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Everything posted by gcv-border

  1. Since Braden is 1.5 years old, what other training have you done with him? And how much? If you have done too much training requiring a lot of focus on you, which is then rewarded, Braden may be defaulting to that type of interaction with you -- checking in with you a lot for reinforcement that he has done the correct behavior. Take this with a grain of salt because I am not an expert in training for herding (but have done a little and one dog is a little like Braden) -- you have to try to break the habit of him looking to you for approval. Since it sounds like he will not go in and attack the sheep, let him walk around the sheep with you, but if he looks to you, don't say anything. Don't encourage. When you encourage, you are strengthening the 'looking for approval' habit. Try to break the habit of him looking to you by not responding. Just keep walking around the sheep and see what he does. He must learn to focus on the sheep and think for himself. Just my 2 cents - for better or worse.
  2. I understand. Fast dogs demand distance handling. With my first agility trainer, she taught a style that didn't use much distance handling. (very few rear crosses, no layering) She kept encouraging me saying "you CAN get there for that front cross". Oh Heck no I can't. Torque and I were extremely frustrated. Then she tried running a short sequence with him one day. HaHa. After that, she understood and was more on board with layering and rear crosses.
  3. Super distance handling. You should be proud of Team Molly.
  4. My 14 YO was still competing in an occasional agility trial at 10. I think he has really slowed down in the last 12-18 months. I also picked up on the drinking more water as mentioned by Bordercentrics. A vet check (bloodwork) is recommended.
  5. I am glad you found a surgeon who can perform an arthroscopic surgery. The incision is so small (for my dog it was probably 1.5 inch or less) and muscle damage is much less - which leads to faster recovery time. Start now with teaching him to be calm in the crate. And I agree with Journey that mind games and puzzles will be a big help. Also there may be some trick training that is appropriate for a rehabbing dog. Definitely make sure to connect with a rehab professional. (I would assume that the surgeon will recommend someone to help you with rehab.)
  6. I will be the third one to suggest looking at dogs in rescue. But I am going to suggest researching rescue groups that use fosters. Fosters can provide a real life evaluation of the dog's personality and how the dog may fit into family life. Sometimes, there can be surprises with respect to a dog's personality when they are stressed out in a shelter/kennel environment. Also, most rescue groups will allow a trial period during which you can return the dog if it isn't fitting into your household.
  7. Is it heat? Or being a teenager? Or??? Or a combination thereof? If it were my dog, I would try to get her attention back to me - to sit or some other trick then reward. If that didn't work, I would remove the dog from the situation so she doesn't continue to practice her bad behavior. Go away to a distance where she has calmed and is focusing on you, and ask for some behaviors which you can reward.
  8. Since both parents were ABCA registered, your pup can be registered with ABCA. Contact the breeder to get the pedigree papers required. They may also need to sign a form, but since I have never registered a pup, I can not comment on the specifics of the process. The USBCHA is only a sanctioning body for trials. Dogs are not 'registered' with the USBCHA. From the USBCHA website: "The United States Border Collie Handler’s Association, Inc. (USBCHA) is the sanctioning body for sheep and cattledog trials trials throughout the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1979 and has grown into an organization of more than 800 members. Members who qualify at sanctioned Open trials during the year are eligible to compete in the USBCHA National Sheepdog and Cattledog Finals to determine the champion Open dog and handler for that year." It is my understanding that a dog does NOT have to be registered with the ABCA (or CBCA or ISBC) to compete in USBCHA trials. It only matters if you start winning trials and want to receive $$ payouts. You may also have to have a registered dog to be able to qualify for the Finals (but not sure on that one since I will never have to worry about that. <grim>)
  9. Yes. I have been following Dice and Denice too. So interesting. And this is why I recommended the Fenzi program.
  10. Good to know. Actually, I think it is not unusual for a rough coat to develop "hobbit feet" (or I sometimes call them "Sasquatch feet"). They get worse as they age, but I think many people keep the hair trimmed. It is so hard to know what goes into a mix. I fostered a cute little B&W dog about a year ago. The new owner just got back to be with the results of the genetic test : BC and Pom. I would NEVER have guessed that, but it was an awesome dog - so maybe a new sport mix trend? <grin>
  11. A friend of a friend posted this on FB: Attention Border Collie Owners !! A FABULOUS piece so well written and everyone who has a Collie or is thinking of getting one PLEASE read this - posted from another FB page ... So what is your Border Collie NOT good at...............? The following article was sent to us by Sue Kinchin, a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and gives an interesting alternative insight into what makes Collies so special. If you have a Border Collie you have a very special dog; a dog that is intelligent, sensitive, eager to please and very quick to learn. Sounds like the perfect pet? Yes, with our help they can make wonderful pets, but we need to remember that when we take one of these very special and complex dogs into our homes we have a responsibility to try to understand all the factors that make a Border Collie what it is. The more we can understand our Border Collies the less likely it is that we, and our collie, will encounter serious problems. Border Collies have been bred for generations in a very specific and restricted environment for a very specific task and, as a breed, are relative new-comers to life as pets. Some cope very well and others struggle. It is our duty to try to understand these beautiful, clever creatures and to help them to cope. We can easily find books that tell us what Border Collies have been bred for. We will be warned about their sensitivity to movement and tendency to chase things and about the fact that they need to have their brains occupied, but what we are not generally asked to think about are those characteristics that are not necessary in a working sheepdog, but which make life easier for a pet dog. Anyone who has owned Border Collies will be aware that they are generally cautious dogs. Without intensive and sensitive socialisation as puppies they are often wary of people, intolerant of unfamiliar dogs and anxious about anything new or changing. Even with intensive socialisation some retain these characteristics. Border Collies are prone to being affected by a single bad experience and have poor "bounce back" when something goes wrong for them. They are very sensitive to reprimands, but equally crave guidance and instruction. Because they are very sensitive to movement, any fast movement that they cannot control can be very disturbing to them. No wonder so many Border Collies hate traffic. Remember though, it is this sensitivity and intelligence that we find so appealing. So why are they like this? Why can life upset them so easily? To understand our collies fully we need not only to consider what they have been bred for,.but also what they have not been bred for. When a shepherd is selecting dogs to breed from he is selecting for a specific task and characteristics that do not interfere with this task are likely to be ignored. Over the generations your Collie has NOT been bred to: • Cope with noise..... Collies need to have very acute hearing to hear and interpret a shepherd's signals at a great distance, but sheep farms are generally quiet places and their sensitive hearing does not cause them problems. Urban and domestic life bombards our dogs with noise and this can cause them extreme stress. Be aware of this and if necessary protect your dog from excessive noise. Speak quietly to your Collie, he doesn't need you to shout at him. • Cope with change..... sheep farms tend to be relatively unchanging places, there are sheep, the shepherd and his family, the barn where the dog sleeps and an odd tractor or car. Sheep dogs don’t generally need to cope with change. Every time our urban collie leaves home the street outside will probably have changed (new vehicles, new people, rubbish skips etc.). Just going out for a walk, even if the dog looks forward to his walk, can generate stress and we need to be aware of this and help him cope. • Cope with the presence of strangers/visitors or groups of people…. Sheep farms tend to be isolated places. It is not necessary to be at ease with people to be a good working sheep dog. In a pet home our dogs are surrounded by many strange people in the street and visitors to the home. If you get your Collie as a puppy make sure he is sensitively socialised to people at an early age. If he is older respect the fact that he may find meeting strange people stressful. • Cope with the presence of strange dogs......... apart from the familiar dogs with similar characteristics that live on the farm with them, working sheepdogs are unlikely to need to mix with other dogs. As pet owners we expect them to meet a lot of strange dogs, many with appalling “dog manners”, and often with our dog on a lead so that it does not have the option of running away. Even if your collie does not react aggressively in these situations he could well be very stressed. Many sheepdogs will never leave their farms so traditionally they haven't really needed to get on with other dogs or unfamiliar people. Sociability and resilience are not characteristics that have historically been important in the development of the Border Collie. Although your dog may not be directly from working stock he will still have many of the characteristics inherited from generations of working sheep dogs and equally he may not have inherited those characteristics that would make life in a pet home easier for him. Shepherds are the experts with Border Collies and we can learn a lot from them. Yes, we've all heard of harsh and callous shepherds, but many value their dogs very highly, not just as working dogs, but also as members of their family. Watch a sheepdog working, it is referring back to the shepherd for guidance all the time. His impulses to chase and control movement are under very tight control. The shepherd is guiding the dog and the dog is exhibiting self-control. Ideally this is how we want our collie to be with us. If he is checking in with us to find out what do next not only is he under control and less likely to get himself into trouble, but he is also getting reassurance from us. He doesn't have to worry; we will tell him what to do in any situation. Encourage your dog to look to you for guidance; it shouldn't be too hard, it's in his genesl Watch the shepherd to, he has to keep very calm and guide his dog at all times. You just don't see excitable shepherds, an excitable shepherd would mean an excited dog and scattered sheep! Be a calm owner. Think about this if you are considering Agility or Flyball with your Collie, a good working sheep dog is fast and has lightning reflexes, but is not in a state of over-excitement. Teach your dog calmly what you want him to do. If he understands and is enjoying what he is doing he will do his best; after all he has been bred from generations of dogs selected for their willingness to work as a team with their handler. There is no need for your dog to be roused to a hysterical state for it to perform well, and it is bad for its mental and physical health to be in such a state. If your dog shows signs of stress or gets over-excited ask yourself is this is really the best activity for him. A final thought... when a working sheepdog is not working alongside the shepherd he is shut away in a quiet, non-stimulating place to rest and recover and to keep him out of mischief! Importantly, adrenalin levels that have probably been quite high while he is working now have a chance to return to normal. Your sensitive, alert pet Collie is being bombarded with information from his environment all the time; make sure he has plenty of opportunity to rest in a secure, non-stimulating place where he can relax. Think Border Collies, think working sheepdogs.....maximise their strengths, understand and respect their weaknesses.
  12. Woo Hoo! I hope it helps you on your journey. Please report back.
  13. This just popped up on my FB page (because I follow Denise Fenzi on FB). She is doing a webinar about 'Calming Games for High Arousal' on Thursday, July 29. Only $20. https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/self-study/webinars?fbclid=IwAR0F4hSbB8bkVCEXbzyCmnMLKlelhQ0P_2aqpysAvJpnZUqMTVc9hDotKDI You must sign up before the webinar, but if the time doesn't work for you, I understand that you will be able to access the webinar for one month - but you won't be able to hear the live Q&A.
  14. You may not be 100% to blame for Tucker's behavior. As you know, he came from a kennel that does not have good breeding practices. Temperament is another attribute that can suffer when using poor breeding choices. His anxiety/reactivity may be, in part, due to lack of socialization, but there is also a strong genetic component associated with temperament. You will never know how to parse out the blame. Regardless, you can only deal with the dog in front of you - not assign blame. In addition to some of the other techniques suggested in other posts, look up Denise Fenzi's reactive dog class. She is a nationally famous, well-regarded dog trainer that offers on-line assistance. I have heard excellent reviews from people with formerly reactive dogs. You have to put in the work, and my guess is that the dog will require close watching and some retraining throughout their life. Good Luck.
  15. With respect to his interest in herding: First, I agree with others that have expressed the opinion that a 7-8 week old puppy that chases a few goats around indicates absolutely nothing about future herding ability. I would have suspected any breeder that told me that (a red flag). On the other hand, I would give him more time to show if he does have interest in herding. Bring him with you when you go herding with other dogs (or if you go to a sheepdog trial). Tie him near the action if possible and observe his behavior. If he seems scared, he is too close. Keep him at a distance where he can comfortably show interest (hopefully) in the sheep without the pressure to interact with them. If he does begin to show interest (one time, 2 times or 6 or more times), you (your trainer) could try a low pressure introduction to sheep. i.e. bring him into a round pen with docile sheep to see what he does, but don't push him to do something. A good trainer should know what to do. All is not lost. I have heard of some dogs that don't turn on until 18-24 months.
  16. I am sorry to hear of Tucker's problems, but give you props for giving him quality medical care. Sometimes it can be necessary to use a drug to calm the pet enough to be examined by the vet. I do not know how Ace is viewed as an anti-anxiety med, and others will know more. Regarding getting a dog from such a kennel as you describe: although frowned upon here on these Boards, breeding for color doesn't necessarily produce a dog with health problems if appropriate genetic tests are done on the parents to insure that (known) genetic-based diseases are not passed on. (Note: I !00% agree with not breeding for color as the main reason for a mating.) However, it is commonly known that inbreeding is highly correlated with a multitude of problems, with skin issues being one of them. Do you know the breeding practices of the kennel you purchased from? Do you have contact with any other owner of a pup from the same litter as Tucker? You could reach out to them and ask about their pup. I have heard good feedback about using Apoquel for skin problems. Note: I checked out the website for Jawanna, and there are a lot of red flags.
  17. I have heard good things about Gunner and Ruffland (previously RTK) crates. Gunner is double-walled so be certain about your measurements - inner and outer.
  18. I am glad you want to be prepared, but don't overthink it. Just keep it simple. Definitely keep her on a long line if there is no fencing. That will prevent any major incidents - chasing livestock or gripping them. And since she is on a long line, if she shows too much interest in the livestock and doesn't pay attention to you, then you can employ distraction/training strategies to redirect her attention. Personally, I would expect her to be very interested in the new sights and smells. If she wasn't, I would be worried. Keep it fun and light and don't expect perfection. Let her have a good, and safe, time. Just re-read your OP. Regarding the muzzle: I think that would be totally unnecessary if she is kept on a long line. Just keep her far enough away from the livestock. Using a muzzle is like going to DefCon 5 without transitioning through 1-4.
  19. Agree with above suggestions. You will probably have to try several strategies to see what works for your dog - and the strategy may differ depending on the circumstances. As you have probably read many times on these Boards, it is best to start training the behavior in an environment without distractions (i.e. NOT anywhere near where agility is happening), then gradually add in time and distractions. One strategy I have seen several times is to teach the dog to remain calm in an open crate and/or an elevated platform - which you might be able to transition to a flat rug/towel on the floor. The logic behind this is that by giving the dog boundaries (the elevated platform), the dog is more focused and more controlled and is better able to hold their stay. For example, I saw a top sheepdog handler who trains multiple dogs at one time. She has half-barrels around the round pen. The dogs are expected to stay on their barrel until their name is called - and yes, this is while other dogs are taking their turns working sheep. Yes, it probably will take a LOT of work when starting with a dog already over threshold in certain situations. Good Luck.
  20. Beautiful pup. How is he doing? Time for an update. Grin.
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