Joe Mazza Posted May 12, 2012 Report Share Posted May 12, 2012 My family and I recently (three weeks ago) rescued a 1-2 yr old Border Collie that had been abandoned and found near a train track in rural Colorado. She's already the love of our lives and (for the most part) a very good dog. Obviously nothing is known about her background but she knows her name and responds to some basic commands (come, sit, stay) with a pretty high percentage of regularity regardless of most distractions. She's definitely on the timid and submissive side. Her default posture when encountering people is to curl and flop on her side looking for some petting. She's got the typical energy of a Border Collie and as we've been socializing her, she now loves the dog park and runs with her favorite dog friends and plays with abandon with them. She's not at all aggressive to other animals (loves our cat even) but doesn't like aggression in other dogs and will snarl and hold her own. She seems to enjoy herding while in the park- she loves a good game of soccer played with one of us and plays better defense than any human I've ever seen! She does try to herd other dogs a bit when she sees them running. Things we've identified as "need to work on" items: Leash pulling, a stronger and higher degree of reliability in her recall, getting her to stay sitting after commanded to instead of flopping on the floor when one of us walks up to her, and it sure would be nice to get her to use our (very small) backyard to relieve herself for the rare times when we don't have time for a walk. She also has separation anxiety and ate her way out of her first wire crate- ripped the bars off their welds and got out but thankfully didn't destroy anything. We've since replaced her crate with a Petmate Pet Porter Giant which she cannot get out of and she seems to be much better with it now. She just loves knowing where her humans are. We've been told she has a strong aversion to loud, gunshot-like noises. The foster had her in rural CO where the sound of guns was fairly common and she bolts when she hears them. We haven't experienced any gunshot noises at our house nor thunder so we haven't seen this behavior yet. Our son plays drums and she is totally fine with that noise. She's not particularly interested in treats but getting there a little bit so, as of yet, we don't have a strong training reinforcement other than "good girl!" She does thrive on attention and wants to please. I've used clicker training with another dog we had but Dakota is, so far, afraid of the clicker. Since we've only had her for a few weeks and given her history, we're trying to simply reward her for being attentive to us and not expect the world out of her yet. I did a good amount of reading here before we got her and continue to search the boards for answers to questions. I welcome any first-time owner advice, especially advice for what kind of mental job we can give her (given that she's not particularly interested in training just yet) that can help her keep her mind occupied. We're good with the physical exercise, but don't yet know how to get her thinking and working around the house. Thanks!! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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