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(My) Molly grows up.

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Oh, for sure but I want hte option of separation since the vet we have won't neuter before 6 months and that's quite a bit before maturity for the little guys. I don't want to start having scuffling going on at 2 a.m and have to panic and get my hands on the first cage I can find.

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Definitely! I didn't have mine neutered before 5 or 6 months, and you can have all sorts of stuff happen before that time. But keep in mind that if they sense each other in the same room even across bars, pee - spraying might happen, and generally hormonal based behaviour, so maybe keeping them separated in different rooms wouldn't be a bad idea. I went through hell with my late male bunny, from the day I got him (2 and a half months) he was crazy hormonal about Lola, jumping on her cage, peeing everywhere and mounting everything. I didn't know better and caused myself some serious problems since before the time he could be neutered he already had a bunch of "bad" behaviour that became learned behaviour over time. So months after neutering him we had trouble with mounting, peeing and chasing between them.

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What a cute Netherland Dwarf!! I just browsed through your whole thread and love Kylie's "disaproval" expression. Too cute. I've got two Mini Lop rabbits myself and really need to start socializing them with my pup! He helps us feed them right now, and helps himself to their water.

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Wonderful! Love the pic of Molly with the rainbow toy, but the pic where she got her head stuck in the jolly ball is really funny.

 

And he just LOOKS like a THUD.

 

Ruth and SuperGibbs

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Thanks! She's had a lot of fun in the snow - well, until today. Today she was over it. Too cold, too much blowing, just wanted to come in and hang out on the couch.


Thud's the best named dog EVER. We tried (Or I did) to avoid that becoming his name, but nothing doing. He's just THUD. (And as graceful as a pregnant, drunken, musk ox).

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I adored his name from the first time I saw your signature. Some names are just so right.

 

And some names just aren't. One of Keeper's best friends is an aussie named Teddy. He's an ass.

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And some names just aren't. One of Keeper's best friends is an aussie named Teddy. He's an ass.

 

I laughed harder than I probably should have at this.

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We have snow that's so frozen you can't leave foot prints in it. That + forced flash because it was gray resulted in some neatness.

 

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Those are really awesome! They look like studio shots. If you told me they were done indoors, I wouldn't doubt you.

 

Thanks! I was really pretty pleased, though most of the photos I tried to take were awful, the ones that came out were just COOL.

 

Another night, another agility class. Molly did fine, really. A little amped up and over-excited after missing last week due to weather (or, well, canceled class last week) and being cooped up for a week and a half because of weather. She did reasonably okay with the half of the class I let her participate in, in spite of being LOUD. Went around in the circle with the other dogs, did her get outs and target work. I didn't let her do recall games with other dogs, though.

 

I didn't do so hot, though. I've been cooped up with kids and a husband for 10 days and hanging out with a bunch of other people and dogs just threw ME over threshold. I was cranky and short tempered and mentally exhausted and just, um, left when the class was down to recall games. We weren't even in the BUILDING with the other dogs at that point, anyway, because the way they were running meant no matter where we were, we'd have had dogs running head on at her.

 

Next week is another week and should be all right. Also the last week before the mock-competition thing, two weeks off and then we restart. Guess we'll see how it goes. We'll also see how I feel tomorrow. In spite of her being fine tonight, right now I'd just as soon hike into the middle of nowhere, throw a ball for a while and call it good.

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Related aside:

I'm learning a lot about what will trigger her to act like a fool. I'm also learning to be able to predict when and at what she's going to go off, and other outside factors that influence things.

Some of them are obvious - being pent up for a week and a half without enough exercise, being asked to sit out entire exercises and watch dogs rather than take her turn (ie: getting bored), other dogs having little lunging/barking fits (at each other, across the barn), dogs staring directly at her.

 

Some of them are way less obvious: If she needs to pee and is holding it, her threshold for everything lowers. If she is HOT (temperature), her threshold lowers. If she is hungry at ALL, her threshold lowers (some people skip the meal before class? Bad idea for her). Basically, ANY kind of physical discomfort and she's more likely to go over more easily. Trigger stacking, basically.

 

Also she's way, way better being the first dog in the room than the last.

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Lol, I take tons of photos of Kieran and figure at least one should come out well. It's pretty hard to take pictures of black dogs. I really want to buy a new camera - No matter what people say, phone cameras are not as good and my point and shoot is pretty old. Molly's back legs totally remind me of Kieran's.

 

I'm going to start agility lessons with him on Thursday. I don't really know what to expect though since it's a franchise. Next month there are "tryouts" for agility lessons from a local trainer, which I think might be better. How many people/dogs are in your class?

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Molly is cowhocked as heck, but that doesn't usually come across too much in photos. Doesn't seem to affect her, any, anyway ;-)

 

Ten dog/handler pairs, for an instructor and an assistant. That's the cap. There are usually fewer after the first class, when people realize there's no equipment and a lot of handling work. This session it's mostly people who run other dogs in agility, or who are more serious sports folks, so almost everyone has stuck in there. Tonight we were one pair down, due to weather.

 

I really like agility. I'm not very serious about it (the middle dog in my signature will start competing this year and should have last year but I chickened out), but I like the instructor and I like the environment. It's a good way to work on a working relationship with the dogs, to build confidence, and in my case do some counter conditioning work.

 

Let me know how your classes go when you start?

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That last set of pics is super cool! And I hear ya' about being cooped up. I just want a nice long mindless walk. I want the dogs to come in exhasuted. But the 2 feet of snow on the ground puts a huge damper on long walks. And getting to training? not when the roads are this bad.

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I'm hearing that sentiment from a LOT of people right now. The dogs do okay with what I consider minimal exercise, but we can't even use our YARD right now, because it's not just snow. It's snow that got rained on and frozen into a solid, dangerous mass. So they're getting almost NOTHING, and are starting to be pretty... squirrely.

 

And they're STILL doing better than I am. I am a grumpy, cranky, restless, jerk. I never realized how much I relied on being outside, and MOVING, for my mental health, but apparently it's a pretty big part of what keeps me sane. I just want some fresh air, some solitude, and some movement. I don't even care if it's cold or raining at this point, as long as it's passable.


So. Yeah. Lots and lots of sympathy from over here.

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Those really are cool pictures, especially the first one. I love the white in contrast with Molly's black. In general I love photographing border collies, because the black and white are natural colours but somehow they're so vibrant.

I'm starting agility with Aed in April. I'm a bit worried because he seems to have developed some leash reactivity, but it's sporadic and not like leash reactivity as I know it. Is most of the agility class time on-leash or off? I'm debating whether I should put off agility until we get a handle whatever is causing the reactivity and how to manage, but I feel like that could take awhile. How have you been able to observe Molly's behaviour in a controlled enough setting (other than agility) in order to get such a good idea about what triggers her and such?

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The biggest challenge I've had with photos of Molly is invisible eyes. The sun has to be JUST RIGHT. Which it rarely is in and around our house because of living in a valley. But I really, really love taking pictures of her.

 

Honestly, Molly started getting selectively reactive (or sporadically really) about 6 months old so I've had 3 months to watch this stuff. Agility classes with other dogs have solidified a lot of my observations though, because that's MOSTLY what we're working on there. The class we take has been almost all on leash, but it's a baby foundations class. Off leash for running through tunnels and recall, off leash for doing the exercises inside little fences, but lots of on leash time and work with crosses and things, too.

 

I'd talk to the instructor who should be teaching. The class has been the best thing I've done for Molly and I'm doing it AGAIN immediately after this class ends (2 week break) but I had to ask first -for my comfort - because I didn't want her to stop the other people from being able to learn. It's actually been pretty okay. I mean we knew most of the agility stuff already, but the class has been just. Hugely helpful for the reactivity stuff and me putting together patterns and ME learning to work with her.

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Hooray for the bunny! Kiley looks resigned.

 

Ruth and SuperGibbs

 

She was defeated, and the rabbit is keeping her.

 

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I'd say she's less leggy but honestly? She's fat right now. Her exercise has been cut and even limiting her food/using her meals for training she's got some extra pounds, that I don't think are going to go away until we can do real exercise outside. The snow's not the issue, it's the 6" of packed ice UNDER the snow. Today we got fresh and out for a while, but now it's 40 and the new stuff is packing down to meld with the fresh and tomorrow's going to be impossible again. Ugh.

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I took these for someone else, but figured I'd post here.

 

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Tail.

 

She's not as bald/naked as photos make her look. Her fur's just really, really, STRAIGHT and lays really, really flat.

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Our class this evening was pretty fun. Although, I can see how it's heavily focused on working with the obstacles right away to cater to agility newbies. We started with table, then weave poles, then eventually working through most of the obstacles (low tire, short jumps, mini see saw, and regular A frame). Then the trainer put a few around the room. Kieran was loving it, but surprisingly patient when waiting his turn. The dog breeds were really random - there was one that looked like a mini Aussie, a huge Goldendoodle, what looked like a Havanese, etc. The Aussie whined the whole time and the Goldendoodle kept barking. It was pretty funny.

 

You could really see a difference in how the dogs moved around the course. Kieran ran with his body and head low to the ground and I could tell he wanted to go faster than he was being allowed to go. Versus the Goldendoodle kind of lumbered around mostly upright. The only thing I wish they focused more on was how I should position myself in relation to the dog. And since we went through so many different obstacles, there wasn't much time to focus on each one. The trainer is really nice and I'll probably keep going at least until the "tryouts." Since I'm not a serious competitor, I figure we might as well have fun.

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I think there is definitely a place for the fun sort of agility where they introduce the obstacles right away, provided they're not pushing dogs harder than they can handle, the dogs are adults, and the handlers are aware that they are missing lots and lots of fundamentals.


I will say to be careful if you ever intend to compete or get more serious with it, because lack of things like where you need to be in relation to the dog, and lack of teaching the dogs some important skills can lead to some bad habits re: obstacles that are a nightmare to train out, later, and can make getting around the courses HARD when they're twisting and turning.

 

Either way, I'm glad you had fun and I LOVE watching the other dogs in our class. You see so much of their style and personality when they're running.

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I think if I were an experienced handler, Kieran would be fantastic at agility. Unfortunately, he's instead going to be my trial and error dog. He gets things right away without me really having to say anything and he's super focused. Last night, all I had to do for the most part was motion at the obstacle and he knew what to do. He kept up with the other dogs, most of whom had already taken lessons before. I'm going to struggle with keeping up with him and figuring out where to be. I might end up buying a small agility kit :X. It seems addictive!

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