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  2. Donald McCaig

    Catching him in the act!

    Roxanne noted: "Wiston Cap won his first international supreme championship (sheepdog trial, not conformation) at less than 2 years old. An immature dog couldn't have done that. " Cap was the exception that tests the rule. Scottish Mantra: "A dog is ready for a (an open) sheepdog trial when it has as many years under it as legs." Donald
  3. This last Saturday we rescued our new Border Collie, Kimi. Kimi's 3 and has come from a previous family home with another, older, collie and three kids. Our house on the other hand, is just me and my husband, and our cat Sam (also a rescue, also 3, but we got him 2 years ago and he was a stray before that). Kimi was good as gold the first couple of days and actually seemed to completely contradict a lot of the advice that I'd found doing research beforehand on rescue dogs - he's very friendly and has already started claiming our laps whenever we sit down on the sofa, and he seems completely chilled out on walks - he gets on well with all other dogs so far and doesn't seem bothered around crowds of people. We've separated off our kitchen and living room as 'Kimi's spot' so that the cat has the run of the rest of the house, as we didn't want him to feel too uprooted (we're working on introducing them, but at the moment they're kept completely separate). The first night, Kimi went to bed in the kitchen and slept through til about 7am no problems. The second night, he went to bed in the kitchen but must have managed to open the sliding doors and get into the living room but again, only woke us up at 7am ish. Last night, he got into the living room again and then barked through the night - from midnight onwards. I think he stopped for a couple of hours at one point, but then he was going again up until I got up at 6:30 to let him out and feed him his breakfast (I tried to time it in between barks, so that he didn't see me as coming in response to his barking). I then popped back upstairs to get dressed for the morning dog walk and he was barking again within minutes. The barks weren't non stop but they were consistent, and they ranged from a sort of normal pitch bark to more of a high pitched yip. He didn't howl at any point though. While my husband popped downstairs at midnight just to double check he didn't need to go out, we ignored him the rest of the time as I was concerned that if we responded he'd see it as encouragement/success - we didn't acknowledge the barking at all. (We are completely exhausted today though!) Some other points that may or not be relevant - we don't have curtains in our front room, but we do live in a very quiet cul de sac. He didn't destroy or chew anything other than some pawing at the door - he also didn't wee or poo inside. We haven't yet been able to find a toy that he likes to chew/cuddle, so he wouldn't really have had anything to distract himself with (we're paying a visit to Pets at home tonight to try a few more things). Exercise wise, since we got him the routine has been one 45-60 minute walk in the morning in the local park (on retractable lead) along with some en route training e.g. getting him to come and sit when he gets too far ahead/when we're coming up to a crossing. He then gets a 60-90 minute walk (around 5-6pm) including at least 20 mins off-lead running about and playing fetch/doggy ping pong. Then we do 10-20 mins of indoor training/sniffing out treats in the evening with one last 15 minute walk to let him go to the toilet before bedtime at around 10:30. Basically - I'm just looking for some advice. Does it sound like he needs more exercise/stimulation? Do we need to find him something that he likes to occupy him e.g. frozen kong/chew? Do we need to get curtains? Is it just a change in routine and we need to wait out the next few nights and not respond to the barking? I don't know if it can be SA as he doesn't seem particularly bothered to be left during the day - when my husband popped back at lunch today to double check he was snoozing on the sofa quite happily. Unfortunately, having him in the bedroom isn't an option as we don't want to take yet another space away from the cat - at least not until (if) they get used to being in the same room peacefully.
  4. Today
  5. Guest

    Is my BC healthy?

    My border Collie is 2 years now, and he is 40 pounds , but I think he still need to gain some weight because he is a little bit thinner than normal views. I need someone opinions.
  6. Yesterday
  7. D'Elle

    Catching him in the act!

    ^^^This. I also have never known a border collie who took four years to mature. Goldens, definitely. But not border collies.
  8. ^^ That's not an unreasonable guess by any means. She was probably in a fear period at the age when it started and dogs can make all sorts of strange associations that have no real connection to whatever initially triggered the fear. I had a young dog who was scared silly when she crashed into an oven rack I'd taken out of the oven because I needed the extra space while processing soap. She was running through the kitchen and ran into it. She not only became very noise sensitive because of it, but also associated the slick floor with the incident and became terrified of all smooth floors. That led to an association with agility because there was a slick floor leading into the building, then the bang of the teeter, then clickers, even other people's. She became so terrified of anything having to do with agility training that I had to stop with her. It was pretty awful for her. I don't know that this is what's happening with the OP's dog, but it seems like spending some time focusing on desensitization in the kitchen when you're not cooking is probably the way to go . . . paired with putting her in the yard while you are cooking so you can focus on that with triggering whatever's going in her head. Best wishes. Situations like this can be tough to deal with.
  9. This section of the forums is for asking training questions of an expert. You might get better response if you post this in "Under the Handlers' Tent" and/or the "General" section, where it will be noticed by more members and not flag the resident expert that she has a question to answer.
  10. One other thing you might consider is whether or not there is a noise (microwave beep, smoke alarm, etc.) that originates in the kitchen when you are working in there, that has distressed her and caused her to associate you being in the kitchen with something very anxiety-provoking to her. I have had one or more dogs that were very reactive to certain high-pitched sounds and this is one thing you might want to rule out as a source of her reactions.
  11. Welcome! A rule of thumb I see recommended on here are walks/jogs of 5 minutes per month of the dog’s age. So for 8 months, 40 minutes. More important for getting her to settle down and be relaxed and calm is mental exercise-obedience and trick training, nosework, etc. My super high drive 14 month old BC has two injuries and has been on crate rest since July, with no exercise the first 4 weeks and then walks, up to trots now. She has handled it a ton better than I ever would have imagined, and calms down a lot after good training session.
  12. Thanks all for such positive encouragement and for sharing your personal stories. Each of these animals is so unique in character and mannerism like ourselves. Combining the two and creating unique relationships is ever fascinating to me. The potential for great relationships to be formed and grow and mature provides me endless, priceless enjoyment. GentleLake: I'd like to learn more about your experience with therapy training. I know nothing, relatively speaking and feel I need to be educated. I also can empathize with your situation with your beloved Bodhi. For myself, having lost Mags (see related pining thread I started) so unexpectedly and suddenly in July turned my world upside down. After much deep mourning I came to the conclusion that if and when I did find another dog I wanted him or her to be not be so similar to Mags. I felt that I would unintentionally compare or seek similarities. Actually, I have been considering Golden Retrievers as I had such a wonderful one. However, I also decided I would keep my mind completely open and 'browse' dogs from a wide variety of resources and trust in the fact that when the timing and conditions were right I would just know it. I liken it to parachuting out of a plane the first time; I had to just jump and trust that things would work out. I think this openness to vulnerability helped bring Roan into my life. Just my two (or three) cents. Roan continues to excel not quite two weeks into his new life. As structure is so important to BC's he has grown accustomed to going to bed and waking up at consistent times, go outside potty and regular intervals, eat at regular times and anticipate that I will return from another room so as not to have to follow me around. He is engaging with his ball and bone on his own and starting to lay on his back and wriggle and twist to scratch his back, what I refer to as 'doing the jig'. This seems to me one of the best signs of a dog's comfort level as it's usually includes happy sneezing and nose and face scratching with paws. One interesting thing I've observed about Roan is that he has only barked twice: Once when he was wrestling with a Golden Retriever puppy who frustrated him and another time when we went through the car wash and the mechanism scared him. Each time was only a bark or two. He seems very well mannered otherwise. He's kind and patient and loving! Attached are a couple, admittedly self-serving and braggartly pics of Roan enjoying the beautiful first days of autumn here in Minnesota.
  13. Having spent a few months on crutches once myself, I strongly disagree with the advice to tether the pup to you, especially if you are non-weight bearing on your injured leg. Leashes can get tangled around crutches really easily and it wouldn't take much of a pull to cause a bad fall. If you are partially weight bearing and can use both legs for balance it may not be as hazardous, but still, it's hard enough to maneuver around on crutches without having a dog and leash underfoot. Other than that, I agree with the advice you have gotten from others here. Just one thought to add about your dog barking at the mail carrier. I've read that one reason dogs are so particularly avid about barking at mail carriers is because it works. The mail carrier approaches, the dog barks ferociously, and the mail carrier leaves! Ta Da - in the dog's mind he's successfully made the person retreat, and the dog gets to reliably practice that success every day. Of course we don't know what's really going on in the dog's mind, but this theory makes sense to me. Mail carriers have schedules to stick to, but if yours is patient and cooperative, maybe you can convince her to remain still and ignore your dog until you can quiet him, and then she continues on her way only when he is being quiet.
  14. Last week
  15. Thank you both for the replies. Unfortunately there really aren't many other border collies in our area. I think I've only seen two in the last two years I've lived here. There are more Australian shepherds, but she hasn't had the chance to play with any yet. I will try to evaluate the sort of play she's engaging in and try to redirect her if she's getting into rough play with larger dogs. Hopefully we'll meet some good same-weight playmates for her. It seems hit and miss with who she really likes. And I'll see if I can discourage her from running on the concrete. It does seem like she's too reckless for her own good after all. Hopefully the small amount of play she's done up there hasn't compromised anything. Thanks! Emily
  16. GentleLake

    Catching him in the act!

    Border collies are actually a pretty early maturing breed. I know the dogs I've had may only be a pretty small sample, but between them and others I've known, I've never known a border collie to take 4 years to mature. A lab or golden, yes, but not a border collie. Wiston Cap won his first international supreme championship (sheepdog trial, not conformation) at less than 2 years old. An immature dog couldn't have done that. And what Pickle is doing isn't herding. It's juvenile predatory play behavior shared by all canids, both domestic and wild. Young mammalian predators of all species hone their hunting skills through play as youngsters. Perpetuating these inaccurate and illogical myths about border collies isn't doing anyone any good, and certainly not the dogs themselves.
  17. ShellyF

    Catching him in the act!

    Thanks for the replies everyone and much appreciated. I should clarify these are not zoomies but a fly by to instigate play. I take on board everyone’s suggestions. Oddly enough he settles pretty well but this last week he’s been very unsettled by hubby and me standing at the sink doing dishes (dishwasher broke). I think he thinks we are having some kind of game that he wants to be a part of lol! Will try the leash idea
  18. Very beautiful dog you have there! If it were my puppy I would not permit larger dogs to body-slam her. It is, for me, to great a risk for injury. Hit the wrong way, or just landing on the ground wrong after being knocked off her feet, she could end up with popped ligaments or other serious injuries that would require surgery. Better safe than sorry, is my feeling. Maybe you can find (or even start) a border collie play group in your area? Border collies usually play very well together. As for the concrete, again I personally would not allow my young dog to run or play a whole lot on concrete because of the hardness of the surface and the damage it could do to the joints. Think of a young child running a lot on concrete. Probably not a great idea, as it puts too much strain on the feet and the joints in the legs. This is my take on it; others may have other points of view.
  19. D'Elle

    Catching him in the act!

    I second the suggestion of using a leash or light cord attached to the collar, making it much easier to grab the puppy on the fly. Even better, training in an "off switch" so the pup knows that there is time to be rowdy and time to settle. In my home, rowdy time doesn't happen unless I am actively playing with the dog. Any other time, the dog needs to settle down and be calm, or will be put into the crate for a time out. Making this distinction that play is only when initiated by you will give you control over this kind of thing. A few short play sessions with the puppy each day, if your schedule allows it, will reinforce this training. Now we play! Now you settle down. I would also keep the playing under some control and avoid letting the puppy get overstimulated. Just a note on the first response you got: I do not think you were being the least bit critical of your puppy, or negative, so don't worry about that. JMO. And, the behavior has nothing to do with herding. It is highly typical puppy behavior that I have seen in puppies from bulldogs to pit bulls to poodles to labradors and more. It's not herding, it's just puppy craziness and zoomies. Nothing bad, but needs to be curbed so you don't end up with an adult dog who thinks such things are OK. Let us know how it is going. :-)
  20. GentleLake

    Catching him in the act!

    Leave a leash attached to his collar and let him drag it. It will be much easier to grab the leash in that moment that it will be to catch the pup. Another thought would be to nip these in house zoomies in the bud altogether before they reach this intensity. There's nothing wrong in a pup's learning where it is and is not appropriate for that kind of nonsense. In my house, inside is indefinitely inappropriate and the puppy's caught, put in a crate and ignored for a few minutes before being released and then taken outside to play.
  21. Irish Collie

    Catching him in the act!

    I think you are quite lucky compared with some horror stories I have read and heard. I am on my third Border Collie and my latest is a 3 year old rescue that seems to treated very well. I am taking her to agility and she is very good considering she has never done it before. Every evening she gets a toy out of her toy-box and has a wiz around the living room when I am trying to watch a recorded favourite programme. I play with her and launch the toy around the room for about 10 mins then she settles. Change to fly by by blackmail to another game and reward Pickle, she/he will get the message. Some of these wonderful dogs take up to 4 four years to mature. Your dog does not sound dangerous, it is herding. Keep an open mind and be positive, not negative. Your dog is asking for guidance on how to behave not criticism. I wish you well.
  22. Our five month pickle is getting very well behaved and his manners are pretty good. But like all puppies I guess he wants to play at the most inappropriate times and often forgets his manners. His favourite - familiar with many of you I am sure - is the fly by. Approach at speed, nudge and hope you’ll chase him. This is easy to ignore but when he decides to grab a piece of clothing or his teeth touch our legs (even if very gently) then that enters our zero tolerance level. A grab on clothes is easier in some respects as it gives me time to grab him and pop him in his crate for a time out but the ‘teeth on leg’ is too fast for us to catch him. There’s no pressure in this play bite and we know it’s a game but we don’t think it should be allowed We try and avoid chasing him and normally my husband and I try to quickiy (and without anger) work in tandem to catch him on his next fly by so we can give him a time out. But the reality is that we don’t make a good job of this. We do have the alternative of completely ignoring him but our concern is that he won’t get the message that a nip as he flies by is not acceptable. He does this at most about once a day. Opinions please
  23. I think you are right to be thinking about the welfare of your pup but I also think our dogs guide us. Ours is five months and some days he seems to want to sniff one single Bush for 10 minutes and other days prance about like he has bees in his bum! My concern was always stairs as I had read that pups shouldn’t use them until 6-8 months old. I carried him as much as I could in his early weeks but as he got heavier I had to teach him. I focused on ensuring he went up and down gently but as his confidence grew he got faster and began jumping the last few steps. He zooms up and down them now like they aren’t there. Our vet says we are over worrying.
  24. CptJack

    When your dog surprises you

    This is awesome! Always fun when you get a pleasant surprise and get to be impressed with your own dog and this definitely a hard, hard course! (I've been working on 180 degree turns with an off course tunnel 'behind them' today, so this is timely as well as really great!)
  25. So this was one of the first times that my dog Oscar had run an excellent jumping course in Australia. Oscar loves jumping and has essentially no leadout in competition, although he does in training. Oscar is a tall and long dog, jumping 600mm (which is about 23.6 inches according to Google). This is our tallest jumping height in Australia. The Judge for this run (although I was not aware of it when I entered) has a reputation for complex courses. Oscar, being a long tall dogs, loves his flowing, open courses. I nearly pulled him when I walked the course because I was 100% sure that Oscar had no chance of being able to make the relatively tight constant turns. As it was, I do not think anyone got a qualifying run on the course to the best of my memory. This was absolutely NOT a perfect run. We clearly DQ'd, as after the third jump, we were supposed to turn 180 degrees and take the jump alongside, not the tunnel directly ahead. This was my fault, as I was out of position at the start, had to work to turn him after the second jump and then did not cue the turn early enough. It was a clear trap, which caught, I think, 90+% of the dogs running. Overall, I thought the course was one of the more technical courses I had run with him. There was another boggle at the back of the course which again was my fault, with being behind my dog and not signalling his course clearly enough. I clearly have a much better dog than I am a handler (witness the number of back crosses I do). Despite my bad handling and a course which I was sure was very unsuited to Oscar, he still surprised and impressed me with his run. He really has not done foundations properly, I rarely train with him due to lack of time and space, and he trials maybe five times a year. If I had been able to turn him after jump 3, we probably would have Q'd. I have been thinking about posting this for ages but seeing Kiran's posts finally gave me the courage to post this run. I love it when your dog surprises you.
  26. Hello! I posted a while back about searching for a dog, and I'm happy to report that I have found one. Fern is nearly 8 months old, and she is a wonderful lovable dog who is mostly great with only a few behavioral issues that we're working on. I got her from a previous owner that was rehoming her, and I have all her history. She's from working parents who were health and hip tested. I'll probably ask more specific questions as we go, but there's one issue that really has me stuck. I know you're supposed to be careful about too much exercise on joints of young dogs. I intend to wait to spay her until her growth plates have closed to give her the best chances of having a physically sound life. I don't want to exert her to the point that she will damage her joints, so I won't do any repetitive exercise like jogging or biking until she's ready. But she does need exercise and she clearly wants to be very active (though, thankfully, she is not at all hyper). She loves to play with other dogs, but she especially loves playing with other dogs that play very rough. And she is a very lean-bodied dog, so they often weigh more than she does. But with the chasing games they look pretty brutal, especially if they roll or body-block each other. And Fern isn't the best at limiting herself based on safety. We don't have a yard that's big enough for her to really get her zoom on, so is it safe for her to play in these ways? I know there's always a risk, and I don't want to be over protective and prevent her from being a dog. I just want to know the appropriate balance. Also, I know concrete is bad for them to run on because it's a very hard surface. The place I work has a big wide concrete balcony on the 2nd floor that encircles the building, and she loves to go zooming around on it and play with her ball. She's free to take a break whenever she wants, but I don't know if I should try to keep her from running too much up there, especially since she'll sometimes skid when she runs to grab a toy with too much enthusiasm. Is it okay to let her play up there once a week or so? Or maybe leave the toys at home? Sorry this is so long. My friends would say I'm overthinking things. I know the general rule of thumb is to let them exercise at their own pace, so they can choose when they need breaks. But I don't know if I trust her to do that. Last week she did something while playing that made her limp briefly, though there was no sign of it by the next day. I don't even know what occurred. I don't want to screw up her future abilities. We go on a longish walk if I can't take her somewhere to run, but I know she prefers getting to run, so I'm conflicted.
  27. Flora & Molly

    Trouble teaching stand

    Thank you all so much for your advice! I have tried some of your suggestions to make her stand. It proves very difficult to get her to stand up, which is what I ultimately would like her to do. She will scooch back and forth and simple won't stand up. So I am taking things slow and have decided to first teach her to stand still and not sit down as soon as I stop walking. Man she is quick. I managed to keep her standing by placing my hand under her belly while walking and then standing still. At first I tried to do is when I stopped walking, but I am way too slow, haha. I hope once she knows that I am equally pleased when she is standing, she might not scooch so much when sitting and she might stand up when I either lure her or walk into her. If that fails I think I will try teaching it through the nose-touch as Shandulah suggested. (Might teach the nose-touch regardless, just for fun ) Yes exactly! I could see that she didn't understand at all when BF lift her up. I thought exactly this: she needs to do it herself to understand what we want. BF suggested I could use a towel to stop her from sitting/lifting her up. Just. NO. I'm not comfortable with training that way. Training should be fun and rewarding.
  28. Thank you for your replies and advice. I've started putting him in his crate for time out when he is disobedient, I haven't had the chance with visitors yet because I haven't had any. The next time the post lady came I had him on a short leash on the lawn away from the gate, he still barked but not as bad and each time he stopped after me saying 'quiet' I gave him a treat. He is very clever and has worked out what 'quiet' means as sometimes he'll bark, whilst looking out of the corner of his eye at me and when I say quiet he does then runs up to me for a treat. I understand about consistency and how important it is to do the same everytime he misbehaves and I continue to stress this to the children and my husband and they try but they are not always prepared or forget and it's so frustrating and difficult. I am with him all day during the week though so it's mainly me in charge and I try to get the kids to play calmly with him, not easy with a hyperactive eleven year old boy but he's learning too.
  29. This is a really important part of the process. If they don't interact with him, he'll have less reason to react and that will free up some brain capacity to respond to the treats for desensitization. As long as he's over threshold he won't be able to respond as well, or maybe not at all, to the food rewards to begin creating a different emotional response.
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