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Columbia MO

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  1. Erik, I think you have really gone out of your way to work on the barking. So I'm going to suggest a controversial possiblity that I'm sure will get a lot of hate mail. Therefore, note that I have not been to the Boards for over a month until today, and do not plan to come back for another month or two after posting. I have been training and competing for 27 or so years now, and I had a dog that sounds like yours. He was an Aust. Cattle Dog who was highly aroused at all times. He barked absolutely non-stop whenever I was around him, though I was well-versed at removing attention, positively reinforcing absence of barking, etc. In a car trip to visit my family--6 hours each way--this dog would bark once per second the entire trip. He would bark on the floor, in a crate, in a covered crate, in the front or back seats, with or without traffic around, when the car was moving or not. He would also spin/bark/bounce while barking. In short, he was hysterical. He would likewise be set off by the slightest noise in our apartment building, hotels, etc. (This was a dog that got many hours a day of off-leash exercise, bike runs, agility training, sheep herding, etc.) Over a 9 year period, I learned to startle awake whenever I heard a sound, just so I could clamp his mouth shut before he started in. Before becoming a positive-reinforcement trainer, I tried shock collars, and he would bark right through the shocks. He could get off any muzzle on earth in seconds--no matter how tight. Citronella did not exist at the time. At age 9.5, my vet suggested I get him debarked. I took him for his appt., then got traumatized by the idea and called to cancel. But it was too late--they had already finished. He came home and I kept him VERY quiet for 2 weeks. (Cotton in his ears, disconnnected the doorbell, no guests, etc.). So no scar tissue formed. (Medically, he was up and around and cheerful 24 hrs. after the surgery). After two weeks of resting his throat, I could then let him bark his head off non-stop for the rest of his life, and nobody could hear a thing. The debarking job was absolutely perfect. From that point on, he had the time of his life. He barked throughout obedience class, he barked at dogs on the agility course, he barked during his musical freestyle routine, he barked in the car, and barked at daycare, and barked at the dog park, and barked in the apartment and at motels. And it sounded like a gentle whisper. So his mom never again had to tell him to "BE QUIET!" I just wish I had considered this surgery before my nerves were completely shot. To this day I STILL startle whenever I hear the slightest noise in the middle of the night. For those people that intend to write hate mail... note that I am not into animal torture. I have been 100% vegetarian for the past 19 years... am active in our Humane Society and in fundraising for BC Rescue... and have been a clicker trainer for almost 12 years. So I don't take "cosmetic surgery" lightly. But my dog had no problem with it and came out much better in the long run. I think he would have chosen this over a life of shock collars, citronella, and lost opportunities to engage in activities that he couldn't do because he was barking non-stop. I don't exactly want to say I wish this was more "popular," but I do wish more people knew of this option. It could save probably 10,000's of dogs each year that are surrendered to the Humane Society because their barking is causing problems with the landlord, etc. Columbia, MO
  2. Be sure to contact the local humane societies, animal control and animal shelters to let them know you have her. This is where the owner is likely to look first... rather than in the newspaper. When I find a dog like this, I take photos with me and leave them with the humane societies. I really don't see a problem with "fake" owners coming forward to get the dog. In our area, we have a 60-70% euthanasia rate for dogs at shelters. I think chances are slim that somebody would go to animal control just on the off chance that they might be able to get a free mixed breed dog by claiming it as their own. Good luck! Columbia, MO
  3. Hi, I'm not sure what the town is like where you'll go to school, but what about buying a house? I stupidly lived in apartments for the first 17 years of my adult life, simply because I didn't know how easy/cheap it was to buy a house (at least in medium sized cities in the Midwest). Even after leaving my prof. career to go to grad school, I moved my two very active dogs into a 5th-floor walkup apartment. I was under the impression I would need $20k+ saved before I would qualify for a loan. Now that I am a home owner, I have HUGE regrets of all the money I wasted on apartments. All through the 90's I was paying $600/month for a 1-bedroom apt. in the drug-dealing area of a college town--the only place I could find to rent with two dogs. I am now a home owner on 10 acres just outside the city limits of Columbia, MO--the home of University of Missouri. I bought this house for a $2000 downpayment, and could easily have bought it for no downpayment. My co-workers all have houses in the suburbs with large fenced yards and typically have $400-500/month mortgages. Once I found how easy and inexpensive it was to get a house, I could have kicked myself for living in apartments so long! Not only was a house cheaper and more convenient (not having to walk the dogs for miles in the rain), but I lost $122,400 in rent rather than investing in a home of my own. I have since discovered that many college students are buying houses instead of renting, just for this reason. A duplex in my city costs only marginally more than a single house ($110k vs. $90k), and you can live in your half and rent out the other half. I realize that buying a house is not feasible in expensive areas (Chicago, NYC, California), but it might be worth it to choose a school located somewhere that you could actually afford a house. The market is on your side right now, with housing prices waaaaay down, and interest rates staying pretty level. Good luck! Columbia, MO
  4. Hi Kirsty, I'm in the U.S. now, but lived in the UK from 1999-2001. While there, I volunteered as the Area Coordinator for Pets as Therapy (Beds/Bucks) and also competed in Obedience and Working Trials with my JRT. Welcome to the boards! Where are you in the UK? Columbia, MO
  5. To throw in another wrench... My JRT that had the ACL tear was neutered at 5 years old and has OFA Excellent hips, OFA Normal patellas, OFA thyroid normal. He had his ACL tear at 9 years of age, got it repaired, and has beaten the odds by being almost 12 and not having had the other one tear. My BC is 4 1/2 years old, was neutered at 3 years and has not had any ortho injuries despite competing at advanced levels a variety of sports AND playing t-ball twice a day AND being on medication for hypothyroidism! BlackWatch, as you can see, I am also not a fan of early spay/neuter. I got converted while living in England and finding out that their intact dogs live healthy lives to about age 17, while our speutered dogs die around 12-13. Many of the UK rescues and shelters adopt out intact dogs because it is considered medically damaging to speuter, particularly with young dogs. Columbia, MO
  6. I agree with Pat. I used to harness my JRT puppy to my 55# Australian Cattle Dog. The puppy very quickly learned to come back when I called the ACD, and I could remove the tether after the first few times. One thing I ended up doing later with my JRT was harnessing him to a soccer ball and having him drag it when we went to unfenced areas. He could gallop slowly while pulling it, but it would quickly tangle around a tree if he tried to bolt after the wildlife. The bad part is that he would occasionally trip up a person walking in the park... usually ME! Columbia, MO
  7. Hi Whinny, The general rule of thumb is that most "average sized" breeds will double in weight from whatever they weighed at 16 weeks of age. Another good rule of thumb for a BC is that an adult BC should weigh approximately twice their height at the shoulders. Heightwise, with my two BCs, I found that they reached their adult height around 10-11 months. This varies by breed. My JRT only grew 1/2" after I got him at 13 weeks of age. Columbia, MO
  8. Starbuck, I have seen a lot of these types of injuries, though they're found in all breeds--not just BCs. You might notice them more in BCs because they are found more often at the top levels of performance sports. However, my JRT had a cruciate ligament tear when he was VERY lightly bumped into by my BC in the front yard. I think the difference you're seeing is not so much breed related as it is due to factors that weren't around in the past: 1) More slippery flooring, such as Pergo, tile, etc. I've heard of at least two dogs that have torn ACLs just walking across Pergo floors. 2) More "weekend warrior" lifestyles. Dogs are often left alone to snooze all day, then their owners come home and toss tennis balls with a Chuck-It for an hour or practice agility without warming up first. 3) All the sports that dogs participate in today: agility, disc dog, dock dog, flyball, competitive weight pull, and stockdog trials. Training for these is more competitive and dogs are being held to higher standards of performance than in the past. Even pet dogs often engage in high-impact sports like running next to a bike, long distance running on pavement with owners training for marathons, backpacking, or playing with "body slamming" dogs at the dog park or doggy daycare. For example, I know of a Greyhound puppy who had both front legs broken during his first day at doggy daycare. Out of curiousity, what were your dogs doing at the time they were injured? Columbia, MO
  9. Hey, That brings up a related point. The split faces that I've seen with blue eyes, always have the blue eye on the "colored" side, and not on the "white" side of the face. I just went to the Border Collie Museum to look at their photos. Of the split faced dogs that have just ONE blue eye, it looks like the ones with that eye on the "colored" side outweigh the ones with the blue eye on the "white" side by about 2:1. Columbia, MO
  10. Hi there, I wouldn't be too concerned about your dog's fear of a frisbee. I think this is common for many BCs that have not experienced a lot of toy play as puppies. After all, the breed is hard wired to be sensitive and responsive to a shepherd raising a crook from 200+ yards away. So it's not unusual for them to duck and run if something is thrown in their direction. To teach your dog to love toys, check out this article: Creating a Motivating Toy . Another thing I would recommend if you haven't done it already is to start with a fabric frisbee rather than a hard plastic one. Most of my dogs have not been interested in plastic toys until they have months of experience playing tug games with stuffed toys and cloth frisbees. Good luck! Columbia, MO
  11. Echo, There could be lots of reasons for the timing of the growling. Two based on coincidence: 1) Mikey had investigated the puppy and was just beginning his "usual" growling and Lucy arrived by coincidence. 2) The puppy might have started acting up (rowdy, putting paws up on Mikey, etc.) and causing Mikey to grown at the same time Lucy coincidentally arrived. Two more that have to do with Lucy: 1) If both males are intact, Mikey might have growled to keep another male away from his potential sex object. For example, seven month old intact male puppies have 7x the testosterone level of an adult male! 2) Or if he doesn't like other dogs, Mikey might have waited until he saw Lucy arriving before he had enough confidence to growl a warning to the puppy. Dogs often feel more comfortable acting out aggression when they have their "homies" nearby. The one thing that there is no evidence for at all is for Mikey to be "protecting" Lucy, except in the sense of possibly guarding her as a resource. I'm voting for the last option, which is that the arrival of a colleague gave Mikey the confidence to growl at the puppy. Columbia, MO
  12. Hi all, I've always wondered this too! To add to the conversation... My youngest BC is a split face with the white side on the right. His great-grandfather looked exactly like him except that his left eye was blue. So both these dogs match the hypothesis of "most blue eyes on the left," "most split faces on the right." Columbia, MO
  13. Hi Sarah, I would flat out NOT expose her to the kind of dogs that aggravate her. I'm glad somebody recommended Clothier's great article (see link above), because that article promotes protecting your dog from these kinds of rambunctious "friendly but in your face" dogs. Puppies and dogs that growl when dogs run up at them are 100% within their rights--they are growling because they are rightfully afraid. However, it is up to you to not allow things to get to that point... Up until 8 years ago, I used to take my dogs to dog parks and doggy daycare daily. My 14 lb. JRT was subjected to as many as 110 bigger dogs a day body slamming him, getting in his face, pawing at him, etc. Back then, I was a follower of the popular idea that dogs like Labs, Goldens, Boxers, Dobes and other dogs with a body-slamming play style were just being "friendly" and that any dog that didn't play the same way was "boring," "unsocialized" or even "unfriendly." I refused to bail out my dog, and in fact he did not get into any fights. However, he was stressed, showing lots of calming signals (like head turning, wandering far from the group), and was NOT happy around this kind of environment. By the time he was 4.5 years old, he would growl/snap/bite at any dog that got within a couple feet of him. My fault entirely for not protecting him better. With my two BCs, they have NEVER been exposed even for an instant to dogs with these play styles. I hand picked every dog they met for the first year. These were non-confrontational, non-physical, older, mellow and boring dogs that just tottered around sniffing the ground and ignoring my dogs... or well behaved BCs at herding trials. After 1 yr of age, I exposed them on a limited basis to "unscreened" dogs. However, we play non-stop ball games, and they are so focused on the ball that none of the park dogs have a chance to try to bully them. I have a hard and fast rule that I do not let my dogs play in any group with a Lab, Golden, Boxer, Doberman (unless they are atypically gentle or elderly), or any dog with a rough, in-your-face play style. This has worked great, and my dogs are even tolerant of totally strange intact males coming into their house and spending the weekend (as happened this past weekend). Columbia, MO
  14. Hi Shelb's mum, I've been a clicker trainer for 11 years so far, and I think this particular trick is in the top 5% of hard tricks to teach. I would not try to teach this with your puppy until you have mastered many other behaviors first. So don't feel bad that it hasn't worked out yet! Shelby needs to become "clicker savvy" before doing hard tricks like this. A clicker savvy dog will begin offering behaviors like crazy the second it becomes apparent that you are working on a new behavior. Many dogs know what a clicker is, enjoy learning new stuff, etc. after just a couple days of training. However, a truly clicker savvy dog often requires a year or more of clicker experience. With my very strong eyed BC, he is still not "operant" at 17 months because he is so hardwired to stare-and-cogitate... instead of moving and offering behaviors. For this particular trick, it is almost a "must" to first teach Shelby to shake hands. Then work up to a really big "high 5." After this, encourage a high 5 while simultaneously luring her nose down with a treat lure. She will accidentally brush her paw on her nose, and that's when you give a big jackpot. The tape on the nose trick worked for my JRT, but both the BCs are so stoic they don't make any move to get it off. They figure I must have put it there for a reason, so who are they to question why? Good luck! Columbia, MO
  15. Hi there, I can't answer about AIBC. I have wondered about this myself. A dog with an "ABC" registration number is registered with the "American Border Collie Association," (ABCA) whose website you already visited. The ABCA uses the prefix "ABC" for the registration number. Old timers in my area call the "ABCA" organization the "ABC," too. You didn't mention NASDS, which is the "North American Sheep Dog Society." This is another older BC registry like AIBC. Many people do not realize that NASDS is still around. The former record keeper got way behind processing registrations, and many people switched their dogs to ABCA at that time. However, the NASDS registry is now in new, capable hands, and they are trying to get caught up on all of the unprocessed registrations. Columbia, MO Later edited to change NASDS to the correct spelling and acronym--thanks to Eileen's post below!
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