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About pansmom

  • Birthday 04/12/1978

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Sault Sainte Marie, MI
  • Interests
    Animal rescue, border collies, positive training methods, behavior modification, puppy training, etc.

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  1. Forgive me if this advice is too basic and you’ve already tried it, but can you carry a REALLY high value treat and offer it only when this sound comes? She may not take it at first, but over time an association between the ice cream truck and food might form which could lessen her anxiety. —Mary
  2. Thank you both! I will research Look at That. The situations that I’m talking about are usually when a stranger or another dog is near our property. I don’t mind the initial warning—that’s great actually. Even though we live in a city neighborhood, if he wants to be a guard dog, that’s cool with me. But the problem is, when I come and see what it is and tell him it’s fine, he still won’t stop. Ultimately I want him to take cues from my behavior: alert me to the potential problem, sure, but when I say it’s fine, believe me, don’t keep going on about it. I’m wondering now that I type this up if this isn’t a result of not enough socialization due to COVID. He is really confused about why we are social distancing I think. He’s pretty skittish around new people even when I throw them treats from six feet away to give to him. We got him March 1; he probably doesn’t remember much from before the pandemic.
  3. Does anyone have any advice about how to teach a BC not to bark? I’ve never had a very barky dog. Our 5 month old, Maldwyn, is getting quite vocal; he sounds like Scooby Doo. Do you just attach the word bark to the act and then add NO? Or is there some other better strategy?
  4. Vala lived about two years with congestive heart failure. At the end she was on Enalipril Enacard and Lasix fluorosomide (sp?), and she had a heart attack before we could get her on the vetmedin. Our terrier is on that now in addition to the Enalapril and Lasix and Spiradosone (sp?); he was given six months to live when we got him; he is now on month nine.
  5. Flora & Molly mentions some great basics, all of which I've taught my Maldwyn by 4 1/2 months! Other things I think are useful for teaching a pet BC puppy an off switch and to be calm in the house: - "Kennel up" (I use this term when feeding in kennel and then, when Maldwyn was misbehaving for attention or to amuse himself, ask him if he needs to "kennel up" and follow up with a few minutes of crate time with a toy to let him calm down--I've seen others use the term "time out," I'm sure that works too) - I don't remember what this is called, but basically catching the dog sleeping calmly on the floor and throwing a treat at him so he learns you get treats for calmly relaxing in the house. - Watching for behaviors you like (sit, down, relax, touch, etc), giving a name to them, and then teaching the dog to do the thing on command. It's been my experience that BCs as pups can learn vast vocabularies of words and that they enjoy learning words and figuring out what you want, keep it positive - Hide and seek game (teach the dog the names of toys, and then to stay, and then you can tell them to stay and go hide a toy in another room. Come back and ask the dog "where is _____(name of toy)?" It will take a sec to get it the first time, but if you help him look the first couple of times, they will pick up real quickly and then you can progress to harder and harder hiding spaces where the dog will literally spend 15 minutes methodically and obsessively looking for a toy you have hidden in the corner of the couch under a pillow. Just make sure you get SUPER excited when they find it. I flip out with joy and say "YOU FOUND ____________! OMG WHAT A GREAT DOG YOU'RE SO BRILLIANT [immediate hugs, pets, huge smile]" I find this game really helps to tire them out mentally, which is super useful in teaching them to be calm in the house -Stay calm and do not react if they get anxious or react to strange sounds. Eventually they will look at you and follow your lead, and you can basically teach them don't worry about that. BC pups can be very sound reactive or anxious, so it's important for their handler to be calm To give you an idea of the type of things they can do, by 4 1/2 months, Maldwyn can: - 100% recall off leash for a special whistle (taught by BIG treats and HIGH praise every time I use this whistle, and never using the whistle when I think he won't come the first 50 times because I needed him to understand that this is a special thing and a great thing whenever it happens--now when I use the whistle he stops whatever he's doing--it's a two note whistle, and on the first note he freezes and looks at me waiting for the second note and then comes running) - Hike offleash - do basic agility tasks like jump on things on command and even run an obstacle course putting his paws on various playground items at the park (a suspension bridge of little circular steps, go down the slide [????????? he taught himself that watching kids do it], etc.)
  6. Yayyyy! So relieved to hear this. Give that guy a hug from me! I want to thank you again for sharing your journey, because it inspired me to move all my meds from the counter to a really high shelf where I used to keep cookbooks. My Maldwyn is getting super tall and has stolen various items off the counter already (an apple from a bowl, a plastic straw, a napkin). It was only a matter of time before he could reach the basket of pills, and this guy likes to savage things and eat plastic, and we have psychiatric meds, antinflammatories, and god knows what else in that basket. It could've been horrible!
  7. Oh, I don't mind him being big at all, and I will love him no matter what for sure! I'm already completely smitten with him, and he with me. He's a really kind and beautiful dog--he walks like a jaguar with waggly hips--and he's whip smart and so eager to please. (During the past couple days he even seems to have finally grokked the idea of walking calmly on leash. I've been working with him on this since he was 2 months old, doing the whole stop and stand like a tree every time he pulled, but last week I taught him heel, and yesterday instead of getting overexcited and distracted when a leaf blows by and pulling, he proudly pranced at my side intermittently looking up at me as if to say, "See how good I'm being? I finally figured out what you want I'm so proud this is fun!") I love working with him, and we're very bonded. He's sleeping on my foot right now. I just wanted to know if 50 pounds is something that can happen with parents who are both about 35 pounds (I met them). It's good to hear about others' similar experiences, especially the 70 pound dog with 48 lb and 36 lb parents. He's just going to be a big guy!
  8. Thanks, everyone. Maldwyn is the best-behaved puppy I've ever met. He wants to please so bad and is sooo treat- and praise-motivated it's just so easy to train him. He doesn't chew on anything but toys and treats anymore in the house--granted, the floor is scattered with chew toys and bones at this point, because we had to buy a bunch of different textures to redirect him from eating the kitchen table, the coffee table, the throws on the couch, and our clothes--but he likes playing hide and seek with his toys, knows the names of his toys (Squeaker, Rope, Bottle, Squirrel, etc.), and his vocabulary is amazing for only 4 months (Are you hungry? Do you want to go for a ride in the car? Use the restroom outside? Upstairs, downstairs, off, out, sit, down, stay, shake, the list goes on). His recall is so solid after two months of practice at the local park that we went hiking today with him dragging a leash and he did perfectly fine, checking in visually with me every time he got about ten feet away from us and always coming to me when I whistled for him (I have a special super-serious recall whistle that always results in lots of praise and treats--it's the praise that matters to him most). He did lots of really fast running in circles at about a ten feet distance from us, like he was running an agility course over fallen trees and hills and the like, stopping and waiting for us to catch up before he ran off again. (We went to a really remote park to hike. We are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and there was no one around, so social distancing or worrying about him running into a road wasn't an issue.) He is getting HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does anyone else have any 50 lb+ male border collies? What were their weights at 18 weeks? That's what he is now and he's 27 pounds. He was 25 pounds at his 4 month vet check, and unless he's growing really early and is going to plateau, according to the growth charts, he's going to hit 50#. His birthday, according to the breeder, is supposed to be January 5. The breeder says pups from these two parents usually reach adult size by 9 months instead of one year, and she wouldn't expect him to be 50 pounds since both his parents were only 35 pounds. But here is a recent pic for size comparison. He's HUGE! The terrier I'm holding is 25 pounds. This was 2 weeks ago. My last BC, Vala, was 27 pounds full grown? Maldwyn is the same size at her and no way he's finished growing at only 4 1/2 months... And he's already taller?
  9. Thinking of Cody here this morning. Hope he is doing better! Please let us know.
  10. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry this happened! Wishing you and he the best. This is so scary. Keep us posted and sending good thoughts. I have a four-month-old BC pup (almost five!) and he is big too and already a counter surfer. I'm going to move all our pills to the top of the fridge or something so he can't get to them! We have tons!
  11. I'm not sure if anyone will remember me, as I haven't been on these boards in quite a while. My beloved border collie rescue, Vala, passed away this summer from congestive heart failure. She was somewhere between 12 and 15. It's hard to say how old she was, because when we originally got her, the vet could only estimate that she was between 3-5. We had her for ten years and she was an amazing dog and excellent big sister to my daughter who is now nine. I'm attaching the last picture I ever took of her on our very last walk together. The whole family was devastated when she passed, so my daughter and I started volunteering at the local animal shelter. We ended up fostering, then adopting a huge terrier mix named "Rizzo"--he looks like a Yorkie, but he's 25 pounds--who showed up there with congestive heart failure; since we had already dealt with it with Vala, we thought we could make sure he had a good end-of-life. He is still with us--six months in. Here's a pic of him. Rizzo is helping me raise the newest addition to our household, our 9-week-old border collie puppy, Maldwyn. I got Maldwyn from a breeder up here in Michigan, where we live now. His mom is a very calm and loving pet who comes from working lines, and his dad does agility. (I got to meet them and they were both amazing animals.) I love Rizzo to death--he's a great dog, terriers are such wonderful staunch little creatures, steady as you go--but I nearly cried tonight when Maldwyn came into the living room, bumped me with his nose, and went to lie down. This is the first time he's ever done that--and I'm thinking it's probably because we did a couple hours of training today, working on "sit" and "down" and crate training, as well as a bunch of housetraining stuff and walking on leash. But I remembered how Vala used to do that, and my first BC mix, Pan, when things were going well. I absolutely love the way this breed is so present with you. I have really missed that. I thought I would sign in and share this update, because I googled the nose bump to see if it was a breed-specific thing and the first hit that came up was a 10-year-old thread on these forums where I posted a comment talking about Vala and Pan doing the nose bump. It is so good to be working with a BC again. <3
  12. Glad to hear Bobby found a new home. I was coming here to say--and I'll post it in case anyone else needs the advice--that an easy fix for dogs that bite whenever you touch their collar or harness is that you hold a treat in your other hand and treat them immediately after they let you put the lead on. Putting on the lead immediately becomes a positive experience for all, and the pups quickly learn not to be reactive to it. Learned this trick from a veterinary behaviorist.
  13. I am having trouble with this, this year, too, and didn't last year at all. I use Advantix. During the summer, I have to reapply like every three weeks (vet said that was okay--Louisiana is TERRIBLE for fleas). I also use a bio-spot repellant spray toward the end... Pest control guy is coming Monday to Talstar the front and back yard...
  14. Man am I glad our back yard is fenced in and I have never seen a skunk in these parts! Hey, I was wondering about you, Ooky! You're back! Haven't seen you around! Congratulations on the baby!
  15. That is so great that things are going better with your dog! So glad to hear it. FWIW, I actually ended up writing my old veterinary behaviorist about Vala last week (Dr. Lore Haug out of Houston) and she advised me that once you get the dog to this calmer way of dealing with storms, Dr. Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol can help if you do it in the spot where the dog goes to ride out the storms. Also, she recommended the whole slow desensitization to storm audio with a storm CD thing too. And a thundershirt. I've started the Relaxation Protocol with Vala, haven't purchased a storm CD or thundershirt yet. I'd prefer not to give Vala xanax forever, so I'm looking to help her stay calmer eventually without meds.
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