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About D'Elle

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    Tucson AZ

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  1. I understand your concern, and especially your need to see at least a little progress for all your hard work, but please do not be discouraged. In training terms, two weeks is nothing. If you were seeing good results this soon, it would be unusual, starting from where you have started, and with the dog you have. A dog who is easily reactive to things takes a long time to train. Just be patient and completely persistent. sometimes when you start training a dog in earnest, the dog will go through a period of time when the acting out gets much worse. (Human kids do this, too, I understand). This doesn't mean you are on the wrong track or that the dog is hopeless. It just means the dog is pushing boundaries and it will take longer. I think your carrying him to the park and letting him run is a good idea if it is helping him to focus. If I had this dog, I would probably take him in this manner to the park first, before any training, and let him get tired out, and then work on the focus and other training when he is more able to focus on you. This may allow the training to sink in, which it is not yet doing. But please remember that you just gotta keep at it. My beloved Kit dog, who was a very good and obedient dog, had one bad habit that I needed to train her out of, and I worked at it diligently, persistently, daily, patiently, on and on for two whole years before she would reliably obey me on that particular thing. Whew. And Kit was no dummy, either. She just really didn't want to do that one thing, and I would have let it go except it was important. These things are important for your dog. I always look at it this way: To me, training a dog is a never-ending project no matter what dog I have, because there is always a new circumstance, and the old training also needs reinforcement from time to time. When starting out with a young dog, I figure that no matter how long it takes, it is worth it just to keep at it. That amount of time is going to go by anyway, and at the end of that time you will either have a well trained dog or not, and that is up to you. If you do have a trained dog after 6 weeks or a year or two years or whatever, then you have a trained dog for the next 10 to 15 years. If not you have a problem for that same length of time. I say give it more time.
  2. Love the blue eyes. It is always interesting to see how pigmentation grows on a border collie's nose. In her first photos there is a lot of unpigmented skin o her nose, but now she has only one spot. She's a cutie, all right. I am also interested to hear what she does for you as a service dog. What kinds of tasks does she perform for you?
  3. I suggest you don't leave him out in that yard at all unless he is supervised. If you leave him out on his own he will be self-rewarding every time he sees a car and chases it up and down the fence, and the more times he does that the harder it will be to train him out of the behavior. Border collies are obsessive dogs and if you don't take it seriously and nip this in the bud it could and probably will become a lifelong addiction that you don't want. When he starts to chase the cars, distract him with a toy or game or treats. If he doesn't stop doesn't take to the distraction and goes back to the chasing, , take him inside immediately and pop him into his crate for 5 minutes. He will learn that if he behaves like that he has to go inside and the fun stops.
  4. I would loathe clothes shopping also, because I don't like shopping in general, but I buy almost all of my clothes in thrift stores and for me that makes it completely different. It is more like a treasure hunt. I recommend it. I have not been into a retail clothing store or section of a store in many years. The only things I buy new are foot wear and hiking/camping specific clothing, although I find some of that at thrift stores as well. Have even on occasion found a brand new pair of boots or shoes that fit me, but that is pretty rare.
  5. Of my two current dogs, one will eat anything any time in any quantity and the other goes through phases when he doesn't want breakfast, or even doesn't want to eat food at all for a day or more. He will always still take favorite treats, just not a meal. I have learned not to stress about it, and of course not to offer fancier foods to coax him to eat. I just put the same food down again the next meal. Pick up if not eaten in 10 minutes, repeat. In your case....I would confine him with his bowl so he can't hide food under your pillow.... :-) And as long as he is lively and seems fine in all other ways I wouldn't worry, but of course getting him checked out by the vet can't ever hurt.
  6. First, that so called behaviorist is worthless. As I am sure you agree, and I am sorry you wasted your time and money. Click To Calm is a great book. I highly recommend it. One problem I had some years ago with training dogs was that I thought I had to wait until the dog did what I wanted in order to reward. Click To Calm changed my life in that way, as I was dealing with a highly reactive and traumatized foster dog. I learned from the book that I can watch very intently and can click (or mark in whatever way you do) and reward even the tiniest cessation of the bad behavior. No one can continue endlessly running or jumping or barking or whatever they are doing. Click To Calm teaches you to watch for the tiny moment the dog needs to grab a breath or when all four feet are on the ground, and you mark that and reward it. Faster than you think it will, this can build up to a complete change in behavior. Being food motivated is very useful in this training. Best of luck!
  7. I'm going to try to keep this in mind, gvc. I will be in the market for another dog one of these days..... :-)
  8. Start with getting his attention. And do it somewhere that there are not cars or people, if at all possible. Do you have a back yard where he won't see such things? Spend 5 minutes just on that, if getting his attention is that difficult. What I would do is stand and wait with him until he glances at me, and the second he does, mark it (click a clicker, or say Good, or whatever your mark is) and give a treat. Wait until he looks at you again. Repeat. Spend 5 minutes doing this. Then go inside. It sounds to me as if the moment you walk out the door he goes instantly over threshold and is too distracted to pay attention. So work on the attention in the back yard if you have one and failing that, work on it in the living room. You need to train without distractions as best you can before expecting a reactive dog to learn in a distracting environment. The time for exposing him to different things is later, when it doesn't freak him out so much. Also...try a different treat. Something he is crazy about. roast chicken in tiny pieces. Liverwurst (although not too much, as liver can give some dogs the runs). String cheese. Experiment until you find what he loves. Do it first thing in the morning before breakfast, so he will be hungry. Do it before dinner, ditto. Make sure you watch him like a hawk so that the instant he does the right thing he is rewarded. You need to show him in this way what he should do, rather than only correcting what he should not do, which is what a lot of more old fashioned training methods do. I would work on that for about a week and see if any progress is made before starting on the leash walking. Just one more thing.....I have no idea if this is contributing or not, but I notice you have a harness on him. Some dogs, including one of mine, absolutely hate a harness and will not behave if one is put on. You might try a collar just to see if that makes any difference once you transition from attention exercises to leash walking. These training methods are basic and simple, but require a lot of patience and persistence. There's nothing fancy about it and you don't need to spend money on some course to teach you how to do this. Just use the basic methods and keep at it. A course won't make it any easier. Just work with the dog.
  9. Yeah, that bit about what border collies need is just something people who don't know the breed well will tell you. Of course they need exercise, but in this case training takes precedence. Not getting exercise doesn't make a border collie "wild". Keep in mind that sheep dogs don't always work every day. Some days they have nothing to do and lie around. They are not taken out to run on those days; the shepherd is too busy for that, and the dog learns that when it's time to work you run and when it is not time to work you chill out. Giving a border collie too much exercise and too much activity and attention can create a dog who will be always demanding attention and activity. But withholding running until the dog learns to walk nicely and come when called is part of training the dog.
  10. First, you are allowing the training to upset you and that upsets the dog, making him more wild and harder to train. 40 minutes is much, much too long for a training session of ay kind. Only take him out for 5 minutes at a time. The moment he pulls, turn abruptly around and go the other way. He pulls again, turn abruptly around and go the other way. I know, because I have done this with many dogs (and trained them successfully each time) that this means you will spend the whole 5 minutes going back and forth over the same piece of ground. that's OK. Remember that mental exercise in the form of training is every bit as important and exhausting as physical exercise. Do not let the lack of exercise by not getting to the park stop you from this training. It may take a few weeks, but that time will go fast and then you will for the rest of the dog's life have a dog who is a pleasure to walk instead of a hardship. Once he can walk all the way 2 blocks to the park without pulling on the leash, he gets to go to the park again and not before. As for the barking, let him find refuge in you by allowing him to sit next to you and get petted. Just don't say things like "It's alll right, you pooor thing" because that only tells him there's something to fear. If he keeps barking after you give him the cue to stop barking (say something like "that's enough", not STOP, which sounds like a bark to a dog!) put him in the crate, cover the crate with a blanket all the way around and absolutely do not let him out until he stops barking. He barks again, put in back in the crate. He will learn that barking means crate time, and will stop when you tell him to.
  11. Just my comment............While it is absolutely true that border collies are defined by how they behave rather than how they look, there are border collies that do not have what it takes to work. Even in a litter bred from working stock and bred for working ability can produce a dog who is too fearful to work or who simply doesn't have enough drive or interest. That would not mean that dog was not a border collie. If the parents and grand parents and so on were all border collies, that dog is a border collie even if she or he doesn't have what it takes to work stock. My Kit had very classic border collie looks, and very classic BC behavior - stalking, eye, focus, The Stare. No doubt what she was. Work livestock? Not so much. That doesn't mean she was not a border collie. Sometimes young dogs appear in border collie rescues to be adopted into pet homes because they flunked in the sheep pasture. They are still border collies.
  12. With a puppy who tends to get over-excited and run rampant, I always prefer to play in a more quiet manner. Any play you do with her that ramps her up is counter-productive. Either find ways to play with her that are more quiet, or else try training her to fetch or tug, then do short sessions of that where you are in control of the toy, and when play is over it's over. Very distinct line between playtime and down time. Also remember that intellectual stimulation is every bit as important as play or physical exercise. Take two minutes a few different time in the day to train her to do something, using lots of praise and treats. Then, as with the play, it is time to chill out. This gives her practice at using an "off switch". Also, you can take her on walks. The no-outside-contact thing before all the vaccinations are done is highly overstated. I would not take a pup who has not had full vaccinations to a dog day care, dog park, or let the pup on the floor at the vet office or other place where you know there have been many dogs. But I wouldn't hesitate to walk her just down the street, and into places such as Home Depot, where dogs are welcome. Of course, work on leash walking in your own yard first so that you can train her manners on the leash before she has all the distractions of new places.
  13. You have answered your own question. If you feel she has too much free reign, then she most likely does. If she nips an ankle you need to respond immediately. Don't wait until she has nipped twice. The very first time, say "ow!" or "ah!", or make some other sound indicating it hurt (I like to try to make a dog yelp-in-pain sound as best I can), and then take her gently but firmly to her crate for a time out. This will have to be repeated a hundred times or more so do not get discouraged! Be 100% consistent with this and let it take however long it takes to sink in that Every. Single. Time. she nips she will go into the crate for 5 to 10 minutes and all the fun stops for her. It could take a couple of weeks, could take month. Could take six months. Just keep doing it. Every member of your household must do the same. Remember, it is vitally important that this time out in the crate is not viewed as punishment. Do not have a punishing attitude. Do not get angry or frustrated. These things will only make it worse, guaranteed. Think of it as if it were a force of nature, over which you have no control. It's like gravity: if you jump from a height you will fall to the ground. If you nip at ankles you will go into your crate for a time out.
  14. In your place, I would simply ignore his noise at night. It sounds as though he eventually settles down, so just wait him out. This includes thunderstorms. He will learn, if you stick with it, that his noise gets him nowhere and it will last less time, and eventually will fade out completely. If you continue to get up and go to him or sleep in the room with him it will take longer, because he is getting intermittent positive results which he interprets as "it works sometimes, so I just have to keep trying". If necessary, speak to your neighbors and let them know that this won't last forever, and put him in the room that is the best for sound-proofing, and close the door and window.
  15. The first time I saw Kelso perk up his ears and light up his eyes was when he heard a squeaky toy for the first time, and it remained the one and only thing that would get him happy and excited for some time. His new people used it a lot at first with him to get him to drop his fear of the new surroundings and start to trust them. In fact, I remember the day they met him the first time very clearly. They had seen him lying in a corner of the kitchen, refusing to move or turn his head because there were Strangers In The House. I could tell they liked him, but were possibly a bit hesitant. Then I brought out a squeaky toy and said, "Do you want to see him perk up?" and started squeaking the toy. Instantly, Kelso was up and dancing around me with his eyes bright and happy. They watched that for about 30 seconds, and then told me they wanted him. (Of course, as a disclaimer for those who have not read Kelso's story, I would not have let him go to them just based on that. There had also been a long phone conversation prior to my letting them come to meet him, and there were several solid reasons that I felt they would be a good match for Kelso. They have proven to be the best home he could have had.)
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