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Everything posted by alligande

  1. Where I live we have two types of evil grass, one that is like the foxtails and gets stuck into the skin, I also had one go up a nose last year, I got him straight to the vet and she really struggled to get it out. The other type is like a small drill and works it's way in. I think the double coat and the long slinky coat do provide protection, although getting all the small round sticky burrs out is a pain.
  2. I am so sorry D'Elle, it is so hard to lose them.
  3. We have found that just giving them loads of space and not asking for much has helped our foster dogs relax and get comfortable. I have always found there is a point where you know that you can start to work with them. There is a post in adoptable dogs about Kelso, search for it and start reading his journey with D'elle and it might give you some ideas.
  4. Something else to think about is why did they want her all day. When we visit the rehab physio (he is a vet) the appointment takes an hour for a full exam. At home our exercise program is never more than 15 minutes a day which is quite enough for even a fit border collie.
  5. I work with Dr Leslie Eide online, I live in Spain and do have access to a really great local physio for diagnostic work but he had no experience working with sports dogs and did not provide me with much guidance. My dog and I have had really great sucess working with Leslie and I recommend her. Everything is done slowly and at the dogs pace, she likes the dogs to learn the exercises rather than luring them and slowly build their strength. If you have any questions about her, please message me.
  6. When people say they need a job, it is really shorthand for the need to engage with your dog. Border collies need more in their lives than just been companions, as long as you can find ways to engage their brains they will be happy. I also have dogs that behave differently with me than my husband. Our older dog begs from my husband as he always shares, when I am sitting at the table he won't come near .
  7. I am another who would believe you if you told me he was a border collie, I have no ideas on who the cross would be with, but as you say probably an island dog.
  8. Thank you, he is a super pup. He is my first baby puppy and I am having loads of fun with him. He is a little sponge just soaking up new experiences. At the moment I would describe him as brave but not reckless, he has a think before diving in, but nothing phases him. Our other dog would prefer it if we returned him , having been an only dog for 4 years and the center of my attention he is not happy with the new arrangements.
  9. As required by the boards I have gratuitous puppy pictures. I am thrilled with my boy, he is a lovely pup, well worth the absurd drive from Mallorca to Scotland. He is called Fenway we just never managed to come up with another name that worked for us.
  10. Thanks for the update, I still love hearing about Kelso's life. It is truly amazing how far he has come.
  11. I feel for you, this is such a hard time to come to. My first border collie died at home, asleep on his dog bed, we knew he was terminally sick and had regular conversations about when we would know it was time, but he chose his own time. Our GSD x mix who was very much a bonded partner knew he was dead, she saw his body, was there when we buried him, it was obvious she understood but was depressed for ages afterwards, something that did not change till we got Brody 3 months later. (We only have ever had two dogs). When I decided that jesters time had come, 2 years later, we took Brody to the vets with us, he was there when she passed and was burried, he did not care or show any interest. Sadly we lost Brody 3 years later, he also passed at home and our current dog saw the body and was with us when we burried him, he certainly seemed to understand he was gone, but like Jester before was terribly depressed for a long time afterwards, made worse by him being an only dog. When the situation arises again I will try to make sure the survivor gets to sniff and see their buddy.
  12. CptJack your agility journey with Kylie is a great example to people that with a lot of patience and time so many dogs can learn how fun the game is. Looking forward to reading about how things progress.
  13. Now I teach I am very aware that the mistakes are nearly always handler related, or very importantly a hole in training. As an example last week everyone was working on a front cross exercise and a team were struggling at the second cross in the sequence, initially I thought it was her timing, then I ran the sequence with her border collie and realized he has developed a habit of going behind her and not reading her signals. That's not a fault on the dog's part but a consequence of him making his own decisions as she has not yet gained the confidence to be clear with her directions, so I dialed the exercise back and went back to fundamentals so he understood what was needed. But there are times, especially with an experienced dog that they own the fault, a few weekends ago my dog decided that he was not going to weave, it was providing my friends much amusement to see him decide to yell at me when He realized the next obstacle was those evil poles, once in the poles he was fine... But those entrance faults belonged to him (and I have video evidence to my innocence). My response focus on weaves and build value in achieving difficult entrances.
  14. Oh dear I have become that person , only difference is the language is a bizzare mix of English and very bad spanish with some odd german commands! Basically I yell premio a lot ... The yelling is due to the busy road next to the field
  15. My first dog thought agility was stupid due I think mostly due to bad training. We made all the beginner mistakes, not enough rewards, not recognizing that silly behavior needed to be encouraged, and a trainer that did not teach me what was important. I am constantly on my beginners, reward reward reward, and I get the response he did not get it right, and I always say he did what you asked ... Now reward your dog. And I agree most dogs only have a limited amount of work time in them before they want to quit, it is being aware of it that is important and so very hard to get people to understand. We have a whole pack of puppies in the club at the moment, and persuading people that a game with a puppy only needs to be 2 minutes and you stop while the dog wants more, not when he quits is turning out to be very hard. My dog has a behaviour that I know people wonder why I allow it, when we enter an agility area, he screams and leaps, it is all a little excessive, he is big and loud and I look like I am about to be bitten. I never stopped it as I want him excited and happy to play, as soon as he is in a sit stay his focus is complete and there is no repeat performance, and he doesn't care how long a training session is, or how many times I repeat a sequence so I can get the movement right. He is a big marshmallow and I have always felt that if I shut down his hysterical session I would be taking some of his joy away, and I can't see a single reason to change something that does not effect our performance and has the potential to change it. The last year and half is the first time I have ever had unlimited access to equipment, and it is only 10 minutes from my house, and our performance and skills have improved dramatically despite not having access to a regular trainer. I have no strict training plan, if there is time sometimes I will train for 10-15 minutes after a class, if I have signed up for an online class I will go over and work on that, other times I join the owner of the club and work on what she is training online. We probably train in total an hour a week. One of the strangely liberating things is having no goals, there are only two grades in our smaller agility organization and no championship title to gather points for, so when we compete my goal is to win, so I push and usually we make mistakes and I find holes in our abilities, and that is what I then focus on, at the moment it is weave pole entries, and not pulling out of them regardless of my actions. When we compete in FCI I am a lot more conservative as I do want clear rounds, but due to travel distances FCI is an occassional treat. So back the OP, I would suggest the private sessions not the barn rental as I think in the long run you will gain the most out of it, and it will help you not fall into the problems that most of us had with our first dog.
  16. From your description I would go with the private lessons, your instructor should know you and your partner well from the group class and know where the holes in your training are. From you description it sounds like some of the fundamentals aren't clear and I think working with a trainer will get your dog up to speed much quicker than trying on your own. I actually don't agree with the concept that weaves are only something you need to do a couple of reps of, to get really great independent entrances, and for the dog to stay in the poles regardless of what you are doing takes much more practise than that. I think it is the hardest skill for a dog to learn. I appreciate that it is hard on a dog, what I do is work in blocks with it, at the moment I am working on him staying in the poles regardless of what I am doing, once I am happy with the improvement, the only weaves he will do will be in sequences, and I will assess how far we have come, in a few weeks I will up the criteria and focus on training the weaves again.
  17. I also think it depends where you are in your agility career. The ideal situation would be to be able to rotate between the two. I love to train on my own, and I have found my dog has made huge progress since I have unlimited access to equipment but I have learned to focus on specific skills, at the moment we are back working on greater independance in weave poles due to some of the evil entries we have been seeing locally, or I might spend some time working on a specific turn. I also have a dog with a huge work ethic (we have taken 2 hour private lessons). I don't do much extended handling on my own, I have a training partner and we anaylize each other's problems, without that feedback it is very hard to know what you have done wrong, video does work as a substitute but it takes time to watch it back. Private lessons are invaluable, I always got way more out of them than a group lesson, as others have said the lesson focuses on your teams needs, and you can repeat a sequence until you can wrap your head around what you are doing wrong, in a group class there is never enough time to really figure out the issue.
  18. I am so sorry that you had to make such a hard decision, I also think you made the right decision watching our dogs suffer is so hard.
  19. He is a border collie, he can't be named Gronk . We used to call a friend's very large, very sweet and very dumb lab Gronk, now it suited him!!!
  20. Well done, I loved the look on your face when you got to the table, it said it all
  21. I don't have any advice, but I am thinking of you and the horrible situation that you both ended up in. All I can think is there most be more going on, and understand your frustration, even if the outcome is not good, knowing what is wrong is always easier. We had a dog who we never found out what was wrong with him and it was frustrating but after a year plus and continually spending money at the vets who tried really hard and were perplexed, we gave up.
  22. Thanks for all the ideas, my husband is from Vermont and we lived in Newport, Rhode Island for 20 years. Geographical names are hard, Newport is a horrid dogs name, and I don't want to use a name that has no connection. And Aquidneck, which is Native American name for the island is not meant to be a name, if people have a problem with Rievaulx (Revo) I can only imagine the outcome!!!!! I think Brady would make a great dogs name, but first I am not naming my dog after a quarterback no matter how cute and talented, plus our previous border collie was called Brody. My other half is a huge New England sports fan but does not want to use an obvious reference.
  23. You can definitely do the foundation yourself, but I think a book or DVD would be invaluable to give you the structure of what to start with and where to head.
  24. I followed a book called agility right from the start, it is now available as an E-book, with my current dog and it might really help you understand what agility foundation is. I would recommend finding some type of guide or program that will help you build the skills. I worked with my dog at home mostly using the book as a template (he was my second agility dog so I had an idea of my goals) he did not see real agility equipment till he was 11 months, and moving those skills onto equipment was quick. My next dog will not see real equipment untill he has loads of foundation skills.
  25. This is the young lad that I am hoping will be our next dog. We do not have a name yet, we really liked Fenway but that name was for the other pup, and it is weirdly not sitting well for either one of us to use it for this guy. If anyone has a name that would somehow represent New England, yet still make a great dog name, we are open to suggestions.
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