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shatchp

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  1. YES! The first thing I did was make a commitment to get up extra early to take him for a run every morning...exercise helps with my behavior problems as well. Things are going well. Our next step is to step up our work on the reactivity/fear toward other dogs to alleviate that stress.
  2. I feel this is right on. Update: After the initial fear reaction as parents, and a week or so with my wife firmly in the rehome camp and me very conflicted, we've relaxed a bit ...we took a long, hard look together at what got us here. Ollie has been around kids since 4 months old (6 years ago), when our neighbors 4 and 7 year old visited nearly daily. He's been around our son as a walking human-type for around a year. In all this time, never a hint of trouble. When he would get overwhelmed, he would go hide under a bush or pop into his crate for some Ollie time, and we knew to leave him alone. This last year has been stressful for our family...moved to a new city, into a small townhouse with no yard, tough job with long hours for me, Ollie and wife are contending with a quicker toddler all day long. Somewhere along the line, we forgot we had a border collie...and Ollie has been trying to tell us. I think it's important to note how out of character snapping at anyone is...or I'd be thinking differently. This is about overstimuation and frustration, not child aggression. This doesn't make it OK or any less worrisome, but this diagnosis allows for a treatment. So, we're making a go of turning this around...returning to a highly structured pattern, crating, getting the clicker back out, working daily on calming and obedience drills...today my 2 1/2 year old was proudly ordering Ollie "down" and "spin" with his toddler verson of the hand motions, and treating him with my clicks. Ollie has been allowed to get too stimulated in the home environment, and we've dropped the ball in terms of his needs. I need to own this. We're embracing hope, being careful, and starting over as though he just entered our family. Also, there's a chance we're moving back to Oregon to a rural setting this summer...which would be nice for all of us. As far as helping Ollie see my son as human/pack leader: Ollie is last through doorways, eats separately, isn't allowed to be wound up around kid, gets corrected if he doesn't physically defer to him, and kid is taking part in training sessions. Any other ideas for me? Thanks for the help...
  3. I'd like to thank everyone for the input. My heart is attached to this dog, and my head is forced to see the larger picture from the perspective of my wife and son, as well as my dog. My wife and I resonated with different perspectives expressed by you all, but it was all helpful. Bottom line, I'm out of the house 10 hours a day, and my wife is not comfortable with him remaining. Frankly, she's probably seeing this through more unclouded eyes...she saw the incident and the incidents leading up to this, she's home with dog and child every day, she knows what she could give toward rehabilitation, and I trust her judgement. I've learned to listen to her over the years. I can't wrap my head around this yet, but in the meantime we're focusing on safety in the house and starting to look for another option. I got in touch with Western BC Rescue...thanks. I lost a dog to kidney disease 7 years ago, and this feels just as bad.
  4. So, lets stay on point here... a little more background. Since I've had Ollie, he's been trained on the clicker, he's been trained to enjoy children and in fact loves kids. My son at 2 1/2 is trained not to take things from dog's mouth, hit dog or otherwise bother dog, which when it happens is inadvertant. My son can command Ollie to lay down and sit with hand motions, which he does. I've read Don't Shoot the Dog, and don't intend to. I've worked Control Unleashed into my routinue and will take another look at it especially around calming. Ollie can be intense when turned "on" (which is anytime there's a ball in sight) and I've viewed his previous interactions with the kid as more vocalizations. He was not snarling and baring teeth, not biting. However, what my wife reported yesterday sounded like my dog basically put my son in check like he was a puppy in his space. Not OK. My son has red marks on his face, either from tooth or claw...nothing serious, but there nonetheless. Where do you draw the line in adjusting your life around the needs of a dog? I appreciate the input...this is why I posted this.
  5. I posted this in rescue, but it may be more appropriate here. I've not been on the boards for some time, but used to lurk and listen as I raised Ollie from 4 months old to the present. He is currently 6 1/2 years old. I need some advice as I consider what to do. My wife and I have a 2 year old, and Ollie has growled/snapped (never any contact) at him when overstimulated, stepped on or otherwise bothered by him. It's happened maybe 7-8 times. The most recent was today, and it was different. He was hyped up over a fly buzzing around the house, and my boy pushed past him to go outside, placing his hand on the dog's head. Ollie knocked him down while growl/snapping over him. He demonstrated the restraint I've always trusted in him ...but for the first time there is evidence of contact on my son's face and my wife was terrified. My concern is that this is escalating. Ollie has been reactive/aggressive with other dogs (never sheepdogs, incidentally), and we've dealt with that over time by avoiding putting him in tough situations. He's trained pretty well around our needs for him (never got great on leash, but we're mostly off leash on acreage near our home, where he's great), and gets daily exercise. But, I'm afraid this is a dog that shouldn't be in a home with small children. He's not toy or food possessive with our son, but he has on occasion pushed the envelope with what is acceptable. 99.9% of the time, awesome dog - 0.1%, scary. It's tough, because the problems are rare...but if he injures my boy, its me who has failed. We're planning another baby, and so it'll be young kids for years. I don't understand what triggers the reaction, and I don't trust him now. I think I need to look at the writing on the wall. I need advice. I'm in Denver, but used to live in the Pacific NW, where there were solid rescues I would trust with a dog I truly love. If we decide to go that route (and I'm not there yet), is there anyone in Colorado who I can trust to do the due-diligence in finding the right home? I'll go anywhere in the western states to get this right. Input appreciated...I'm too close to this. Thanks, Sam
  6. I've not been on the boards for some time, but used to lurk and listen as I raised Ollie from 4 months old to the present. He is currently 6 1/2 years old. My wife and I have a 2 year old, and Ollie has done the growl and snap (never any contact) a few times when overstimulated. It's happened maybe 7-8 times. The most recent was today. He was hyped up over a fly buzzing around the house, and my boy pushed past him to go outside. Ollie knocked him down while growl/snapping at him. He demonstrated the restraint I've always trusted in him ...but for the first time there is evidence of contact on my son's face and my wife was terrified. My concern is that each time it happens, it gets worse. Ollie has been reactive with other dogs, and we've dealt with that over time by avoiding putting him in tough situations. He's trained pretty well around our needs for him (never got great on leash, but we're mostly off leash on acreage near our home, where he's great) , and gets daily exercise. But, I'm afraid this is a dog that shouldn't be in a home with small children. He's not toy or food possesive with our son, but he has pushed the envelope with what is acceptable. It's tough, because the problems are rare...but if he injures my boy, its me who has failed. We're planning another baby, and so it'll be young kids for years. I think I need to look at the writing on the wall. I need advice. I'm in Denver, but used to live in the Pacific NW, where there were solid rescues I would trust with a dog I truly love. If we decide to go that route (and I'm not there yet), is there anyone in Colorado who I can trust to do the due-diligence in finding the right home? I'll go anywhere in the western states to get this right. Thanks, Sam
  7. Our guy has a tendency to circle as well when walking off leash...he likes clockwise. It's because I trained him to "go around" me... and as he swoops around me from behind I let the frisbee fly. He does it on hikes sometimes, and if its not OK in the context I simply step in front of him and into his space...then order him next to me. It you don't like the behavior, interrupt it before it reinforces itself. The line is a good idea, gives you control...train her to walk next to you. But honestly, if she circles and stays close and focused on you, maybe its not the worst thing, depending on the context. Train her to go the other direction. Train her to only do it only command. Train her to nose on a target, and carry the target on walks...keeping her next to you...etc. Take this with a grain of salt...I'm fairly relaxed with my dog. If its not harmful, dangerous or annoying I can usually live with it. We had a dog that loves her own poop...rolled in it and ate it. Best I can tell you is clean it up before she gets to it, keep her away from it...or make it unpleasant somehow. Hopefully the urge fades as the positive reinforcement is removed.
  8. Coming in to this late. We started our bc mix on a raw diet after realizing she had chronic kidney failure, and I swear it kept her healthy longer. Kidneys are filters, so the less we give bad kidneys to filter the better...so, in my mind natural, raw food was better than anything processed. We did have to watch the creatinine and bun levels...creatinine especially is related to calcium and phosphorus intake in food. You asked about "good" protein. Frankly, it's a balancing act...you want meats lower in protein and phosphorus....but you want enough protein. Calcium in meat is good to a degree, as its a natural phosphorus binder. The problem is, meats with calcium also have lots of phosphorus. So, we stayed away from red meats like beef and buffalo...and fed chicken and turkey, green tripe, and eggs. Egg shells ground up are a natural phosphorus binder. We added cooked sweet potatoes, minced raw parsley or kale and a some chinese herbs for kidney function. I think the right raw meat maximized the protein intake while minimizing the damage to the kidneys. The game is staying ahead of the disease, keeping your dog healthy and feeling good. Frequent IV flushes can help "reset" things, and you can do subcutaneous (under the skin) fluids at home...your vet can teach you. We did subcutaneous fluids at home every day the last 4 months...I'm not sure it helped, but I did everything I could. Our vet was holistic and helpful...and the community at K9KidneyDiet was invaluable. Check it out here. This group has, in their files page, a list of the various meats, fruits and vegetables you might feed...organized by their phosphorus and calcium levels, cooked and uncooked by weight. There are a number of raw feeders in that group. I just read back and realized you've already applied.... Good luck.
  9. Thanks for the update...we were thinking about her. I recognize that look in her eyes...a really beautiful outcome.
  10. We're urban dwellers with full time jobs and a very content Border Collie....however, as has been mentioned, this is because our lives revolve around him...or rather he revolves around us, all day long. Honestly, getting a BC needs to be considered as much a choice of lifestyle as breed of dog. Yes, their athleticism, intelligence and focus make them great sport dogs...but those same traits, even with a great off switch, come back from the park and into the house with them. Our dog is a huge part of our lives...the kind of role a child might take in a family. I'm dog crazy, so this is easy for me...but its not as easy for my wife all the time. Her input would be to consider it carefully...for there will be sacrifice involved. I might suggest that simply not being "anti-dog" isn't enough for this breed...you really need to be ready to become a "dog-person"...you know, those weirdos that talk to their animals, frequent parks and open spaces in pouring down rain, sleet, hail and snow...know what healthy poop and not-so-healthy poop looks like...are comfortable with dog hair and dog slobber on their car seats and wood floors, on their clothes...in their coffee, etc. Then, take it a step further with BC-people...who are constantly working with, training, exercising, cuddling with and otherwise loving their dogs...who are constantly working with, training, exercising, cuddling with and otherwise loving their owners. Truly, they're not like other dogs...and the same needs to be said for their handlers. That said, kudos to you for planning so far ahead. These folks know what they're talking about...good luck!
  11. Yes. I work with homeless families, and Ollie comes to work frequently with me. Last year, there was a 14 yr old autistic boy in shelter, who was non-verbal and extremely withdrawn. I brought Ollie one day, and as we tossed the ball in the yard out front I saw this boy looking out the window at us. The next day, same deal. His mom said he seemed to be really interested in the dog...looking up at all was really irregular for him. So, I invited him to come outside and before I knew it he was tossing the ball for Ollie....and loving it. Every day I worked for the next few weeks, he got home from school and immediately came outside to play with Ollie. We got to watch this kid open up. He loved the texture of the rubber ball, all slimy and doggy, and the repetitive motion of tossing it...which Ollie quite enjoyed as well. It would go on for hours if I let it...they were a pair. Cheers.
  12. I'm sorry for you and River, this must be stressful on you both. I don't have anything to add about the peeing...but you might consider trying a raw diet on River. Both my dogs had irregular stools until I moved to raw with them...that seemed to do the trick. We use Columbia River Natural (local company), which comes in 2lb frozen ground chubs, and we're just adding a freeze-dried veggie/supplement mix to it...real easy, not that much more expensive. Not trying to start a raw-kibble debate...just an idea. If you keep running into dead ends, there's a really good "out-of-the-box" holistic vet in Portland we've been going to...he seems to catch onto some of the subtle stuff the other vets I've been to miss. Jeffrey Judkins, DVM...at the Hawthorne Vet Clinic. Good reputation in Portland. Not to suggest your current vet isn't getting it...just that the holistic perspective often sees things from different angles. You can get powdered slippery elm bark at Nature's or Whole Foods...stirred into hot water to a paste, it can be soothing to the stomach. That's all I can think of to help...wish I had more to offer. Sam
  13. Ollie was fine last year at 6 months or so...but this year, first sign of trouble, he was cuddling with his new friend the toilet in our little dark half bath. We had a pretty good thunderstorm this week as well, with fireworks going off in between thunder claps...he wasn't terribly pleased with that... been on edge all week. Silly humans, with their penchant for blowing things up...
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