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Angie H

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About Angie H

  • Birthday 11/16/1970

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  • Location
    Maryland (Cecil County)
  • Interests
    training dogs

Angie H's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)

  1. I do believe that some dogs come more "wired" to be thinkers, but I also think that the handler and the method of training can have a big impact on whether the dog continues to be a "thinker" and remains willing to "try something" or if we accidentally turn them into "push button dogs", waiting for our instruction before every move. I know I have been guilty of "micro managing" my dogs in the beginning - before we even went to sheep. Thank goodness someone showed me the error of my ways and reminded me that border collies are smart - so I try to let them think now :-\. I am working at making the wrong decisions harder for my dogs and the right decisions easier, but I try not to tell them how to do it. I think this helps a dog's confidence, in that s/he learns that s/he can try different things until they get it right. They also learn that my corrections are helpful - not just a way to release my tension When my dog stops, I figure maybe he's thinking about what just happened. So I wait for him to make the next move - it just might be the answer I was waiting for this time.. I like to watch people start new/green dogs, and I have seen some dogs that are from obedience or agility homes and many of them are extremely very handler-oriented. But in many of these situations, I think the training foundation has taught the dog to look to the handler for direction and to focus on them in the face of distraction, etc. Not that any of the dogs you were referring to are from those venues, but I just find it interesting that the training carries over to stock. (*Please Note: that was not meant as anything negative against obedience or agility folks...I also do agility with my own dogs for fun when we aren't working sheep) Of course, that is just my "novicey" opinion, based on what I've seen and so far in my short time in this venue ;-) Interesting topic though - I'm looking forward to reading what the experienced folks think about this.
  2. Hey Pat - CONGRATULATIONS!! That is awesome and I'm so happy for you and Whim. Hope to see you guys soon :-)
  3. Angie H


    Oh Sue.... I just logged in after not being here in a while... I'm so sorry - he left you way too soon and I know it hurts. He had a wonderful life with you and don't you dare beat yourself up about not doing more...I'd love to come back as one of your dogs! My best to you and your family... Angie & Binx
  4. Hi there little Dan the Man!! Boy has he grown since the clinic! He's absolutely adorable.
  5. Binx is a total sheep s#@t and will work for anyone that leads him to sheep....that is quite fortunate for me since I am so green. This allows me to have people that know what they're doing help my dog! I do have a couple of friends with a "one person dog"; those dogs will only work for their person/handler....I'd be in big trouble!
  6. For a long time I had that same "I've always admired Border Collies but I don't know if it's the right dog for me and I don't know if I can provide the right home". The more I researched the breed, the more I second guessed if I could "handle" the challenge. Since I too was not sure if I could do right by the breed, I began volunteering for Border Collie Rescue (MABCR). I spent every Saturday cleaning kennels and handling dogs, I fostered, trained, etc. I "knew" it was the right breed for me within about 2 months of research and handling exposure...they are like no other breed I've ever known. I still fostered about 15 dogs before I committed to adopting my own border collie. In that time, I learned about many different personalities and challenges in the breed. During that time I attended herding trials as well as agility trials, and I knew I wanted a relationship like that with my dog. Adopting a Border Collie is not like any other dog in my opinion. It is truly a lifestyle change. If you want to have that incredible relationship with your dog that so many border collie folks speak of, you have to be willing to spend the time and energy it takes to build it. The other thing I have to mention is that if you aren't planning to breed your dog for stock work, I really think rescue is the way to go. When you adopt a puppy at 8 weeks, you really have no idea what kind of temperament you are going to get. When you adopt a rescue dog at 6 mos plus, at least you know what kind of personality and work ethic the dog has. JMO - Good luck with your decision!
  7. Hi Sue! Are you coming too? We met at the December Kathy clinic...it was my first time going into the pen with my Binx dog and you veterans were so supportive . We're still plugging along, though we did not get much training time over the winter due to the short days and some foul weather that messed up our Saturday lessons...too muddy for a young dog (and also for a green handler!). I just wanted to say hey and I'll see you at Sarah's in April!! Woo Hoo! Angie & Binx
  8. I don't log on often, but when I logged in today and saw this, the tears welled up as if I knew you personally...your stories and comments about Ben are always so nice to read. I'm so sorry Becca - Ben was a lucky boy to have you, and it was very unselfish of you to let him run free again. angie
  9. Oh my goodness - NO, Jade is NOT FAT! She has fuzzy butt...it's cute - not weird.
  10. I just want to vent for a moment about a topic that really bugs me...please feel free to share your own experiences and opinions. It seems that an awful lot of people like to "label" a shy or fearful rescue by saying that the dog must have been "abused". I'm not sure of the reason, unless it might be that it makes people feel good to assume that they saved this dog's life by rescuing him from a horrible situation...Well, if he was homeless - you still saved his life - why does he also have to have been abused? I can't tell you how many people (including my family members) come into my home, meet a new foster that I'm working with, and say, "OHhhhh - someone MUST have DONE something to this poor dog. Look how he is cowering!" I have finally just started blurting out "The dog is cowering because you are acting very strange and upset, which makes him think there must be something to worry about." Lots of dogs, especially under-socialized dogs (whether they are rescues or not), develop unwarranted fears of objects, people, places, sounds, etc.. I've seen many intakes come in with physical battle scars and mental phobias that have nothing to do with being abused...some may have developed from living outdoors on their own (strays), some from chewing on themselves out of anxiety or boredom, some from fights with other dogs, broken toe nails do not mean they were trying to claw their way out of someone's closet, ya know? The danger in labeling them this way is that most people (due to our humanism) then proceed to feel sorry for the dog - which the dog can sense, and it does them no good at all. The dog doesn't feel sorry for itself and for us to do so will only slow down or halt their progress in rehabilitation. Ok - sorry for the rant ~ Though I am curious to see whether most of you agree or disagree with my perception. Maybe I just feel like this because I work in rescue - but I don't think so...I think it's everywhere. I am not suggesting that there aren't plenty of abuse cases out there; just that there aren't as many as the average adopter seems to think.
  11. I would tend to agree with this "in general" observation - obviously, dogs are individuals and there are males that are bitchy, and there are females who have no space issues. But as a whole, in my experience, I think females tend to be less "touchy-feely" with humans too. Not to say they are un-affectionate, but the boys tend to be up your butt affectionate! LOL! I have a house full of male dogs, and recently brought in a 7 month female foster BC....she set them all straight in about 3 minutes flat! She was showing ugly girl face (big toothy smile) to any dog that stepped into her circle of space uninvited! The boys just climb on top of each other, etc. - but if they think they're going to step too closely into her space, they just might get snapped at. I had 2 previous female fosters who were very similar. The girls seem content to be in the room with me - the boys want to be really-really close or touching me. Hmmm - kinda similar to human boys and girls now that I think about it.
  12. I think it varies with each individual dog. Do you mean it curls up on his back like a young puppy - ALL the time or when he is playing? At 7 months, Binx's tail was usually carried low, especially if he is "thinking" or working stock, but when he is playing or happy to greet someone, it still goes up sometimes.
  13. Hi beachdogz, Just thought I'd add my 2 cents to let you know that I tug with my BC in Obedience class....Actually, my instructor recommended it to me after our first class. My dog was 7 months when we started the class; we started out in advanced (I put the basics on him at home - I adopted him at 6 1/2 mos old). Anyway, Binx was great at doing what I asked, but you could see him about to melt with all of the new stimuli (he had never been in a class environment, much less being asked to do new things that required concentration at the same time!). I still use treats for some things, but when our instructor says "release and praise your dogs" - WE TUG! We are the only ones doing it, but Binx loves it. It seems to give his brain a break - it releases some anxiety, and then he can re-focus for the next exercise. Just food for thought - Good luck!
  14. I assume you are referring to desensitizing exercises, but what does LAT stand for?
  15. Thanks for the insight...we are taking a break while Nancy is at the Nationals and I was a little uncertain if I should have someone else work him during these 2 weeks, but it sounds like there is no harm in just taking the time off since he is so young. We are both very anxious to resume though!
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