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Almost 10 months...update and question

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Hi everyone, our puppy Katie is now almost 10 months. She has been doing better with the barking. She still barks, I think she is just a vocal dog. However, she will give a couple barks and look to me for guidance now (for the most part) rather than going nuts and charging up and down the fence line. 

One really positive thing is I have noticed lately (I think this happened gradually over a period of time) that she is finally starting to settle in the house more. Whether it is a bit of maturity beginning or all our relaxation protocol work starting to finally pay off (been doing it since 4-5 months old) but she is calmer in the house. She will actually sometimes go lay down somewhere and chill and has actually been laying down and taking a nap in the mornings after her morning walk all on her own. This is a BIG step for her. I think the challenges have been partly that she is quite a high intensity dog even for a border collie (from what I have read on here) and the kids are quite active themselves and very exciting for her. 

We are still working on not getting too excited when we see dogs on walks and reactivity to a couple of things (skateboards mainly right now). I liked reading that article posted that mentioned how border collies don’t like changes in environment. We got a new barbecue a couple weeks ago, put it in the yard and Katie was quite nervous about that for a number of days. Lots of treats were required. Actually many things in that article seemed to apply to her, so thanks for that. It was a good read. Also still working to get the recall to 100% off leash so we can head out on some trails in the future without the long line getting tangled everywhere. 

My question is: Katie is in heat for the first time right now. I have never had a dog in heat before. My 2 previous female dogs were spayed through their respective rescues before I adopted them, Katie is our first puppy. We are planning to spay her, but waiting for her to mature a bit more. We are doing ok with keeping her isolated from male dogs (and coyotes, my husband found one prowling around our gate at 3 am when he left for work the other morning!). What I can’t seem to find info on is how do you know when it is over? Everything I have read has such varied times, because I guess the time varies. She did swell up ALOT, when the swelling goes down is that a good indicator?

my other question is something that I think I caused myself inadvertently. My 3 year old son is not a great listener, like all 3 year olds everywhere lol. We were hiking one day, the boys and I had Katie on her long line. There is this massive steep hill on the way home, I tell the 3 year old to go slow down the hill, don’t run, etc. Of course he takes off at a sprint and was in danger of tumbling head over heels, I was behind him and reached to grab his shirt and missed. Katie actually got in front of him, put her body like a T in front of him and helped him slow down with her body so he didn’t fall down the huge hill. I was glad he didn’t fall and probably said good girl. Problem is this seems to have stuck with her, she is very smart. So now sometimes when I am telling Rory to stop doing something, often in a strong voice (I am normally a very soft spoken person, but this kid tries your patience at this age!), she will go and walk in front of him. This is harmless at this point, but I think should maybe be nipped in the bud. I don’t want it to develop into her trying to control their motion, even though I was grateful in the first situation. Thoughts?

sorry, one more thing. Does anyone know of good herding instruction in southern Ontario. I have no experience whatsoever. I think Katie might really enjoy it and she is shaping up to be a dog who really needs a job. I think it looks very interesting. I would like to maybe go check a place out, but I have no idea what to look for when scoping out a place. There is a place not far away called Mayrich kennels, if anyone has heard of them. Has been recommended for dog training classes, but no one I know does herding. Thanks.

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Sounds like you're doing a great job with Katie!  The best way (besides doing lab work which is really unnecessary if you're not breeding) to tell if a bitch is past her season is to see her refuse the advances of a male dog.  A typical bitch has about a week of pre-estrus when hormones are rising but she's not receptive, about a week of estrus when pregnancy would be possible, and about a week when she is still attractive to males but not receptive.  This is a very general rule of thumb, but at least it's a guideline you can use to observe her behavior.  Good idea to wait until her growth plates close to spay her, 18 months or so.

Check out the Ontario Border Collie Club at https://www.ontariobordercollieclub.com/

Also, the Canadian Border Collie Championships are at Grass Creek Park in Kingston September 21-26 this year.  Go if you can - you'll see the best working Border Collies in Canada and meet a ton of handlers who are typically very friendly and eager to welcome newbies.  The venue is also spectacular.  More resources are on the Canadian Border Collie Association's website at https://www.canadianbordercollies.org/cbca-championships



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Thank you for your comment. I will check out those resources. Might be a fun family road trip and would also be cool for the kids to see I think. Would be good to get a feel for it and see what is involved before diving in.

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