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Ohalani

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  1. Update: I took my dog to my regular vet, and she couldn't give me many answers. Basically I need to take him to an ophthalmologist, and the ophthalmologist only comes to our island every 6 months. The vet did a physical exam, and that was fine. Both his pupils react to light, and he sees out of both eyes. But she agrees that the right one is larger than the right. I'll probably do the double merle test just to rule that out.
  2. Thanks for your reply. I was looking at the Merle gene test UC Davis offers. You're right, I was thinking I could at least rule out the possibility of double merle if I do the test. If nothing else, it would be interesting to know. I've had my dog for 2 years, and I'm guessing he was about a year when I got him. So he's about 3. I'm honestly not sure when he developed the unequal pupils - or if he was even that way when I adopted him. I should have been more observant, but it isn't a huge difference in size. My sister told me she thought his pupils were unequal about 6 months ago, but I wasn't sure there was an actual difference and I didn't think too much about it. A few days ago I noticed that there was a definite difference in pupil size, and that's when I looked it up and learned that it could actually be something serious. Not sure if we have a canine ophthalmologist here. I'll ask around.
  3. Does anyone know if unequal pupils are a known double merle eye defect? Ex. A dog with one normal sized pupil and one small pupil? I know that double merles can have a lot of eye problems (+deafness) including small eyes, no eyes, starburst pupils, etc... but I don't know about the unequal pupils specifically. I've been reading about double merles on various websites, but none mention unequal pupils. I did find out that there are plenty of non-merle related causes of unequal sized pupils, including cancer, head trauma, infection, old age, etc.. I have a red merle rescue dog (probably not part Border Collie - although I know nothing about his history, and some people have suggested he might be part BC) who is over 60% white. He has light amber eyes with pale blue marbling. Because he has so much white, I've always wondered if he is just a Piebald or a double merle. His pupils are unequal - one smaller and one larger. I didn't think too much about this, but now that I've done some research and know that this can be a symptom of serious health problems, I'm going to get him checked out by my vet ASAP. As far as I can tell, he sees and hears fine. So now I'm wondering if the pupil thing is another indicator that he could be a double merle, or if he has some other potentially serious health issue.
  4. This has been an interesting thread! For those who do brush teeth, any favorite toothpaste or toothbrush brands? Do you use an electric tooth brush? I'm curious because I want to start a regular brushing routine for my dogs, and there are a lot of products out there to choose from! Also, does anyone have a ballpark price estimate for a routine dental cleaning? I'm going to ask my vet next time I go in. Thanks!
  5. Have you tried trading the ball he is holding for another ball that he likes equally well? Ex. He brings the ball back to you, you praise him, then show him another ball and toss it for him to fetch. Hopefully he will drop ball #1 and chase after ball #2. Then you can trade back and forth between the 2 balls. I've seen this work......but I've also seen dogs try to hold both toys in their mouths at once!
  6. I adopted my Sheltie, Noel, when she was 7 years old and started agility shortly after that. By the time she was 8 we were competing. She wasn't super fast, but she loved agility and we had a great time. We qualified quite a bit and earned novice and open titles. She was over 16 inches at the shoulder, but I always jumped her at a lower jump height due to her age. 12" at first, then dropped it to 8" when she got older. I stopped competing when she was 12, and I mostly retired her from agility when she was 13 because she started going blind and I didn't want her to hurt herself. So my long answer, is yes, you can train and compete with an older dog. Just have fun and keep it safe! My current GSD mix is just 6, but has a bad back and tore both ACLs (CCL). So she isn't doing agility but I'm doing trick training with her. We both enjoy it, and for her it is a good way to keep her busy and mentally fit. It keeps me mentally fit too:)
  7. Welcome! Pictures please!
  8. Hi and Welcome! Your puppy is adorable! Others on this board have a lot more experience than me, and I'm sure they can give you a lot of good advice. I am not a puppy expert, but I have a couple thoughts about your situation. If your puppy is scared of other dogs, he needs slow, careful, socialization to help him gain confidence. There are lots of methods to do this, but this is what I do. Find a distance where he feels comfortable and safe from the other dogs, then slowly work from there. For example, if he is 20 feet away from 1 dog, is he acting happy, can he focus on you? If so, good, you are under his 'threshold'. Then you could slowly move towards the other dog, watching your puppy's body language to make sure he is still comfortable. You can play games with him and ask for simple tricks and give lots and lots of treats for calm behavior while you are working around the other dog. If the puppy starts getting worried or barking, etc.., stop approaching and retreat to a distance where he can calm down. I don't try to 'comfort' the puppy exactly, I don't say 'It's ok!" in a worried voice. But I do talk in a cheerful voice, for example, "Oh, look at the friendly dog! There's your friend, Spot!" Work at your puppy's pace and be very mindful of what he is trying to tell you. If he is getting scared or stressed, don't get any closer to the other dog! I have found that when my dogs understand that I will listen to their body language, and that I won't drag them into situations that scare them, they begin to trust me more. They become more confident and less reactive. If the pup wants to approach the other dog, that's fine as long as they're approaching in a friendly manner. So in regards to the obedience class, I don't think its a good idea to let the other 20 puppies run up to your puppy. That is way to much for him! I wouldn't expect him to 'get comfortable' while he is getting mobbed by 20 puppies, even if they are lovely friendly puppies. Can you ask the obedience instructor if you can work with your puppy at a distance where he feels comfortable? Maybe you can work in a fenced off area so the other puppies can't approach your puppy? Or at least work with just one other puppy, then when your puppy gets comfortable with that puppy very slowly add another puppy? I hope your instructor is willing to accommodate your puppy so he can gain confidence. I highly recommend the book "Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program" by Leslie McDevitt. Let us know how it goes!
  9. If you and your puppy enjoy trick training, check out Silvia Trkman on youtube. She is an agility trainer from Slovenia. Silvia teaches her puppies tons of fun tricks, and you can see some on youtube. She also has a DVD called "The Puppy Diary" which shows how to teach a lot of tricks. I'm enjoying teaching these tricks to my adult dogs. Wren is so cute, and I'm glad she is doing better.
  10. Welcome! Millie is beautiful. As far as the fear/aggression towards children, check out the books "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt, and "Behavioral Adjustment Training 2.0" by Grisha Stewart. I have found control unleashed to be extremely helpful for my fear aggressive dog. Agility is so much fun! I hope you and Millie enjoy it.
  11. Wheeler is adorable! It looks like he has grown a lot.
  12. My shepherd mix, Jessie, didn't like to cuddle as a young puppy. I was worried, but she grew out of it and is now the kind of dog that always wants to be touching me. I find that just playing with my dogs without a training agenda is important to our relationship. I incorporate lots of playing into all our training, so it is all a game, but at other times I just play with absolutely no other purpose than just having fun. (Actually this does serve a purpose because if my dogs think I'm fun, and that playing with me is great, I can use play as a reward . Another game you can try is hide and seek, where you hide and the puppy finds you. There are lots of ways to play this, and maybe you already do it. Here are a couple ways to play: One person holds the puppy while you run and hide. Hide in a really easy place at first (Like crouch behind a sofa, but peek out so she can see your face) and you can even call and encourage the puppy to find you. If she comes and finds you make a big fuss and tell her how clever she is. You can reward with treats or toys too. Or you can just run away from your puppy and quickly hide behind something and let her find you. Once she gets better at this game, you can hide in trickier places so she actually has to sniff you out. Jessie loves to find hidden people. It is her favorite game. Good luck with your puppy, and let us know how its going!
  13. Thank you everyone for your advice and book recommendations! I'll order those books and look forward to reading them. I read Nop's Trials by Donald McCaig quite a few years ago, and I was saddened to read on these boards that he passed away recently. D'Elle, yes this is a great resource! I understand the importance of choosing a working Border Collie breeder. There is so much info on this site about Border Collies, its like a library! Having a trainer rather than trying to figure everything out myself would be very helpful. If you have any trainer recommendations that would be great, but I live in Hawaii so I know that's a long shot. I'll ask the breeder if she knows any trainers (the breeder lives on a different island than I do, but I bet she can recommend someone, or at least help me when she comes to my island). I don't know many people who use working dogs. About 10 years ago I briefly spoke with a guy who had Border Collies here, and at the time he was at either a herding trial or clinic on the mainland. I haven't heard from him since, but I'll see if I still have his contact info. I don't travel much, but I've been thinking of going to the mainland US in the next couple of years, and when I do, I'll try to schedule my trip so I can attend a trial or clinic. I would love to watch a trial!
  14. Thanks for the replies! I'm glad you guys think that teaching self control around livestock from the start is good. Of course I don't want my livestock to be stressed, or the puppy to learn to harass them and generally be nuts around livestock. Our cows are milk cows, and if you stress them they won't let down their milk, and I expect that their production would go down if they were continually stressed. Plus, it just wouldn't be fair to the poor cows! Since I've never raised a working BC puppy, I've just been worrying that what I did with Jessie wouldn't be the right thing to do. But it sounds like it is, so I will plan to teach the puppy to be calm and gentle around the animals from day 1. Jessie will now only bark at the cows (she moves cows with her voice) if she senses that it is appropriate to do so, or if I tell her to. Otherwise she leaves them alone and is just great with all the animals. I taught her to be extra gentle with baby animals by talking softly and telling her, "It's a baby, be gentle", and encouraging any calm behavior around the babies. Now she will gently lick the calves if I tell her she can, and all I have to do is tell her its a baby to remind her to be good and gentle. @Flora & Molly That is great to hear that your BC is happy to work sheep after being taught to ignore them for 3 years. That definitely makes me feel better about my plan.
  15. Thanks for the advice @juliepoudrier! I'll be sure to keep the pup safe from the cows. I don't want the pup to get frightened by the livestock either. So before the puppy is old enough to work, if the puppy is on leash, and gets very excited when it sees livestock, pulling on the leash, barking, trying to chase, etc.. What should I do? I don't want to discourage the puppy from being interested in working livestock when its older, so should I be fairly neutral about it? Maybe let the puppy look at the stock a bit, then move on and distract the puppy? With my previous puppy, Jessie (GSD mix), I wasn't raising her to be a working dog, so I did a lot of work to teach her to be calm around the livestock and leave them alone when she was a puppy. She is great around our livestock now, but I'm not sure that this would be the best way to train a puppy that I want to work cattle and sheep when it is grown.
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