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mbc1963

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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. OK, let me add this: What are the best books I should read? I'm guessing "Control Unleashed" is going to be #1, and I'll order it tomorrow. What else, to train a solid, well-mannered dog? Thanks!
  2. OK, y'all! You were such a huge help in my working with my old boy, Buddy. I know Cricket (the new girl) technically doesn't have much to recommend her as a border collie, but she is most definitely a DOG, so I'm seeking your help now. I've had the girl 2 months. She was so incredibly soft the first few weeks that she was scared to sit in front of me, scared to get on the couch when invited, scared to touch the toys I'd bought her. She is definitely still tentative in the world, but she's getting much better. She'll meet new smallish dogs happily with only a little nudging, she's learned "sit" and "lie down" very solidly and will immediately go into a "sit" when she meets people, because she's learned that people=treats. She is ALL OVER toys now. Best things ever invented! I'm having friends work on head touches while treating, to get her less hand shy. So... she's definitely coming out of her shell, and very recently she's going from super-timid with me to having a bit of an attitude. Two issues I've noticed: 1) The last couple days, when she wants to play, she'll actually play bow and get sassy and start barking at me. (Um... she is SO a terrier!) This is DEFINITELY a bossy, entitled little behavior that I want to curb. 2) She's been showing some protectiveness over her "turf." The little boy next door comes over to help train her, and today I had him go into the back yard ahead of us. Seeing him open the gate, she gave a little growl and bark - definitely cluing in that the yard was her territory and he didn't belong there. (I had her on a leash, and I did "happy talk" and just moved her back without making a fuss.) Territoriality is also definitely something I want to discourage! I don't mind her barking a little alert when strangers come to the door, and the dog is solidly crate-trained, so thats an option. But I also want her to be able to calm herself and manage visitors. This is particularly challenging because I live alone and there aren't many people coming and going. I think Buddy could have been much better with guests if I had run a more active household - and I want Cricket to be easier with it. Thanks in advance for any advice and help. The wisdom of the collective is far greater than my own. (Resistance is Futile.)
  3. Another thought... Contact those Amazon book sellers, too. They have a copy of a book that might sell in 4 years for the price they're asking. Or it might not. If you make a reasonable offer well under their asking price, they might just be happy to get what they can right now. Bird in the hand and all that. Prices on old things really, really depend on the storage capacity and brokeness of the seller as much as the empirical worth of the thing.
  4. Yeah... Those prices are crazy. I used to sell antique books on eBay. People on Amazon can list a book for whatever outlandish price they want, but if the book doesn't sell, then it isn't worth that price. One suggestion... go on eBay and make this an item you're looking for (saved search). Then, if a copy pops up, you'll get an e-mail notice. SOMETIMES people pop a valuable book like this up for $20 because they just don't know why anyone would want a not-really-old border collie book.
  5. It seems strange how our journey through life continues like a story, but the supporting characters change in the middle. I keep looking up as I do something, and thinking, "Last year at this time, Buddy was here." Glad to hear you're on your way to recovery, and that you have a new companion for this section of your story.
  6. He's so lovely! I can see border collie. His front face view looks a bit blockier... like maybe great granddad was a pyrenees. Whatever he is, he's beautiful.
  7. OMG yes, energy level is through the roof. My father had a husky mix. I was super-healthy back in the day and would do these 8-mile walks once or twice a week, and the dog came with me. A good chunk of the time she'd be off-leash, making GIGANTIC circles around me the whole time. I do not doubt that she would run 30 miles to my 8. And not be particularly tired when we got home. In fact... now that I think of it... that husky/shepherd mix had MUCH MORE energy when she was young than my border collie had. Something to consider.
  8. I think the video idea is FABULOUS! If you can catch a variety of situations where the dog reacts, you can look for commonalities and patterns. It's a great (and scary) world where we all have video capabilities at our fingertips, all the time. It'd also be cool if someone else could video the situations occurring, so you can watch your own and family members' behaviors - also look for the dog's body language immediately prior to the "snap."
  9. I've been watching "Dog Reunion" videos on YouTube. It seems like there are an infinite number of dogs who go missing during fireworks or lightning storms and are found hundreds of miles away. Some of them, thanks to a microchip, are reunited with owners they haven't seen in months or even years. So, given that dogs can get lost and roam very far, I think it's fair to at least have him scanned for a microchip, in case there's some heartbroken owner somewhere who's been looking for the dog. If he's been on his own for a while, it would explain the notches in the ears and the bad condition of the coat. if my dog were lost or wandering, I would desperately hope that someone kind would find her and make an effort to reunite her with me. If, on the other hand, you make your best effort and can't find another owner, then you'll feel good about your decision to keep this dog. FWIW, my old boy Buddy generally didn't like other dogs. And huskies invariably tried to do the "let me hump you" introduction, which made Buddy crazy. BUT... once the initial weird energy and humping thing was over, Buddy LOVED huskies. He had several good husky friends his whole life. So, BCs and huskies don't necessarily have to be enemies.
  10. I was out walking Cricket the other night. Was walking with an old dog-walking friend - we've both lost our old dogs and gotten new dogs in the last year. She saw another guy up the street with a pit bull, and said what a sweet, 14-year-old pit bull it was. I vaguely recognized the man from walking Buddy many years ago. I didn't have any solid memories of him - only remembered thinking he was a self-centered, ignorant guy whose dog drove my fear-reactive dog crazy. So, whatever. The dog is 14 now. It's been ten years. I happily walked up to the guy with my friend. His pit bull charged forward, still strong but under control of the leash at least. (Ah... I remember now. Ten years ago, the guy couldn't control his dog.) My little dog is shy and fearful of big, boisterous dogs; she was behind me, at the end of my leash, as far from this other dog as she could get. The guy was all, "He's FRIENDLY! He won't do anything to your dog!" I said, "If my dog wants to meet, she'll move forward." The man waited maybe 15 seconds - maybe 10. Then he said, "Oh, let them get a little closer," and gave his dog slack to approach my dog - who promptly moved further away as I backed up. I just continued my walk, moving away from the man who was obviously - even after ten years - never going to learn anything about his dog's behavior from anyone. MAN, I thought I wasn't going to have to start quoting "He Just Wants to Say Hi" again. People are so ignorant.
  11. My instinct is also "pain." I wonder if he hid his pain at the vet - my old dog could be entirely stoic at the vet and show no reaction to pain at all, but be the biggest wimp in the world at home. (I think he felt he was under attack at the vet, so couldn't let his guard down.) I also wonder if something didn't happen when he stayed with your relatives - some weird coincidence that he remembers and no one else does. (Shock upon being pet? Stepped on accidentally while being pet?) Keep paying attention to when the snapping happens, too! I've heard so many people say that their dogs' reactions seemed completely random, out of the blue, but when they were observed carefully, they followed very specific patterns. Good luck!
  12. Someone recommended that book before I brought my rescue dog home. I bought a copy cheap off the Internet, read it, and would be happy to pass it along if you'd like. Message me your address and I will put it in the mail. I agree with the "not understanding commands" piece. My dog Cricket had been in a hoarding house in the south before being brought north to rescue. I suspect she had litle human interaction before getting into her foster home. (Though... she loves the couch and the car, so it's also possible she had some good human interaction during her life.) Anyway, she didn't know any common commands: no sit, stay, lie down, etc.. I worked on "sit" for a while! She wouldn't let me touch her or push her down, and she wouldn't sit on her own with the "raise the treat over her head" trick, because I think sitting put her in a vulnerable position. I told my family I felt like Annie Sullivan trying to teach Helen Keller what all the finger spelling was about! If only I could break through and let the dog know that my word/sign had a meaning!! My trainer suggested waiting until Cricket sat on her own, and then saying the word "sit" and making a big fuss. Meantime, folks in the forum had suggested loading the clicker, so I did train that "click" meant treat. Once the "click" was in place, it only took a day to teach "sit." Cricket just had to make the link between my saying the word/doing the sign and her sitting. Once she knew, she really WANTED to do what I asked. At this point, as soon as we run into human beings anywhere, she does a strong and solid "sit." It's awesome!
  13. I love the name Maple for a dog. My neighbor's son recently brought home a new pup named Maple. Excellent name! (I don't make shapes from fur... but have seen companies that will actually take your dog's shed fur and spin it to yarn and then make you a hat or something out of it!)
  14. So sorry to hear about Cash! That little girl in my avatar is my new dog, whose name is also Cricket. Lost my old Buddy in February, and the space for him in my house is still empty. But the new dogs always create their own space, don't they?
  15. So sorry for your loss; I lost my old boy Buddy the day before you lost Maid. All dogs should be so lucky... to have someone love them so much.
  16. I've read stories about how many people adopt a dog while pregnant... something about the "nesting" hormones making us want to nurture, nurture, nurture! I have never owned two dogs, but my neighbor recently adopted a 5-month-old pup, largely with the hope that the pup would help her older dog be less clingy, less needy, and better able to cope with being left home alone. I do think the older dog is happier and is able to panic less when left home, because she always has companionship now. However, my neighbor is now in the position of having to train a pup and manage two large dogs when she goes for a walk, car ride, etc.. It's a LOT of work, and she doesn't have a baby to care for.
  17. There was a pair of senior dogs awaiting a new home on one of the rescues I was watching this summer. (The olderly owner must have passed away, I think.) They ended up being adopted into a senior living community, where they had access to a small fenced yard and would be companion animals to all the folks living there. I thought that was absolutely BRILLIANT! I am heartened for you, Geonni! Maybe, also, there would be folks in your new living situation who would be able to help exercise Sugarfoot - local kids or visiting family members of other residents?
  18. I also had a friend at work who crated her pups in her car while she worked. She could go out several times a day to do tiny poop-break walks (five minutes each), and used her lunch break to spend time with the pup. I think this was early spring, before it got too hot. It would probably only work in fall and spring... but I always thought that was a smart trick. The pup got housebroken much quicker, and after a few months could be at home alone.
  19. I have a new adult dog (she's probably 2 or 3) and am heading back to work as a schoolteacher in a few weeks, and am having some of the same concerns. This girl is crate-trained and fully housebroken. I've left her alone crated for 7 hours with no destruction or accidents; I'm testing her out for 3 or 4 hours loose in the house right now. Because she came from a hoarding situation and then foster home, where she was crated all day among the other fosters, I think she manages being home pretty well. But even so, I'm considering hiring a dog-walking service to come home mid-day, take her out in the yard, and play with her a bit. Would you consider that option? Around me, it seems to be about $15 or $16 per day for someone to come here, take the dog out for 15 or 20 minutes, and then let her back in. I'm thinking I might crate her in the a.m. when I leave (to keep her used to her crate, which is SO handy!), and then have the sitters leave her loose in the house after they play with her. My big concern is having possibly untrustworthy or unkind strangers come in my house and mess with my dog and my stuff!
  20. Geonni - that's so very hard! I hope you can work it out and keep her... but if not I hope you find a board member who can take her.
  21. Thanks for the input! At this point, the dog is an adult so the removal would be more difficult than if the dewclaws had been removed at birth. I'm going to leave them along and cross my fingers for no problems. Good info about carpeting - I don't have any in my house but will keep it in mind!
  22. My litte dog came from rescue with a tiny martingale collar that can slip just about 2" tighter than it usually is. This dog is super-soft: took her two days to stop shaking, and about a week before she would relax enough to play or frolic at all. She doesn't mind the collar in any way - it simply keeps her from pulling out if she pulls hard away from another dog or goes after a squirrel too fast. I'm not even sure she knows it's tightening up on her. (This collar is so small doesn't have an typical martingale loop - just an extra length of about 2" that can slid in and out of the metal rings. It saves a lot of bulk and weight for a small dog, in case anyone has that issue.)
  23. My new girl was labeled "terrier/border collie mix." Um... probably not. But I asked the foster the justification for this label, and she told me a lot of the dog's relatives (she's from a hoarding case where 50 dogs were taken in) looked to be BC in background. And, she's got double dewclaws, which is not uncommon in BCs. She also has a white chest, which I suspect added to the label. Anyway, her double dewclaws seemed freak-show to me at first, but now I'm used to them. One per rear paw is attached by bone, but the extra one is simply attached by skin and flops around. My vet says they generally don't remove these unless there's a problem. My dog is certainly not going to be running in the hills, herding sheep. Has anyone ever had a pet dog with double dewclaws who actually HAD a problem with them? I had an old dog with a single floppy dewclaw a while ago, but with the doubles, the extra one sticks out considerably more than normal - seems like the potential for injury might be greater.
  24. I've had my new girl only 5 weeks. I told my sister, "I don't feel that bonded to her yet. I wonder if I was bonded with Buddy at this point?" She said, "No. At this point you wanted to kill him." (Buddy ran into my right knee, full speed, on the third day after I got him, requiring me to wear a knee support for a good chunk of the summer. In addition to being fearful and reactive, he was insanely fast and needed to go to the woods for an hour or so a day, to burn off hsi energy. Point of clarification: I did not actually want to "kill him.") So, yeah - the bonding can take a long time. I think it's really good that you're clear on your nonnegotiables, and the limitations posed by the lives you lead. At 2.5 months, you're really just getting to know what he's really like, and whether he's a good match for your family. It's great that the rescue can take him back if you need them to - and maybe there's a hiking couple that wants to spend many hours a day exercising their dog! Good luck with your decision.
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