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This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!

  
Ohana

Is it time to- play ball?
 
 
Barked: Sun Nov 8, '09 7:20pm PST 
Hello everyone!

My husband and I adopted Ohana in February when she was only weeks old. We did not do nearly enough research on the breed and are learning the hard way that BCs are not your "average dog". I'm working my way through the other threads, but I'll give you a little preview of the topics I need help on:

1. She is very fear aggressive with other dogs. We moved to a new town right before we got her and weren't able to socialize her much when she was young. It's still really a difficult process, but we are keeping at it.

2. When she was about 4 months old, she became very shy and timid. We thought it might have been a scary visit to the vet, but now that I'm reading more about BCs I believe it is just her nature to be very sensitive and timid. When we found a pair of shoes chewed up in the yard, my husband showed her the shoe and said "leave it" in a stern voice. She immediately found a path behind the shed and stayed back there for the rest of the day. We found she is hard to correct because she is so sensitive. Lately this seems to have gotten better.

3. She doesn't like it at all when we hold her, as in when we have to put her leash on her or to check her feet for mud after she comes in the house. I wonder if this is going to get any better? We spoil this dog and never lay a hand on her so it's hard to understand why she's so timid with her. When we take her to the vet, she always pees when we have to pick her up to put her on the table.

4. There isn't enough time in the day for me to exercise this dog! We're doing better with throwing the ball in the house and outside ( we have a medium sized yard). We have a hard time taking her on walks b/c of the aggression against animals (we have a lot of loose dogs in our neighborhood). I've seen posts about mental stimulation, but not much descriptions of what that actually might entail. We've though about getting a few chickens for her to herd but I'm concerned about the extra work that will take (as I'm already busy throwing ball for 4 hours a day!).

A bit more background - we have two indoor cats she gets along with pretty well (one wants nothing to do with her, the other likes to play chase) and she has a little sister - a 5 year old MinPin.

Thanks for listening and I look forward to getting to know some of you.

Patty
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Jackson

Christmas Eve- Baby
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 9, '09 6:23am PST 
Hi Ohana. wave Welcome from Jackson.

Sorry, this is a bit lengthy:
To start, here is a link to an excellent pamphlet "Living with Border Collies". http://www.bordercollie.org/lwbc.html. I highly recommend reading this.

Some of your questions/topics are specific to the nature of the Border Collie & Aussie breeds, but others are common training & behavioral questions that encompass all breeds. At 4 months, you want to start off on the right foot and not unknowingly create a little devil Border Collie. (playing ball 4 hours per day & also playing ball inside will reinforce the Border Collie's 24/7 OCD tendancy). There are many activities & training suggestions (age appropriate) that will help you with both physical & mental stimulation (like Clicker training).

I suggest that you cross-post your topic questions (be sure to mention that Ohana is only 4 months old) to the Training & Behavior forum, and I'd watch for good gentle-method suggestions, specifically coming from Asher. One thing that caught my eye when reading your OP (original post) had to do with the chewed-up shoe incident: you didn't catch Ohana in the act of chewing the shoe -- you found the shoe after the fact. Dogs think in the present, so she doesn't connect the stern voice, leave it command or any other correction/punishment with the shoe. She knows you are unhappy with her -- but she doesn't know why. (understanding how to handle these very common puppy training situations will help you further down the road -- like teaching the Border Collie a fantastic recall).

Good luck.
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Ohana

Is it time to- play ball?
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 9, '09 10:37am PST 
Jackson,

Thanks for your great reply. I have a few corrections to my post. Ohana is actually 10 months old now. Secondly, with the shoe chewing incident, a dog trainer from Petsmart told us we could show her and object we didn't want her chewing and tell her to leave it. It was meant to be more of a "leave this thing alone in the future" correction than a "you did a bad thing" correction. We realize now that this probably isn't the best technique.

As for your comment:
(playing ball 4 hours per day & also playing ball inside will reinforce the Border Collie's 24/7 OCD tendancy)

Let me correct that too. We play indoor ball for 45 minutes in the am before work, 30 minutes of tug-a-war/chase the MinPin at lunch, 45-60 minutes of outside ball with stay and wait commands before dinner, and another hour of inside ball in the evening.

I'd be more interested to hear what you mean about reinforcing the OCD tendency. How can I prevent that. I'm doing all I can to "wear her out" but she does seem to prefer certain toys and I guess I use that to my advantage to keep the game going longer.

A new question - sometimes she seems to shut down (slink away to her hiding place or crate) when I get the training treats out to start a training session. I know she's certainly smart enough to learn more, and I think it would be great mental stimulation, but she slinks away, like she thinks she's in trouble. Any idea why?

Thanks again for listening!

Patty
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Jackson

Christmas Eve- Baby
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 9, '09 3:45pm PST 
Hi Ohana. You did say that you adopted Ohana in Feb. I saw the 4 months and it just didn't register with me until AFTER I had already posted. You want a well-rounded dog, and by your topics & questions it's clear that you recognize that means both adequate mental & physical exercise. Interactive activity -- which you are trying to do already.way to go I'm going to think about all your questions and best explain my OCD comment later.

Quick question(s): 1) is Ohana in a training class, 2) are you already training with the Clicker?, 3) when she starts to act up or be aggressive with other dogs, what do you do?, 4) are balls/tennis balls her favorite toy or playing fetch her favorite activity, 5) what do you do when Ohana shuts down or slinks away to her crate when you try to introduce training, and 6) what do you do when she resists being held or objects to the leash?

Many of us on this forum know exactly what a 10 month Border Collie or Aussie can be like. You'll also need a good sense of humor with these breeds. You can do this!
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Jackson

Christmas Eve- Baby
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 10, '09 5:39am PST 
Hey, Ohana. You received a lot of good recommendations from your cross-post to Behavior & Training.way to goway to goway to go

Does Ohana actually show any herding instinct or ability? Not all dogs do or it's not very strong. My opinion is that you can satisfy Ohana and your expectations w/o adding the chickens. The biking & rollerblading suggestions are great, but this type of physical exercise (unless done very low key, in moderation & short duration) is too much stress on the hips, joints & bones of a 10 month old. Just something to keep in mind. You can check with your vet, but I think the recommendation is closer to 14-18 months.

Border Collies & Aussies like to react & chase anything that moves, and that includes bikes & rollerbladers. Wear a helmet!! I used to rollerblade with my older Border Collie mix with little difficulty. Jackson? He kept herding & cutting me off -- so I quit because someone was going to get hurt (most likely me).
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Ohana

Is it time to- play ball?
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 10, '09 1:08pm PST 
Jackson,

I discussed the biking with Ohana with my husband (he's an advanced cyclist) and he thought it was a good idea. We'll probably wait a little while, b/c I agree that she might be a big too young for it. We've tried the treat-in-the-ball kid of toy but she doesn't really care too much for dry kibble or dry treats. We're still looking for that "I'd do anything for that" treat. Right now she's got a bit of an upset stomach so I'm not so keen on giving her a bunch of rich people food at the moment. She certainly has "the eye". When we play ball, she gets into a low crouch with her back legs spread out and her shoulders down. Her gaze is very strong on the ball. She also tries to herd the cats, but they don't put up with it much. I'd like to get more information on herding to see if we can encourage/increase her skills with non-livestock herding - is there such a thing? smile
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Jackson

Christmas Eve- Baby
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 10, '09 2:43pm PST 
Just the thing: many years ago, at the suggestion of my trainer (who had Aussies), I acquired a large 36 inch hard plastic ball through PetEdge. The ball can be filled with sand or something to make it even heavier & difficult to move. We called it a "herding ball". Jackson LOVED to work that ball, and both mental & physical stamina is required to do it. Doesn't take long to wear the dog out! We have an underground fence and he was able to herd that ball around the yard w/in his boundary fine. None or very little teaching is needed -- once they push the ball (either with nose or paw), instinct kicks in and they're off.

I'm trying to pull together some Confidence Building exercises for you. I think Shayne mentioned the shell game (treat under cup), but there are exercises with hula-hoops, pool noodles, 101 things to do with a box, etc. that might help Ohana. As far as dog-dog aggression, I use the command "watch me" before our dog, Clementine, can react to another dog. I watch her body language. Additional good books are: "Aggression in Dogs" by Brenda Aloff and pretty much anything & everything by Patricia McConnell (who also has lived with many a Border Collie).

OCD comment: Border Collies & Aussies can easily become obsessed with tennis balls, frisbees and/or playing fetch. Playing fetch is a great activity (I do it every day), but you also want to introduce and keep a variety of toys & activities. I think the following websites explain it pretty well: www.bcrescue.org/obsessive.html
www.dogchannel.com/media/dog-magazi nes/popular-dogs/articleborder_collies.aspx.pdf
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Panda

Let's go! Let's- drive!- Yeah!!!!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 13, '09 8:17pm PST 
Jackson rocks!!! snoopy

I have to check into that "herding ball". I think it would benefit Panda a lot. Exercise alone certainly does not do it for a BC or a BC/Cattle mix.
Don't feel bad about learning as you go, Panda and I are in the same boat.
Knowing that these dogs are different helps me not to get frustrated and look for better solutions.

I hope you checked out the link Jackson suggested ( about living with Border Collies ). It helped us a lot!!!

I don't think getting her something to herd, like chickens is a good idea. Unless you take her and yourself for training first, it may turn out to be a disaster. The herding ball sounds like a great idea, though!!

I get the impression that Ohana needs something to build her confidence. You got her young enough where she shouldn't be so timid and since she shows aggression towards other dogs on your walks ...... well, she needs a job....
Btw, Panda is very "reactive" on the leash. Most likely because she lacks confidence with other dogs. We have been working on it, but it is a very difficult issue for us.

I used to deal a lot with thorough-bred horses and have learned that it is much easier and productive to "direct" an animals energy than to "stop" it or "slow it down".

Best of luck to you!!!

Ohana is beautiful


wave
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Jackson

Christmas Eve- Baby
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 14, '09 12:05pm PST 
Thank you, Panda. Like the majority of Border Collies, Jackson had (and has) his share of quirks, but I was fortunate enough to hook up with an excellent trainer (who had Aussies, but knew her way around Border Collies) when he was approx. 1 year old that also had a solid behavioral background. I think everyone gains by reaching out, talking with and sharing experiences with same breed owners. I admit, however, that Jackson has been awfully talkative on Dogster lately; he never lets his sister, Clementine, talk!

Ohana: Very good news. Keep up the great work!
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