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alligande

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About alligande

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  1. I have had a border collie for over 20 years now but it took moving to an island in the Mediterranean before I was able to discover the joys of your dogs working sheep. I always felt it was wrong to just let them play with sheep, and now we have a found a shepherd who we can work with on a regular basis. Over the last 5 weeks I have watched my dogs go from insecure and not having a clue to being confident and start to move sheep in an open field. The transformation in my young dog is striking, his first couple of visits to the farm he was completely useless! There were glimmers of interest but nothing that stood out, looked like my working bred ISDS dog was a washout ..... but knowing what he was like in agility I kept taking him, despite Miquel thinking I was wasting my money. 5 lessons in and he got to work sheep in an open field and a kiss from a farmer! My older rescue dog took to sheep straight away. They both have lots to learn and maybe one day I will get to handle them as at the moment it is better if the shepherd works them as they are both very handler focused as their primary job is agility, and they are both mamas boys. The most striking thing is how they are able to handle more pressure, both are very soft dogs and don't handle any sort of correction, the older one would whimp out and look for me initially now he just wants to get back the sheep, the youngest needed cheerleading and slowly has been able handle more pressure. To be honest I am hoping it helps make him more resilient. I have always loved watching collies work but when they are your own it makes it very special.
  2. alligande

    Introduction and question :)

    As I am serious about agility my young dogs breeder advised me to get his foundations solid before we tried working sheep so they would not have the tendency to bend rather than run in straight lines. I can really see the intense handler focus both my dogs have, for the first time my dogs have the opportunity to learn the art of working sheep which we never had in the US, I would have had to drive to far to make a regular commitment and I was not going to do it unless they could really learn. The shepherd works both my dogs, so they can learn rather than watching me, he has had me hiding in the car! The only thing that has transferred over is their good downs, and their responsiveness to commands.
  3. I know Knox and Yannick, they come and give us a seminar once a year, and I got to see him run in a competition wearing his glasses. This was early on and it was taking him a while to get used to wearing them. But is was really obvious that his vision changed with them on, sitting on the sidelines with him not wearing them, he was his only focused on his toy, once he had them on he started looking around and watching the other dogs.
  4. alligande

    Puppy agility?

    there are puppy agility obstacles out there, my club has a really cute set of miniature equipment all made to the same standards as regulation equipment rubber surfaces etc. It is mostly used for non-agility classes just to get pet-dogs doing different things, but it does get used by young dogs to get them comfortable going on the different stuff.
  5. alligande

    Puppy bladder

    I got my youngster at 10 weeks, the first night he slept from 11 - 5:30, then it was 10 - 10:30 to 6 or 6:30 by the time we got home with at 13 weeks he was happy in his crate for 8 hours. There were a few days that he woke me up and really had to go but they never became a pattern. For the first 3 weeks he slept beside me and I would do the hand trick as well, once home he moved into a huge crate in the living room and he was good. We counted our selves as very lucky especially as we were traveling and staying with family and in hotels those first 3 weeks.
  6. Mum24Dog's daughter shared this yesterday on Agilitynet and I wanted to share it with the boards. I had the opportunity to meet Pam last summer at the Kennel Club Agility Festival and got to her thank her in person for all the help she gave me navigating English agility and finding an ISDS pup.
  7. alligande

    If you were to own another dog breed/mix?

    This is a game a play in my mind often, I joke that my husband and I have a stand off - no terriers - no beagles, I love small terriers and have a huge soft spot for Cairns, my husband would love a beagle but not a chance one would ever live in our house. I suspect I have one more border collie in me as an agility partner, but I do think about down sizing and my list is made up of dogs I don't want. My current favorite small agility dog would be a poodle, I do love that the small class has such a huge variety of little dogs, rather than the big dog class which is dominated bu border collies.
  8. alligande

    HD diagnosis

    Something else to consider is working with a rehab pro. My agility dog was diagnosed with mild HD nothing as severe as your poor boy but he was in pain and obvious discomfort. My vets initial reaction was that should cut back his exercise, no more agility etc. I then started working with a vet/physio but I actually made things worse as he was not used to working with over achieving border collies and their owners as I just did far to much as he had not provided a detailed plan. I knew there were dogs competing in the US and the UK with HD so I found a vet/physio who worked with us online in conjunction with our local vet/physio and the results were amazing, we have never done hydrotherapy, just simple conditioning exercises. We now work with a local physio who moved here, he has an appointment once a month for a massage and she adjusts his exercises depending on what she feels he needs. He will be 9 this summer and is still fit, strong and able to train and compete in the sport. My recommendation is not to go it alone with conditioning exercises, they can make a huge difference but it is very important to do the correct exercises with the right form and the correct number of repetitions.
  9. alligande

    New Puppy Advice Please..

    I can not imagine it being that big a deal, especially if you are getting the pup young. My pup came from a sports/hearding home 1/2 the litter went to agility homes the others went to farms. They were raised in the house with kids, played with toys etc, learned to tug. They did nothing really special though and were not the type to get sucked into all the puppy agility stuff, just provided a good allround home environment, vacuum cleaners, screaming kids, all the normal stuff. I have a friend with a 7 year old sports bred dog who has some really impressive working lines, she has spent her life as an agility dog, she even had to learn to be a pet when she came to my friends, she had never seen sheep until a few months ago and her instinct was unreal, and she just started working. The shepherd was smitten! so I really don't see how a few weeks early weeks can effect a well bred pup badly.
  10. Sorry I haven't been on the boards for awhile, Fen started knowing nothing about running contacts and he had never been on equipment, the only thing he had was an understanding of the 2o2o position so his learning curve has been huge. He is a thinking dog and so this technique is working very well for him. We are now into the second class and his learning continues well, he is getting faster as he gets confidence, and maintains an understanding of the criteria most of the time.
  11. alligande

    massage for hip dysplasia

    My older dog has hip dispylasia in one hip and has been transformed working with a phsyio, my goals are different to yours which is to keep my dog fit to compete in agility but my physio works with a lot of older dogs and their quality of life is usually improved with increased mobility.
  12. My first agility border collie was a car chaser when we got him, and once agility started getting fast he really was a raving lunatic, I started taking a soft crate to training and keeping it covered so he could not get worked up, I also left him the car between his sessions. Over time and with patience and a lot of help from Controlled unleashed he settled down and could chill as trials. My young dog could easily become the same dog and I use have to work at keeping him under threshold, he was at a very big agility competition recently as a spectator and we use exposed him to things in very small pieces. It can be managed and you will not have to give up agility and really is very common. The shock collar is a very bad idea for something like this.
  13. alligande

    Overwhelmed by Agility Options

    I am late to responding to you, I am having an amazing agility adventure with my older dog currently. You have been given great advice, stick with an "real" person class for awhile it will help you immensely, agility is a really complex sport for the human, we can teach our dogs everything really well but if we have not figured out the game nothing will flow, it really is a team sport and both members need help learning their roles and a live trainer should help you make huge strides. I take online courses and find them really helpful as I live on an island where I am one of the more experienced handlers, they are really helping me push my handling and training to another level, currently my young dog is taking a handling class with Shapeup agility who are brilliant world class handlers for Canada but I don't feel the classes are that good for beginners, I am also taking a running contact class with Anne Lenz who is German and the current world champion, the class is great and could be taken by a beginner but obviously you need to be confident that you want to go down that route.
  14. Good move, I think the problem is that that many people have not realized there has been a huge evolution in dog training and the understanding of how all animals learn. Slowly people are learning that you don't have to be a bully to be successful when training animals, and we can only hope that with time trainers like her will no longer be in business.
  15. I am sure it is possible but I suspect like all things it depends on the skill of the trainer, the dogs learning style and if the equipment is in your garden. I personally feel there is a limit to what I can teach successfully and thoroughly without overloading my young man, by the time I get to my next dog I might be up for teaching more skills at the same time! He is currently learning RCs, handling and we started on weave poles last week. I go to my club early most weekday mornings and I am there for about 30 minutes, working with both my dogs, young one does some contact training and short sequences working on his skills and the older one is just polishing his skills and mine. At home we do two quick sessions on 2x2s.
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