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  1. I'm wondering if any of you have dogs that suffer from border collie exercise induced collapse. I think my youngster does. We've had two episodes so far; one quite mild but the other (the first one) was quite scary. I'm wondering if there is a way to build up immunity or increase the threshold or is it just a case of they have it and that's it. Wisk is very fit and goes on long off leash hikes with no issues. The two episodes happened when fetching a ball using a Chuck it. The first one happened after about 15 minutes. My older dog would always just take a break but I noticed that Wisk was not so we stopped and it was at this point that he got wobbly and lost control of his back end. The second incident was very mild but occurred after only about 12 throws on a moderately warm day so not a crazy amount of exercise. Obviously it's easy enough to just not use the chuck it but I'm wondering if there is a way to build up resistance or not.
  2. Wisk is growing into a lovely dog for the most part. He is pretty bombproof for a border collie in that he isn't upset or surprised by any new or strange noises or objects. He loves kids and other dogs and he is adorable. But...he really is the most sensitive dog I've ever had handler wise. My older border collie Orbit, needed a firm hand but Wisk doesn't respond well at all to pressure or even a firm voice. I've realized this and am trying to be gentle in the way that I correct and handle him. We have 3 kids and life can be a bit hectic and I don't feel like Wisk is bonded to me in the same way as my previous 2 were. When out for a walk, he is more interested in the world around him and he would always rather you throw a ball than pet him. That's not to say that he doesn't want attention, because he does seek it out but on his terms. I'm wondering is this just the way some dogs are? Is there anything specific I can do to try and improve our bond. It seems to me that he is always a bit suspicious of my intentions, distrustful maybe. I'm the one that trims his nails, cleans his wounds, takes away toys when it's been enough etc. My husband says it's in my head but if there are things I can do, I'd like to try. We do trick training and he enjoys that and he gets lots of interesting offleash time.
  3. My human family and I are set to go on two separate vacations this summer (after one got postponed from last summer due to flooding and the other being a post pandemic vacation). We have two border collies, a 13 year old and a 1 year old. Previously, we have left our old guy with my in-laws on their farm over the years and it has always been successful. We are planning to leave both of them there while we go away. This will be the first time that we leave our young guy overnight. And I'm sure he is going to be confused: he is very affectionate and bonded to us. I am wondering how much it will help our young dog that his "brother" is there and super chill about the whole thing. Do they take cues from one another? We have visited the farm a few times and they will sleep in the same room that we do when we visit, although without us obviously. I'd love to do whatever I can to make the situation as smooth as possible so I'd appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you.
  4. It can certainly be very daunting in the beginning. It seems there are two schools of thought: a percentage diet, 80/10/10 that is balanced over time by using a variety of meat sources and a more. The other is more nutrient based. There is a Facebook group called raw fed and nerdy. It is run by animal nutritionists and they are super helpful. You need to ask to join but it doesn't take long. They offer a free course that goes through all the basics of balanced animal nutrition. I ended up hiring a nutritionist to create 2 separate meal plans because I have a young dog and a very old dog; same ingredients but in different quantities. I fed kibble for years but my pup wasn't doing well on the many kibble we tried and raw has fixed those issues. It is more work and more expensive but I've seen a real improvement in coat and mobility in my older dog and my young one is finally solid.
  5. In my experience, it depends on the dog. My last two border collies showed a really strong interest in ball chasing when very young, such a strong interest that it felt unhealthy to me, almost like they couldn't control themselves they were so excited. So we just didn't do it. My older guy is 13 now and we did introduce some fetching when he showed that he could still listen when there was a ball around, at about 2-3 years. And then it was maybe a few times a week for 10 minutes when I needed him to go pee and stretch his legs, not in place of actual mindful activity. My current pup in not yet one and also fixated on Chuck it's and balls (other people's because he's too young to chase balls), so we'll wait with him too. I'm not opposed to fetch as long as it is one type of activity and not the only one. I think most dogs can probably handle a bit of fetch without going ocd but it is important that the handler recognizes when the dog has had enough physically and psychologically. I also think it's more of an issue for those of us that live in the city: not every outing can be off leash in the forest so you're always trying to maintain a balance.
  6. I also have a pup and 3 kids (6,8,10) and I found the easiest thing to do was to separate them when any of them (human or canine) started to get too overstimulated/hyper. It was a lot of work but more doable than the 100% consistent crating that was suggested (I simply could not do it). I imagine you remember when your kids were younger and there were signs that they were about to lose it? And you would quickly feed them or get them down for a nap or whatever your strategy was. The same goes for your pup, although they will have different tells. Try to avoid any of them going over threshold. Some of it is simply age/stage but management/training will definitely make it all move along faster and more smoothly. Good luck.
  7. Hi there, My pup is 9 months old and is showing an increased interest/obsession with balls. A bit of background: as a young pup, we introduced a variety of toys for him to play with and he enjoyed them but never seemed to fixate on any of them. At around 6 months, my son taught him to fetch (just small tosses and rolls in the yard, nothing too strenuous). He started to show signs of becoming very interested in chasing and retrieving so we sidelined it. I have no interest in creating an ocd ball fetcher. He gets lots of off leash forest walking and we are an active family so we don't need fetch to tire him out. Lately he has begun to show a very keen interest in balls that other dogs are chasing and even getting excited by the sight of Chuck it's. My question: do I continue to avoid balls and fetching in the hopes that with age he will not become over stimulated (we did this with our other border collie, now 13 with great success-at about 2 years of age we were able to fetch for a bit and when we were done, he could completely disengage and relax) or should I be actively training him now to chill out around balls? Thank you.
  8. Sorry to hear that you're going through this. I have a reactive dog and it can be pretty stressful if you live on an area where avoidance isn't really an option. Border collies can be very particular about personal space and who is allowed into it. I'll let the more experienced members offer advice but I'd like to share a mistake that I made. Orbit, my 13 year old was very rough and vocal and communicative with other dogs as a youngster. It made me uncomfortable that he would growl at other dogs. I discouraged him from doing so and now he doesn't growl anymore, he just snaps. I really wish that I had been more interested in making him more comfortable and secure at the time, rather than so concerned that he appeared aggressive. Good luck.
  9. And I meant to add that puppies need a lot of sleep. Way more than I remember from my previous pup. She may be overtired a lot of the time. Something to consider.
  10. It sounds like it's an issue all the time but if she's anything like ours (dogs and kids haha), evenings are the hardest. They're all a bit tired and that makes them all even nuttier. We found that routines were very helpful in setting up expectations, tried to have a dirt of sequence of events each evening. I'm not sure if you have a partner, but divide and conquer can be helpful in the evenings, one parents gets the kids sorted for bed and the other takes care of the dogs (can be a walk, quiet time or forced nap) but we found the physical separation helpful (in our case, upstairs downstairs but even different rooms can help). I often found it easier to remove the kids but mine are older. Many people here have much more experience than I do but I sympathize, kids and puppies at the same time is intense.
  11. Congratulations on your puppy. Kids and puppies can definitely be a challenge. Our pup is 8 months old and we have 3 kids, the youngest being 6 ( I'm guessing yours are younger). It sounds like you're doing the right things. Kids (at least mine) have a crazy energy that sets sensitive dogs off. You could try having a high value toy to give her outside to try and dissuade her from going after clothing. You could also try to ensure that when they are outside together, they are walking calmly as opposed to running and jumping around her (hard I know). Not sure exactly what your outside situation is but maybe rotate them around so that the first 10 minutes, when both parties are at their rowdiest, they are not together. We found it got easier once teething was done but nipping can become a habit so you are right to try and sort it out. Good luck.
  12. I agree with the breedist comment. My 12 year old border collie hates doodles. His hackles go up as soon as he spots them. He is quite reactive to their "friendliness". Having said that, his best friend from puppyhood is a labradoodle. Also, because of his intent focus on toys, other dogs become fixated on him. Needless to say, we can only play in public places that are being frequented by excessively friendly and bouncy in your face type dogs.
  13. This. I enjoy a good game of fetch so when I have a puppy, I like to introduce the idea of toys being thrown and then brought back (with minimal running so as not to hurt the pup). Once they get it and it clicks, I basically shelve it until they are mature enough to not obsess over it. And like D'Elle,once I say all done, that's it.
  14. My now seven month old pup has on a few occasions shown interest in cars (from loose leash to tight leash but not lunging and strangling himself). We live in the city and although he came from a working ranch, he has been with us since 8 weeks old and he sees cars every day. How much do I need to worry about this? It happened with me once a few days ago. He was a bit tired from our morning hike and I had left our older dog at home so he was solo (not the norm but it happens a few times a week). He did it twice, not consecutively and there were many cars in between. When I mentioned it to my husband, he said it had happened to him a few times (but he was not super helpful remembering specifics). So maybe 4-5 times during the last month, walking kids to school and back every day twice. It doesn't seem to be a case of it steadily getting worse and it is quite infrequent (this actually makes it more challenging to deal with it training wise because we can go days/weeks without a single incident). Any suggestions? Is this an age thing? Is 7 months a year stage? I included a photo, just in case people like to see/visualize the dog is question.
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