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jami74

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  1. We also use 'down' when I'm not sure a recall will work. Down always means go down and don't get up until you hear the release command. We practice this all the time at home and out, he goes down and stays there knowing when I get to him he'll get a treat and then I 'catch' him for a few seconds before giving him the release command. We started with just the down when he was a small puppy at home, then we'd ask for a down while inching away from him then rushing back to give him a reward. It didn't take long before we could ask him to stay down and he would wait while we stepped briefly out of sight. It's become useful for all sorts of things at home. It has also improved recall so much because I use a down when it's time to catch him to go home, recall now only ever means treats or a fun game. When practicing our down sometimes the lead goes on and we walk a few steps together and then he is released again. Sometimes it means a food treat. Sometimes it means the ball is coming out. Sometimes it means it's time to rest. And sometimes it means it's home time.
  2. I'm not an expert at all, but I understand your worry because I felt the same thing when our boy was a similar age. I had to make some choices about places to avoid because of other people and distractions. Our lead walking was a disaster at four months, it's better now but still not perfect. Someone (here I think) advised me to love the dog that I've got but train for the dog I want. I remember thinking when he was five months that things were improving, and they've kept on improving. There is no quick fix. There's no magic you can perform to make him suddenly the way you need him to be, it's going to take time. We often change the direction of our walk in order to avoid a person or a distraction rather than fight each other. We also train to ignore people but if I don't feel like I have control over the situation then I'll avoid it rather than set him up for failure. I trained our boy to accept a basket muzzle when he was a similar age which prevented him from picking things up and eating them. He also tended to be quite mouthy when greeting people so it prevented any unwanted nips. He didn't like it much but it was useful to use while he was still learning to leave yukky things alone. We don't use it anymore, he's much less interested in picking up things he's not meant to have and much more likely to listen to me. It's not you, it's him! He's a baby and he's not safe. In the same way a human baby isn't safe or trustworthy. It's your job to keep him safe until he is 100% trustworthy, if that ever happens. Recall is so important and it was/is the thing that I most want to be perfect from the beginning. I think our boy was pretty good at four months old, if there were absolutely no distractions. I learnt a few lessons the hard (heart stopping!) way. We practice recall every single day, at home and on every outing. I think what really helped me to manage my expectations was reading an article on how Guide Dogs are trained. I know they are a different breed but I hadn't realised that they don't start their formal training until they're over a year old. Up until then the focus is learning basic commands like recall, walking on the lead, sit, wait, potty etc. That put it in perspective for me as I realised that the first year is really about learning the basics, because it takes that long to get the foundations good and proper. Adjust your expectations otherwise you'll both be unhappy.
  3. Our boy is eleven months and doesn't seem as playful anymore. He used to spend ages playing on his own with a toy but now not so much. What he really wants is my undivided attention, but I can't give it all the time. So I am looking for inspiration for new toys that he might be able to play with by himself. Any real favourites? Or do grown-up dogs not play by themselves much?
  4. Just keep reinforcing the behaviours you want and try to avoid situations which cause the behaviours you don't want. Keep better control over him so he can't run up to people and dogs or follow them, sounds easier than it is. It was something I worried about, now he's amazingly good at having a quick hello and then coming away with his people.
  5. jami74

    Our new 7 week old BC

    She is SO cute! And looks like Pandy has taken to her well. Jackie was my initial favourite but then I realised it sounded similar to Pandy and wondered if it might cause a bit of confusion for the dogs, eg in noisy places or if someone is mumbling or if their hearing deteriorates when they are older. I like Shawnee best out of the others.
  6. Has she been dewormed? Is she eating at regular intervals? Are they 'normal' well formed or runny? Our boy gives warning he needs to poo, even when out his nose goes to the ground and he trots backwards and forwards before squatting. Maybe she isn't getting the warning she needs. I realised at one point when he was younger that we were probably over feeding him because he was doing multiple soft poos a day, so we cut back a bit and that reduced them and firmed them up. Could you have a stair gate on the first inside door, so that if your kids let her back in she's restricted to just that room rather than being able to go upstairs?
  7. He sounds exactly like our boy was at four months! He's now nearly eleven months. 1) Our fetch was very much like that. I read things about border collies getting obsessed over playing fetch and didn't think it would apply to us. Now the ball is hidden and only comes out when I want to play. Put the ball away once he's brought it back once or twice. The focus will come good and strong as he gets older, enjoy not having it while he's a puppy. 2) Yep! Cat poo was our boys favourite, one time all his poo had red and green glitter in it and he bit the heads of some little plastic figures! Make sure he has access to lots of things he's aloud to mouth, toys with different textures etc and if you see him snuffling up something he shouldn't pass him something he is allowed. A wobble Kong is quite good, you fill it with kibble and then knock it around and eat up the kibble as it falls out. 3) OMG Yes! It was embarrassing. I remember running after people saying "Can you wait a minute please, my dog wants to come and live with you". Now, I have to send him to say hello to people and he certainly wouldn't go with them even if they tried. Think of your puppy like a 3 year old child. No focus on any activity for more than a few minutes before switching to another one, will forgot what he was supposed to be doing, wants to put absolutely everything in his mouth as he explores the world and finds other people far more interesting than us.
  8. I'm still working on our boys lead manners. We've got it pretty good when there are zero distractions but he'll lunge and bark at cars, people etc. I've taught a down when there's a distraction coming up and then he looks at the thing then back to me and when he looks back to me I drop a treat between his front legs. If it's a very big distraction then the treats are rapid fired, if he's calm and it's not such a big deal then he gets to watch it. He's nearly eleven months and there's definitely been a noticeable calming down in the last month, almost like he has a second to think about it before he reacts. We've done similar with people, I take him places where there will be people but they are not too close, then when we see a person he sits and looks at me for a treat. He was much younger when lead biting was a problem but what worked for us was the 'leave-it' command. We taught it with things he's never allowed to have rather than bits of food that he gets afterwards. The lead biting got crazy at one point so I bought a brand new lead and spent a few days teaching a 'leave-it' command on the new lead, starting really calmly with it just laying motionless on the floor to the point where I could shake it and wiggle it about and try to entice him to a game and he wouldn't touch it. Then started using for lead walks and he's not bitten a lead since.
  9. jami74

    Hide and Seek

    Our boy loves this game too! We've recently taken it outside, one of us will wait with him while the other runs off to hide in the trees. Then the hider recalls with the whistle and off he goes. We're trying to think of lots of good ways to practice a whistle recall and this is one of our favourites.
  10. Only like it at home? Wonder if it is the home dynamics or more environmental (eg the building, a sound driving him crazy that humans can't hear, something chemical). Am wondering if you took him on holiday somewhere for a few days, literally just you and him (no other dog) and followed his usual routine (same meal, exercise, crate and training timings) if he would behave like he does at home or like he does when out. I read something recently about a tea tree oil diffuser causing neurological problems in a pet dog. Like others have said, it does look from your posts that the problem coincided with getting the new puppy and got worse over time. If you can't get him out of the house and somewhere different for a few days, could you send her somewhere for a few days to see if his behaviour changes without her?
  11. I don't suppose anyone knows of anyone in South East England? The ones I've found on Google are all hours away. How did it go?
  12. jami74

    Keeping a reactive dog occupied

    Your video of your two dogs playing is similar to what happens between our boy and our cat. Although she doesn't want to play so she'll sit behind/under of something while he bounces around barking, bowing and wagging his tail. She'll hiss at him which eggs him on, and then eventually runs out and swipes him and he retreats. She really doesn't want to play with him and she makes it clear enough that he leaves her alone once she's told him. I tend to try and distract him now if I see that game start to play out, although sometimes it certainly looks like the cat is enticing him. She'll do things like sit right next to his food bowls or toys and glare at him trying to creep round her to get to them. Our boy suddenly seems to be back into everything again. He was very good at not touching things that aren't his but in the last couple of days it has felt like I've spent all my time at home taking things away from him. Up until now if he's been exercised and trained I could give him a Kong or chew and leave him to chew and sleep for a couple of hours. If neither of them have been altered, how are you going to avoid having puppies?
  13. Yes, I understand. I'm very careful not to use the H word at all in reference to our boy although other people are quick to use it when pointing out his bad behaviour
  14. But it sounds like lots of fun for those of us who might not get the opportunity to work stock. I've been teaching left and right by having our boy sit next to me and before I throw the ball I either say left, right or go and then throw the ball in whatever direction I said. I'm not sure yet what it might be useful for but it's fun and encourages him to listen, otherwise playing fetch can become a bit mindless.
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