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About puppytoes

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    Vancouver, Canada
  1. Thank you for the response. I wasn't sure I was being clear when I wrote it: the specifics of my situation but more broadly speaking. What I meant was that there are people that live in places (like British Columbia) that don't have a lot of rescue dogs available, puppy or otherwise. And the only available options (as in choices) are the ones I listed. I in no way I meant that they were options for me personally but those are the "options" (good or bad) that are available to Joe public. What I was trying to get at is that I am a person that really gets what this board is saying about preserving the breed but the average person just wants a puppy. And the current situation made me think about the options that face people and the fact that it is rather difficult or can be perceived as being difficult to get a working bred dog is the reason that many people end up making the wrong choices. Is there a solution beyond, those that know better will do better and the hell with the rest of them? I'm not sure there is a solution, because the working border collie world is small (especially in certain parts of the world) and according to the breeders that I chatted with, the appetite from the general public is getting larger. So there simply are not enough well bred dogs. Rescue is such a great option for many but not everyone is willing to go through that. So it just seems to me that the situation will get worse and worse, which is a such a shame.
  2. My apologies for the length of this post. These thoughts have been swirling for a while and I'm trying to process them. While my thoughts are specific to my situation, I am more interested in people's thoughts generally. I would like to start by saying that I believe and adhere to the principles of this board in regard to working border collies. While I don't have a farm or work my dogs, I think that of course the breed will change for worse if dogs are not bred for working ability. My two dogs thus far have been unwanted dogs that we adopted. And I preach working dogs only and rescue (my preference so far because my needs are basic) to whomever will listen. My current situation has got me thinking though. What to do in situations where there are not many working border collies but you really want one? We decided in the Fall that this was the summer to add a pup. Our current border collie is 12 and our youngest child is 6. I had contacted several rescues south of the border (we live in Vancouver, Canada) and it seemed like it would be a done deal. Then came the pandemic. Initially I thought I could just be patient and wait a while but it looks like the border could be closed for a very long time. So I started searching for working bred dogs in British Columbia. There is only one listed with the Canadian border collie association and they do not place dogs in urban settings. So I moved along to Alberta (the next province over). There were several breeders listed and some of them also don't place dogs in pet homes. Many weren't planning litters any time soon or already had full waitlists. Plus now we're talking several days drive away (we drove 12 hours to Idaho to pick up Orbit but that was before we had 3 kids). In general, our shelters here need to fly in dogs because everyone has their dogs fixed and people are pretty responsible about dog ownership. So border collies around here tend to be rescues or rural bred but not working border collie. I also see a good number of candy coloured border collies or poofy Barbie collies around here because those breeders have available dogs. So my question is this: What should people do if they want a puppy and they live somewhere that does not have any border collies that end up in rescue ( when I contacted THE border collie rescue in British Columbia, I was told that there was almost no chance that a puppy or even a young dog without major issues would become available) and they don't plan on breeding their pup? The options seem to be drive for days or have a pup shipped out (which isn't ideal because I prefer to meet the people and parents to get a sense of what's what) in order to get a pup whose parents are working. This option is quite expensive and many of these pups are already selling for $1000-1500 and working people often have a long wait list. Or get a puppy from farm bred parents but the parents don't work. So they are still very much border collies genetically but they wouldn't necessarily be good working dogs because the people breeding them are not doing so for a working purpose. Or get dog from someone that had 2 nice looking, friendly family dogs (supporting breeding for no other reason that producing puppies). Or get a Barbie collie (urgh). Thoughts?
  3. Hi there, Due to the current pandemic, I am stuck on the Canada side of the closed border and my plans for a border collie pup for this summer have fizzled. So I have a bit of time on my hands and came across ranchworldads.com. Most of the dogs available through their site are listed as cow dogs. I'm curious as to what this means. Is it simply that border collies are so versatile that they can work cows just as easily as sheep? Or are they a subset that require a different skill set? I would imagine that dogs working cows would need to be more willing to physically move the animals. Would that translate into a more physical or dominant personality off stock as well? I am really only interested theoretically. I am quite committed to getting a puppy from a rescue or a shelter once the borders reopen. Cheers, Iva
  4. Hi, It has been many, many years since I've been on these boards and I always found the information here so useful. So I thought I'd ask the question here that my husband and I have been pondering. Like many people, I love puppies. So much. And our last "puppy" is now 11. Since he was a puppy, we've also had 3 kids, they are now 6, 8, 10. So we're a busy family. But our dog Orbit is very much a part of that busyness. And he hasn't slowed down much at all. He is our second dog (our OG border collie cross Laska died in 2011 when Orbit was 2), and he is just the best (as was Laska before him). The whole family adores him and he is just so well mannered and really smart and just such a team player. All that to say that it got me thinking about how much a dog learns from another dog versus from their humans. We adopted Laska at a year old and I swear that she was grateful her entire life. She needed help coming out of her shell so she was very easy to train. Orbit was adopted at 3 months and I don't remember it being very difficult. He went through phases of course but it never felt like too much work. Maybe we are accidentally very good at training dogs or we've been lucky or a bit of both. My question is, should we get a new puppy now, before Orbit gets too old and grumpy or should we wait till he is no longer with us. I'm leaning towards now because I believe that he has a lot of knowledge to pass on about what it means to be a dog in our family. Thoughts? Cheers, Iva
  5. I don't really have much experience with super noise sensitive dogs. You said he likes other dogs. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to ask a friend with a confident dog along on your walk (maybe even tether them together?) to show him a more appropriate response, in addition to the desensitization.
  6. I never realised that there were places where police actually dealt with animal control issues. Here we have animal control officers that deal with by-law issues and the police deal with crimes.
  7. The problem here is that people do not even agree on the purpose and rules of off-leash dog parks. There are those that believe that dogs should have a place to go and just be dogs, without having to worry about their dogs every move. I am one of those people. While my dog has zero use for other dogs and we do not frequent parks where dogs play and socialise, we do go to off-leash forested areas for walks. I have 2 kids under four and have taught them to protect their snacks and sticks as best they can and I try to help them understand that sometimes dogs will eat a cracker out of your hand. I know that I am in an off-leash place and this might be the only place that that owner can take their dog and enjoy it. So I just accept it. Would it be great if everyone's dog was perfectly behaved? Yes but I don't own a doodle and my dog has a brain. Others believe that dogs should always be perfectly mannered. This makes it difficult for people with ill-mannered dogs to ever let their dogs get off-leash exercise. I feel like it is reasonable to expect that dogs are generally friendly and safe in an off-leash situation and then the standards go up depending on where you are. I have only had 2 dogs, both quite bright and I think I am a fairly intuitive trainer so my dogs have been very well behaved. But I would hope that if I ever have an unmanageable yahoo of a dog, I will still be able to let him loose to burn off steam without having people yell at me that my dog approached their dog at an off-leash location.
  8. I would say that Vancouver is very dog-friendly. Almost all school grounds welcome off-leash dogs before 8 am and after 5 pm (although they are not allowed at the actual playground with equipment and such). There are designated dog beaches where dogs can be off-leash at all times and others where dogs are permitted off-leash during certain hours. Dogs on-leash are permitted almost everywhere and there are urban forests with both on-leash and off-leash sections. In general, dogs are very well mannered/adjusted here and in my nearly 15 years as a dog owner have never seen a real nasty dog fight and maybe only a couple where one dog has suffered a minor injury. Legally, dogs are required to be on a leash when not somewhere designated as off-leash. I am not so law abiding and I walk my dog off-leash through my neighbourhood. We are not alone, many dogs are well mannered enough to be trusted off-leash (yes I realise that they are not robots and anything can happen). Another thing that routinely happens is that when 2 dogs are approaching one another on-leash, the owners will drop their leashes to allow the dogs to say hi in a more natural manner. If I am approached by a dog on a leash, I will always call Orbit over and put him in a down/stay. People are always surprised that I do that and seem shocked that he is not friendly (as he is wagging his tail). I have to explain to them that I am doing it out of consideration for them as their dog may not like being approached. Generally, dogs here are very well socialised and those that are not can usually be heard half a block away snarling and lunging at the end of their leashes (and more often than not, they are very little dogs),
  9. I had a lab x pit x border collie for almost 13 years (adopted her at 1 1/2) and she was the most amazing dog ever. She was smart, reliable, intuitive and such a gentle soul. I know that there are a lot of horror stories out there about pits but I would encourage you to judge your by her actions and behaviour rather than condemn her for the actions of other dogs. As a puppy, she will most likely be a yahoo for some time, regardless of her breed. Whether she is a pittie or not, she should not be allowed to bother your older dog. Teach her good manners or keep them separated until she can behave respectfully.
  10. If Nelson is anything like my Orbit, it might just be something that you will have to manage. I will admit that I have not sought out professional assistance as I find that I can read him pretty well and do a pretty good job of avoiding altercations. But they do happen and they don't always end well. One thing that I did wrong when my guy was little was discourage the lead-up behaviours - the growling etc. Now his responses are lightning quick and while I can see them coming, often the other dog can't. Orbit is never the aggressor as it sounds like Nelson might be (but that might be something to watch closely - I bet he is reacting to something), he just doesn't like dogs around him when he is playing with toys or dogs bounding up to his face. Most of our incidences happen in off leash areas because that is where we encounter such dogs. I walk Orbit off-leash most of the time and only leash him at busy roads. We rarely never have problems here because the dogs that would cause a reaction are on leash themselves and orbit is very responsive to voice commands. My advice to you (assuming medical issues are ruled out and he is already neutered) is to watch his interactions very closely and see if you can pick up on what sets him off. While you are doing this, it might be a good idea to limit his play to dogs that are not too reactive themselves so that the situation does not escalate too much. Also, try to remain calm (hard I know when you are waiting for your dog to fly off the handle) because if he senses that you are anxious/apprehensive, it could make the situation worse. As far as altercations go, I try to intervene right away.
  11. I am wondering if displays of affection are a constant personality trait? Those of you that have bred litters or had many dogs from puppyhood, do you find that the pups that were snugglers at 8 weeks become snuggly adults (generally)? Do they go through shifts at puberty? And is it possible for reserved pups to eventually crave physical affection? I would imagine that if a reserved pup was paired with an owner that really craved physical affection, the pup would sense that pressure and might become even more reserved as a result. So nurture could actually be re-enforcing nature but not the way that a human is intending.
  12. I love my dog and he is a big part of our family but I also feel like I should not need to be a slave to his needs or his wants. We have two small children and a third on the way and there are days when everyone has to suck it up. These last few months have been really lean for him exercise wise but I swear that he knows that it is just short term. When we first got Orbit, it was just him and our senior dog so free time revolved around them. We planned outings that they would enjoy. However, we made a point never to play with them in the house. I know that this may seem extreme but I have never wanted any confusion about what happens in the house: we snuggle, we pet, we chill but we do not play. If I felt that he needed a few minutes of ball chasing we went in the back yard or across the street to the park. So now, I have a dog that has no expectations in the house what so ever. Put your shoes on and he is ready to go but he can relax at home because he knows that he is not missing out on anything.
  13. Sorry that this is off-topic but do dogs really need life jackets? We live by the ocean so we are talking about beach access only but I have never seen a dog in a life jacket. And there are dogs that swim quite far out in sometimes rough surf. Are they used because some dogs actually can't swim or because you are worried if they fell out of the boat they would panic and drown? I would imagine that the life jacket would feel kind of odd to a dog unless they were used to carrying a pack.
  14. Donald, i'm not sure that I agree with you. Assuming that one is relatively new to dogs, one might not have the repertoire of relatively simple training techniques discussed here. I think that a forum such as this one (and this one in particular) is a great place to start to seek help for one's dog. It sounds like the OP has had the dog for a relatively short period of time and the behaviour does not sound extreme to me in the sense that it has not been something that the OP has been working on for a long time unsuccessfully. it is often suggested that people experiencing difficulties hire a trainer. As someone that does not know a trainer personally, this seems like a really daunting task. First of all, it sounds really expensive. Secondly, how does one even begin to find a trainer that is experienced in our particular breed, with your type of problem that also has similar training philosophies. I think when one already knows a trainer, that suggestion is a lot easier to follow.
  15. I hear you on the toddler and border collie thing, it can be daunting. My suggestion would be to only take him in the yard when you are with him. I would attach him to a long line that gives him as much space as possible without allowing him to reach the fence. I would spend maybe 5 minutes at the beginning (after he relieves himself) and 5 minutes at the end to practice recall. I would vary the items I offer him for coming back; extra special treats, squeaky toys or whatever he loves. Make coming to you the best thing in the world. If you keep working on this, it will get easier. Training and age will make a difference. I was lucky enough to train my border collie before my kids were born and it has made all the difference. Once Archer is reliably trained, you will be able to enjoy him more. Good luck.
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