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Everything posted by alligande

  1. Sorry to read this Geonni, I used to enjoy reading about your activities together.
  2. All our border collies have preferred our company to doing their own thing. I am currently in my office and have a border collie asleep under my desk and another out of sight but will move as soon as I do. At home they go off to their favorite spots but they always know what we are up to, go hang the laundry out and we have helpers although are useless using pegs. Our last foster dog (my jealous boys have stopped me fostering) had the choice of 2 homes, one living in a flat with a single women who wanted a constant companion, going for coffee, going on runs etc... or a country property where they talked about how much space he would have to explore. I chose the single lady with the flat, he is a very happy boy and they have a great life together, he needed a companion not acres.
  3. My old man is 12, in his heart he think he is 3, I retired him from agility just before he turned 11, he has mild hip dysplasia in one hip and he was showing stiffness in his hips which is why I retired him, he was no longer fully extending when jumping but starting to slightly bunny hop so thought it was time (we don't have reduced heights in Spain if we did, without Covid I would have continued) when playing ball or on walks he is still the same, we have to to end the game. His recovery is longer but after a few hours he is ready to go again. I have started to see some changes but with covid limiting our exercise last year, and this year I ruptured my achilles I suspect some of that is simply a lack of fitness, I am horribly out of shape so I reckon my dogs should be as well! Our first border collie we did not know how old he was, we got him as an adult and had him 10 years we suspected he was around 3/4 when we got him as he had none of that young immature dog thing going on. He never really changed until the last 3 months of his life when he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, he had given us no clue he was ill and then he had a seizure. I would also suggest a vet visit, at 7 a border collie is in the prime of their lives all mine at that age have had the same drive and love of life as they did 3.
  4. My friends dog as well as the rest of the litter are all agility dogs, my friend had a similar experience he thought she had just over done it, (she shares a house with 2 other border collies, and 4 other dogs so it’s busy) but when her litter mate had the same symptoms he had her checked out. They were the only 2. She had the keyhole surgery and the recovery was very quick, and she is well on her way to becoming an agility dog, the surgeon was not concerned about her future as it was caught so quickly.
  5. I would definitely contact a rehab pro, a friends young border collie had this surgery done last year (in her case it was genetic as a litter mate also had it) and she was never under full crate rest, she had restricted activity.
  6. The only thing I would disagree is this. I grew up in Yorkshire with a farming family and most sheepdogs I knew/know roamed the farm yard or today would ride the quad when not working, they are generally not put away if they are regular farm dogs. A trainer/breeder with a lot of dogs will do that, but a farmer with one or two isn’t likely. The other thing not mentioned is sheepdogs on hill farms don’t work everyday they have a lot of down time, they are bred to work hard but be able to chill as well, a hill farmer doesn’t want a dog that will be a total pain when not working.
  7. Sorry I am late to the thread, I know you have already signed up to some Denise Frenzi classes. I follow her on Facebook and she has posted about her work with Dice her young Mali, I think you could find a lot of ideas from her journey. It’s been really interesting to follow and see her techniques in action
  8. I hope you like them, we have modified how we use them which doesn’t make them as safe but we feel will still be effective in a crash, particularly with 2 larger border collies who weigh enough to make the seat belts work properly. What we have done is rather than have the seat belt feed through the back of the harness which keeps the dog secure to the seat but really restricts their wriggle room, which would be fine of shortish trips but not 14 hour ones. We use a short loop of rope that is called a soft shackle and link that through the back of the harness and seat belt, it gives them an extra 6/8 inches of movement, means they will move on impact but will be pulled up before slamming into the front seats and certainly can not become airborne. The shackle is a speciality piece of kit used on racing sailing boats and came of a 100ft boat so is certainly strong enough to restrain a border collie. They are comfortable and relaxed in the car, safe in the passenger compartment, and acting as faux body guards for me.
  9. I use sleepypod harnesses. When we came to Europe I bought an Allsafe German harness with us, it’s very German and it doesn’t use any buckles and is a real pain to put on and take off, plus it just didn’t look that comfortable, but it was made really well. When I got my second border collie, once he was an adult I went looking for a new harness and found the US based sleepypods, and promptly bought one for my older dog as well. They are well made, much more comfortable for the dog, easy to take on and off, there are no buckles that can fail where the harness attaches to the seat belt. neither harness is a walking around harness, the sleepypods are fine for travel breaks but I wouldn’t want to use one on a walk. Both my husband and I feel that we want the dogs in the passenger part of the car and not in the crumple zone of the car, especially on the busy highways.
  10. A slightly different perspective. I have crash tested harness for my dogs, prior to COVID we would drive from Mallorca, Spain to the UK once a year which is about 1400km usually I do either there or back on my own, plus I travel to the mainland to compete in agility in random towns I haven’t been to be before and I like having my dogs close, strange things can happen at highway service stops, and no one has ever come near my car with 2 sizeable dogs in the back, especially one that barks when people come near the car!
  11. It’s a very common problem, all 3 of my agility dogs have had some version of this. My first competition dog was a nightmare to start, I worked through some of the exercises in controlled unleashed and it made a huge difference. Eventually we could hang out a few feet from the ring and he could get belly rubs. I like my dogs calm and thinking going into the ring, they have enough explosive speed without reving them up, tugging comes at the end.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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