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I have a 16 month old female that we acquired 6 months ago from a family that had her in a crate for 16+ hours a day. Needless to say, she came to us knowing nothing. Not even housebroken. She has come a LONG way from then in the little while we have had her-but I know she's still got a long way to go. I have a few questions/concerns-but will begin with just one.

I have a couple of horses in our barn, one of my goals with Cali is to have her accompany us on trail rides. She was fearful at first, now has become fairly obsessed with the horses. I have found that the obsessiveness escalates when either she or the horses are confined. (Horses in their stalls, etc.) I can get her attention now- she wouldn't even flick an ear in my direction at first. Any suggestions on how to make her more comfortable/relaxed would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Welcome, and thanks for giving Cali a great new chance at a happy life!

 

I am too tired right now to say much about the horse issue, and I am sure others that can advise you much better than I can will chime in with good advice. But I can say that I believe you need to discourage her behavior around the horses, just like a person should discourage similar, rude, obsessive behavior around cats, children, or other non-appropriate individuals.

 

I certainly hope you get good advice. Meanwhile, I would avoid any situations that allow her to react to the horses, even if you need to leave her at home when you have to go to the barn.

 

Best wishes!

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I don't know if you'll be able to get Cali over her obsession or not.

 

My first BC came to me because she was horse-obsessed. Her recall was pretty decent, but one day she ignored her former owner, got too close to a particularly opinionated paint gelding, and got her leg broken.

 

In all other ways, Violet's a great dog. But she obsesses on other animals and I've never found much way to keep her from it, other than physically isolating her from the object of her obsession. Luckily she doesn't do it with all other animals - she's fine with my other BC, my BC/LGD cross, and my cats. I never had a problem with her on sheep - she worked when I asked and stopped when I asked (after some initial training of course :) ) But she will. not. leave my little terrier alone. :( And sometimes when we're travelling she'll pick a random dog to obsess on.

 

I wouldn't dare let Violet loose with my horses. I'd be afraid of winding up with two big vet bills - one for her, and one for the horse she ran through a fence.

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Nothing to add to the topic--just wanted to say "Hi Sally." I miss your presence here.

 

J.

 

Aww. Thanks. I miss you too. :)

 

BTW, on topic, remember the BC picnic we had at Becca's that year when we had the whole gang swimming in the pond? Had to have been two dozen BC at least, all splashing around. And Vi loves to swim. But what was she doing? Staring at your poor Pip like he was a great white sheep. :(

 

But I don't mean to sound so negative. Hope someone will chime in with a story about overcoming obsessive behavior in their BC. I'm sure someone somewhere has managed this, right? :huh:

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Thanks for the responses everyone.

I'd like to pick your brains again, if you don't mind.

I've thought about leaving her in the barn during the day-when the horses are left in because of weather, etc.-in the hopes that she will relax a bit more. She has a playmate (the neighbors pup) that would be in there with her- what do you think?

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No to the idea of leaving her unattended in with your horsese. She'll get more fixated and more frustrated very quickly. Leaving another dog in with her is a really bad idea. Two dogs will cause about 10 times the damage that one dog will.

 

You need to work with her actively if you want to see if you can calm her down around the horses. As a couple other posters have said, this may not be possible, but if you want to try, you must be there, pulling her attention back to you, training her.

 

You can start by working with her at a great distance from the horses, training her to down/stay, pay attention to you, do a sit, a short recall, etc. Gradually you'll get closer to the horses, continually asking her to ignore them and remain engaged with you.

 

Others may have better ideas, but you can certainly start with the distance training. Just please don't leave her alone in the barn with the horses.

 

And thank you so much for giving her a good home! She's a lucky girl.

 

Ruth

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Good luck.

 

I already have my hand filled with my own obsessed border collies. She is noised obsessed now. :( She is constantly exposed to the noise she is obsessed with. She is pretty good when someone is with her but I am not with her 24/7 and she will still obsessed in her crate.

 

We did get her over her BIG, fast cars obsession. She use to lunge at any semi's, trucks, certain SUV's, and any fast sleak cars on walks or in the car(use to hear her teeth connect with the window). But on walks we would see the cars coming and make her down and stand between her the the obsession. In the car we would put her in a down and just have her stay down. She was allowed up when the obsession was long gone in the car. On walks we used to either distract her (treats, putting her in a down facing away from the obsession, grabbing a frisbee, etc...) The leash would be short so she would have little space to get up with. When/if she got up she would get scolded or stomped at or worst yet picked up. After obsession past we continued on walking.

 

Oh and my boy is obsessed with me. Not sure how to fixed that either... But that isn't a deadly obsession for the most part.

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Thanks for the responses everyone.

I'd like to pick your brains again, if you don't mind.

I've thought about leaving her in the barn during the day-when the horses are left in because of weather, etc.-in the hopes that she will relax a bit more. She has a playmate (the neighbors pup) that would be in there with her- what do you think?

 

 

Uh uh.*shakes head violently* That will make her much worse, as urge to herd said above. You never want to leave her alone in the presence of stock. Not those you might want her to work - sheep, goats, cattle - and especially not those you NEVER want her to work, like horses, mules, donkeys.

 

Working her in the presence of the horses might help. If I were you, though, I'd attach a 50 foot lunge line to her collar, so if she hotfooted it for the horses you could snatch her back.

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