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Flora & Molly

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About Flora & Molly

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    Female
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    Netherlands

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  1. Flora & Molly

    A day in the life of your dog

    I always hold the leash in my hand and never had any trouble at all. I like to keep direct contact with the dog. If your dog pulls you every which way it is dangerous no matter where the leash is attached (although handlebars wouldn't be advisable). I think in the beginning it is better to keep the leash in hand to help the dog understand what you want especially if it gets excited. I think it makes it easier to stop both bicyle and dog. While typing this I realize I am speaking from my Dutch perspective and our bicycles may be a little different which makes it easier to keep the leash in your hand. I have a "grandma" bicycle where you sit mostly upright and cycling with one hand (or none) on the handlebars is very easy and it has pedal brakes. Then again on a mountainbike or city bike where you can reach the ground with your feet I still don't see a problem. Easy to steady may the dog pull, but I would sort the pulling away from the bike first.
  2. Flora & Molly

    A day in the life of your dog

    I think we started cycling with Molly when she was one year old or something like that. Not sure though. She learned how to heel properly first before we added speed so no pulling, paying reasonable attention to where we are going. Then we added the bicycle next to us and walked with it until she didn't think it was so strange anymore before actually getting on it. I haven't had any trouble with the dog trying to cut across while she was on a lead, but off-lead she did it a couple of times. I told her to "go on" whenever she stepped in front of the bike or stopped in the middle of the trail. I would brake slightly and wave my hand at her. She caught on pretty quickly. Bumping into the dog on the bike also helps but would not recommend doing that on purpose. It happened once on accident with one of our dogs and from that moment on she knew not to cut across. In my experience the dogs finds a rhythm eventually, even if they start by jumping up or cutting across. Depending on the dog this might happen straightaway or take a couple of sessions. As for containing excitement: my dog wants to go fast, but we only go fast when she stays next to me when I ask her. As soon as she moves too far in front I brake and we go super slow until she is in the right place. After doing that a couple of times she realized if she pays attention to me she gets what she wants: speeeeeeeeed!
  3. Flora & Molly

    A day in the life of your dog

    It is really nice to read what others do with their dogs! Interesting topic My dog's days vary but on workdays (mon, tues, thur) I get up around 6.30 and have a twenty minute bike ride around the neighbourhood. I usually go to work at 7.30 and am back at 13.30. While I am away my dog has a food dispenser kind of toy either a kong or a treatball or I hide food in a cartboard box. This is only on tuesdays and thursdays, on mondays she stays with my brother in law because I won't be back until four o'clock. When I get back it really depends on the day, sometimes I take her for a 30/50 minute walk, buy mostly I cycle with her off leash for an hour. Molly prefers cycling and I do to. She is so nice and focussed, grin on her face, and we can zoom around the nicest places here. I especially like it in slightly bad weather. I know, I am crazy, but the feel of a bit of rain and wind in your face... just makes me feel so refreshed when we get home. Then I try to take her out again around 18:00 for a short walk around the neighbourhood, or maybe some fetch if I feel she had a bit of a boring day. I rarely play fetch anymore, because she gets quite intense, but when I do there is usually some training involved: waiting, long distance stays, stop and stay in the middle of a fetch, recall off of a fetch. Honestly, in winter they are way shorter than in summer and I sometimes skip them. My neighbourhood is not a great place to be in the dark so options are limited in winter. In summer I don't have this issue. In between we play short search games in the house: I'll hide her kong or a chew somewhere and she has to find it. Or we play fetch with a chew in the house. We don't do this every day and when we do it's only for five minutes. She snoozes when I'm not interacting with her. Her last walk of the day is somewhere after 21:00, short potty break before bed. At the weekend the schedule is similar: morning, afternoon, evening and night walks. The morning walk is usually the longest. Saturdays are changing a bit since we have just started stockwork training. This tires her out so I do take her out frequently, but shorter walks, more sniffing time, no biking. Stockwork replaces the afternoon activity. I try to go to the forest at least once a week and try to go to the park where we can meet some dogs. The dogs in my neighbourhood we usually avoid, they're not very well behaved (rude or agressive), somehow the dogs at the park are more social. This is so true. I have been ill this week and only managed to go out for short potty breaks and my dog has been wonderful. She was happy to snooze around with me all day (perfect day for her because she could sleep with me on the couch!). It took a while to train that off switch- but it's a blessing. It means I can take her with me to work sometimes when we have long meetings (if colleagues don't mind) and she just sleeps in the corner on her dogbed.
  4. Flora & Molly

    Molly's first time on sheep

    Thank you all for your kind replies! (En dankjewel Smalahundur, het blijft gek om ineens Nederlands te lezen waar je het niet verwacht!) I have ordered Vergil S. Holland's book to start with and hope to receive some others you suggested for christmas (when it comes to books I can never have enough, especially about dogs). I have been on a high all week and can't wait until it's Saturday again. I'm sure Molly feels the same way. Darn, there goes my sheep stealing career... guess that'll be a great excuse to buy another BC just for that purpose. Or maybe two just to be safe. And then maybe some sheep of my own so nobody will notice...
  5. Flora & Molly

    Molly's first time on sheep

    Yesterday I took Molly to her first training session on sheep, she is three years old. I didn't know what to expect. She was trained to ignore animals and I thought she might need some coaxing before she realised that she could work the sheep. Boy was I wrong. I saw a completely different dog yesterday. I was in awe. As a pet dog she can be a bit insecure, but that all washed away the moment I said she could go. Confidence, purpose, it was lovely. Clearly she shares my dream of becoming a sheep farmer. Molly is very ready, I still have a lot to learn to guide her. My teachers make it seem so easy, but I kept spinning in circles and tripping over my own feet, pointing the wrong way. Molly didn't mind So, I want to do my homework and I am watching a lot of stockwork videos, but I would love to find a good book to read. Do any of you have some good recommendations on what book(s) to buy? I have another question regarding barking. Molly has been quite a vocal dog since birth. Not only barking, but she makes her feelings known through all kinds of noises. We taught her not to bark at inapproriate times, but she would give the occasional happy bark during bike rides. She barked a lot this first training session. At first I think it was excitement, then she figured out that she could get the sheep to move using her bark. I was a bit embarrased, but my trainer said some farmers look for dogs that have some bark. As this was Molly's first time I didn't worry about it too much. But it made me wonder about what other people think about barking. Is it good, bad, matter of opinion? Is it undesirable and why? I'm curious because I think I read somewhere that Border collies shouldn't bark at sheep. Then again, I read different things about the amount of "eye" a dog should have. So I am really curious what more knowledable people have to say about this, as I am a complete beginner.
  6. Flora & Molly

    Toys to spend time in dog fence

    Is she only in there when she has to be alone? Do you ever play with her in the enclosure and after that go back inside together? I used to leave my dog in the bathroom while I was at work, because it is in the middle of my appartment and the place with the least "scary" noises. I thought it would be a nice and safe place for the dog. The dog disagreed. She hated going in there. She knew nothing good would come of it, because I always left her when I would take her there. So after that she stayed in my bedroom (with the added bonus she could sleep on my bed- which she loved). The bedroom worked much better because we spend time there regularly doing fun things. It's not "the place where I am always alone" in the dog's mind. Perhaps spending some quality time in the enclosure will help the dog feeling secure and then she won't want to chew the dog house.
  7. We taught our dogs not to bark by telling them "that'll do" in a calm voice and if they persist send them to their place or ask them to lie down next to us. After a while they know we don't want them to bark when they hear another dog (or something else we don't want them to bark at).
  8. I'm sorry to hear your family is working against you. I can imagine it must be frustrating! Perhaps you could use a hand gesture instead of a word? My sister taught my dog to "give" during games of fetch by making a grabbing/clawing gesture under the dogs mouth as if to say "drop it in my hand". She wouldn't throw the ball/stick if the dog didn't drop whatever it was in her hand. The dog figured it out after a while. Maybe this way your family can't make it into a tugging game, because the dog drops it in your hand. You don't take it from the dogs mouth, but catch it just below it's mouth when the dogs let's the object go. I've actually trained my dog from the grab gesture to gently place it in my hand. It's not reliable yet with some objects though (sticks are difficult, she is too excited), but she is very good with my slippers. Another thing we taught her was to "drop it". This is mostly for filthy things we don't want to touch, or if we want to kick the ball instead of throwing it. We use a gesture as well as a verbal cue. The gesture is to tap your feet on the floor. I hope this helps! It sounds like you have a great bond with your dog, I hope you can find a way to do what you want with your dog without having your family undo all your (and your dog's) hard work.
  9. From my experience neutered males are interested, but far less than intact males. The amount of interest varies. We had a young neutered male stay with us who was constantly licking the female dog and playing with her. The dogs enjoyed it, but it was a bit annoying to us humans. Not a very relaxed environment to be in. We could send them to their place, but within five minutes they would be at it again. Another older dog just wanted to sniff her and was really no fuss. So it really depends, having an option to separate them is a good idea I think. I have read some stories that it is far more difficult separating an intact male from a female in heat. Poor boy won't get any rest with that smell in the house. It should be easier for a neutered male. I have no experience with spaying females as we've never spayed our dogs. It makes sense to wait and it is the advice I have read on this board a lot.
  10. Flora & Molly

    Barking at obedience trainers

    I think that would be a lot of fun! Glad to help It is difficult! My dog has the same issue with rude dogs. Some can be pretty obnoxious and then it is obvious that I should move on, I can usually spot those before they approach (there is a husky in my neighbourhood who has an evil stare for instance). But I have realised that always moving on isn't helping her, because if I hang about, like you said, they learn to get along. So now I am more relaxed about it and stop to chat to some owners. I feel this is helping her a lot. Some negative experiences in life shouldn't hurt your dog, as long as you are vigilant and show your dog you have got her back by walking away. In our own life we sometimes meet people or situations we do not like and we learn to cope (or walk away). The story is of course a bit different with a very fearful dog.
  11. Flora & Molly

    Barking at obedience trainers

    I second what D'Elle said. I would change trainers too. I think it is very strange to explain the barking with "border collies are just neurotic". Just neurotic? Like nothing can be done about the behaviour and it is no big deal. It's a shame many people still believe this. This way it can become a self fulfilling prophecy. As for when to expose or avoid: trust your gut. You know your dog and can see when something is too much. What always helps me is to have an exit strategy. That could for instance be as simple as walking away if something happens I don't like. Unfortunately that is not always possible. My neighbours have a really unruly pup, a Beaceron who is six months and quite big now. My dog really doesn't like that pup, as she wants to put her paws on my dog. It happened once where we were in the elevator together. Should not have accepted that situation. Very small space, neighbour trying to restrain her dog, my dog barking to defend herself... So now I know I never ever want to be in a situation like that again. Exit strategy: politely ask my neighbour to wait, if she ignores that I will get out of the elevator and let her go first. I guess the gist of it is: you can try to expose your dog when you feel it might work,slowly if necessary, if you make sure you know what to do when you feel it isn't working. (So in my case: don't stay in the elevator dummy!)
  12. My dog used to do this when my mother hit flies with a fly swatter. (She was my mother's dog at the time). We weren't sure why, maybe it is the intensity behind it or the sudden sound. Your dog might be anticipating it when you stare at a mosquito. We thought she was uncomfortable with our state of mind or perhaps unsure what we were doing. For my dog it wasn't "happy join in" behaviour, but more a "you are being weird stop that" behaviour. It took some good timing to teach her not to do it. We would pretend to hit a fly and at the same time keep an eye on the dog: as soon as she made a move to come to us we would tell her not to with a stern "uh-uh". The timing was important because we wanted to stop her before the behaviour really started to make sure it was effective. Correcting her while she was barking/jumping up in the past hadn't helped.
  13. Flora & Molly

    Lottie says good morning!

    Haha I know that look! It must work even better with her piercing light coloured eyes!
  14. Is your heart set on a pup? It sounds like it might be a better fit to go for a rescue. Especially because you work long hours: your mom would have her hands full with a puppy while you are at work. I have a good schedule going on with my dog ( 3 years old) now where I cycle with her every morning before I go to work. This releases some of her energy and means my brother-in-law, who sometimes takes care of her on my longest workdays, doesn't have to do a lot with her during the day. I sometimes fantasize about adding a pup, but that would mean more short walks spread out over the day which would mean more work for my brother-in-law and I want to keep it as easy as possible for him so I don't lose my dogsitter although it might be different with your mother. Still, something to think about. An adult dog could go on longer walks, play frisbee, play fetch, whereas you'd have to wait a while before you can do such activities with a pup because it is still growing. In my experience a BC keeps you on your toes. Or as my mum put it: "Having a border collie isn't just having a dog, but having a hobby". My dog is really a dog I am doing something new with every week. Whether I change how I feed her or some new thing I am teaching her. There is always something to talk about which I absolutely love. But I know it is not for everyone. She can definitely relax at home, but at the same time she is always ready to work at a moments notice. She wants to be involved in everything I do. I don't think I have ever seen her really tired, because she is always ready for more. And I tire more easily than her
  15. Flora & Molly

    Styles of training

    I can imagine your frustration! A good trainer and teacher should work with you and like you said, should start a conversation about the dog first and ask questions. Otherwise you can get very different conclusions. If anyone would only judge my dog for how she acts around a ball for instance, they would come to a very different conclusion than when they saw her at home. She loses half her brain when I have a ball with me and looks crazy, forgets her surroundings (we are working on that, slowly...) whereas at home she is the perfect dog: relaxed, sleeps, knows how to fetch my slippers... I could see how someone might advise me to use a prong collar based on seeing my dog around tennisballs. I am pretty confident that would make my dog even more crazy and frustrated. And man, at six months old my dog still had a lot to learn! I'm glad you gave them the prong collar back. Stick to your guns. One day all the training will "click" and Lottie will show them how wonderful she is and it was simply that she was young! Although it can be a battle convincing others. My ex BF could be a bit unkind to Molly sometimes. He would expect unreasonable things. For instance, she knows "stay", but you can't expect her to stay in her basket while we leave the house for five minutes. We had never practiced that, only walking a long distance away and she could see us. He would think she was being disobedient, whereas she just did not know what he wanted from her. People can be so unfair to dogs. They can do such wonderful things if you put some time and effort in training them and showing them what you want.
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