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Everything posted by alligande

  1. The best way to tire a border collie is with training. Learning to think is exhausting work. Both my dogs earned their meals through work when they were puppies, some of the essentials and some silly dog tricks. They were both destined to be agility dogs so we did lots of silly games that are the foundation of learning agility. The 5 minute rule doesn’t seem popular among rehab professionals, the basic rule is let the puppy move naturally, ie no running with a person but playing naturally is fine. I have never really had a strict routine, some days you get more than others, some days are exciting some not. When they were puppies I was a bit more structured but still didn’t maintain a rigid schedule. When I got my first border collie the best bit of advice I got was you get the border collie you create. Walk 10 miles a day because you think that’s what a collie needs then that is what it will need, they are remarkably adaptable. I play fetch with one of my dogs, the other isn’t fussed about the game but in a limited way, fetch is an adrenaline high as well as been hard on the body. A dog that gets a nice leisurely off leash walk with lots sniffs and exploring will go home more relaxed and rested than one that has played fetch. There has been research done into this recently with people playing fetch before work versus a walk, the walked dogs went home and relaxed when the people left, the fetch dogs were restless.
  2. I have a fetch obsessed dog. He will play till he drops, it is something we have always controlled as he loses focus on anything else. He is a dog at home that will endlessly hurl a toy at us, or drop it at our feet and stare with a laser focus at the toy, we do our best not to engage but sometimes its hard to resist. We do play with him but have always limited how many throws he gets, so we don't get the zombie look. We hardly ever play on walks or at least not until the end, without a toy he explores and sniffs, checks the world out, if there is a toy then its just about the toy. When we are in the UK people think I am mean not having a toy as he is one of those attempting to steal others toys, but he is clearly a better dog without the toy. My other border collie doesn't care about playing fetch, nor have any of my previous ones been obsessed, but they have enjoyed a game, its so much about the individual.
  3. I am thrilled you are having success. I took Slyvia Trkmans puppy class when I got my young dog and so much of it is having them experiment away from anything that looks like agility equipment, climbing in boxes, cavalettis, riding a skateboard, closing cupboard doors, all sorts of things that give them the confidence to experiment and learn, and when they are old enough to move onto real agility they have that confidence to try. What’s ironic is he is really brave on equipment, but has been known to stop dead in front of a jump if he is unsure of what I want, but he is an over thinker and wants to be sure he is right. We have three different commands for sit depending on what I want, the older dog has 1.
  4. Teaching body awareness away from anything looking like agility equipment I think is a great idea, you are not slowing them down in an agility environment and any mistakes and worries won’t transfer. On your walks I am sure you can find loads of things for them to jump on and walk across or sit on, lie down. I teach a Jack Russel who did just what you described on the Aframe he challenges my imagination trying to out think his devious terrier mind.
  5. I also don’t think you can do anything to prepare your dog. I have had 2 dogs go through a loss of a best friend badly (and one that didn’t care but they weren’t friends) Both times the companion died naturally at home and the surviving dog was with us with when we buried their friend. Our GSDx showed her loss by attempting to engage with every dog we met on walks, she was 13 and at times it was heart breaking watching her trying to engage with dogs that just didn’t care. Our plan had been to give her time to be an only dog but clearly this was not what she wanted. We brought home a 3 1/2 year old border collie, they clearly did not like each other but she immediately snapped out of her funk and we had 2 more great years with her. When we lost the border collie mentioned above far to young at 8 his younger brother was basically a wreck, he was devoted to Brody. We had already made plans to move from the US to Europe so getting another dog wasn’t a possibility, at times it was horrible, things would trigger him and he would just wail in the truck. We are back in the situation of having a younger dog who is tightly bonded to his older brother (this time it’s mutual) and our plan is add a third dog, this actually works two ways he gets a young play mate and I get a second agility partner! We would already have added him but COVID and serious loss of income has delayed those plans.
  6. I think D’elle is onto something I do the same, I don’t know if it helps but at least I am being polite all dogs have long memories, with time the trust and confidence will come back. My older dog went through a phase of being terrified of kids on wheels (scooters skateboards ride-ons etc) after being scared by a dump truck reversing, but the thing he was looking at was a couple of kids on wheels, it took time but the bad memory eventually faded and he stopped noticing them.
  7. I think in the days of slower contact behavior it wasn’t an issue, but as the speeds and skills have grown the dog is also learning when to run and when to slow, with a stopped contact you might not be specifically teaching the striding but the dog is learning it. With a mini DW the dog simply can’t get their striding right and the skill doesn’t transfer. I have a running DW and I am always fascinating when training turns of the end watching my dog calculate and adjust his striding compared to a straight exit, I didn’t teach him to adjust, he figured it out. They are still useful for the end behaviour and getting comfortable in the air and performing tricks on a narrow plank, but not for training the whole thing. I compete in a highly competitive country and speed is vital to move up and gain points, so the contacts take a huge significance when trying to improve course time.
  8. A canine conditioning Facebook group I belong to has some heavy hitting specialists in it, and their feeling is that the 5 minutes a month guide is outdated and a pup can do much more BUT it should be on their terms, running sniffing, doing what they want. When your pup is older and the growth plates closed going running with you will be a fun activity, but right now you would be controlling the pace not the pup.
  9. I am not keen on mini dog walks as the striding is so different, I think it makes a difference even with a stopped contact. As the three planks are the same length, I would continue doing what you are at home with the plank on the ground, gradually raising it inch by inch at both ends. You can use the same plank for the down ramp, raising one end little by little at home until they get comfortable. Another thought, once they comfortable walking across, you also want to make sure they are comfortable sitting, turning, doing tricks, that’s when you really know they are comfortable. I trained my running DW with Anne Lenz online and before we progressed this one of the skills we had to show.
  10. I would say it’s very normal, My youngest dog who I have had since he was 10 weeks old takes himself off to the bedroom and his private place when he thinks we are boring. My older dog curls up under the dining table and ignores us from there. Neither feel the need to hang with us all the time. Sometimes they chose to, sometimes not, it’s just what mood they are in.
  11. You want the puppy edition, simply because it is written better. The material in both books is very similar but the original is written for professional dog trainers and is very specifically geared towards agility. The puppy edition despite its title is more broadly focused, it’s not a puppy primer.
  12. Another way to reinforce a recall is to use the premack principle. Basically it means releasing the dog back to what it was doing, so it learns you are not trying to end its fun, the reward is to go back to their chosen fun. With my dogs, I would call them to me when they are not far from me, for example having a good sniff and immediately release them back to the sniff or what ever they were doing. It’s something that we practise all their lives. This is something I do when they already have decent recalls, and I want them to learn to come back no matter how much fun they are having, but I don’t want them thinking that it’s a punishment that the fun will end... so they return, in my case give me a fist bump with their noses and they can immediately to having dog fun. You can get lucky at 6 months my youngster never went far from us, my older dog was dodgy until 2. I wouldn’t say either was mature till around 2, but with my younger we still have our doubts and he is almost 5!
  13. I have 2 large border collies, one weighs in at 27-28kg when he was at his fittest and strongest and he measures about 62cm, he is a big lad. My youngest was supposed to be a normal sized border collie, his parents were, and he was only slightly the biggest pup in the litter, but he is a giraffe, almost as tall as his brother and weighs 24kg. When both were competing in agility we stood out, small English women in Spain with two giant tri-color border collies.
  14. Ruth gives good advice, you made the right call with the trainer. It’s the Wild West out there looking for a good trainer. Another option is to see if an online dog school particularly Fenzi Academy has any suitable courses at the moment.
  15. My border collies can make beef skin strips last for ages. I don’t have a source for you as I buy it locally but it’s simply dried strips of beef skin.
  16. It’s a very common young border collie issue, my 11 year old was like this as a young dog, overtime he grew out of it, but he still doesn’t like some dogs, boxers particularly and I am always aware of his body language. It sounds like you are on the right track. Another resource is controlled unleashed, you want the puppy edition simply because it’s written better. It was originally written for agility dogs but the principles apply to daily life as well. The book helped me with my first agility dog who screamed at the edge of the ring, a year later he would hang out getting belly rubs.
  17. The big issue that I see from your description is that he is self rewarding by being allowed to continue. I would not allow him to continue beyond the first jump that he takes on his own. Personally I don't want a dog that checks in between obstacles modern agility has become a fine balance between obstacle focus and independence and being focused on the handler for those complex turns, I don't want a dog that checks in I want a dog that drives ahead, but is listening and keeping an eye on me while flying. Like Gcv-border my youngster was taught turns from the very start along with verbals, but I have the opposite problem to you with my younger dog if I don't use a verbal command he stops dead, even when you think he is committed and if I am running with him he has been known to go round a jump because I didn't say jump!!! It is interesting adapting my handling to this but it does mean he doesn't go off-course.
  18. My husband used to go hunting with one of our border collies when he was shooting upland bird, he was very good at flushing for him. Unfortunately as he got a bit older he had some health issues and became more noise sensitive and couldn’t cope with the sound of a shotgun.
  19. When I got my puppy, the breeder gave me choice of the boys, but I let her pick due to the distance and her knowing them well. Two she told me I didn’t want, she described them as fire side ornaments that would make great pets but not for sports or herding as they weren’t engaged with their litter mates or toys. When I met all of them at 10 weeks, those two had transformed into the naughty boys, climbing out the x-pen and generally being exhuburent little monsters. The transformation, the two bitches in the litter left at 8 weeks and with them gone these two started showing their true colors, and ended up being the pups they kept.
  20. I feed raw, for years I fed quality dry food and a couple of years ago I decided to give raw ago because we have a local supplier who makes their own "menus" that are really good quality. I gave it a month and now I think I would have canine mutiny if I switched back. Before both my boys were picky eaters, often left food and I used to add interesting things to make their kibble more interesting. Now they gobble their food and demand dinner. My oldest has had no skin issues since we switched, before in winter he got dandruff Picking up after them is much more pleasant They always had nice coats but you could see the change. They have nice clean teeth. I have a system when we travel, I have an electric cooler in the car, and can keep up to 10 days food if we start out with the packs frozen. I had the supplier pre package the food into the correct serving sizes for longer trips. normally I split a 1kg bag between them using a scale. On the return I bought 500gr packs and so one got a little more and one a little less but a few days it was fine. For weekend competitions the cooler keeps the food cool enough to be safe.
  21. My older dog had been an only dog for 3 years when we got a puppy. Our initial introductions were not technically ideal as we drove from Mallorca, Spain to Scotland to get the pup and then visited family, spent two weeks with my mum before driving home, but at least they were on neutral territory. The older one was 7 and was definitely a spoilt child who had all my attention, there was never any animosity Fenway was to little for him to bother with! I made a point of spending time with him, agility was his quality time and so he got plenty of time with me without the pup. He basically tried to pretend there was no puppy, 4 years on they are very tight friends but still jealous of each other when it involves me, it’s never aggressive but they can be pushy!! I am actually having more issues now my older one has retired from agility and when I leave to go train he sulks, it breaks my heart but I can’t take him because he screams and yells demanding his turn!
  22. We have a toy basket full of random toys, none have the squeakers left, most are partially dissembowled. Over the years I have bought random toys and gradually discovered what they like best. My oldest one likes to pick his toys, on a visit to the vet he always gets to choose a new toy and that his his favorite for awhile, he has also got to choose a new soft toy in charity shops, it’s fun watching him decide which one is best! Pet stores are two overwhelming to many choices and he doesn’t have as much fun picking one. In the basket are also random rubber toys, tennis balls etc, and when they are in the mood they pick what they want, mostly they just work top down but some days they will keep looking and randomly pull something out we haven’t seen in ages. when my oldest was a young I used to rotate toys to keep them fresh, but my youngster is not so toy focused so I never bothered with him, he gets more joy just stealing what ever his older brother wants to play with.
  23. Total agree with Gentlelake and D'elle, its definitely not a border collie thing and your trainer is not helping by not helping you get it under control. My older dog can be squeally when he is excited to do something but I keep it under control by simply waiting for calm before continuing, I love his enthusiasm and never want to take that way, but I also don't want to work with a barking squealing beast.
  24. Our first border collie had kidney failure, unfortunately we only found out when it was very far gone, we had no clue there was any issue until he had a seizure. As kidney function was so far gone, we made the decision in conjunction with our vet to go for quality of life. So we opted not use an rx food as he hated it and I never asked what he ate when he was with my husband! He had 3 good months, we gave him fluids most nights but gave him the option to opt out, he hated needles so we were amazed how comfortable he was with the process. He never seemed to be in pain or discomfort, and for an old man remained reasonably active up to his last day. He passed peacefully in his sleep, he always slept beside me and I found him in the morning curled up like a sled dog, his normal position with his eyes closed.
  25. I met litter mates at an agility competition, at the time they were 4, one was already really grey and the other had none. My first dog I was told was about 18 months to 2 years, but she actually grew so I reckon she was 10 months max, if I had known then what I know now it was obvious she was a goofy kid.
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