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Hooper2

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  1. Gave my young dog an antler to chew. Paid $1700 on root canal to treat broken tooth. Just sayin'.
  2. Well, this is one of many places where you could have him genetically tested to see if he's a double merle, although if he's anywhere near 50 % pigmented, I would bet that he's not. Of course, determining if he's a double merle doesn't really answer your underlying question about the unequal pupil size, but if you find out he's not a double merle you could at least rule that out. You don't say how long you've had your dog, or how old you think he is, but I'm wondering if this is recent or if his eyes have always been like this. If it's a recent development, then I would definitely be concerned. Is there a canine ophthalmologist near where you live? If so, I would go there rather than to a general practice vet.
  3. I was just going to post the same thing D'Elle did about crate training. Even if you never use a crate at home, dogs are much safer being crated in a car than riding loose. And you really don't want the first time your dog has ever been crated to be when he's like five years old and suddenly has to spend a night at the vet, or worse, has to spend an extended period of time recuperating from an injury in a crate. Crate training doesn't mean your dog has to spend significant time there on a daily basis. But he should be sufficiently used to being crated that if you have to confine him in a crate for a few hours it's no big deal. For training ideas, do a search on youtube for nosework or scentwork and you'll find lots and lots of videos on teaching your dog to find hidden objects by scent. Dogs love it (sniff around and get treats! what's not to love?!), you can do it for 5 minutes or 30 minutes depending on how much time you want to spend, you can do it outdoors or in your living room if the weather is icky, and even though you may only be doing it to entertain yourself and your dog, you get an appreciation for what goes into training actual bomb/drug/truffle/arson/cadaver/wildlife detection dogs. And unlike "tricks" that are just cute (not that there's anything wrong with that) but totally artificial, scentwork uses the dog's natural instinctive behavior.
  4. Well, I propose we actually test that hypothesis. I volunteer to be in the "eat lots of ginger snaps" treatment.
  5. Ditto to everything Alligande wrote. I also find that nosework in particular can be good mental stimulation to calm down a bored high energy dog. There's plenty of online information on it, and it can be anything from formal nosework training for specific competitive programs to simply having your dog play find the cookie (or toy) hidden in the house for a few rounds. And it can be done indoors, in any weather, and can be squeezed into quick little 5-10 minute sessions a couple times a day, or longer sessions. It won't instantly make your dog calmer, but it's one activity you can do that won't just give you a high energy dog who's now also been endurance trained by providing ever longer and ever more frequent walks. And as has been said here before, no amount of training will make your dog a year older. I have a young dog now who is a slightly less extreme version of how you describe your dog. Mine doesn't scratch and fight about being put in a crate, but the over the top hyper stimulation when he sees multiple dogs and people is very familiar to me. The only reason I'm not at the end of my rope over it is that for me it's a matter of "been there, done that". When I look back at my favorite dogs over my lifetime, the real heart dogs were all monsters as puppies. This too shall pass.
  6. I am by no means any expert in working dogs on sheep. But, I'll pass on a couple comments I've heard from others who are experts. First, regarding whether it would help to have someone else work your dog. An instructor once told me that when working sheep you have three entities to consider: the dog, the sheep, and the handler. And when training, at least 2 of those entities need to know what the heck they are doing. So, for example, with a new inexperienced dog, the sheep should be very used to being worked by a dog, and the handler should be experienced working stockdogs. If the sheep are completely unfamiliar with dogs, then both the handler and the dog better be pretty savvy at their job. And, new handlers should start with a dog that at least has some basic training, and begin by working on dog broke sheep. A novice handler with an untrained dog on a group of lambs that the handler purchased for the purpose of dog training - disaster! Of course many of us novices take our untrained dog and hope the two of us can work and learn together, and we may make progress. But, at least in the US, it is very common for people who have aspirations to have some success beyond the novice level in USBCHA trials to purchase a dog that has already been well started by a good trainer, or hire a trainer to start their dog for them. It's certainly not a hard and fast "rule", but it's pretty common. As for your observation that your dog is a perfectionist and is very sensitive to pressure from you, I've seen this quote from a very successful North American trainer/trialer: "If your dog is afraid to be wrong, she'll be afraid to be right." It's one of the great challenges of training to know when to correct a dog for bad behavior, and when to let your dog learn from his/her mistakes. I think the ability to make that distinction, and the ability to set up training situations so the dog learns from its own mistakes as much as possible is one of the hallmarks of a really good trainer. For sure, it takes lots of experience to develop a sense of when to apply pressure and how much pressure to apply, which brings us back to the advantages of the dog learning from an experienced trainer, and the handler learning from an already experienced and well trained dog.
  7. We're all rooting for you in the sense that we all hope you can raise this dog to be a safe reliable companion that you will spend many happy years with. But that won't happen if your dog continues to bite people and that's what you are setting up to happen by allowing strangers to approach your dog. In two of the four biting instances you describe, your dog was apparently off leash and had the option of backing away from you if he felt stressed/anxious/fearful. Instead he chose to bite you, the person he knows best in the world, once hard enough to draw blood. In the other two instances your dog was apparently on leash, but again he chose to bite two people he knows well (you and your dog walker), and again one of those bites drew blood. If he has repeatedly chosen to bite people he knows well rather than back away when he felt "anxious", why do you think it is suddenly safe for total strangers to approach him? Without seeing the dog over a period of time I'm certainly not going to try to predict how "fixable" your pup is based on a brief description on the internet. I commend you for going to the effort and expense of working with a vet behaviorist, and for being committed to doing what you can to give this pup a normal happy life. And yes, he needs to be socialized with other people to build confidence. But that socialization needs to be done systematically, and given your own inexperience (not a criticism -good judgement comes from experience, and most experience comes from poor judgement), you need more guidance on how to do that than a single visit with a behaviorist. Again, all of us are rooting for you, but part of rooting for you is to make sure you understand that allowing strangers access to a dog who has chosen to bite people he knows well is not going to lead to a happy outcome. It will lead to a heartbreaking outcome.
  8. It's actually the Vet School at Washington State Univ that does the MDR1 test, not Univ of Wasington. That distinction matters to Cougar fans
  9. I was struck by the total lack of any evidence to support the author's very confident assertion.
  10. My nearly 1 yr old pup's current favorite toy is an empty plastic jug. It was pretty expensive, but on the plus side the $22 toy came filled with free olive oil.
  11. Border collies, like all dogs, need mental and physical stimulation in order to thrive. Dogs vary in how much stimulation they need, and border collies generally require more stimulation (especially mental) than dogs that weren't intensively selected to do complex work in close partnership with humans. But no dog, including border collies, requires constant stimulation, and over-stimulation can lead to as many problems as under-stimulation. You will likely find that as your puppy gets a few months older she will want more time and attention from you, and may (or may not) become less laid back. Continue with training and playing games and providing a reasonable amount of physical exercise. But it is equally important that your pup learn to chill out and not demand to be the center of your universe at all times. Really, it sounds like you are doing great. By all means continue to have her spend increasing amounts of time by herself in a safe place like an X-pen or crate with a couple toys to amuse herself. You don't want to neglect her, but you also don't want a puppy that grows into a dog that can't be left alone for a few hours while you go about your life. And don't delay taking your puppy out in the world for too long. I understand the risk of exposing puppies who haven't yet developed immunity to a variety of serious diseases, but keeping a young dog too secluded is risky too. If you can take her places that aren't frequented by lots of dogs, and keep her from sniffing other dog's poop, begin taking her on short excursions now. If nothing else, at least take her places where you can carry her, so that she can begin experiencing new sights and sounds now. And, as an added protection, if you do let her down on the ground in reasonably safe areas, you can wipe her paws with a disinfectant when play time is over. Also, people on this boards can get very cranky if you tease us with posts about puppies and then fail to provide adorable pictures for us to swoon over.
  12. Heh. I didn't even look at the date on the thread. My bad. I'm pretty sure Capt. Jack and I are in agreement, although looking at the prey drive/herding relationship from different perspectives. What I was taking exception to was the notion by the OP (back 13 yrs ago) thinking that grabbing and ripping a goats ear, or chasing and killing a goat were signs of the dogs herding instinct being "too strong", and response that any "normal healthy dog will chase and kill livestock if it gets the chance", or that any young border collie with any instinct at all will chase and "go nuts" when first exposed to livestock, and that the scattering and biting are signs of working potential. Those are all aspects of prey drive. The dog may also have herding instinct, but none of that is any more of a sign of working potential than the ever popular puppy who nips at heels and "herds" bicycles, the cat, cars, the baby, etc. I am not at all disputing that herding instinct is derived from prey drive, or that successful working stock dogs have strong prey drive. My only point is lots of dogs in lots of breeds have strong prey drive and will chase and attack and kill prey animals, including livestock, if given the opportunity. The tendency to do that doesn't mean that the dog has any stock working instinct. And while I've seen some young dogs that developed into fine sheepdogs "go nuts" on their first encounter with stock, I've also seen many who went right to work. Certainly lacking skill and precision and finesse, but clearly not just chasing with intent to kill either. Anyhoo, I skipped over seeing that this thread was resurrected by some poor woman who is wondering if bulldogs attacking a goat means the dog can't be trusted around her grandkids. Well, this is a Border Collie Forum, not a bulldog forum, but I can see why the poster thought we might be able to offer advice. I don't know much about bulldogs, but my first response is it depends at least somewhat on how old your grandkids are. I wouldn't leave any young child unsupervised around any dog. I'd also be extra cautious about having kids around multiple big muscular dogs. Dogs in a "pack," even if it's only a pack of two, can sometimes work themselves into a frenzy that would never happen with either dog alone. But killing a goat does not translate into suddenly regarding humans as potential prey. If the dog has been safe and reliable around kids in the past, killing a mouse or a chicken or a goat doesn't suddenly make the dog see humans as potential prey.
  13. First of all, chasing and killing livestock is not strong herding instinct. It's strong prey drive. Herding is about controlling livestock, not attacking it. That's not to say that dogs can't have both strong prey drive and strong herding instinct, but they aren't the same thing, and many dogs that chase and scatter livestock have zero interest in actually "herding" them. Honestly, I think you should strongly consider rehoming the male. It's not that a dog that kills a prey animal once is now an unmanageable ruthless killing machine. That's not true at all, although if you do rehome the male you need to be totally upfront with the new owner about his history. You are finding yourself overwhelmed with the number of dogs you have, to the point that you feel you are being unfair to your other animals. Taking your male on separate walks is a good idea, but now you've added another time-consuming chore to a day that you already feel isn't allowing you enough time with your other dogs and your horses. He can probably be trained to be reliable around livestock with supervision, and confinement whenever he isn't directly supervised. But it will take time, and perhaps help from a knowledgeable trainer, and you are already feeling pinched by the extra time commitment the two new dogs are causing. Have a good heart to heart talk with yourself about what's best for all involved, including the new male bc, but also your other dogs and other animals.
  14. Nothing is fail safe. GPS collars may be removed, or they may lose satellite contact, or the batteries may lose their charge. Leashes break and get dropped. Gates get left open. Even very well trained dogs can have a brain fart and dash out an open door (I know someone who lost her Obedience Trial Champion poodle this way). Fences can be dug under and jumped over. Vandals can make holes in fences even if they aren't intending to steal the dog. Thieves can break into your house to steal your flat screen and leave the door open. Even well trained dogs may encounter a temptation that in that moment they just can't resist. The constant pounding of nails by a neighbor having his roof repaired may cause a dog to panic to the point of chewing through a woven wire fence, then knocking boards out of a plank fence in order to escape (ask me how I know this). There are lots of ways besides theft for how a dog might go missing. If a GPS collar helps locate an escaped dog more quickly than he would otherwise be located that may save the dog's life. GPS collars are one more level of protection when other safeguards fail. They are fairly expensive, and most people probably will probably feel they have enough other safeguards in place to not justify the cost of a GPS tracker. But using one is not a sign that the owner is neglectful nor that the dog is inadequately trained or supervised.
  15. I don't have a Tractive, but I splurged on a SportDog Tech collar a couple years ago. It's way more expensive than the Tractive but there is no monthly subscription fee. For the most part it does its job. It shows me on a map where I am and where the collar is pretty precisely. But like all GPS devices, it has its moments when satellite communication is gone. I've had the hand held device warn me that it has "lost contact" with my dog when he is standing 20 yards away from me with a full view of the sky in all directions. So, it's useful, and one more way (in addition to extensive training) for me to safeguard a dog that sometimes works and sometimes plays in open rangeland, but it's not absolutely foolproof.
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