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About bailey44

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  1. Hi Murphy's Mom, First of all, congrats on quitting smoking! My Polly has always done this, and is now three and can still be snarky like this when on leash. She does it when she wants to be off leash to continue playing, or when, like in your case, she sees kids playing and wants to join in. She lo--ve--s children. It is almost exactly like you have described, she is fine on the way there, but bites at the leash and play growls to let me know she has her own agenda on the way back. Sometimes its just when we pop out the back door for her to pee and she sees some kids in the street playing, or a squirrel that needs further investigation. It's easy to bring her back in the house, but I have experienced the feeling you have when play or walks are over as far as you are concerned, but the brat is taking a tantrum in the middle of a park when play or walks are coming to an end. So. When we are "stranded" like you describe, I try a few things, usually involving "distract and re-direct" type things. She knows "stick" so I might try to engage her in a super-duper stick hunt. I sometimes walk her 15-20 feet while I have dropped a glove or hat without her noticing, and ask her to go back and find it. She takes glove hunting Very Seriously, and is endearingly proud when she is able to look back and spot it on the path. When she was younger and did this more often, I would keep a high-value toy hidden and then give it to her to hold in her mouth to carry back home/to the car. A busy mouth is one that can't bite leashes. I may be wrong, but I'm not seeing a dog in your Murphy that has aggression issues, or needs a muzzle. Certainly, as Polly has matured, if I'm not in the mood for such nonsense, I can tell her "Eh-eh!" to let her know that I'm not feeling indulgent of such antics and she is fine. Good luck and keep running!
  2. Bustopher, I too am impressed with your regimen. I don't have a regular treatment for Polly's years or eyes unless needed, but I do inspect/groom her weekly. I also do not brush her daily, I'm lazy. I brush with the fingertip brush and I think it helps to remember that with these brushes, a gentle massage starting with the gums--Polly likes this--then sneaking down to get the base of the tooth helps keep fingers out of harms way. Polly hardly opens her mouth out all, I tuck my finger in the pocket of her jaw and kind of rub, more than brush. Hard to explain over the internet. I like using the fingertip brush because it gives more "feel" to the areas I'm trying to reach. She really only has her mouth full open at the very end so I can do a quick inside of the teeth swoop and the tips. She also gets knucklebones. BTW--harder to do with my cat, teeny mouth There's an added benefit to weekly handling. I have labeled body parts for her so she knows what I'm checking/grooming. The vet/staff has picked up on this--last week Dr. Cross remarked that it is a tremendous help to her as she cheerfully told Polly, "I'm going to check your tummy!" Polly knows "tummy" so she stood calmly while palpated. I implemented this for her because she was submissive peeing at the vet's office and I felt terrible that she was so afraid. Sounds corny, but it's almost like she is empowered now, and is very nonchalant about vet visits. Great regimen! Good for you! Charlene
  3. I remember reading on this board a while back that a small towel placed in front of you for her to place the ball sometimes helps to "target" the area for the dog. This did help with Polly. I also do the walking backwards thing sometimes to encourage her to bring it all the way back. The funniest thing I taught her for this is "closer"--she knows that this means to bring the toy, or herself, closer to me. Funny because this is sometimes subjective to her, so that when she brings it back closer to me, this may equal two inches--and to the left OR, she will place it in front of me, run away, decide it needs to be closer, run back and bring it closer, run away, judge the distance with a critical eye, run to me and move it to the right or left--well you get the idea--and this is in the space of seconds. I can hear her thoughts, "o.k., she likes it close to her, now is that straight? maybe I better move it over a bit...does she see it? I'll move it over here so she'll see it better...how's that? hummmm...maybe I moved it too far that time?" She's a hoot! Ignoring her never worked for me, she would act like we were taking a break and lie down with the toy waiting for us to resume the game. Charlene
  4. Hi all, Such good info and I hope this becomes a sticky for newbies or for those who read information on border collies and are too thick to get it--like ME! I have read this board for a couple years. I carefully read the threads about overheating dogs, and still had to learn the hard way. We couldn't figure out why our dog was having the symptoms you all have described after just a few minutes of play. Vet said maybe EIC or myasthenia gravis. Nope. Poor management of her play on our part. Before we put our dog through a bunch of tests, we decided to carefully observe her and try different things. One day at the soccer field, (and this was after she had mastered a darn good recall), she played for a few minutes, then all I saw was a black blur as she ran pell mell over the hill and made a huge splash in the creek. I'm thinking what the heck?? And she's thinking, "You're so stupid to worry about me getting smelly, or getting cut on glass or cans in the creek, or bacteria, or ear infections, this is the most sensible way for me to cool down!" So after I learned my lesson, as I often do from my teacher Polly, we worked out a way to play. We walk with her around the soccer field and throw a toy for a bit, then throw the toy in the creek and let her cool down, then rinse and repeat for no more than 10 minutes. Then a final cool down in the creek and another lap for sniffing and drying purposes. My jeep, truck, carpet, and furniture smell creeky. Polly does not. She smells like nature and fun. *sigh* The little stinker loved her wading pool last year, but this year she won't get in. I asked her why and received this memo: To: Humans From: Polly Please be advised that I will not use the yellow wading pool. I liked and miss my purple wading pool. Also, the cat is getting on the kitchen counters when you are gone. Regards, Polly For us, the key was management and access to water, I can not believe how tricky it can be to live with a border collie.... Charlene
  5. You are not boring at all!! We use a wireless electric fence by PetSafe and are very happy with it--no wires and I think you can train the cats with a collar if they are over 8lbs. We are considering this for our cat when he is older. I take him out on a harness for the time being. I have trained my dog that "yard collar" means just that, when she has it on, she knows it. I never let her outside by herself. When she has on her street collar and is leashed, we have a specific area that we walk out of the "boundary" and she knows the difference. confession: there has been a time or two that she has been out on her street collar and unleashed, (bounding out to greet someone), spotted something that warrants mischief, and if she takes off, I yell "Yard!" and she stops at the boundary--yes, I know that's cheating, but it keeps her safe. The wireless fence is like the others, of course, it doesn't keep other dogs out. I recently was mortified when the neighbor's poodle puppy came rushing at Polly into our yard and Polly roughed her up in a fit of resource guarding of her toy that we were playing with. I wish she was nicer to puppies and small dogs..my failure The neighbor took no offense and the pup was fine, but that's another reason we don't let her out by herself. We found the PetSafe system at our local feed store for around $280.00 and the add-on collars for other pets cost around $80, I think. We are thrilled with it, and when we had to recently get some new collar parts, customer service was great. Best of luck to you! Charlene
  6. I'm so sorry--you must be sick with worry. Is there a coat or clothing that smells like you that can be put out by the food? Does she have a favorite squeaky toy that might lure her? It sounds like that you are covering all bases...and I would for sure knock on all neighbor doors and let them know to be on the lookout for her and give them contact info in case they spot her. Sending good thoughts your way. Charlene
  7. I sniff Polly so much that my husband threatens a restraining order She smells like nature to me I have never noticed a bad odor. I use a bucket bath for Polly sometimes--we've had so much rain that the mud has been endless. This might be helpful for those pups who fight the hose: I put a hot bucket of water in the garage before we leave--gives a good temp as we are only gone for about 40 minutes for her play. I swoop the water from the bucket with a cloth to just the muddy areas. I stand and start her in front of me to do her front, then I move her between my legs to get the back areas. I then throw a big towel over her and squeeze and pat her dry--she loves this part. I re-use the cloth and towel to save on laundry. I am always so pleased at how clean this gets her with so little fuss. On mild days I do this on the driveway or deck. Charlene
  8. OffTopic, Please do post pictures, we had a kees for 13 years and I think of her often. I saw where you lost Max and I'm so sorry about that. Alexandra was hands-down, the most gorgeous dog. And she knew it. When she was groomed that double coat would fluff out and I would call her Marilyn Monroe because she "worked it" all the time for attention, but pretended to be dumb, (she was not), when she needed to be manipulative. Many people aren't familiar with keeshonds. I got weary of people asking if she was a chow, or whatever, so when we would be out walking and people would yell out how beautiful she was and what kind of dog is that, I'd agree with what they said--chow? yep! elkhound? uh,huh!--or I would yell out "She's a Humperdoodle!" These dogs are awesome guard dogs, I swear she could hear a leaf turn from inside, and I always felt safe with her protecting me when I was in the house alone. Before she got too old and stubborn, she would run with me at night--those are my favorite memories of her--running in the moonlight. She was our nanny, a benevolent protector for the kids, but not much to rough house too much. She would often look at me with exasperation when the boys had a gazillon friends over and the house was loud with chaos. I guess she felt like she had done her job when my oldest left for college because she died the year he left. As you know, they were bred to be guard dogs for barges in Holland, and she was so funny when she would hang out on the bow of our little boat, surveying the lake like a princess. Please enjoy your new addition and post pictures..it's great that Finn is being so good to her! Charlene
  9. I'm so glad this came up again, and I think how it highlights how valuable the veteran posters are to new folks. When I first joined the board I read Rebecca's description of this and as a new border collie owner, I took the lesson to heart. When I'm playing and walking with Polly and I stop to ask her to come, she does, happily, because after all we're playing. But. If I'm standing on the porch in my jammies and slippers and it's snowing, she will sometimes blow me off. This is where I have to have the discipline to do what's right for my dog. It's so tempting to dart back in and grab a squeaky toy--a sure way to coax her in, and also the way I use to handle this situation with my first dog. I KNOW Polly would come if I did that, but instead I come inside, grab my boots and coat, slip and slide down the hill toward her, and sure enough, it's like the others describe, she gets an "oh, crap!, I blew it!" look and comes to me. It's easy to be lazy, or busy, or whatever, in these situations...... Charlene
  10. I second the buster cube and interactive toys along with kongs. I have given my dog rinsed milk jugs or water bottles and that buys me time and wears her out. My dog loves to chew and shred the plastic--BUT--not a good idea if your dog would EAT the plastic. She bats them around and seems to enjoy the noise they make. My dog likes to destroy things like this, but not eat the bits. I, of course, supervise this. The recycling guys probably wonder what the heck is going on with the gnarled up milk jugs in the bin Charlene
  11. I read it earlier too. The pictures are so touching and endearing. Thoughts and prayers, Charlene
  12. Does the wire crate have a wire bottom? Mine does not, the plastic tray slides in on bare floor. We use a Kuranda bed that sits on top of the plastic tray. This makes it impossible for her to reach three sides of the tray, and she would have to contort herself to reach down to the door side of the tray. But she's always been more of a digger/scratcher than a chewer, and only at night. These are pricey and worth every penny, Polly dug and chewed everything else, but this has proven to give her the comfort we want her to have and discourage this behavior. She still digs a bit at night sometimes, but almost like a final self-soothing 'til she falls asleep. If your ultimate goal is to keep him crated, this might serve as the long-term answer to the crate destruction problem, but.. His behavior might continue if his anxiety is high, so even if you make the crate bullet-proof, he might up the ante and chew on bars and hurt his mouth, etc. so I think it's great that you are seeing folks to try to figure this out. Short-term, if you could secure the plexi-glass to the crate edges, it might be a cheaper alternative. Poor Kato, he is having a time of it, isn't he... I hope the vet and behaviorist can give some insight. Charlene
  13. DH: Two play sessions per day with the dog, early morning and late evening--he does this in the basement--say "basement ball" and watch Polly's ears perk up We've recently added a kitten to the mix and Deegan goes downstairs with them and climbs all over stuff and generally has a blast. The animals are also dishwasher-loading assistants to him every evening--the kitten climbs in and smells like tomato sauce the rest of the evening, Polly is the "Head Plate Licker" Me: Everything else vet, maintenance meds, major outside play during the week, um, feeding. I'm not kidding. My husband would not remember to feed himself if not reminded, so if I get hit by a truck, these animals are in big trouble. Training, worrying, grooming, obedience, thinking games for the dog, litter box duty, long explanations about why for the love of God, YOU CAN NOT LET THE DOG JUMP ON YOU EVERY NIGHT AFTER WORK TO GREET YOU AND THEN YELL AT HER WHEN SHE TRIES TO TIP YOUR 75-YEAR-OLD MOTHER OVER LIKE A CORD OF WOOD!!!!!! Charlene
  14. Liz, How sweet of you to offer support and understanding. One of my problems is having time to give Polly what she needs, I stand on my head to juggle things to get her to the park once a day. Every dog is so unique and I do know her well enough to know that the park jaunt is the highlight of the day for her. I have posted before that--and maybe this is just where I live--but it is hard to find "playdates" for my dog. Folks that I know and interact with love their dogs dearly, but would NEVER put the activity time that we do with our dog. And as I said before, Polly likes her play/exercise, me and my husband, her new kitten/tormenter but doesn't really have much interest in other dogs. I don't think she thinks she IS a dog. I bought agility equipment, and she will do what I ask, but it is not with the joy that I see on agility dogs who really love it. The local agility club doesn't have a good reputation. I didn't mean to be a downer and melodramatic about having a border collie, but we have Polly because we are active like her, we would not want a dog that is "mellow" but it's frustrating finding an outlet for all of us that fits into a busy day, and I really wish I didn't have to feel like a criminal every time we visit the park. Here's the thing in a nutshell, the dog I had previous to Polly was happy with a walk a few times a week for 13 years, I get Polly and I realize that the world has changed, people are sue happy and kind of controlling when it comes to seeing a dog off-leash and I find myself lurking in the local park whispering commands, trying not to draw attention to me or my dog. We have a great time inside, lots of good thinking activities, but nothing compares to seeing her going like a black and white streak, joyfully running and having fun outside! I swear she smiles all the way home! Thanks, Charlene
  15. I keep my dog on a leash only when walking around traffic. I am discouraged about this for the following reasons: *we have no dog parks, and my dog isn't really interested in playing with other dogs anyway. *if I take her to an open space to play with her for exercise, she soon tires of fetch and obviously needs more thoughtful interaction. *she hates walking just for the sake of walking, so I don't bother. *we live in suburbia. So, I take her to our local park, break the leash law, and walk the path with her off-leash. I throw the toy, she runs ahead and catches it, brings it back---rinse and repeat. Honestly, she REALLY loves this, does sweeping runs out to come back and meet me with the toy, and I am able to stay fit myself. I tug with her, hide the toy and have her find it, we really have a blast. But. I'm breaking the law and that bothers me. Any person in the park who decides to be a jerk will end our fun fast. We have gotten some dirty looks, which just depresses me when I simply want to be with my dog for a half hour or so and have fun....I am super respectful of others, and make sure we stay out of the way of other folks and dogs, but I really am risking getting in Big Trouble. No other activity we have tried with her keeps her as happy as being able to play and run for 20-30 minutes with purpose. I would never want any other dog but a border collie. I know I sound whiny, but I really feel like I'm not welcome in my own community with Polly. So, unless I buy acreage someday, this will be my last dog. I honestly feel that she needs some full-out running time--she gets really restless if she isn't able to do this, and I'm out of ideas as to where to take her where she can be active. I drive 6 miles a day just to get to the park that is at least safe from traffic, but still under the leash law. I know other people make this work in cities, apartments, etc. but with my lifestyle right now, this is the best that I can offer her. I know you weren't looking for life stories, but this has been bothering me, so it's timely... Charlene
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