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About Maja

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  1. Maja

    walking backward

    Any pressure that I use ona dog (voice, posture, or gesture), I use it two-fold: (1) always use the lowest level that works, and when it does not , I can always 'up' it one degree, until I get to the point where it works (2) as soon as a level gets a good reaction, the dog gets praised (usually by tone in the command not a separate praise) and the very next time I use a lower level of pressure. This gradually creates a softer, more pliable dog. But, often the non-pressure works better for me. Here I have a video, where the first time, I push Bonnie out and the second time, I do the opposite, I go backwards giving her more room - you can see the opposite reactions of the dog - she goes much tighter the first time, and much wider the second time. My motions here are not perfect (I did that movie 8 years ago) but it's not easy to record oneself, and this is the best I caught on camera.
  2. Starry777,Considering how cleverly you eased into the question of "will I be a good border collie owner", I think you will do great with border collies. Besides, it's easier to train a bc to sit - because you always know whether they have already done it or not. I had one corgi visit me and I had to ask the owner if she sat or not, because of the grass .
  3. Yes. Lots of border collie people try to put lots of pressure on other people. Particularly newcomers are regarded with a great deal of suspicion, and they have to prove themselves worthy of having a BC, otherwise they face the wrath and criticism. There seems to be a lot of insecurity among the bc owners that they then take out on other people trying to prove that they come short. EDIT: Of course there are tons of great bc folks, but those insecure who take BCs as to compensate for something, they have a need to constantly judge and criticism other folks under the pretense of caring for the breed, so they are very outspoken, and it seems like there are more of them than there are.
  4. Maja

    walking backward

    Thanks! Carol Campion helped me a great deal in training my dogs.
  5. Maja

    walking backward

    I don't see any link, Smalahundur.
  6. Maja

    walking backward

    Sounds good, Luana. There are a lot of obstacles in training when you don't have your own sheep, a dandy field, good training area, and an experienced teacher close by.
  7. Maja

    walking backward

    I would make twice as many flanks/outruns on the worse side than on the preferred side (but other people may have other suggestions), and I would keep count (or have someone keep count) of the flanks/outruns, because from my experience people are not aware of how many flanks they do on the better side, doing more flanks than they think. I would also use the away flank as a reward for a better come-bye flank. When it comes to repetition, the key thing, in my opinion, is to avoid repetitiveness of one thing without interspersing it with something else. So you do a couple of outruns and then you do wearing and turns, then again outruns, then doing figure eight or something else. Border collies tend to overthink things and if you keep repeating something, he may become bored or get to thinking he's doing something wrong. So when you see improvement, you should then move onto something else and only later go back to this, so that he feels "mission accomplished". This is hard, because when the dog does well, we have a tendency to make ask him to repeat. Whereas, the best thing, form what i know, is to move on and go back to this later. When it comes to the number orf repetition you have to watch your dog and see his demeanor, the dog tells you when it's too much. I would like to suggest that you buy Vergil Holland's Herding Dogs. Progressive Training. This is an excellent book, because it is comprehensive: for every problem there is a solution in the form of en exercise. Also Vergil Holland shows how to expand upon and progress in your training. He has some nice exercises for tight flanks. One of them is doing figure eight between posts. I know that a dog difficult to control is a big problem, but I also had a dog whose very problem was the tight space to which he had been confined due to being hard to control. Which, as it turned out, created a vicious circle. So he came to me as a "problem dog" and after I tried a number of things in our training area, I decided to turn him loose on an open field. After the initial couple of minutes of havoc, it was as though someone flipped a switch within him. He calmed down and started working fairly normal and stayed that way. Later we of course went back to the more confined space, since the dog has to be able to work in all spaces eventually, but my experience in general tells me that in the beginning, very cramped quarters often create problems that seem to indicate the dog is not ready for open space whereas it is the closed space that is the problem. (And now I am really hoping I won't be sorry I wrote this after tour opens area training session )
  8. Maja

    walking backward

    Here is my opinion, more experienced folks please correct me if I am off: To me this is still very, very cramped. When I said to take him into the open, I didn't mean just outdoors but to a larger open space. Here he can't cover the sheep - they are against the fence so he can't learn how to do an outrun and lift and cover the sheep properly. In general he can't learn in this field to feel their bubble because the place is so small he is always inside the bubble, and he can't find the place outside of it. I counted over twenty little outruns on away an one on comebye. In my opinion, these are too many repetitions in general, and way too many on the preferred side. From what I know, there should be more work on the less comfortable side. The dog may need more aid and encouragement in the less comfortable side, but he needs to work more there, and not get fixated on the side he already likes more. He needs more involved work on the sheep - wearing in a straight line, changing directions at 90 degrees, so that he naturally swings out and learns to read them. For all this he needs space. He is a nice dog, and he responds to you well, but I feel he is physically and mentally cramped.
  9. I don't know about Cerenia, but I just wanted to write about my dear Darinka to give you hope: Darinka used to be a nightmare for riding cars ( she has to do everything in a larger than life mode). She used to drool so much she would foam up. She would vomit. She would be The Most Miserable Vehicled Dog in the World. It lasted much longer than any other dog I've had. But the day came when I suddenly realized I had this really lovely traveling companion by my side instead of the reactive nightmare that she used to be. She is so pleasant now to travel with I can't believe she made the journey from the freaked-out drooling, upchucking, goo-covered dog to this sweet serene travelling buddy. So there is hope! 1. I never used any medication for her for cars, but I have used Adaptil for fireworks, and I like it because it makes dogs calm but not drowsy or "drugged" 2. One vet told me that some dogs react to specific frequencies of engines and a dog that vomits in one vehicle may not do that in another. It seem to make some sense, since Darine was definitely worse in the Diesel Ford than in the gasoline Honda (unless of course it was just that Honda CR-V are way cooler )
  10. Dang it! How did you know! I agree with you. I feel very strongly about taking the entire breeding picture of a dog into account, together with the entire breed picture, looking for a balance between selecting from the gene pool and depleting it (my, I got that one really convoluted didn't I ? ) I have heard, and believed it too, that when the dog puts in a hard day's worth of work up on the brae, this is sufficient testimony of its health in relation to muscle, skeleton, heart, lungs. But there is a difference in how the dog works with livestock versus how racing dogs or sled dogs work because their muscle compensation, however fantastic, was not compensating enough and the dogs with CHD didn't cut the grade as racing dogs, and this produced a low incidence of HD. Livestock work obviously does not have this effect. Darinka pic for those you saw through me
  11. All very good points! (And here is my little ijeet, who does not know the concept of fence, as in "Why go through the gate when you can jump over the fence at its highest point).
  12. Long time ago I read an article, which I can't find now, trying to explain why in spite of years of border collie selection for work the breed has less than stellar results in hip dysplasia. It is a bothersome problem for those who believe that selection for working ability should eliminate such things as HD. I have now, in addition to having an almost blind dog and an almost deaf dog, Darinka, who should be the lame dog, but isn't. She has one sided dysplasia and the bad hip is C/D or thereabouts. She is now over 5 years old, and the reason why dysplasia has not been bred out of working dog is obvious to me: The dysplasia in no way impedes her working ability. If I had not done the X-ray, I would have bred her (as it was I had thought the X-ray to be a mere formality) absolutely certain of her excellent health. She runs like the wind, jumps like a grass-hopper on RedBull, she works like a draft horse. And if I bred her to a similar male, their off-spring would be likely a total disaster. Darinka, I might add, is of excellent working background, Clearly, the demands of stock work must be of the sort that allow the dog to maximize its abilities without compromising the quality of work, even in the presence of dysplasia, which is not possible in other sports like dog racing. So it is really no surprise at all that the HD in border collies did not get bred out, and it is really obvious that tests and x-rays can greatly improve the quality of the working dog. I think this is an important piece of information, because I have come across somewhat flippant attitudes of working dog people who seem to think that the various tests are for the wimpy show dogs, and as long as the dog performs, we are all set. I am not saying that working dog people neglect to test their breeding dogs, I am just noting how important the tests are for maintaining and improving the health of the working border collie. Obviously in case of hip dysplasia there is no way we can rely on the dog's working ability to determine its health status, and Darinka reminds me of it everyday when I watch her beautiful work.
  13. Maja

    ADMIN: Please Read

    Good! I was worried you got hacked. Maja
  14. Maja

    Did I commit a faux pas?

    No, it wasn't a faux pas; it was a bon pas
  15. Yes, for people who actually want to know, you can see the light bulb come on in their brain. Others stomp their foot and disagree