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Everything posted by afrancis

  1. Well this peaked (peeked? ) my interest since I would move with somebody to Greece in a NY minute, or less. But I see that its really Athens, Georgia! LOL! Anyway, our Canadian city (Ottawa) has them as well. But there is an on-going war against dog-owners and their dogs I'm afraid. So our designated dog parks are fewer and farther between, with off-leash areas being almost non-existent. Hence my driving all over hell's half acre in search of nice, peaceful spots to walk -- yesterday we had a fairy-tale fox sit and stare at us for what seemed like 15 minutes! But it won't be the airport greenspace tomorrow -- Republicans avert your eyes... Rock-star Obama is coming to visit!!!!! YES!!!!!! Here too . Ailsa
  2. That's so great to hear! But ... I was hoping for more pictures!! Ailsa
  3. Oh Lordy, I missed that! Sorry. I agree with everyone else in that case -- it sounds as though it is a serious situation if he has that little impulse control in these scenarios, and certainly Marcus must not appreciate that kind of attention either, not to mention your entire family. Get thee to a good behaviourist. Ailsa
  4. That's what I was going to ask too. If you're not doing so already, is it possible for you to exercise them separately, i.e. play with them and the frisbee one-on-one instead of together? I would think that this would certainly defuse the behaviour if there was only one dog there. Ailsa
  5. YIKES! No terriers! They are MORE stubborn than almost anything IMO. Esp. JRTs. And he bugs her because he can -- i.e. she's never told him to 'go lie down' and actually meant it! Ailsa P.S. Thanks DaisyDuke for the back-up. I agree with you. Hand-feeding is probably the way to go for now. And the tethered-to-the-waist routine is also a really visceral way of getting Phoenix to the place where the OP and his wife call the shots, not him ETA - I'm having lunch now -- don't any of you guys have any work to do??!!
  6. You are a very wise man. Ailsa P.S. And don't let her tell you that a mini dog wouldn't be any trouble. As many here can tell you, its often the little guys that rule the entire household
  7. I think when the dominance has become a problem, which it clearly has in your household, then it is time to get everyone on the same page. When you mentioned the yoghurt container, etc, I can say this is something both me and my DH do as well. But Skye is not a dominant dog and I have worked very consistently from day one to let her know what she can get away with and what she can't (not saying you haven't -- you clearly have -- but some dogs are more stubborn/maniacal than others ). In my house, DH is the softie and lets her get away with murder. Its just the way he is and its been a long battle getting him to follow the program -- but you can only do what you can do . So that means I have to really work that much harder to ensure Skye knows the boundaries. Now if DH offers her something, she looks at me first to see if its ok. I think if you can effect a change with your wife, that would be great -- after all, training your dog is really all about training you. Maybe you can pick up some of these books and read them together. The Pryor book is really great for training spouses as well Good luck and keep us informed, Ailsa
  8. Dave, Although I have not read Brad Pattison's books, I have watched him on television. If I were you, I would put his book in the fireplace and burn it. I find him extremely aggressive, reactionary and a show-off. Please replace his book with anything by Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, or Karen Pryor http://www.amazon.ca/Dont-Shoot-Dog-Teachi...g/dp/0553380397 All books available through Amazon.ca The whole notion of 'alpha' has been mis-interpreted and misrepresented by so many trainers; even the Monks of New Skete have regretted their 'alpha roll' direction to dog owners. I only mean it in as far as establishing hierarchy in a non-physically threatening way. As the article says, with your brain instead and as a pleasant dynamic not a threatening one. Ailsa
  9. Dave, I looked back over your previous postings and thought this might be of good use to you. http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-alphadog.htm It's an article on how to deal with a dog that has assumed an 'alpha' position in the household -- I believe that this is what has happened with your Phoenix. Do heed the advice about free-feeding and keep up what you are now doing by scheduling it AND by having him sit and wait before you put the dish down. If he's not eating when you put the bowl down then for the next few times I would: (1) tell him sit, (2) take a piece of kibble and feed it to him like a treat, (3) put his bowl down and tell him to stay/wait (4) Release him -- tell him he can eat (I say 'okay!'). He will quickly begin to look forward to his feeding time and sit and wait automatically. By free-feeding in the past, Phoenix has not associated you with his food -- it is there all the time and he never has to worry about where its coming from. He needs to know where his place is in your pack and will feel much more comfortable with your leadership. If you can follow these leads in the article, you can make sure that IN EVERY WAY Phoenix knows that he has to do something for you before he gets what he wants in return. Ailsa
  10. Welcome home Dianne! I hope you're feeling better ... Ailsa
  11. I was watching this to see how things unfolded and am really glad to hear that she was miraculously transported inside for the night . With that kind family looking after her, I'm sure she'll start to come around quickly. What a sweetheart she must be. Any pics? Ailsa
  12. At the earliest stage of her puppyhood Skye began to bark and growl and lunge at the vacuum. I think its important at this 'cute' stage not to ever encourage or allow the behaviour, since it can become obsessive and morph into more dangerous kinds of challenges, but to make a real effort to de-fuse it, like you're wanting to do. I certainly didn't want it to become a routine battle, esp. when she got older and bigger , so I firmly told her no and to 'leave it' and got her in a lie down. I did make a point of having her in another room when I started to vacuum and kept reinforcing the 'leave it' command. She caught on pretty fast and actually began to leave the room on her own when I'd bring it out. If Cooper (I don't recall how old he is) doesn't respond on his own to your 'leave it' or 'lie down' command when the vacuum is coming out, then I'd also suggest putting him in another room or in his crate while you use it, until he learns to leave it be. Its just one of those things that some dogs, esp those with a real interest in movement, want to control. I wouldn't call it herding -- many dogs respond this way if they haven't been taught some restraint or exposed to all kinds of noisy, jerky, strange things from early on (i.e. skateboards, bicycles, cars, etc.). Ailsa
  13. No he's not herding, nor is he crazy Skye also has a high level of interest in any other dog that is running, chasing, playing with toys, etc. I posted my introductory question around this behaviour about a year ago. But she's 6.5 now, so I had no excuse . It's just considered high reactivity to excitement, movement or play; some call it being the 'fun police'. Skye quits when the other dogs stop. I no longer allow it since, (i) you don't know if the dog will react badly, i.e. attack, and (ii) you don't know how the human will react. And basically, it can be just plain annoying for the other dog, esp if its trying to play ball, or some other game. I find that giving Skye regular play times with receptive dogs (and owners) where they can play together equally (rather than her just being a pest) is a better outlet for her. Also, I have made much more of an effort to incorporate one-on-one structured obedience routines and games with her as part of our everyday routine, so that I can really direct her focus much better. This has helped a great deal when she becomes fixated on another dog. Ailsa
  14. That horse is now *really* dead. I'm incredulous that someone can repeatedly state how smart, talented, dominant, mature, funny, experienced, etc. he is on a public forum that he has joined a mere four weeks ago and disregard/discount/discredit all the considered, thoughtful, more experienced and quite polite, yet persistent advice he has received thus far. Rhetorically I say, it might be best to allow a little humility into the mix here BorderCollieSam and consider *for a moment* that you might not have all the answers. Ailsa
  15. Qualifier: I'm so green I'm actually chartreuse when it comes to knowing anything about what it takes to train a working border collie, so these comments may be considered, ahem, obvious. But, anyway, here goes. After watching the link you posted earlier of Aled and Roy's winning run, it is just poetry to me how a great dog matched with a great handler/trainer can perform. It actually doesn't surprise me that many think they can just piggyback on all that effort, time, conscientious breeding (with a certain amount of genetic good-luck) and wind up with a dog as good as Roy, without accepting the responsibility (or even acknowledging this) to consistently improve the working abilities within the line through handling. There has been much talk before of matching up the dog with the handler, and I think it becomes so apparent when you watch this kind of incredible result. I think many of us who haven't worked in this way with our dogs have underestimated the effort required by the handler -- after all, he/she just stands there and whistles -- the dog is doing all the 'work'. But the reading that's required of both dog and sheep is phenomenal, really. The natural ability of the dog is obvious, I think, but the ability of the handler to pull the dog off at any given instant, to redirect, to slow down, to stop -- the real connection and trust is incredible. That anyone could think the same kind of magic could be achieved simply by passing along some genes is missing the whole point of the working border collie; in my mind, that's the partnership. And isn't that what having a good dog is all about anyway? Ailsa
  16. Quickly. And stealthily. With a big jar. Of course, I've only ever had to do it with a female. Does he ever squat? Ailsa
  17. Great news for all of you!!! Congratulations - what a handsome boy. Jake will be his fresh start name in his new, perfect home Ailsa
  18. I was going to ask you if there were toys involved, until I read this and saw that there was a frisbee in the mix. I'm going to bet that Maya was protecting her frisbee from this puppy, even though it might have shown no interest in it whatsoever. I say this because my dog Skye is very toy-possessive. I have since learned that it is either play with ball/frisbee, or play with other dogs. Never do the two meet. Even with dogs she knows well and likes. If I take the ball/frisbee away and put it in my pocket, she guards my pocket. So I have made a point of separating these two activities. I used to think that she had simply outgrown her interest in playing with other dogs, but I now know that if she meets another dog that seems to be of the same ilk, she will play quite happily with them -- as long as no one puts an item of value in the mix (even a stick ). In terms of Maya allowing the kids to throw her frisbee and the owner to feed her treats -- this reminds me of Skye's 'better than your dog' behaviour. Mine is a major show-off and high-speed competitor. If she can get anyone else to throw her frisbee/ball (esp at the expense of their own dog) she has won. So I try to limit this because it just feeds her border collie ego . Just a thought, Ailsa
  19. Sorry to hear about that Ruth. Sounds pretty gut-wrenching for all of you! I have no words. Grrrr. I hope Shonie recovers from the trauma without too many ill effects. Ailsa
  20. OMG! What a stoic looking puff-ball...looks like a very old soul behind those eyes. Welcome to you both -- and my condolences on the loss of your beloved Roxie. Ailsa
  21. Sounds like in the short time you've had him you've already got a lot accomplished. When I (dog novice) adopted my first bc Riley at around 10 mos., she would once in a while lock onto a scent and be gone as well. Once I lost sight of her on a wooded walk we frequented and finally found her down at the bottom of a cliff (probably about a 75 degree angle and 50' drop), full of brush etc., camped outside a groundhog burrow. She wasn't coming back to me for love or money. So I scampered down the cliff (with my life flashing in front of my eyes!) and brought her up by the collar. I had a trainer once who told me that while actually following a scent, a dog is physiologically unable to hear you, since all of its senses are focussed on what it's chasing. Don't know if this is true or not, but it's certainly the way it appears. This program, mentioned by Kristine (Rootbeer) many times (as well as in the adjoining thread) would be a good place to start with some more training for you and Rusty: http://www.controlunleashed.net/ Many believe that if there is not 100% recall at all times, then a dog should not be off leash. Since you've only had Rusty for a couple of weeks, I would say that it probably is too soon for him to have off-leash freedom, even if you're doing recall training in a confined, fenced area. In this case, a long lead is part of your strategy for ensuring proper recall. Good luck, Ailsa ETA Try Really Reliable Recall available here: http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseacti...p;ParentCat=438
  22. Ski's mom, I'm not a trainer but have lived with border collies over the last 16+ years, and trained my dog Skye since she was 7 weeks old (she's now 6.5 years old and is extremely friendly and touchable over her entire body). I did roll my first bc Riley once, but never again. I have always thought that the best training methods involve praise -- so often I see people saying 'No!' to their dogs when they've done something wrong, but rarely telling them 'Yes!' when they do something positive. I think the latter is the most important thing (as well as talking to them generally) in order to ensure a strong bond develops with you. This dominance strategy that you describe as being both a training tool and mindset in so many places, can IMO really backfire with so many dogs and owners. If a dog is exposed early in its life to its owner challenging it to the point of it being terrified, unnerved and uncertain about its very existence, it can develop into fear-based aggression that can manifest in biting, primarily in order to protect itself. Often when this type of training is used on soft, intelligent and intuitive dogs like border collies, the results can be disasterous and can escalate quite quickly. Even things like loud, stern voices, a hard swat, a foot on the back or physical force to make a dog sit, a flip onto its back, a pull-of-their-feet yank on a leash -- all of these things can be seen as normal and relatively mild things to us (esp if we are physical, loud people ourselves), but to a puppy or young dog can be terrifying and a threat to their personal safety. I agree completely with Ruth above. I think in principle your method was good, but perhaps a bit too much all at once. The goal is to gently guide the dog through to compliance, so that it is rewarded for responding well, rather than winning the whole war right away. You did really well by staying low-key and matter-of-fact through the process -- this is really important. No yelling or losing one's temper, no hitting, but happy confirmations of positive behaviour. It means you have to be really quick and responsive since the settling down could happen suddenly and not last more than a few seconds before it is gone again. So seizing that moment and responding immediately to it with praise is essential. You should notice with the sound of your voice praising, your Ski's body language will begin to change: different ear position, tail up and/or wagging, and him seeking you out for petting and licking. It's also really great that you did the Ian Dunbar reading and that you are so in tune already with Ski's behaviour as well as the traditional methods used down there that are also part of your own pet history. Try Patricia McConnell's books too, esp. The Other End of the Leash. See http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/ GREAT! Keep up the good work, Ailsa
  23. Aww...I was keen to see a video! Sounds like a fun job, esp for a bc who clearly appreciates an audience Ailsa
  24. Ruth, there's your sig line! Urge to Herd: Empress of the Universe. I like it. Ailsa
  25. Sorry - just an aside here... Wha? I can't believe no one else picked up on this -- I never thought you were the tiara type of girl Ruth Do tell us more... Ailsa
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