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alligande

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About alligande

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. So sorry D'Elle, no matter how long they are with us, it is never enough.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. She certainly looks and sounds like she has a lot of border collie if not all border collie. Welcome to the wonderful and weird world of living with a border collie, this is one of the best places to learn about them. We adopted our first by mistake as well, I would never have dreamed of owning a sheepdog living in a town but I fell in love with a pretty face, we are now on border collie #4 and could not imagine having another breed.
  10. Happy Birthday Kit, looks like she thoroughly enjoyed her cake.
  11. Neither one of my two dogs ever got fed puppy food, if you search these boards you will find a lot of people go straight to a good all ages food. I have now switched to a raw diet.
  12. My older dog is still competing in agility at 9 and amazing people how old he is, we are stuck in grade 2 due to huge inconsistency and only being able to compete on a limited basis due to living on an island, to move up we don't just need clears we need some serious speed as well, our last point gained in agility was done at 4.6 meters a second which earned a point towards going to the Spanish championship but not progression. My youngster is 2 1/2 and although entering competitions hasn't completed a full course as competition environments make his head explode and he forgets all his skills so it's all about making it fun, luckily in Spanish FCI we can take a toy in the ring to train. My focus is entirely agility, they do get to work sheep a couple of times a month which has been a great experience for all of us. I am amazed how much training I am doing with my youngster to get the skills I want, when I started competing with Rievaulx coming up on 8 years ago, we went to class once a week and did a little at home, with Fen it's at least 4 times a week at the club between running contacts, independent weaves, strong verbal commands for a multiple variety of turns etc etc the list of skills just seems endless and we slowly work our way into them both learning more and more, while Rievaulx is also still learning new skills alongside his baby brother, while I learn to handle an even faster and more responsive dog, when I started to run Rievaulx I compared the difference between him and Brody as going from a chevy to a Porsche, now I have an F1 car!
  13. What Julie says .... there are plenty of border collies needing homes and lots of genuine rescues it would be a horrible shame if some unethical people put others off rescuing dogs in genuine need.
  14. As soon as I saw the title of this post I had a really bad feeling. Mr McCaig contributing so much to the world of Border Collies, I read Border Collie wars when I first joined these boards and although I had an understanding of the fight, the dedication that went into the fight was was inspiring. I will miss his insightful comments and simply his love of dogs.
  15. Nothing on their website says breeding for working ability, they are breeding pretty dogs for pet homes. Any time you see duel registered AKC/ABCA it's a red flag, I did not look at all their dogs but none where working sheep. This board supports breeding border collies for one purpose, working livestock, those dogs might go and be pets and sports dogs but their origins are livestock work. In the US it's hard to tap into good working dogs but the members of this board can help point you in the right direction. As others have said rescue is a really good option, you get some amazing dogs coming into rescue simply because their owners did not realize what owning a border collie meant. Our first three border collies were rescues, first two were adults when got them and my older dog was a puppy, all were/are great dogs with very little baggage, some weird traits but all border collies have those. My youngster is an ISDS pup from Scotland and a lot of thought went into getting him, and why I wanted a pup from a breeder (I compete in agility and wanted to minimize the risks of dysplasia and other health issues, my current and previous border collies had dysplasia)
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