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Everything posted by Lawgirl

  1. Thanks CaptJack I am fully expecting that he won't do the weaves at trial. My first trial with him he refused to jump a single jump in our first run although he had no problems in training. Then the next run he decided he did not feel like going through a tunnel. I will be really happy if he does a few weaves, but my motto with a dog trial (or going to the movies) is expect the worst and at least you won't be disappointed. I suspect it will be 1, 2, skip a few and out! We will give the weaves a go and then move on whatever happens. On the bright side, I have been really happy with how he is entering the weaves. We set up a practice course and he went from a touch position at the bottom of the scramble into the weaves at a run. The two items were at right angles to each other, about six big paces apart. It definitely was not a straight line entry. I have 12 weaves set up in my back yard and I will take him out once a day (most days) and practise weaves for about 5 minutes, then take a break, do some touches or tricks then do a few more runs. I doubt I would even spend 10 minutes on weaves with him, and it is not continuous. His current issue is doing all the weaves except the last pole. But it is such a huge improvement from where he was a month ago I am still impressed with him.
  2. Well, after some weeks of low pressure training, Oscar finally did a full weave of 12 poles in the backyard. It may have been slow but he got there! For the last couple of weeks he has been doing great with the poles oh so close together, or he would do six poles in a line then pop out. Then he started repeatedly skipping the third last pole. He finally put it together, and it was with my other two BCs running around the backyard to distract him. I was so excited and happy he got huge praise and pats. And then he promptly kept popping out of the weaves. Sigh. At least I know he can do it, and hey, I still have just over a week to the trial!
  3. Each of my three boys is different. George loves to snuggle and lick. The snuggling is when we are on the bed or the sofa. Most of the day he just insists on lying down in sight of you, sometimes resting his chin on your foot. He adores ear rubs and butt scratches. He will try to pin your hand, arm, leg etc under a paw and lick, and lick, and lick..... If he is lying on the rug in front of the sofa, and some bare feet come near him, he gives amazing foot rubs with his tongue! He has also earned the nickname Nurse George because he always wants to lick your boo boos. George relentlessly tried to lick my partner's blisters from new shoes, even under a band-aid and a pair of socks! Oscar is the demanding sort. He will nudge his head under your arm or hand, or rest his paw on your knee (or simply paw at you) until you commence or resume patting him, loving ear rubs and belly rubs the most. Sometimes he will stand next to you and lean against you until he gets a butt scratch. On the bed or the sofa, he will paw at you for pats, then while you are patting him, he will push you away with his paws. If you stop patting him, he will paw at you or nudge you with his muzzle until you start again, and then immediately recommence pushing you away with his paws. Bailey, the youngest of our dogs, is both the most cuddly and the least. He will spend most of the evening at a distance staring at the other dogs. We may be on the sofa with Oscar, and Bailey will be lying with his head peeping around the door frame, very focussed. You can try to pat him and he ignores you. But when he jumps on the bed in the morning (and it is pretty much always in the morning) he will lie fully on top of you, will gently paw at your phone or tablet which is interfering with his pats and will snuggle right up under your chin and give you a hug. In the quiet times, he loves ear rubs the most, and rubs around his collar. Bailey will lick you hand and then gently start mouthing it, never hard enough to even leave a dent on my skin. He always looks at your face when doing this. I am not sure why he does this, whether it is an affection thing, or something else. One thing that all three of our boys love is a gentle rub with a single finger between their eyes. They lean into your finger and the look of bliss on their face! Is this unusual?
  4. Thank you to everyone, I will keep training and have a go, emphasis on the FUN! dsmbc I have been lucky enough to be able to attend a half day seminar by a H360 instructor on basic handling, and will be attending another one a week after our Club's trial. The first I only audited, the new one I will be participating in with Oscar. I only have to travel two hours each way to attend! I am unsure but I gather Susan Garrett does online courses? You film yourself and get feedback, or something similar? I may need to look into that. Our club does have an agility judge who is a member and occasionally she puts up courses for us to run, but she is often away at trials. She will give us the occasional piece of advice, but she is not a coach or instructor.
  5. Thanks CptJack and Donald McCaig, that is what I was thinking. Better to have a go so long as I make it positive for him. And if he is not ready it is more my fault than his! I entered Oscar in his first trial (our Easter home trial) this year having only really trained for a couple of months. The day before trial, when he was measured for height, I found out I had been training him on jumps that were 10 cms or 4 inches too low. He was one millimetre over the height limit! I was also acting as steward in another ring during the trial, my boy can be a little reactive, and I had no understanding of how to get him ready for the ring. Needless to say our first run was a disaster - he went through one tunnel but refused to jump a single jump. By the end of the trial (on his fourth run) he was doing much better and was starting to string together nice sequences in the ring. For our second trial I had just one goal - not to be disqualified in every run. On the last run of the trial, he had two refusals and a bar down but did not DQ. I don't think the judge had ever seen anyone so happy not to be disqualified! I suppose what I am saying is I am not super competitive and think I will have a go. Even a complete disaster will not be a new experience for me. I know I can cope and not take it out on Oscar. And you are right CptJack, I do not believe in overdoing any sort of training. I train with a friend and we take it in turns to run our dogs. I may do a dozen runs with the weaves, then go run a jumping course a few times then finish up on a few more weave runs. Or we set up a little course with a tunnel, the weaves, a few jumps and the scramble and run a few circuits of the course in turn. And we let the dogs have some fun chasey time before and after, while we set everything up or pack away. Besides, I am not built to run weaves over and over beside my dog, which I currently need to do.
  6. HI everyone. I am looking for some advice. I train at an obedience club in country Australia, which has all the agility equipment and holds agility trials twice a year but does not have regular agility training or a coach. My friend and I started training at about the same time, essentially self-taught. We had some advice and assistance with foundations, but not a lot since then. We pretty much learn by trial and error, and by the odd helpful piece of advice from fellow triallers. So far I have only done two trials, and ran my dog Oscar in jumping only. In novice jumping, there are no weaves. I have been training Oscar on agility equipment, and he has pretty solid contacts, does the scramble, the walkover etc with no problems. I have also been training weaves through the channel method for quite a few months, but fairly inconsistently. I think he has been making good progress, and I was recently able to narrow the channel from about 8 inches to about 1.5 inches. So my dilemma is, I was so excited by being able to nearly close the channel that I went ahead and entered Oscar in novice agility as well as jumping for our club trial in late October. Now I am having second thoughts about whether we will be ready. I know the trial is a month and a half away, and I will do my best to get Oscar ready with more regular (but unpressured) training, but I am not sure what is best to do if he is not ready. Do I scratch Oscar from Agility if I am not very confident on his weaves? Should I let him have a run, attempt the weaves and see how he goes? Or should I run the course but bypass the weaves and not even attempt them? We will be disqualified but he loves the scramble etc so I know he would still have fun. I really am doing this for Oscar's enjoyment (I recently posted some photos from his second trial on the gallery board, and he had a grin on his face in every shot!) and the mental challenge for him. I am leaning towards the "have a go" mentality, which is very Australian. I feel he is learning a lot every trial run we do. Should I perhaps try the first run and if it is an abject failure, scratch the rest? And of course, this may be me just being over-sensitive and Oscar may be weaving nicely before the trial. I would love to know how other people have approached this issue. Do you enter trials only once you are confident your dog is ready, or do you enter to give you something to work for?
  7. I agree Tommy! I liked it so much I have convinced my club to offer that award at our October trial for the first time.
  8. Thank you gcv-border. The jumping courses do include weaves in higher grades, but in the novice grade it is just jumps and tunnels. If weaves were in there for novice I don't think I would have had the guts to try! They are incredibly intimidating for a complete newbie who does not have a coach or classes. RemsMum I hope your daughter makes it! what a great ambition. I don't aim that high or take it that seriously. TBH, in some ways it is an excuse for a girls weekend away with our dogs! I hope your daughter and her dog have as much fun as we do. Thanks Sue R, Oscar does seem to find it the most fun ever! I have tried to only make it a positive experience for him and I love seeing his tail up and that grin on his face. Here is one more photo of Oscar at training on top of the scramble. Because we use it to practise his contacts, he loves it and thinks he will get a reward every time he goes on it. As a result he has scramble-suck, not tunnel-suck!
  9. Thank you Julie and Kingfisher. This is more of a hobby for me, although I have been bitten by the agility bug. I am just enjoying seeing Oscar have fun, and having some myself! It feels as though every time we practice or compete, Oscar has improved, so I will keep going for as long as he enjoys it.
  10. Hi everyone. I was not sure if this was the right forum, but there will be photos, so here goes. I recently entered my boy Oscar in his second ever trial in jumping. I am not sure whether there is this class outside Australia, but here you can do a course that is just jumps and tunnels, no other agility equipment. Anyway, his first trial was in April and we really were not ready, but with a few months more practise, off we went to our second trial in August. He did not get a pass on any of his 5 runs, but on the last run we did not get disqualified, which was my aim for the trial, so success! And the judges awarded us a prize for being the happiest novice pair. I don't think they have ever seen someone so excited not to be disqualified. I am a complete newbie at handling, and Oscar is also very new so my main focus is having fun with him and just having a go. I travel and camp with a friend and her Aussie Shepherd and this was Oscar's first trial away from home grounds. I was really pleased with how he coped. I have now entered two more trials for the end of October, and will be doing jumping and agility, as we have almost got the hang of weaves. And of course the most important thing is Oscar looks really happy! (These photos were taken professionally and I have permission from the photographer to post them)
  11. I am afraid I have only had male border collies and so I can't be any direct help. There have been various posts about this topic on this forum and others. My personal choice was to wait until my boys were 12 months old before castration, as there are so many hormones involved that I wanted them to be pretty much fully grown. Some recommend waiting to 18 months or 2 years, if at all. It is very much a personal choice. In my opinion, if you are not planning to breed your border collie, he or she should be de-sexed because of accidents and other irresponsible dog owners. So we agree there. I also think if you are a responsible dog owner and can keep your female dog safe, allowing the dog to fully grow before de-sexing should still get your dog the potential benefits while minimising the potential downsides. Disclaimer: I am not an expert, a vet or a scientist!
  12. As a lawyer who is a border collie owner/addict, I want a print of this!
  13. When I was a kid, my brother traded some fingerling fish from our pond for a duckling, who we named Ala (aka Duck A L'orange). We kept him for years, but the thing I remember most about him was how much he loved watermelon! We used to give our chickens and duck kitchen scraps, and if there were any watermelon rinds in there, the chickens did not get a look in! Unfortunately, we had to move to a smaller house and he went to join the flock of some friends of ours, where a fox got him a year or so later. I have happy memories of Ala, and would love to have some ducks some day.
  14. I love the video from the 1930s or 1940s that was mentioned by Maxi - if I am not mistaken, the sire of the litter of puppies who is shown working the flock of sheep is a merle.
  15. George aka Georgeous, G Dog, Georgiesnorous, G Attack System (itself shortened to G-tacky) or Mister George Oscar aka Oz, Osco, O Dog, Mister Oz Bailey aka Baz, Mister Baz, Bailey Boy or Baileybaileybaileybailey until I run out of breath Oscar and Bailey together - Rufus and Doofus It is usually my other half who comes up with the nicknames, and I may have missed a few. George and he have an amazing connection where they essentially read each other's minds. That may be why George has the most nicknames.
  16. Just wanted to share my new favourite photo of my two oldest boys sharing morning cuddles on my bed. They are 2 and a half years old and are full brothers, same litter.
  17. I heard a long time ago that one reason for odour can be that you did not get all the urine. I was told that cat urine glows under UV light, and this was how you could tell where to clean. Not sure, but maybe it is the same for dog urine? UV lights can be bought cheaply online, and can also be used to look for uranium in glass, and scorpions at night (they both fluoresce!)
  18. Hi everyone! One of my BC boys, George (2 years old), has a fly phobia. He is ok with small flies, moths etc, but we live in Australia, in a country town, in an area with lots of dairies. We get plenty of humongous blow flies, with a very loud buzzzzzzzzzz! These ones freak George out. Whether he is outside, or one manages to get inside, he cowers, tries to hide under desks or underfoot, in the smallest space he can squeeze. For the next couple of hours, even after we kill the fly, his ears are back, his tail is down, his head is down except when his eyes are darting around trying to find non-existant flies. He seems hyper alert. He slinks from 'safe' spot to 'safe' spot. Our other two boys have no problems, and Oscar (our other 2 year old BC) actively hunts flies, snaps them out of midair and eats them. When we are out and about, George is fine. He will snap at a fly if it comes too close, but at obedience, at the beach or on a run he pretty much ignores them. George is usually a very laid back dog, content to snooze the day away when home. He can be a bit sensitive, and reacts when we tell off the other dogs, but most of the time nothing upsets him. Storms are no problem, sirens etc don't worry him. Just blowflies. Even saying "Bzzzzzzzzzz" causes him to snap his head around with his ears back and that scared look in his eyes. We are coming into summer here, and although we clean up the doggy doo, and exclude flies from the house as much as possible (and my partner hates them too!), we are in country Australia, and flies are a fact of life. So, my question is, do we worry about it? Is there something we can do to help him, or do we accept this one quirk and just try to minimise his exposure, provide him with a place he feels safe in and let him be? We already have an open door crate outside, which is one place he hides when in the backyard. I must admit, it seems a strange thing to scare a working dog breed. Anyone else have dogs with a strange phobia? This is George.
  19. Thank you everyone for your responses. I guess I will allow Bailey to sometimes gently mouth my hand, but only when I allow it, and not for very long. He mainly does it when he is excited or wanting to play. I guess, like many other things, it is a case of you setting the boundaries on what is and is not acceptable, and communicating it appropriately to your dog. I am loving having a puppy again, even though my two older ones are only 2 years old. I have learned so much from them, so hopefully I don't make the same mistakes with Bailey. New ones, though.........well, no guarantees, but reading these boards helps.
  20. Hi everyone. I have recently got a third BC (at least, I am pretty sure he is a BC). This was not planned, but I spotted him as a giveaway in my town on an online classifieds site. Bailey is a very pretty chocolate merle IMO, and I was afraid he would go to a BYB (and, ok, maybe I wanted him too!). He was 20 weeks old when I got him, and had apparently been given as a gift to his previous owner a few weeks before, but she was in a rental that did not allow pets, and had an inspection coming up..... I asked the owner if she knew anything about his breeding, but apparently not. Bailey has settled in very well with George and Oscar, our two older BCs. He has responded very well to training, and looks to have the makings of an excellent agility dog. He seems to have excellent herding instincts as well, always stalking Oscar when they go for a run. The only thing is that he is a little mouthy. He loves to chew bones and toys, but he also likes to mouth my hand. I don't know what other word to use to describe it, as he just puts his mouth around my hand and sometimes applies some gentle pressure. It doesn't hurt, and I never have any broken skin, or even a red pressure mark. He is now 7 months old. I respond by pulling my hand away with a sharp "Oi" sound, and try to redirect him to a chew toy or bone. I don't want to make a game out of it. Our older two never had this issue. Am I doing the right thing or is there something more I should do? Is it really an issue if he is only gently holding my hand with his mouth?
  21. I have two border collie boys (littermates) who have just turned two, and now have a 23 week old chocolate merle boy puppy. Our new boy was a surprise, as he was advertised to giveaway on an online website, in our rural city. I classify him as a pre-emptive rescue! Yes, they were/are energetic, and inquisitive, and eager to learn and to please and occasionally are destructive. I did not really know what I was getting into, but would not trade the experience with Oscar, George and Bailey for anything! And, yes, they were far easier than I thought!
  22. Thank you for your welcome. I always like people who like my dogs!
  23. OK, my partner and I did everything wrong. We bought our new puppies off Gumtree - an online classifieds site. We did not meet the parents. The breeders were not registered, and while we were told our puppies were purebred, we have no idea if that was true. People said we were insane to get two BC puppies at once - I actually think that was the sanest thing we ever did. Oscar we nearly lost to solanine poisoning when he was about 14 weeks old - three days on a drip at the vets and when we got him home his hindquarters were paralysed for another two days before the nerve poison worked its way out of his system. George would limp after a short walk around the block - still no idea why, although it persisted until recently when we started giving him tuna and sardines regularly. The thing is, we don't care. We have two four legged family members who we love to pieces. They are 13 months old now, full of beans and love walks and runs more than anything in the world - oh, except they love Anzac biscuits (cookies to you US friends - oatmeal, golden syrup and coconut feature). They are strictly rationed due to the sugar content, but if George and Oscar are asleep at the opposite end of the house, and you open the container, you turn around to see two sets of puppy dog eyes staring up at you! Both dogs are what we call medium coat, mostly short with longer hairs on neck and chest, tail and light feathering on their legs. George is the tri-colour and Oscar has a white face and one blue/onebrown eye. George weighs 24 kilograms (53 lbs) and Oscar weighs 20 kilograms (44 lbs) and have completely different body types. Both came from working bred dogs, not show bred. I really hope these worked - it is my first time uploading photos to this site! These photos were all taken at about 10 months old. I have some from when they were puppies, but those are on my other camera at home. I just wanted to share!
  24. Thank you to everyone for your helpfull suggestions. Sue R, I have had a blood panel done, and the vet said all of the enzymes relating to the organs (liver, kidneys, pancreas etc) were normal, so I think we are OK there. I am considering trying some home cooked meals, but will ahev to do some research into raw food diets. Thnuderhill, Oscar shed a lot of fur when he was poisoned, but it just seemed to be the very fluffy puppy fur. He still has a thick coat with good shine and colour. I will have to try and post a photo of him for everyone to see, maybe on the photos board. And of course one of George (aka Georgeous) too. I had to try and de-spud the backyard, and after digging up about two buckets worth from about 1 square meter(for the second time), I covered the entire area with a tarpaulin and weighed it down with rocks, so there is no access at all to the potates anymore. Gideon's Girl, I will google and look to buy a probiotic supplement. I can't see that it will hurt either of my BCs, and if it stops Oscar getting sick again, it will be worth it! Thank you for the suggestion of C perfrigens, urge to herd. Oscar is now on antibiotics, amoxycilin and clavulanic acid in one (a combination I have personally been precribed before) which worked last time, and he seems to be improving. If he has another bout, I will ask for a fecal test, but if I give him probiotics, hopefully the good gut flora will stop another attack. While Oscar and George do eat some fruit, G. Festerling, it is not a huge amount. Fruit is an occasional treat, and not more than once a week from us, if that often. The only fruit we cannot control completely is the apricots and plums. Most of our apricots were eaten by birds, and ended in about December. The plums (because we have two trees - early and late harvesting) are still going but we pick them up from the ground every couple of days, and they are almost completely finished. We also take them off of the dogs whenever we see them with one. If it was the fruit, I would think they would have had constant problems over the last few months, but there have just been these two attacks. I am going to try some probiotics, and keep an eye on what Oscar eats and see if that fixes things. I will try to keep you updated!
  25. Thank you for your welcome. gtokitty, Oscar's last bout was today. It was not as bad as last time, as he just had runny stools and was lethargic and droopy, which is VERY unlike Oscar. The last time was in December where he had runny stools, a 41+ degree temperature (celsius) and sore abdomen and was also off his food and water, very lethargic and looked sooooo sad. He had a blood panel today which came back normal except for his white blood cell count, which was elevated indicating (I was told) infection or inflammation. George has not had a sick day in his life thus far. I actually took Oscar to the after hours vet when he first became unwell with the solanine poison, and they thought he had a chest infection because he had a fever and crackly lungs. It was later, as his fever did not respond to meds and he became unable to stand that we took him back in and they figured out what was wrong. Oscar got sick one afternoon and two mornings later he was in the vets. Apparently the crackly lungs was a symptom of solanine poisoning too, but there was nothing else to suggest it, and no one had any experience with it. I am now possibly overcautious in taking him to the vet when he seems unwell, but I would rather be safe (and poor) than sorry! When Oscar is well, he is very active (I know that goes without saying for a BC, but he is more active than his brother!) My partner calls him a Tigger dog, because he is always go go go and bouncing around. Thank you for those suggestions Gideon's Girl. I don't think it is a problem with grain, as he has eaten rice with no problems, and his usual kibble doesn't seem to cause problems. I would be interested in giving him probiotics. Are there special dog probiotics, or do I use the ones designed for humans? Any idea where I would find them if I need canine probiotics?
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