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urge to herd

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  1. Good Morning, All ~ some of you may know I'm a professional organizer and I've got a project that involves getting a lovely yellow lab, 9 years old, from Northern CA to FL, by way of car. My concern is that while I've been working with the client to get her packed up to move, the dog has been what I think of as 'anxiety' barking. Her nephew and his wife are flying here to drive her car for her to FL and will take Duncan with them. They are planning a sort of wandering road trip, visiting friends and relatives possibly on their way to FL. Client says they are dog people. My concern is that Duncan, who has a wonderful temperament, will continue to bark and bark and bark his way from CA to FL, which would drive me crazy. I've advised Client to get some tranquilizers for him for the trip, just in case, and she has done that. She flat out refused to have him flown out, which I can understand. So, suggestions for the doggy chauffeurs? I plan to see if I can engage Duncan in some games, (hiding a few pieces of kibble under a blanket, using a food toy for some of his food, etc) and then advise the nephew and his wife of things they can do to ease his anxiety rather than keep him drugged. Would welcome all ideas! Ruth & Duncan, for a change PS ~ I plan to ask Client to start taking Duncan with her as much as she can on quick trips around town, so he gets more used to being in the car. AND, she's going to send his bed that he already sleeps on in the car with them.
  2. Playing with your dog is great! Sometimes I don't know who enjoys it more, me or the dog. Play is training, for the dog AND the human. Play teaches a young dog that humans are NOT chew toys, that there are rules and limits in life, and that the human in their lives is to be trusted and heeded. Play like fetch builds muscle and endurance and can contribute to good socialization. Limiting play is the human's responsibility is what you need to remember. I foolishly let my first bc, Samantha, run her feet to hamburger fetching a ball on hard packed earth. She limped for several days, and I still wince when I think of it. So, you decide when play starts, you decide when play finishes. Make sure your dog is not exhausting himself, and that you decide what to play and for how long. Playing with a healthy, friendly dog is one of life's great joys. Have a great time! Ruth & Gibbs
  3. It's very, very hard to watch your dog have seizures. There's literally nothing you can do, beyond keep them from hurting themselves by hitting something. I had a dog who had seizures and that's what the vet told me. My dad had epilepsy and I saw him have a couple seizures, when I was about 13. I've not read or heard anything about anxiety triggering seizures. In my dad's case, he was reading the paper, stood up from his chair and started seizing. He didn't remember anything but starting to feel very odd. My dog Tillie, many years gone, had her seizures at random times. She was a very placid, easy going dog, so anxiety was not an issue. I've heard/read that it's good to give a dog a dollop of honey after a seizure as the seizure affects blood sugar levels. Ruth & Gibbs
  4. I remember Kristi, she had a way with words and the camera when describing her dogs and the world around her. Sad to read that she's no longer with us. Ruth & Gibbs
  5. Dogs will eliminate any where they have eliminated before. The scent of urine and/or feces is almost a trigger. See if you can get another tray for her crate. You can try something like Nature's Miracle, but that particular thing never worked for me. Good luck. Ruth & Gibbs
  6. Switch trainers. Ask what their approach to dog aggression is. Do some reading on dog-to-dog aggression. It can be a tough to fix. Best of luck! Ruth & Gibbs
  7. Sorry, I wasn't clear. The empty poop bags, when unused and pristine, sometimes didn't get taken out of pockets before those pants went in the wash. Drippy but not disgusting. If I washed a full poop bag I'd have to throw out all those clothes AND get a new washer. ICK! Toys work really well for a lot of dogs. Great idea to carry the rags. I wonder if rope toys would serve the same purpose and be carried in the pocket, as well as stuffed into a boot every now and then to 'season'. They'd probably last a lot longer than the rags. Ruth & Gibbs
  8. Have to check out the Ikea leads now, I'm getting bored with the one I've got. As far as carrying poop bags, I bought a really inexpensive small purse, I think it was at Target, years ago. It's a small shoulder bag with a zip top and a couple Velcro closure compartments on the front. I realized I hate the treat bags that you clip onto your pants. I don't know if it's the design of the bag or 'operator malfunction', but they just are not easy for me. Anyway, this cheap purse has a string so that I can sling it over my head ~ the purse rests at my left hip and the string rests around the right side of my neck. It holds treats in the large compartment that zips closed and poop bags in the front compartments that are Velcro closures. So easy to grab a treat or a poop bag. I've had to stitch the sides of it a couple times, but I think I've had it at least 10 years and it sees at least 2x/daily use. The other reason I like this bag is the unused poop bags don't go through the wash because I forgot to empty my pockets. I do some thrift store shopping and from time to time see small purses that would be ideal for treats, etc. Ruth & Gibbs
  9. Agree w/D''Elle's post. Dog parks are not good places to take border collies. There's a lot of stimuli to take in ~ motion, scent, sound all at once and all around. For a dog who is sensitive to motion particularly it's highly stimulating and not in a good way. "Herding" is a trained in behavior, based on the border collie's innate sensitivity to motion. Until the behaviors are under your control, because the dog has been trained up, it's harassment. And likely to be taken as such by other dogs. Your impulse to leave was a good one. Please don't take her to dog parks unless you're sure there will be nobody else there. And be ready to leave if someone else shows up. What other kinds of training have you done with her? Scent work, agility, tracking, trick training, are all great ways to bond with your girl. Ruth & Gibbs
  10. I was told at least 2x that all border collies are b/w, therefore my red/white was an Australian Shepherd. Sigh. Ruth & Gibbs
  11. Maybe I just wanted to see that video myself. What a character. Ruth and Gibbs
  12. Flora, you're on the right path with your girl. I saw a video long ago featuring a dog whose favorite toy was an old baking pan. And if you do a search on Capt. Jack's posts, you'll come across one where she shows her boy going nuts for a can opener! Being open to whatever works for the dog is a Very Good Thing. Ruth & Gibbs
  13. I agree with what Capt. Jack said, and I'll be more blunt. This dog is not suitable for a home with young children. Please give serious consideration to finding a better home for Ned, one without young children and with someone who has dog experience. Did you sign an agreement with the rescue that you could/would return Ned if he didn't work out? Ruth & Gibbs
  14. Bold is my addition. I'm fascinated by the various ways all animals, (I include homo sapiens here) change behavior. Cpt. Jack's statement above is the distillation of all behavior change. With dogs it's fairly straightforward ~ what does the dog want that the human, and only that human in that moment, can realistically and consistently supply? Dogs like food, or a toy, or a good head scratch. Rewards for humans are much more varied. Stay as consistent as you can, get her expecting something good every time she responds correctly to your cue. You can fade a food reward after a while and replace with a simple, "Good girl." Ruth & Gibbs
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