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LuckytheDog

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About LuckytheDog

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  1. @billdozer I just saw your post! We did the TTA surgery on Lucky in March and it went really well. The recovery at the beginning was HARD. We had to keep him sequestered in a pen we built in the kitchen. He couldn't go upstairs or in the rest of the house (we have lots of slippery wood floors) for 16 weeks, which at the beginning was really hard for him since he was used to being in the house wherever we were all of the time, especially at night. My husband and I took turns sleeping in the kitchen with him for the first few nights. But we followed the recovery instructions pretty exactly - no walks for the first 8 weeks - only out on a short leash for pee/poo. After 8 weeks he was allowed leash walks, starting at 5 minutes per day and gradually increasing by 5 minutes every 3 days. At 16 weeks, he's allowed off leash running, but we haven't been playing ball or frisbee and don't plan on it since we think that's how he injured himself. He's very happy to be allowed to be off leash in the woods again!
  2. When we first adopted Lucky when he was 9 months, he was horrible about lunging at cars when we took him on road walks. Fortunately, we were able at the time to give him exercise in our yard playing fetch/frisbee, or running off leash in the woods, so we didn't need to take him on walks on the road. Then he cut his foot and we had to limit his activity, so we had to start doing road walks. Luckily we live on a dead-end road, so there isn't tons of traffic, but I started with 'structured walks' (heeling) with focus on me, using treats - lots of treats, whenever I heard a car approaching. I make him sit and look at me, and he gets a treat as the car passes. At this point, he can look at the car and not react. He's still not great when people slow down or stop (a neighbor saying hello), but I can generally get his attention back pretty quickly. I think maybe standing with him rather than sitting with him might make it seem like less of a big deal? And as @jami74 mentioned, maybe less exposure to the number of cars or distance from cars. Is there somewhere you can take him where there is less traffic? As for the reaction to your phrase, something similar happened with Lucky. One evening, my husband was petting him and he said something like "you're a fine piece of dogflesh" and Lucky kinda freaked out. Not violently, but was running around and whining and jumping on my husband. My husband thought it was pretty funny, so several times a day he would 'demonstrate' this behavior to whomever was around repeating the word "dogflesh" while looking at Lucky. Lucky reacted in a similar manner for a little while, but eventually he stopped doing it and now you can say the word, maybe he'll look at you, maybe he'll just ignore you. But your trainer is probably right to just not say the phrase anymore since his reaction was so extreme.
  3. This made me laugh (I'm sorry!) because this happens to Lucky often in the summer. He LOVES grass and often he has the same thing happen where he has poo grass stuck coming out. He used to totally freak out - twirling round and round trying to get at whatever was hanging from his butt. Thankfully nowadays, he only freaks out a little and usually gives me a somewhat panicked look, then lets me get a leaf or something to pull it out. It's almost always funny. He has short fur, so it doesn't get stuck on his fur, so trimming seems like a good solution.
  4. We are facing this now with Lucky. He's scheduled for surgery in a week - we've opted for the TTA - but in our case the TTA is more expensive with the titanium implant. We've had him examined by a ortho vet who does both procedures regularly. But we are seriously wondering if we are jumping the gun with surgery. He's still very mobile and able to run around and jump through the woods. He does limp an favor his leg getting up from lying down - especially if he hasn't had a pain pill for the day. We tried the meds and rest for 4 weeks but, when we went back to regular exercise (running off leash in the woods - we've completely stopped playing ball and frisbee with him) he would favor his leg again. I know he is experiencing some pain, but I worry that we'll be putting him through a horrible ordeal of surgery when we might not need to - or not need to yet. He's only 3.5 years old.
  5. We found out for sure yesterday that Lucky has a cruciate injury and needs surgery. The specialist we went to said we have the option of doing a TPLO surgery (the older, more established surgical procedure) or a newer type of surgery - TTA. The main difference between the two is that with TTA, they don't actually cut the bone like they do in TPLO, and the implant is titanium rather than stainless steel. The recovery with the TTA is supposed to be shorter as well. I found some great (very detailed!) info here about recovery with TPLO, but nothing about anyone having the TTA procedure. Any info from someone with experience with TTA surgery would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  6. Lucky has a shoe fetish. He chewed/destroyed several of my slip on rubber garden shoes and one of my wooden clogs. I saw something from a trainer that if your dog is doing a specific behavior that you don't like, that you train them and put it on cue so they only do it when you give them the cue. So I trained Lucky to bring me my shoes when I come home. He will do it - he's great at it. But it also means that whenever anyone comes into the house - especially if we've been out and he's home alone, he goes into the hallway, gets a shoe from the shoe shelf and brings it to you wagging his tail and making his funny squeaky noise. We say 'thank you" and he usually gives us the shoe. It's the socks that he puts in his bed...
  7. 2 1/2 months isn't that long for a dog. I noticed a real difference with Lucky at the 1 year of adoption anniversary with him - he calmed down noticeably. Then we took him on a trip to see my dad down south, then came back home and he seemed like a different dog. I think all of the times before he'd gone on long trips he'd ended up living somewhere else, so he realized he was home! Basically, give her some time to settle in. He also changed a lot when he turned 2. Lucky is leash reactive and will probably always be that way - we realize that and have a way to manage it when we do run into other dogs. It can still be nerve-wracking sometimes when it does happen though. I also agree that you may be giving her too much exercise/stimulation. Lucky cut his carpal pad and we had to stop playing fetch with him for 2 months while it healed, and he actually calmed down during that time. Luckily we have him trained now to stay in our yard and we can let him off leash when we are outside with him. He loves just poking/sniffing around - not real 'activity' but just being a dog. I know that's hard in the city, but maybe you can find a place you can let her off leash without other dogs that can become a regular place where she feels comfortable to explore and sniff.
  8. A hard decision, to be sure. We adopted Lucky, a BC/Lab cross when he was about 8 months old. We were living in NYC at the time, but my husband lost his job so we decided he would move to our place in the country full time and I would stay in the city during the week and country on the weekends. My first thought: Time to get a dog! We met Lucky (then King) once for 30 minutes at the apartment of his foster and took him for a walk in the busy lower east side of Manhattan. He was great on the leash, seemed happy, was a great doggy. I really knew nothing about BCs (though I grew up with rough collies and always had dogs and horses as a kid). We were not at all prepared for any of the issues we started having with him when we brought him home. In general, collies need/want attention. They want you to tell them what to do, interact with them, work with them. Lucky follows me around the house, wants to be in the same room with me, will sometimes misbehave to get my attention. You will need to be prepared to have a dog that is a presence and a companion and be willing (and possibly have $$) to do the type of training that corrects unwanted behavior, not just fun tricks and obedience. At least for Lucky, walks are NOT enough. He needs to run. He's a sprinter and running makes him happy, gets rid of his extra energy and calms him down. He's reactive to other dogs (many BC's are) so we can't do doggy play dates or hiking on trails where we might meet other dogs. Thankfully he loves fetch and frisbee and we have woods he can run and jump without meeting other dogs. I very often think that our lives would be pretty miserable if we had adopted him and stayed in the city. That said, when we do take him out and there are lots of things going on, he tends to be a little less reactive because there are so many things for him to focus on that he doesn't do the same crazy behavior he does when he sees a single dog or a single person walking down our quite country road. And there are many, many people living in cities with border collies. https://www.instagram.com/darwindognyc/ is someone who got their dog from the same rescue we got Lucky. Pretty inspiring some of the work they've done with him. Dogs can be really adaptable, I just think that BC's are often more 'work' than other dogs and you need to be prepared for that. Lucky is turning into a fantastic dog and a great companion. He's clever, funny, smart, and fun to hang out with. If I could spend ALL of my time with him I would. He's taken over my Instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/kimmcg/ If you can, try to find other BC owners who live in cities. They definitely exist, and talk to them about challenges they face. And like others said, think about getting an older dog if you can. Lucky was super challenging at around 14 months but has mellowed out some now that he's almost two.
  9. This is sort of long, probably won't answer all of your questions, but hopefully will be helpful since we're dealing with many of the same issues. Lucky is a BC/Lab (?) mix that we adopted when he was 8 months old. We didn't really know anything about him when we got him, and when we picked him up in NYC where he was being fostered, he was great when we walked him on busy streets with lots of people and some dogs around. BUT - when we took him home, it turned out he is very reactive to other dogs. It sounds similar to what your dog does - he barks, growls, sounds very menacing, his hackles go up and it was hard if not impossible to get his attention. He also does a similar thing with approaching people - either ones he knows or strangers when I have him on a leash and people approach. He barks, makes scary noises and jumps up. Not just putting front paws on the person's chest/shoulders, but leaping up to make his nose to their face contact. It's more common when he is on a leash, but he will jump up on people coming into our house when he is off leash as well. Right now, it's not aggression - he just sounds mean. But I do think that it could turn aggressive if we don't address it. When we have him in situations where there are lots of people around, he does it less - I guess he has less to focus on so it's less of a problem. One other thing, he resource guards me or my husband in our house when we are in specific places or when we touch each other or other people. If my husband touches me or I touch him, Lucky rushes over making his scary growling noise. The jumping and the people resource guarding have been the biggest issues we've been dealing with with him. He has no issues with resource guarding food or toys, but I've deliberately worked with him on that. We worked with a 'balanced trainer' - someone who uses a combination of positive reinforcement and leash or vocal corrections. She was great and we got several methods for dealing with his reactivity when working with her. In general, we don't have him around other dogs, but when we do, we know how to redirect his attention away from the dog and back to us. It involves lots of treats! We don't do any on leash interactions with other dogs. Her big insight with him is that his reactivity to other dogs is probably mostly about resource guarding me when other dogs are around. We did start using an e-collar with him, and truthfully, it's been a great tool for us. We trained him (with the trainer) specifically for a recall with the vibrate function. That is the ONLY reason we use the vibrate function (which for some reason is the one that he notices the most). We push vibrate, say 'Come' he runs to us, he gets a tasty treat. We live in a rural area, but are close to a (not very busy) road. We put his collar on, he hangs out with us in the yard. If he seems to be interested in something on the other side of the road and goes toward it, I say "Lucky No - here" and he stops and comes back to me. If he doesn't respond the first time, he gets the vibrate. He knows he has the collar on and it's been great for him to have freedom in the yard. We never let him out in the yard unless we are out with him. We use the e-stim (aka shock) function on the collar to get his attention when he is reacting to something and we can't get his attention. We've used this way less recently as well since we both are aware of things that he will react to and use our other tools (look at that, u-turns, structured walk, etc) when we are out with him and see something he will react to. If you try the e-collar, definitely work with a trainer who is experienced using them. We are still working on the jumping and people guarding, so I'll be following this thread to see if you get other good advice! My current approach on the people guarding is to ignore his behavior. He is a very attention seeking dog, so my current theory is that he is trying to get attention and if we stop giving it to him he will stop. It's a theory. For jumping on people, we did a lot of place work with the trainer and it sort of worked, but it also sort of made him more anxious because he was by being held back until he did a behavior (quiet and down) which was totally the opposite of what he wanted to do (go say HI!). He knows hand touches so I'm trying to redirect him and train him to go to people and do nose to hand as a greeting instead of nose to face. The difficulty there is getting people to cooperate. One last thing is that we noticed a BIG improvement in his behavior when a) he'd been living with us for a full year, he turned 18 months old and c) we took him on a long road trip and in the end we came back to the same place (our house). It think it was the first time in his life he went on a long trip and didn't end up in a different place with different owners.
  10. Lucky does this sometimes. He'll bring the ball close, but not close enough to pick it up. I turn around and walk away - like 'game over' walk away, and he'll follow me and bring it to me then. I also think making him sit before I throw it helps some. It's part of the pattern of the game (they love patterns). Throw ball, catch ball, bring ball, sit, throw ball again. I also like Waffle's suggestion of doing shorter distances first.
  11. We still have this issue with Lucky - jumping and getting excited when he sees people. When people come by, he barks, jumps, lunges. We've worked with him with cars on the road when we walk him. He's gotten very good at sitting when a car goes by - even without asking. I guess we need to take the same approach with people coming to visit. We just need more people to come visit so we can practice!
  12. Thanks everyone. I did get a copy of "Mine" a few months ago after I realized that resource guarding was what he was doing. I didn't find it especially helpful since he doesn't guard food or toys (I can take a bully stick from his mouth while he is chewing it and a kid took a ball from him last week - he was hoping they would throw it for him!). But I'll take another look at it and try to generalize the info. We did work with a trainer who helped us realize that much of his dog reactivity is actually guarding us! We live in a rural area, so finding GOOD behaviorists is hard to do. We liked the trainer we worked with and if things get worse, we'll bring her back. Waffles - that is great insight about allowing the behavior. When he does sit when we touch each other, he is NOT relaxed. Exactly as you say, his mouth is tense and he does the eye thing and he's stiff. It's right to say that it's the RELEASE from what you've asked him to do rather than the act of sitting is what we should reward him for. We were working on the assumption that if we praised/treated him for NOT jumping on us when we hugged, he would look forward to the attention he got for not jumping/interfering with our interaction. Thank you. That is super helpful. With the growling noise - in general he is a very vocal dog. Not just barking, but he's a groaner (he regularly sounds like an old man when he lies on the floor or scratches his ear), so I kind of feel like he's a drama queen with the noises (today he was barking at a robin on the lawn - all noise and no action), but I appreciate the feedback that you never really know where a dog will go. In general, I'd like to stop the rushing/pushing behavior before it gets to the place where he would actually bite someone. Thanks again!
  13. Lucky is a 19 month old collie/lab mix that we adopted a year ago next week. Since we got him, we've had issues with reactivity to other dogs, attention seeking behavior and resource guarding people. We've worked a lot on the reactivity issues and we have tools and are making progress. He doesn't resource guard food or toys with people but he will with other dogs. There are specific places and situations in our house where it happens. For example, when my husband and I hug or get close to each other, Lucky will rush over and kind of squeal at us. When I am standing at my laptop in the kitchen and my husband walks into the kitchen, he will grumble and rush to get between us. When my husband is sitting in a chair in the kitchen and I approach him, Lucky will whine and get a concerned look on his face. He will nip at my clothes if I reach to pet him when he is on my husband's lap. He hates it when we both pet him at the same time. He doesn't sleep in our bed with us (that was the first issue wie struggled with with him) but he does sleep in his bed in our bedroom. We have managed to stop some of the behavior by using a spray bottle with plain water to correct him, getting him to sit when he starts the behavior and rewarding him with attention and/or treats when he stops. I felt like we were making progress, but two weeks ago we took him on a road trip and visited some friends along the way. On several occasions when people were sitting around the table or couches, when someone got up and started walking, Lucky would rush towards them making a horrible growling noise that scared whoever he was rushing at. I don't think he would ever bite anyone, but he SOUNDED really mean and scary when he did this (he's not a small dog at 75lbs). I've tried finding information on how to address resource guarding, but most of it is around toys and food. Does anyone have any leads on resources or advice on how to address resource guarding people? Thanks for any help!
  14. We're in the Catskills in NY and we normally get some ticks, but this year they are BAD. Everyone is talking about them. I pull 3-5 ticks off Lucky just from taking him on a walk down the road - not even in the woods or grassy meadows. He does LOVE to walk/nose through any long grass along the road, but last year was not like this. We are using the Soresto collar. It seems to kill the ticks once they bite him. When I bring him in from outside I check his feet, legs and stomach for ticks. We've both found several on us, but we are also outside working so they are not necessarily from him. I hate using the chemical stuff, and thankfully he's short haired and they are fairly easy to find, but I'm glad to have the collar this year.
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