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Everything posted by MaggieDog

  1. I think if we all lived on huge pieces of land like I believe Turid does then we could all have less emphasis on control and similar ideas, but we don't so it's a necessary evil. That being said, my dogs don't get that much exercise (a 1.5 mile walk once or twice a week, agility classes once/wk, an hour long hike once per week, and the rest of the time it's just whatever activity they want to do inside) and yet for all intents and purposes appear to be quite content. All three are herding mixes and yet I don't have any of the neuroses you hear about from lack of exercise and are happy to go go go when needed.
  2. For regular walks where I need my dog closeby (due to distractions, crowds, etc.) I use a different cue than my formal heel: Close. Close requires the dog to maintain a walking distance of no more than 3ft from my side, but nothing else. My formal heel has eye contact/head up and a more fine tuned position.
  3. Kes did an amazing recall last Sunday that leads me to believe he is getting really close to being as reliable as Ziva off lead. I just finished watching the Really Reliable Recall DVD so have some more stuff to work on to make it even better. Congrats!
  4. Yea vet behaviorist if they want to work on this, euthanasia if they won't - Buddy sounds like he could easily go on to bite people other than his owners since they seem to not understand how serious this is (it's been happening his whole life and has been escalating but they don't seek until now - very odd imo) and that is a HUGE liability to anyone who works with him. I'd rather have someone who can do a full health screen, assessment, and do meds if needed work with him rather than me.
  5. Yup, Flexi brand all the way. We have one that's as old as Maggie (almost 11 years) and it's still going strong. The next one will likely be an all belt flexi to minimize the risk of rope burns from the ones with the thin rope sections. We use it for hiking and rollerblading mostly.
  6. Thanks so much for all the insights! I'm glad to hear there's nothing that raises red flags in what I described or showed. Being a newbie makes gauging things rather challenging. It sounds like we should give it a go with this trainer given her special experience with the breed and see how the first few real lessons (instead of our short trial run yesterday) go. I did find someone much closer to our new place on the Little Hats but it sounds like I might be better off at least starting with an ACD person. That an accurate thought?
  7. Kestrel (17mo) got to try his paw on sheep today at an ACD event. The instructor took him into a small square paddock (maybe 50' by 50') on a long line. There were 3 very dog broke sheep in the pen. He dawdled a bit but as soon as he realized that the sheep would move if he moved he became very aroused and focused, but more frenetic than I usually see in the BC vids here. He tended to run straight into the cluster of sheep, split one off, and then run with it, not gripping, but barking and shouldering into the animal at times. He did not back off when the stock stick was waved, and got a few light smacks with it to stop a few lunges toward the stock (he's generally a very "hard" dog so I was fine with that level of correction). After that he did respond to the sit cue from the instructor, though he was certainly keeping one eye on the stock. She was able to force him around instead of through a few times, but he was raring to go with tail up and barking almost the entire time. At the end of his 5 or 10 minute session she told me that he showed some promise but that if we were to try to work with him on stock we'd need to downsize to a smaller pen to teach him to go around instead of through the stock in a more easily controlled setting. He had sent one sheep into the fence and he obviously does not need to be practicing that. To my untrained eye, it looked like Kes was totally "Wheeeeee!" the entire session and he never really settled down. I was sure the instructor was going to tell me that he was too pushy for stockwork and I was surprised she let him continue what appeared to be chasing (to me) for as long as she did. Given this, I thought I'd get some input from you guys on whether her response might've been different than I expected 1. because the instructor works primarily with ACDs and she has a different definition for what is worth working with vs. someone who works primarily with BCs, and/or 2. because this type of "sheep bowling" behavior is more normal for ACD type dogs vs. BCs. Additionally I'd be happy to hear some thoughts on how the interaction between Kes and sheep was handled (I want to make sure we find a trainer that practices good stockmanship) and if this would be a dog you'd continue working with or not and why. Links to the two short videos from the session today in case it helps: Part 1: http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a134/ean...nt=927_6056.flv Part 2: http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a134/ean...nt=927_6057.flv Thanks guys - it's so nice to have this resource so readily available. I appreciate any thoughts you have on the matter.
  8. I am glad you've made the decision to look for another trainer - I can't imagine how confused Allie was by all that and the screaming/flailing behavior is just more information that that particular method is not a good choice. If I were in your shoes, I'd be looking for someone who who works with fearful dogs - a lot of what you describe sounds a bit like it could be fear based and treating that with force is not going to get you much of any where. Greta would be a good resource it sounds like - the Bay Area has a *ton* of trainers so it would be awesome to have an experienced person to guide you to one that will be a good fit. The APDT has a nice article on choosing a trainer on their website that may be of help. Remember too that if you are uncomfortable with something a trainer is doing with your dog you have every right to step in and stop them. If you know you won't be able to do something a specific way, tell them and ask for an alternative. Even though they are the expert, you do need to listen to your gut and be an advocate for your dog. ETA: For now, you may want to consider acclimating Allie to a basket muzzle for walks so that you are able to walk without being supremely stressed about this new behavior. Given her past history with a muzzle, realize that this may take a while, but if you go slow and use basic classical conditioning (muzzle = great things like cheese and walks, etc.) you should be able to get her comfortable with it for your needs. This will also mean you have time to consider options carefully since she and others will be safe until you can meet with your chosen professional but she'll still be able to get exercise and such as needed.
  9. She certainly does age gracefully: her coloring hides greying except in the mask spots - she's got a few more white hairs there, but nothing too obvious. The vet hasn't found any arthritis yet!
  10. On April 12th, 2000, I brought home a 10 month old cattle dog/border collie cross from the local shelter. She had a crazy first 10 months - I was her 4th home and adopted her moments before a decision was to be made about euthanasia due to kennel psychosis, but I had fallen in love with her while volunteering and had managed to convince my parents that we needed a second dog. I was 15. Over the past ten years Maggie has changed the course of my life drastically. When I adopted her I wanted to be a vet, maybe in the orthopedic specialty. After our first 3 years of intense training and re-socialization and my crossover to positive reinforcement based training I decided that animal behavior was my calling instead. Maggie has been with me through some of the biggest life events one can have: leaving home for college, an internship in the DC area for 8 weeks, moving 500 miles away from home for my dream job here in SC, finding my human soulmate and marrying him, the addition of two more dogs and a cat, and soon even accompanying DH and I on another big move and the purchase of our first house. She's been my "do anything dog", trying her paw at competition obedience, agility, herding, therapy dog, and service dog skills and she has taught (and continues to teach) me soooooo much. She has been my most challenging animal and also the most intelligent and she will always be my heart dog. Thank you Maggie for a wonderful 10 years and here's to at least 10 more with my Amazing Maggie Mae! Pic from this morning while I was cleaning the yard and Maggie was "supervising" lol:
  11. What about charging a lower rate? I took Z to a studio in a pet supply store that's just starting to offer photo shoots on site and got a CD of images I can use on my new training business website and a 8x10 of one shot for $55 - totally a steal!
  12. Oh I'm so sorry. ((((hugs))))
  13. What has your vet said? In cases like these I'd go with the vet's recommendation and if not confident with them, ask another vet for a second opinion.
  14. I honestly don't know why people would breed mixes due to the AKC decision - they all have to be s/n before registration. I've never heard of the BC/Pit crosses, but BC/Staffy and JRT/BC crosses are quite popular in flyball already. BC/Husky and similar mixes are equivalent to Alaskan huskies I would think - and Alaskan Huskies have been around for years. And of course the mini phenomemnon has also been around for years. I have perfect sport mixes myself - 2 BC/ACDs (one possibly mixed with GSD or Malinois as well) and a Corgi/JRT/BC/?. One BC/ACD was $20 from a local shelter and the other two were $55 from the shelter where I work. I never really understood breeding mixes given my amazing shelter dogs.
  15. Anda, Maggie doesn't really like the memory foam bed we have - I think it's because it's too firm. Z likes it so it gets used, but Maggie only uses it if all the other spots are full.
  16. I'm always on the look out for good dog beds and have been thinking we may need a few more once we move, so I thought I'd get the board's collective input. I need BC size beds that have removable covers for washing, come in a variety of colors (they must match our decor lol), and keep their shape relatively well. I'd also like to avoid cedar inside since the odor tends to give me headaches. I'm not opposed to spending a fair amount of $$ on a bed if it's a durable, nicely designed bed, but my maximum is about $70. We currently have a basic pillow bed from Walmart, a memory foam bed from Target, a big egg crate foam one from Petsmart, a round one from Meijer in a Lands End cover, and a round bed from Drs. Fosters and Smith (I removed the cedar shavings). The most popular are the ones with enough stuffing to make a bit of a nest in the middle. I've heard great things about the Costco beds but unfortunately they are packed with cedar shavings.
  17. Poor Rikku!!!! Yea I would have forcibly removed your brother's hands the moment he attempted to roll my dog had I been in that situation. No explaining, no trying to educate, just "GET YOUR &%^%$^% HANDS OFF MY DOG!". Sounds like Rikku should stay home when you visit from now on.....
  18. Scary! At my house, the dogs are not left unsupervised with each other, nor do we have floor vents, so they all wear regular collars 24/7 unless in a crate. In a crate it's either no collar or a Premier KeepSafe. (The TazLab ones also look cool). At daycare, the dog park, or similar dog-dog play sessions that are supervised and where I need a handhold, Kes now wears a Premier DayCare collar - it's designed with two strong velcro sections for quick release by a human and yet strong enough to allow use as a handhold or leash attachment! I'm currently considering getting several Lupine cat collars and buying extensions for them to use as quick release ID collars - the house we just placed an offer on has floor vents and I find the KeepSafe collars pretty boring design-wise. I've seen way too many lost pets and heard too many stories of people keeping animals without scanning them for a chip - there's no way I'd knowingly leave my pets w/o external ID, but I also won't risk a strangulation incident and quick release collars seem as close to ideal as possible in most settings.
  19. Ah just what I was trying to get at, but so much more concise! Thanks!
  20. I've got to agree with Melanie and Lizmo - why does my decision to use "froofy" names for my own amusement somehow speak more than the almost 10 years I've participated on this board (off and on, but always on the "side" of the board)?? And why does it matter to those who, as Kim said: No one is saying the naming of working dogs should change to mirror the dreaded showlines, so why the huge objection to long names designed not for AKC registration, but just for the enjoyment of the dog(s) owner? We talk lots about how some of our viewpoints as a board are misinterpreted (often hugely!), but it's this type of thread that serves to divide rather than unite in a common goal imo. ^ hear, hear!
  21. My dogs all wear leashes and collars on a regular basis, but much of the time their training is done off lead - we use a clicker to teach a lot of skills which requires no physical manipulation or force, so leashes and such are unnecessary for anything other than safety. I love working off lead!
  22. I gave all three of my pups (herding mixes) "fancy" names because it's fun - there's no implication of lack of respect in our case. Maggie's registered name (USDAA for agility as are the other two) is goofy because I made it up when I was 15, but the other two have long names based on songs I liked and their personalities. I don't see how that can be considered offensive honestly.
  23. Join the club! I'm working on the competition skills right now with the help of some online training buddies and a few email groups. I have attended comp. classes before and train dogs professionally so feel like I have the skills, especially if I supplement the home training with private lessons periodically. I'm moving in July so perhaps I can find classes then, but I'm shooting for our first trial in May (Maggie already has a solid foundation).
  24. Maralynn, both of my insured dogs are listed as mixes. We also got discounts for signing up online, microchipping, and paying in full annually instead of monthly. A coworkers' chocolate lab was insured with a similar plan with PetPlan for $16/mo.
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