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Jenny and Charlie

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About Jenny and Charlie

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  1. Hi all, Charlie ripped a woman's jacket today on his walk. She was walking very fast behind us talking on her cell phone. I saw that she was walking extremely fast and thought we should pull off onto a driveway like we usually do, but we were on a very narrow stretch of sidewalk with a retaining wall on one side. Before I knew it she was right next to me and was about to walk into the road to pass us, and that's when Charlie jumped up and bit her coat sleeve. It ripped and some stuffing came out, but she was physically unharmed. He immediately calmed and did not pursue or growl, but I felt horrible. I offered to pay for damages but she didn't seem interested and just told us to control our dog. My husband's stance is that she should never have come up on us that quickly on such a narrow sidewalk. There's not really any room to walk side-by-side, and we had no where to go. But my stance is that most people are just not dog-savvy, and while I know to never walk up on a strange cornered dog, I can't expect everyone to do the same. It might help to know that it was dark and I'm 8 months pregnant, and Charlie's very protective. That protective drive definitely increased when I became pregnant, but is there any training I can do to soften it? He's an absolute love bug if you're in his known circle of people, and he likes to get pets from strangers when we're out and about. But if you're a stranger on or near his property, he's fear aggressive. I'm so thankful no one was hurt, and she seemed so engrossed in her cell phone conversation that she just kept walking despite my insistence on paying for the coat. But I know how delicate these situations are, and other than pulling off into a yard or driveway when I know someone is coming behind us, and letting them know to stay away (things I almost always do), I'm wondering if there's active training that can be done. I don't want him to be the victim of a dog bite law.
  2. Charlie was a rescue puppy, so we're not entirely sure he's a BC, but the older he gets the more certain we are that he's at least part BC. I've started taking him on trail walks, and when I know there's no one else on the trail, I let him off leash. What surprises me is that he just knows how to follow a trail, even when it's covered in fall leaves. He walks a few feet ahead of me (and stops to wait if I fall behind), and he always follows the trail to a T. I love that he always makes sure I stay close, too. My question is: do you think this is a BC trait, or are most dogs adept at following a trail? Charlie's my first dog, and I'm just constantly amazed by his intelligence, which I like to attribute to his BC-ness. But maybe this is just a dog thing? Photos from our most recent walk:
  3. Hi all, I thought I'd post a feel-good Border Collie story to assuage the fears of new BC owners. We got our rescue puppy, Charlie, last summer, thinking that he would be a "lab mix." When we first met him, this "lab mix" only weighed 8lbs, which was our first clue that "lab" may not be in the mix. Turns out Charlie is mostly, if not all, Border Collie. (picture attached) He's also my very first dog, ever. Granted, I had thoroughly researched behavioral conditioning and clicker training well before we decided to pick out our puppy, but I had no idea what I was walking into. Yes, Charlie has his "issues." He resource guarded anything that he wasn't supposed to have (ie. socks). With patience and a lot of "trades" for high-value treats, this is no longer an issue. He refuses to let us clean his ears, brush him, apply flea meds, clip nails, etc. He basically gets nervous and growly if we bring anything "unknown" toward his face or paws. We're working on deconditioning. (He does let us bathe him without much fuss). And he is territorial about our backyard - barks like crazy if he sees our neighbors. We're working on this, too - today he let our neighbor's entire family pet him. Other than that, he is so sweet and loving and playful. The staff at our doggy day care call him the "love bug." He learns new tricks and commands in a matter of 10 minutes, and he is the star pupil at our dog training class (I think the other owners might be jealous of all the attention the trainers give him). He is not nearly as active and hyper as we thought he would be - two 30 minute walks a day, plus a lot of attention and games at home, and he's fine, if not a bit lazy. We got so lucky with him. Once I'm done with grad school (in about 2 years), we're going to start agility training (he'll be about 3 years old). I can't wait. So if you're like us, and had a surprise BC rescue, fear not. They are wonderful dogs.
  4. If you don't mind chemicals, there is a Raid flea killer carpet spray that worked wonders when we had flea-infested kittens. It was the only thing that completely rid them, and the house, of the fleas.
  5. I'm hoping for your expert opinions on whether our sweet Charlie is part Border Collie. Charlie was a rescue puppy (his litter mates were mostly black, he had the most white of any of them). We're still not entirely sure what Charlie is, but most people that meet him think he's part Border Collie. He did nip a lot in his first few months, but he grew out of that pretty quickly. As far as his energy level goes, he's calmed down a lot over the last few months as well. He still gets hyper when meeting new people (crying and jumping and begging for attention), but he's fairly calm and sleepy when he's home with us. He recently began to bark and growl if he hears someone at the door (which I like, personally), but he's a people-lover and as soon as he realizes we're "friends" with the person at the door, he's begging for attention. We think he tries to herd our cat by nosing at him, but for the most part he's learned to give the cat his space. His only "flaw" is that he resource guards. So far it has only been with extra-special treats, and I know it's our fault as we would pry open his mouth to take dangerous things away from him when he was a small pup (oops!). We have since learned to "trade" him for an even better treat, and that has definitely helped. He's 6.5 months, about 19 inches tall and 30lbs, with a wavy, soft, low-shedding coat. Here's some pictures of our baby. The last picture is the most recent - he's currently recovering from his "alteration":
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