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Everything posted by gcv-border

  1. This. ^^^^ But, guys, we occasionally get through to an obstinate thinker. :-) I remember one thread (IIRC), a couple of years ago, in which someone was complaining about their puppy destroying their belongings and even parts of their house. The collective wisdom advised appropriate use of a crate. The OP said she had owned dogs for over 25 years (although this was her first border collie) and had never had to use a crate, and wasn't going to start now. A few months later, the OP showed up again with genuine thanks for our advice. Apparently, she finally did take our advice. She had the humility to put aside her ego and try a new tactic since what she was doing did not work. She also had the good graces to come back and thank the posters who had taken time to respond. We shouldn't pat ourselves on the back too hard ( ;-) -- remember humility), but it does feel good to help a dog and their owner overcome issues.
  2. Have you put a good foundation on your pup before you allow him freedom and expose him to distractions? That is one of the secrets to a good recall. Start inside with no distractions until you have a high recall success. Then gradually increase distractions during training. If he is not returning when called, you will have to keep him on a long line until his recall is better. AND, you may have progressed too fast in his training (ie. added too many distractions for his level of training), so I would return to the basics. It never hurts to go back to the basics. And don't forget, to get a recall with distractions usually takes many months. (and sometimes longer). Good Luck.
  3. So sorry for your loss of your good dog, Hershey. Paws on your heart.
  4. This sounds like Treiball - which I have only read about and seen a couple of video so I could be wrong. Maybe check out Youtube videos or do a Google search to learn more?
  5. I had a dog with epilepsy, and one of the vets I consulted was a Certified Chinese Medicine vet (in addition to being a traditionally trained vet). The general treatment she prescribes is to put her epilepsy clients on a raw diet (not sure how different that is from a keto diet), and supplement with certain Chinese herbs. She has had very good results with many other epileptic dogs - but it didn't work for my dog unfortunately. Since epilepsy can have different causes, the raw diet wouldn't work for all affected dogs, but from my reading, a raw diet (and maybe a keto diet) is a good first step - and does work for many dogs. [Note: when the raw diet didn't help, the vet gave me a recipe for a vet-designed GARD diet - Glutamate and Aspartate-Reduced Diet. Unfortunately, that didn't help either. :-(( ]
  6. Agree with waiting on neutering until at least one year of age. Microchip now for safety reasons. IME (I have personally microchipped over 100 livestock animals, and have been present when my cats and dogs are chipped), the big needle may sting when penetrating the skin, but once in, they tend to relax. My vet has her tech apply a thin layer of peanut butter on the examining table to distract the dog during insertion of microchip. Note: YMMV depending on the skill of the vet.
  7. Sounds like you are on the right track since you are seeing improvement. Don't expect to solve a problem behavior in one day, one week, or even one month. Just be patient. If there was no improvement, you should consider altering your training strategy.
  8. Since most of us seem to be in agreement that it is rude, puppy behavior (and not some sort of specific, mis-placed adolescent herding behavior), just treat it as such. For me, the only BC-specific advice is that often BCs can be soft dogs (but some are very hard-headed). So I prefer to start with a less confrontational approach (softer voice, positive reinforcement, treats) to see if it has any effect, before I ramp up (loud voice, body pressure).
  9. That is a really hard question to answer because I don't think anyone tracks it. My guess is that there may be regional concentrations of larger boder collies - due to either genetics or the demands of work.
  10. Agree with above posts. Stop all movement. If he doesn't want to behave once you have started up again, try a timeout in a small room (bath?) by himself or a covered crate. Do you think he nips more when he is overtired? If so, like a toddler, it may be time for a nap in the crate.
  11. Cute puppy. Kudos to you and your wife for adopting from the shelter. I would give it a high probability that she is a BC mix. If you want her to be part BC, then she is! Nipping at the heels is not uniquely herding dog behavior (as Gentle Lake explained above). I find little dogs often do it too. Having said that, it is rude and not to be tolerated - regardless of breed. If you need help training her to stop, start another post, and you will get some good advice. (You can also try to search the archives. )
  12. Very nice. Good switch command to pull off the decoy jump before the tunnel.
  13. Just to be clear, one (humans, dogs, etc.) do not "build" an immune system in the absence of antigen. I believe what you may be trying to say is that her immune system has matured during the first 6 months (which is probably pretty close to correct timing for dogs without having to refer to the literature). A normal, mature immune system will respond to antigens (vaccinations, infections) in a complete manner. An immature immune system may be missing some components, which may result in an incomplete immune response upon antigenic exposure. If an animal lives in a germ-free environment (is never exposed to antigens), their immune system is considered naive. Since your pup is happy and well at 6 months without vaccinations, that is great. If it was my dog, I would do one boost at 3-4 weeks after the first vaccination, then another booster one year after that. After that, it is up to you. Vaccinate yearly (which I don't recommend, but some people and vets still like to do it), vaccinate every 3 years, vaccinate every 4-5 years (what I do) or not ever again. As CptJack mentioned, the main problem I have had is with vets or kennels or rescue groups (when I applied to be a foster) who still expect a yearly vaccination. [I was turned down as a foster.] I am on the fence about leaving my vet over the vaccination issue. I really like her and the practice. BUT...when I had a dog neutered, they wanted him to have a Bordatella shot a week before. I said no and chose to use another vet for the procedure. Every time I go in, I am reminded that my pets are overdue. I am often handed a reminder page with a list of all the vaccinations my animals need (i.e. are overdue). Their vet software automatically generates it. And just 2 days ago, I was in the lobby when a couple brought in a senior dog for boarding. They had reserved the boarding time. The receptionist told them that the dog was overdue for DHPP, but they didn't want to vaccinate. They were then told that they had to have the dog vaccinated if he was to stay. They were flustered because they had not been informed about this policy when they reserved for boarding. They had to agree because they were leaving town for a few days. I felt bad for them.
  14. It has been a while (8 years?), but IIRC, my rehab vet gave me instructions similar to those quoted by Journey.
  15. What Gentle Lake said. 16 weeks old is wayyyyy too young to expect a recall in the presence of distractions. Keep up the training and be patient. I wouldn't usually expect an excellent recall under all conditions until closer to a year old (and maybe older, depending on many factors). And if you do ever let him off lead to enjoy himself, keep your head on a swivel to watch out for distractions. And whenever you are anywhere in the vicinity of a road, etc. - no matter how little used - leash him up again. Things happen so fast, as you have found out.
  16. I will concur that an online class where you submit video and receive feedback will probably be your best bet if you do not have any agility classes locally. When you are beginning, it is very important to receive feedback. Another suggestion is Agility University, which has a couple of foundation classes - MaxPup - starting next month (I think). I wouldn't use a child's tunnel for canine agility. Maybe for puppies less than 4 months old, but I felt that my BC puppy would not have been safe in such a tunnel after 4-5 months of age. They can be quite hard on tunnels so you need a sturdy tunnel. For beginning weave training (whenever that happens), you can buy 2 x 2s or regular stick-in-the-ground poles. They will get you started, but eventually, you will need a good set of weave poles. Not sure if you are aware, but when CptJact says hoops, I think she is talking about the hoops obstacles used in NADAC agility. Hoops are not like hula-hoops. You can fairly easily make your own. Directions are on the NADAC website. As others have said, there is A LOT of training that can be done on the flat. Usually call flatwork. I audited a pop-up seminar by Dudley Shumate (she regularly travels to and competes in Europe), and one question she asked us was "What is the most important obstacle in agility?" The answer: the ground! The path between obstacles is often where one wins or loses a class. Have fun on your agility journey!
  17. No advice on paying off CCs or get dog and taking longer to pay off CCs, but when you DO get a dog, one piece of advice: health insurance. Either self-finance -- put some money into a separate account every month for emergencies, not so much for routine care which you may want to budget/pay for with regular household account or look into pet insurance. I am doing that right now, but haven't decided which company. Depending on how far you are willing to look/drive for a new dog (and depending on the policies of the rescue), you may also want to keep an eye on Arizona BC rescue. I have seen some nice ones posted on their site. I am involved with Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue in VA, and we have adopted dogs out of state (a couple of times, several states away), but the adopter did have to drive to meet and pick up the dog. Home visits can be done by a local reputable rescue or other (vet, vet tech, dog-savvy friend of friend). I really like D'Elle's suggestion of forming relationships with a rescue (i.e going to a fun day or maybe help by volunteering with transport or staffing their booth at public events).
  18. I am so sorry for your loss. You gave Mags a great life. Paws on your heart.
  19. Adorable puppy. She looks like a smoothie. Love the smooth coats. At this young age, I will echo the advice to take her out immediately upon awaking, 10-20 minutes after she has eaten, right after she has played hard inside, right after you let her out of her crate if she has been in there for more than an hour, and at other times during the day. I have an almost 5 month old puppy, and she had been doing great for the last 2 weeks --- then 2 days ago, she and my other dog had a good, long wrestling match inside, and I forgot to get her outside. Yep, she pooped inside. Bad mommy. Don't forget to take a treat or two outside with you and treat/praise her right after she eliminates. If you think she is still peeing way too much/too often, I would have her checked for a UTI (urinary tract infection). These can just happen through no one's fault. Your comment about her going outside, and then coming inside and peeing again made me think about a possible UTI. It can be hard to distinguish between small puppy bladder, housebreaking training and UTI, but at least a urine culture can rule out a UTI and you can then cross it off your list of possible causes.
  20. What a cutie. Yep, short and sweet and very fun training at this age. Specifically, I might ask for 2-3 sits, reward each one and then release to play. It is much, much better to train in very short periods several times per day, than to try to train for one 10 minute session (or longer) per day. If you have to, set a timer for 30 seconds because the time passes so fast that it is easy to lose track.
  21. I agree with Gentle Lake and D'Elle. Please consider a rescue border collie - for all the reasons mentioned above. I would definitely urge you to try and adopt through a BC specific rescue since they are more familiar with the breed and can help you find a good match.
  22. I am with D'Elle. I don't think a name with a negative connotation is fair to any dog. Words are powerful. And sometimes names can be self-fulfilling. ;-) for example, you many not want to name a pup Taz (for Tasmanian Devil). I also 'test' out names by yelling them out to get a feel for what they sound like. Is this a name you want others to hear you screaming to call your dog from far away? For that reason, I stay away from a name such as Tucker. She won't be a pup, or a Dum Dum, for much longer. Think of a name for her future. I also like to search a list such as the one that D'Elle mentioned. Or if you are into heritage names, look into Scottish/Irish names to represent the BC heritage. Good luck with your new pup.
  23. Congrats on your new puppy. Where are the pics? As stated above, age-appropriate mental exercises can be very tiring for a pup. I work very hard NOT to over-exercise a puppy to prevent injury to growing joints and bones. That might be hard with 4 kids, but try your best. As you probably know, BCs will go, go, go to their detriment - and because they can be so agile, one thinks they are more mature and forgets that exercises like fetch, frisbee and jogging can actually be harmful in the long run. Mostly, for the first couple of months, I let a puppy be a puppy and let them sniff, and run and stop and sniff again. No fetch, no jogging, no frisbee. I don't ask for extended exercise periods, in fact, I try to keep it toned down. Gradually, gradually, you can increase the physical exercise but I wouldn't be doing jogging, or frisbee (unless they are rollers) or excessive fetch (a few throws are OK) until they are closer to a year old. In the past decade, the knowledge base of how excessive exercise in a young puppy can negatively impact growing joints and bones has expanded rapidly. I do agility, and more people are waiting until a year old until they start jumping their dog or practicing weaving. Some wait a few more months. Having said that, there is a lot of foundation handling training that you can do on the flat before you ask them to jump or weave. Yes, some people do both agility and herding. I do a little herding too. From what I have heard and witnessed in my own dog, agility training can make the dog a bit more dependent on you when you ask them to herd. Agility is very handler-focused, whereas herding is more independent (but still with connection to the handler). I think your dog will enjoy both, but expect that you may see the effects of one activity in the other. Good Luck.
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