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Everything posted by Ooky

  1. Odin and I have gone to see Joyce a couple of times ourselves. I'm glad to hear she's still doing her thing. I've also taken Odin other, more experienced trainers (or at least more experienced in the open trialing aspect) and several people who knew what they were doing really liked him. He has great natural balance, is upright and fluid, seems to understand the bubble very well, and makes beautiful curving outruns, again naturally. If we had ever got to focus heavily on driving (we've done a little, but not much) I'm sure that tendency to curve out might have been less of a plus, just as I'm sure I would have found lots of working faults, small and large in him as things got more complex, but we've never gotten there. Just as I was really beginning to train him I got pregnant unexpectedly and since then have not been able to keep up a solid, consistent level of training. I tried, I really did. Joyce may remember me bringing my then 6-week old daughter out to her place! But, with a kid and a pretty demanding career (I am the breadwinner in my family and have to cap my weeks at 45-50 hours pretty consciously so I can make the type of time I feel is necessary for my family), and no accessible sheep especially close to me, I had to give up my dreams of training enough to maybe someday get us to a trial. And Odin is fine with this, he really is. Every time we work sheep again he is beyond happy, but he also calls off when we're done no problem, and he has never pined. He is also beyond happy when we go on a hike and loves whatever we do together. Now, Odin is sort of a one-person dog (Derek Fisher told me he doubted Odin would actually work for anyone else with the correct ethic, which was going to hamper him since I am inexperienced), but I don't think he was really so much that way at 11 months. Now we get to do actual farm chores several times a year at my in-laws which is awesome, but even if we didn't have that I have no doubt he would be fine. Your journey is yours, but I'd agree with those here that would say one day in the round pen isn't enough to know very much, and she will not be unhappy if you can't get her to sheep frequently or even ever again. Now, what I AM a bit jealous about in your story is that I attempted to rescue a BC last year from a local reputable rescue (local to both of us) and although I was pre-approved with my on-file application, was rejected for actual dogs several times for having 1) Odin and 2) my kid. I am active, live in the country with ample off leash hiking trails and opportunity to swim, can take my dogs to work (even two at once), and nearly always do, and am fully committed to appropriate training and handling of a border collie. I only ever inquired about dogs that the bios said would be fine with other dogs and did not have a warning about kids, yet was rejected again and again for those reasons despite all the other things my household has going for me. How did you get such a great little rescue with another dog and a cat?!? Never mind, this question is rhetorical as I fully understand it is up to rescues to do things how they see best. But, it was irksome and I don't think I'll be seeking my next dog from rescue.
  2. Yes, our cat is really weird! I have had cats all my life and never one like this. She seems to have no issue getting completely soaked and will literally climb in my daughter's bathtub and sort of walk/swim around in it. We have a leak upstairs that we'll have to remove an entire wall to fix, so my short term solution has been to collect the leak in that bucket and then take it out to my garden to water. So she probably gets into a full bucket like that at least every week. I figure cats are so bad at drinking water hopefully this will be good for her because she drinks some when she's hanging out in the bucket or other wet places and then her and Odin lick all the water out of her fur after. I'll try to get a picture of that next. Also it is nice because her fur is always very clean and soft! I haven't yet seen her submerge her head or really swim, and I don't know if I really ever will since she is a full indoor cat. To address Odin protecting me, it was scary and I am so glad he didn't have to bite the kid to get them away from us, but it was an amazing thing to witness. The interesting thing is that I'm not sure he read the actual situation as much as he read me and my mood/anxiety. He was silent during most of the exchange, while I was irritated, confused, and weirded out. But I only got actually scared when the one boy started to try and open my door. I went from confused to legitimately terrified in about a second when that happened and that was exactly when he reacted. It was also nice for us both to be able to calm each other down after because I had to pick up my daughter from preschool after that.
  3. Aw, thanks guys! It's so nice to read updates on all of your dogs as well, both new and old. Here is a picture I took yesterday of them, "sharing" Odin's bed. He doesn't mind, right before I took the picture they were nuzzling together and taking turns grooming one another. Of course Odin refuses to be candid when I point my phone at him Here is a picture of the kitten soaking in a bucket, one of her favorite things to do.
  4. It's been a while since I posted here but was happy to come back and see many new avatars and many familiar ones. Odin is almost 8 years old but continues to act like a 2 year old. His shoulder reconstruction from when he had OCD as a pup has held up really well and he is the perfect combo of extremely active but also has his great off switch for at home and at work. We moved to the country a couple years ago and he very much enjoys that we can go on long hikes in the redwoods without driving anywhere. We live on a river. He refuses to swim, though I know he knows how, but he loves getting in the river and running around! A few months ago he really helped me out. I was followed and ran off the road and partially blocked by a car with two teenage boys that I think were high on meth or something. I rolled down my window to talk to them because at first I thought they were maybe just terrible drivers and needed directions or something. Odin was in the backseat as normal, with his window down. The driver started yelling obscenities and threats at me; at first I was just like "what is going on here?" but as he quickly got more aggressive I started really worrying what was going to happen. The passenger started coming out of their vehicle and grabbed at my door handle as I tried to roll up my window, but before he could get a good grip on the handle Odin lunged out of the back window and sounded like a totally ferocious dog, teeth snapping very close to this kid's face - but not on it. I have never seen him do anything like this or make those sounds in all our years together. The kid screamed and jumped back in the car and then they drove away in a screech of tires, unblocking me. Odin paced in the backseat, chuffing, and then got up in the front seat with me to lick my face. I would never knowingly put him in a position to protect me rather than the other way around, but this happened so quick and I was so confused until I just got scared. My husband was so proud of him I caught him giving Odin a whole raw steak that night and telling him what a good dog he is. Our cat Benway died last year, who was about 17 years old and had "raised" Odin from a puppy. His last 2 years he really slept most of the time, so it had been a while since Odin had really been around a cat. We wanted to get a kitten this year and I was really worried how Odin would react - would he be jealous? Fixated? As it's turned out he is 100% in love with the kitten and after her initial fright she is with him as well. They play - interactively, not fixatedly - all the time. They also will curl up together for a nap and sleep in our bedroom together with no problems. She loves to get into water - for example she'll climb into the tub with my daughter - and Odin will help groom her when she gets out. Odin is happier at home now that she is there. Finally he enjoys my daughter much more now that she is definitely not a toddler. He likes her friends too and is a big hit with the kids, as of course he'll fetch anything and will do tricks on command. I'm glad he's happier with kids because it was clear that though he loved my daughter he is 100% not a fan of toddlers.
  5. It is this kind: http://www.sulfodene.com/medfordogs.htm Her owner uses the 3-way ointment though, so I think either would work. She was so bad one time when he was gone for a couple of weeks I almost took her to the vet. He texted for me to try that, and the yellow stuff was all the store had. She was almost totally healed within a couple days, and stayed healed for the rest of the visit, and it's worked since then too. I have had the same bottle for a while, you don't need much.
  6. I've been dogsitting a german shepherd recently who has this issue. She will chew her feet to the point she can barely walk. Allergies contribute but also stress seems to play a role. She's also prone to skin and ear infections, so she just has that type of skin. Anyway, I've used this stuff called sulfodene. It comes in several forms but I use just the basic ointment that is like a greasy yellow liquid. I am sure it hurts when I apply it, but with skin that irritated I would think even hydrocortisone would sting. It smells AWFUL and in no way appetizing. Anyway, it always clears up and heals her paws very quickly, and the smell definitely prevents her from chewing.
  7. I agree, and you are dog savvy unlike the new owners at my office I described who had absorbed the part of good manners "culture" from their trainers you want to expect from others before they had truly understood what the full set of things they needed to do as owners were. But your last sentence is sort of the crux of the matter. Some people's offended reactions are likely because when they hear no, they are thinking it is because the dog is dangerous and shouldn't be there. Sometimes they are being babies and who cares if they think your dog is dangerous or you are rude, because you are in a time and location where you have every reason to expect people to behave themselves, and if not, you can tell them to. And again, there are some situations where it's crowded enough, and I think Nancy was describing this too, that you should probably go expecting there will be some less-than-totally-polite behavior from other people and other dogs, and take into account that you may not feasibly be able to keep everyone away from you and your dog in a perfect bubble, at least without having to be rude or scare other people. Hopefully this makes sense - I'm not saying this was the situation in the OP necessarily, either.
  8. Oh, absolutely. I know there are stimuli that I would expect him to potentially bite in reaction to, and I will do whatever I need to to protect him from those situations. I have 99.99% confidence my dog won't bite or overreact in a scary way just because someone else's dog was cluelessly rude, a kid or adult pet him without asking, or fell on him, etc. If his behavior ever changed and I no longer had that confidence, as often happens with older dogs etc., I'll treat things differently.
  9. Interesting thread. I like Eileen's discussion of different cultures. I know people who aren't TOTALLY ignorant of dogs, having owned several, but they aren't even 1/4 as knowledgeable about dogs as the average user here. I honestly think a lot of people have been lucky with the dogs they have and/or knowingly or more likely unknowingly set expectations for their dogs to be essentially what people on this forum would consider "bomb-proof" in terms of temperament (not usually in terms of behavior and training!) Or their dog merely shuts down, which the owner doesn't even seem to recognize, but is in no way dangerous when touched by other people or other dogs. I think people like this really don't understand dogs that won't accept these behaviors. So who knows what they are thinking when you inform them your dog isn't the same way (or you won't let him be treated the same way). We had kind of a cultural head-to-head in my office recently. We allow dogs and Odin has been coming since he was a puppy (so, 7 years). In the past few years more and more people started bringing dogs in and many of them were not trained as Odin is to listen, have commands that you really need in a work environment (like stay, and kennel-up) and not disturb other people or dogs without explicit approval. A few people were first time dog owners and had problematic dogs - as in they were fearful and reactive, and a bit unpredictable to normal office stimuli. One of the dogs might allow people to walk past the owner's cube all week and then suddenly rush and bark at someone who walked by. Another dog (a tiny Chihuahua, which is part of it) was guarding her owner's office from some people and even nipping ankles. I spoke to the owners of the problematic dogs trying to get them to see that they needed to have their dog behave to certain standards to be able to come here, and brought up better management as a possible way to help with that (i.e. use of crates etc.) I was NOT appreciated by either owner for this. Both of them were working with trainers at this point with their dogs (and good for them!), and both had absorbed the idea that it is always on the onus of OTHER people and OTHER dogs to approach their dogs correctly or not at all. For a person to do any less was rude and spoke of not understanding dogs. They were defensive and not hearing me that in this environment, any type of person might be around and the dogs are only here as long as they don't affect work or cause problems, and it was actually their responsibility as owners to ensure their dog was safe and suitable for this environment. I know dogs, but I'm still going to walk into your office and therefore personal space unapologetically if I need to and shouldn't need to have some sort of complicated treat-giving ritual to stop the guarding behavior so I can talk to the person about what I need to talk to them about. In this culture, our dogs need to be bomb-proof, in other words. If they can't be that by innate temperament or some combination of training and management, then they shouldn't be brought here. In the end, one dog got banned from the office, and the other dog unexpectedly slipped her leash, and rushed and bit someone who was apparently walking towards her owner in a way the dog didn't like. Unfortunately, that owner chose to have that dog euthanized. This is an extreme situation, to be sure. We want to have a dog friendly office but the purpose of this place is strictly for people and our work. The dogs are a bonus that will not be allowed if they become too much trouble. On the opposite end of the spectrum is going to a (non-dog) park. But there are situations in between, as I think Nancy is describing. If you go to a very crowded function or event or outdoor restaurant, and you know it will be crowded, I DO think you should not bring a dog that can't be trusted if everything doesn't go perfectly, with everyone keeping their dogs and their hands away from you at all times unless you formally consent. What if a child accidently fell on your dog? That actually happened to Odin at a restaurant I took him to once. The kid didn't mean to. I know other dogs that are great dogs, but if that same thing happened they'd be likely to bite the child or at least react in a way that would scare people. I really don't think those dogs should be brought into situations like that. Just my 2 c. I do get what others are saying about clueless people, and yes there are a lot of them out there...
  10. Mary, I am so sorry for your loss. I have really enjoyed your stories of Buddy over the years, and often think about him when I'm trying to figure out how to make my dog or a dog I am in control of meet another dog appropriately (or ignore them!). You were clearly the best owner he could've ever asked for, and the two of you were the best of friends. It shone through in every story and anecdote you told about him. Thinking of you, Ooky and Odin
  11. Huh. I always thought it was a submissive thing Odin does since he HATES grooming in any form. He'll put up with it, but he hates it. Before anyone tells me that I should have socialized him to grooming, believe me I tried. As a puppy he had no issues with a brush or nail clippers or futzing with his coat until one day he did -for no reason I could ever figure out.
  12. How common is it to find someone who will do vasectomy? My biggest regret with Odin was neutering him so early. I was pressured by the vet at his first check up and since I planned "to be a good owner" (I assumed all good owners neutered back then), I agreed and allowed it to be done when he was tiny Never again.
  13. I know, me too Not as much as Odin would like it, I'm sure, though he does get to come out with me to certain project sites. I'm a botanist and entomologist, so avian and mammalian surveys are not my specialty. The dogs search for bird carcasses and scat of endangered species. When the scat is found and alerted on by the dog we do genetic analysis to confirm the species. I am interested to find out if there really is a pool of wildlife scent dog handlers out there - I'd imagine it's pretty rare. I'm encouraging them to open it up to people with relevant degrees and different types of dog training, like search and rescue or other nosework stuff.
  14. My company is listing for a professional dog handler. This isn't unique to collies, but partly this post is because I just think this is the coolest job description ever for dog lovers and people like many of us who just love training dogs. BTW Odin was evaluated to be a scent dog and scored high as a prospect, but there's no way I'm letting him live with another person What they were looking for seemed to me to be quintessential BC traits though - strong toy drive, high energy level, biddability. The other reason I posted here is that I know so many people on here are excellent trainers, and we're casting a wide net to find this person. Maybe someone here meets the requirements and has interest! I've been working with my company to increase our use and projects' use of dogs for a variety of things, including this scent dog work and working livestock used in vegetation management activities. If your own dog is trained as a scent dog or could be trained there's definite potential for him/her to be one of our scent dogs. My company already owns a couple but have been looking for more good prospects. I've redacted the company info because this is a public message board and I've just never been super comfortable being widely non-anonymous on the internet. But if you are interested and think you could qualify, send me a pm. FIELD BIOLOGIST AND DETECTION DOG HANDLER Company X is a premier ecological consulting firm based in California and Hawai'i. For over 40 years, Company X has created ecologically sound solutions to our clients' complex resource challenges. Duties: We currently have an opening for a field biologist who is also an experienced wildlife detection dog handler. Responsibilities include housing, caring for, and training program detection dogs; handling trained detection dogs on wildlife surveys; identifying avian species; managing project data; and preparing reports. The position will sometimes require a person to navigate varying and rugged terrain safely and potentially alone with the dog. It may require occasional overnight travel and weekend work. Good general communication skills and an ability to work well with a field team and with diverse personnel also are important. Qualifications: Applicants should have a strong field background performing a variety of wildlife detection dog surveys. The ideal candidate will have experience managing detection dog field projects and training other dog handlers. Applicants with experience/expertise in bird identification are preferred. Education: Degree in Wildlife Biology, Ecology, or similar field. Hiring Location: Mojave Desert Region
  15. That's not the reason it's coming off as religious/dogmatic. It is because nothing have written (or gentle lake, mum24) has even allowed for the possibility that methods using certain negatives (or a judiciously applied choke in particular) could be better for certain dog-handler methods than the ones you personally prefer. You've essentially categorically refused to consider others' own POV or personal experience with every response. Mum24 essentially attacked Mr. McCaig's training methods ad hominem (ref to full cruel range of Koehler methods, already described by others in this thread as involving such abuse as taping puppies' mouths shut), and insisted again that readers should be assured HER training methods are super, and also objected to the supposed lack of political correctness of even using religious as an adjective. This struck me as not just dogmatic rhetoric, not intended to truly discuss and engage another person in an open-minded fashion, but also rather disrespectful. On the side of the "agnostics", however, skins seem a little thicker.
  16. Sounds very much like Odin. Most of the reason we have never done a lot of agility training is that i know he would hurt himself. I have to be his sense of self preservation a lot of times. As others said keep working on impulse control, and also be careful for him in places where he could more easily slip or crash, erase his paw pads, whatever. Be careful with fetch and other mindless activities, inserting opportunities to keep him thinking and to slow him down. like, you van put him in a down stay and THEN throw the ball, and release him. But 18 months was probably as bad as it ever was - remember he's still a very young guy with all the recklessness that goes with that. My brother, an athlete, was not so different. Jumping off the porch sounds so familiar, so i had to identify when he might do such things and discourage them. Odin has much more control nowadays at age 5 but he will always be willing to give 1000%, with the side effect of not necessarily being careful with his body. When he does inevitably injure himself - really do the rest needed to let any minor soft tissue injuries heal.
  17. Where i most frequently let Odin off lead in a sort of unusual setting i wouldn't trust most dogs with, it is "dangerous" in that it is near a busy road but it is not actually illegal because it is the private proverty of my office complex. Essentially in the us it is very variable, and i wouldn't really say it makes much sense having lived in so many places with so many varying laws. We've definitely been accosted by ill-mannered dogs who were on leash frequently enough that its not really a bullet-proof solution to any problem in my opinion. Although it is true there are many dogs i see behaving so badly on leash I'm happy they at least have that small amount of restraint. I don't try to "subject" anyone to me and Odin, as he's under control enough that we can be very unobtrusive, which is how we typically choose to be. In my neighborhood now it is rural enough that an off leash dog is not even considered out of place, as long as it is safe and mannerly. And people are pretty forgiving even for the dogs who aren't.
  18. Confession: I let Odin off leash frequently, even in places where he is not 100% safe. It was one of my big goals in early training - i wanted a dog that could be off lead anywhere, especially in urban settings. We exercise off lead in a landscaped strip near a busy road by my office pretty much every day for the past 5 years. He also is allowed in the parking lot off leash, though he has boundary training to never enter the road without me (has not failed in 5 years despite squirrels, lost balls, whatever), and not to enter specific high traffic areas of the lot without a specific release. I walk him off leash in neighborhoods, parks, wherever. He doesn't approach other dogs without permission ever, and can hold a down stay like a champ. His one weakness is when another person invites him over, I've never figured out how to train him to be as totally friendly to strangers as i need him to be yet never react to their invitation when approaching us on the trail or whatever. I am not saying this to say i am better than anyone here who is more cautious with their dog - most assuredly i do not think i am. I'm not trying to prove anything as was insinuated above. But i just prefer to be off leash, it feels more natural and i trust him very much. I love that he is so trustworthy, after all these years in so many different situations although no dog is a robot he has truly earned the trust i have. As a kid, my parents and most other parents we knew let their kids ramble, explore, and be away from direct supervision much more than most parents would ever allow today. In fact we were "latchkey kids", which i think might be considered neglect today. Was it 100% safe? No. As a mom i understand the allure of control and maximized safety, i really do. Yet i also just feel that there is something lost in the overly supervised childhoods i see playing out around me in the bay area. There are tradeoffs, and my personality type is such that i do value the freedom, ability to develop personality and trust, etc. And i guess this mindset also affects how i prefer to be with my dog. Treats or no? I have nothing against them and use them occasionally. I trained a nice heel, complete with in and out tight spins glued to my leg and looking at me etc, with treats mostly. I don't think i really use them correctly though, as Odin has been known to get a bit too excited and unfocused around treats. Mainly I'm too lazy and disorganized to have them on me. I mostly use other methods, including toys, reward-based releases, praise, and mild verbal corrections, and am quite happy with my results (except where i notice MY failings as a trainer, that's nothing to do with Odin though). So i definitely get where JLJ is coming from in the OP.
  19. Well said Gloria. The way to get over your own fear is to train her, but also know not to provoke situations that will be bad for you both. As you spend more time with her, as she grows, as you instill more and more self control in her, and as you come to know her limits and triggers, you will be surprised how much they can be trusted. Keep us updated!
  20. I started off with last one the way anyone would - "this will be the last one", but Odin interpreted his way all along. "That WAS the last one". I find it really interesting that all of your dogs know the other (more normal) meaning, as I had just assumed dogs don't interpret future tense the way we do. Instead it is just Odin He plays with lots of people and I often say, just tell him last one when you want to be finished. Frequently, people say, "ok, last one!" and then throw the ball for him again before I can stop them. He won't go get the ball when that happens, he just stands and watches it fly by. This always makes me love him fiercely because I'm sure it is a great test of strength of will, every time. Now, where people like my dad get in trouble is that Odin knows after a short period, say 5 minutes, the conversation has moved on and the person is no longer paying attention so he can usually pester them again successfully. To the OP, these dogs are REALLY good at devising situations where you are like, "wait a minute, HOW am I playing fetch again?!?" But he knows better with me.
  21. Kristen, thank you so much for sharing Raven with us, that was such a beautiful account of a life with a best friend. I feel I know a little of who she was and how special of a dog it must take to love a toddler like that after overcoming fear and everything else she had going against her. I'm so sorry for your loss. Run free, Raven!
  22. OMG pester power is the best thing I've heard here in a while Odin as an off switch for sure, but only if he knows he's in a room where all will be able to withstand his pester powers, which are formidable indeed. It makes a lot of people think he is way more annoying than he really is, because I am just firm about very little fetch inside and mostly want to do things besides fetch with him outside, "last one" (our version of that'll do, and it means whatever just happened WAS the last one) means something coming from me. My parents are coming at the end of this week and I'm always a bit sad when they do, Odin loves them so much and they like him too but my dad will just play fetch with him forever and then mention on day 3 how my brother's dog may be less smart but is also "easier to live with". Well, this time maybe I will try to explain to not give in to the pester power
  23. I had this done 5 years ago on my dog, who needed shoulder reconstruction for osteocondritis dessicans (OCD). Here's what I've seen: He healed really, really well from the surgery and so far does not show any signs of arthritis. But who knows if he would have done just the same without the stem cells. The incision to harvest the cells from his stomach was NOT small, nor did it heal easily. Like a liposuction incision, they really get a sucker thing in there and move it around, so there was a fair amount of tissue injury from sucking out the fat cells where the stem cells are harvested from. It seemed to cause him more pain than the shoulder, which was so bad it could not be done laproscopically so the shoulder incision was almost as large. If I had an older arthritic dog I think I'd try other therapies, personally - this is a pretty big surgical intervention IME.
  24. That is a really good point alligande - I hadn't even considered how often people actually think the dogs AREN'T mutts at all and instead are some other sort of up and coming breed. So, clearly they aren't paying those huge purchase prices on a mixed breed for some reason like wanting to have met the parents of the dog they are going to own, which you usually can't do when adopting from a shelter. Also makes me continue to think a lot of these designer breeders are really not great examples of who you want the clueless public to be buying dogs from, if they're not even making it clear to their puppy buyers what the dogs actually are.
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