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gcv-border

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  1. THANK YOU everyone for your suggestions. Alaska, I did not know that Sylvia Trckman had a new website. I will certainly check it out. Also -- I definitely need to read through any instructions more carefully and then, go back and read them again - and again. When I read them through the first time, it sounded so simple. I think it is, but as another trainer has said "It is simple, but it is not easy." So true. I started using a tossed reward to focus forward - or so I thought. Also, I saw a Daisy Peel video where she was tossing the reward, and supposedly she was using the ST method. I will start again and this time use the methods of the master. Jovi
  2. I am stymied by the timing of throwing the treat/toy forward -- in that, he is so fast that if I throw it forward before he looks at me (he starts looking at me about 1/2 way over a 12 foot board), he gets so revved to get the treat/toy that he then springs forward without touching the rest of the board. So I end up treating him when he jumps. (Torque is very good at having his own 'private party'.) I REALLY like the idea of a bait bag or similar. I can put it out there or throw it, but unless he strides through the yellow zone, he doesn't get his reward. I will also reinforce with a click. A little more work on my part, but I need to run more too. ;^) Thanks, Jovi
  3. I am considering purchasing a Manners Minder to help train running contacts in agility. The reason I am thinking about using a Manners Minder is because it is a remote reinforcement system. I am trying to use the Sylvia Trckman technique for training running contacts, and Torque drives through the running contact nicely as long as I am waiting in front of the contact to reward him. Once I begin to move towards the side or slightly behind him (because I want him to continue to drive ahead of me off of the contact), he turns his head to focus on me because he is waiting for his treat (food or thrown toy). He tends to make more mistakes when he is not focused forward - not surprisingly. I was thinking that a remote reinforcement system like the Manners Minder might help him keep driving forward off the contact. (Actually, another person would be helpful too, but that is not in the cards.) Does anyone have experience with using the Manners Minder? Pros and cons. Can you use your own kibble or do you have to buy special kibble from the manufacturer? I am also open to ideas as to how to keep Torque's attention focused forward when doing running contacts. Jovi Larson
  4. I like the looks of this tug toy for general tugging. It looks to be durable too. How much does it stretch? Torque likes to "fly". When I am playing tug with him, I say "Wanna fly? Wanna fly?" and then will use both hands to pick him up while he clamps down on the tug hard! and twirl him around a few feet. I think he likes it - at least he keeps the tug in his mouth & still wants to tug after he flies! I need a non-stretchable tug for this. (Please note: Torque is probably never more than 6-12 inches off the ground since I am not that tall, nor that strong.) Jovi
  5. Dogs can get so excited about tug games, but I feel that they have to be taught proper "tug manners". I do agility and a lot of agility people play tug as a way to interact with their dogs more closely than tossing a toy or even giving treats. A couple of trainers have emphasized to me the importance of teaching tug manners. First - the dog should never put his teeth on your hand when you present the tug (they need to control their excitement) and Second: the dog should "drop it" -- you should not have to forcibly pull the tug out of their mouth. I generally use a fleece tug toy, BUT I only tug with it. After tugging games, it gets put away. Torque is not allowed to have a "private party" with his fleece tug. (He grasps the fleece tug between his front feet and proceeds to rip it apart systematically.) I learned the hard way after he passed pink and purple bits of fleece in his feces. Jovi
  6. Yep, that was somewhat similar to my logic - until I went through rehabbing a strained ileopsoas muscle (groin muscle) on Torque. (not sure if the downhill throwing caused the strain, but it certainly can easily cause injury). Observe how your dog runs uphill and downhill after a frisbee and when they are coming back to you. Torque runs like crazy after a frisbee or ball and then the scary stuff happens when he catches up to it. He so desperately wants to get it, that he has tumbled downhill, flipped, whipped his back end around uncontrollably, jammed his front legs and so forth. He does not do these crazy gyrations when he tries to catch a ball after an uphill run. It is a more controlled catch. And of course, they don't usually run as fast back to you - so running downhill towards you (a stationary object) usually will not cause the crazy motions of a downhill catch. In order to try and prevent his frenetic motions, I would roll the ball or frisbee downhill- with insignificant change in his behavior. He just wanted that toy soooo badly. When he started rehab for his ileopsoas strain the rehab vet told me that he was using his front too much since his rear end was not as strong. After carefully observing him, I thought I could see what she was talking about. She gave us exercises to build up his rear muscles, and I do believe I can see a difference in how he uses his limbs. I rehabbed Torque for about 4-5 months and he has been fine since - but I take care NOT to throw downhill and a couple times a week will work on back & rear strengthening exercises. Rehab consisted of things to do and not to do, walking on leash for a while, NO throwing of any objects, joint supplements - nothing really drastic. I learned how to be more aware of how Torque was using, and abusing, his body and how to modify his activities. Except for a couple of days of intermittent limping, which I had checked out by the vet and led to his diagnosis (another long story and learning experience), he never showed any pain or signs of injury to my eyes. Now I return to the rehab vet every 4-5 months for her to check him out since he has such a high pain tolerance, he may not show the signs of small injury(s) which could lead to chronic problems. From this experience, I learned that not all dogs have the smarts to protect themselves - at least Torque doesn't. When they want something so badly that they can hurt themselves (very common in BCs), the human can modify their behavior for their own good. I don't think Torque is as prone to injury now (fingers crossed) because his body has matured, but as a younger dog (12-18 months old), there was a higher potential for injury when he did some of his crazy antics. Good Luck with Emma. Jovi
  7. Gorgeous dog. It looks like she loves agility. Please do not quit agility without a good reason. I concur with the general consensus of the replies so far. I do not believe that agility causes as many injuries as some people believe, but that the injuries can be from lack of conditioning, lack of correct performance on the obstacles, lack of control, sometimes bad luck, etc. OR the dog could be injured while engaging in some other activity, but the injury does not show up until they run an agility course since that is a more strenuous activity. OR if the injuries are similar and sequential, perhaps the dog did not have enough time to completely heal from a previous injury. I went through an injury time-out with my dog starting when he was about 17-18 months old. A long story, but I learned a lot: BCs can be so focused (catching a ball or frisbee, jumping, etc.) that they do not consider the consequences of their actions. (I like to think that my dog will 'smarten up' as he matures, but it is a slow process. He will still gyrate into crazy positions when trying to catch a ball - particularly if it has taken an unexpected bounce.) As a consequence of the above - DO NOT throw a ball or frisbee down a hill. (on advice from my rehab vet) I confess that I did that since the ball went farther and I thought that the dog would get more exercise by running farther. WRONG! He strained his groin muscle with his frantic runs down the hill. Throw ball UP the hill. Your dog will get just a much exercise (and in fact, will really strengthen the hind end) and will not take tumbles or over-extend as they frequently do when chasing balls downhill. Jovi
  8. I agree with Pippin's Person - it is too early to definitely know how he will connect with you. I have heard a very well respected handler say that it takes AT LEAST a month for a handler and new dog to become comfortable working together (and that is for a dog with a decent amount of training on sheep). I don't know what your timeline is for making a decision, but perhaps a bit more patience? particularly considering Dagur has basically come from a deprived environment. As to how his current behaviors might indicate future working ability, I will let others more experienced answer to that. Jovi
  9. It sounds like you have a great partner. I don't see any wrong with your current pattern. Once she is 18-24 months old, I might even add another 10-15 minute session during the day as long as she is still eager to train. I like the fact that you are adding in other activities. One of Europe's top agility trainers/handlers, Sylvia Trckman, believes that teaching your dog tricks (she says teach them 100 tricks - I can not even THINK of 100 tricks) will transfer to better agility handling and a better bond. Another viewpoint: my rehab vet says that freestyle moves (particularly where they have to know where their hind end is) helps them physically, in addition to mentally. (I just can not get excited about freestyle so I do a few backing exercises with my dog to keep his back and hind end strong and leave it at that. I should probably do more.) I am sure you have read the recent posts on motivation. I really like the ideas about breaking up agility training with fetch, frisbee, etc. At home, I will run a few short sequences, then throw a toy a few times. At class, he can re-do sequences many times without a problem, but class is only once a week (sometimes even less depending on the weather.) Keep up the good work, Jovi
  10. YES! I heard that the National Sheepdog Finals were in VA about a month ago. They are on that little peninsula that is connected to MD in the north. (I sure do wish that they could have found a site in central VA.) Since I am in Roanoke/Lynchburg area, it will be close to a 5 hour drive. BUT, I mentioned it to my husband and surprise! I expected a grunt in reply, but he said it might be fun to go out for a day or two. Actually, he loves the ocean so he is thinking that he can check out the shore while I am at the BC trials. That is OK with me since his tolerance for these dog events are about 45-60 minutes. If I can't get there, I hope that my somewhat slow internet connection will allow me to watch the webcast. Jovi
  11. Greetings, I have been reading the Boards for a while and have posted a few times in recent weeks, so it is probably time that I stop lurking in the background and introduce myself. I apologize if I did this backwards (i.e. maybe I should have introduced myself right away). I have a 10.5 year old rescue Sheltie mix, Ritz (at the time we adopted her, my husband said he didn't want a BC. He thought they would have too much energy, be too much work, etc. etc.) AND and 3 year old BC male, Torque. I finally got my BC!! I have wanted one for almost 25 years. When I was MUCH younger, we adopted a cute B&W dog from the local pound. About two months later, someone asked me if she was a BC. My answer was "What is a BC?" Please remember that this was before the Babe movie and all the neat agility and flyball and obedience stuff that has emerged. Anyway, I did a lot of reading about BCs (again, limited books were available). Over the years, we would attend a couple of herding trials (as observers) per year. I knew that with school and work, I did not need a BC, but it was something that was always a goal. I got Torque as an 8 week old puppy, and we have been through the puppy obedience and beginning obedience classes. Torque is a great dog, and we have fun at agility, some tracking and just general stuff. I would love to train him for herding, but time is still at a premium - plus it is easier to train for agility with a few obstacles in my backyard. I have enjoyed reading all the posts and have learned a lot - and have also been entertained. I plan on keeping up with the posts and know that I will continue to listen and learn. Best, Jovi Larson
  12. I am SOO glad I moved out of NJ (about 4 years ago). I lived in a town where they actually hired somebody to visit every house to check if they had dogs and how many. This was done every other year. I was speechless when it happened the first year after I moved there as I had never heard of such a thing before. I lived in that town for 7 years - therefore had 3 visits. Luckily, my one dog (at that time) was licensed before each visit so I do not know what would have happened if the opposite was true. Jovi
  13. Awesome! Mr. Tweedpants and Miss Piper look very proud too! Jovi
  14. Has anyone used Dausequan? I was looking at it for a supplement for my small dog who has an arthritic back...its kind of expensive but I have heard good things... ___________________________________ Yes, I use Dasuquin on the advice of my rehab vet. She believes it is the best in its class (she does not sell it either so she is not making money with her recommendation). I am using it as a preventive before symptoms appear so I can not speak to whether or not it is helping my dog. You can buy it from a vet (expensive), but I buy it online using what I believe/hope is a reputable seller. I also save a bit by buying the large tablets and cutting them in half to get the correct dosage for my dog. Jovi
  15. Thanks for the links from me too. Kongs are good. I will be interested in the recipes. I am not familiar with the tricky treat ball or the puzzle - will check them out. The Premier Tug-a-Jug was recommended to me by the rehab vet. I think it is a good idea, but Torque chewed through the imitation rope within 10 minutes, and the hard plastic of the jug is VERY loud on wood or tile floors - use it in carpeted rooms! I second elk (deer) antlers - very long lasting. Try to get a good size one since I worry about my dog swallowing a smaller one (or once it gets small after being chewed on). How old is your dog? Mine seemed to lose the intense desire to chew everything, at all times, a few months after he turned 2. Try the trade game. Put a chew toy and something of yours you do not want him to chew in front of him. If he chooses the chew toy, mark his choice (treat or click/treat or YES). Let him know that he did a GOOD thing. If he chooses the other, say Oops in a happy voice, remove it from his mouth gently and place it back on the floor and start the game again. Good Luck, Jovi _______________________________________________________ Possibly, but often the desire to chew something is because it smells like you guys or is attractiveness in that kind of sense vs. just not having anything the chew on. Something that might help is offering his food in toys that require working at it, might help satisfy his need to forage and explore: have you ever offerred his meals in things like kongs, or puzzle toys? If he really can rip thru plastic you might have to do this supervised, but you would be surprised how satisfying this is for a critter and it can actually help curb some destructive impulses. Its how they often feed zoo animals these days - make them forage for their food and it helps keep them mentally happy. Some links: some Kong reciepes Tricky Treat Ball Nina Ottoson puzzle Premiere Tug a Jug
  16. RED DOGS RULE!! :^) Jovi and Torque (red tri who is now out of his puppy stages) ________________________________ 1) Robin Goodfellow 2) Robin Come Bobbin 3) Robin Red Chief 4) Robin Peter Rabbit -- I finally had to do admit that we should have fenced the garden last year when DH fenced in about a quarter acre of yard but "somebody" wanted the puppies to go to the garden with her and they do now lie down and behave when I'm working in it. It's the damage they do when I'm not there that made me say those three most sought after words in the human language, "You were right" . Yesterday Robin destroyed my onion patch with his big red ball (yes, it was my idea was that to buy that thing,too) -- we have raised beds and the fence ends at the bottom bed, coming to a corner where the onions are planted and he got the ball stuck in the corner, and well, it's not a pretty sight. I might be able to salvage the peas and the lettuce came through unharmed. The radishes are going to seed anyway.... At any rate, Ken put up a nice five foot fence yesterday and so Robin has now turned his attention to the garden bed beside the pool, fenced in with a four foot fence....which might as well not be there at all...this morning I find him out there browsing through the herbs to have a nip of parsley or mint....nothing in there that could hurt him but it is darned annoying because he is trampling everything else - Forget the sheep, this dog is going into agility. He takes fences like a champion steeplechaser...leaps them from a standstill! I don't understand it....Brodie is such a good dog....so well behaved....quiet. His only sin is chasing the cat. There's just something about a red dog.... Liz
  17. Glad to learn more about the Platinum Performance products. I have used Biosponge for 3-4 years, and I LOVE it - couldn't be without it. I also buy it in the 4 lb container and use it on my dogs and alpacas. I have often wondered about using it 'off-label', that is, for myself or my husband as the need arises. ;^) I will check out the PP CJ and Stamina in the catalog. Thanks, Jovi Hi Suki, I have used Platinum Performance products for both horses and dogs for years. For the dogs I use Platinum Performance CJ , which combines PP and their Joint product in one. Used to have to buy it seperately. I also use Stamina for the trial dogs. And I try never to be run out of BioSponge. I buy it in the 4# containers, but it is also available in syringes ( too expensive that way with the amount I use). I use that on dogs, horses and sheep. I buy their Platinum bars for myself. On and off I have some of their other products as well, as needed. Hope all is well with you. Carolyn
  18. OOPs! Forgot to clarify that an iliopsoas strain is similar to a groin pull in humans. Therefore it can affect movement that involves extension of the abdominal area i.e. jumping extensions. When your dog doesn't want to fully extend their rear legs due to the pain of the iliopsoas strain, dropped bars can be the result. Jovi __________________________________________________ I think all the suggestions have merit. It is a very complex issue. So far, 1. Teach the dog to jump via jump exercises (Susan Salo DVD, ladders, cavalettis, wrap-work, positive reinforcement for NOT ticking/dropping bars, etc, etc.) I understand that almost all dogs need to be taught to jump correctly. 2. Is it something you are doing that causes the dog to adjust in mid-air leading to a dropped bar? That was a good comment, and probably happens more than one realizes, particularly for a beginning handler. I am a beginning handler and it is very common for my instructor to point out that the reason my dog dropped a bar was because I was late, or not clear, or too close, or whatever with my handling cue. Then, when I repeat the sequence, if I get the timing right, usually my dog does it beautifully. I would like to add a third category to the list - injury. Injury (specifically iliopsoas strain) can cause dropped bars. Personally, I think the first 2 reasons are more likely, but it might be worth checking out an iliopsoas strain, or at least keep it in the back of your mind. I went through this with my dog (~ 15-16 months old at the time) and learned a lot. A couple of things to point out: (1) a dog with a high pain tolerance may not show any other sign of an iliopsoas strain beyond dropped bars. If you can find a rehab vet, he/she would be the best person to check out your dog. I wouldn't necessarily trust a general vet. (My general vet did not diagnose it.) (2) One of the rehab vets I worked with believes that there are many more iliopsoas strains in agility dogs than are diagnosed. She cringes when she hears someone saying that their dog is 'lazy' because it keeps dropping bars. To her, that is a sign to check the dog for an iliopsoas strain. Good Luck, Jovi
  19. I think all the suggestions have merit. It is a very complex issue. So far, 1. Teach the dog to jump via jump exercises (Susan Salo DVD, ladders, cavalettis, wrap-work, positive reinforcement for NOT ticking/dropping bars, etc, etc.) I understand that almost all dogs need to be taught to jump correctly. 2. Is it something you are doing that causes the dog to adjust in mid-air leading to a dropped bar? That was a good comment, and probably happens more than one realizes, particularly for a beginning handler. I am a beginning handler and it is very common for my instructor to point out that the reason my dog dropped a bar was because I was late, or not clear, or too close, or whatever with my handling cue. Then, when I repeat the sequence, if I get the timing right, usually my dog does it beautifully. I would like to add a third category to the list - injury. Injury (specifically iliopsoas strain) can cause dropped bars. Personally, I think the first 2 reasons are more likely, but it might be worth checking out an iliopsoas strain, or at least keep it in the back of your mind. I went through this with my dog (~ 15-16 months old at the time) and learned a lot. A couple of things to point out: (1) a dog with a high pain tolerance may not show any other sign of an iliopsoas strain beyond dropped bars. If you can find a rehab vet, he/she would be the best person to check out your dog. I wouldn't necessarily trust a general vet. (My general vet did not diagnose it.) (2) One of the rehab vets I worked with believes that there are many more iliopsoas strains in agility dogs than are diagnosed. She cringes when she hears someone saying that their dog is 'lazy' because it keeps dropping bars. To her, that is a sign to check the dog for an iliopsoas strain. Good Luck, Jovi
  20. A comment on another email forum started me thinking about the negative perceptions and biases that non-BC people have about BCs --- so I was wondering if anyone else has experienced comments, unintended or purposeful, regarding our favorite dog breed? I would be very interested in your anecdotes. Here are 2 of mine: First: I brought my BC puppy (he was about 14-16 weeks old at the time) to a local "puppy class" for socialization and some rudimentary obedience. He did very well with any and all of the commands. After a few weeks, one of the other participants made a comment about how having a BC was "cheating". Really now!! Second: Out of curiosity, I brought my dog to a local flyball club to see if it was something I would like to do with him. (I knew he would like it, but I wasn't so sure that I would.) Interestingly, this flyball club did not have a single BC on the team. During the introductions, one person commented that "BCs are OK, but I wouldn't want to live with one". Later, I did take satisfaction that my hard-to-live-with BC was one of the best-behaved dogs at their practice. While these comments are not mean, they did surprise me. I had no response to either comment, but that was probably for the best. So - has anyone else experienced comments or actions indicating a negative perception about (or maybe jealousy of) the BC? Jovi
  21. Carla's response was excellent - and the additional advice as also helpful. One thing I might add is to reward his quiet times. Yes, you can teach him "off" by positive motivation, but I also try to CAPTURE behaviors that he does voluntarily (i.e. staying quietly on the rug for example or any other behavior that he does that you like but have not actively asked for). I reward with a low & soft "good boy", a treat and/or a pat (a pat when he is older). I do not use my happy voice for instances like this since that tends to energize. In the beginning, he may get energized when you treat for being quiet, but he should learn to just stay there and accept his treat - eventually. Good Luck and be prepared to be a walking/talking treat dispenser for a while. Jovi
  22. I currently use Frontline Plus AND a preventic collar --- and Iverhart Max. I had been using Advantix since their marketing led me to believe that it provided more complete coverage, but we (2 dogs and 2 humans) kept getting ticks. There is nothing I hate more than seeing a bloated tick that has fallen off one of the dogs. Based on the advice of my rehab vet, who works with a search & rescue team that is always in the woods, I have been using my current regimen for about a year and see very few ticks (on the dogs). She says that you can use Frontline Plus with the preventic collar, but NOT to combine the preventic collar with Advantix since Advantix is a much more toxic chemical. A friend's vet does not think combining the two are a good idea, but it is the only thing that has worked for me here in SW VA. (I do not have kids, but do have cats - which should not be exposed to the preventic collar. No problems so far.) I just heard of someone who religiously uses Frontline Plus and just had her dog diagnosed with both Lyme and erlichia. I don't know what it is, but I keep hearing about how one product works welll in one region, but not another. Or how one owner is happy with a product, but the same product doesn't seem to work for the neighbor down the road. I wouldn't discount different body chemistry between dogs and regional differences in tick populations. Jovi It's been a tick a day on one dog or the other or the cat and once or twice on DH since fair weather broke and we've started walking in the far fields and as DH lets them all over the furniture and up on the bed, they are all on their way out the door - the cat and DH included - until I get this under control. We use Revolution and until this year have not had a problem.....does anyone have any suggestions for another spot-on heartworm/flea/tick/worm preventative that does not contain Ivermection (yeah, I know - but better safe than very sorry) Thanks, Liz
  23. Here's the link. Here's the relevant information (bolded for your convenience): The above is from Gil. Ash's excellent site on tick diseases. J. Julie, Thank you for that EXCELLENT link. I agree that probiotics can help - just from my own personal experience. (Both of my dogs have been on either doxy or amoxi without much decrease in appetite. The main side effect has been loose stools - for which I used probiotics.) Two interesting points I noticed: It was recommended to give probiotics 2 hours AFTER the doxy tablet. When I was on doxy for Lyme disease, my doctor told me to take a probiotic tablet (available at health food stores) at least 1 hour BEFORE take the doxy tablet. Over a period of 30 days, I forgot to take the probiotic tablet twice and boy, did my stomach pay for it. Anyway, whatever works is best. (My experience with Lyme disease was about 10 years ago, so I am sure that today more is known about how to treat the side effects of doxy, etc.) Also, I willl have to talk to my vet with regard to the amoxi treatment for erlichiosis. One of my dogs just finished a 28 day treatment of amoxi twice per day for erlichiosis. I remember him prescribing amoxi because he felt it worked better than doxy for erlichiosis, but now I am doubting my memory. I will need to revisit that with him. Jovi
  24. OH Boy. This really describes me and my dog. (Novices, both of us.) I like the term 'spectating'. I recently had a private lesson with an out-of-town agility instructor (who was in town for a workshop), and she also noted how I just stood there watching him run towards me after I led out. I thought he looked sooo pretty - just like those cool dogs on TV that are agility champions. So now I have been working on keeping my feet moving, but then the next problem pops up --- there are times I need to decelerate, and even stop, to indicate to my dog the path I want him to follow. Just too much for my brain (accelerate, decelerate, stop) - but if I do it right, Torque responds perfectly. Regarding start-line stays: Torque also will stand from a sit or creep forward at a start line stay when at a trial. (He is much better at lessons.) I find that if I keep eye contact and hold my hand up to make him stay when I lead out, he doesn't push as much. Yes, I would love to be one of those handlers that set their dogs and then blithely walk away, but at this stage, he is too excited. I am working on it and hope he will improve as he matures, but since he can be controlled if I pay attention, I am satisfied with that at the moment. Jovi One of my instructors accuses me of "spectating" Yes, I guess I'm guilty of that because I just can't believe how fast and cool he looks when he runs but that's probably only part of the problem. I think I'm stunned and shocked sometimes and I just stand there not knowing what to do. It's taken a long time to get used to his speed and his quick response to every single move and command I give. I really thought agility was a piece of cake because I ran an aussie that wasn't as fast and she covered every wrong move I made. She was my first agility dog. Chase leaves me no room for any errors. Bless him, he tries so hard for me. We are slowly getting it together and working as a team. He's understanding me better and I'm understanding him better. It's going to be one heck of a ride with him! It has been so far!
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