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About Flamincomet

  • Birthday 09/24/1989

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  1. Hello, I'm sure other people can answer your other questions better than me, so I'll just focus on the service dog aspect. My border collie is my service dog (PTSD and other anxiety disorders), and I trained him mostly by myself, but with some input from a professional trainer when needed. The first thing your sister and anyone who will be involved with the dog and its training is, to what degree is your sister disabled? If your sister is mild to moderately disabled (she can still function in day to day life without too much assistance) then she may consider an emotional support animal instead of a service dog. An ESA requires no training beyond that of a normal pet, but they are allowed in no pets housing (if you follow the proper procedure) and are allowed to fly with their owners for no cost (again if you follow procedure). ESAs are NOT allowed to go places in public like a service dog is however. I strongly suggest she meet with a doctor/psychiatrist or psychologist and get a letter of support if she decides on an ESA or SD. They will be able to help her determine the severity of her disability as well if she is unsure. It's always a good idea to get professional input on these matters anyway IMO, and a mental health care professional can also be invaluable in helping determine what tasks/work would be helpful for a service dog to mitigate her disability. You mentioned that your sister feels she would be able to fly if she had a dog with her, but emotional support is not considered a legal task or work under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The dog would have to be trained to specifically mitigate her disability by performing a task or work. If she does decide that she requires the assistance of a service dog I would highly recommend employing a professional trainer to help with this. I'm not sure your or your sister's experience in training dogs to a high level of obedience and reliability, but training a service dog is a very large undertaking, even for experienced trainers. This is also a personal aside, but I would not normally recommend this breed as a service dog for the average owner, especially not a first time border collie owner. Service dogs are normally chosen with a very specific temperament, and it's very unlikely that a dog not chosen with these traits in mind will make it in this line of work. I'm not saying this to discourage you, but rather so that you are prepared for the possibility that you may have put years of work into this dog only to have to wash him out for acting... like a border collie. As for flying internationally, you will need to look into the specific country's laws on service animals, and be aware that airlines do have discriminatory practices with regards to psychiatric service animals. I have done a little bit of research on flying with a psychiatric service animal internationally, and unfortunately I do not think it would be possible, unless your sister got her SD from a REPUTABLE organization that certifies (usually this is Assistance Dogs International), or went through ADI's program to have owner trained SDs certified. Even if it is possible to fly to the country in question, it is unlikely that your sister would be able to enjoy the same rights granted to her by the ADA in the US, her dog may even have to be quarantined for a period of time. I hope that this post has been helpful, if you have any other questions feel free to ask here or PM me.
  2. I have to agree with Tea wholeheartedly here, very well put. I have a Riggs boy, and while I originally got him to trial in herding and agility, he has a remarkable desire to please that translates in his ability to do his best at whatever job I need him to do. He is a remarkable service dog, and I can say pretty firmly that that is not something he was intentionally bred to do. I am more than a little skeptical at some people's claims that people who breed and train herding trial dogs are hurting the breed. IMO as long as working instincts AND temperament and biddabity are maintained, you will end up with a dog that will work for you no matter the job you need done. I have little to say on "improving the breed" other than I also think it is a very KC mindset and IMO attributes greatly to the exaggerations of temperament and physical structure common in conformation bred dogs.
  3. Another update. Today was our last class in intermediate. We got several compliments on how solid Link's contacts are, and my instructor used Link's 2o2o's later referencing how they don't slow him down at all. I just wanted to thank everyone here for the help! I'm really proud of Link and we're having a ton of fun learning and navigating this new sport together.
  4. Quick update. We are doing backchaining, and using the video that Diana A posted in combination with practicing rear end awareness with a target box and the stairs, and it's going well! We haven't worked up to doing a full obstacle yet, but he's consistently offering 2o2o and we've worked a little ways up both the A-frame and dogwalk.
  5. This is really interesting information to this discussion, I appreciate everyone's contribution. Link did get the rattlesnake vaccine today, and will be boostered in 3 weeks. I talked to my vet about the concerns for lack of evidence, and she said she is going to look into it and give me a call, so I will update on here when that happens. Regardless, it seems that, besides the concerns about allergy sensitization (which I'm not sure are a valid concern since it seems that we do not know how the vaccine reacts in the body), at the worst getting the vaccine would do nothing. Considering a lot of people do this with other vaccines (kennel cough, lepto), I don't really have any problem doing this to potentially help with something as serious as a rattlesnake bite. And that's saying something because I try to vaccinate as little as possible. I guess the encounters with the two rattlesnakes the other day really spooked me. As always, more information or insight is always welcome.
  6. Sys, I really respect your opinion, especially coming from your background, but I have a hard time believing that countless vets would be offering these vaccines without evidence. I do know that this vaccine doesn't work for people, so if that's what you're basing your opinion on that may be the issue. I haven't found any actual research, but I was only looking for general information about the vaccine. I did read that it shouldn't be used on cats or dogs under 4 months because it hasn't been tested, so there had to be some degree of research involved. Interesting point though, I will see what I can find, and ask my vet about research for this vaccine when we go in this week.
  7. After some research I decided to call my vet. They confirmed what I've found: the vaccine is meant to lessen the severity if a bite were to happen, buy time to get the dog to a vet, reduce possibility of permant damage, speed recovery time, and hopefully reduce the liklihood that an anti venom is necessary. My vet highly reccomended it since we are planning to spend a lot of time in rattlesnake territory, some of which is some distance from a vet office. So Link will be getting the vaccine this week, and a booster 3 weeks later (this is when the vaccine is supposed to be most effective), it is supposed to last 6 months, so that will get us through the most active rattlesnake period. Both shots cost a total of $60, not very much for some huge benefits IMO. Lizabeth, I haven't heard anything about this type of reaction to this vaccine. There is a small possibility of a vaccine site developing a lump that should go away with in 3 weeks or so, and an even smaller chance of a more serious reaction where the site can form an abscess and become infected. Basically the normal small chance you run with any vaccine of a reaction happening. But I haven't heard of the type of reaction you're describing, and neither has my vet.
  8. I did a search for this topic but all of the posts I could find on it were ~5 years old, so I was wondering if there was more/new information available on this. We ran into two rattlesnakes laying in the middle of the path the other day when we were out fishing, and told a ranger who happened to be there. He informed me about this vaccine and recommended I get it for my dog Link. We've never run into rattlesnakes before, but we usually go out into the mountains to hike and be outdoors, this place is more local and a lot hotter. I was also planning to go camping this summer with some of my siblings and they live in central Washington, where I know rattlesnakes are common, we live more on the East side of the state, but it can still get hot and we aren't far from desert areas. Anyone have experience with this vaccine? I am not one to over vaccinate, but if it even saves time to get to the vet in case of a bite I'll do it.
  9. I just noticed your area is listed as Spokane, WA. I'm in that area as well, a little bit of a drive, but if you're interested we can always get together and do training sessions and I can help you with anything if you need it. I trained my own service dog (also a border collie) and I'm in school to get a degree in animal behavior. When I'm done with that I'd like to train service dogs for other people. PM me if you're interested or have any questions.
  10. Task training is usually the easiest and most enjoyable part of SD training for most dogs. The most difficult and time consuming is public access training. At 8 months your dog should be able to handle most task training, she just probably wouldn't be reliable with it yet. I trained my service dog force-free, we use a clicker, and that helped keep it fun and encouraging for him. If you treat most tasks like they're fun tricks, and proof them later, she should do fine with them.
  11. You might check out Neo Paws. They are supposed to be designed for dogs that drag their toes.
  12. Thanks for your responses everyone! I can't type a good response right now since my laptop is in the shop, but I've been trying out some new stuff so we'll see how he does the next couple weeks. I'll update what I've tried and how it went when my laptop is fixed.
  13. Link and I have been having some trouble with contacts. He does them fine on the bottom of the obstacle (on the A-frame, decent on the dogwalk), but when we start doing the whole obstacle it falls apart and he comes off the contact. If someone is waiting on the other side and puts treats on the target he does ok, but usually I'm working by myself. My instructor suggested having him jump up on the side of the A-frame using a table, or lift him onto the dogwalk and start working backwards, since it really seems he is having a hard time slowing down, and on top of it doesn't really understand his back feet have anything to do with it. I did a little bit of that though and it worked better. We also have a target box at home that we do back foot targeting with, but I don't know how to transfer the behavior to the contacts. this is my first serious agility dog, so I'm pretty confused on how to address this. Any suggestions?
  14. And this is why I usually don't respond to these types of posts. Sheesh.
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