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afrancis

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Everything posted by afrancis

  1. After my partner and I have nearly expired from a nasty cold/flu for the past 2-3 weeks, I have noticed my dog Skye has been sneezing quite a bit and has just started having a yellowish discharge from one of her eyes. Is it possible she has caught it from us? If so, is there anything I can do for her? Ailsa
  2. I'm so glad you do this too! I used to do it all the time to my Riley (girl) and for some strange reason have not given Skye-dog her share of belly blows (just enough pink covered in very fine fur to make it one of life's sweetest pleasures!) I'm off to do that now...she'll be surprised if she's sleeping... Ailsa (I've clearly got my priorities straight - belly blow before dinner)
  3. I agree with others here too! Both my dogs were rescues from the Humane Society; the first, Riley, at about 1 year, came totally housebroken, chew-proof, and immediately knew how to heel off-lead. My second, Skye, at 7 weeks, a totally different story in terms of all the above (she was a pup, after all!) but learnt very quickly and is the most approval-seeking dog I know. Neither dog came from a fostering situation so I didn't know very much about their temperament before bringing them home, but I knew after Riley that a bc was the only dog for me. I was having "dog-policing" issues with Skye and I am happy to report that she (and I) are having a much quieter time on our outings. She met another border collie with a stick the other day and responded to my recall almost immediately with tail wagging and listened when I told her to "stay by me" and "leave him alone". Granted the bc owner did call me "Maam". Good luck (especially waiting two years!) Ailsa
  4. My sincere apologies for including Wellness as a food that was pulled during the Menu Foods recalls last year. I was momentarily confused (although this happens more than I care to admit ) and forgot that we had switched from Wellness to Nutro (which had a low calorie option - Skye was getting a bit pudgy); the latter had been recommended as a good substitute. It was Nutro not Wellness that was recalled. Again, sorry to cause a stir on this. Thanks Pippin's Person for clearing it up. Ailsa
  5. In a scary story, this is the funny part -- you asked before I did -- I just thought it was another one of those weird American expressions Ailsa in Canada
  6. Kristen, Thank god your dog Mick is ok. Sounds like everyone needs a sedative after that. I wonder if it was just the excitement of the moment. I think all of us have probably had our dogs do something totally uncharacteristic out of the blue. Last summer my Skye jumped out of the car window to be part of the conversation -- it was parked and I was right there but it still freaked me right out. Just goes to show that anything can happen... I'm glad everyone reacted so quickly -- just takes a moment like that to remind us that every moment is precious. Ailsa
  7. It was actually an idea that came from our trainer. It was a big cardboard box that we put at the back of the crate so it took up half the space. Skye was quite a timid pup so she didn't eat it! I just had a flash of that Youtube video of the bc attacking the pumpkin A separator??!! What a concept! Didn't know they existed. This would probably be a better idea with a chewy puppy... And yes, Wellness is made by Menu Foods (we found this out in a panic watching CNN while on holiday last winter and made frantic calls back home to get Skye's food switched). Now that being said, I can't remember if it was just one type of dry or wet, but I didn't care. That sealed it for me. I decided that Fromme would be my last stand before serving my own food to her
  8. Dan, Congratulations also on getting your new puppy. Two things Do you know what you're going to feed him, as opposed to how much? I only ask because of the dog food fiasco (Menu Foods) last year. We used to feed Wellness, but have since switched to Fromme, just to be on the safe side. Would like to hear what other people think about this... And, when we crated Skye, we got a medium sized one and put a big box in one side. This seemed to work -- then we took it out when she got bigger. Ailsa
  9. Wow - I just finished reading all the responses that you got from your initial post and you are getting some really great advice! All I have to add is that: 1. Since your previous dog was aggressive and you are scared that it might happen again, you may want to think about the things you did with this dog that may have allowed him/her to develop this characteristic. I am only saying this from experience. When we got our puppy Skye, my first dog had become so much a part of our routine I initially had no clue about how to ensure this puppy didn't develop the same traits. I know that all dogs can be wired differently but I also know that, with some training help, I made some conscious choices with her that I didn't with my first dog, i.e. de-sensitizing re: strange (and not-so-strange) people and socializing with other dogs. Hence my first dog wanted to kill the mailman and avoid most other dogs (granted she was a rescue at an older age). My present dog wants to kiss the mailman (or any stranger for that matter) and enjoys playing with other dogs. 2. My first dog was crotchety but never bit or barked when she was in the car. Except -- one day we were stopped at a light and there were a bunch of kids on skateboards around us going in and out of traffic. One of them looked into the car at Riley (my dog) and made a really scary face. Well she went ballistic barking and would have bitten him if he had reached in! I said, "Good on you!" She expressed what I was thinking...so you never know. 3. When Skye was a puppy she would freeze at the entrance to the park at the end of our street and look to see who was there. If the bully dogs were there, she would hide between my legs until they left. Soon afterwards she started to join in the fun when her confidence grew. 4. After having an older dog for so long, it can be a real paradigm shift to get used to a puppy again. Just keep asking questions, get some training for the both of you and life will settle down. Congratulations on the headway you've made with Storm in your update! Ailsa
  10. Hi NZ Rob, I have two contrasting examples to give you in regards to teaching your lovely new bc to play. I adopted my first bc at about 10 mos to 1 year (never knew her real age). She had been found as a stray and was at the beginning a bit aloof but became my soul-mate. She never played with toys, balls or frisbees or anything. If I threw a ball she might go over to it and sniff it to make sure it wasn't something to eat, but she was never interested in that kind of play no matter what I did. She was however a constant companion. In contrast, a friend of mine recently adopted a dog from the pound who is about 1-2 years old (not a bc, however) and this dog also exhibited no interest in toys -- you know the kind of thing when you throw a ball at them it hits them in the nose and they look mortified. But now this dog has toys and balls etc and is even fetching and retrieving. I think the previous poster is right in that you have to make it look fun. My friend just kept at it, used the "fun voice" and eventually the dog caught on. I think this is pretty common with rescues who have never been played with before: they have no clue what fun is, poor things. Good luck and have fun! Ailsa
  11. Thanks Mary & Liz for reminding me of this. I should know this too since my first dog, Riley, was like yours Mary, i.e. would definitely not take kindly to be charged like this. Skye has been quite lucky because for the most part she seems to know what dogs to avoid this way. Most of her interactions through this type of behaviour seems to have involved happy-go-lucky labs, retrievers and others. I went to the park today (all I could muster since I'm fighting a bad cold passed on by my hubby) with Skye and put into effect your suggestions. Some funny and telling comments: 1. I kept an eagle eye on her and any dogs in the area; in a few cases I called her back to me when she saw dogs playing ahead she came immediately. This was great. She was pretty attentive. 2. It wasn't until we saw a jack russell being thrown a stick that I knew we may have met our match. I nipped it in the bud by asking her to sit, which she did, put the leash on her and then walked toward them. Of course she whimpered and pulled so we kept stopping and sitting. And repeated this even when some kind and concerned people said, "Do you ever let her off the leash?" I responded by smiling and saying that I was teaching her restraint. 3. When we got right up to the action (many other dogs were involved by now!) I got her to sit and stay by me and watch patiently. You wouldn't believe the sounds coming out of her. Moaning and whining and whimpering and full-blown crying. People looked very concerned And shouldn't you know it - the jr and owners continued to walk along the same trail we use. So I let them get ahead and walked with Skye close to me. 4. We met up with people that we had seen entering the park and they remarked on how Skye came very well when I called her, unlike their exuberant lab that seemed to be entirely deaf! Then they asked if she was a "high energy" dog. I said that I had only known bcs and that two good, long walks a day, everyday, were all she needed. They said that their dog got that on weekends and by Monday it was exhausted so didn't get out at all on that day! They relayed a story of their friends bc who wouldn't stop bringing and dropping a tennis ball at the dinner table. I said that dog needed to learn the meaning of the phrase, "Go lie down!" They didn't seem to think it could be done! Oh well... And yes, my first dog Riley wasn't interested in playing at all, with other dogs or people. And Skye will not play if there is a toy involved. In fact she becomes quite possessive and this is why I have retired toys except when we're alone. The training continues... Ailsa
  12. Liz, thanks for the follow-up - I know that Skye is very responsive to my direction - she is always looking to see what I`m doing or thinking - I just need to feel confident about giving it more emphatically. The other day at the park I met a woman with 3 bcs, one hers and two her parents` older dogs. We had a great conversation about being bc-owners and the special joys we have as well as challenges that we face. She was happy to see that Skye initiated playing with her pup while the other two remained aloof. She said, ``Maybe my dog will be normal and play with other dogs after all!`` Ailsa
  13. I`ve always thought that a border collie is just a person with a very fuzzy face. This reminds me of an incident with my first bc, Riley. I was in the car with her in the passenger seat next to me (she may or may not have had her paw on my hand on the shift at the time), looking straight ahead at the road. A police cruiser pulled up next to us and the driver yelled out, ``Hey lady, your husband needs a shave!`` I have never seen another breed with such an expressive face, ears, tilt of the head, body language...all of this. They are just so tuned in to whatever it is you are doing. As the bumper sticker says, ``If it`s not a border collie, it`s just a dog.``
  14. Wow! I hadn't realized that I was letting my good dog do such bad things...I never wanted to be one of those dog-owners who let their dog get away with murder...Thanks for such good advice Liz...Mea culpa... It sounds like I need to do a lot of remedial training, esp. with recall. I will now be keeping the leash at the ready to help Skye understand what's acceptable and what's not. Is it still considered "calming" when she seems to be having so much fun? Or am I confusing fun with agitation or is it that she is having fun bullying... I do want her to be a good member of society but I also want her to have fun...but not at the expense of other dogs`fun. Ailsa
  15. I get it. I think I just needed to know if I was allowing bad behaviour or just bc behaviour! Thanks Shetlander. Anymore opinions?
  16. This is very interesting. I have seen Turid's video on calming signals and never once made the association. I think you may have something -- it's her way of controlling or diffusing the heightened activity -- splitting to most dogs is herding to border collies. Go figure! Skye, like all border collies I imagine, is very visual and locks into this kind of thing from great distances. She has been known to run the length of a city block (at the walking trails, that is, not on the streets) to break up and/or join in the acitivity. Similarly, if she has been playing one on one with a dog and a third enters the picture, she will break that up too since three, after all, is a crowd. One on one play is a different story; she usually has great fun with a kindred spirit. However, there have been two dogs in her life, both males, who she has been in love with and when on walks together, she shadows them and barks the whole time. They tolerate her but I often call her off so they don't end up going home with ringing in their ears. Thanks for the input!
  17. Hi everyone. I am new to the list but have to say that about 15 years ago when I got my first BC, the BC-L list was a godsend to me. The information I got from everyone on that list was more informative than any book. And what could be better when you have such a complex creature as a border collie! My dilemma now is my second bc, called Skye (Skye-dog as she is known affectionately). She is 5 1/2 and we got her from the pound at 7 weeks. She is a very competitive dog, very quick to learn, very sensitive and eager to please. However, we call her the "fun police" because if she comes across two or more dogs playing, she will run up to them and bark, bark and bark, all the while running around them, lunging, trying to herd them apart. If she can get them to stop interacting with eachother, she's happy and stops barking. I have been either calling her back to me or using a whistle for recall and this often works, but not always. Sometimes I have to physically remove her from the dynamic and keep on our way, but if I let her go too soon at times she takes off and returns for more barking! I consulted a trainer when she did this as a young dog but her response was, "She's a border collie -- it's what they do". At the time I accepted that and thought i was being too anal, but I'm beginning to realize that not everyone likes a crazy barking dog around them. I've tried to keep this relatively short for obvious reasons -- I guess my question is: have any of you had this kind of behaviour and if so, how did you manage it? Is it considered "rude" dog etiquette and should I be discouraging it completely? Thanks in advance for your thoughts... Ailsa
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