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Anniko

Unenthusiastic Puppy

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@ Mark

I said it was only a matter of time before there would be a test available for the US. I did not say there is one now. I don't know why you are being negative about it. I for one am all for the research and development of an epilepsy test as it hits close to home for me. I have both and aunt and uncle with epilepsy and one of my BC's(not my lines) died from a grand mal seizure due to epilepsy. So yes they may have not proven the markers for BC's yet but my goodness the more research and development done on the subject the closer we will get to being able to monitor and wipe it out of our beloved BC breed.

 

@ Mark again..

No WHERE does it say I think there are only 4 genetic traits for a good stock dog.... it says (and this is taken direct from my site on a page that has not been updated for at least 2yrs..)

 

""The other behavior traits that make a Border Collie have a lot to do with the origins. What type of dog that went into making the Border Collie breed. The problem that lies in here is that, for the exact right traits we need a happy medium. We wouldn't want a Border Collie that has so much Eye the he freezes, or so little or so much power that he can't move the herd or goes in so strong that he scatters them.

I don't know the exact Alleles for each of these traits, I know that there are quite a few that go into each trait. I will list the ones that I do know and I will add more as I learn them.""

 

 

I specifically stated I don't know the exact Alleles and that there are quiet a few.. not 4... I also said I would list the ones I know and add more as I learn..

The research I had read over was:

Scott, J. P., & Fuller, J. L.

"Genetics and the Social Behaviour of the Dog"

Burns, M and Fraser, M.N.

"Genetics of the Dog. The Basis of Successful Breeding."

Kelley, R.B.

"Sheep Dogs. Their Breeding, Maintenance and Training."

Burns, M.

"The Mutual Behaviour of Sheep and Sheepdogs in Ghana."

 

Maybe I had "dumbed" it down a bit too much as others have suggested in the past, I did write that a couple years ago and hadn't really gotten a chance to go into more depth and update the website. But by all means I never said that was only 4 simple traits if anything I said there was more then just the herding instinct that makes up a good sheepdog and that I would list what I had found out so far..

 

@ Mark..

I said my generalizations were based on the breeders and trialers overseas.. You will find that a large portion of shepherds there feel their dogs are merely tools. While they may care for the dog at the end of the day they are still a tool to help them get the job done. Like I said the dogs and the handlers were great to watch they are much different then over here.

I'm not being negative about the research (it was a significant result) just making sure you understand the status of the research and you do not get unrealistic expectations (or give them to the general public) of when a test may become available.

 

Herding instinct is a complex behavior made up of many inherited traits in varying degrees and blends much like musical talent is in humans. "Herding instinct" is not a single trait as you suggest on your website. Over simplifying it to a single trait really doesn't give the complexity of the behavior credit, much like saying a musical composer talent is made up of being able to read music, play music after hearing it once, being able to write music, and compose music. There are many subtleties in herding (clearly inherited traits) which are not expressed well in writing. You really can't comprehend the complexity of "herding instinct" by just reading about it; much like I cannot comprehend the complexity of real musical talent by just reading about it.

 

An example is a dog going on an outrun behind a hill to gather stock which are the front side of the crest of the hill (handler and stock out of the dog's sight during the outrun) and knowing exactly where to crest the hill to be on balance to lift the stock to the handler. You can't train this and some dogs are capable of doing this the first time on a new field.

 

Read this review of several of your sources by two scienists who also train working Border Collies: Heritability of Herding-Related Traits

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Little Foxx

I feel that you love your dogs very much. And you really feel that they are worthy of being bred.

 

Maybe it would help some of the people on here if you could give specific examples of what your line produces.

 

For the most part what kind of dogs are they..Are they natural outrunnners, do they tend to run wide or tight? Driving..do they have a nature sense of pace or tend to be pushy. Are they bidable or more "hard"

 

 

Are they loosed eyed or do they have alot of eye. Are they kind to their livestock or do they tend to be grippy.

 

 

Annikka

 

Most vets preform a fecal as a matter of course on puppys. Depending on the type of heartworm prevent your dog is on it may or not get all intestinal worms. Interstinal worms are different the heartworms.

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The thing about the trials is also it points out the glaring holes in our work. It makes me rethink what I am doing in a very clear light. Also the other handlers give you hope, point out new ideas and methods that sometimes my Bonehead hasn't thought of.

 

I do a great variety of work. From the mobile unit in close quarters wirth cattle.

 

To rounding up undogged sheep for shearing for clients in the fields.

 

 

The trials and a variety of work are our only way of testing. Indeed I cannot think of any other way to do this.

 

One thing that is very important in my work is stamina. (Apart from all the other things which have already been mentioned.)

 

Running a dog in Open on a big tough field with range ewes is truly a great test of stamina and of a dog who knows how to conserve energy.

 

For my work this is very critical. Add to this a hot day and we get a test of physical and mental endurance that I cannot replicate at home easily. Because at home I can rest for a few if I need to.

 

I make time for the trials because they help me and my dogs. And thereby help my work.

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Little Foxx... should you decide you want to be able to trial your dogs, or even go watch occasionally there are folks out there who do farm-sit, and/or would be able to make a house call to do chores for you. It is quite possible to find someone trustworthy who would take care of your animals as you would. Lately as money is tight I don't make it to as many trials, so I farm-sit for folks.

 

While my usual farm-sit gig involves spending the night and caring for dogs, cats, sheep, horses, calves, chickens (shudder), and whatever else is there, I'm flexible. Shoot, for my loyal customers I'd even throw in some child care (for an added fee, of course). :lol: If someone wanted me to I'd certainly do animal and kid daycare until the hubs got home, and all for a very reasonable price.

 

I've even been known to stop and do chores or check on things when a significant other was home (and I was asked to do so) for no charge. There are options. :)

 

Anniko, I've had puppies need additional de-worming, even when on a hw preventative. I know interceptor gets intestinal worms, but often at the puppy stage you just wind up needing more umph than that. Just a thought. ;)

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Ditto what Diane said.

 

Getting puppies clean of worms and other parasites and keeping them that way can be difficult. Puppies are very oral fixated, they want to mouth, eat or chew on everything. If they are taken places that other dogs, birds, critters have been you have an opportunity for them to easily get reinfected. Different type of wormers get a variety of worms and the best way to know for sure that you got them all is to check. Yes the "fix" in diet may be showing an improvement, it should, but if the puppy is packing a parasite load or has another problem you still have a base situation that is not going to go away without intervention no matter how well you feed. Considering how much the potential of your puppy's future, both physically and mentally, is decided by what you do this first year, a trip to the vet is a solid investment in it's future. If there's no other problem, great, if there is, you have caught it early and can limit the potential damage it can do. Good luck and a long and healthy future with your pup!

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Perhaps lots of people that buy her dogs run them in agility?

 

They certainly do, especially if they want a pretty colour. Not sure if anyone buys them for serious work though.

 

I don't think you answered why you went to Astra when you could have bought from top working lines - people who do work their dogs rather than claim that they would be great workers if they had the time.

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No, but we are still considering it. Now that Rikki is showing more energy with the changes made to her diet, I am doubtful she has a non-nutrition related health issue......

 

Again, I'm still open to the vet visit, I just want to know why specifically. Our vet did not offer these tests when she got her shots and physical done. (And it's expensive)

 

She is your pup. You know her best. None of us have seen her. Our concern rises from your first post in this thread:

 

Surprisingly, she spends most of the day sleeping, has never shown any excitement about going on her walks or getting her food, and seems to dislike any obedience training. She is not food motivated so I have been trying other ways to make walks and training more interesting. I take her to fields and forests, encourage her to swim, and run with her to get her to chase me or her ball. Although she loves chasing her ball, it often feels like I'm doing more running than she is. If we have her on a leash, she will randomly sit down and refuse to move. If this happens, nothing short of walking away from her will get her to move, and sometimes even this won't work.

 

It could well be her very unusual behavior (based on this description) was due to her diet and possibly training techniques. We also do not know what your vet has said and done when she went in for her exam/shots. I personally tend to be an over-reactor as far as taking my dog to the vet and running tests. In hindsight, I have spent money I did not need to at certain times. At other times, my "better safe than sorry" tendency has saved me money and the dog suffering in the long run. I know for a fact that I would not have my Lhasa today if I hadn't taken him in one day on the way to work for a GI upset that I was concerned about, but not to the point of being really worried. He ended up going into shock at the vet's that morning and only because he was able to get immediate care did he pull through. Even with that immediate care, it was still touch and go for a few hours.

 

My point is not to say your pup could die if you don't take her in. I'm just saying that based on what you first described, if it was my pup, I wouldn't feel comfortable until I had taken her to the vet and described what you described in your first post and had a discussion about what the vet felt was appropriate as far as tests and treatment.

 

Now, if you are saying that people are misinterpreting your first post or that your pup is now acting like a typical Border Collie (or most any breed) puppy -- not sleeping most of the time, not stopping and refusing to continue walking with you on outings, not putting less energy into her favorite activity of chasing her ball than you do, good appetite, showing some enthusiasm for life, etc. --- then perhaps it really all was just a matter of very poor nutrition and possibly training techniques. It is hard to know what is going on and give recommendations based solely on posts. Only you can really say. I'll just say one last time if she was my pup, I wouldn't feel comfortable until I had taken her back to a vet I trusted and had a good discussion with him regarding my concerns and questions.

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Ok, at least I'm doing that right- Rikki looooves to play with us. Playing was actually the first thing we worked on getting her understand. However, I have to disagree with not needing manners. She can't be allowed to continuously stop on her walks, pull us, steal my shoes, or any number of things that require commands such as "drop it" "leave it" etc.

 

Interesting and multi-topic discussion here. Added to my BC/puppy-raising/nutrition knowledge.

 

Here are my small contributions:

 

Teaching manners ('drop it' and 'leave it'): In a similar vein to what Julie P. described, I try not to put too much pressure on a young pup. The amount of pressure depends on the personality and age of the pup. With regard to 'drop it' and 'leave it' - I find that most of the time, those two commands are very negative, or a least delivered in a very stern, negative tone. You may not think you are putting pressure on your pup when you are teaching them 'manners', but it is highly likely you are - particularly when you are teaching them 'drop it' and 'leave it'. I had to really watch myself when my dog was a pup, not to be negative when I was teaching 'drop it' and 'leave it'.

 

Re-examine how you are teaching your pup in these instances. If you want to put a more positive spin on these commands, make it into a game. When I saw my pup with something in his mouth that he should not have, first, I had to tell myself NOT to say 'LEAVE IT' loudly and sternly. Instead, I would grap a treat or toy, and distract him with that so that he dropped it voluntarily. After so many repetitions, eventually I would add the verbal 'drop it' in a normal voice. I also played the 'trade game' to try and get the idea across that dropping something was not a punishment. Take 2 toys of about equal value in the dog's eyes. Let her play with one for a few seconds, then you start playing with the other one. When she looks at you, play with the second toy so enticingly that she drops the first toy because she wants the second toy. Play, repeat, play repeat. Again, after a few sessions playing the 'trade game', I might start adding the command 'drop it' if she is willingly dropping the toy.

 

Re: the vet - I agree with the other comments here that, even though somewhat expensive, a fecal test, and perhaps a blood panel, would be worthwhile. It is not unusual for puppies to still have worms, or to re-acquire worms, in a very short span of time. (I forgot how long you have had Rikki, but if it is more than a month, a fecal should be done.) Timely vet work is more important PARTICULARLY because she is a puppy. Young'uns of any species can go downhill very fast, much faster than adults.

 

Jovi

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Little Foxx said:

 

"@ Journey I understand your point (although I don't personally believe that a dog worth breeding is only related to stock work- and NO I am NOT referring to a dogs visual appearance at all)"

 

(emphasis mine)

 

Wait... What are you doing here, again?

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@ Journey I understand your point (although I don't personally believe that a dog worth breeding is only related to stock work- and NO I am NOT referring to a dogs visual appearance at all)

 

 

 

This is the problem.

 

If you worked your dogs to an appropriate level - I'm not saying TRIAL them, I'm saying WORK THEM - you would understand that "stock-work" is not a singular trait.

 

A good dog is of good temperament. How else could we trust them with lambs?

 

A good dog is of sound health and body, stamina and work ethic. There is nothing that can prove that out unless they are working regularly at an Open level. Again, I said WORK not TRIAL.

 

A good dog can pick up sounds you and I barely register. They can spot sheep several hundred yards away and have the courage to do so at a new place, on stock they've never seen before.

 

A good dog can learn. If, in the right hands, they make learning easy for themselves, they are biddable. If they are rash and thrash stock around and need too much work to make it work, they don't have the temperament to be a good dog. They probably don't have the temperament to be a good companion, either.

 

A good dog is intuitive regarding livestock and people. They know what you want before you want it. They know exactly where the stock thinks it's going, wants to go, and what the stock might try to pull on them. They know why they outrun. They know how to move stock that doesn't want to go.

 

You cannot train that. You can only breed it. If you don't work your dogs on challenging stock and push them to a high level of work, you aren't saving any part of "stock work" that's worth saving. You are damaging the working dog gene pool. At least, if you are going to ruin the breed - stick to AKC only and leave our ABCA dogs alone.

 

Tired of being nice about this. Some people will continue to stubbornly do what they want at the expense of the dogs.

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OK, let me see if I have this correct.

 

Four days ago, you asked advice for a puppy that might be illness, lack of energy and abnormal behavior for a pup of that age. Most of the people suggested a vet visit.

 

You are not going because of cost?

 

You want us to clarify the benefits of why you need to take your pup to the vet?

 

Seriously?

 

I asked for clarification, not rudeness or criticism. I’m on here asking this because my vet said she was healthy and did not offer other tests. The trainers also have a good idea of what she acts like at home and in class and have not mentioned illness.

 

THIS is clarification. This actually helps me make the best decision:

"Anniko, I've had puppies need additional de-worming, even when on a hw preventative. I know interceptor gets intestinal worms, but often at the puppy stage you just wind up needing more umph than that. Just a thought."

"Timely vet work is more important PARTICULARLY because she is a puppy. Young'uns of any species can go downhill very fast, much faster than adults."

" Yes the "fix" in diet may be showing an improvement, it should, but if the puppy is packing a parasite load or has another problem you still have a base situation that is not going to go away without intervention no matter how well you feed. "

 

Based on the above information, I've decided to call the vet and schedule an appointment, just to be safe about the parasites. Seeing as I can hardly be dragged to the doctor myself, once she starts showing improvements on her own I start to think there's no need for a vet after all. Most likely, I'm wrong here. I'm still learning what is normal for a puppy.

 

However, I’m still pretty convinced her problems came from her diet and from myself putting too much pressure on her. If she had been acting the way she is now four days ago, I would not have posted.

 

These are her improvements:

She went through an entire walk and sat down only once. (a miracle basically)

She has shown excitement about getting her food

Her behavior in obedience class improved

Her energy level appears to be back to the same as when she arrived.

 

She was never hyper. Since she was sent to us as a healthy puppy, this tells me I shouldn't be expecting hyperactivity.

 

She still sleeps a lot though. From 11pm to 5am she is in her crate and she takes long naps throughout the late morning and afternoon.

 

Again, thanks to everyone who is being helpful!

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Only advice I can offer you (which isn't much since I'm still learning, too) is to never, never underestimate how quickly things can go wrong in a puppy or young dog. It's much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your pup. :)

 

So, even if YOU don't like to go to the doctor, try and make the jump more often with your pup because she's not able to actually vocalize what/how she's feeling.

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@ Anna reguarding Rikki as I never really got a chance to address the original problem..

 

(pending any actual health issues)

 

The very best food reward I have used is dehydrated/freeze dried liver (if you make your own sprinkle anise on it beforehand, that makes it 100times more appealing to them)

 

The clicker I mailed out to you with everything should have had instructions (they are printed in the inside of the cardboard part) she already knew that click ment she did something right and was rewarded (sometimes liver-sometimes just a scratch/pet as she was very affectionate) come,stay,sit,down were all things I worked on but I would do them as we were playing outside. You can incorporate all sorts of things while playing without any specific training at all.

 

I whistle a lot for commands, perhaps you can try that with Rikki.

 

Although I have had some trouble makers most always a BC pup follows right along without being attached to a leash (obviously if this is not a safe/practical option for you, don't do it) but getting them to focus on you, your guidance/enthusiasm/confidence definitely helps without the need for a leash.

 

 

What you describe is EXACTLY what Rikki does on a leash. We've started driving to forests where there is plenty of space and we can take her off leash. Still, there are leash laws everywhere here, and we only get away with it because nobody can see us in the forest. She never flat-out stops and refuses to move on an off-leash walk. Maybe your dogs just have a hatred of the leash? :lol:

 

We didn't receive a clicker in the mail. Honestly, I couldn't see that she was familiar with any commands yet. However, I got a surprise the first time I blew a whistle and she came right to me.

 

While we stopped trying to train her at home, I've been incorporated her commands into playtime with a lot more success. She doesn't respond all the time, but she's getting some of it.

 

My favorite command is "run" which basically means "you can run in front of me but don't herd me" I use it when playing chase with her so that I'm not tripping over her and getting nipped. I didn't train it formally- I just ran alongside a fence so that it was impossible for her to circle me :)

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Walking in neighborhoods can be overstimulating for some dogs. Meg still struggles with it after two years of living with me and working on it. She does MUCH better in the park, woods, or off-leash in the fields. I wouldn't give up on 'city' walks, especially with a pup as young as yours, but I would keep them very short until she's more comfortable. All those sights, sounds, smells, movement of people, cars, cats, dogs, etc, and potential dangers (from her point of view) can be very exhausting.

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I think it is harder to motivate a raw fed pup as it already gets the best for it's meals so why should it work for a piece of cheese/hot dog.

The very best food reward I have used is dehydrated/freeze dried liver (if you make your own sprinkle anise on it beforehand, that makes it 100times more appealing to them)

 

I've been feeding raw for 9+ years and haven't had any trouble finding treat food that the dogs find motivating. This includes an old gal who wasn't very food driven (or toy or play driven)...she'd work for cheese or carrots. :D You just have to find what motivates each individual dog. Typically you want to use food that is 'special' (not something they get regularly at meal time...though highly food motivated dogs won't likely care either way) and change it up every so often so they never know what they might get. For some, toys are a better motivator, or praise or playtime, or all of the above.

 

Liverwurst is the ultimate food motivator here. I try to save that one for special occasions so the 'magic' attention-getting power of it isn't spoiled by making it a 'common' treat. ;)

 

(Now myself...I'll work for ice cream or pie. :P )

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One thing to consider also with her reaction to the clicker training is potential sound sensitivity. I owned a border collie who reacted passively to fearful situations; she would just freeze or mentally withdraw from the situation and not give any obvious typical sign of being fearful. I was trying to train her with a clicker in the living room and she basically just went very passive and quit on me after only a couple times. The next time I tried to train she wouldn't even go in that room, nor would she take a treat from my hand anywhere in the house. It wasn't until some time later, once I got to know her better and learned about her sensitivity to certain sounds, that I looked back on that incident and realized what had really happened. So for her I used a verbal marker instead and suddenly she became the most unbelieveable enthusiastic training partner.

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What you describe is EXACTLY what Rikki does on a leash. We've started driving to forests where there is plenty of space and we can take her off leash. Still, there are leash laws everywhere here, and we only get away with it because nobody can see us in the forest. She never flat-out stops and refuses to move on an off-leash walk. Maybe your dogs just have a hatred of the leash? :lol:

 

We didn't receive a clicker in the mail. Honestly, I couldn't see that she was familiar with any commands yet. However, I got a surprise the first time I blew a whistle and she came right to me.

 

While we stopped trying to train her at home, I've been incorporated her commands into playtime with a lot more success. She doesn't respond all the time, but she's getting some of it.

 

My favorite command is "run" which basically means "you can run in front of me but don't herd me" I use it when playing chase with her so that I'm not tripping over her and getting nipped. I didn't train it formally- I just ran alongside a fence so that it was impossible for her to circle me :)

 

It might be! Although my boys tend to be great on leash, the girls not always so.

Another thing to try is have her drag the leash around the house and places she is already familiar with. (just make sure she doesn't get it caught on anything) It's another way of getting used to having the leash on.

 

Most of my dogs are pretty good with whistle and verbal commands, I go back and forth but I always whistle to bring them back, so I'm sure Rikki picked that up just from watching and coming back with one of the other dogs.

 

Just like she learned your "run" command, overtime you'll notice she will pick up things, learn words and actions that were never taught but simply something she observed and remembered as it was going on.

 

It's a lot like how you would teach a toddler. IE: you say "time for bed" and then take him up to bed to go to sleep. He'll learn what "bed" is and what it's for just from you talking/telling him what is going on. It's not like we take him and sit him on the bed and say "this is your bed, you sleep in it" (well ok maybe some parents might..) but in all reality he'll learn a lot faster with the whole talking/telling him what is going on as the action is going on or the object you are talking about is right there being used.

 

My dogs have learned many words and actions from doing just that. Time for bed is one of them. It was never a formal command just something I said when I was taking them to bed. Now when I say time for bed they go up stairs to their bed without needing me to accompany them.

 

I'm sure it's helpful that I talk a LOT already, so it was something I just naturally did.

 

Try that with Rikki too, tell her whats going on in everyday situations and places.

 

I know a lot of formal training will say to use one word and say it in a firm clear voice and obviously you don't want to have an entire conversation about how it's time to go to sleep and all good little pups need to be snug in their beds etc.. (that's just too much talking and it's likely to go in one ear and out the other causing the adorable puppy head tilt) Personally I always try to stick around 2-3 words.

 

BC's are always learning and picking up on new things, it's pretty neat. :)

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She still sleeps a lot though. From 11pm to 5am she is in her crate and she takes long naps throughout the late morning and afternoon.

 

 

That doesn't seem excessive to me. Faye (a bit older) sleeps more. 2 long naps a day, I do crate her cause I'm working at that time and can't keep an eye on her. Lots of little cat naps out of her crate (or in if she chooses to go) then to bed at 9 or 10 and not up again till 6 or 6:30. She came crate trained and it's been a godsend. She is a very nosey puppy, into everything although not tearing things up but definitely finding everything she probably shouldn't have! So I can pop her in her crate with a nice treat toy or a big rec bone and she's happy for long periods of time.

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LittleFoxx

 

This from your web site -

 

Our Border Collies, their lines and their puppies have excelled in Herding, Agility, Flyball, Rally, Frisbee, Search and Rescue, Service Dogs as well as all around great Family Dogs.

 

I looked at your gallery of past puppies expecting to see details of success in all those fields but there is nothing - just pet dogs. Probably very nice dogs but not what is claimed.

 

Can you quote any specific examples of excellence in any field exhibited but dogs you have bred or are you just relying on what "their lines" may have achieved? Not the same thing as has been pointed out.

 

Let me see if I've got this right -

 

You claim to be preserving working ability in your dogs but don't work them to any meaningful extent. (Even I know that you can manage a few goats with a feed bag.)

 

And you claim that your dogs excel in dog sports but you don't participate in them - or even know anything about them if you think the only game in town is AKC.

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I've been feeding raw for 9+ years and haven't had any trouble finding treat food that the dogs find motivating.

 

My experience has been the same. In fact, when I changed my first dog over to raw, he became much more food motivated (for anything and everything, not just raw food) than he had been when he ate kibble.

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That doesn't seem excessive to me. Faye (a bit older) sleeps more. 2 long naps a day, I do crate her cause I'm working at that time and can't keep an eye on her. Lots of little cat naps out of her crate (or in if she chooses to go) then to bed at 9 or 10 and not up again till 6 or 6:30.

 

^^Agree...Maggie sleeps from about 10 pm to 6:30 am and takes a mid morning and mid afternoon nap. But when she is awake, she is busy busy busy...running, playing and exploring in the house and yard.

 

She also loves to learn...loved her obedience class and now loves her lessons on sheep. She was very excited about practicing her lessons and going for walks. So I would say if your pup shuts down then she's probably feeling too much pressure.

 

I got Maggie when she was 4 months and didn't start beginner class until 6 months. I mostly let her just be a puppy and started setting boundaries for behavior. From 6 months to a year we worked on obedience but still not expecting perfection. At about a year, I started expecting more from her and then at 14 months she has started her lessons on sheep which has actually helped her general obedience as well. I'm not an expert but that was all guidance I received from my breeder and it has served us well.

 

We still need pictures!

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