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DTrain

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Posts posted by DTrain

  1. Pete doesn't actually look like a conformation-bred border collie.

     

    J.

     

    Thanks, Pete will be so happy to hear that. I was saying to him earlier this evening that we should get out there with the AKC folks and do some practicing, he almost dropped his beer. I think he looks like a good solid cow dog but so many people around this part of the world at least have asked me if he is a show dog I was beginning to think he may have a shot at fame and fortune. If I must say so myself he is a great looking dog.

  2. Thanks everyone, I hope I am doing the right thing, this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I don't mind saying I may be dragging my feet a little, there is something about this dog that is special and I can't put my finger on it. There is something that makes me love this dog and drives me to find the answer. Dave may go back to the breeder and the farm. As you point out Dave has some problems and I will not let him go to just anyone. I will keep him and deal with all his troubles if I cannot find the perfect people and situation for him but I have promised I won't stop trying. Dave is extremely attached and I need a situation where he can be what he is, be understood for what he is and be loved for it. Here he is.

    post-8823-1254855596_thumb.jpg

  3. You don't really need to go far to find the heavy boned, wide head and hairy BC that the conformation folks like. There is plenty of breeding stock in southern Alberta where my best dog Pete is from to build yourself a show dog. Pete was bred from outstanding working lines by I assure you a breeder who is completely dedicated to working border collies. Poor Pete has no idea he is a fashion hit in the ring, he just wants his sheep and cows. On second thought perhaps I could hide his identity and get him a ribbon for looking so great. Perhaps if he wore sunglasses.

    post-8823-1254854901_thumb.jpg

  4. My wife and I may be forced to give up our youngest dog Dave. We are beginning to think that our lifestyle is not meant for Dave. Many of you who know me know that we moved from the west to the east a couple of years ago. We brought three dogs with us. Mac who is now seven and Dave's brother. Pete who is now five and Dave's father and Dave of course who was a small puppy when we moved. We moved from a country setting with a fishing lodge and small farm to city life in the part of the country who has no clue about dogs especially herding dogs. I have trained Dave to do goose work and stock work but I have very little access to farms. Dave is OK at goose work but has a very high drive for stock work and should be in a working setting every day. We are becoming convinced that Dave belongs on a farm or ranch in a working setting. Dave and his father come from exceptional working stock ( send me a PM and I will explain ). We certainly do not want to give up Dave but there is no chance we will be returning to rural life. There is no chance that we could put Dave into a working setting where we live now. We are going to look into sending Dave back out west but whatever we do we want Dave to go to a home, setting and the right ownership. Everybody wants Dave and we are frequently asked if we would be willing to sell Dave but there is no way we will allow Dave to go to a home that would keep him in his current situation. There is no way someone who knows nothing about border collies should be associated with Dave. We really don't know what to do or how to go about this. If we cannot find the right situation for Dave we will keep him and perhaps he will adjust as he gets older but our current life is the wrong situation for Dave. This may be proof that BC's that are bred from outstanding and proven working stock do not belong off the farm.

  5. I must agree, give Norm a call. You are also not that far from many other great trainers and handlers including Scot Glen. It would be well worth a trip up to Lethbridge to visit Scot. Scot can give you an idea of what goes on in southern Alberta and British Columbia. You are just a few hours in almost every direction from some great help. Also in the Kootenay / Cranbrook area there is always something going on you can get into all summer long with some top people.

  6. I am leaving the breeding to the experts and those who are truly dedicated to breeding top working border collies. There are many great breeders, trainers and handlers. I know many, some of you fall into this group. I feel perfectly safe in your hands. I don't want to own a farm or breed working border collies but I do and will take every chance I get to present to almost anyone who will listen what a working border collie is all about. I have three working dogs from great stock. My best dog is intact but I will not breed him. In a couple of weeks I will be going to a country fair in my area to do a demonstration and presentation with my best dog. I have no idea how many people will be sitting in the stands watching and listening to me but even if it is one person I will be proud to do my best presentation ever. I am not getting any younger but I decided some time ago that this is what I want to do. I take my dogs to seniors homes and talk about them and show them off. I can't take sheep with me but I can talk about the herding border collie. Some of the folks in the homes in my area are from farms and they remember how life was many years ago and they have fond memories of their dogs. It is common to see a few tears from the old folks and it is a great pleasure to have my dogs trigger such wonderful memories.

  7. Certainly get her to the vet and it could not hurt to change food. I go through what you describe with my oldest dog every year about this time, it is like clockwork. The good news after years of trying everything is that we are convinced and so is our Vet that it is an allergic reaction to something. We have no idea what exactly and I am not going to put him through endless tests. It is most likely an environmental thing and we could spend years testing. During this time which will last a couple of months we use medications form our Vet every day. We always start the course of medications with a shot to get things under control quickly. It does not completely go away but it is much better during the medication period and by late fall he will be back to normal. Rule out everything you can but you may have moved somewhere she is exposed to something that is causing an allergy. Add this to the disruption of moving and you may have your answer.

  8. I'm not sure it's the comforting so much as that the owner's behavior is changing, and when the owner's behavior changes it is often a cue to anxious dogs that something really is wrong. As Solo's behaviorist said, telling them "it's OK" doesn't really help because they KNOW it isn't OK. I guess it's a variation on the leash effect -- the way anxiety can travel from the owner to the dog down the leash.

     

    That said, I do hug and soothe Solo sometimes during noises, but I do that a lot anyway. What you don't want is for your behavior or any other treatment to become a marker for noise fear, because then it'll just intensify the fear. I bet a lot of people do that by accident with anxiety wraps or storm defender capes (neither of which I think work, by the way). If you only put them on the dog when there's a storm or fireworks, they'll just become a signal for the dog to become especially freaked out.

     

    Good post Solo. I don't but into the wraps or pills or anything else. I don't have a problem with comforting my dogs during thunderstorms because they come to me anyway. I think you are correct that warps or whatever you use tends to heighten the dogs awareness that there is a problem. I don't but doing anything about the problem. I worked to get my dogs to come to me and if that works for them, if they feel safe that is fine. If they need to hide in a closet that is fine. My dogs know long before I do that a storm is coming and sometimes if I am in a position to watch them carefully they will tip me off to what is coming. I come from southern Alberta where storms can role in quickly and send border collies in all directions but out in the middle of nowhere with miles of pasture the dogs need to work it out. If coming to me is their solution that sure beats running after them all over the place. I don't have time to carry wraps with me and put them on the dogs when they have a problem.

  9. Is it not wonderful Sue to be able to grow with your dog. I visited the ranch where my Pete was born raised and trained and saw him work. The rancher took Pete out to the field where the sheep were. Pete headed for the sheep and the rancher headed for the barn. In a few minutes Pete showed up with the sheep and the rancher had not said a word. Pete knew his work.

  10. I have a long list of " best advise " that I have put together over the years that I try to refer to when I can and need to. I have had the great pleasure of working with some top handlers and when I first started I got some advise from a man who has proven to be tops and I have never forgotten it, I frequently take his advise. I was working with my new dog Pete who was fully trained and working beside me to help me along was a good friend " Handler One ". He watched and listened while I worked Pete for some time and then stopped me. I put Pete down and anticipating some words of wisdom I turned to him and said, yes ? Shut up and let Pete work, he said. He knows what he is doing and he is doing just fine, help him but don't direct him. We talked about this for some time after the session. The next morning I wanted to move our sheep from a pasture across a road to another pasture and then split the flock and move several of them into a large pen. The sheep were some distance from me so I send Pete on an out-run and I headed for the first gate. Without me saying a word Pete brought the sheep to the gate. I opened the second gate and went back to the first and opened it. I had not said a word to Pete. When I opened the first gate Pete took them through across the road and through the second gate. Only then did I realize that I had not said a word and Pete did exactly without a single error what I wanted him to do OR, what he knew he needed to do. Now this sounds simple but to somebody new this was a revelation. This was a different situation. I was new and you are an old hand. It is refreshing to read your post. Unless I am practicing for my benefit, something I enjoy and it seems Pete does to I find most of the time Pete does exactly what needs to be done without much input from me. This gives me plenty of time to talk to Pete about other things like sports, nature, fishing, cows, horses and sheep along with a little gossip. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. I have heard this no comforting advise as well but I have come to the conclusion that I don't buy it. I have three dogs all from the same line. They would be an interesting study. My oldest dog is afraid of loud noises. He will run to me, he will hide in a closet but I never fail to give him attention when he is fearful, it seems to help. My middle dog is afraid sometimes but he will continue working through thunder and loud noises. My youngest dog does not seem to be afraid of loud noises but he will respond in a similar fashion to the other dogs. They will come to me when they are afraid. I will comfort them. The reason I don't buy the no comforting thing is that when they do come to me they are expecting attention from me, perhaps they feel safer with me and this is their choice. It seems the only behavior that has been reinforced here is their desire to be close when they are fearful and I don't think that is a bad thing nor has it made the slightest contribution to advancing their fear.

  12. I am so sorry for you. In many ways for many of us, including me this is the hardest thing we will ever deal with. When this time comes for me I will give my dogs peace, I will help them depart. I remember every wonderful moment with my dogs and I always will. I can honestly say that they have brought me greater joy than anything in my life. All three of my dogs are with me at this moment in my office and because of your post I have a tear in my eye but being surrounded by my dogs is the most wonderful thing in the world for me. I will do anything for them, your post has inspired me to be reminded of this. I will give them everything they need and be thankful. When it is there time to go each one of them. I will hold them close, I will feel them slip away into peace, I will cry and feel terrible pain but after some time I will remember all that is good. I may again have a tear my eye when I recall but I will be thankful. Good luck, I will be thinking of you.

  13. I am glad so hear that others are as nuts as me. About a week ago-around 9:30pm - my husband called me out to the livingroom because he thought Cody was going to get sick. He had been sitting with him about 15 min. I carried the big boy into our room and held him - he would look up at me with the most worried eyes. He did loss his dinner. After that he just wanted to lie in my arms. I held him for hours - he fell asleep . He would wake up with dry heaves - I was really worried. We both fell asleep late- with him in my arms. I had been feeding him ice chips- which he took and was able to keep down. I was convinced that the next morning I should run him to the vet. Guess what. He woke up the next morning - looked over my shoulder and saw my husband. Did his commando crawl up over the pillows to bat my husband with the "It is time to get up" This dog that I was concerned was really sick - other than being a little tired - wanted to go out and play with his jollyball all day. I don't know what made him sick - but it was a quickly passing thing. Just embarrassed to admit I cradled the dog in my arms all night with my hand on his heart - just to make sure he was okay. Yeah - I know - what a nut case but boy do I love that dog. :rolleyes:

     

    I don't think you are alone and you would be very surprised how many folks on this board can tell a similar sorry, if they would admit it. I have seem some of the toughest men I have ever known almost brought to tears over a very sick dog. Ranger where are you. I have spent many nights up with one or the other of my dogs doing anything a could to help make him better. I refuse to sleep when one of my dogs is in trouble especially in a situation where I cannot get to the Vet such as a remote camp or even just the middle of the night. My dogs have been sick any number of times and they appeared very ill with no obvious reason and the next morning after some sleep and care they seem to be back to normal.

  14. I go through the night ritual to and I know how you feel. When my youngest dog Dave was a puppy he would curl up in the belly of his dad Pete and sleep. I would watch them and it struck me that Dave was very secure curled up with his dad and Pete was almost proud I am sure. Often times Pete would remain awake but still allow Dave to curl up with him. Dave would push himself into Pete's belly as far as he could go and enjoy his sleep. I have been told so many times that male dogs do not recognize their own and they have no feeling for them. I don't buy that after watching Pete and Dave for so long and I will argue the point. Now that Dave is full grown he will still lie with Pete but not in the same fashion. But every night we go through the same bed ritual. Dave will jump up with me and snuggle in close to my chest. Pete will jump up and snuggle in just below Dave. My oldest dog Mac generally curls up behind my legs. All three make close contact. They will keep this up sometimes only for a couple of minutes and other times for ten minutes or so and then they will all jump off the bed and go to there sleeping place which is usually in my office. I have always enjoyed their night ritual but I wish I understood it better. It almost seems important to them to have very close contact at the end of the day if only for a few minutes. Since we are on this subject if anyone can explain to me what this behavior is I would love to know.

  15. Hi Jane,

    I have remained out of this thread until now but I would like to comment. You now have your dog and in just a few words you have expressed a lot of love for her. In a few words you have given me strong feelings for your dog and I understand how you feel for her. I know nothing about you or who you are but your passion and love for your little dog give me a picture of you I will not soon forget. I would like to know more, I would like to follow you and your dog, I would like to know how she does and how your relationship with her is growing, what is her name. Stay with the board. These are great people. Many have helped me with a full understanding from my posts that I deeply love my dogs and they are my life. I have gotten into trouble but I just put that aside, my focus is on my dogs. I have made friends and I have a great respect for board members and many of them have helped me when I have needed help for my dogs and many others have given me inspiration. I have a fearful dog in his way and many board members have helped me with him and I will remain with the board. I am sure there will be times when I will ask for help again, I will look for inspiration and from time to time I may even take a shot or two but it is not a waist of time. My time is for my dogs. There are many board members who have considerable experience with fearful dogs. For you and your dog stay with the board, gain advise and make friends. I for one would like to know how you and your dog do and perhaps in what you write will be positive input in my life, perhaps we could be friends.

    Dave

  16. You are so lucky to start fresh, both of you. At this point you and Jake are trying to figure out what is going on and that is a wonderful place to be. I started with a trained dog and a very experienced handler. I was in the same situation. My dog would listen to the handler and both of them knew what they were doing. When I started to take over of course I made a lot of mistakes and much of it came down to timing and expectation. I do believe that a new dog and I work with them as well have some sort of instinct for timing and some sort of instinct to make choices.

    The handler I worked with with prepare a lesson and map it put for me then watch me through the session and stop things to make key points. At first one of the mistakes I was making was timing. I was not responding soon enough to direct my dog so the dog would often make choices for himself. My trainer would point out how and why the dog made the choices he did and I learned so much from that. The dog was experienced so more times than not he would make a correct move or simply default. The dog in fact was directing the session entirely but I learned from this and of course the many other things but this one little point in the whole big picture I am trying to make is that I did not respond quickly enough to direct the dog. At first I could not but after some time and a lot of practice I started to get it and we began working together very well. I do not think the dog was making choices but if the dog was thinking through the process he was most often deciding to do what came naturally to him based on what he was seeing at the moment. By watching the dog and being directed I very quickly learned what the dog would want to do. It was frustrating at first but looking back on it I would not have missed a single moment. Good luck and have fun.

  17. We thought for the longest time that our oldest dog could not swim. We would take him fly fishing and he would only go in water that was up to his belly. We took him to a pond and tried to teach him but he would seem to freeze up and not want to swim. We gave up and one day I was fishing on the opposite side of a river from my wife. The river was about 20 yards wide and waist deep. As I was fishing my wife yelled turn around. I did and there was Mac paddling like a pro to get to me. He could swim and does frequently but always on his own terms. He does not like to be touched when he is swimming, he likes to be in control.

  18. Good news Lance. My dog Pete following the dog attack on me where he jumped in to help has been somewhat changed. I am not so sure if is a bad thing but Pete will often spend his nights sleeping at out front door, he has never done that before. He seems to be closer to me and much less willing to venture too far from me. For several days after the attack he seemed rather depressed but he is fine now. We had him to the Vet and he was not injured but the Vet noted that he seemed to be a little less energetic. He seems to be fine now. Good luck.

  19. There is a rule of law in my part of the world I think is called reasonable assumption. This rule of law helps to eliminate stupid ambulance chaser law suits and tends to keep payouts down and as I understand it, it is mostly a function of judges to apply. Here is how it works. Everyone must take responsibility for their actions and they cannot delegate responsibility for their actions to anyone else. In this case, a person enters a dog park with a dog and a bad situation occurs such as the persons dog being attacked or a person bitten. The assumption is that the person entering the park is aware or should have made themselves aware as a dog owner of potential dangers. Therefore they are in fact partly responsible for this situation by putting themselves in it. There are laws covering dog attacks and bites and those laws apply but it is not likely a judge would allow any further suite.

    Ranger you are a guide, here is a perfect example. I had a customer who slipped on a wet rock while fly fishing and hurt himself so he tried to sue us. We were a lodge, fully insured, gave customers full information and had a waiver. The question in court in front of a judge for the person trying to sue is, have you been fly fishing before, you must be aware that wet rocks are slippery, did you take responsibility and precautions to insure that you did not fall. If you have been fly fishing prior you then have a responsibility to know the dangers, you must be responsible for yourself and you cannot pass that responsibility on to another person. The question then becomes what caused the fall and was a situation created by someone else out of your control that caused the fall. The answer is no. In other words you can't run around claiming ignorance and placing blame and expect to collect a bunch of money.

    We had another person threaten to sue because while being guided his party encountered a grizzly bear. He claimed that he was scared and was placed in a potentially dangerous situation and he was not informed there were bears in the area. Question one, scared, you are responsible for be scared by yourself, were you not aware grizzly bears are scary. Question two, placed in a potentially dangerous situation. The guide is not responsible for the activities of the bears, he took precautions against bear attacks, he was aware of potential danger and the customer was informed he was in bear country. And, the bottom line, nothing happened, no harm came to anyone so what are you bitching about. In my opinion the guy should have pulled out his camera and took some great shots.

  20. I just went through a situation recently where I was attacked and bitten by a dog. My middle dog attacked the dog that bit me and caused some damage. I was on public property when this happened and the dog that attacked me had broken out of his enclosure / yard to get to me. This same dog also has quite a wrap sheet with local authorities. Sounds cut and dry right, no. Laws may be different where you live but here is what it comes down to for me.

    The dog and owner of the dog that bit me are at fault. The owner did not provide proper security and was warned previously to do so. The owner is liable, simple. However, my dog was off leash in a public place when he attacked the other dog so in a warped way I am responsible for my dog attacking the other dog. I am also perhaps responsible since my dog was off leash for inviting the attack by the other dog. Had my dog been on leash and I was trying to protect myself it would be a different story.

    This incident has set me on a quest to fully understand my local dog laws including dog parks and to perhaps make them better. Our local park is not policed but the land is owned by the city. If it were policed the city in some ways could be held liable for dog attacks. The policy is that you use the park at your own risk no matter what happens. If a dog which is off leash attacks another dog the owner can be fined only for having the dog off leash yet the dog park is an off leash park. It is assumed that there is some level of risk that everyone is responsible for on their own. If a dog bites a person anywhere in the community including the park the dog can be put down.

    As I understand it in Lance's case had he been visiting my local park and this happened he would have been responsible to assume any and all risks. The owner of the other dog would not be responsible for anything. The owner of the other dog which as I understand is some sort of Pit breed would be responsible to have their dog muzzled and on leash at all times anywhere in the community. If this situation was reported to local authorities the owner of the Pit breed dog could be forced to have the dog put down.

    Every community is different of course but in my community there seems to be a high number of dog owners who are idiots and more needs to be done to protect the community from them. I have gone my entire life without ever once being attacked by a dog but in the past year I have been attacked and my dogs have been attacked twice.

    I like Rangers idea of carrying items to protect myself and my dogs and respond to a situation in a manner that suits me. In my community should I harm a dog using spray or some other force I am liable and I could be charged, it depends on the circumstances. For example, if I used spray against and attacking dog and I was not attacked I may be responsible to prove the dog was attacking me. If I used spray while being attacked / during the attack then it is fine but I still could be charged for carrying spray. I would bet my community is not much different than most others. This is a confused issue at best. I work with my dogs in public so I need to be aware at all times of what is going on around me and, I need to be prepared to respond should something go wrong.

    I strongly suggest that we all stay out of dog parks. I do not use them. I have three dogs. One is reactive and another is more than willing to mix it up. I have a responsibility to keep the public safe and I make every effort to keep my dogs safe. I have adopted the attitude that in my community I have no rights when it comes to my dogs.

  21. I second that. You might do a search on medication for fears/aggression and find lots of good info. I know Melanie (SoloRiver) has posted her experiences with the impact medication had on the quality of life for Solo.

     

    Thanks Liz, I know this subject is going to come up and I will need to ask a lot of questions and perhaps we will need to experiment with Dave. I am not likely to get an answer concerning working dogs and medication, I am not anticipating anyone I will be speaking with will have direct experience in this regard. I do have a concern about putting Dave on stock while he is taking medication. I want him to have all of his speed and skills in case he gets into trouble and I am not so sure I want to take the chance. Any experience in this particular situation. Thanks.

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