in college!). You'll be able to start playing frisbee/agility/whatever right away, whereas if you got a puppy you'd have to wait at least a year, if not 18 months, before engaging it in any strenuous activity. There's also a huge value to getting a dog whose temperament has been evaluated by a rescue. It could save you the pain of raising and falling in love with a puppy only to find that it develops certain characteristics (aggression, harmful paranoia, etc.) as it grows which make it impossible for you to live with in your current situation, and having to give it up. There are some wonderful bcs in rescue whose only crime was being too much border collie for their families to handle. Best of luck to you in your search! -Jenny
  7. Hehe, I think I got ahead of myself, sorry! I honestly have no idea about how long it takes for a dog to be ready for a novice trial. Someone correct me if I'm wrong please, but a trial at the novice level consists of fetching the sheeps and penning the sheeps. Your dog should have a good outrun and know basic commands/directions (bye, away, down, etc.). I remember entering Chili in a novice trial after approximately a year of training. She had a nice outrun, directions, and a bit of driving (but that didn't matter at the trial). It was a complete disaster. I was about 13 at the time and very soft skinned, so it scared me off of trialing again. I know I'll get the nerve back up one of these days, though. -Jenny
  8. Hi Sarah You have some beautiful dogs. I can't imagine what a handful raising eight puppies (much less border collies!) would have been -- I have trouble with just my one pup! Needless to say, I'm a bit jealous. I wish I had the means and the funds to do all of that with my two! I'm 17, and I was homeschooled as well, but I'm a junior at the university now. It sounds like we may have a bit in common Maybe we can chat sometime? -Jenny
  9. Chili's the same way (got her from a BC rescue at 18 months). Not aggressive at all, just could care less about other dogs. She used to be the same with strange people, but then she figured out that people that come to visit will throw her ball. Now she won't leave them alone
  10. Wow, that's great! What fun! I'm glad to hear Phoenix is doing so well. It must be so cool to see such huge improvement in such a small amount of time. Think you two will end up trialing in a few months?
  11. Thanks Kim, Sue, and Nancy I appreciate it.
  12. I was VERY blessed that Wink took him, I agree, it's more than I could ever ask for! Tad's really doing well, too, Wink is very happy with him. I know Tad's much better off with Wink than he would be with me, and I know he's probably much happier for it, without the stress of suburban life. It's hard to explain, but in spite of that I feel like by rehoming him I gave up on him. So many other people have stuck it through with their dogs because they loved them so much or couldn't in good conscience stand to give up on them. Before Tad, I was confident that I could work through any potential problem one of my dogs might have with good training, good advice, patience and preserverence. Tad was a bit of a reality check, and I hate to think of what might have happened if we hadn't found him such a great home. (Sorry for hijacking your thread a little, Kim )
  13. I don't really have any advice, I just wanted to wish you the best of luck finding a solution for Shep. I really respect people who try to stick it through, who exhaust every option for their dogs, and feel a little shame that I'm not one of those people. I still feel like I failed Tad, so I understand a little, at least, that kind of feeling, and I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. That being said, I don't think you've failed your Shep at all, no matter what you decide. You rescued him from a horrible situation and gave him a taste of kindness. That's so much more than many people would even think of doing. I will say that behavior modification with a clicker may be a good thing to try if you're up for it. Tad's outbursts got much more controllable when I actively worked with him that way (he got to where he'd ignore people unless they got really close), but he was still very unpredictable. But best of luck to you and Shep, I'll be thinking of you two. I know how hard this is.
  14. Thanks for all the suggestions! Much better to get a few recommendations than walk into a dog food store and pick out a random food on my limited experience.
  15. Sort of digging this post back up, I had a question. My dogs are currently on Science Diet (yeahh, cringe ). The more I've been reading about nutrition, and the more I look at the ingredients on the back, the more I'm not satisfied with it. However, it's one of the only dog foods I can find that has a low enough amount of protein (around or below 22%) for me to be happy with, but all the preservatives and weird stuff bother me. Is there a better alternative in kibble that contains better ingredients but has lower protein? I can't currently feed RAW or BARF (I'm a minor, live at home, parents wouldn't be too happy at all the strange raw meat in the fridge, or the potential mess, I don't think ) Thanks -Jenny
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