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About ShellyF

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  1. Same for us. He got old blankets until he reigned back on the chewing. He’s 8 months now and when he does try chewing on his bed or a rug (which has now been put back down) he responds to ‘leave it’. During the day his crate is unlined but it’s plastic and warm and he’s not in it much. When he’s ready to settle for the night I put a wool pad in his crate. At this age we’ve noticed he has much less need to chew although he enjoys a beef knuckle in the evening and a variety of toys with different textures.
  2. ShellyF

    Kit is 17!

    Just lovely
  3. What a lovely thread! 8 month old Merlin rattles the crate door at about 7.30 and by 8am I am up to let him out. We cuddle on the sofa for about 20 minutes which gives me time to wake up properly lol! I feed him and then take him for a 10 minute walk around our property. I then take a bowl of yoghurt and granola to the sofa and he has yoghurt smeared in his bowl nearby. He then lies around waiting for my hubby to get up. After we’ve had breakfast and coffee and frankly lazed around Merlin is ready for action so by 10.30/11 we take him out. Every other day he gets either a good off leash walk of about 30/40 minutes or we walk to a huge ball field and play fetch with him so he can run fast. There are other dogs to socialise with off leash. In the intervening days we play on a smallish area of our property where he can run and chase balls and frisbees. Usually this takes 20 minutes before he becomes more focused on sniffing around the trees After his lunch he goes in his crate for a rest or rests on the rug. The afternoon is a mix of him resting, a bit of indoor training, him popping outside onto the deck to take in the sights or play in his attached pen by himself plus playtime with us. By 4.30pm he looks at me to remind me to start cooking supper. He then lies by the chopping block waiting for me to toss him raw carrot. I walk him round the property again at 5pm and feed him at 5.30 and then he rests in his crate for 1-2 hours (depending on the day) and we have a quiet supper. About 6.30/7pm he’s out of the crate and has a chew and a play and by 8pm he’s ready to rest on the rug by our side. I take him out for a wee at 9 ish and by 9.30/10 he takes himself to his crate for kibble treats and then settles for the night. He has his moments for sure and if we are doing chores he wants to join in - not always possible. We still have to watch him carefully as he of course loves to get into mischief! He doesn’t have free reign of all the rooms in the house but can wander at will in the kitchen and living room and go out on our deck when he wants to. We only leave him very occasionally and only for a couple of hours. He whines like fury in his crate but our webcam confirms that he settles the moment we drive off. He gets lots of training but on an ongoing basis as well as specific sessions. For example - we train him to keep going to lie on his cushion (it avoids being ambushed) and before going out or into other rooms he has to lie down. He’ll also now wait patiently in the mud room while we get our boots on whereas just a month or so ago he’d be running around with shoes in his mouth. When he’s off leash we call him back frequently with liver rewards. In the ball field he can easily get selective deafness so then he goes back on the training line. Every morning and while out walking my hubby and I both practice ‘walk on’ and ‘stand/lie down’ at a distance. He’s perfect at doing it provided there’s no distraction - then he goes deaf! So we are planning some extra training line sessions for him as otherwise he’ll be taking over haha! It’s taking time and patience but we’re getting there. We’ve moderated our training and rules so that we focus on the important stuff whilst letting his character shine through. So he chooses the toys he wants to play with and we let him run around with the oven mit once a day. But he never gets table scraps and never walks out of a door until given permission to do so. He drives us nuts but is absolutely adorable. We have definitely nurtured him to our pace of life but every day he gets time to be a collie and several times a week he gets the time and space to run like the wind!
  4. ShellyF

    First Christmas!

    We’re going to put a fire guard around our tree which will be in a corner. Decorations are up high and limited. We have a Christmas village on the coffee table and he’s rather fixated with the moving rocking horse on top of the toy shop hahaha!
  5. ShellyF

    Healthy and Safe Chews

    I hang onto an old marrow bone and coat the inside with something tasty for minor distractions but the only thing i’ve found works for a long chew are dried beef knees. They are not roasted (which would make them splinter) and not completely raw (which would be messy on rugs and it’s too cold for outside chewing now) but are dried enough so that they are not classified as raw. He grinds away at them for a good hour or more and goes back to them. I chuck them after a few days and give him a fresh one. They are inexpensive. About $2.50 at the holistic pet store. If I give him bully sticks or Himalayan cheese they are expensive and last about 15 mins!
  6. ShellyF

    Small lump on paw

    Heartfelt sympathies. But I hear ya. Ops when they are older is rough on them. Our old lady passed 18+ months ago now. She survived the lumps on her paw but urethral cancer was a different story. Although an op wasn’t the answer on that occasion our lovely vet eased things with meds that didn’t have side effects. We got our happy pup back for a good few months before it was time to say goodbye. What I wouldn’t give though to have all my late dogs pop back from time to time for a little chat and cuddle
  7. ShellyF

    Puppy walks

    Ours is 8 months and he finds even now that more than 50 mins including off leash is too much. How do we know? Because he’ll go for his toys when he comes home. Can’t switch off. So we say ‘nap time’ and into his crate he goes and zonks out. If we didn’t do that he’d be Mr Cranky. But about 30mins and some off leash running and he comes home and casually lies around resting with no crankiness. Someone who didn’t know him would swear that he needed more exercise because he would keep going if we asked him too but we have learned otherwise. At 12 weeks it was mostly just play time and sniffy walks around the woods on our property. Hope This helps
  8. ShellyF

    Small lump on paw

    Our last dog had this and it turned out to be a common cancer. Not trying to scare you but caught early it was a simple op for her
  9. ShellyF

    Quirky dogs

    Lol - sofa hiding is a classic attention seeking doggie thing! Our last dog did it when we were quietly watching TV and our 7 month pup now does it when he’s tired and cranky. As soon as he does it we know it’s crate time haha! His ‘thing’ at the moment is bringing in ice from the yard and taking it to his bed. We are having to limit it though or he would be in and out ALL DAY!
  10. ShellyF

    Puppy Biting

  11. ShellyF

    Puppy Biting

    Merlin has learned not to do this type of mouthing with a ‘leave it’ command. We found it helped to have specific training sessions where we waved our hands in front of him, said ‘leave it’ and in the moment that he hesitated to listen to what we had said we got in a ‘good boy’. After a few of these we said ‘that’ll do’ and Then took him to his treat box for a reward. Of course we have had ups and downs. But we’re now at the stage where he gets invited up for a cuddle and he won’t touch us with his mouth. After a while you can see it’s so hard for him to resist lol! He’ll yawn and ‘accidentally on purpose’ close his mouth on our hand. We say ‘leave it’ and he does. Then he starts what we call ‘flea nibbling’. Again we say ‘leave it’ and he does. SOme days he just can’t stop himself (especially when he’s getting his tummy tickled) and he waves his legs in the air and gets mouthy - in which case we say ‘off’ and unceremoniously shove him off the sofa. Sometimes he will playfully lunge for my hand and he gets a ‘don’t even think about it’ haha! Keep persevering. It all does eventually work!
  12. ShellyF

    Styles of training

    I don’t blame you for venting. That trainer sounds awful! Please tell your fiancé that there are a ton of people on this forum who have six month old collies and older dogs who see this as nothing out of the ordinary. Dogs are not in our lives to do anything we say when we want it. That’s what’s hideous about bear baiting! yes we have to have parameters and rules for everyone’s safety but there has to be complete respect for the animal to work within their capabilities. One of the fun challenges of working with a collie is that they are so smart they are thinking ahead all the time. So it’s not wilful disobedience - they’ve just thought through to the end game and analysed what’s required. I’m sure she would have stood up if he’d have said there was urgent herding to do but if she was tired she was probably taking a sensible moment to rest. There is no way I would take the dog back to that class. I’m sure you can do 100% better all by yourself.
  13. ShellyF

    Puppy Lead Biting

    I’m glad the ‘little chat’ worked haha! And yes it doesn’t have to be a harsh hold. I liken it to having a firm touch on a child’s shoulder when you are telling them that you’ve had enough of their silliness for one day
  14. Lol! We had a beagle lab that would do this. Very similar personality from the sounds of it. When we came home from errands it would always be a laugh to see what had been taken to her bed. We found frying pans, spectacles, library cards, coasters, flashlights, Tupperware, books - you name it and she took a fancy to it. With the exception of Tupperware it didn’t get chewed, just collected. From a dog’s perspective they must watch us walk around the house, picking things up and putting them down on side tables near where we lounge. I guess if it’s good for us to do it’s good for a dog to do!