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About Brenna14

  • Birthday 09/14/1982

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  1. I use Taste of the Wild. In the morning I put ~1 Tablespoon of yogurt in their food (regular vanilla, not low or non-fat to avoid artificial sweeteners) to help with some gassiness. I've found that REALLY helps and both dogs eat vanilla, whereas only one would eat the plain (can't blame them - I don't eat plain yogurt either!). We've also started adding some canned food - also TOTW or other brands that are mostly meat. Sometimes it is just leftover chicken or veggies from our dinner. Again, its only a small spoonful to give them some variety. I'd like to mix it up a bit but I've had a really hard time finding a food that both dogs like and doesn't upset their tummies, so I keep the dry food consistent and play around with the additives. Now that I think about it... would a grain-free diet be part of the reason we have a "gas" issue. Sorry if that is too much information!!
  2. We use the Herm Sprenger prong collars on our two 2-yr old border collies and they have been fantastic. For the most part, we used ours to get the boys to calm down while on their leashes, and it worked wonderfully. We went from no one being able to walk them (especially together yanking opposite directions) to them walking on a loose leash for the most part and getting super excited whenever we pull the collars down to put on them. To keep the collars from looking so intimidating, a woman in our obedience class weaves colored leather through the links, which also helps keep everything together. Not only can we control them on walks, but they're stylish and color-coordinated to their regular collars and leashes!
  3. I'm so glad you posted this - I've been wondering about a lot of the same things. And everyone's responses have been so helpful! I've already found a rescue group about 3 hours from my house that I'd like to work with, but I haven't contacted them yet because I'm a little afraid of the rejection - what if we can't give them what they need in a foster parent?!?! I've got 2 BC's now and really feel like I have more to give towards helping other dogs. We've been considering adopting a rescue, but I really want to be able to help more than just one more dog, which is why I'm considering fostering. The main reasons I'm afraid we'll be rejected are: we work full-time so the dog would be crated during the day, and we only have an invisible fence. I could come home during lunch to be with the dogs, but that would still be 4 hours that the dogs would be in their crates... I suppose if there were dogs that could handle that, it wouldn't be such a big issue. There is a smaller area of our yard with fencing but my current escape artists could get out of it in a heartbeat so we got the invisible fence which worked so well for them. Both of us want to go visit the rescue farm during September and I was going to discuss some of the aspects of what they require for fostering when we set up our appointment. Regardless of whether we can help foster, we want to volunteer to help out around the farm - every little bit counts! Its going to break my heart if we can't help with fostering, but maybe I can do something with the doggies transport. I really want to do more than donate $$ (although I know that's needed too).
  4. Thanks for all your replies... I was sort of expecting the advice to get help, but was hoping it might be something I can handle on my own. I'm going to order those books on Amazon this morning and I need to go to the vet for their annual checkup, and there was a person there who described herself as a behaviorist. She talked with us once (after the staples in the leg incident) but nothing was focused on the toy portion - just having the dogs come around the corner and greet each other... I guess I was disappointed by her advice since they LOVE each other and are great together except when there is "stuff" around. I'm going to find out what her credentials are, and maybe look elsewhere. Now I just need to get my bf on board - he grew up with a spoiled rotten schnoodle so I think our boys are still fabulous comparatively, but they're bigger so it just feels like its a lot more dangerous for all involved. The incidents are pretty rare these days since we don't have a lot of toys out and have confiscated all the "trigger" ones and eliminated rawhides/bones. Of course, I feel horrible because now they don't ever get to just chew on toys and have fun... we've prevented the situation from occurring but it doesn't get to the root of the problem Its so hard to admit that you have failed your furbabies!! The next question I have: is this something that we probably caused? I mean, I'm dedicated to fixing it regardless, but is this type of behavior more common with border collies / litter mates, or is this probably something we could have (should have) prevented? I would like to continue having dogs my whole life (I'm only 27 so there's lots of years ahead!) and would hate to make the same mistakes in the future. ejano - thank you for the information about how you handled your dogs. I think the biggest mistake we made of all is that we didn't do enough with them separately - they are still in the same crate together, have training classes together, play together, socialize together, walk together. We thought it would be good for them to have each other to hang out with all day, but now its just them in their crate (without toys) since we don't trust them together with toys. Perhaps while Terry is gone on vacation I'll get another crate!! I'm also working on going on walks and playing with them separately, but I don't think that really addresses the main issue that they're little jerks with toys/bones! I'm so glad I found these boards - debating with my bf about whether or not this was an issue was really starting to make me feel like a hypochondriac. Now its getting him to believe its an issue so the whole household is together to deal with the problem.
  5. My boys, Royce and Enzo, get along so well the majority of the time. The big problem comes when we give them bones/rawhides or one of them gets a chew toy out of their basket. Even if Enzo has the exact same item, he is so uninterested in his own, and only wants whatever Royce has. Usually he'll go over and steal it so that he could have a dozen rawhides and Royce has none. We used to take them from Enzo and give it back to Royce, but now I'm concerned I've confused them with who is the dominant dog. I wouldn't be so concerned if it were just stealing the toy... sometimes it turns into a big old nasty fight. I will break these up, and usually am successful preventing it from escalating that far, but is that then preventing them from figuring out who really is dominant? So much info on the internet about letting the dogs hash it out on their own, but honestly, I'm not OK with it... particularly when we've had to pay $$$ and heartache for staples in one of their legs from one of the fights. I can tell it is coming from the posturing and lip curling, and Enzo will even do it if he has the toy and Royce is being mouthy about not having it (rolling around on the ground near him, laying next to him making "i want the toy" sounds, etc). It really seems that scolding doesn't stop the escalation, so usually I just take away the object and then its over. Lately I've been trying to use soothing tones and say calming things to Enzo to show him that there's no reason to be upset, but I really have no idea if that's the right thing to do. Is the best advice going to be to find a veterinary behaviorist or is toy aggression something that an owner can/should be able to handle on their own. I'm really working on getting them to see me as the "boss lady" in hopes that they will tone down this behavior if they don't need to fight for top dog. Neither of them has ever been aggressive with people but I want to be able to trust my dogs together!! Note: they are also pretty jumpy with loud noises and if the neighbor pulls into or hangs out in the driveway, and really are NOT good when trying to brush them. One dog thinks the brush is attacking the other, then the dog that is being brushed thinks the first dog is attacking him, and chaos ensues. I don't know if all these things are related, but thought I'd mention it. Second Note: My boyfriend doesn't think these are issues, but I do... I come to you, the experts, to help me resolve this !! These are our first dogs together, and I spend a lot more time with them than he does, so I really want to worry about these types of things, but do. Also, I grew up with a bearded collie and LOVE brushing pups and would like to be able to do this with my own. During our training class, they were absolute angels when we brought the brushes out so the trainer thought I was nuts for thinking there would be a problem. Any help you can give me is appreciated! Thanks!
  6. From the sounds of it I'm very lucky they don't lift their legs!! I'll stop showing them how to do it - the neighbors probably think I'm ridiculous when I stand out there on one leg showing them how to lift it haha
  7. Both my boys are neutered and at 2 years old, neither of them lift their leg. Is it something to be worried about or is it normal?
  8. Thank you for all of your suggestions! I'm still looking in other locations for agility/flyball but if I can't find anything, I think our trainer has a more advanced obedience session coming up. Definitely going to try and find some of these books, videos, etc and check out the website links so I'm at least prepared for what I am trying to get myself into
  9. We've missed both the beginner agility and flyball classes at my trainer (whom I love!). I'm in a fairly rural area and the only other places that do training in my area are the local SPCA's that do not offer those types of classes. I'm still hoping to do some work with my two 2-year old boys this summer and was thinking I could at least start learning some techniques from a book (maybe?!?! ). Between that and perhaps a more advanced obedience and working on their recall, I'm hoping to keep them busy this summer. I'm currently doing a "bootcamp" of Nothing In Life is Free because they were getting bored with our routine and I wasn't really reinforcing a lot of their basic training skills. Then I'll make sure to be signed up EARLY for training classes next year. Sooooo, I saw in another post that the book "Agility Right from the Start" is good for agility. Any other suggestions on ways to get started or other training books on flyball, general obedience, or multi-dog households would be appreciated. I'm looking at books online and my amazon shopping cart is full!! I'd really like to get books that BC people think are useful. Actually, any good books on border collie mannerisms would be welcome too - we've had our boys for over 1.5 years but I'm really just trying to understand more about why they do what they do if that's even possible!!! Actually, my favorite thing lately has been watching my Royce figure out that in order for me to throw the ball for him, he has to be sitting in front of me. Enzo figured it out like a year ago because he LOVES his ball and will waste no time between bringing it to me and my throwing it haha. Thanks for all your replies!
  10. I guess I'm no good with this whole attachment thing... I'm only able to upload one at a time, but I'm not sure if that's normal or my computer.
  11. Hello Everyone! I wanted to take a second to introduce myself and my pups (pics to come once I read the pinned post above). I have 2-year old male border collies Royce and Enzo (named after fast cars with big engines, or something like that). They're both 65 pounds and I absolutely love them to pieces. They came from a Mennonite farm and both parents are working dogs herding sheep. When we went to look at them, the farmer had already chosen his next working dogs and they were the last two available. I should have known when they ran around and around the outside of the house that we were in for trouble, but I was already in love. Not to mention that the farmer wasn't interested in teaching either pup any herding skills (didn't need additional dogs) and they were very nonchalant about not keeping the dogs around for more than a couple weeks, even if they couldn't find homes - eek!!! We took both boys home that night, stopping at PetSmart on the way home to get a crate, bowls, leashes, collars, puppy pads, toys, food, etc etc etc. We were so unprepared its embarrassing to look back on, but its almost 2 years later and I wouldn't change anything for the world. On the up-side, they destroyed the horrible reclining chair that my boyfriend refused to get rid of, so we recently got new furniture. They only chew on things that already have imperfections - a string on a seam, a tear in a cusion, etc - so the new stuff is safe for the moment. We've done basic obedience classes with Royce and Enzo and are looking into agility and/or flyball at our trainer's. Sometimes I feel like a "bad mommy" since we both work full time and the boys are in a crate during the day. I just don't think they are ready to have free-reign of the house until they are a little bit calmer, mainly for their safety. They are together though, and hang out in their crate even when it is open, so I don't think they are upset being in it during the day. Its the XXL one for St Bernards or Great Danes so they both have room to streeeeeeeetch out. Once home, we play lots of ball with the Chuck-It (so I don't throw my shoulder out AGAIN), go for walks, are working on frisbee, and love cuddling on the couch. Last summer we installed an invisible fence on our 1.5 acre yard and it was the most beautiful sight in the world to watch them "run free". I wish we had been able to install it sooner but the ground froze in upstate NY shortly after we adopted our boys. I could see they were getting frustrated, even going for walks and being on long leashes... now they zoom around the yard and tire themselves out (for about 5 minutes then its time to go again)! Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I love Border Collies and am looking to do more with the breed. I'm hoping that I can gain some real insight into Border Collies on these boards and learn from all the people who are on here. I've stalked many a thread in the past but would like to get more involved on here In the meantime, I've started volunteering at our local SPCA to help other pups and cats in need. Now its time to go home from work to play some ball with my boys!
  12. Oh I intend to neuter them. They actually don't have papers, which is OK with me since I never intended to use them for breeding. We want to wait until they're a little older just because it seems the verdict is still out on whether it can affect their growth, etc if you do it too early. Thanks!! And I do need to upload some new pics soon!
  13. I guess I should also add - if anyone has any suggestions for raising a SINGLE puppy, that would be appreciated as well Thanks! Brenna
  14. Hey everyone, I wanted to say HI. I recently found these boards and have been reading through the threads and thought I'd introduce myself. I recently brought two male BC puppies into my family and am absolutely smitten. I was always raised with herding dogs (my parents bred Bearded Collies) but have never raised a puppy 100% on my own. My boyfriend and I own a 3000sq ft house (they only have access to our family room on a regular basis though) on 1.5 acres and we crate them while we are at work and to sleep at night. We are gone most of the day for work, but my boyfriend's mother comes over to take them out for exercise and food/water mid-day. We had been looking for border collies for a while, then had a difficult experience with a rescue shelter (they wouldn't even call us back or be polite at ALL when we did get in touch with them ) with some aussie mix pups, then found our two little loves on a Mennonite farm in Northern PA. Both parents are working dogs herding sheep and were very friendly and gorgeous. Royce (B&W) and Enzo (tri-colored) were a day shy of 10 weeks when we took them home and they are a little over 12 weeks now. They are coming along nicely with housebreaking, although Enzo doesn't always hold it all night (we suspect him because Royce will pee forever when we first take them out in the morning, and Enzo just wants to eat grass and go inside for breakfast). They both understand "sit" and "crate" and I'm reading as much as I can and looking into puppy obedience training in our area. I guess I was hoping to hear about some positive experiences people have had raising two puppies at once (I'm really hoping some people have them!! ). Before deciding to get two, we had done research on raising puppies, but only AFTER we took both babies home, did I research raising TWO puppies (duh) and found only horror stories galore (and yes we had planned on getting two - I'm not sure how I had such a major oversight as I'm normally very detailed). Now, I'm not planning on giving up or giving one away like many of the testimonials say I should, so any positive experiences, or things that may not have/have not worked for you please. I'm so concerned I'm going to permanently damage the pups by not being a good enough "pack leader" or at training or keeping them occupied and busy enough. I'm also really concerned that since there's two of them, they won't bond as well to us humans, so I'm trying to make sure we play with them separately each night and take them out to go to the bathroom separately on a regular basis as well. Lots of trainers online say to just give up because they will have aggression problems, separation issues, and will never truly be trustworthy, but I guess I'm going to take a chance that I can make it work with a lot of hard work. We also plan to both go to obedience training with the puppies and probably take turns with them in the classes so they learn to work with both of us (and maybe have his mother come too so she can see the types of things the trainers are teaching US). It's possible we would even have them in separate classes so they don't get distracted by each other if that's an issue. I've also been looking into flyball and agility work to keep them busy so they have a "job" to do. Thanks - I hope to hear some great suggestions from people on these boards. Everyone seems to have such insight and knowledge about dogs that I only hope to have someday! I realize I'm up for a big challenge but I'm ready to do anything to make sure we have well-adjusted, happy dogs. Thanks everyone! Brenna
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