Mattie is Building Confidence
#1
A big accomplishment for Mattie.

I think most of you know that I adopted Mattie from a rescue. Puppies have a window of socialization that happens between 4 and 14 weeks. After that the window closes quickly and a puppy that didn't get lots of experiences at that age tends to be fearful. Mattie showed up as a stray at nine months and was taken in by her wonderful foster mom. When I brought Mattie home it was easy to find out what things she had experiences with (vacuums, hairdryers) and what things she didn't (coffee grinder).

I was once given a stern look from Tasha's puppy agility instructor when she found out I had not been working with 'barrels' with Mattie (making a dog go around a pop-up laundry hamper). What am I supposed to do? Mattie was terrified of the hamper!

I signed up for a Fenzi class. Mainly for Tasha but I thought I could involve Mattie as much as she was comfortable. One lesson was getting your pup to put their front feet on something and a rubber feed tub was suggested. Here is Mattie with the feed tub. I'm so proud of her!

   
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#2
Good job both of you! Glad she's getting more confident. Big Grin
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#3
Thank you!  A while back when Mattie wouldn't go near a laundry hamper I went out and purchased a couple of sand buckets from the toy section at Target.  I put the buckets in the middle of the living room floor and there wasn't anything I could do to convince Mattie to come within 15 feet of the buckets.  My only goal with the rubber feed bucket was to get her to come within a few feet of the bucket so I'm really proud of how confident she is.    Smile
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#4
Well done, gently, gently she will reach her personal potential. Max had great socialisation but can still be an incredible scaredy cat. I am a believer in both nature and nurture combined as to how they turn out, Max would be a mess if we didn't put a lot of effort in. Jasper on the other hand is as bold as brass LOL
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#5
Very happy for you both.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

[Image: P1160337-800x600_zps7nxqmgvy.jpg]

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#6
(08-31-2017, 09:47 PM)Trifan Wrote: Well done, gently, gently she will reach her personal potential. Max had great socialisation but can still be an incredible scaredy cat. I am a believer in both nature and nurture combined as to how they turn out, Max would be a mess if we didn't put a lot of effort in. Jasper on the other hand is as bold as brass LOL

I have often wished I could have seen Mattie as a puppy.  It would be interesting to see what her personality was at that time.  I guess the reason I think Mattie's fears are because of lack of care as a puppy is because of what she is afraid of.  When I first got her she was afraid of so many basic things.  Getting Mattie to put her feet on the bucket was fun but the fact that she wasn't afraid of it was the thing that really made me happy.  There was a time that I worried about her quality of life.  One of the reasons I decided to adopt her is because we have a very busy, dog centered, life where she could go to classes, go on hikes, and to agility trials.  I knew I provided a happy home for her but she was so stressed and worried.  I'm thankful I have a vet that has adopted a few dogs that make Mattie look easy and after I had been working with Mattie for over a year agreed to put her on Prozac.  I now know that Prozac doesn't work for every dog but for Mattie it took the edge off and calmed her just a tiny bit.  

Tasha is like Jasper.  She is bold and sassy and loves to try new things.  Thunder and fireworks are the only two things right now that she is afraid of.  As a puppy she was afraid of helicopters and military planes (we live near an Air Force base) but getting her over those fears was simple compared to getting Mattie over her fear of a bucket in the living room.

I have never regretted for even one minute adopting Mattie.  I have had a couple of people say to me, "Why on earth did you adopt HER?"  Wow...way to be supportive!  

And I hope that if someone is reading this and has a difficult dog that they have raised since a puppy please know that this isn't a criticism of how you raised your puppy.  I have three children, all with the same genetics and sometimes they are so different I'm amazed that they are related!
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#7
(09-01-2017, 06:47 PM)Tasha Wrote:
(08-31-2017, 09:47 PM)Trifan Wrote: Well done, gently, gently she will reach her personal potential. Max had great socialisation but can still be an incredible scaredy cat. I am a believer in both nature and nurture combined as to how they turn out, Max would be a mess if we didn't put a lot of effort in. Jasper on the other hand is as bold as brass LOL

I have often wished I could have seen Mattie as a puppy.  It would be interesting to see what her personality was at that time.  I guess the reason I think Mattie's fears are because of lack of care as a puppy is because of what she is afraid of.  When I first got her she was afraid of so many basic things.  Getting Mattie to put her feet on the bucket was fun but the fact that she wasn't afraid of it was the thing that really made me happy.  There was a time that I worried about her quality of life.  One of the reasons I decided to adopt her is because we have a very busy, dog centered, life where she could go to classes, go on hikes, and to agility trials.  I knew I provided a happy home for her but she was so stressed and worried.  I'm thankful I have a vet that has adopted a few dogs that make Mattie look easy and after I had been working with Mattie for over a year agreed to put her on Prozac.  I now know that Prozac doesn't work for every dog but for Mattie it took the edge off and calmed her just a tiny bit.  

Tasha is like Jasper.  She is bold and sassy and loves to try new things.  Thunder and fireworks are the only two things right now that she is afraid of.  As a puppy she was afraid of helicopters and military planes (we live near an Air Force base) but getting her over those fears was simple compared to getting Mattie over her fear of a bucket in the living room.

I have never regretted for even one minute adopting Mattie.  I have had a couple of people say to me, "Why on earth did you adopt HER?"  Wow...way to be supportive!  

And I hope that if someone is reading this and has a difficult dog that they have raised since a puppy please know that this isn't a criticism of how you raised your puppy.  I have three children, all with the same genetics and sometimes they are so different I'm amazed that they are related!
I think it is awesome that you adopted Mattie and I personally wouldn't question why at all. Clearly you knew she had particular needs and were desirous of giving her your best effort. That is to be admired and respected not questioned. It is weird how often the people that should know your character and heart best, actually don't. They look at your choices from the perspective of what they might do rather than knowing who you are and perhaps saying something like, "yep typical of you to go for the underdog who needs you most."
Max was chosen by my partner as a gift to help me out of a deep sadness I was stuck in after losing my Shepherd. I didn't want another dog at all because I felt my heart was so heavy I could not offer ANY dog what it deserved. I am actually grateful that he brought home this fearful little puppy because although my heart felt like stone I still knew what this little guy needed and it is not in me to not put my best effort in even if initially (oh yeah like a week) I was terrified of loving him. In a way, him having special needs  was the super highway to crashing through to my heart. The harder the road, the more joyous are the little successes you share with them and for me this builds a strong relationship because you go through so much more together. 
Fact is, someone was going to take that puppy. He might have ended up with better than me but he also may have done a lot worse and I hate to think of what might have happened in that case. Friends, even one who is a trainer were so negative saying things like, "oh my god, you are going to have a fear biter with this one". Yep, I know what you mean about the negative nellies. Their words just made me all the more determined to give Max the best chance at reaching his potential and I am so proud of him. He will still sometimes become fearful of things that he hasn't seen before and are in a place where they are not usually. Odd things like a garbage bag full of pine needles my partner brought home for my baskets and left in the middle of the garage. He stooped low, walked tentatively and growled as he approached it. Once I walked in and handled it, he was fine. 
They both lay beside me when I am at the desk and I am always careful of my movements. Even though Max has never been hurt by the rollers on the office chair he will often take fright and give off the start of a growl as soon as I start to move the chair, it's a fleeting reaction but he must get up and move away. Jasper on the other hand would likely not even make a sound or a movement if I actually ran over his tail with the rollers of the chair, he is bomb proof in that way.
They are both awesome with loud noises and thunder etc but i feel that is largely due to having them both from 8 weeks of age and really putting in the effort to desensitise. Damn fools will go right out in the yard playing around in the middle of a severe storm, meanwhile I'm freaking out that they will be hit by lightening and calling them back in.
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#8
That socialization window? It never closes completely, just most of the way. A determined person can still squeeze stuff in. Congratulations!
Gotta love 'em.
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#9
"The harder the road, the more joyous are the little successes you share with them."

Trifan, I may have to put that quote in a frame and hang it on the wall. Thank you for sharing the story of Max. I think Mattie has taught me more about dogs then any dog I have ever owned. I am thankful that our agility instructor is so supportive. She saw Mattie from when I first got her and is always telling me what a wonderful job I have done building her confidence.

(09-02-2017, 08:06 AM)Gideon Wrote: That socialization window?  It never closes completely, just most of the way.  A determined person can still squeeze stuff in.  Congratulations!

Thank you for that information. I guess I am going off what people told me when Tasha was a puppy. I was warned that horrible things would happen if I didn't socialize my puppy properly. We took Tasha everywhere and made sure she always had a positive experience (I know a few people that have dog reactive dogs from their dog being attacked as a puppy). I gave Tasha to my daughter to train as an agility dog and I really needed Tasha to be confident and happy in a variety of situations and with the dire warnings I was given spent the first year with Tasha worried that I would mess her up.
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#10
I would just like to say how helpful I am finding these posts.  They give such great insights into the joys and challenges of sharing your life with a Border Collie, and I'm very grateful for how honest and humble the people on this forum are.  And how much experience there is here.
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