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Michael Parkey

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    Dallas, Texas

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  1. It's great to see a post like this! For obvious and perfectly understandable reasons, most people post only when they have a problem. Sometimes we forget that most puppies, raised correctly, are like yours.
  2. At 16 months Levi is still rail thin despite having as much food as he wants. He was recently checked and cleared for parasites, and has boundless energy. I don't think your boy is unusual.
  3. Jessica, all puppies of all breeds are work, and all puppies are frustrating sometimes. Remember, the great majority of puppies turn out just fine, especially with an informed and committed owner like you. People who have an easy time with their puppies (like me) rarely post in the forum--we don't need to. So when you read about problems, these happen with a small minority of puppies. I will caution you about invisible fences. They don't work nearly as well as the manufacturers claim, for many different reasons.
  4. Thanks for the correction! I have never heard of docking border collies. Where is this done? And what is the justification? I'll have to update my file of superstitions about dogs, LOL.
  5. We have a blue merle and white border collie and people sometimes insist that he can't be a "pure" border collie. Behavior makes a border collie, not what he looks like. One time I got into a very long discussion on an WORKING Australian shepherd forum on the mindless tradition of tail amputation. I won't repeat all the superstitions given as reasons for this. Finally, a very respected breeder of working Aussies said that she liked docked tails so that she could tell quickly if a dog was an Aussie or a border collie. If the only way you can distinguish between the breeds is to cut tails off one group of dogs and not the other, is there really any difference? Of course there are many real differences between Aussies and border collies, but the discussion showed how arbitrary appearance standards are.
  6. Your friend is confusing herding breeds like border collies with livestock guardian dogs (LGD) like great Pyrenees. LGDs live with the stock they are supposed to protect, and it is important to start this when they are puppies so that they bond with the stock. Border collies are used to move and control stock, not guard them. It is not a good idea for border collies to be kept with sheep all the time. A bored, unsupervised, high energy border collie may decide to harass the sheep constantly, injuring or even killing them. Please do some reading or find a trainer to help you with your dog. Good luck!
  7. Nine year old Buddy's teeth have never been brushed, and according to our last vet visit, "His teeth are really clean and don't need any attention." He eats kibble, and gets Dentastix almost every day. He also has hard chew toys which I stuff (sometimes with Dentastix) to encourage vigorous chewing.
  8. Congratulations on your puppy! I think the internet has made you overly anxious. Your puppy is just a baby, at this age they sleep a lot! Relax, you are doing fine.
  9. This is why I've never planted any agaves or yuccas in the back yard, even though I love them. Long ago we had a dog that liked to hang "ornaments" in landscape plants, LOL.
  10. CptJack, these are great posts. I have daydreamed about a long post titled, "Thoughts on Puppyhood", but you already made most of my points. The only one I would add is the modern tendency to be a hyper-vigilant, over-protective, helicopter puppy parent is really not helpful. This is shared with modern human child rearing practices. While I generally hate those "x dog years = y human years" equations, sometimes it is helpful to think of each month in a puppy's life being developmentally similar to each year in a human child's life. Modern research shows that human brains are not mature until the mid-twenties. Dogs under 24 months still have puppy brains even if they are able to have puppies themselves. Of course different dogs and different breeds mature at different rates, but the herding breeds tend to be late bloomers. My Australian shepherd Brenden did not have a fully adult brain until he was 30 months old. I don't expect border collie Levi (now 14 months) to be any different. Relax! Be gentle, be positive, be consistent. Watching a puppy develop his/her individual intelligence and personality is one of the great joys of having a dog.
  11. I don't have anything helpful to add, but your photos are great.
  12. Dogs do so many wonderful things, it is hard to know where to start. Most recently, we've marveled at the friendship that has developed between 13 month Levi and 9 year old Buddy. Buddy did not have a good start in life, and has never been very social with other dogs. When Levi came into the house at 8 months, he accepted Buddy as the senior dog. But he never stopped asking Buddy to play, and Buddy finally gave in. Now they play many times a day, and Buddy has loosened up about some other things, like meeting strange people. Buddy is definitely more relaxed and more active because of Levi. We can't believe how well it has worked out.
  13. Our rescue named Puppy was diagnosed with a collapsed larynx when he was 14. We thought long and hard about the surgery, and decided against it. He was in good health otherwise, but his age and the possible side effects of the surgery were worrying, and he had a history of very bad reactions to anesthesia. We managed the problem by avoiding strenuous exercise, keeping him out of the heat, and making sure his food was the right consistency (not too hard or too soft). He had good quality of life for two more years until unrelated and much more serious problems developed. It was the right decision for Puppy, but it was very hard to make. I'm sorry you are faced with the choice, and hope for best outcome possible.
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