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About ShellyF

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  1. Lol! Washed poop isn’t fun! i’ve stopped taking treats now because for the times I need it they have zero impact - no matter how high value they are! But the rags in my pocket work provided I keep getting new ones. I’ve started to leave them stuffed in smelly boots as this increases their value hahaha!
  2. Funny! We have definitely seen improvement with a different lead too. We ended up getting the cheap and cheerful IKEA ones - the wider/thicker of the two. They are strong but lightweight and a good length to not tangle around feet. I think he finds life less irritating with it too. We also stopped carrying poop bags on the leash clips because they were a distraction. Back to stuffing pockets with loose bags!
  3. Hey that sounds like great progress! Funny you mention laundry. I got Merlin to sit while I said ‘put it in the box’ and proceeded to put an old cloth in the laundry hamper. I did this a few times and then got him to do it. He did and I made a big fuss. He got very excited then and it was hard to repeat. I left it until the next day and repeated and so on. So i’ll keep trying that. We do the ‘find’ game. He really enjoys it with the first toy we ever taught him to find haha! 10 mins of these sessions is about all he can cope with before he gets ratty. At the moment we are getting out in the boat about every few days. When we go he gets to swim (although he tends to dig in the water and make silly noises ???) for a bit and then a couple of hours ‘watching’. He keeps his eyes peeled for other boats and gulls. Back on the dock he sits on the boat and watches the world go by. He’s tied on so that if people come by and pet him he can’t quite lunge to lick them so he’s getting good at just standing there and wagging his tail while they pet and he loves it. No guarding or stress. After a day like this he can barely cope with anything much for a couple of days other than being at home with his ten minute walks on our property, a bit of playing and the odd game. We rarely walk him on the road but when we do we keep it short and he’s getting less reactive. He’s getting much less leash bitey but when we come back in from a walk it’s all he wants to do. We tried saying no and sit and he responds immediately by stopping and sitting and waiting patiently for a command but then goes for the leash again. We finally figured that it’s as if once inside, even after just ten minutes outside, he just can’t switch off the adrenaline immediately and he gets loopy for five mins so now we have a selection of old rags by the door. Once he sits and waits he gets rewarded with an old rag. He tosses that around for a bit and happily gives it up after a while. He’s still pretty much our 15 minute Merlin lol!
  4. My words of encouragement are that we are our own worst enemy and for me it’s been having the courage to insist that people don’t pet him until I say he is ready. Most people ignore me and so I have to get inbetween them and Merlin to make my point My good friend has followed my instructions consistently since he was a pup. She stands with her arms folded and we tell Merlin to go to his bed. He doesn’t at first but instead of repeating ourselves we all stand calmly until he does. Then he gets petted and then he gets excited and jumps up so we rinse and repeat. This week when my friend went to pet him in his bed (after all the waiting patiently for him to go there) he stayed and calmly let her stroke him without behaving like a goof ball. Well it’s taken nearly 14 months but we all agree it’s progress haha!
  5. He self settles if we manage things. Take this evening. He hasn’t done a huge amount today but I was out all morning and even though he’s not left alone he is my boy so he was restless while I was out. He was a complete rat bag this afternoon and I had to enforce a little crate rest. This evening after his suppertime nap he was pacing and not settling so I tied him up just out the front to watch the world go by and let him dig under his favourite tree. Now he is back inside after just an hour and has settled - also because I am sewing in another room. It’s like he knows he can go off duty. When two of us are sitting around trying to have a coffee - that’s when he become a tyrant lol!
  6. Ours would be on the go if we asked him too but then we’d all suffer! Frequently we try and increase things and it always ends up with him hardly coping at all. If he has zero stress from traffic or strangers he can romp happily with other dogs for 15/20 mins then he will stand aside and be very happy to leave. He definitely has a sweet spot. If he overdoes it then he needs us to take him to his crate whereas if he has just the right amount of ‘entertainment’ without too much physical or mental exercise he is quite content. It’s taking quite an adjustment of our lives to fit around what he can manage as we got a border collie specifically because we wanted the agility and activity. Yet as our daughter says, he’s the first dog they hadn’t been a rescue and we’ve ended up rescuing a dog that none of us knew needed rescuing! I am sure if someone else had chosen him he would have been in a shelter by now
  7. I am sorry if he does have it but on the other hand I do think it helps to know. I have learned to spot the triggers in our guy too. One thing is when he’s not coping and we are out he does this stress eating thing where he will repeatedly dip his head and scoop up gravel or dirt. My reaction now I know that means he is struggling is to stop, get him to sit and sit by him while stroking him gently. Friends really notice the difference in his abilities. I can remember at six months he would love to do several long runs in the back field but not any more. He looks keen for a bit but then gives up. Even playing tug he quickly gets exhausted. The worst things are visitors or wildlife in the yard that he’s not expecting. He gets excited and can’t cope with the adrenaline. We have to take him to his crate to rest. He tries to rugby tackle us on the way but then he sees his crate and rushes in. He stays quietly in his crate for 12 hours every night. He’s super super affectionate though
  8. We’ve had to really reign back any kind of activity for our little guy who is now 14 months. He is only like this when he is over tired and he can’t cope with more than 15-20 minutes of mental or physical activity but is much better when he’s entertained by having something to look at calmly or when exercise is just pootling about calmly at his pace. His ability to deal with things has decreased and neutering made it worse. Someone on this forum suggested that he probably has (and is self managing) Border Collie Collapse and having had every other possible cause eliminated by the vet, that’s what we assume too. An ideal day for him is pootling about on our boat, watching the world go by, some splashing in the water and then the drive home. He’s as calm as anything then. But if we tried to do with him what Border Collies are supposed to be able to do, it’s like having a toddler who’s been sleep deprived and is then told it’s time to leave the party! I don’t know if it helps but whether our guy or your guy has it or not, knowing that it might be excessive fatigue that they can’t cope with does help understand them better and might be worth trying. Some people advise tiring the heck out of a border and while some dogs may cope it would certainly finish ours off! Good luck
  9. Thanks @GentleLake I probably sounded a bit sloppy with my measurements lol! I did look up the weight and ground eggshell ratio and then for the meat that I give him I worked it back to cups but you are right, it’s best to measure properly for the meat being given. I do include organ meat and I should have specified that. I read tons of info and then made myself a list to stick on the fridge to make sure that I give him all the bits and bobs he needs. It’s been such a relief for me to see my little guy doing a couple of regular poops a day instead of four mounds of goop! At least I know he isn’t stressed with his gut I am not against raw and he gets raw bones. I appreciate your reminder though
  10. This is Mr Merlin who’s nodded off on the sofa again - much to his own surprise haha! 94B8220A-FC1D-4B9D-B291-2D8C90A9442F.MOV
  11. So I cook ground beef and occasionally other meats which I whizz up small. I add 1/4 tsp ground eggshell per 2 cups meat. Then a little cooked veggies. I toss in a few blueberries and seeds and random leftovers. For breakfast he has 2 scrambled eggs, a little bit of mixed seeds and a dollop of home made yoghurt. I mix in a little kibble sometimes if he’s done more activity or seems more hungry.
  12. Oh yes - really wanting to get it right - I see that Have noticed improvement since I changed his diet. I cook all his food now - rarely give kibble. He is way below the trajectory that he seemed to be on as a pup. Vet said he would be a 55/60lb collie but his sweet spot is 50lb. He’s not food motivated but responds toys that we keep for treats.
  13. Same! We are noticing more things falling into place. As you know our respective dogs share a limited exercise capability although Merlin can cope with more ‘watching and mooching about’ now (still not much road walking or long runs). I think we will nickname him ‘fifteen minute Merlin’ as much more and he struggles. He had a 16 minute walk yesterday including some road work. He held it together and then released his stress on the sofas back home by hurling himself from one to the other. When he collapsed in a heap his lips were quivering uncontrollably. Yet with a day on the boat, messing about in the water and as much running and playing in the fenced area of the yard that he wants to do, he’s a happy boy. After a typical twelve hour nap in his crate (he doesn’t even ask to come out in the morning) he’s had his ten minute walk through our woods and is now quietly watching wildlife from the deck or snoozing on the sofa. His only ‘behaviour’ issues are when his adrenaline is up and he can’t seem to cope with it so we just accept that this is him and we are adjusting life to his needs
  14. Once when I was driving along a highway I drove past a particularly hazardous junction. I didn’t break or accelerate or speak or make any sound at all but as I watched my mirrors and other cars carefully I could sense in myself a slight adrenaline rush as I concentrated. At this moment Merlin started whining and fussing from his crate in the back. And as soon as we were passed the junction and I felt calmer myself he settled back down. It could only have been my alertness that he sensed.
  15. Still many similarities haha! Merlin is not a destroyer either. He too is very affectionate. The biggest naughtiness is that every evening he likes to run around with the oven glove but gives it up readily. And he always shoves things under the sofa and then scratches for them if he wants attention. We tend to get the toys out from under the sofa and put them away now rather than giving them back to him lol! He settles well unless over tired but will take an extra nap if needed. He gets very over excited with visitors. He knows he has to go to his bed before he can say hello and he does and when we ask visitors not to stroke him if he jumps they of course ignore us! Outside we rarely take him for road walks or do things that involve too much running as he can’t cope but he too loves to watch. We have a sailing boat and now he’s getting over the initial excitement it’s tiring him in a nice way just sitting on the boat watching the world go by clearly Merlin and Jupiter are watch collies haha!
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