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About D'Elle

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    Tucson AZ

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  1. D'Elle

    Winter Swim

    I would definitely take great care with a border collie and that kind of cold water. They are not built for it as, say, a Newfoundland is. They don't have the protective fat and heavy coat. Especially as the dog gets older, I would keep him away from water that is that cold. JMO
  2. Have you considered getting a dog from a rescue organization? I know this is not what you asked for, but I cannot help but want to throw this out there. Rather than buying a puppy, even from a good breeder, would you consider going through a good rescue organization and getting a dog that is already here and needs a home? There are many advantages to getting a dog that way, most especially as this is your first border collie. If you get a young adult dog from a rescue you will be getting a dog who has lived in a foster home for two weeks or more (usually more) and the foster person can tell you a great deal about the dog: personality, energy level, favored activities, issues that may need to be trained. If you get a puppy the puppy is adorable but that stage doesn't last long and you don't know what kind of dog the pup will turn into; if it may be a hard dog or a fearful one, etc. and that might be very hard for you to deal with. some people are a lot better with or would really prefer a certain kind of dog. If you go the rescue path, you can get a young dog who suits your own personality, the things you want to do with the dog, and your activity level. Rescues get puppies in, as well. Please consider this. (spoken from someone who fostered border collies for 8 years and believes it is the very best way for a newcomer to the breed to get the right dog)
  3. D'Elle

    Donald McCaig

    I am deeply sad to read this news. I never met him, but always eagerly read what he had to say on this forum, and respected his opinion whether it was the same as mine or not. The Dog Wars is a book I have recommended to many people over the years, and it has changed many minds about dogs and border collies. I always looked up to him for his knowledge, his grace and his politeness. He was a good dog man and a gentleman. I will miss reading his words very much. Godspeed, Mr. McCaig. (I am ordering An American Homeplace today)
  4. This is a serious situation and appears to be escalating. If not stopped immediately it will become an untenable situation. I am glad that you are getting good professional help from a qualified dog behaviorist with this problem. Do not go to anyone who suggests you react with anger, shouting, or force of any kind with the dog, as that will most likely escalate the problem.
  5. To me, this seems right. Allowing the dog to move at his own pace in getting more comfortable with other people, while at the same time controlling and monitoring the interactions and circumstances in order to protect everyone involved and make sure he doesn't have a bad experience. This is probably what I would do if other methods failed as they have with you. Sometimes the dog has his own wisdom and we do well simply to listen to that.
  6. D'Elle

    Puppy Lead Biting

    I have had experience with this with my terrier. On more than one occasion a talk in a reasonable voice has changed his behavior permanently or for several months. I always explain things to my animals. I don't think they understand what I am saying but I believe they get a sense of it in some way and it definitely helps enough of the time that I keep doing it. At the least, it cannot hurt.
  7. D'Elle

    Scared of Music?!

    How loud are you playing the music? The first thing I would do is put him in the other room and turn down the music so that he cannot hear it. If this makes him calm down, then you can try desensitizing him to the music gradually. Use very clam and slow music, probably without lyrics, and starting with the music on so low that you can almost not hear it, and giving him treats and playing with him with the music at that almost inaudible level. You would then very, very gradually increase the level of the music, and when I say gradually I mean take at least two or three weeks to do this, and never take the level up to loud at any time. In that time, don't play any music at any other time when he is in the house. See if you can get him to associate the quiet music with good things like play and treats. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do this very gradually.
  8. D'Elle

    Puppy Biting

    Definitely still not good at all, and you need to put an end to it. It may be harmless and cute to you now, but it is a very bad idea to allow a dog of any age to think it is OK to put his or her mouth on a human being. When the dog is older, he will continue this behavior, and the result may be tragic. If, for instance, he were to "gently squeeze" someone who doesn't know him, that person, and the law, will classify it as a bite. Even if no harm is meant or done, you and the dog can be in trouble. He does that to a child, and it is even worse. People who do not know dogs well will freak out over this kind of thing. You do not want to go down that road. It may lead to confiscation of your dog and even death. I have known this to happen, when the dog was harmless and had not broken the skin, but had put his mouth on more than one person who was intensely bothered by it and reported it as a bite. ETA: when I say "dog of any age" of course I am not referring to a baby puppy only a few weeks old. Seven months is still a puppy, but not a baby, and needs to learn not to do that.
  9. D'Elle

    Puppy Biting

    Stop the yelling Ben No, it clearly is not working and it won't ever. From what you write, he sees it as a game and you are doing nothing to discourage the game. He may see it as part of the game, and certainly he is getting your attention which reinforces the behavior. Also, never use the dog's name in anger, and please never shout at your dog. Take up all the toys for now and put them away where he cannot get them on his own. I know, that seems mean but it is temporary. That way he doesn't bring it to you, and you can take a toy out to play when you decide it is playtime.. If he starts the biting behavior, don't say anything at all, or if you really want to, just say a normal-voice "uh-uh" or "ah!" and take him by the collar, gently and not with any anger, and put him out of the room or in a crate. Leave him there for five minutes and then let him out in a very casual way, no excitement whatever. If he starts to bite again, do it again. Do this with 100% consistency even if it takes weeks. He will learn, probably quickly, that if he behaves that way all the fun stops and he cannot be with you any more. As for the toys, he can have them when he is in his crate, so he is not entirely deprived. But they cannot be out on the floor for him to bring to you. You must choose the time, place, toy used, and way that you play with him. If he tries to insist that you play when it is not play time, he goes into the crate. Do not be concerned about using the crate in this way. As long as you always project neutrality toward him when you put him in, it will not be viewed as punishment and will not make him dislike the crate. Just be very sure you are neutral. Do not get angry. It will not help. This needs to be done as if it were simply a law of nature, like gravity. If you bite, you go in crate, inevitably. This is very simple, but it will absolutely work. If you never vary from this he will change his behavior.
  10. D'Elle

    Playing fetch

    Fetch is great and there is no reason to avoid it at all. The thing is, you and only you must always control what toy is used, and when, where, and for how long the game is played. Don't play fetch with any toys that are left out for him to have. Choose only one toy that is used for fetch and only that toy; say only a ball or only a frisbee. Keep it shut away from him and you decide when to bring it out and play. If he asks you to throw something else, don't do it, and inform your guests and other members of your household to do the same. Consistency is vital here, and if others do not control the game as well it will not work and you may end up with a dog who brings everything under the sun to everyone and asks for it to be thrown. If you control the game you will have a lot of fun and so will your dog. This is coming from someone who had an obsessive fetcher for many years, my dog was very happy and we never had any problem with it.
  11. D'Elle

    Puppy Lead Biting

    First, run don't walk away from that "trainer". That person knows nothing and will only give you bad advice. Second, I would very much recommend to you a book called "Control Unleashed". If you follow some of the protocols in that book you will see good results. You can also look up online "Look At That Game", which is from that book, and find posts describing how it works. I would work with the dog a great deal in places where you will not see other people at all, until you have spent several weeks working on holding his attention and getting good leash manners in your own yard or another place you can have in private, if at all possible. You can then start the "Look at that" game with the help of only one other person, not a bunch of them as in a park or sidewalk. As the dog learns, you can make it two people, and build up from there. It's not a good idea to start to train better behavior in an area where there are a lot of people, because it is too distracting and can overwhelm the dog, making it impossible for him to pay attention to you. Always start small, and take little steps so that the dog can have success. I do not recommend making him go down and stepping on the leash, or holding him down by the scruff of the neck. That will likely result in the same violent reaction and attempt to bite through the leash. You need to train the dog to control himself, not to control the dog by overpowering him. Using a halti harness or similar device with a puppy is in my opinion not the best way to train the dog to have nice leash manners. These dogs are very smart, and he will know when the harness is not on him and may act up then. It is far better to train the dog, carefully and persistently, to walk nicely on a loose leash. This training will last a lifetime if it is consistently reinforced, and you will have a dog who simply knows how to behave, rather than a dog who must always be managed with a device. Remember that what you want is a good working relationship with your dog, not a "I'm the boss/alpha, and you must obey" kind of relationship. The former may produce a dog who will do as you command out of fear of the consequences if he does not, but the latter will produce a dog who sees you as a benevolent leader who provides protection and enjoyment, and will obey because good things come to dogs who obey. I know which relationship I would rather have.
  12. If I had a dog in my care who did what you describe even once that dog would henceforth be on a leash at all times. Not a long line, a regular leash. I would then work, on leash, on the behavior while I am able to control where she goes. There are various ways to do this. To change the behavior entirely I would recommend the "look At That" protocol in the book "Control Unleashed". Do not ever, ever let your dog even have the opportunity to do this again. It is a self-rewarding behavior and any time she gets away with it just makes it harder for you to train her out of it. It is also potentially dangerous for her. Best of luck. I know the Look At That game works.
  13. D'Elle

    Suddenly Nipping

    I don't think it is as important why the dog is nipping as it is to stop it. Of course, if you can figure out that it is a different walker, or something obvious, then you can address that. But the important thing is never to allow her to get away with that. I would do a sharp NO! or AH!, whatever I am using with that dog to express displeasure, and then pop the dog into the crate, or banish her from the bedroom immediately. She doesn't have to stay there all night, but for 5 minutes or so to indicate to her that if she behaves that way she cannot be with you at night. This requires 100% consistency on your part. If she really wants to be with you, and you say she does, she will earn to curb this behavior pretty quickly. I would not bother with distractions and so on, because this is potentially very serious behavior. Not only could your husband be tripped or otherwise injured, but if your dog ever nips at a stranger you can end up in a world of trouble, which could include a very unsafe situation for your dog. In many places you can be sued, and your dog may be kenneled for weeks at the pound, and if it were to happen more than once the dog can be killed. I take all nipping and biting (beyond puppy mouthing, which I still try to stop as early as possible) very seriously, because it is.
  14. Perhaps you could try a rotary tool for nail trimming. I use one and it is far less stressful for me as well as for the dogs because I can see what I am doing and very rarely get too close to the quick. Mind you mine is a professional flexible shaft drill which is a lot more heavy duty than the little hand held battery operated ones sold at pet stores, many of which don't have enough torque power to do the job very easily. I think all the suggestions are good. And I also think the most important thing to give to an aging dog (mine is almost 17), is love. Lots and lots and lots of love. It helps with everything.
  15. D'Elle

    what breed is she?

    greetings ad welcome to the BC Boards. She's a cute dog, whatever she is and if you love her it doesn't matter except, as you say, for curiosity. Just a word on the chasing horses. Even in a round pen it is very dangerous. The horses and dog could both get hurt just as easily, perhaps even more so since there's no exit for either one to take. I also feel that allowing a dog to chase horses (as opposed to being properly trained to move livestock correctly, which doesn't involve actual chasing) is not kind to the animals being chased. JMO, and I am not trying to come down on you or criticize, just to give you a perspective that you may not have considered. I might also mention that chasing is a predatory behavior seen in most dogs, and really has nothing to do with actual stock work or herding of livestock, so the fact that she wants to chase is not indicative of her being part border collie. In any case, welcome and we are here to help and answer questions if we can.