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I have a little border collie named Grace:

 

GraceSept06.jpg

 

She is chronologically 10, but more like a 6-year-old in terms of health and fitness. She has two faults: (1) she is very afraid of thunderstorms (for which I give her alprazolam, which helps a little), and (2) she has developed a (mutual) fear and loathing of my other female dog so great that they cannot live in the same house. For this reason she has been living in the small and humble living quarters of my upper barn. I have been looking for a good placement for her, but because I'm very attached to her I've been dragging my feet a little.

 

Between the barn living quarters (painted concrete floor, built-in bunk for when I have to sleep there during lambing, bathroom, "kitchen" area with little fridge and microwave, baseboard heat in winter, fan in summer) and the barn area itself is an ordinary bottom-of-the-line house door with a round knob. The door opens inward to the living area, and swings shut briskly as soon as you let go of it.

 

One night about a month ago I went up to Grace at bedtime. There had been a thunderstorm several hours earlier. When I opened the outside door into the living quarters, she was not there. When she heard me, she pushed open the door from the barn to the living quarters, and came through it. How had she gotten into the barn part? I knew I hadn't left her in there.

 

The next morning, in daylight, I found out. The door knob, which the previous morning had looked like this:

 

sdoorknob_original.jpg

 

now looked like this:

 

sdoorknob_deformed1.jpg

 

sdoorknob_deformed2.jpg

 

It became clear that she had chewed the doorknob until it was misshapen enough for her to get a grip on it so she could turn it, then turned it, then backed up pulling the door toward her while the knob was turned until it opened enough for her to get through it, and then scrambled around and through it before it could close again. Here's a picture of her at the scene, which makes it obvious that she had to stand on her hind legs while doing all this:

 

sGrace_at_barn_door.jpg

 

Since that first time, which I feel sure was motivated by the thunderstorm, she has gone into the barn area daily, thunderstorm or no thunderstorm, using the door. She seems to like it better in there. To return to the living area, she only needs to jump up and swat the door open and then run through before it can close on her (since going in that direction it opens away from her), because usually the door has not closed so hard that the latch engaged when she went through it the last time. We have always left the door fully closed with the latch engaged, but are thinking now of putting duct tape over the latch to make it easier for her to go back and forth. There are no sheep in the barn at present and nothing else that would be a problem. BTW, my husband actually saw her open the door and go through it earlier this week, looking in at her through a window too high for me to see through.

 

So . . .

 

Did she deliberately try to use the doorknob to open the door? I think the answer has to be yes. The only alternative possibility is that in her panic over the storm she chose to chew on the doorknob at random, as opposed to the following items which are much more accessible and much pleasanter to chew on: the wooden legs of the bunk; the wooden legs of a storage dresser; the mattress, pillow and other bedding on the bunk; a plastic tote full of milk replacer; a cardboard box full of ribbons; a rubbermaid waste basket and a smaller plastic bucket; a plastic outdoor chair; a cloth throw rug on the floor for when she doesn't want to lie on the bunk; and perhaps other things I'm not thinking of. But she didn't chew on those. So I think she had to be trying to turn the knob, which can only mean (I think) that she has observed and understood that people turn the doorknob to open the door, and that she could do it too.

 

Did she chew on the knob deliberately to deform it so it would be easier to turn? That would require a more sophisticated thought process, and therefore seems less likely. Maybe she just kept trying hard to turn it, and the effort she was making happened to change its shape to make it possible for her to open it. (I noticed a few scratches on the knob of the door to the outside, but no systematic attack -- maybe because that door is always locked, so the knob won't turn at all.) But even the thought process she had to go through once she had succeeded in turning the knob seems pretty impressive to me.

 

Oh, BTW, her teeth are fine.

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Clever girl no matter what the process. :D

 

Did she chew on the knob deliberately to deform it so it would be easier to turn? This would require a more sophisticated thought process, and therefore seems less likely. Maybe she just kept trying hard to turn it, and the effort she was making happened to change its shape to make it possible for her to open it. (I noticed a few scratches on the knob of the door to the outside, but no systematic attack -- maybe because that door is always locked, so the knob won't turn at all.) But even the thought process she had to go through once she had succeeded in turning the knob seems pretty impressive to me.

 

Perhaps she understood the knob had something to do with the door opening since people always put their hands there? I have door handles and before one of my dogs figured out how to use them he would stand up on his back legs and hit them with his front legs. Does she use her mouth when she is frustrated? When she couldn't open the door she could have gotten frustrated with the door knob and started chewing on it. Once it became mis shapen she could have been chewing on it and inadvertendly turned the knob which then opened the door? It only takes one time to learn :rolleyes:

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My theory, Watson, would be that she understood the door knob = open, because dogs are pretty darned smart. Then she tried to turn it, was unable to because it was too slick, and then worked at it, thinking maybe she just had to grip it HARDER... which dented it, and made her successful. Good girl!.

 

Whatever happened - wicked smart, Grace! :rolleyes:

 

Mary

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So . . .

 

Did she deliberately try to use the doorknob to open the door? I think the answer has to be yes. The only alternative possibility is that in her panic over the storm she chose to chew on the doorknob at random, as opposed to the following items which are much more accessible and much pleasanter to chew on: the wooden legs of the bunk; the wooden legs of a storage dresser; the mattress, pillow and other bedding on the bunk; a plastic tote full of milk replacer; a cardboard box full of ribbons; a rubbermaid waste basket and a smaller plastic bucket; a plastic outdoor chair; a cloth throw rug on the floor for when she doesn't want to lie on the bunk; and perhaps other things I'm not thinking of. But she didn't chew on those. So I think she had to be trying to turn the knob, which can only mean (I think) that she has observed and understood that people turn the doorknob to open the door, and that she could do it too.

 

Did she chew on the knob deliberately to deform it so it would be easier to turn? That would require a more sophisticated thought process, and therefore seems less likely. Maybe she just kept trying hard to turn it, and the effort she was making happened to change its shape to make it possible for her to open it. (I noticed a few scratches on the knob of the door to the outside, but no systematic attack -- maybe because that door is always locked, so the knob won't turn at all.) But even the thought process she had to go through once she had succeeded in turning the knob seems pretty impressive to me.

 

Oh, BTW, her teeth are fine.

 

What an interesting story - thank you for sharing it! Patricia McConnell's June 24th blog contained an interesting discussion of whether dogs could imitate behavior (of humans, or of other dogs). Some of the studies she described (especially the one by Friederike Range, though it involves "dog imitating dog" behavior) were quite intriguing. Personally I'm convinced that an intelligent dog can, indeed, take it on themselves to imitate human behavior. Grace had observed cause and effect many times: human approaches door, does something to doorknob, door opens. I don't think it's a coincidence at all that she did what she could to obtain the desired effect. Smart girl, Grace!

 

I'm less convinced that she chewed it deliberately to make it easier to turn. I think dogs often use their mouths where we would use our hands. (Though I'd hate for anyone to infer that my dog is imitating me when it chews on something, in particular the underwear fetish my last Border collie had).

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Having witnessed Robin puzzle through a few complex problems - including opening doors, although his method involved body tackles, I would say that while deliberate shaping -- i.e. chiseling.. is a very complex thought process, Grace continuing to work at the door in such a methodical fashion without getting frustrated or destructive toward the surrounding parts of the door or room definitely shows intent of purpose, as does the fact that her teeth aren't damaged...if she'd been gnashing at the door in fright or in a destructive mode, she would have also harmed her teeth and mouth. So, I'd have to give Grace intent - she put some thought into what she was doing and spent some time at it.

 

I would like to pose a secondary question....has anyone seen a dog chew a bone in such a way that they have shaped it so that it becomes easier to gnaw on? ..could she have transferred this kind of behavior along with witnessing humans turning a door knob?

 

She's a pretty little girl. I hope you find her a special home.

 

Liz

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Eileen,

 

I once had a cat that could stand on his hind legs and twist doorknobs to open doors with his paws (he was very tall and big). I didn't teach him this. He figured this out on his own. (We lived in an apartment at that time with cheap doors that were easier than average to open--didn't latch well, etc.) It has been my experience that border collies are a lot more perceptive and creative problem solvers than cats. Therefore, I have no question that Grace was intentionally and methodically trying to open your door. And honestly what is most impressive to me is not that Grace learned how to open the door, but that she learned how to do so during a thunderstorm, while scared, working on the problem instead of going over threshold. But I agree with others that she probably wasn't renovating the doorknob; rather, she was just trying to grip it with her teeth and could tell she was getting a better grip as the metal changed shape.

What a smart dog. How sad that the bitches can't get along!

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Once it became mis shapen she could have been chewing on it and inadvertendly turned the knob which then opened the door? It only takes one time to learn :rolleyes:

 

 

Whatever happened I bet she is real proud every time she opens it up! I love watching them when the light goes on!

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What a great post!

 

My guess based on my observations about Daisy so far, is that Grace determined that the door knob does mean open. I think it might be a leap to say that Grace knew from the start that deforming the knob would make the door open.

 

Some examples I have seen with Daisy observing AND mimicking human behavior:

She has attempted to open doors by grabbing on to the door knob with her mouth, but has not had any luck yet with actually opening the door. Its very easy to see that she understands the connection between the knob and opening the door.

 

Daisy enjoys being out in the yard when I do yard work and will often follow me around copying my behaviors (yes seriously). When I dig holes with a shovel, she joins in by digging with her paws. When I am pruning trees and cutting branches into smaller pieces she joins in by breaking branches. She also carries them to where ever the pile is that I am putting them. Lastly, the most interesting of them all, my dad asked me to help him fix some boards on the fence by removing the existing nails to then reuse and reattach the boards. Well, guess who was watching? As I began removing nail out of the fence, Daisy appeared and began looking for stray nails. She then started pulling at them with her mouth. Although she was unsuccessful in her attempts to get the nails out, it was very obvious that she was understanding the concept. My dad and I were shocked and couldn't believe what we were seeing.

 

I think the thing that amazes me the most is when Daisy takes a trick and applies that concept to other things in her life.

 

Anyway, I believe Grace knew what she was doing with knob=open. When she began working on the knob, she probably didn't deform it on purpose in the beginning, but I wouldn't put it past her to understand that the grip did become easier the more she chewed and as a result she continued to work at it until she could turn the door.

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My dog has managed to open the door during a thunderstorm as well. And has locked me out on numerous occasions. And has ripped the doorknob completely off before. Luckily he only attacks the door to the garage so has never completely escaped the house.

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This may be the first time I cracked up at a thread before I opened it... Great lead-line.

 

Yeah of course she did all that on purpose. My cat opens doors too. (He will also occasionally lock me out - I never go out without my keys.) But he uses his paws to turn the knob.

 

Sure she's smart, but I wonder why more dogs don't learn to do this. The only thing I can come up with is that so many of them don't like the feel of metal on their teeth. Maybe she was just extra-motivated by the thunder storm, and now she just does it cuz she can.

 

Lemon-brain indeed. My Mother used to say, "If you had a brain you'd be dangerous." Border Collies got brains in spades... Better start watching where you leave the car keys. :rolleyes:

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I am not surprised by this, my late Bandit would stare, poke with his nose, and hit the backdoor knob with his paw, when a human finally opened it he would watch us the whole time.

I would say she grabbed it with her teeth and the damage was a consequence of getting a better grip, luckily Bandit was not into using his teeth as a tool.

Very clever girl

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IF she seems happy in her little apartment with the huge barn attached, why can't she stay?

 

They never cease to amaze us!

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I wonder if you could place Grace at a nursing home so that she'd have people with her all the time. She's surely smart enough to figure out what her job would be there and she'd be busy enough for a rather brilliant Border collie. If someone needed her and the door was closed, no problem!

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. . . . contained an interesting discussion of whether dogs could imitate behavior (of humans, or of other dogs). Some of the studies she described (especially the one by Friederike Range, though it involves "dog imitating dog" behavior) were quite intriguing.

 

I find it quite interesting that there are people for whom it must be proven by a study before they will even consider believing that it happens!! Nobody here - I actually got involved in quite a hot debate about it someplace else a while back. I was really really really surprised by that.

 

I see it all the time - dogs imitating other dogs, and dogs imitating people. Border Collies, in particular!

 

Grace was quite clever about that doorknob! I hope her teeth fared OK!!

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I find it quite interesting that there are people for whom it must be proven by a study before they will even consider believing that it happens!! Nobody here - I actually got involved in quite a hot debate about it someplace else a while back. I was really really really surprised by that.

 

I see it all the time - dogs imitating other dogs, and dogs imitating people. Border Collies, in particular!

 

Hey, I'm a science nerd, so for me it's interesting to see how someone would design an experiment to test - objectively - something that most of us think that of course we would know but might trouble proving (or at least, as you've found, convincing others). Besides, I live with three males who have "question EVERYTHING" tattooed on their psyches. Even living with Border collies doesn't allow them to suspend their inherent skepticism on this sort of claim. (It's a very left-brained kind of household... kids are doubly cursed by having two engineers as parents).

 

Of note: the study by Friederike Range employed - you guessed it - Border collies.

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Hey, I'm a science nerd, so for me it's interesting to see how someone would design an experiment to test - objectively - something that most of us think that of course we would know but might trouble proving (or at least, as you've found, convincing others). Besides, I live with three males who have "question EVERYTHING" tattooed on their psyches. Even living with Border collies doesn't allow them to suspend their inherent skepticism on this sort of claim. (It's a very left-brained kind of household... kids are doubly cursed by having two engineers as parents).

 

Oh, I think it's interesting, too. I'm all for studies to better understand things.

 

I've seen it happen too many times to doubt that Border Collies imitate people and other dogs (at least some of them do in certain circumstances). But studies that give more insight into the whys and wherefores are certainly very interesting.

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I've had dogs who could open doors with lever-type handles (where it seems to me success could occur as a lucky accident and then be replicated in the future), and a dog who could open a fully closed sliding glass door (which required a good bit of force to move), but never before a dog who could open this type of door in this type of situation. It seems like a lot of steps to have figured out in a relatively short period of time. I've never seen any prior indications of door-opening efforts on Gracie's part, though she does have a littermate (owned by a friend) who's always been an escape artist. It's interesting to hear that others have had doorknob-opening animals.

 

Does she use her mouth when she is frustrated?

 

Not especially. I've seen her grab at a shower curtain or a blanket in a thunderstorm, but never a sustained effort. She's never been a destructive dog. She had the run of the house when she was living at home, and only once did I come home to find something chewed -- when she was a pup, a little stuffed zebra that sat on a bookcase shelf and sometimes fell off. She does like to chew sticks, and will often bring a stick to lie next to me and chew while I'm working on some outdoor project. One of the things that surprises me most (although not as interesting as her thought processes) is that she could exert that much force on the doorknob without cracking her teeth. Those doorknobs are HARD, and she would have had to keep at it for a good while. I think ejano's point that this indicates she was purposeful rather than frantic is a good one.

 

Sure she's smart, but I wonder why more dogs don't learn to do this. The only thing I can come up with is that so many of them don't like the feel of metal on their teeth. Maybe she was just extra-motivated by the thunder storm, and now she just does it cuz she can.

 

I meant to mention that she's not one of those dogs who was given a metal spoon to play with as a little pup, or otherwise trained to grasp a metallic object. I've never seen her put her mouth around bare metal before, or pick up something metallic.

 

I think she does do it now because she can. I think she derives satisfaction from having this new ability and, as pansmom said, that she is proud of it.

 

What a smart dog. How sad that the bitches can't get along!

 

Yes, it is very sad. Especially since for so many years they were good friends, playing together, sleeping on the same bed together, coming to me for a lick and a pat with their faces right next to each other. Now there is no hope at all that they will ever be okay together again.

 

IF she seems happy in her little apartment with the huge barn attached, why can't she stay?

 

Well, she does seem pretty happy. When I open the door, she bounds out with her tail waving, ready for whatever activity will present itself. She goes around with me when I'm doing chores, and it's nice for her when I have an extended farm project and she can be out with me while I'm doing it. Sometimes in nice weather I bring a book up and sit out with her. But I can't help thinking she must be a little lonely compared to when she was in the midst of a household all the time. When I go to visit dog friends overnight I will often take her along (she gets along fine with my other dogs, and with other dogs in general), and she likes the chance to sleep with me at night on those occasions. So I don't know. Rest assured, she won't be going anywhere unless I can find her a place where I feel she'll be happier than she is now.

 

I wonder if you could place Grace at a nursing home so that she'd have people with her all the time. She's surely smart enough to figure out what her job would be there and she'd be busy enough for a rather brilliant Border collie. If someone needed her and the door was closed, no problem!

 

:rolleyes: I think that would be a good placement except for her thunderphobia. I don't think they would want to deal with that in a nursing home, and I can't really blame them. It will be a strike against her regarding any placement, when there are so many deserving dogs without thunderphobia looking for a home.

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Well, she does seem pretty happy. When I open the door, she bounds out with her tail waving, ready for whatever activity will present itself. She goes around with me when I'm doing chores, and it's nice for her when I have an extended farm project and she can be out with me while I'm doing it. Sometimes in nice weather I bring a book up and sit out with her. But I can't help thinking she must be a little lonely compared to when she was in the midst of a household all the time. When I go to visit dog friends overnight I will often take her along (she gets along fine with my other dogs, and with other dogs in general), and she likes the chance to sleep with me at night on those occasions. So I don't know. Rest assured, she won't be going anywhere unless I can find her a place where I feel she'll be happier than she is now

 

All my dogs live as a family in the house with me. But most of my stockdog friends have kennel dogs. I have had Mick and Dew sleep in a kennel when I'm somewhere they are less than welcome in the house but I feel like you, are they really happy there? Seems strange, I don't find it wrong for my friends that have outside dogs and don't think they are less happy but it just doesn't feel right for me and my dogs. When I do have them sleep outside in kennels, it's funny I put them together so they won't be lonely, when in truth they could care less or so it seems!

 

If she is happy and you can figure out a way to make yourself ok with the situation, at least till I found the perfect place for her, I would keep her in her little apartment with her huge barn and not feel bad. (I know, easier to type than to do) If she can't escape in high tension time from her big barn would she feel better hidden or more comforted there?

 

Lately I've even felt a twinge of guilt cause Lilly the LGD isn't real busy and seems to get bored during the day when she's not guarding much, I've thought about letting her come in on occasion then I look around and see that see'd be eye level to everything in the house and quickly change my mind.

 

Just curious, do you know what set the 2 girls into such a hatered? From being buds to enemies, you gotta wonder. Unless it's all hormone stuff.

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I've had dogs who could open doors with lever-type handles (where it seems to me success could occur as a lucky accident and then be replicated in the future), and a dog who could open a fully closed sliding glass door (which required a good bit of force to move), but never before a dog who could open this type of door in this type of situation.

 

Mine know how to work the lever-type patio door so I always keep it double locked.

 

And once Sinead managed to lock my stepdad and I ought of my mom's house. We had to wait around for about a half hour to be let in. Basically, she keeps the front door double-locked 24/7 and everyone goes in through the coded garage door. The door from the garage into the house is never locked. Not to mention, nobody is going to want to break in with her GSD. Anyway, we went out to dinner once and left Sinead loose in the house, and crated the GSD (they get along, but better to be safe than sorry with two unattended bitches). Came home and the door from the garage to the house was deadbolted. My stepdad doesn't carry house keys, because he doesn't normally use them, and my mom went off to do errands after dinner.

 

It was fun times hanging in the garage while they dogs went crazy inside, since they knew we were back.

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My moms dog Penny can open any type door knob. Handles, round, square. She also opens safety locked cupboards. When she first came home from Glen highlands she didnt seem to understand that food flowed freely and she would open the cupboards and try to eat pancake and the sort.

 

Dave in a panic (thunder mostly) will bash the door silly untill it pops open.

 

Kim on the other hand if she is locked in and panics has clawed a hole through the door.

 

I think all the females in my house can open my back door. they know that if they push at a certain point, It might just pop. Then they run in so proud of themselves. It's hard to be really mad.

 

 

My vote she wanted the door open and kept working at it until she achieved the result she wanted.

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I know dogs will certainly imitate other dogs! Every dog that has come into my home, regardless of their circumstance before, will spend some time watching the other dogs and learning the "ropes". But Skip is the ultimate imitater. One example: When I have to do something in the bathroom off my bedroom, Jackson will get on the bed, right in front of my pillow, and curl up, waiting for me. Skip is usually on the floor or in the bathroom with me. When I leave, I always go over to the bed and in one of those silly voices, you hope no one else hears, ask him, what are you doing on my bed? The whole time loving on him and making over him. It wasn't long before Skip was beating Jackson on the bed and waiting for me to do the same to him! He is such a nut.

 

Eileen, I think Grace is probly pretty happy where she is. There must have been an awful lot of tension associated with the rift between her and the other girls. She is probly quite happy to be out of that! I think if she were not happy, you would see it in her. In my travels through life with dogs, I have found that what we feel when away from our dogs is not what they feel when away from us. As was mentioned, lots of working/trialing dogs are kenneled unless excercising or working. And I have seen just as much devotion, loyalty, and happiness in those relationships as I have with dogs that are with people 24/7. Dogs really do approach life in a matter of fact way. She was under lots of stress in the house, now she isn't. That's all she sees. Of course it is up to you to place her or not, but I think she is having a pretty good life. And she probly has already sent a neener neener to the others that she is so special, she gets her own place!

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Eileen, I think Grace is probly pretty happy where she is. There must have been an awful lot of tension associated with the rift between her and the other girls. She is probly quite happy to be out of that! I think if she were not happy, you would see it in her. In my travels through life with dogs, I have found that what we feel when away from our dogs is not what they feel when away from us. As was mentioned, lots of working/trialing dogs are kenneled unless excercising or working. And I have seen just as much devotion, loyalty, and happiness in those relationships as I have with dogs that are with people 24/7. Dogs really do approach life in a matter of fact way. She was under lots of stress in the house, now she isn't. That's all she sees. Of course it is up to you to place her or not, but I think she is having a pretty good life. And she probly has already sent a neener neener to the others that she is so special, she gets her own place!

 

I agree. I think Grace is probably very happy where she is. It's easy to see if a dog is unhappy.

 

When I boarded Mick with his trainer a couple years ago, he handled it in stride, and he spent most of his time kenneled in the dog room when he wasn't being worked. But Mick was with a man we both trusted and with dogs that he was familiar with. Meanwhile, even day boarding at a boarding facility was horribly stressful for him.

 

He lived out in a run on a farm for a month between his being dumped at a vet office and me getting him. He seemed pretty happy there. Even now, he prefers to spend his days outside rather than in the house. I know a lot of people aren't fans of tying up dogs, but I put him out on a 20' chain and he loves it. Even if I'm home, he'd rather be out there, than inside with me. Meanwhile, Sinead acts like I'm punishing her, if she spends 5 minutes out there alone. She'd rather be inside. Granted she was dumped on the streets of the Bronx in the snowy dead of winter (and she has zero cold tolerance), so I think that has something to do with it. It all depends on the dog.

 

An unhappy dog will let you know they're unhappy. If Grace likes the barn, and it seems she does, no need to give her up. Nothing wrong with letting a dog live in a barn/outside over a house provided they get all the love and food they need.

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Just curious, do you know what set the 2 girls into such a hatered? From being buds to enemies, you gotta wonder. Unless it's all hormone stuff.

 

Well, there was an incident, a freak occurrence. I went out on the deck to call the dogs in so I could go do errands. Grace was lying on the bench (since replaced) that extended along our deck, as she often did. The bench was made of 1 x 4 strips of wood with small spaces between them. Not small enough, as it turned out, for a little dog like Grace. She jumped up to come when I called, as she had done a hundred times before, but this time one of her front feet slipped through one of the spaces, and her forward momentum took her off the bench, and the leg twisted and she was sort of hanging by it. She was screaming, I ran to help her, she was biting at me, the other bitch had come around the corner of the house in response to my original call, and either because of Grace's screams, or because she saw that Grace was snapping at me in pain, attacked Grace. I got Grace loose just as Gyp launched herself at her, and immediately there was a full-blown fight. I picked up my little pup, who had also come running when I called, to get him out of the danger zone, and by the time I'd brought him in and got him in his crate and gotten back to the door, the fight was over, and both bitches were standing together at the door waiting to be let in. Grace's leg was not badly hurt, as I had naturally feared it would be, and she hadn't actually bitten me, and so I thought all's well that ends well. But it wasn't the end. They didn't immediately hate each other; things seemed normal for a while. But thinking back on it I believe that everything had happened so fast that Grace associated Gyp with her pain and fear. I don't think she processed it as her leg having gotten caught; I think she processed it as Gyp having attacked her out of nowhere and hurt her. Over the next few weeks there were a few fights between them. I think something would probably trigger the memory for Grace, and she attacked Gyp. Sort of like PTSD. And of course Gyp processed this as Grace attacking HER out of nowhere. And it spiraled downward. I was slow to see what was happening. I was behind the curve all the way, unfortunately. I saw them as they had been, not as they were becoming. I won't go into all the things we did to try to turn it around, but it was all too little too late. The fear and hatred between them now is just epic.

 

If only Gracie's foot hadn't gotten caught. If only Gyp had already been indoors when I went out to call the dogs, as she easily could have been. If only, if only.

 

Eileen, I think Grace is probly pretty happy where she is. There must have been an awful lot of tension associated with the rift between her and the other girls. She is probly quite happy to be out of that! . . . . As was mentioned, lots of working/trialing dogs are kenneled unless excercising or working. And I have seen just as much devotion, loyalty, and happiness in those relationships as I have with dogs that are with people 24/7.

 

Well, there's no question she's happier than she would be in the same house with Gyp; that would be nothing short of torture for her at this point. It is just an impossibility. And I agree with you and Kristen that lots of stockdogs are kept in kennels and they are happy and well bonded with their people. But Grace was a house dog all her life before this, and seemed to revel in it. I wish she could have that kind of easy, steady companionship again, and I feel I need to be on the lookout for a way to make that happen for her.

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