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Yes, here is an excellent product that will toughen your dog's pads: http://www.handhills.com/pad_healer.html


As I recall you practice agility, so your dog likely gets sufficient exercise to leather them up fairly well. Tuff-N-Up will do the job if the pads need a little help. The stop and go in herding can be difficult on them.


Other than sore paws, how is herding training going?


On the subject of paws -- My border collie has a ritual almost every evening, while relaxing at bedtime, of gnawing-on and licking her paws/pads/claws. She picks one or two to work-on each night. She bites out any debris between her toes, and fusses until she is satisfied.


I don't think it is OCD, as she doesn't do paw maintenance any other time of day. It takes 4-8 mins, and then she relaxes and curls-up for the evening. She doesn't limp or show distress, and her paws look good to me. Sometimes she gnaws her claws in a manner that appears to be an attempt to trim them, but I don't believe she shortens them like scissors would. In my estimation she roughens the claw ends, removing the polished appearance, so that moving about on soil/sand more easily wears them to proper length. Infrequently I trim her nails a little in winter when she gets less exercise. Checking with those more knowledgeable than me about grooming, they say her claw length is fine.


I've never seen my other dogs make nearly a daily habit of paw maintenance. Perhaps I wasn't paying attention. Is this not unusual for BCs and other dogs? Just seems curious to me. -- TEC

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... I wished i lived closer so we could practice more them once a week.

Thanks again


Glad it's going well for you. Stockwork is great activity for dog and handler. I enjoy working in the field as well as figuring out mental puzzles involved in setting up good training exercises.


I hear what you are saying about wanting more practice. Once a week is about the minimum, IMO, that a person can see significant progress, however it was slow for us. Half the session was devoted to reviewing the previous week, and only a portion to moving ahead. Driving time, fuel costs, practice fees, and your goals all have to be factored-in to determine what is the right balance for each person. Important thing is that you are doing it. Dexter's natural outrun is good. The fetch will no doubt come quickly. You can focus on driving and close-in work, and you will have it.


Josie and I hit a little impasse recently getting her to open her flanks, particularly on the drive. We increased training sessions to two-a-week, and will continue for a while until she is about 80%. She's coming along nicely. I am seeing her break hard left or right prior to bending around in our training set-ups, with myself some distance behind giving whistle commands.


Best wishes to you guys. Tuff-N-Up toughens the pads along with helping small cuts and abrasions to heal. -- TEC

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