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alligande

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About alligande

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  1. The best piece of advice I read when we accidentally adopted our first border collie was you get the border collie you create. If you walk ten miles a day that's what they will need, if it's only a 20 minute walk around the block twice a day then they will adapt. Mental stimulation can be learning stupid pet tricks, learning an inconsequential trick is fun for dog and person, lots of treats, no pressure and it doesn't matter if it goes wrong. One of our border collies would be exhausted after 10 minutes of trick training in the house (middle of winter when none of us wanted to go for a walk) he could hike all day long, but using his brain just knocked him out. Its allready been touched on but border collies in the North of England and the Borders of Scotland do not work all day, they might not work for days. The sheep are free grazed on moorland and are not tended everyday. Shepherds except their dogs to work hard when needed, but when not they ride around on the cuad, hangout in the farm yard, go to the pub. Basically no shepherd from where the dogs originate would have any time for a maniac go go dog. All our border collies and foster dogs have learned to chill it's just what we expect.
  2. That's excellent news, hope you get the funds together soon
  3. Hope I could be of some small help, wishing you and sugarfoot the best, you are right it is to soon for her to retire.
  4. First I would suggest a thorough vet check, blood work, the works. Dogs can start to show aggression when they have health problems, these range from having an injury to a thyroid inbalance. You need a vet that is onboard to really do a thorough health check, some vets don't always take this is seriously. If there is no health problem then in my opinion you need to contact a vet behaviorist, with what you describe a regular trainer is not going to be able fully evaluate what is happening. The behavior you describe is not normal.
  5. He looks amazing, what a fabulous transformation and a real credit to you. That coat is gorgeous now, and he looks like a proper border collie.
  6. To the OP there are some seriously experienced border collie owners and trainers trying to give you advice, if you choose to take on board what they are saying your house training will go much more successfully. When you tell a dog off, they become sneaky and start soiling in places you can't see until after the fact. My current youngster was housed trained very quickly in part because we spent weeks 10-12 staying with my mother in her flat. We did have the advantage of communal gardens outside. Because we were in someone else's home we were hyper vigilant, that pup was never out of our site, he was either in his crate, playing with us, doing some training etc. By the time we left he had learned to run to the door when he had to go, we scooped and carried him out. By the time we got home when he was 13 weeks, he was effectively house trained and has never made a mistake. He has never been told off, but he has had a hell of a lot of praise in his life.
  7. I am currently working with my third agility dog/border collie and I am ridiculously committed to the sport! For most people it takes about a year to compete as you are figuring out there is loads to learn and I don't think anyone is really ready at the first trial, just remembering those 18 obstacles is challenging Other than the start line, none of my agility commands transfer to normal life. Everything my dogs do on the agility course is specific to the game, even when I use their name there is a specific context rather than away from agility where i use their names for all sorts of silly things. The way I train agility has changed and I now train a lot of very specific verbal commands so my dog can have independence from me and fully understand what he needs to do. As an example we are working on four specific commands for directionals on leaving the dog walk, these will not be used anywhere else. Start line stays are one of lifespan's great challenges, my young dog has a rock solid stay 10ft from an agility course even when other dogs are running, put him in front of an obstacle and we play "should we stay should we go"
  8. The best think I read when we got our first border collie a long time ago now, was that you get the dog you create. If you walk it all day long, play endless rounds of catch etc that is what they will need, live in Manhattan and take them for a short walk before work and a better one after with a little trick training thrown and they will Ben perfectly happy. We have had four great house pet border collies and lots of fosters. They do need to use their brains, and they do love being involved in every aspect of your lives but they are not meant to be manic machines. My final observation is that most sheepdogs working in their original areas, northern England, the borders etc don't work all day long every day. Some days they don't work, they might go the pub, or they might spend time ridding the quad, some days are long and arduous. A good border collie should work hard when it needs to and relax when it doesn't, a shepherd does not want an amped up dog bothering him.
  9. My older dog is 9 1/2 and I continue to train new skills in agility with him, he still competes. That said he is very experienced with the learning new tricks and new concepts. Older dogs can learn lots of things but at 8 in the fast impact sports they probably will not be able to compete seriously as it takes a long time to master the skills, but older dogs can have lots of fun learning the concepts without ever having to jump or do high impact activities.
  10. I would take him to a different vet and have tests ran. Couple of stories: My insurance agent's puppy golden retriever had soft stool and diarrhea from when they got her, his regular vet suggested probiotics, changes in diet but never did any fecal testing. They went to my vet who ran tests and found a problem that she had picked up from her horses on the farm where she had been bred, some drugs and she was the happy healthy puppy a test had denied her. What really shocked me was he still goes to the original vet! My own dogs periodically pick up intestinal problems, a fecal test has identified the problem and within a few days of the right drugs they have been good.
  11. From my own very limited experience an instinct test might not show you anything. Both my dogs started to learn how to work sheep this last summer, initially my youngest showed very little instinct (he is a working bred dog with decent lines) while my older 8 year old dog had lots of instinct and did amazingly well on his first few lessons, but the wheel has turned and the young one has come on very slowly and is turning into a real sheepdog, he is never going to set the world on fire but his trainer said if he had him week he would be working 100 sheep effectively, while the older one has flat lined and shown very little improvement. So basically we were welcome to keep coming initially because of one, while the trainer thought I was wasting my money with the other and now it's the reverse. I can't help you on price as we live in Spain.
  12. So sorry D'Elle, no matter how long they are with us, it is never enough.
  13. My current two dogs are entire. The decision to not neuter my older dog was a bit of an accident, initially I decided to wait till he was at least 18 months old, he was going to be an agility dog and at that time there was more documentation saying waiting was better, then I was encouraged by my vet to wait as she bred standard poodles and had seen the difference in her litters and encouraged her “responsible” clients to wait. Well we waited and then my other dog got sick with huge vet bills so we waited some more by which time it did not seem worth it, he was a good boy with zero interest in girls. With my younger dog who is 2 1/2 I have never planned on neutering, and can’t see any reason to do so. I am conscious though that he likes girls so I do watch him when there is a BIS with future dogs I have no plan to neuter (we are a boy dog house) We live in Spain and the majority of dogs/bitches are entire especially in agility circles.
  14. Both my boys are large and a 36" crate is to small for them. My youngster had one as a car crate but had outgrown it before he was one. He used the xl crate that my older dog flew across the Atlantic in, normally you could fit a huge dog in it it made luxuries accommodation for a puppy and I never had to make it smaller for house training purposes. Both dogs slept in crates until about a year old, and had full run of the house at 18 months.
  15. I think some of it depends what you want the dog for. I have the breeders first choice of male pups, I had first pick of the boys but as I could not meet them due to distance I let the breeder choose, in reality there wasn't much difference between them but we when met all of them mine was definitely the thinker and watcher. What he has grown into is a very thoughtful but cautious dog, he is my next agility partner at 2 1/2 I thought we would already be really competing but he finds competitions over stimulating (progress is being made) and he can be very frustrating to train as he literally stops dead if he is at all unsure of what's wanted, on the upside once he completely understands then he owns the exercise with total confidence and is ridicoulsly fast. The first time he saw sheep he was useless, he still doesn't have much oomph but our trainer commented last time we went he is turning into a solid dog that if he had him a week could be working a 100 sheep around the farm but he would not be taking him to compete. The breeders are really surprised as they thought he was going to be much more outgoing.
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