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Thread: Our foster dog's progress

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Our foster dog's progress

    Our now 5mo kelpie pup, Billie, is doing well. She's been with us for 5 weeks now and I think we have now bonded well. I always underestimate how long that takes and what a difference it makes. The first couple of weeks she behaved like an overtired toddler lots of the time. She still does regularly, but she is far more able to chill. She is also very eager to please. I take her and Banjo to the off leash dog walking area every day and she is so very good. I'd say she now comes at least 9/10 when I call her. The only times she doesn't respond immediately is sometimes when she is chasing the magpies (Banjo taught her this, but I don't mind because they just fly to the nearest tree) or when she is barking in another dog's face. Something she is doing less often now. She prefers to annoy Banjo instead. But even in those situation, she'll come after the second call eventually. I haven't had to put her on the lead because of not trusting her recall in weeks.

    She's a bit full on for poor Banjo. Probably partly her age and partly the breed. On walks I often have to interfere because she won't let Banjo walk two steps without attacking her hind legs or barking in her face. Some walks she's worse than others... She needs to learn to stop when another dog doesn't reciprocate her invitations to play. I'm not quite sure yet how to get that through to her. It may be something she'll grow out of too. Our current dog walking spot is great though, because I allow Banjo to go down the side of the hill to go check out the rabbit warren, while I stay at the top. Pup won't stray that far away from me, so Banjo gets some peaceful moments with her rabbits and pup and I get to walk along with just the 2 of us for a while until I have to call Banjo back.

    She is much better at home, though at times can still be very annoying. She uses her crate as her safe spot. It's very cute to see her dash in there when she gets told off about stalking the cats. Also something she still does as if it's beyond her control to stop herself, but she can now chill on the bed with one or both cats lying right near her. Early mornings and dinner time are the worst as far as her annoying the cats go.

    But she is getting easier to live with every day and is so incredibly cute. I love those puppy kisses! And her enthusiasm. I wasn't sure if I would ever get over that "this pup is such hard work and 50% annoying" feeling, but I have come to really appreciate her bubbly personality.

    So far we've only had one inquiry about her and then that family found out that they would be moving to NT a week later, so nothing came from that. I'm keen to find her a good home and more confident that her needs aren't as full on as I thought they were. She would be ok in an ordinary family, provided that she gets walked every day (better twice a day, but I rarely get round to that), continue her training and that don't leave her alone during the day. She needs either doggy or human company. She may make an ok tradies dog. I'm confident that the right home will come along for her eventually. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy not having to say goodbye to her just yet.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    Default

    I'm astounded that I wrote the above only 3 days ago. While now I find myself almost reluctant to go home from work because I think the pup's a total psycho and I feel like I'm so very bad at dealing with it and am letting her down.

    My main issues are her cat stalking. Nothing I do seems to make any difference whatsoever. And it makes her extremely restless in the evenings. When she then also starts to pull stuff off the bench (my benches are rarely cleared completely) and tries to get to the bin, etc. The night before night I had a total meltdown because I felt so helpless. So last night I put treats in my pocket and called her every time she stalked the cat, and at random intervals or just asked her for a sit when she wandered past, etc. As well as giving her easy treats for just lying down. I noticed it did calm her down a lot and it definitely calmed me down. So hopefully that will work again tonight.

    But I don't have time for even that in the mornings and she jumps out of bed with only one thought on her mind: "Block that cat's every move!". The cat's ok, though I feel sorry for him all the time. But I woke up at 6.20am to see the cat latched onto the sleeping pup's neck. Now I know why sometimes I get woken up by Billie snapping at him when she doesn't look quite awake yet!

    Anywho, I've given up on trying to control her behaviour while I get ready in the mornings. And I hope the treats will continue to work in the evenings.

    We have some issues on our walks still too, which in combination with the obsessive behaviour at home does tend to get to me sometimes too. Some walks she is fine and just wanders around sniffing and doing what good dogs do on walks. Then there's walks like this morning when she won't Banjo be and just constantly attacks her hind legs and barks in her face. Until I grab her and put her on the lead for a while. She can do "normal play" with Banjo and Banjo loves it. But it's that over the top leg biting that is just not on. Because no matter how Banjo reacts, she won't stop.

    I need to find that "Chill out, Fido!" book and seriously start doing some of those exercises. But most of all I hope someone with lots of experience and patience will take a shine to her when I take her to the Million Paws Walk this weekend and adopts her! I think I've met my match... Always a good learning experience and the next dog will probably seem like a breeze, but I feel disappointed in myself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    VIC
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    Sounds like a typical working Kelpie. She must have decided that herding the cats is her job, and every kelpie believes they must do their job no matter what!! I'm not sure how to help you, sorry. Dodges herding instincts have never been a problem to us because of our large property, plus we are home almost all day. But i imagine in a situation like yours she would be a nightmare dog, and nothing you do would get through to her lol.
    Hope you can sort things out, or someone with more Kelpie experience falls i love with her, haha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    melbourne australia
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    Ive ha d this issue with my son's pup. That is such a wonderful herder. And as a youngster, took months to stop biting at Pohm's heels. Even pohm looked fed up at times. I tried intervening on her behalf, it was not consistent however, nor could it be, as i only 'caught' and redirected the behaviour and praised, about 7% of the time. The remaining 93% was being reinforced by Pohm getting up, and slowly walking off, with a latched on pup dragging on her heels.
    Till youngster lost her pup licence, around 9 months of age, and pohm attacked her, put her down, held her down, shouted at her, then walked off stiffly. And that was the end of youngster biting her heels.
    And you Beloz, were one of the folks onhere, who helped me chill, and see it through. So perhaps let Banjo set her own limits?

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