Chase’s Private Lesson

I had a private lesson with Chase today, for obedience, drive shaping, and general manners.

Have I mentioned how much I adore our trainer? Yes, I have, and I’ll say it again. She is absolutely amazing. She knows dogs so well, she can interpret behavior amazingly, and she comes up with solutions that are appropriate, positive, and effective! I am amazed.

Anyway, so we have some things to work on. First off, she said that Chase probably has some coping behaviors he learned from his prior home (Chase is adopted, we got him when he was about 10 months old). One of them is to jump on people, be wiggly, and pine for attention. Which makes sense. He does need some confidence building. but in some ways he is also is very hard-headed and stubborn. He is a very interesting mix.

So in agility, he sucks into tunnels, he looses his head, he goes really fast, but doesn’t have much thought or control. This is what we are going to do to train him better.

First, at trials, and even at home, I’ll take a treat bag or a toy and throw it on the ground. Chase is great paying attention to me when I have treats in my hands, so we have to get the treats out of my hands. When he looks at me or gives me attention, I click, have him touch my hand with his nose, and then run to get treats or the tug toy and reward. This way he’ll learn to pay closer attention to me even when I don’t have the treats on me.

We are also going to practice our heeling, both straight and right turns and left turns. With a target stick on my wrist. We are also going to teach him easy, for slow heeling, trot, for normal heeling, and hurry, for fast heeling.

And we are going to play the fast sit & fast down games. Run with Chase, and do a pop-sit with a treat reward. The collar pop is really light. Not even really a pop, more of a signal to let him know what I want. Then he can give me a fast sit and be rewarded for it.

Chase needs to keep his head while he is running fast in agility. This all will help. Fast dogs are great, but there are so many dogs in agility that go fast and lose their heads. Knock bars, go off course, and generally just go BLAH!!! all over the place. Chase does that now, and it’s not what I want. I want speed, with calm control. It’s possible. I’ve seen it! 🙂

So that’s our plan for now.

[tags]dog training, clicker training, border collies, focus, obedience, agility[/tags]

My Dogs Growl at Me

Ha ha ha. Yes, I admit it, my dogs growl at me. Only Lucy and Levi, though. Chase and Angel don’t. Angel is too sweet, and never would hurt a fly. Chase has a different temperament and I treat him differently. Since he is a border collie and much higher drive, he needs different rules.

Lucy and Levi, though, are spoiled… are well taken cared for. 🙂 Levi has always been underconfident, so when he does it, it’s okay. He’s being more confident. And Lucy is just pack marm and thinks she is boss of everyone. But she knows her place.

They really only growl when they are lying on our bed at night and we have to move them so we can sleep. And they growl, and we just laugh at them, and move them anyway. There will be no biting after the growls. They wouldn’t do that. It’s just mostly a groan of complain. But definitely a growl.

My husband and I think it’s cute. The dogs know how they rank, and so we don’t worry about their growls. 🙂 We know them well enough to know if it was inappropriate. 🙂

Black Tail

Chase Tail Well, I had to post up Chase’s tail, too. He is, literally, the black sheep of the family. The black border collie. Our dogs are, I like to say, black and blue. Three smooth blue collies and one mostly black border collie. He has one of those long-flowing tails. And strangely enough, he hardly sheds at all, even with a tail like this.

He doesn’t have any undercoat. He does shed a little bit, but not much at all. The collies have the thick grey undercoat that they blow twice a year, and shed all year long, too.

Chase is a sweetie. So smart, he amazes me. And though you can’t see it here, he has a cute nose, too, and doesn’t really need any rhinoplasty Naples, like us humans do!

[tags]border collie, collie, dog, black, dogs, tails, tail[/tags]

Ten Degrees

It has been so cold here lately. Actually, strangely enough, it hasn’t really been bothering me this winter. The lowest I’ve seen it go is 3 degrees.

We are staying warm in our house. All the dogs are safe and doing well. I am just so very glad that both Cheyenne and Jewel, who were both strays with no shelter or warmth, have our nice warm house to be in now. Where they are dry, warm, and well fed, and have soft things to lay on.

Cheyenne is even sleeping on the bed lately. 🙂 He is a doll, I just love him. Wish I could keep him, but really we have more than we should, because they should all have much more attention than they get at our house. But things are going well, Chase is being separate from the other dogs. He is the grumpy one lately, and so as to avoid any conflicts I usually have him separate. Which is interesting… the Collies are all doing well together, it’s the Border Collie that is the problem child. I’m just so glad Levi is doing well with everyone! I guess, at 7 years old, he’s finally grown up.

I do worry about Cheyenne and Jewel finding homes. They are older. Probably around 7 years of age. I think Cheyenne is a bit younger than Jewel. And why is it so hard to find homes for the older dogs? It’s sad. They are just as sweet and loving and wonderful. And the don’t chew, they are not pests, they are sweet as can be and need good homes!