Jump to content
BC Boards

Dog working with you


Recommended Posts

From Flyer's post in another thread.....Just to clarify Bea is all about doing what one wants her to do, it is just with an entirely different feel behind it. I don't think I can articulate it without sounding flakey, but it's like she joins up with me and works off my entire being, body and mind and adds her self into the mix, whereas Colt works off my body and verbal commands and gives me what he thinks I want. Both of them get it right, but Bea is bringing something else into it and seems to check in with me more than Colt ever did. Checking into see if there is more not to see if she is right.

 

And this is only with playing ball, fetching things, obedience work and daily manners and such.

 

 

I talked once with an elderly farmer whose Border Collie was very dear to him. I commented off-handedly, "I'm sure she knows what you're saying." He leaned toward me and confidentially whispered in my ear, "That dog even knows what I'm thinking."

 

I'm interested to know if what Flyer is describing with Bea is something that is "born" in a pup, nurtured by good handling, or a combination of both?

 

Liz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's both. I have different relationships with all of my dogs, some just "know" what I want them to do and when. It's with these dogs that I have a much deeper bond with for whatever reason. It's very odd when they do things that I'm thinking that no way have I moved to give a "command".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm interested to know if what Flyer is describing with Bea is something that is "born" in a pup, nurtured by good handling, or a combination of both?

 

Missy is like that and it started soon after I got her. So it was definitely a part of her make-up as she had had crummy relationship with people for 3 years before that. She is super sensitive and picks up on moods very easily so I think that adds to it. Nurturing has made it stronger, but it wasn't the start of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure people who have had more dogs than me, and have a lot more experience can answer you question better than I can. I will offer up my experience, and a very begginer opinion.

 

Poke has been my partner since the moment we first met. All he wants is to do everything with me. That doesn't mean wait in the car, or be around while I am doing things. (Although he would prefer both to me leaving him home.) Poke wants to be an active participant in all of my activities. :rolleyes: He would also like more of my activities to involve sheep, but he will take anything. When we are at our lessons for stock work he reads me before I can remember exactly how I am suppose to communicate what I want next. I don't think I could lie to him if I tried, that boy can read my body language like an open book. He checks on me if I get startled in a movie when he is in another room, he gets very concerned when I watch scary movies. I am no where near a fantastic handler, Ceana is my first dog and she is only four. I don't think I get any credit. What Poke has he was born with.

 

Ceana worships DH. There is no other word for the way she looks at him. She will just stare into his eyes like she is auditioning for a romance film. She trusts him when she is angry, or hurt. (Which is very hard for her to do) While her sun and moon revolve around DH. she doesn't have that same partner mode. She has always had "What's in it for Ceana?" as her main motivator. It doesn't mean she doesn't listen, or want to please, somethings just do not have enough incentive for her. For example, she will not jump over anything unless she REALLY wants to. I have seen her jump over something less than 10 times in her life. We actually thought there was something wrong with her, and my mother is convinced there still is. There is just nothing worth jumping over things for Ceana.

 

Sita is a funny little dog. She is a free spirit and loves everyone and everything. She is extreamly food motivated and really doesn't have a lot of drive. She feels her purpose is just to be with everyone. She really doesn't have much drive, :D she is just a little ray of sunshine. When she is intent on something it is mostly for her own benefit, so I suppose she is more like Ceana.

 

Given my limited experience I think it is a combination of both. Poke was born wanting to put his all into everything. I imagine that there are some amazing people out there who can bring out the very best in a lot of dogs. I am not that inspiring to canines however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, considering I am the one who has nurtured both pups since they were 7/8 wks. old I vote for born in. I haven't felt this from any of the other dogs I owned previously either, none pure BC's, though they were all great dogs who I loved just as much as these two.

 

I do know that I treat Bea and Colt differently in some respects because of who they are. Colt is an emotional dog and does best with a gentle touch and lots of praise. Bea can take anything you throw at her and a "good pup" is often sufficient in the reward dept. "yes, yes, I'm a good pup let's get on with it" kind of thing. But in all other regards they get the same treatment. i.e. affection, attention, exercise, manners expectations, etc.

 

Both dogs are equally sweet and affectionate with folks. ('Specially me :rolleyes: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may be a bit too metaphysical for some, but if you can stand to hear a "New Age Crackpot's" take on this phenomenon, read on.

 

Although bringing up (or joining up with) a dog with understanding and real regard can bring out this quality, I think the dog is largely born with it. I have been lucky enough to have had four dogs like this. I'm a Buddhist, and I think it has something to to with how many times the dog has been here. Part of it is luck. Some people/creatures have a karmic history with each other. They do know what you are thinking because they've known you before - and had a meaningful relationship with you.

 

I once had 2 rough Collies in an apartment in Los Angeles. My landlord decided that I had no business with 2 dogs in the apartment and told me I had to get rid of one. I was devastated. I didn't think I could afford to move and so I called the two dogs, a soulful 4-year-old male and a ditzy year-old bitch. I explained the situation to them and told them that I had decided to place Treve, the male, because he was so steady and well-behaved that I had a better chance of getting him a home that he would stick in for life. The dogs listened attentively to my whole explanation. When I finished my speech they both sat looking gravely at me, and then Treve came over and put his head in my lap and looked up at me steadily. Tears formed in both of his eyes and rolled down his face. I was devastated. Never before or since have I seen a dog weep.

 

I threw my arms around him and said, "Don't you worry Treve. I will find a way to keep you both!" And I did. We found a cheaper place in just two weeks. I would not have thought it possible - but I suppose it was meant to be. Treve was one of those dogs. He knew what I wanted before I asked him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may be a bit too metaphysical for some, but if you can stand to hear a "New Age Crackpot's" take on this phenomenon, read on.

 

Although bringing up (or joining up with) a dog with understanding and real regard can bring out this quality, I think the dog is largely born with it. I have been lucky enough to have had four dogs like this. I'm a Buddhist, and I think it has something to to with how many times the dog has been here. Part of it is luck. Some people/creatures have a karmic history with each other. They do know what you are thinking because they've known you before - and had a meaningful relationship with you.

 

I once had 2 rough Collies in an apartment in Los Angeles. My landlord decided that I had no business with 2 dogs in the apartment and told me I had to get rid of one. I was devastated. I didn't think I could afford to move and so I called the two dogs, a soulful 4-year-old male and a ditzy year-old bitch. I explained the situation to them and told them that I had decided to place Treve, the male, because he was so steady and well-behaved that I had a better chance of getting him a home that he would stick in for life. The dogs listened attentively to my whole explanation. When I finished my speech they both sat looking gravely at me, and then Treve came over and put his head in my lap and looked up at me steadily. Tears formed in both of his eyes and rolled down his face. I was devastated. Never before or since have I seen a dog weep.

 

I threw my arms around him and said, "Don't you worry Treve. I will find a way to keep you both!" And I did. We found a cheaper place in just two weeks. I would not have thought it possible - but I suppose it was meant to be. Treve was one of those dogs. He knew what I wanted before I asked him.

 

OK Geonni, fess up how much vino did you have that night?

 

No, no seriously, you had me right up until the tears. I've had this kind of relationship with another dog in my life and a horse. This thing with Bea is different.

 

I am guessing it is what good working BC's are bred for.

 

BTW how do you pronounce your name? Is it like Jennie or ge onni or? Whenever I read it I always wonder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK Geonni, fess up how much vino did you have that night?

 

No, no seriously, you had me right up until the tears. I've had this kind of relationship with another dog in my life and a horse. This thing with Bea is different.

 

I am guessing it is what good working BC's are bred for.

 

BTW how do you pronounce your name? Is it like Jennie or ge onni or? Whenever I read it I always wonder.

 

Errrrr. I don't drink. And since I had the experience I have talked to two other people who had the same experience, one when being parted from a dog by circumstances outside of his control, and the other reported at the death of an owner. I can't speak for the veracity of those two claims, but I can for my own. That dog wept. And when I promised to keep him he started pirouetting around in an excess of joy. He pulled the blanket and all the pillows off my bed and went charging around the apartment like a freight-train, barking like a maniac. My perfectly behaved boy who never put a foot wrong.

 

And it's pronounced Johnny.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Errrrr. I don't drink. And since I had the experience I have talked to two other people who had the same experience, one when being parted from a dog by circumstances outside of his control, and the other reported at the death of an owner. I can't speak for the veracity of those two claims, but I can for my own. That dog wept. And when I promised to keep him he started pirouetting around in an excess of joy. He pulled the blanket and all the pillows off my bed and went charging around the apartment like a freight-train, barking like a maniac. My perfectly behaved boy who never put a foot wrong.

 

And it's pronounced Johnny.

 

Yep, dogs just know. Mick's my boy. I was going through a breakup and only had visitation rights to him for a bit. Every single time I took him out to the dog park or whatever, he had to be carried back into the house. He just always wanted to get back in the car and leave with me.

 

Once I moved back into the house and with him, he didn't leave my side for two weeks straight. Then, he started missing the other dog eventually. But I just adopted a pit bull, and they're already best of buds. Same size and age, it works out great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Errrrr. I don't drink. And since I had the experience I have talked to two other people who had the same experience, one when being parted from a dog by circumstances outside of his control, and the other reported at the death of an owner. I can't speak for the veracity of those two claims, but I can for my own. That dog wept. And when I promised to keep him he started pirouetting around in an excess of joy. He pulled the blanket and all the pillows off my bed and went charging around the apartment like a freight-train, barking like a maniac. My perfectly behaved boy who never put a foot wrong.

 

And it's pronounced Johnny.

 

 

I hope I didn't offend you. Never my intention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, no seriously, you had me right up until the tears. I've had this kind of relationship with another dog in my life and a horse. This thing with Bea is different.

 

That caught my attention too -- but only because it validates what I saw once years ago, a dog with tears in it's eyes (different from tearing eyes) at an all too appropriate time. I've never forgotten that and have often wondered if someone else might have been witness to something similar.

 

Flick is the dog with whom I had an unspoken relationship with. She read me, she read my mind. I too can't describe it, but it's been a year and a half since she died and there is still a huge gap in my life that, although I have 13 other dogs here, is impossible to fill.

 

What Flick and I had, I didn't ask for, I didn't really look for, but it slowly became apparent and I never took it for granted. I always thought how lucky I was. With her death, this "thing" Flick and I had -- it's absence, has left a huge gap. I don't know if I'll ever be so lucky again, but I love reading about that human/dog relationship that most don't understand. It's nice to be in the company of those that do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That caught my attention too -- but only because it validates what I saw once years ago, a dog with tears in it's eyes (different from tearing eyes) at an all too appropriate time. I've never forgotten that and have often wondered if someone else might have been witness to something similar.

 

Flick what the dog with whom I had an unspoken relationship with. She read me, she read my mind. I too can't describe it, but it's been a year and a half since she died and there is still a huge gap in my life that, although I have 13 other dogs here, is impossible to fill.

 

What Flick and I had, I didn't ask for, I didn't really look for, but it slowly became apparent and I never took it for granted. I always thought how lucky I was. With her death, this "thing" Flick and I had -- it's absence, has left a huge gap. I don't know if I'll ever be so lucky again, but I love reading about that human/dog relationship that most don't understand. It's nice to be in the company of those that do.

 

That is the way I felt about Scotty -- he was a very empathic dog. The rescue person who sent him to us noted that as well when we were talking recently about the difficulty of moving past his loss. We didn't do much in the way of actual work, just some obedience and a lot of fun things, but he was so tuned to me and my emotions. Losing him at the time I did was losing a desperately needed anchor. He just knew when I was getting frustrated or upset even before I showed it. DH was marching about the house one morning, just generally yelling about some subcontractors, the rain, etc. and just generally letting off steam. He paused at the study door and Scotty came up and sat in front of me and looked right at him, "You're yelling" was written all over his face. My sister and I have a somewhat challenging relationship which has me walking on eggshells at times and he once did the same thing, even though we were talking in a very friendly and open manner, sitting on a stone wall watching the dogs run in the field. He came back and sat down right in front of me and just looked at her. Rather unnerving for her. :rolleyes:.

 

I had sometimes wondered if I am short changing Robin in some way because I closed down after losing Scotty, but I'm making a real effort now that my health is coming back in order to not to just enjoy him but to really connect with him in some "metaphysical" way. He has that ability to please and desire to be a part of whatever I'm doing and has showed more than once that he could be a very good friend.. He's also a dab hand at reading body language. I have to be very careful of every twitch when we're working in obedience because he puts body signals ahead of voice commands and hasn't learned to check himself and listen to the voice if there's a contradiction. It's good training for me in consistency. I also realized when he was sick last week that I love him so much more than I would ever have been willing to admit to myself -- even when he's pestering the cat, as he is at the moment. :D. He really made me laugh when I came home tired and out of sorts and just laid down, worn out. We'd been playing "find it" over the past week or so and he gave every invitation that he could think of that he wanted to play. When I didn't respond, he picked up the dumbell and "buried" it in the towel that we used for "find it" and then sat up and looked at me with this, "Don't ya get it NOW???" look on his face....and we should all be as happy as he is to to get up and look in the mirror every morning.

 

Liz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am guessing it is what good working BC's are bred for.

 

Precisely. This is just one of the reasons why you guys love these dogs this much - they're bred this way - it's all a big part of the working package. :rolleyes: Pretty darned cool, right? A lot of people say, "Oh, but I don't plan to work my dog" or "Oh, but what does it matter?" and this is the answer. They are the dogs that we love *because* they've been bred to be this way.

 

I can tell you that I have this type of relationship to a degree with each of the border collies. The Papillon and Mutt? Not so much. Granted the depth in the border collies varies, but it's a totally different animal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*nods*

 

Alex is FAR from being a well bred or working bred border collie, but we do have a special relationship as you guys have all described. And I love all my dogs, but there is just something about Alex and the way we get each other, and it's different from my lab and bc mix. Will is also very in tune with us, and I think he and my husband are well on their way to developing a relationship like Alex and I have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...