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only-borders, shellyb0924

  Training Ideas
Posted by: UKPete - 02-13-2018, 03:35 AM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (8)

I currently walk a variety of dogs at a local rescue centre (labs, german shepherds, border collies).  They are a variety of ages (6 months - 7+ years)

Each dog gets about 25-30 minutes with me (I only have 3 hours to spare).  I let them have an off-lead run around in an enclosed paddock, then we go for an on-lead walk round a field.  Then we have a sit down on a bench near the office and watch the comings and goings.

So far, I've been happy just to get the dogs out into the fresh air, let them have a sniff a run around, and a bit of a cuddle (for those that enjoy it).

Given that the hope is that each dog will find a new forever home, I'm wondering if I could be doing more to prepare them for rehoming (ie, training them).  Some of them have virtually no skills/manners, others have been trained in the basics (ie, sit, wait).

I'd also like to give the border collies in particular a bit more mental stimulation during our walks.

The only 'equipment' I have is a variety of old footballs and tennis balls, a big round 'table' in the middle of the enclosed paddock that the dogs can jump on and... er, that's it.

Any suggestions re useful training and fun activities I could do in this situation?  I will talk to the rescue about this, but I know you guys have a shed-loads of experience!

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  She's even picky about raw food...
Posted by: Ember - 02-07-2018, 03:28 PM - Forum: Health and Nutrition - Replies (12)

Food fun time. Ember is fed raw. Because she's picky and wont' eat processed foods more than once or twice in a row. I try to keep Kefir on hand, as well as salmon and a carton of eggs, all as random, sporatic special toppers to the food she already loves. I just discovered our local meat market (where things are so much cheaper!). Got a cow femur cut down (huge!), pig ears to dehydrate (done!), turkey wings with skin and bone, and liver to make treats with (also done!).

Made the mistake of letting Ember have one of the bone cuts for a dinner, and then a pigs ear after the next breakfast, and a turkey leg for the following breakfast.

Now she's trying to skip her meals in hopes that she'll get these "Specials" instead. And just when I thought I had won the picky eater battle.

What dog skips one raw food hoping for another?!

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  Hi (again)!
Posted by: Xetae - 02-07-2018, 12:28 PM - Forum: Introduce Yourself - Replies (5)

I introduced myself before I got my collie and haven't posted anything since then, but now it's time to introduce my long awaited pup - Sky. This is a photo of her at 8 weeks old. She is now 9 months, so looks... quite different  Big Grin  but I don't have any recent photos on this laptop - will add some later.  

[Image: 27072797_435602600190135_507885721631898...e=5B13CE74]

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  New Rescue dog Alf
Posted by: Alf 2017 - 02-07-2018, 06:39 AM - Forum: Introduce Yourself - Replies (10)

We have our lovely Alf nearly 3 months now, he is around 8 months old and a great addition to the family.

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  Need Ideas for a client (non-border collie though)
Posted by: Ember - 02-05-2018, 12:01 AM - Forum: Working Dogs, Sports, & Training - Replies (9)

I met with a client today. This was my "wishlist" from her: 

Teach the dog not to....
Beg for food
Run away when in trouble
Jump on people
Yank on the leash

Dog: 5 month old black lab / spaniel mix. Approx. 30 lbs. Around Ember's size (determined once I saw him).

What I thought I would encounter:
Having to teach the dog to look away or go to mat while eating (for annoyance of owner)
Fear behavior, poor recall
Overzealous greeter that was more cute than annoying and easy to fix
A dog that either tries to pull forward or grabs the leash in mouth and gives a good tug.

I mean, it's a 5 MONTH OLD PUPPY! How bad could it be?

What I actually encountered:
Dog doesn't just beg - he takes food right out of your hand while you're eating.
Dog has 0 recall and his name "mostly works" as a recall cue, except she fusses at him regularly.
Dog jumped high enough FROM A SIT to lick my chin. I'm 5' 11''. 
Dog is on 6 foot leash. He bolts in every direction, hits the end of it, swings around the circumference of his circle 2/3 around, then suddenly darts in other direction equally as hard. I spent more time working on my balance than on his LLW skills. I left sore and thinking I pulled a muscle in my shoulder/back. I have NEVER experienced anything like it.

What I was able to work on:
Wait/Take it. Actually got him up to sitting while I held a treat right in front of his nose. Just needs basic impulse control work.

Recall on new cue "Come" and a friendly lesson to the owner about not using it EVER when he is going to get something not nice. She understood it immediately and had never thought about that. Understands the discipline on the human side.

Got a clear "oh, sit gets me attention" click in the dog's head. Saw it. Couldn't get it solid enough in an hour, but owner saw the potential and the process, and has her homework.

Mat work started. This was the client's absolute favorite idea and something we will continue a TON of work on.

Taught the client about "ditching the food bowl". Explained enrichment games to help mentally wear out the little tyrant (and I don't use that term loosely!).

What I couldn't figure out:
That darn LLW. Kairo, the Husky, had enough of a brain to figure out "we quit moving when I pull" in a matter of minutes. Obviously this is a puppy and going to be more work, but in 10 minutes of walking around, the dog NEVER ONCE showed recognition of that concept.

Now, this isn't fear. And it's not aggression. It is literally ADD Puppy Energy. Must see everything! Must greet everyone! Must do so as fast and enthusiastically as possible! Look a person to the left OhHeyLookSomethingEvenMoreInterestingToTheRight!

And it wasn't even frustration. There was a very defining moment I could point out to the sweet, overwhelmed owner when it DID turn to frustration, but it was after an hour of working and being equally over stimulated, so we had it coming. Owner now knows what to look for on THAT end. And then it was more of an over-tired puppy meltdown complete with whimpering, pacing, and grabbing every single item he could reach, as many and as fast as possible. Very different in behavior from the rest of the time - but no less (or more) manic in yanking around in different directions.

I am researching harnesses and asked if she wanted to train collar (work) vs harness (whatever you want to do), or if she wanted "polite" period when a leash is on. She is deciding. If she wants the latter, I'm going to suggest a double clip harness, but I've never used the technique myself. If she decides on the former, I can teach her how to train the association between "do anything" harness and "heel politely" collar. That one is easy.

Right now she is spending a week working on rewarding for a very loose heal position in her living room, and possibly expanding it to the yard in the next couple of days. I'm going to go to her and visit for a second session and see where that work gets them. I'm sure that's going to inform her decision.

I am actively taking suggestions and ideas with me on the road. Anyone have ANY idea on how to stop this behavior? It was NOT fun at all to walk that poor dog!

Client sent me this when she got home:
[Image: IMG_2239.jpg]

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  Turner checking in
Posted by: paperdragons - 02-04-2018, 09:41 AM - Forum: General Border Collie Discussion - Replies (5)

It has been quite a while since we posted, so I thought we would just do an update. Turner is 2 now (turning 3 sometime in the spring) and is doing well. Last fall, we were finally able to move into new offices walking distance from our home in Cambrige MA, so Turner comes to work with us every day. After some work, he will now stay in his area and look to me for permission before going to the door to greet someone who walks in. Once our clients/colleague/visitors are in, though, he's fantastic. Most of the time he settles on a couch at the side of the office. But I've notices that he settles himself at the feet of anyone who seems tense or nervous. My clients have taken to absently petting him while we talk.

And of course, we are still getting plenty of outdoors time. Here in the Boston area, the hiking conditions can be a little unpleasant at this time of year. Our rule is that he gets an off-leash hike (about 2.5 miles) every day, with a day off for which ever day of the week has the most miserable weather or given the flu going around earlier this year, the most miserable owner.

After an hour in icy conditions, even Turner agrees the couch looks pretty good!

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Posted by: Keller-b-border - 02-03-2018, 11:23 PM - Forum: Photo & Video Gallery - Replies (10)

5 years

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  You don't want one.
Posted by: Tasha's&Mattie'sMom - 02-03-2018, 11:17 PM - Forum: General Border Collie Discussion - Replies (16)

I love Tasha and Mattie.  I wouldn't trade them for the world.  But they aren't easy dogs. 

I love the challenge of keeping them exercised and of working their brains.  But they aren't easy dogs.

If I'm lucky enough to live a long and healthy life I will have more border collies.  But they aren't easy dogs.

I can't tell you how many times someone has asked me about having a BC and I will go on an on about all their great qualities and then say, "You don't want one."

I know a lovely young woman that works for a doggie daycare and grew up with a BC.  She adores Tasha and Mattie but she will tell me how she is so happy to have her lazy dog.  She goes home from a long day at work and they sit together on the sofa and she gives him bites of her dinner and they watch a movie together.  A few evenings ago we had a guest for dinner and he once owned a BC/Lab mix.  He was asked to foster a BC puppy.   She was destructive and had way more energy then he was able to handle. He ended up sending her back to the rescue.

Last summer I stayed at the home of a friend of my mom's.  Friend was away having to have surgery and my mom was house sitting and puppy sitting the two resident Shih Tzu pups.  The friend came home a couple of days before I left to go home.  On the day I left I was packing up to leave.  Packing up suitcases and crates and managing my two young collies. My Mom's friend said, "That is a lot of work.  How does she manage those two dogs?  I would be exhausted!"  My mom replied, "Well, she recommends people get Shih Tzus".  

Dogs take work.  And some dogs take more work than others.

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  Calling All Dog Owners!
Posted by: Animal Behaviour Student - 02-02-2018, 04:48 PM - Forum: General Border Collie Discussion - Replies (5)

I am an animal behaviour student at Chester university and am looking for dog owners to complete this survey for my dissertation: 

Dogs And Their Owners

I would really appreciate it if you would go and fill it out Smile

(UK participants only please)

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  hind leg concern
Posted by: Lindyloo - 01-29-2018, 11:22 AM - Forum: Health and Nutrition - Replies (4)

my 3 year old collie is lifting his back leg when gets up to stand, but it only lasts for a few steps, then he stands on it as normal. is this anything to be concerned about? When we go for walks he's perfectly OK. I'm worried that I may be doing more harm by taking him for walks. I've been moving his leg gently in different directions and he doesn't seem to mind so it seems like he's not in any pain. 

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