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About alligande

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  1. alligande

    Lola Starting agility

    Regarding coming in front of you, you never want to reward in front of you, always at the side, this encourages the dog to come to your side not your front, something you never want in agility and can be hard for border collies as many naturally circle. So when you reward with a toy, they first grab it at your side and then you can start a normal game of tug. At this point I would not worry about going between the jump uprights learning to drive through them is a more advanced skill and I am sure the instructors will help you. It's good to here that you are starting with the fundamentals as to many places rush dogs onto equipment.
  2. alligande

    Go with Insurance?

    I had insurance on my older dog when he was a puppy as he was a rescue and you never know what might crop up. I never insured our older dog at the time he was 5 and had no pre-existing conditions. This a decision have always regretted, Brody had a serious of illnesses that were unexplained and we lost him at 8 1/2 with insurance I would have been able to explore more options. Over that time his vets bills were over 6000 more than covering the cost of the insurance and deductible. Both dogs are insured now, my biggest fear is orthopedic issues as they are both agility dogs.
  3. alligande

    Thank you and leashes

    I have 2 big boys My older dog is currently 62lbs, he is a heavy built dog as well as being tall, my younger dog is a giraffe, he is very slender but is less than 1/2 inch shorter and weighs about 50. Our first border collie was also a big boy weighing in over 60 and still very slim.
  4. alligande


    It's one of the joys of border collie puppies you never know what ears you are going to get, my youngest dogs parents both had pointy ears, all his litter mates have pointy ears, my Fen has floppy ears.
  5. I fully agree with what everyone has said and will add I have found border collies to breed snobs. None of my border collies have enjoyed playing with rough and tumble breeds, think labs and pit bulls. They do enjoy the company of other border collies and dogs who respect their style of play which is different. My current two will wrestle and get very physical with each other but would never play that way with a stranger not even a strange border collie. I believe it is simply a matter of trust.
  6. I just had a look at the site Parly linked to and I would say a lot of what is written is a deliberate attempt to discourage someone getting a border collie. Now we no longer have Mum24 to give the UK prospective let me see if I can add something useful. In the U.K. Collies are very common, and very cheap. Working collies are not rare, and are often still simply farm bred without papers, it's obvious when you look at the Facebook group for sheepdog puppies. There is much less of a divide between working and show dogs as the Barbie variety are rare, when I went to the border collie classic which was in England last year I only saw one barbie collie. When I go for walks when visiting my mother I never see show dogs and when I chat to people about their dogs they are usually rescues or from a farm. What all this means is loads of families get one when they are completely unprepared and as a consequence lots end up in rescue. Obviously you get sports and pet bred ones but from my hunt for an ISDS puppy two years ago they cost a lot more than a farm dog, in fact that became a warning sign! You can buy an unpapered farm puppy for £200 a Labrador without papers is going to cost you three times that.
  7. alligande

    The art of reading sheep

    I am very new to working my dogs and I wasn't even working them, the trainer was, when I went backwards over a tractor tire that had been sliced in half. I was admiring my dog driving the sheep and suddenly realised he was very kindly bringing them to me! I managed to bruise my ribs, a thigh (which is still lumpy) a knee and an ankle, as I landed spreadeagled over a very lumpy tire! Luckily for me there was no handy phone!
  8. alligande

    Rescued in a big city.

    Reactivity in border collies and all herding breeds is very common, look for a book called "controlled unleashed" by Leslie mcdervitt, you want the puppy edition, same material just written better. Border collies thrive on mental stimulation, the best advice I read when I also accidentally fell in love with a pretty face at a shelter, was that you get the dog you create, if they get 2 hours of intensive activity every day then that is what they need, if they get a leisurely walk for 40 minutes they will be happy with that. Dogs relax with a walk, let them sniff, smell and pee at their speed, if you spend the same time playing ball, they get amped up and don't relax. The best example is one of my dogs who was 3 when we got him and had never really been made to think, 10 minutes of learning a trick would exhaust him, while he could hike all day.
  9. alligande

    Would you say BCs are easy to train?

    I think it's one of those yes/no answers. They are usually biddable and want to work with you, but they also require patience and a calm attitude that tougher breeds don't. Border collies sulk and can simply refuse to do things if you upset them. My two are very different, one over thinks everything and is so slow and questioning while he figures out the puzzle, the other hurls himself at the problem and always thinks he is right which leads to some interesting choices on an agility course! But in the end they both are fun to work with.
  10. alligande

    Agility at Home

    Have fun I am sure you will
  11. alligande

    Agility at Home

    Another option is Daisy Peel, who is a great teacher and she has just revamped her foundation class and has a new one starting. I have taken a number of online classes with her and really like her. http://classroom.daisypeel.com/dap/a/?a=668
  12. alligande

    Agility at Home

    With the free weaves, check what the distance between the poles is, currently I think all organizations are using 24" between each pole, you can find older sets of poles with a separation of as little as 18". As you can see by that video the bigger the gap the better. To train a dog to weave like the dog in the video involves some special techniques, it is not a matter of luring them through. If you can find a trail go chat to people, I never did that as they were all along away so just dove in. There is a book that might give you some ideas its called "Agility Right From The Start" its been out a few years now but I used it for the foundation work with my older dog and it gave him a good foundation. My young dog started with Sylvia Trkmans puppy class and then we took Shape Up Agility's foundation class, but I would not recommend it for someone who has not done the sport before or does not have the chance to work with a live trainer as it assumes knowledge. Slyvia Trkmans puppy class is also a good starting point.
  13. alligande

    Agility at Home

    Much better to take a class, agility if you have no experience is hard to learn from a book. I don't know of any reliable youtube channel to get you started, most of what you find are random clips of people training which will not provide you with a program to follow. If you want to learn more in general google agilitynerd he writes a good blog, it is not targeted at beginners but there is lots of good info. the most important thing to remember is that agility is a game and is always taught positively there are no corrections in agility physical or verbal.
  14. alligande

    Agility at Home

    Are you new to agility? If so I would recommend an online class to get you going. Check out the Fenzi Academy, Amanda Shyne - Data Driven Agility to start with. Agility is a complex activity and having guidance makes a huge difference in the how much fun you will both have. I have been training agility for 10 years and I love online courses as I live in an area with lots of agility competitions but there are no great trainers so I rely on online coaches to keep me learning and improving.
  15. I think the problem is that it can be hard to separate the problem from the environment, although we all know dogs that people have done everything right and the dog still has issues. If you take these boards the questions come from people struggling not those who are getting on well. One of our foster dogs is a good example of a dog who ended up with an obsession that was completely debilitating for her. She was our foster dog twice, the first time she was a nice young bitch, motion reactive but nothing that could not be managed, the rescue thought they had found her a lovely home and on paper it was. She came back to us two years later when the husband had died, a messed up individual. She could not ride in a car, she attacked the TV, and shadow chased .... we believe she had been entertained with a laser pointer, she went to live with the founder of the rescue as she was impossible to place, we made some progress but it was going to take much more time and effort than we had and most adopters are not willing to take on such a difficult dog.