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Everything posted by Flamincomet

  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.
  15. We can't answer your questions if you don't give us all the information, that you hired a trainer for example. What kind of advice are you seeking?
  16. Serious dog aggression isn't something you want online advice about. Seek in person help from an experienced behaviorist, or trainer who has experience with dog aggression.
  17. Great advice so far. I have a very active, high drive boy, so I'll share some of the things I do to keep him busy. He is 4 years old now, so a lot calmer than when he was younger. Honestly sometimes you just have to wait the young ones out, they will calm down eventually. I really feel the most important thing you can do is use a crate to teach him how to have down time. I've been doing this since my guy was a puppy, and it's really paid off. While he's ready to go in a heartbeat, when we're at home he mostly just naps at my feet. We do training sessions every day, he has at least one high energy outlet every day (frisbee usually, unless the weather is bad, but luckily we have a treadmill), regular walks, and treat dispensing puzzle toys if he's getting ancy (plus he always gets his dinner from a puzzle toy, unless we've used all his dinner for training sessions). I'm working on my own cardio so I can start going jogging with him instead of relying on the treadmill for conditioning. We also are taking agility classes once a week, and go to practice sessions 1-2 more times a week for about an hour each time. Once I get driving my boyfriend's manual car down, we'll be going to herding lessons at least monthly, and hopefully one of my friends close by will be getting sheep this spring/summer so we can work more often. My guy is also my service dog, so he works every day for a couple hours at least. If he didn't have that job I'd probably step up our obedience and agility training sessions, and I think he'd be fine. But again, I think the most important thing to do in this case would be to make sure you're teaching how to take down time. The best way to do that IMO is to use a crate. Stuff and freeze a kong, or some other puzzle toy, to put in the crate with him, and make sure he's getting regular down time. Don't give in to his demands for attention if you are giving him adequate mental and physical stimulation, or you might end up with a dog that is constantly pestering you. Remember to keep training sessions short, and end them on a happy note. Try to remember to speak softly and don't rev him up, it sounds like he doesn't need it (that's been one of the hardest things for me). This is what works for us, but remember that each dog is an individual, you'll need to work things out on your own to see what routine works best for you guys. Hope that made sense and helps, and thank you for rescuing
  18. Thanks for the replies everyone. That Walky Dog is neat, I already have a springer jogger attachment for my bike though, and I worry about the shock absorbtion of the Walky Dog for a bigger dog. I still don't think I'd feel comfortable biking with Link in the road though, the attachment on my springer jogger snapped once, luckily just as we were leaving home. It might have been because it was really old, but that still makes me really uncomfortable with the idea of biking that close to cars. I'm not really sure if we'd want to actually live in the city, or near it. Our budget is modest right now, but my bf's sister lives in Seattle and runs a business that she's offered to get him a job at, plus he owns the condo we live in now, so would be getting income from renting it as well. I'm kind of liking the idea of living outside the city more though honestly, but it's nice to know it's possible to live with an active dog in a big city, with some work.
  19. If the debate here is what to call working (as in herding) border collies, I do not think working dog is a correct term. It will only confuse as this term has already been adopted by many communities and the public to mean something quite different. Working border collie, or working sheepdog I think would be more clear, I don't think I would call my dog either of these, but he certainly is a working dog.
  20. I agree, and I'd put service dogs in with working dogs. Their handler's lives do depend on them. Plus I don't know how many times I hear parents tell their kids they can't pet Link (or another SD) because he's "a working dog."
  21. I second that! My agility instructor breeds Aussies, and she loves them, but there is no way I'd ever own one. People often look at me funny when I say that since I have border collies
  22. Have you considered an adult rescue border collie, or border collie mix? Often rescues will have a better idea of what the temperament and energy level of a dog is, and can match you with an appropriate dog. In general, I find that the horror stories about how hyper border collies are are overblown, but there is a degree of truth. My border collie is extremely high drive, even for a border collie, and I do not think he would have done well in a novice home. I got him as a puppy so it's not like I knew exactly what I was getting into, but I've had border collies for over ten years, so I was prepared. Even though he works as my service dog every day, and has daily outlets for energy and training sessions every day, he is still getting a bit pent up with all the bad weather we've been having (we usually bike to school but have been taking the bus lately). I do not think he would be happy with the schedule you have described, and if you get a puppy you risk this happening. I'm not saying a border collie can't be happy as "just" a pet. But I think having the security of knowing the temperament and energy level of a potential dog would be a better option for a novice border collie owner. JMO.
  23. Weird, the multi quote function glitched, hope that post makes sense!
  24. Thanks for the recommend, Ahimsa is at the top of my list right now, as well as Bright Spot Dog Training, though they are a bit further in Tacoma. While I don't live in Seattle, I used to live in NYC, so I can give you some input as to how I lived there with my BC. New York City, and I'm sure Seattle, is very well known for having dog parks. This was pretty much the only way you could reliably exercise your dog if you weren't close enough to a big enough park like Central Park or Prospect Park. I didn't live close enough to a dog park itself to utilize it, but I lived about a mile away from a park that was used as an unofficial dog park. People would bring their dogs to a fenced in area, and they would exercise there. If you're fortunate enough to live in a good neighborhood, this shouldn't be a problem. Other than finding a large field for this, a lot of people I knew would actually go "jorring" with their dogs on the streets. You basically run, bike, skateboard, or rollerblade with your dog on a leash. I had a "dog powered scooter" for a brief time to try with my dog, but he didn't like it, so I just biked to and from the park with him. The biggest thing, in my experience, for living in a city is the ability to get around. I can't drive, and dogs aren't allowed on public transportation in New York City (but they are allowed on Seattle buses!) was not being able to go anywhere unless I wanted to spend $50 for a taxi. I eventually got him a pet carrier to take on the subway (interpreting the rules of the MTA my way; technically legal, but not really), but even that was such a huge hassle to do that I didn't do it often, and only as a special occasion for when I wanted to take him somewhere new. If I had been able to drive, living in the city would have been immensely easier. This was the only downside, I think. If you do drive, and are willing to make the effort, a city's conveniences far outweigh everything else, in my opinion. I have a dog powered scooter too! But my dog also doesn't really like it, but more importantly it flared up an old knee injury so my vet vetoed it, and now I have to find a way to sell it in a town made up of almost all hills... :/ Fortunately regular biking is still fine, so I've been doing that a lot here to commute when the weather isn't bad, but I'm not sure if I have the nerves to bike with a dog in a city environment. Thanks for the info about dogs on Seattle busses. Since my guy is a service dog I don't have to worry about that, but it's good to know so I can focus his training on that since we rarely see dogs anywhere in places he associates with working. I'm guessing that will probably be the biggest transition for him. I'm really wary of dog parks since the average dog owner doesn't seem to be educated in most dog behavior and etiquette. Maybe it will be different in a bigger town though, or maybe I will be able to find a park that works. My experience has only been with smaller town dog parks. Thanks for replying Carol, you just reminded me that I should probably reread your book since it probably has some useful information for SD handlers in a city environment! It's true working uses up a lot of his energy, but he's one of the most high drive dogs I've ever known (even our herding instructor comments on his very high drive), so I need to make sure he has high energy outlets every day. Luckily I have a treadmill for when the weather is bad, but he still gets a bit pent up in the winter when we can't get out to our hiking spots. Thanks for the tips on the busier environment. I think the dense population will be something he'll need to adjust to, definitely. Our busses here especially are usually pretty sparsely populated, and I largely depend on public transportation, so I might put him back "in training" for a little bit until he's adjusted if we make the move. I used to live in Seattle out near Magnuson, then moved north up to Shoreline, and have landed out in Woodinville nowadays. If dog stuff is going to be a primary focus for you, you might consider living in Bellevue, Redmond or Issaquah and bus commuting to UW. The Eastside has better access to hiking, Marymoor off-leash park, and is closer to most of the agility facilities. Most of the agility around Seattle is well out of the city proper. I'm taking classes with Megan Foster (Synergy Dog Sports) up in Maltby now, but she's moving an hour north to Mt. Vernon pretty soon. Sandra Katzen (Vortex Agility) has classes in Kent, Ali Johnson (Kinship Dog Training) has classes inside at SHS in Bellevue and seasonally outside in North Bend, and Andrea Dexter (AgilityFlix) runs private and semi-private lessons on a daylight field in Kent. Those are all that I've had as an instructor or sub, they all use positive methods and have slightly different focuses. Megan, Ali and Sandra all have at least one BC as well (Andrea runs Aussies). Thank you for your reply, your comment about living outside of Seattle is very much appreciated. I'm really not familiar with the area at all, so when you said Bellevue and Redmond I thought that would be too far and not accessible, but in doing a bit of research it looks like that may be doable! I do depend on public transportation, and I have heard some comments from people living outside of Seattle about how time consuming it is to commute, can you give any insight on that? (Or anyone else who lives outside the city and commutes.) My boyfriend does have a car, but I'm still learning to drive stick, and neither of us like to drive, especially in populated areas, so I'd rather not commute to school if I can avoid it. Driving to agility/obedience and hiking isn't a problem, though I really appreciate your input about those areas being closer to that stuff because it would certainly make it more doable! Also thank you for your agility class recommendations!
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