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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. I definitely think it's looks. My dog loves: huskies (despite the fact that they all want to play humpies), border collies, aussies, and for some strange reason, Brittany spaniels. Having grown up a street dog in Puerto Rico, he also seems to love small, chihuahua-looking creatures. He hates until he knows: Tall dogs, bulldogs, boxers, and small shih-tzu looking dogs. Used to hate but has learned to tolerate labradors. (Labradors seem to be the official breed of suburban Massachusetts, so we meet at least 4 a day.) Then there's the random, occasional dog that Buddy simply LOVES the first time he meets. That love at first sight thing I can't explain, except maybe they remind him of his littermates? Friends from Puerto Rico? Who knows! Mary
  2. Great! Thanks for the information. I'll look for it. Interesting how dogs are so different from each other, especially in something as general as sense of smell! Mary
  3. New England here also. Ditto on the shedding. Buddy blew out his hips and thighs a few weeks ago, and I kind of stopped paying attention. Last night I took him outside for a good brushing to his general back/side area, and I must have packed the brush with fur 10 or 15 times. My back yard looks like there's been some kind of slaughter out there. But this morning, he felt soooo good! I love it when the undercoat finally comes out, for real, and you can scritch your dog down to his very skin. I think Buddy was relieved, too - he even let me brush his butt and tail hard. Shedding has to itch! Mary
  4. This morning, my dog was poking with great attention around the edge of this little mucky pond near my house. He was sniffing every millimeter of shoreline. After maybe 5 minutes of meticulous sniffing, he stuck his head into the water, and pulled out a bone that had sunk to the bottom. This bone was immersed in at least 8 inches of water, and was about a foot offshore. Do all dogs have such an acute sense of smell? I've had dogs in the past, and I don't think they could scent through water. I was impressed with Buddy's ability. He does love to scent things out - his favorite game is "hide and squeak," in which I hide his squeaker toy somewhere and he has to sniff it out. I'm wishing we had tracking clubs near me. Mary
  5. This is a fun thread. And interesting! I just reread a couple pages worth of posts, and it sounds pretty darned scary to own a border collie. I just wanted to be sure Ryan knows that it isn't ALWAYS a nightmare! I do spend a couple hours a day exercising the dog now - getting out in the woods and enjoying the environment, regardless of the weather. That's a nice thing, most of the time. I enjoy winter much more when I'm forced to go out into the beauty of it. And I really, really feel in touch with the outside world, rather than separated from it. Outside the couple hours of walking Buddy, my life is pretty easy-going and laid back. Buddy will play hide and seek or chase if I agree to it, and I sometimes do. He comes around with me to stores and stuff when I can take him, and he enjoys the stimulation, but it doesn't require any effort on my part to have him hop in the back seat. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, outside the actual exercise time, Buddy hasn't really changed my lifestyle much. I get up at 5:30, walk him for 45 minutes, then leave for work. I can be gone 8 - 10 hours, and he's fine. I come home, feed him, play a bit, and then take him out for an hour+. Then we come home, play a bit, and settle in. I work, or watch TV, or go on the computer. He lies by my feet. I go to the movies, out to dinner, shopping... all the things I used to do. He's wonderful at home, and never chews on things or messes the house. I think he just sleeps in his little bed under the table. ::Shrug:: So there. Choose a border collie wisely, and you don't have to buy a sheep farm for him. Mary
  6. Um.... Yup! When I got Buddy, I was working 8 - 9 hour days and then doing eBay from home a couple hours a day to bring in extra money. It was nice - I had spare change for movies, dinner, etc.. Nice. Then I realized that with Buddy, I was spending 2 hours a day (minimum) walking him... and eBay became too much for me. So I gave it up and just concentrated on Buddy. Less money, but more physical fitness. Walking. Up hills. Down hills. Cardio workout. Lost 20 pounds while still eating everything I want. (Not thin, mind you - just less fat!) And the flip side is that all this walking (I'm on my feet during my job, too, on concrete floors) is messing up my feet. Apparently I'm a pronator and my arches are aching. SO: Summary: The dog has made me poorer, thinner, and with sorer feet. I guess you could say we build our lifestyles around our dogs. Mary
  7. Hi, I got my dog as a young adults (around 1.5 years). I have to tell you, as a single working person, this was a huge blessing! I left him home 2 days after I got him, and there was nothing torn, broken, or chewed. He's only had an accident in the house once - when he was very, very ill. And there's no way we could be more bonded, even if I had gotten him as a puppy. There's something about rescuing a dog that makes him grateful to you, I think. Plus, when you get an adult, you get some sense of the temperament he's going to have as an adult. You can watch him interact with other dogs, kids, etc.. Also, since you're new to the breed (as I was!), you can choose one that's a bit mellower than some BCs are. I lucked out and got the brains of a BC in a very calm, relaxed dog. Check out the border collie rescue forum. You can look at dogs in your area who are available for adoption. Many of them are being fostered, so you can get a real, solid idea of what they're like. Good luck! Mary
  8. My guy is also very laid back. He loves a good walk in the woods once a day, and another one around the park, but that's enough for him - he's happy to be with me in the house, lounging, the rest of the time. Meanwhile, the BC at our training group is one of those "coiled spring" types - reminds me of how a typical BC is supposed to be. I also had no experience with the breed, so I'm lucky I got a mellow fellow.
  9. Which means Jake has achieved his goal, I think. I'm definitely not an expert at this stuff, so don't read me as the final authority. I do think you should be alpha, and able to tell Jake when to lay off the pup. But this would take a bit of training and time, I think, since Jake is in a completely new situation. I've gotten to where my dog will listen when I say "leave it," even if he is on the run to "discipline" some youngsters... but that took a lot of months of training. I read somewhere ("Nop's Trials?") that no sane adult dog will deliberately set out to wound or kill a puppy. I'm not sure if that's true... but I am sure that adult dogs are happy to scare a loud squeal out of a puppy from time to time. I would pay attention to what Roy and Jake are doing when this stuff happens. The way I've read about it, adult dogs will mouth puppies with a little "pinch" to get them to stop what they're doing. The pup is young enough that he might not have worked out the whole doggie dynamic thing with his mother and littermates yet. (The books say that pups learn bite control and appropriate behavior from mom and siblings, up through the age of 12 weeks or longer.) Jake may be like the grouchy older uncle Roy has been sent to live with - saying, basically, "You kids today don't have ANY manners! Why... in my day... we'd never get away with behavior like that!" Another thought - maybe they just need some closely supervised time to get to know each other. My dog growled at my sister's dog if she so much as looked at him or me for a couple months. Now they can sit next to each other and take treats from my hands without any problem. They don't love each other, but they happily tolerate each other and enjoy the good times (walks, treats) that come when they're with each other. So... maybe Pup in a crate near Jake for a while, and Jake in a crate near Pup... until they have a solid, trusting bond. I'll be interested in hearing what happens. Sometimes I think about getting a puppy, but I do worry about what my big dog would do. Mary
  10. This might not be much help... but my dog tends to be a "bad meeter." Buddy has very strict rules about how dogs can behave around him when they meet. He will discipline any dog who doesn't follow these rules. Puppies seem to get a free pass till about 6 months, but adolescents are his pet peeve - youngsters who get "in his face." Despite this, after a few meetings in which Buddy does the dog-discipline thing, most adolescents are fine. They learn to give Buddy his space, and he relaxes around them as soon as they stop pestering him. Then they're all friends. So - while it's tough to watch - maybe Jake is just telling Roy how he needs to act, in as direct a dog-fashion as he can. Good luck!
  11. Oh! My medium coat is a longer-haired twin for Nash. http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb99/mb...owstick2007.jpg He also had to be taught to wade into streams and shallow water - he did NOT want to do it on his own. I'm going to try against all odds to teach him to swim this summer, if only for the sake of being able to rinse off the wet, smelly stuff he rolls in at the park where the pond is. My sister's American Eskimo dog has always done the tummy-cool thing, since she was eight weeks old. We had a little foot rinse bin near the pool, and she dove right in and lay down. She goes in EVERY stream and pond we find, and just lies down until her tummy is underwater. I did read last summer (somewhere in the dog forum) that this is the place their bodies cool off from - the skin is open to the air and heat from the blood can be exchanged into the air via the tummy. Makes sense - the fur is thicker and lying flat on the top of the back. I learned to spray Buddy's belly down with a cold hose before a long walk on a hot day. It seems to keep him cooler, and I guess I prefer it to the method of the swimming dogs, who go in every stinky swamphole we walk by. Bleah. Mary
  12. I was out mowing the lawn the other night, and brought the dog with me, because I figured he'd be happy outside with me. After about 20 minutes, I looked over at him, and he had the most disgusted, bewildered expression. His ears were completely wrong - sort of pressed down but sideways (airplane ears), when usually they are prick or, when relaxed, just laid down a bit. Turns out there were bugs touching him, which drives him crazy. But yes, his ears definitely looked wilted. The last time I saw him looking like that was at the shelter when I went to rescue him. Mary
  13. Yup... old school/dominance thing. When I got my dog, I read all the dog training books in the library. A lot of the ones that were 10 years old or so said to NEVER play tug of war with your dog. Now, all my previous dogs played and loved the game, but I was OK with not playing. I told my trainer/behaviorist about this, and he chuckled and said, "Oh, that's old school philosophy." HIS theory was that it was a great game because you could get the dog all riled up and then teach him how to "come down" from that wound-up state. Works great with my dog - he's never confused about when I'm tired of the game. Mary
  14. My dog had Lyme disease, and it manifested like you're describing - seeming soreness or lameness that moved from leg to leg. Within a few days of taking the antibiotic, the lameness went away. Given your location, it's not unlikely for your dog to have contracted Lyme or another tick-borne disease. Good luck! Mary
  15. Hmmm.... He also neglects to mention that huge numbers of the dogs who end up in shelters were PURE-BRED dogs purchased by FAMILIES from REPUTABLE BREEDERS. Where does he think these dogs with problems come from? The "Problem Dog Store?" Taking in ANY dog isn't a good thing if it ends tragically. Stupid. Mary
  16. I've never crated Buddy. He came home at 18 months, though, and had outgrown the chewing nonsense. He does great, even if I work 10 hour days. (When he gets older and has problems holding it, I'll probably hire a dogwalker.) I grew up in the days before crating. THe day after I got my dog, I told my students I had left him home uncrated. They were HORRIFIED! They were sure my house would be ruined! I guess they've never known a world without crating. Mary
  17. Hmmm... good question! My dog lives alone with me, but we have a regular group of dogs he knows at the dog park. We all walk loops together - sometimes humans and up to 6 dogs. If a new dog comes on the periphery, one dog will start barking, and then 3 - 4 of the dogs (the ones with territory issues, I guess?) will join in. They will all run over to the new dog if we don't call them to us. There definitely seems to be a cry of "Not one of us! Not one of us! Get him, boys!" that they send among each other. This is not an attack kind of thing, but it's definitely an alert, and the dogs definitely want to check out the newbie. We rarely have gang fights, though - mostly a couple dogs scrapping over a bone or something. In fact, I can think of only one or two times I've seen more than two dogs get involved in an argument. Generally, the other dogs leave the fighting couple alone to duke it out. So - not a really good answer to your question, but that's the perspective from my pseudo-pack life. Mary
  18. I had a huskie mix (RIP) who, I noticed one winter, was eating TONS of snow, and drinking out of every stream and pond. I was afraid she had diabetes. But then I realized that her water dish was never going down. She had gotten a new, large, stainless steel dish for Christmas, and something about that dish (her reflection, maybe?) scared her so much that she stopped drinking water in the house. A quick switch of the dish, and she was back to normal. Dogs are weird. Mary
  19. Oh, I'm so glad. Your new dog sounds a lot like my dog used to be. I look forward to hearing about his progress. I do hope a lot of his issues came from simply being in the shelter environment. Mary
  20. Hmm... I certainly understand both sides of the issue. I walk a mostly-not-reactive-anymore dog in a park, and I keep my eyes and ears open all the time, ready to leash Buddy and get him off trail if I see or hear a bike coming. With enough distance, he's fine and calm, and everything goes well. On the other hand, I've been on a trail in the middle of the woods and had a biker almost land on top of me and my dog - bouncing down a hill, assuming that anyone in his way would be able to jump aside in time, which was not necessarily true. Had I been elderly or handicapped, there could have been a problem! I think we ALL need to be aware enough of our surroundings to react safely. That includes me walking my dog and keeping him where he and bikers won't have a problem, but it also includes bikers' keeping their eyes open and being aware that everyone - human and dog - needs a bit of reaction time before they can move out of the way. There's a park near me that has wonderful rules, I think. Walkers have right of way over horseback riders, who have right of way over bikers. And, my favorite part, dogs can be off leash BUT no one should be approached by an animal unless they WANT to be approached by an animal. I've never had a problem at this park. If I see a stranger without a dog, I just call Buddy to heel until they've passed safely. Mary
  21. My dog used to be really reactive upon meeting humans - especially large men with deep voices. Over time, though, he's gotten pretty comfortable being around people, and hardly gives strangers a second look. They can walk past, jog past, talk to me, and he just goes on with his business. We walk every morning with the same woman, and Buddy loves her. She has a 20-something daughter who has come to the park maybe three times. Every single time, Buddy has been really freaked by her: regressing into his old-time growling, barking, circling, nervous behavior. It takes about 10 minutes of walking behind this girl before Buddy will calm down and acknowledge that she's not a threat to him. Again, this is weird because Buddy doesn't react in general to strangers we meet. Last Friday, my friend (the one Buddy loves) borrowed her daughter's rain jacket for our morning walk. Buddy approached her with his usual happy gait, expecting his treat, but when he got close, he reacted to her the same way he reacts to her daughter: suspicious circling, growling, and loud barking, at 5:15 in the a.m.! So... what do you think is up with this? My completely random theory is that something about these two confuses Buddy: the daughter smells like the mother, only not quite right, and it rattles his brain? And maybe the mother wearing the daughter's coat created the same disconnect? Anyone else ever experienced anything like this? Thanks, Mary
  22. Terrible situation! My sympathies! I can't offer any good advice with dealing with this particular bit biker, but do have a bit of experience with the bike reactivity. My dog used to be really freaked out by running humans and bikes, too. Bikes are still a sore spot. I had to do a LOT of on-leash work: making him sit, rewarding when calm near bikes, etc.. It helped to have him in the little park where small kids ride their bikes: we could walk behind very slow kids with training wheels so he could get used to the whole machine. He's pretty predictable now when he knows a bike is coming, and can sort of plan or get himself ready for it. But he still goes into growling/barking mode if he's surprised. Even waaaay out in the woods, where we're far from any streets and houses, we still occasionally get bombarded by mountain bikers barreling down hills, seemingly from out of nowhere. Good luck! Mary
  23. Hmm... My dog knows the command "roll over" (sort of) but absolutely HATES to do it. He hates to go belly up for any reason, especially out in public where anyone might come along at any time. He was 1 - 2 when I got him, so the days of holding him upside down and giving treats were over. I guess this is a refusal to give up control in this particular situation, but he will surrender treats to me, stay when I tell him to, lie down when approached by a big scary dog... so I don't worry too much about his not wanting to flip himself. Mary
  24. Yummy yummy treats! I found the website of the little retail store that opened in my town: http://www.caninesnackshack.com/index.html See the very pretty, delicate cakes and cookies they make? It's like walking into an Italian bakery! Plus... you can order them by phone and they'll ship FedEx. Still no recipe, though. Mary
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