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Everything posted by denice

  1. I would suggest contacting his breeder. There are definitely some behaviors and tendencies that are genetic. Not saying his are but they should be aware of them no matter what. Some behaviors are rather typical of a pup, at least at the start - like jumping, nipping, food guarding...I find when these behaviors are corrected right away they do not develop into an issue. When not corrected, in the eyes and mind of the puppy, they escalate. When correcting the pup has to feel it is a correction so I look to them to tell me if my correction is effective. The dog once corrected should say - with behavior - that they know you are unhappy and sorry for doing whatever it is. I do not find meds helpful, at best they are a bandaid. I would talk to the breeder then find someone who is experienced with border collies. Possible contact a border collie rescue to see if someone would be willing to come to your house and give suggestions.
  2. I have had border collies for 19 years, use then for daily assistance on the farm for livestock management. I had lots of dog experience when I bought my first pup and even trained a few horses for pleasure/trail riding, was a vet tech, dog groomer, obedience trainer... I came from I say it you do it background but was not harsh just thought that is the way it needed it to be. The dogs and stock have taught me differently. Stock dogs are so incredible they Think through things in a way using their instincts that they are born with and their experiences to figure things out. They understand how livestock think and move, the good ones do anyone. These dogs with 100's of years of working dogs behind them know more about stock than I ever will. I have changed from thinking they should do what I ask when I ask, to trying to train in a way that brings out their instinct and ability, exposes them to stock allowing them to think but with input from me correcting what is not acceptable. I basically find two schools of thought when things are boiled down - one is to use the dogs instinct and mind, allow them to figure things out with encouragement and correction from us. The other way is more obedience driven, mechanical. Making the dog do what we want or what we feel is correct, keeping him from making mistakes rather than correcting the dog where it is wrong and allowing the dog to figure out what is correct. Seems like a small difference but it is HUGE. Stockdog training in about the RELATIONSHIP with the dog - trust, respect, feel...much like horse training. Every read horse training books by Mark Rashad? Applies almost perfectly to go stock dog training. I have been to several different clinicians and their methods vary a ton. The good clinicians focus on working WITH the dog rather than Making the dog do what they want. You can learn something from everyone. Some clinicians I watched I came away with knowing what I did Not want to do, while others their go back year after year. In my book Results to not justify the method. You have to watch the dogs and stock and learn from them what works best and what suits you. Young dogs may be worried with new places and different stock, trainer ect but over the two or three days you should see improvement in most of the dogs and the trainer adjusting his method to each dog.
  3. Start with taking his temperature. Should be 101 to 102F If he is acting and eating normally otherwise with a normal temp and normal stools then I would keep an eye on things. If any one or more of those is off then a vet visit is in order.
  4. I went from no sheep experience, any other large animals except horses for that matter, to a sheep flock and training my own border collies. Took me years but I am doing it. Check out a book and video by Julie Hill " the Natural Way"
  5. Well if people are throwing balls and frisbees then it is the person at fault. I am talking about a dog going for a walk on a beach knowing if it wants to go into the water. I am not talking about the dog choosing to play with someone. When working my dogs go to water or not on their own. Yes I expect them to be self aware. If it is 100 degrees I am smart enough to not be working them. I don't have to monitor their drinking, They drink when they want a drink. I dont have to tell them to eat, they eat when hungry. It is when people get involved that problems tend to increase. We have to use common sense if we expect our dogs to use theirs. I understand some working dogs are a bit compulsive but it is due to us encouraging that behavior more times than not.
  6. Honestly I think it all comes down to his physical conditioning like it would for any dog. If he normally runs and romps all year at the beach I would say have at it. He would have to spend excessive time in the water to get soaked to the skin. I expect my dogs to be smart enough and have some self-preservation instincts rather than needing me to dictate - go to water, stay out of water. Do my working dogs jump in a water tank when it is cold out and I think to myself 'really, yikes', do they do it every day - no, do they play in the snow way longer than I would - Yep. If they would get soaked to the skin out working on the fells day in and out they would not survive and be used. Just pay attention to your dog, don't think you can give an absolute answer.
  7. OH I have been on the other end of 'conversations' like that more times than I can count. Life with a Border Collie who knows their mind is quite an adventure. Hold ON and keep listening, the places he will take you will amaze you.
  8. For those of you who know Jack his long-awaited book is available for presale. I am sure this autobiography will contain many gems of wisdom for your life and your journey with stockdogs. https://thehomesteadpress.com/product/jack-knox-learning-lifes-lessons-with-stock-dogs/ For those who have not had the privilege of meeting Jack - he has spent his life dedicated to teaching others about stockdogs and sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience selflessly. He is an advocate of breeding and training dogs with the mind and instinct capable of doing a days work regardless of working on the hills of Scotland or farm fields in Indiana. I learned from Jack -The right dog with the right Stuff raised with respect and raised to respect is the best partner we could wish for. Can't wait to read this book
  9. Does she do it during the day? If only at night I would try turning on a light and see if she still does it. Does your husband usually have someone with him, close by when he is moving through the house? List those things that are different at night and then go through and change them to try to figure out why. Maybe she is uncomfortable with him being up and alone at night??? Thinks he should be in bed??? Does she stand in front of him when he is leaving the bed and behind him when he is going back to bed. Dogs often sense something if off . We have a hard time understanding that at times annoying behavior can be them trying to tell us something. Of course it could be she is simply anxious and has nothing to do with him.
  10. Is the walker new or has he used one since you have had the dog? Is his movement 'different' at night than during the day? Has she been nipping only since she has been sleeping in the bedroom? Where did she used to sleep? What does she do if you get up during the night? I would simply tell her Ah, No or your word she knows to stop doing something then ask her to go lie down. The other option is a crate in your room at night. I personally would try to figure out WHY she is doing it and then desensitize her. It may be she is anxious because she senses something is not right.
  11. Just one thing to add - for most parasites they are looking for worm eggs. Worms have to shed eggs in sufficient numbers on that particular day to be seen on a small slide. Simply not seeing them does not mean they are not there, it just means they did see them. Since he did have coccidia I would specifically ask your vet about their thoughts on repeating the treatment. Coccidia lives in soils and is easily contracted and does not take much to cause trouble. That is were I would lean before I began the long battle with food. Although if he has been eating from ONE bag I would toss that and buy a new one. I would be thinking of an adult food or lower protein food in the process as well.
  12. I would really attempt to keep your reactions and emotions under control. You have to KNOW and PROJECT that you have everything under control, people and kids are no big deal. If you are nervous even if it is because you are nervous about Dallas he will pick up on that and think people and kids are making you uncomfortable therefor he has a Reason to be worried. I feel like crossing/avoiding the situation could cause him to be concerned as could leaving when others approach. I agree you have to do what it takes so he does not bite but just keep an eye to how these things trigger reactions in him. Notice when he is more worried and when he isn't. Could be has lots to do with you. The leash attached to the dog is an immediate line to our emotions - tension, worry, stress...he feels it all as he does when you are not worried, confident, trusting him
  13. Make sure you are using appropriate tones - deeper, slow, harsh for correction. If verbal correction winds him up he is not thinking it of a correction. Either your tone is wrong or intention is wrong or attitude that he is not 'believing' you. Some people tend to get higher tone and faster speech when upset so dogs interpret that not as a correction
  14. Dogs are experts at picking up on intention, emotion of others - other dogs, and People. What I know for sure is that YOU have to decide IF YOU, not a trainer, can help this dog figure out life it is not a black hole full of wicked, scary stuff. YOU have to be confident, you have take charge. You have to walk through every day and show him there is NO reason to act like some monster is around every corner going to eat him. You have to let him know that lunging and growling and biting to scare things away before they come close and eat him is not going to fly. If you can not he needs to go to a place where they can help him. Will it be easy - NO. Is it rocket science NO Will you make mistakes YES. are you going to scar him for life??? Only if you believe this scared, timid pup will always be like this and can't be helped. He doesn't want to be afraid of everything. Show him it is no big deal. Start inside the house, yard. Show him what behavior you want. Take him for a walk, let him sit and think and understand. Take him to the park, sit on a bench out of the way a bit and tie him to that bench so he has a very little place to go. Let him watch people, see bikes and kids and balls...correct with a Hey enough of that if he is doing something wrong. Reassure, encourage if he is sitting nice. Do it 5 min then 10, then longer...take small steps forward. Contact border colllie rescue close to you and see if they have someone you could join for walks that has some experience with fearful dogs. Just walk, don't ask for much. Let him get used to other person and dog. Another confident dog in his life will add confidence for him. It really doesn't matter why or what or if something happened. Take baby steps. Believe in yourself and your dog. You would not shut a scared child away from everything and believe they couldn't change. You would expose them slowly, slow them you are confident...be very matter of fact and just do it. That is what he needs YOU have to change before his behavior will.
  15. Shelly I don't ever have a dog or pup do that kind of thing twice because I nip it in the bud first time they THINK about it. Not uncommon for a young dog to test the waters and see how far he can push things. Resource guarding, food aggression is normal I think. Just look at pups eating, everyone is trying to get their share. The more aggressive, dominate,scary the more food you get. Fine for a pack of dogs, not fine for a dog living with people. The correction must fit the situation. Least amount of correction to make them think twice and decide it is not worth repeating. If the pup is growling or snarling over food or objects I would have a leash and collar on it. verbally correct harshly enough it looks up at me, reach down calmly and take the object matter of factly. Like sorry bratty little kid, if you cant be nice you can't have it. Then sit down wiith the pup and bowl and either feed him by hand or just be around while he ate, snarl correct take it and give it back. I would want the pup watching me and giving me some sign that I am in charge. Dropped ears, tail, backs off...An ok I give up you can have it. Once that happens it should be fine. But with that dog I would ask others to be around while he ate to make sure he didn't try to be bossy with them. The dog I talked about had gotten away with being a jerk for a year, had bitten people and everyone was afraid of her. I needed her to know right away that Crap was different here and I made the rules not her. I had to get in her head fast or I was concerned she would get worse. I had a great pyr pup growl once over food, did a similar thing, backed him down a drive way with my hat in hand slapping my leg telling him off. Done, could open his mouth and take food from him every day of his life. He was going to be a 100 lb dog, I could not let him get away with it. Dogs know when you are bluffing, when you are serious and Authentic. You have to get to the place where you are clear what is allowed and not and set rules firmly. Any behavior that could grow to biting I see as life threatening for the dog. Behavior/ biting gets dogs killed. if fixed first time they simply do not go there again, at least not with me. It is not that I hit them or threaten them or worse just put them in a crate and expect that to fix it because it will not - it avoids it - I deal with it firmly, done over we move on. Don't hold it against them or avoid it, check back and make sure we have it covered but they understand I am serious and it is unacceptable behavior. FIRM< FAIR CONSISTENT. You have to think LONG TERM, not that it is a pup doing puppy things but that one day soon it will be an adult dog with bone crushing jaws...be faster and stronger than you...is the behavior going to ok then or not. If not it is not ok now either. you can't have two sets of rules. Again not the correction that works it is giving the dog the freedom to choose and think, allowing him to know the rules and expectations. Most pups will growl over food, they are dogs not people, most kids will have a temper tantrum...it is what happens next that sets the tone. A matter of fact knock it off in a gruff voice, a waterbottle squirt, a hand clap, a foot stomp, a hat tossed...every dog is different but it is the determination and authority YOU have that makes him think - better not go there again.
  16. In my 18 plus yrs with Border Collies both genetics, their start in life and their home/training come together to affect the dog. I sold a pup to some folks years ago. Sounded like a great home and great people. The family did not have much dog experience but were pleasant, educated, professional...The pup was a nice, calm, female middle of the litter pleasant pup. In two weeks she was growling and would not let them take her bone. I would have no problem correcting that pup, taking the bone and then everyday working on that behavior and others when they arise as a natural product of a dog maturing. They did not do that, they did not bring her down so I could help them. A year later they called with more problems - lunging barking at people and dogs, unable to board because she was 'aggressive', had bit the vet...On meds was told it was genetic... Well I had the parents and littermates from 2 litters. The problem was they did not ever teach her what was acceptable and was not. She was allowed to do anything and uncomfortable having a lead role. They were going on vacation and had no idea what they were going to do. I said bring her down, I will keep her and work on training. Well she was a shit -tried that barking, snarling stuff with me and I flipped a big towel at her, backed her down the drive way on lead till she thought I had lost my mind. Never hurt her of course, it was a bath towel after all. Yes I scared her, heck she scared me too. BUT she learned I was not going away, I was the one calling the shots and that crap didn't fly. She was here for 10 days, took her into my vet clinic twice. She growled once, I corrected verbally, she submitted, done. Never any more trouble with me or strangers at my place, no drugs needed. I offered to take her back but they wanted to keep her. Her people came back to a different dog. I showed them how to correct effectively, what to look for, suggested changes at home. It is easy to say problems are this or that. Dogs will tell you what they need if you listen. Most relax with a clear set of rules and someone they trust in charge. Some take a bit to change behaviors and get them on a good path. It is likely a combination of things. I have learned there are dogs out there in the wrong homes - no ones fault just not a good fit. Find them the right home and everyone is happier. My offer stands I can help but you would have to come here for me to do either of you any good.
  17. I have no problem with correction. I think it provides dogs with valuable info - that behavior is not accepted- simple. BUT you need to correct at the right time and appropriately for the individual dog and 'offense.' Every time he successfully does unwanted behavior without some sort of interruption/correction, something, it will be harder to break. Yes some dogs are sensitive, shy, submissive... that does not give them permission to do as they wish. They still need to know what is and is not appropriate. I still correct I just do it differently for every dog. Does he need a prong collar most likely not. He needs a clear set of rules with someone he respects and trusts to let him know what those rules are. IT IS NOT THE CORRECTION THAT WILL FIX THINGS IT IS THE FREEDOM GIVEN FOR HIM TO SORT OUT WHAT IS AND NOT THE ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR. If the relationship is right the behavior modification will be tons easier. He is ultimately responsible for his actions YOU need to GUIDE his actions and teach him what he needs to know to be a well adapted, functioning member of the family. Dont give yourself or him excuses for bad behavior. IF he needs to stop doing something ask him to stop doing it. Putting him in a crate does not teach him to not do it, it may prevent him from doing it but he is not learning other options or what is wanted. Not saying I am an expert, each dog teaches me plenty. What I do know for sure if you are clear on your expectations they will rise to meet them. You have to be calm, confident, understanding but consistent. Many, Many dogs are reactive because their owners are nervous and reactive. I dont know where you are in PA but I have had bcs for 18 years and dealt with a ton of dogs in vet clinics as a tech as a groomer and as a trainer for 25. I would be happy to have you bring him by and work with you and him. I am having friends here next saturday the 13th to work dogs on sheep, would be perfect time.
  18. Doesn't sound like trauma to me. Sounds like he is being a little turd and knows he can get away with it.
  19. I would correct till he 'gives ground' - backs up, moves off ect. not just appeases you. If he is still repeating the behavior he is not believing your correction. Putting him outside will not fix it.
  20. David are the object he is biting and grabbing always moving?? Does he react the same way to other moving objects - balls, tires, birds maybe? If he is jumping and grabbing moving objects I would leave a leash and collar on him and correct him for this with a correction that makes him stop and think, talk to him and redirect. This correction could be a simply AH or a leash jerk or loud noise...The more times he practices the behavior the harder it will be to correct. I would set up sessions where you are prepared to deal with this, correct it and move on to something else. Then come back and see if he repeats the behavior. Praise for thinking and hesitation, correct for wrong behavior.
  21. I think we do our dogs a disservice when we treat them differently as pups than we do as adults. Yes there are definitely developmental stages that need to be kept in mind. Pups have a short attention span, training should be short multiple sessions etc. But I think we should expect manners and good behavior from day 1. If in kindergarten your teacher let you hit other kids then first grade the rules changed it would be confusing. You wouldn't know what to do. Dogs are far more receptive to new things and changes in environment when they know they have a stable, consistent person they trust to look to help them process the world. If we as their people allow them to bite and nip us then get upset when they do that to another person it makes no sense to them. If we allow one behavior then ask for something different another time they get confused. If we determine acceptable behavior and interaction from day 1 dogs usually accept that. I think many do not have high enough expectations of their dogs. Few things I am strict - do it now - but coming when called ranks up there. If she is avoiding 'capture' put a long lightweight line on her so you can stress she needs to recall when asked. Don't allow bad habits to start. If she runs or darts off and you follow - she just invented an age old game of chase where she is in control. As a pup all she will need most likely is an AH to interrupt the behavior and redirected. Now some are more focused and determined than others so what you do to stop the behavior is different with every dog. Understand that yes it is movement that is exciting and kicks in the chase behavior. Just watch pups chase birds or butterflies or each other. If nothing is moving games are rather quiet but as soon as something moves game on. Nipping, biting are unacceptable - period. I would not avoid it by not running i would fix it by correcting her and teaching her what you want her to do but I would limit this to backyard type games rather than a track at her age. I would teach her leash manners now, if she never is allowed to pull on the leash then she will never do it. Usually, by the time my pups head home at 8 weeks they have been on a leash a few times and learned to walk rather well. Then they just need reminded every so often as they mature. The potty thing - I teach my dogs to go out and potty then play time. I would walk her on a leash and keep walking till she goes then praise and play. I would also walk her again before coming inside after play time. Pups honestly get distracted and "forget' they have to go till things are quiet again. She sounds fabulous. Enjoy her. She will tell you what she needs. Treat her like the smart girl she is and you will have years of adventures together. Having rules and asking for manners is setting your dog up for success for the rest of her life.
  22. I almost adjust the amount I am feeding weekly if needed. Of course, it isn't by a bunch but If we are in training or active I feed more depending on body condition. If it is summer and less active, I feed less. I want to run my hands along the dog's sides and feel/see a waist line and honestly feel a touch of rib. Most growing dogs, sometimes up to age 3 if they are active. burn lots of calories. Are you feeding a puppy/growth food or adult or one that is all stages? That can make a difference.
  23. I find dogs with lots of feel adjust to the sheep themselves. My Meg is "careful'" with ewes and lambs especially so with a single pair as in the video. Meg shows much more patience than I most of the time. I do think her way is better, slow and steady it goes smoothly, no stress. Watching your dog I see the same things Meg does. When the ewe turns and looks she either turns her head/eye away or she lies down, at times she does both. She is taking pressure off. I have learned she is just telling the ewe " I am simply here doing my job, move off nice and all will be fine. We are not in a rush, take your time, not going to bother your lamb." My girl will get up when I ask but not necessarily walk a pair faster than she deems appropriate. I think they know if they hurry a ewe with a lamb things may not go well. All my dogs push more if - large group of sheep or when no young lambs are in the group. I didn't think she was moving slower than the situation called for. Every time the ewe was ready to move she was ready to guide her. I found it interesting she holds her tail to one side guess I am mostly in front moving pairs so I don't see tails all that often. Your girl was ready to catch her if she decided the ewe didn't want to go through the gate. I can speed up or slow down dogs on their walk. I start when they are fetching during training. Ask for a slow with a w a l k or a correction then a walk - ah walk. Speed up I use a little sshh or click like for a horse to speed up, pat my leg ect. If I get speed control on the fetch it is easier to transfer elsewhere.
  24. There is a fine line between having the dog under control and controlling the dog. If you are trying to keep the dog right and prevent things from happening as opposed to correcting the dog when wrong then the dog doesn't learn as much. It turns into very mechanical training. If you correct mistakes he gets a chance to figure out why and what he did that was wrong. Not trusting your dog will lead to you trying to be controlling. I have been there, totally understand but you can't progress in that dynamic. Does you no good to work in a larger area if you and the dog are not ready to be there. I would go back to a round pen, work on stops and recalls. Put on a line if you have to. Good training sheep move off a dog calmly, will show him his mistakes, dont simply come to you no matter what the dog does. Sheep that learn you are the sweet spot are fine for a lesson or two but after that the dog learns the wrong things. Sheep can't stand still but can't do the work for the dog either. Sheep used for many dogs usually do one of two things RUN or Stand. Just because they run does not mean your dog was wrong some of them just learn they can outrun a dog so try that with all of them. Especially so when they are used for many different types of herding dogs. Your dog does need to learn to not chase if that happens but you will be more successful teaching that is a smaller space.
  25. I have been using dogs to help me manage my flock for 18 years. For the first 5 years or so with sheep it was just me. My Border Collies were first purchased to work beside me. I had a ton of dog experience - owning dogs, a vet tech, training, grooming, helping clients and 5 yrs with sheep but honestly I didn't know what I was doing with the pup I bought. It took me buying a trained dogs that I could learn from before things began to click. Still after that I made a point of lessons every so often and attending clinics at least once a year, twice if at all possible. It was 10 years of working everyday, lots of dogs later before I felt like I could be successful training alone. Training a bc well is not about obedience or commands. Much harder and more subtle than that. It is about FEEL and INTENTION and INNATE ability born into the dog. It is figuring out how to help the dog understand what is needed and becoming a team, using his strengths to your advantage and helping him with his weaknesses. Teaching a dog to Come Bye or stop or call off is about his relationship with you and the stock not simply the action you would like to have him complete. Come Bye is not simply circle the sheep clockwise. Some dogs can do it 5 ft from sheep, some need to be 20 ft, some are fast, some are slower - to flank well the dog needs to be FEELING the sheep and the sheep feeling the dog. The dog needs to be allowed to figure out for himself where he is going wrong and fix it himself. Telling him every step simply leads to a dog that is dependent on you and can not or will not take care of things himself. Training a dog to move sheep is not repeating actions over and over it should be exposing him, helping him to be successful and corrections when wrong left to sort of what is wrong some on his own. For this to work the sheep have to react like real sheep - not just stand there, not just run, but react to the dog to let him know when he is right or wrong. Good sheep will train a dog faster than you or I can. Bad sheep will lead to bad habits. Telling a dog every step will lead to bad habits. Attempting to recreate something you have seen that someone told you " that was a good flank, or good pace" will not automatically work because every dog and group of sheep are different. Most do not understand this. I am amused when people act and train like they know more about sheep than the dogs who have been raised for generations to have ability and read sheep, know what they are thinking and going to do before they do it. Few people I know read stock as well as dogs can. These few people are older than I and have been studying livestock their whole lives. they have great timing and they too can see what is going to happen before it does, Putting ego aside and watching dogs and livestock interact with us keeping quiet will teach us lots.
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