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Everything posted by gcv-border

  1. Woo Hoo! I hope it helps you on your journey. Please report back.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Beautiful pup. How is he doing? Time for an update. Grin.
  10. Just saw this post. I tried my border collie a couple of times on my alpacas. My dog is not an experienced herder, but he does have a lot of try and push. One time, I tried to herd 7-8 male alpacas into the barn. They decided that they were going to gang up on the dog and actively tried to chase him down. Poor dog tried his best, but he was only one against 6 or so alpacas trying to run him down or kick him. If he was more experienced, the outcome may have been different. Another situation was when one female alpaca escaped through a gate that had been left open. She was loving the green grass and didn't want to be herded into the barn by me, nor was she interested in being lured back inside by pellets. Tried the dog. Again, she did her best to attack/kick him, but he stood up to her and kept trying to move her. After a minute or two, she did decide to move back toward the barn. Alpacas definitely do not like dogs. Some will run from the dogs, but others will stand up to a dog. I don't think that using a beginner dog on alpacas is doing the dog any favors. i.e. it is not teaching the dog appropriate herding skills.
  11. Thanks for posting. Working dogs are so impressive.
  12. Braden -- Great report. I agree with D'Elle that you have accomplished a lot in a short time. It is highly possible that he will continue to improve to the point that you don't have to worry (as much). I would buy a vest that says "please give me space". Hopefully that will keep clueless owners away, and let them know to keep their dog away too. It may give you and Braden a bit more space so you can continue to work on desensitization. With respect to agility lessons: They are NOT a time for socializing. Every dog should be on leash and/or under the handler's control, and should not be allowed to go up to any other dog. Same goes for agility trials. Both are very stressful environments (trials particularly), and the dogs feel it, and even the best of dogs can be sensitive about their own space. It is expected that all dogs are kept on a short leash unless working in the ring, or walking in an area away from the action. The other handlers WILL appreciate you keeping space between your dog and theirs because they do not know your dog and are aware that it is a stressful time for all dogs. [And other handlers should also be keeping their dogs under control.] If you want to take agility lessons, I don't see why you can't based on what you have described (and pups and new dogs are generally kept on a leash/long line for a foundation class anyway until they prove they are in control). Talk to the instructor about your concerns.
  13. From a quick look at the link, IMHO this 'sheepballs' thing is more about training the dog to play with the largish ball in a specific way, than the ball. Cynically, I think it is just marketing to sell the ball. I don't see why several other types of balls couldn't be substituted (i.e. jolly ball)
  14. Check into the protection used by Flyball competitors. Not only do they protect against injury, but some of them are really cool designs.
  15. Agree with Journey - mindless fetch is not good for your dog. It may , may, tire them physically, but it does nothing to tire the mind and it can lead to injuries. Ask me how I know. Definitely teach your dog to get something and bring it back to your hand. That is a very useful skill. if you want to throw a ball so your dog can run to get it, a somewhat safe way of accomplishing that is to put your dog in a stay next to you, throw the ball into some weeds and release the dog. In this manner, the dog does not mindlessly sprint after a moving ball. He must slow down and find the ball in the weeds - reducing impact and torsion injuries. Impulse control, running, scenting and returning to hand all in one exercise.
  16. Congratulations! All your (you AND Molly) hard work is paying off.
  17. Congratulations to you and Mouche. So much wonderful progress in such a short time. I really can not think of any improvements. Keep up the great work. (As I was reading about her diarrhea, I kept saying to myself - giardia, giardia. I am glad you thought of it.)
  18. Your question was answered above by myself and alligande. Pups can run around by themselves, at their own pace. The problem is with the constant, repetitive impact exercise at the human's pace that is the problem. I do watch out if they are playing with another dog to prevent them from overdoing it. But it sounds like your pup is fine since she is moderating her own activity.
  19. Agree with the 2 posts above. Do not take a 6 month old with you on your runs until their growth plates are closed. For border collies, that is generally believed to be around 14 months, as a conservative estimate. The problem with running with young dogs before the growth plates are closed is that the repetitive action can negatively affect their joints and possibly set them up for injuries and arthritis later in life. This same rule applies to any repetitive motion - like practicing jumping for agility. Casual hiking, even if the dog is free-ranging, is much less strenuous on their joints because they moderate their own pace. They walk, trot, stop, sniff, run, stop, walk, etc. You get the idea. I think that there is no problem with allowing a 6 month old pup to 'exercise' for longer than the 5 minutes per month 'rule' as long as it is not repetitive exercise where they are required to maintain a constant pace that 'punishes' the joints before they are ready to take the strain. I also have a 5 month old, and we get out for about 60-90 minutes of total walk time per day, broken into 3 -4 walks. I allow her to free-range for about half of that time.
  20. When I house-train a puppy, I DO rely on confinement (crate, x-pen and/or tethering), IN ADDITION to routinely taking them out at frequent intervals and after eating and playing. And yes, I use the same techniques for an adult foster until they have shown that they are housebroken. I have read that the enzymatic cleaners require a week or two to totally remove the smell. So I would be carefully watching the dog during that period to make sure he doesn't revisit the area.
  21. He may NOT be marking (or he may be), but for any dog (whether they are mine or I am fostering), if they seem fairly house-trained and suddenly start peeing in the house, I immediately bring them to the vet to check for a UTI. Do not wait. UTIs can be very painful, and of course, you don't want to be cleaning up more than you have to. Dogs with UTIs will pee much more frequently than normal. Once a UTI has been ruled out, I would keep him tethered to me inside so I am aware of his 'signals' that he needs to pee. Then run him outside and praise for peeing. So yes, keep him on a leash inside and outside. Continue with your normal routine, but tethering allows you to be aware of his signals and patterns and perhaps you may have to adjust YOUR schedule to more closely match HIS schedule. Some dogs are so crafty. They are with you, and then they are gone for a couple of seconds, and then back. You don't realize until later that they have snuck away to pee.
  22. What a beautiful girlie. She sounds like she will be fine in the long run. She hit the jackpot with you.
  23. Thanks for adopting a rescue dog. Jack is a lucky dog. He sounds like he is doing fine. And he seems to have caught on to your routine quite rapidly. He is comfortable enough with you to want to be with you when appropriate, and then finds his own happy place when he is not 'needed'. Sometimes I think these dogs are part cat when they perch on things or go off to a bed in another room. LOL. Count your lucky stars he doesn't pester you for attention - as can often be the case. He may change a bit more as time passes because one month is not very long for a rescue dog to acclimate to a new home. He may still be in the process of getting more comfortable and figuring you out.
  24. I think it would be fine to practice daily, but I would limit it to 2-3 minutes per session. And set it up so she can be as successful as possible. As you probably know, it is always better to have shorter, highly successful practice sessions than longer sessions where she has a low success rate. Some dogs are just very sensitive to slight changes. I have heard of some dogs, when practicing running down the ramp of the dog walk, that just freak out when the one end of the board is raised too much. (Seriously, someone complained that if they raised the one end of the ramp more than 1/4 of an inch, their dog knew it and didn't like it.) Maybe raising the one end to the table without intermediate heights was just too much. I would go back to flatwork, then raise the one end gradually - maybe an inch at a time and see how she reacts.
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