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  1. Hi all! I'm hoping for some general advice from BC experts on helping us do right by our puppy Bailey (currently 5.5 months) and raise him to be a very good boy! I'm a first-time dog owner, whereas my partner grew up with BCs - but Bailey is our first puppy. I'll admit it was a shock to the system and a steep learning curve, but we're getting the hang of it now! Unfortunately with the pandemic we've only managed to go to a couple of puppy classes so we've been watching youtube videos/following advice online, but we don't know if we're doing it right or if there are things we're missing or doing to cause bad habits! I thought it might be helpful to post our daily routine below in case there are any glaring mistakes we're making - any advice really would be greatly appreciated! I'll apologise in advance for the long post...! We've definitely had our ups and downs but feel like we're through the worst of it now! It's still a work in progress, and reading the forums on this group has been amazing, but there are some specific essential things we're having real difficulties with and would love some help: Recall - I know he's only 5.5 months old, but he is terrible! We think this is largely our fault for giving him too much freedom too young - we let him go off lead at the park from ~12 weeks old until these last couple of weeks where he's back on his training lead. Our reasoning was that with the pandemic we had no opportunities for him to meet other dogs (we've been in lockdown for most of our time with him, so no-one can come round etc) so for the sake of socialisation we let him run around and play with some dogs we see at the park daily. It's great because now they are like his pack and he loves it and is super friendly and sociable with people and dogs, but perhaps too friendly as he is very easily excited and distracted and now won't (can't?) listen to us. His recall at home is great but with other people/dogs it's impossible - he has absolutely no interest in treats no matter how high value, nothing is better than charging about with another dog. We've been practising on an extendable/training lead while on walks and he's pretty good, but we feel like we should be doing more as other puppies around his age that we've met are miles better. Will he get better with age or what else can we do? Cars - He's ok around our cul de sac, but on any busier road he pulls and lunges at cars. We think it's a fear response trying to chase them away, or maybe herding? Either way, it's dangerous for both him and us and has to stop, but we're unsure how. We're working on exposure, making him sit, wait and watch with lots of praise/reward, but it doesn't seem to be improving, and might even be getting worse What can we do? Exercise - are we doing too much? We've heard the whole 5 minutes per month of life but that seemed ridiculous to us with such a high energy puppy - we would have lost our minds with him! We try and stick to only 30 mins of high intensity/running once a day, but are more relaxed for gentler on lead walks. But I'm worried that we're damaging his growing joints - how would we know? Should we be sticking to a max of 30 mins twice a day (even on lead)? We love our little dude to pieces and he's so funny, we just want to do right by him and raise a good, happy & safe pup! When he's older we want to do some agility or flyball etc (not competitively, just for enjoyment), but for now we just want to make sure he's happy and healthy, while also maintaining a lifestyle that we can manage! Thanks so much in advance! ------------------- General routine 7-7.30am - Bailey gets (us) up, cuddle, toilet 7.30-8.10am - Playtime at the park chasing a ball/running round with his doggy pals (~30 mins running) Focus on socialisation Previously off-lead, now back on a training lead as recall is impossible and he's turned us trying to get him into a game 8.15-9am - breakfast (puzzle toy), toilet, settle 9am-1pm - settle time while we work Usually crated ~9-11am, then toilet break, then settle in the room with us Usually a 5-10 min play/training session during this stint 1-1.45pm - lunchtime walk (~45 min walk) On lead, stretch of legs/sniffing 1.45-2pm - lunch (puzzle toy), toilet, settle 2-4pm - crate settle time while we work 4-5.30pm - Bailey is a pest time Theoretically this would still be settle time, but he kicks up a fuss being crated after 4pm. He may chill a bit in the room with us, but usually wants to play Self-entertainment with toys, kongs, chew, lickimat etc 5.30-6pm - Energy release (excited play time/attention from us) 6-6.30pm - Dinner (puzzle toy) 6.30-8.30pm - Focus on Bailey time Playtime with us, training time (obedience or scent games) Evening neighbourhood walk on lead (~30 mins) Lickimat or chew to help him settle (/distract him while we cook/eat) 8.30pm-bedtime - settle time No more play with us (self play is fine), cuddles, chews or lickimat Falls asleep on the sofa with us until being crated for overnight Weekends follow a similar pattern, with a slower start from us and trips in the car for nicer/longer walks.
  2. So, I've had my puppy for a week and a half, and she is 12 weeks old today. She's very intelligent and has no trouble learning new things (she picks up most new behaviours within the space of five minutes). But when it comes to housetraining, she seems to be doing no progress at all. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon, but I've never had a puppy before so I don't really know. When I see her squatting down to pee, I say "No" and take her outside straight away. Once she does her business outside I prasie her to the skies and sometimes even give her a treat, but it doesn't seem to be working. At all. In fact, she seems to be having a lot more accidents lately. Again, maybe this is normal and I may be expecting too much too soon. But I don't know. Then there's recall training. She follows me around in the house and usually comes straight over when I call her, and I know she knows her name because she looks at me every time I say it. But in the garden, she NEVER comes when I call her. She used to look at me and just stare as I called her over, but now she doesn't even look at me. The only way to get her to look at me is to say her name in a wierd voice/accent that she has never heard before. But I'm Running out of ideas how to say her name, and she still doesn't come anyway. I always try to sound as happy and excited as possible when I call her, I run and jump and even try to bribe her with a toy; but it just doesn't work. When she does come (and she always comes in the house), I always prasie her, no matter how long she takes. But this is just getting frustrating. Tips?
  3. My 50-lb. rescue female BC Winnie has a lovely temperament and was adopted 7 months ago. She is 5-7 years old. I had one BC in the past (a once in a lifetime dog), and 2 other rescue dogs who were highly trainable and bonded early on. After 6 months of daily training (short bursts, several times a day) she is still pulling me on leash and has no reliable recall. We worked for 3 months with a positive trainer one on one, and Winnie made some progress on leash walking while she could smell that I had food on me. We progressed very slowly from home, to backyard, to driveway, to my street and a nearby park. I continue to rehearse and practice those techniques. The trainer I worked with said I likely should resign myself to the fact that she might never learn loose leash walking, as this is the case with many dogs. We also practice daily an "attention noise" to get her to focus on me while walking, as well as basic recall, and "watch me." Generally, when the food runs out, there is no attention on leash outdoors. I use kibble up to the amount of her meals per day to avoid weight gain, but there is a limit to how much I can give her on a long walk which she needs for exercise due to hip dysplasia and being a bit overweight. I have tried "fading" very gradually and intermittently with no progress. BTW, once outdoors she has no herding behaviors or instinct to round up her people or stay near them, with the exception of stalking and chasing cars. (We have moderated that with lots of counter conditioning). So after being pulled every few steps for 6 months, I developed an ongoing back problem with substantial pain and medical costs. My physical therapist believes the constant relentless pulling has probably caused the problem. I don't know what else to do. Already tried are the following (1) no pull harness with chest and back attachment -- she still pulls but it keeps her from lunging; (2) halti -- she scrapes it off with great dexterity; (3) using 15 ft. and 30 ft leashes -- she accelerates and still manages to pull me every 5 or 6 steps. I' hoping that someone here can recommend something to stop the pulling, either mechanically or training wise. Perhaps there is "fool proof" harness out there that I haven't heard about. Or even a trainer who specializes or has lots of experience with rescue dogs. I live in the DC metro area. Finally, is there hope for this dog improving? I don't know her prior history, except that she was fostered on a farm for several months before I adopted her. They gave her basic attention re: food and shelter but did not interact with her much as both worked away from the farm. I'm very dispirited at the moment. Thanks to all. Gwenn Hibbs Bethesda Maryland
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