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Everything posted by Genie

  1. I tried it with Zeb, but he failed to see the subtle differences between splashing in the water and splatting on the pavement: Zeb jumping off the dock. We made two attempts and I gave up for fear that he would hurt himself. If I tried it again, I would need to find a safer place to practice or have a lot more people around the pool and dock to prevent him from trying a different route to the floating frisbee.
  2. Even if you're just planning to do it for fun, I would still recommend looking for a team that offers classes. You may find that you and your dog love it so much that you want to try competing. Make every attempt to train it right from the beginning because some things can't be effectively retrained, especially the box turn.
  3. I wish I had started flyball training with Zeb much earlier. I wish I had worked him on the wall in his box training. He would be better at kicking off the box now if I had. He's got a good turn, but he hangs a bit on the box. I'm so glad that I taught and reinforced a recall as early as I did. I'm also glad I encouraged the game of fetch. I love dogs who fetch.
  4. I agree with Liz (Thunderhill). There is a lot involved in training for flyball and you will need a team to help you. In additon to the NAFA site she listed, check out the clubs on the U-FLI site as well: U-FLI I've been training for about a year and a half and my dog is now competing on the team. I couldn't have trained it on my own. All my preconceived notions about how to train for flyball went out the window once I actually started training. It was very different. I also couldn't have trained without all of the equipment (box, jumps, babygates and assorted props). Find a team that teaches a good box turn. If their dogs just hit the box straight on and don't kick off the box with their rear feet, keep looking. The old slam-the-box-with-front-feet-only is hard on the front end and can cause injury and arthritis. I hope you find a good team in your area. Flyball is a lot of fun for the dogs and handlers!
  5. Great product! Way better and more convenient than vet wrap. I use them for flyball, but have started using them for frisbee too because I have a BC that skids at every opportunity.
  6. I'm a bit late on this thread, but I'd like to add a couple things: First, what is the chasing game? If its you chasing him or him chasing you, its going to be more interesting and he's likely to wait to play that instead. I would stop that completely. Second, when he doesn't bring the ball all the way back, wait him out. Zeb did this at first and it was his way of controlling where I threw the ball from. He would keep dropping it about 10 feet away until I was throwing from the location he wanted (usually as far from other dogs as possible). Once I realized that, I found a bench or chair to sit on and threw from there. That prevented me from moving toward the ball. If he dropped it too far away, I would lean forward, stretch my arm out and show that I couldn't reach it, then sit back. He would eventually pick up the ball and drop it closer. As long as I refused to pick it up until it was within reach, it worked. I encouraged him by telling him "closer" and now he knows that as a command to pick up the ball and bring it to me. I use this if he cheats and drops it too far away. Its useful in frisbee too.
  7. I hope you feel better soon. I've always neutered my males around 6-9 months, so they haven't done any more filling out after the initial puppy growth spurt and I think that's due to when they were neutered. I planned to have Zeb done at a 12-18 mo, but he totally lost his brain between 6 & 7 months, so I had it done early. I think for most pet dogs that are neutered, the filling out that people expect is just extra fat padding. If they're intact, I do think they bulk up with muscle as they mature. ETA: As for growing a brain (LOL!), I think that they mature mentally around 2-3 years, depending on the dog.
  8. At this point, there isn't enough info to do more than speculate wildly and that will probably only serve to worry you. Your vet can do a needle aspirate of it and send the sample out for analysis. That can often provide enough info on the type of growth to make a decision on what, if anything needs to be done for it. Fingers crossed here, hoping its nothing serious.
  9. I'm so sorry... You've got a wonderful picture of him with the lambs.
  10. What a wonderful tribute to an interesting and remarkable threesome. Thank you for sharing.
  11. I wouldn't start running/jogging with her yet, but I would start training her for it. I have a friend who runs with her BC and she had to do a bit of training to get him to understand that he was supposed to run next to her at her pace regardless of any interesting distractions. Have you taken her to a basic obedience class yet? The heeling exercises are a good foundation for this. In competition obedience, there is a change of pace while heeling that is practiced and that's what you would want to focus on with her. When she understands heel, start adding in short sections of fast and slow while heeling. She should change her pace to match yours. Set out a couple of cones about 8-10 ft apart and heel around them in a figure-8 (at at normal walking pace. The fast/slow work should be done in a straight line). This helps teach her to heel with you when you turn and change pace. When she's doing well with heeling next to you and changing pace when you do to keep in position, start increasing the fast-jog exercise. If she's distracted at any point, remind her to focus on her job (running next to you). When my friend started jogging with her BC (who loved other dogs and wanted to go see any he met), she used a 'Leave It' command to remind him to ignore the dog and keep jogging with her. I would advise against using that particular command for a couple reasons: 1) that's not what that command is for - it's a don't touch command, not a pay attention to me instead command and 2) the people with the other dog reacted to her as if her dog was aggressive because she gave that command. She started using 'Mind Your Work' instead and found that she didn't get an adverse reaction from other dog owners with that command and her dog quickly learned it.
  12. Deb has a good point. The amount of muscle is a good indicator of proper weight when trying to determine if a dog is too thin. To help prevent injury, I keep Zeb athletically thin for flyball and frisbee. At one point, he was too thin and not building muscle, even though I had him doing conditioning exercises. I added in a bit more food each day and he has now built some good muscle. Its easiest to feel for muscle on the back legs, so I use that as my guide. His ribs and backbone feel about the same, but he has nice, solid muscle on his rear legs, shoulders, etc.
  13. She looks a bit heavy to me. I don't see much tuck up and waistline in those pics. If the ribs are hard to feel, then that's an excellent indicator that she's got a bit more padding than she needs. Vets are used to seeing pet dogs and will usually consider a slightly overweight dog to be in the normal range. As for the butt fluff, it will probably tame down in time. Zeb had wild cowlicks on his rump at her age, but the hair eventually settled down.
  14. Its not at all irresponsible to tell her the dog should be put to sleep instead of being rehomed. What would be irresponsible is placing this dog with a history of food aggression and now a bite history. If she already knew someone who loved this dog, had the skills to work with him and was committed to working with him, it might be ok to place him with such a person, but to go looking for someone to take the dog is another matter. There's no guarantee that the next person won't pass him on to yet another person. What would happen then if they're not upfront about his problems or they place him with someone ill equipped to work with him? Its a disaster waiting to happen. She's been given advice. That's all the help we can offer on this board. Some advice is easier to swallow than others, but that doesn't make it any less important.
  15. There's no nice way to put this, so I'll just say it. If you can't boldly work with him and accept the prospect of getting bit in the process, then its time to say goodbye and put him to sleep. Rehoming would not be fair to him, the people you place him with or anyone he might have a chance to bite in the future.
  16. How was the tug forced on the dog? I've never seen that here, so I'm having a hard time visualizing it.
  17. Some dogs just need a bit of time to see that they're allowed to tug. A friend was telling me that her BC, Tango wouldn't tug. He would tug with the other dogs, but not her. I asked her if she had tried a tug-n-treat (a tug toy with a velcro closure that holds in treats). I got mine out and tugged with Zeb a bit near Tango where he could see, then gave her the tug to try with him. After a couple tries, he started tugging. It wasn't long before he really got into it. He just needed to see that it was ok and get bold enough to try it.
  18. Just curious. Would this also be used to see if a young dog is ready to start training on stock? If it showed little or no interest, would you re-evaluate at a later date?
  19. Zeb had a very bad first year. He went through different stages of being spooked at all sorts of noises, then people, etc. He was so terrified and wild for his first bath that it was like nothing I've ever dealt with (and I've bathed a lot of dogs over the years). The only thing I could compare it to would be the tiger cubs we had at the shelter - he had that same feral edge to him. He wasn't abused, neglected or even a rescue. He's well bred and I got him at 12 weeks. I'm positive that he was well cared for and well loved during his first 12 weeks. Its just how he is. Even though I socialized him well, he had trouble dealing with new experiences. I kept trying until I found what worked for him and he is so much better today and improving all the time. Upon meeting him, many people have asked if he was a rescue. I tell them no and if the're receptive and I think they might approach him right, I may explain more and ask if they have a few moments to toss a toy to him or give him a cookie. Some people just don't get it and react too much to him, and those are the ones I don't take much time with and won't let near him. Some people are too reactive themselves and just not good around dogs. Speedway was a rescue and I'm 100% certain he wasn't abused. The first month he came to live with me was all the time it took for me to see exactly why he made it to the shelter the first time and was returned by the people who adopted him from that shelter. I was going to say that he was untrained, but that's not exactly true. He clearly had not been taught any basic obedience. He had been trained to do all sorts of annoying behaviors. (stealing food, grabbing something and running away to try to get you to chase him, bicycle/jogger chasing, trash digging, etc). He was an escape artist and from his behavior, I would guess that his original people just didn't know how to deal with him and did all the wrong things, like chase him around to try to catch him when he got out of the house/yard. That was so reinforced that I could never train past it. If you called him, even in the house, half the time, he would go into a play bow and start darting around. Being chased was that fun to him and I have no doubt that it was well reinforced in his first year of life. He had crate anxiety and separation anxiety. For years, I assumed it was because he had been rehomed a couple of times and had been in a foster home or two. I was wrong. There are a lot of dogs that have been rehomed as many times if not more and are fine. I now believe that dogs with this sort of anxiety are just born that way (wired wrong). He would have had this problem even if I had gotten him as a puppy and been his only home.
  20. Brag away. He sounds like a great little guy!
  21. There are some exceptions, but the people I respect as mentors say a year and that's what I've seen with my dog and others we're training. Those that can race earlier and have been put in races earlier have had problems - lack of confidence, lack of a box turn, chasing, etc. Unfortunately, there are teams around here who put their dogs in way too early and I would hate to face them in a race with my green dog. I've spent a lot of time training him to run well and not interfere with another dog and will really be pissed if one of theirs crosses over at him. At Bishop, one of those dogs crossed over and chased one of our dogs. We're now trying to rebuild his confidence and get him to where he can race with another dog in the next lane. I'm not saying your dog is one of these, but I will say that he sounds like the exception, not the rule.
  22. Well said. When Zeb was in the early learning stages, he did get so worked up that he didn't have much control and had a sort of tunnel vision for the tug. I was encouraged by my team to use gloves with him. I don't need them nearly as much now as I did then. He does use his brain now when he runs and doesn't regrip or get my hands anymore. That came with training and time. He had to learn it. I still wear gloves because he's a fast dog that is flying at me for a tug and can still accidentally miss and grab my hand. I've been training Zeb for a year and have worked through various stages that would appear manic or out of control. We have spent a lot of time working on control even with distractions. He will race his first singles tournament in November, but that won't make him a seasoned dog. He will still have another year or so to get experience and improve.
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