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Everything posted by alligande

  1. It’s not an exercise I have ever done in agility, but I use commands that make sense to me not ones that instructors use. I would not use “come by” as my dogs are occasional recreational sheep dogs and would not want any confusion. I do have 2 commands that sound very similar and only realized when my dog took an of course in training and that is tunnel and turn (which is a rear cross wing wrap, I don’t use left and right with jumps) luckily it’s extremely rare that the obstacles would cause confusion
  2. In general I train mistakes, in competition I carry a toy (our rules allow an unseen toy) and will train and reward then leave. A fault is the same as an elimination as far as I am concerned so choosing to be eliminated I think is good for the future. There are exceptions to this I have running contacts and generally have no idea of their success so don’t train them in competition. in training I always repeat a mistake, either his or mine
  3. I am a big believer in never slowing a dog down, you might never get the speed back. I had a similar issue with my older dog as he got more confident aka faster he was coming out between 10 and 11, watching it back on video we realized he was getting faster through the poles as he went and basically couldn’t make the last turn and popped out. What solved it with him was using V weaves which the facility I trained at happened to have, it helped him figure out his footing. The two things I would try are opening up the last 2 poles a bit, or adding guides. I use a treat and train aka manners minder extensively in my training, I train on surfaces were thrown treats are a bad idea, plus I don’t like my dogs looking at my hands. I use it when I want my dog thinking and mastering a skill, once he has the skill down we switch to a toy, and with my current competition dog this also adds the speed, when we work with food he isn’t as fast, but that’s his choice and I know he his thinking about the puzzle.
  4. I totally agree with the above advice, I currently have one overly friendly border collie, who thinks the world is his best friend, and another who really only plays with his brother, he ignores other dogs and just wants their human to throw something. I have also found border collies to be breed snobs especially with breeds that have a more physical play style like labs and bullys. I am also not a fan of dog parks, I like D’elle’s description.
  5. Just another game you can play with your dog, as others have said despite using the terms that are used in working sheep it’s just another game. I would have no problem having a go for fun but I would not use herding terms as my dogs do occasionally get to work sheep recreationally and understand come by and away.
  6. For mind games, stupid pet tricks are excellent they are inconsequential so if he doesn’t learn it doesn’t matter. Break out the clicker and start shaping silly behaviours there is an endless supply can he cuddle toy put the rings back on a kids toy ride a skateboard pick up toys and put them in a box climb in a box. One of our border collies had not been taught to think as a puppy and 10 minutes of learning a new trick would exhaust him. He was also prone to nipping and it was about mangement, keeping strangers away from him. Muzzle training is an excellent suggestion a friend with a border collie with a bite history was heart broken when she had to start using one, but it was a positive experience as she relaxed on walks as her dog could do no damage, and her dog relaxed. you have invested so much time and energy and you have clearly made progress, if you really have reached the end of the road then re-homing is the right choice but reading your comments it really doesn’t sound like you are ready to give up.
  7. When my dogs have been on sheep the shepherd has handled them, especially when they were really starting to get a feel for sheep. Both my dogs are agility dogs and are used to watching my body and arms for signals, with the shepherd they focused on the sheep and the commands. Once they had a decent understanding of what was happening I started to be able to work them, new skills he would start them always.
  8. We have always loved having 2 dogs. And for the last 17 years we have had 2 border collies, plus some fosters. Having 2 we find our dogs don’t rely on us as much more for their entertainment etc. on walks they check things out together, they run together sniff together. At home if they are bored they will interact with each other if we aren’t interested in playing. My older dog was an only dog for 2.5 years and he became very needy during that time, totaly reliant on us for his entertainment. We got the youngest as puppy, but it was 3 weeks before we all got home (long road trip and vacation to get him) initially he just ignored him but by the time we got home they were playing together and 5 years later they still are, and the older one was clearly in a better place mentally. I am slowly starting my search for border collie number 3, I compete in agility and my dogs are 5 and 12 so its time to add my next team mate… l do think 3 will be a bit made
  9. You have been given excellent advice so far. Regarding using that highly intelligent brain, get the clicker out and teach stupid pet tricks, they have no consequence if they go wrong. One of our rescue border collies had never been taught to “learn” and 10 minutes of track training on a cold New England day would exhaust him more than a 10 mile walk. My current 2 we got as puppies and both started clicker training as babies and it doesn’t have the same effect on them but it does settle them down and we all have a bit of fun doing something pointless. Another consideration is exercise without fetch, my older boy is obsessed with anything that can be thrown, so on walks we simply don’t throw things for him, we want him exploring and sniffing, being a dog, at the end of those walks he is much more relaxed than if we thrown toys for him. He is 12 now and it’s the same as when he was 2.
  10. Sorry to read this Geonni, I used to enjoy reading about your activities together.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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