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About bsms99

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  1. You are correct. I agree. Thanks for the post.
  2. An interesting post. I guess my question would be: Do you tell someone with a puppy & kids to get rid of the puppy, or to join me in my bubble? I was 5-6 years old when we got a puppy. My Mom took care of the feeding, but I was required to do the rest. One of my first and most memorable lessons on love came when my Mom yelled, "Anyone can SAY they love a dog, but you don't REALLY love a dog if you won't clean up after him when he's sick!" I cleaned up the barf and diarrhea. It was my job to walk him, exercise him, keep him out of dog fights if possible, or handle things if it was not - since not all neighborhood dogs were kept on leashes or in yards. The puppy/dog needed attention, and I was expected to provide it. If he needed correction, I was expected to handle that as well. I talked with my oldest daughter last night about Leila. Sammie was 5 when we got Leila. Like her older brother, she was told a way to deal with Leila's nippy play, and she did. She wasn't afraid of Leila. When Leila turned her head sideways and gnashed her teeth, Sammie would tell her to stop being a goofball - and they would go back to playing. Having grown up with Leila, she knew full well the difference between Leila acting frustrated, and Leila acting mad. Can't speak for any wolves, but Leila would follow up with playing, not biting. And when we had our baby, we watched very closely...but Leila seemed to understand 'baby'. She would watch Faith for hours, but she viewed her as something to protect, not dominate or compete with. So when someone asked about a nippy Border Collie puppy around kids, I told her what we did because it worked for us. I don't know her family. I don't know her kids. I've met kids who were instinctive animal people, and others that were darn near hopeless. My granddaughter started off as near hopeless, but she is learning - from our 2 puppies. Or maybe WITH them. One option that I pointed out in my first post IS for the OP to give the puppy away. As I said, that isn't "bad" - sometimes the personalities aren't likely to work out. But even a nippy Border Collie - and not all are - can learn to play just fine with young kids. And young kids can learn to respect dogs - but not if they are protected from them. It involves risk management. The first Aussie I knew had NO business being around kids. He was a very dominant dog, and he also could get scared - and when he was scared, he would bite. NOT a suitable playmate for young kids. Leila loved being around kids, and she wasn't mean. I don't think you could have trained her to bite a human. But when young, she would nip as part of trying to herd the kids. Once she learned that was wrong, she stopped. It didn't take long, either. The decision needs someone who knows both the puppy and the kids. If the OP isn't comfortable, then getting a good dog trainer to come out and watch would be money well spent. I took her post to mean: 'If nipping is a permanent part of BC behavior, I'll get rid of the BC. If it can be trained out, I'll try that. Help.' Nipping is NOT a permanent part of MOST Border Collie behavior. A dog with issues shouldn't be around young kids. A dog (or puppy) without issues can learn. While my way seems very unpopular here, it has the advantage of teaching young kids to take responsibility. Are her kids ready? Don't know. They are younger than mine were. And I've never met them. And I don't know how much supervision their Mom can provide. That is why I simply told her what had worked for us. Now it is her call to decide how to proceed. I wish her well whatever path she chooses. I'd also add that supervision isn't additive. We spent 10 months caring for our then 2 year old granddaughter, so the trauma is still fresh in my mind. Our granddaughter was more difficult to deal with than our 3 kids were, combined! We didn't have puppies then, and I'm glad. However, when they all live together, you can supervise them together. 1 kid + 1 puppy does not equal 2 times the supervision. 3 kids + 1 puppy doesn't equal 4 times the supervision. It goes up, but not an additional 100% with each new arrival - just as 2 puppies are more work than one, but not twice the work. What the OP needs to consider, and none of us know, is how much additional supervision she can provide. When our granddaughter comes over and joins the pups running around in the backyard, it really isn't more effort to watch all 3 than to watch just her. That is why I don't like to get dogmatic about what the OP should do. There are too many variables in the equation to solve it with what I know from her post.
  3. I didn't mean you personally had been rude. Here are some comments: "To have a dog is to be a dog trainer, just like to have children is to be a parent, you can't decide to train only when convienent much the same as you can't parent only when it convienent." "If you had done this research before you got the dog..." "It sounds like you expect a 13 week old puppy to be a well behaved pet just because it's an "intelligent" breed. Why don't you contact the breeder and see if you can return her? It really sounds like you're in over your head." "Listening to your situation it doesn't sound like you need a puppy period. It's not the the breed or "herding" type, its the fact that its a young, active, living being that's going to need as much time or more than the human kids you already have. There is only so much time in day, and you're lightyears behind on having the skills needed to grow this puppy into a great adult pet. This is not an insult, this is just fact." "I agree that you're over your head to have a puppy, period - border collie or not...When you do decide to get a dog for your kids, I absolutely agree that you should get an adult rescue who is proven good with kids. (My neighbors have a second-hand dog who lets the kids climb on her, sit on her, pull her ears, etc., etc..) Small kids don't need a puppy - and rarely do parents of small kids "need" a puppy, either." "I wholeheartedly agree with those who have suggested that having ANY puppy (much less a Border Collie puppy) in your household is NOT a good idea." "Take care of your family first. You have time for a dog later." "I think you need to remember what your OP question was: “SHOULD I keep my Border Collie” – not “How can I live with my border collie puppy” or “How can I keep my sanity with 3 toddlers and a puppy” or “What can I do to get my puppy to behave.” You asked if you should keep it, and people answered that. Some felt you should; some felt you shouldn’t. I really didn’t think it was harsh – just realistic" - I quote this one because the OP's original post included, "But before I spend the money I want to know if it is worth it...can she be a pet vs a working dog on a farm? My vet says that since she came from a working line of Border Collies her herding instinct may be so strong that it would be difficult and even border on cruel to break her from it. Is that true? How can I find out if she will be able to blend w/ our family as a pet? Is this just typical Border collie puppy behavior, should I move forward w/ obedience classes? Please help!!!" So she was, IMHO, asking for help. "The dog has been alive 3 whole months and you clearly don't have the time to control toddler-pup exposure or know how to do so. You bought a dog from the Amish. How smart was that? They are big time millers and not notably caring even if they do work the parents. If you return the pup, chances are they will take it out on the pup. Studies may rave about border collie intelligence; human intelligence when buying one is something else again." "Adpatto, i'm pretty sure i can whup you if you want to start comparing how nice we are to our dogs...." "OP, Adaptto, you came and asked a rather pointed question and you don't like the answers? Maybe you don't like them because they are truthful. You didn't ask for help, didn't ask for guidance, and didn’t ask for training suggestions." - Again, she DID ask for help and guidance. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now, any ONE of these would be no great reason to take offense. However, the sum total seems pretty overwhelming to me. Brutally and honest don't HAVE to go together. I have a fairly well earned reputation as an...um, jerk...but I can give advice without being critical of the OP. Maybe not good advice - many seem to disagree, although it worked well in my family - but a bit of sympathy helps. Something about 'a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down', although I'm dating myself. I also freely admit there has been a lot of great advice. Links to websites, good books to read. I'm sure a lot of long time posters have seen this too many times. Time 100 can make the frustration palpable. However, it is the OP's first post on the subject. Also, in re-reading the posts, I screwed up in saying, "A significant number have suggested Border Collie puppies and kids just don't mix. Period." In reality, most were saying HER kids didn't need to mix with a puppy - which is not the same thing. Still, the posts that say 'You have X choices, one of which is giving the dog back' - which I included as an option in my first post - probably are more effective than 'are you nuts' posts.
  4. You think ADPATTO is being rude?! WOW! I think a lot of folks have judged her without trying to find out any more about her family or situation. A significant number have suggested Border Collie puppies and kids just don't mix. Period. And quite a few posts have jumped in her chili with both boots on! But SHE is the one being rude...amazing.
  5. "bsms99 - I would never allow my dog in a situation that he felt he had to gnash his teeth in any direction about a child. That behavior in canine is equivilent of the a human pulling their fist back to punch. In dog this says clearly "next step is BITE". Dogs don't give idle threats. It might not be today, it might be never, but I wouldn't chance it." It wasn't a threat, it was frustration. How do I know? Because in 12+ years, there was NEVER a bite. "I think we are the only species on the planet who takes an infant predator and put it with our own infants as a playmate. And then walk away and expect them to "grow up together" without incident! What's up with that? We think chimps are the lesser intelligence but you never catch them down at the Jungle PetStore buying a wolf puppy to play with their baby. And they sure don't toss their baby out with the wolf puppy to play in the yard while they cook dinner!" Dogs aren't wolves. Look at the pics on my website of Leila with Faith. I wouldn't trust my kids (or me) with a wolf. A Border Collie I've known for years is different. "If its ok for you kids to discipline the dogs like "another dog would" (my quotes, from what you wrote), then its ok when the other dog gets big enough to pin your kid by the throat right? Because that's how dogs who get really irritated tell each other to "knock it the heck off" Actually, I think that is how a dog who thinks it is fighting for its life behaves. I wouldn't let my kids play with a dog that had serious issues. I've known some, and I wouldn't deal with them either. And since none of my kids were ever hurt by a dog (other than knocked down during play), I guess the puppy had no problem either. If the human response is seen as appropriate and measured, the dog does fine. Chris the dog was still alive when we had our older 2 kids. At 100+ pounds and uncommonly powerful for his size, he could have killed either without difficulty. Of course, Chris being Chris, he would much rather have given his life to protect them. "Kids need to play with kids. Puppies need to play with puppies. Grown ups need to buy puppies for themselves, then raise the puppy themselves to be a good adult dog. The kids can enjoy many parts of the process and have a great time doing it. They just can't be in charge. They can't be the unsupervised playmate. Not enough you want some semblance of a guarantee of keeping everyone safe and growing up with positive feelings and habits towards the other species." Again - it worked for me. It worked for my kids. Frankly, I've never met a family where it didn't work. Maybe that is a problem with rescue work - you see the failures, not the successes. I have never met a kid who couldn't successfully play with a puppy or adult dog. A FEW have needed a bit of time, IF they had no prior experience with dogs. But dogs and puppies and kids go together just fine, in all of my experience. "I think the original poster is a nice person who's in over their head. If she (he?) had already raised an active puppy in the past it might have worked with some help. But learn how, at the same time you manage 3 kids under 5? No way. Not if you want to do any of them justice." Guess we'll just disagree. I've seen it done too many times to think otherwise.
  6. And you and others are certainly welcome to that approach. All of us base our ideas on our experiences, and what has worked well for us in the past. I grew up spending more hours with dogs than people - which is still my preference! I was expected to be in charge of our dogs. Of course, I'm not talking about a dog with serious issues. If had had gone to my parents to complain about a dog nipping, the response would have been "What did you do to cause it?" followed by "What are you going to do to stop it?" The idea that I would need help to stop a dog from nipping probably never occurred to my parents. My kids grew up around dogs and puppies as well. Leila was the main canine influence on them. When they complained about Leila, my response was, "What did you do to cause it?" followed by "What are you going to do to stop it?" Like my parents, I talked it over with the kids and then let them deal with it. When our 3 year old granddaughter came crying because Rusty knocked her down, my daughter checked for any injuries (none), then it was, "What did you do to cause it?" followed by "What are you going to do to stop it?" She was running away from Rusty, and when he caught up to her (he's built like a tank), he knocked her down. So the lesson was 'Don't run away from dogs. They're faster, and it hurts to get knocked down.' And our granddaughter adores Rusty, and has offered to trade their dog Chip for Rusty. A family has to decide what their comfort level is. I expected my kids to get hurt growing up, just as I did. So far, only one broken bone between 3 kids, knock on wood. I expect them to interact with dogs, and learn how to deal with a dog who plays too rough (very different from a mean dog). Others prefer less risk. But the OP was asking for help in training a puppy, not advice on how to live her life or to be told she can't handle a puppy and kids at the same time. I gave advice based on what had worked for me. It is her job to decide if she should take it. Others advised obedience classes. Her choice as well. But I'm amazed at how folks who would NEVER give up on a dog responded by giving up on an adult woman!
  7. It IS a helpful site. However, a lot of folks will get pretty dogmatic on their advice. They don't know your family, but they KNOW what you should do. It is advice, given by folks that don't know you. Mine may or may not work for you - your call. I think of it like a bird picking thru poop - there is corn in there somewhere, but you might have to search to find it!
  8. Golly! You must have far greater control over your kids than I have had with mine. I didn't 'allow' my kids to jump on the bed, but that didn't stop them from doing so. As for what I did - it worked. Look at the pictures. Leila went on to spend many, many hours playing with the kids. And the neighborhood kids. Not being total angels, they sometimes did stuff that made her mad, but she never bit anyone. She didn't nip. She UNDERSTOOD. I'm not talking about clubbing her or beating her to a pulp. When a dog gets too rough with a playmate, the playmate gives a little nip to say, "That hurt! Knock it off!" And the other dog understands. The idea is to communicate displeasure in a way the pup understands. Leila not only played many hours with our older kids, but was an outstanding watcher of our baby. On a summer day, you could watch her racing around, playing soccer and wrestling with the neighborhood kids for hours. If you have a better technique, share it! But my advice worked fine for Leila, and Danny, and Samantha. And now, when Samantha's daughter complains about a dog, Samantha's first words are, "What did you do?" And if she comes over for a visit later today, odds are good I'll see a 3 year old running around the backyard with 2 puppies, and maybe the older dog. Lots of noise, but no nipping.
  9. My first Purebred Border Collie had a pretty intense desire to herd everything. Our 2 kids were a bit older than yours - about 5 & 7. I told them to ignore her unless she nipped. If she nipped, they should give her a swat/kick - and we talked and practiced what an acceptable 'kick' was...basically, kick your bare ankle. If you can feel it but it doesn't hurt, that's about right. It took a day for her to figure out that nips were bad. Leila had to learn that the kids could take care of themselves, and that nips were NOT tolerated. Before long, when she became really pissed at the kids, she would turn her head to one side and gnash her teeth. And then behave. Your kids may be too young for that to work. If so - and if no one has a better solution - return her ASAP so she can go to a family better prepared to handle her. It doesn't mean either you or the pup are 'bad'. It just means that the best match of personalities isn't there. For example, my current <5 month old BC male is less nippy than our previous BC. Jack is glad to play with our 3 year old granddaughter, but has shown no nip around her. Leila was a great pet (and was great when we had a baby), but she had a lot more nip in her personality. Given how obnoxious our granddaughter gets, Leila would probably have bitten her by now. Jack just runs away (and our older Aussie knocks her down, which seems to have taught her some manners around dogs - finally!) That said, puppies (and Border Collie puppies) CAN mix just fine. The kids may get a few scratches and tooth marks. They will survive. And ALL dogs need to understand nipping (biting) humans is a no-no. My Aussie came from a foster who had 3 dogs of her own, a total of 7 puppies she was fostering, and 3 kids under 6. It most definitely CAN be done. BTW - pics of Leila with our son & later with our baby are here.
  10. Just saw this linked on National Review Online. It is GREAT!
  11. There is quite a bit a variation from dog to dog, even within a breed. Each of my 3 dogs is entirely different (different breeds as well), and I like those differences. Dan the pound mutt is very smart & decisive. He also loves peace and quiet. Loud people or even a loud TV will drive him into a bedroom. He is an outstanding guard dog, and looks at you with wise, patient eyes. Avoids somewhat bratty little kids like our granddaughter. Rusty the Aussie is a happy-go-lucky little tank. Very agile, very friendly, and very caring. If someone is sick, he'll stay by their side. He also tries to help. When my wife was pruning a tree, he watched for about 5 minutes, then jumped up and bit one of the lower branches where it met the tree. When our granddaughter started acting a bit mean to him, he knocked her down. Then licked her face. She thinks he is wonderful, but he's the one who taught her to be nice to dogs. Jack the BC doesn't need sheep if he has his people. However, he's reserved and stand-offish around strangers. Likes to hide under couches and tables and watch what is going on. Sees no value in rushing to be someone's friend. He's rarely more than 2 feet from family's feet, but he slinks around at a distance from strangers. After all, every ax murderer in history had to first get within 3 feet of their victim! The vet the other day told me he needed more socialization because Border Collies are notoriously fearful. I said there was a difference between fear and reserve, and that it is something I like about BCs. If I wanted goofy friendliness, I'd have gotten a Lab. I think Border Collies are special. I love their focus, their intensity and their concern for their people. As I type, as usual, Black Jack is on top of my feet. But Rusty's a very faithful dog, just in a somewhat different way. And when Dan is sitting at the far side of the room, paws crossed, watching you...well, he's fine too. But I have a hard time believing I went 5 years without a Border Collie watching over us!
  12. I take this part: "...one I could train to herd on my own, away from the oppressive dos and don’ts of the herding and training worlds. I wanted to make my own mistakes, experience my own triumphs, work free of scrutiny and second-guessing" to mean, "I want to fail because I'm stupid." That would be like me writing, "I want to learn to ride horses, free from the oppressive dos and don'ts of previous riders. I want to make my own falls, injure my own horses, experience brief moments on top of the horse and do it all free of anyone calling me a damn idiot!" Sometimes, stupidity becomes criminal. How could anyone buy a book from someone that stupid?
  13. Also - completely off topic: I had my trials-bred puppy in for his 4 month shots (a bit late @ 4.5 months). The Vet does dog sports, as does the Vet Tech. They both couldn't get over a Border Collie who sat on the table, wagged his tail gently and didn't get excited. "I've never seen such a calm Border Collie..." They asked if he gets rowdy indoors. I told them his nickname is "Jack the Slipper" because he's fond of sleeping on our feet. (As I type, his front paw is under my foot - quite atypical). Please forgive the shameless boast. I just get a kick out of it when someone says, "A Border Collie? But he's so calm!" I consider that an invitation to talk about working bred Border Collies vs anything else...
  14. For the first 3 months we owned him, we thought our pound mutt Dan was uncommonly stupid. With time, we realized he is extremely intelligent. He is smart enough to decide on his own what he thinks is best, and that is what he does. The key to getting him to obey is showing him the reason for what you want him to do. You can't TELL him what to do. You have to EXPLAIN it! But I can sleep at night knowing that he's keeping watch. And if something doesn't seem right to him, he WILL wake me up. To date, that includes for a neighbor's house on fire and a rattlesnake in the house. And he's smart enough that in the latter case, he looked at me like, "I found him...YOU deal with him!" And he stayed back and watched... Smart dog.
  15. The farmer had sheep, but the rolling hills north of Oxford are NOTHING like the Highlands! I'm pretty sure he was NOT worried about the Border Collie as a breed, since most of his dogs were sold without papers (it was 75 GBP without, 125 with). My guess is he happened to have a merle bitch he liked, and bred her because his friends knew her and wanted pups from her. If you have a merle bitch you think is worth breeding, then your program is pretty much unlimited by color for the stud. You can just pick a stud based on work. I have no idea how he did it. I'm not holding him up as a model for anyone to follow. The folks selling merles in the US, based on the websites I've seen, are mostly scary. I didn't see any that seemed to care a rat's rear end about working ability. I guess my main point is that there is a market for what? Medium quality dogs? How good does a dog need to be to merit breeding? Top 10% Top 25% Is the Top 50% good enough? Since I won't be breeding dogs, it is an academic point for me - but one that interests me. And how do you tell how good a dog is? Trials? But trials are designed for a specific scenario. What do you do if you hire a sheepherder, who may or may not know a lot about dogs? I read here to find out what people think. I'm not qualified to have an opinion...I'm just interested in how breeders do what they do.
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