Australian Shepherd Mom! - Paige

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by paigegirl, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. paigegirl Active Member

    Hey everyone! I'm Han, I am currently in the last four weeks of waiting for my standard australian shepherd puppy, Paige, to come home. She'll be a bit over 8 weeks old at the time and of course, will be crate trained in the house. I've purchased almost everything I need to make her transition into our home a happy one; crate, bed, bear trophy dog toy, a puppy kong, puppy food (A Taste of the Wild Puppy formula) and I think I've got it mostly covered. But, if you see that I've missed anything, please let me know! I've started reading Clicker Training with your Dog, and am excited to start training Paige with positive reinforcement when she finally comes home. This will be my third dog (the first two passed away, rip.) and am excited to make her feel like a part of our family and depart love, training and stimulation for her to keep her mentally astute, physically fit and an all around balanced companion. I have been in an ever present learning stage about aussies and would really appreciate any helpful advice or constructive criticism that will benefit my and Paige's life together. Although I feel that I am well prepared to take on this energetic, intelligent breed (she will be running with me, hiking with my husband and I, trained to do all sorts of neat tricks, and introduced to many people along the way), I would really enjoy hearing whatever job you've come up with to keep your aussie occupied. Apparently these guys need change and get bored with repetition so hey, if you have a great job idea, I'm all ears! Also, I plan to share funny stories and experiences with my lil' Paige and look forward to hearing your experiences as well!
    Nice to meet you all, thank you for reading my lengthy introduction, as always constructive advice is the only type I'm looking for. Negative, pointless comments will be ignored! 20140129_103416.jpg
    running_dog, MaryK and brodys_mom like this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    Welcome, beautiful pup. Good luck surviving the puppy years! I have a 10 month old puppy, and she's a handful. Just remember patience is everything when it comes to pups, and a heck of a lot of chew toys. Feel free to jump in on threads and post your own.
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  3. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Welcome! Paige looks like a sweetie! I'm sure you can't wait to get her home! I have a border collie, which tend to have an even higher drive than Aussies, and yes, they need a job to do! :) It doesn't have to be an actual "job", just something they consider work in their mind. Tricks are great (I'm so glad your going to be training with positive reinforcement! Trust me, it works wonders! :) ), so are dog sports (agility, frisbee, canine freestyle, obedience, rally, nosework, etc.), and with her being a herding breed, you could always check out if there is a herding trainer near you, and when Paige is older see if she has any instinct. My border collie (Chloe) and I take herding lessons on a weekly basis, and we have so much fun doing it! She loves doing what she was born to do, and we are even working our way toward competing! I heard of someone who, to give their dog a job, did something as simple as teach her dog to put tennis balls in a bin. Before she would leave the house she would tip over the bin full of tennis balls at the top of the steps, and while she was gone the dog's job was to find all of the tennis balls and put them in the bin. So be creative! It sounds like you are very prepared, and welcome again to DTA!
  4. paigegirl Active Member

    Thank you Kassidybc & southerngirl for the warm welcome! Love the idea of spilling a bunch of tennis balls everywhere which got me thinking, I really like hitting balls in the backyard (batting) but getting them back isn't always so fun. Hopefully, Paige will find it exhilarating. ;) When i was young (8 years old) I used to set up all sorts of obstacles for my dog to jump and really enjoyed teaching her to do them. So, agility would be neat provided the cost isn't too high. Anyone have experience in agility? Can you give me a general idea of it's price? Also, if there are any chew toys you guys have found to be a little more durable than other brands, please let me know! Thank you again for the feedback, I'm looking forward to posting more when Paige comes home!
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  5. 648117 Honored Member

    Paige is very cute.

    I compete in agility, rally-o and obedience with my PugX, Holly.
    Agility is really fun but you will probably have to join a club or something (not sure of the cost of that in other countries) and it can be really hard to practice if you don't have access to equipment/the money to make/buy equipment.
    I think rally-o is definitly one of the cheaper sports and also pretty fun, you could pay to go to a class once a week and then practice at home the rest of the time. Just print out the rally-o sign on paper (maybe laminate them to make them last longer) and set up your own courses/practice the signs.
  6. freedomdreams Well-Known Member

    What an adorable face! You must be so excited!
    I don't have much to offer in experience with Aussies or BC's- but I do agree when everyone says that tricks work wonders, I definitely can't wait to see all of the wonderful happy moments and challenges Paige will bring you.
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  7. ncsugrad54 Well-Known Member

    Hi! Cute pup! I did agility with one of my dogs for almost 2 years. I would like to point out that for awhile puppies shouldn't be jumping over objects. I remember my dog couldn't take her first agility class until she was at least 6 months old.

    As far as price, (at least where I live) I found herding to be very expensive, so unfortunately I can't afford it right now. :-/
    Where I took agility lessons it was approx $95 for 6 weeks of classes. 1 hr long class every other week due to the teachers availability schedule. Since then I think they have gone up to about $125 which is what I have seen other places charge. Hope this helps!
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  8. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Welcome and congratulations. Some agility classes require the pup to be one year old, for safety issues, because their bones and joints are not fully formed yet. Better safe than sorry. Check out Susan Garrett's books and websites. She is a multiple champion in agility and obedience with Border Collies and Jack Russells. Her Puppy Peaks lessons are online and give a lot of great information on molding a puppy from a very young age to be an agility dog as well as a great family pet.
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  9. kassidybc Experienced Member

    I do agility with my border collie (although we just started recently) so I have a bit of experience. Yes, I would reccomend holding off on any jumping until the pup is at least a year old. I'll have to find you a link giving instructions on how to make them, but I know there is quite a few basic pieces of agility equipment (like jumps and weaves) that you can make cheaply and easily out of PVC pipe. Another dog sport idea (although again, it would have to wait until she's older) is skijoring. It's basically your dog pulling you on cross country skiis, and most any dog can do it because you can help them along so they don't have to pull more weight than they are able to. I'm not experienced in that area though, you would have to ask someone else or do some research if you were interested (I also don't even know if you live somewhere with snow haha).
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  10. kassidybc Experienced Member

    As far as toys go, I've found Kongs to be some of the most durable out there. With close supervision, certain types of uncooked bones can be great too.
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  11. MaryK Honored Member

    LOL don't forget the 'teenager' stage either!!!!!!!!!! Leaf's right into that now!!!!!!!!!! But hey it's fun! And you're so right patience is the key!
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  12. MaryK Honored Member

    Hi and Welcome!:) Paige sure is a little cutie!:love:

    I have a Kelpie X (Leaf) she's a working Kelpie so is very energetic. Keeping her mind occupied is fun though and don't forget mental stimulation is quite tiring, think about exam swotting v partying:D ! I use mental tricks, like finding hidden treats etc. as well as all the usual more physical tricks, plus long walks. Leafs in her teen stage at present and able to do full Agility work but at the doggy school she goes too they have a 'mini' agility course. The jumps are about a quarter of an inch of the ground and the A frame is very, very tiny, all obstacles are geared to tender young puppy joints. They use it to help stimulate their minds, not so much for the exercise, as it helps focus etc. (though Leaf took off and did a mad circuit or two around the course - hang the obstacles:rolleyes:) You could easily build a small 'course' yourself at home, as I did for Leaf. Just keep the 'jumps' to nothing more than a 'walk over', that way Paige will not suffer any damage to her developing joints.

    She will not be allowed to start 'full' Agility work until she's a year old. But do check the school, here the only one is NOT positive reinforcement training so Leaf's not going. I'm just upping the height of the jumps at home. Not sure what the cost would be, here the only school isn't expensive, but as I said, they do NOT use P+ training, and I will not allow my girl to be exposed unnecessarily to inappropriate places.

    Take Paige out a lot, make sure she has loads of different experiences, but always remember, you're your dogs VOICE so if you're not happy about anything say so!!!!!!!!!
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  13. paigegirl Active Member

    Everyone, thank you for the tips! I keep reminding myself that I can't be too active with Paige right away as she is still a puppy with developing joints. I am eager to take her running with me, hiking and all sorts of activities but I need reminders that it will take a white until she's developed enough to get that active. What to do with a young pup besides train her? Just play I guess! Shucks. ;) haha that is one of my favorite things to do! I've been driving 30 minutes away for the past two days to play with my in-laws puppy while they're gone on vacation. I just couldn't bear the little guy being locked up with no interaction for so long! Sucker for doggies right here. lol. My brother in law was incredulous- "you came all the way here JUST TO PET HIM??" I have a puppy kong, I will be making some treats and filling for it tomorrow. This is so exciting but I'm not going to lie- I am nervous too! Please tell me some of you experienced nervousness as well?? haha thank you everyone!
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  14. MaryK Honored Member

    A walk, once all the vaccinations are done, won't hurt her, just don't do jogging etc. and keep the walk reasonably short. Yep!! Play and play some more! Lots of different toys but don't give them to Paige all at once. Rotate them around, first say the Kong, then say a favorite cuddle toy/ball, that way Paige will not get bored. Plus of course a short training session a few times a day. Length will of course be a bit 'up to Paige' as some puppies have the attention span of a Goldfish (around five seconds) and others will (like both Leaf and my late Ra Kismet) want to train and train and look at you with hope in their eyes (rather impatient hope at that) if you end training too soon. Go with Paige, she'll let you know how long a training session needs to be. Puppies love to play and train, then you have the satisfaction of seeing a very tired, flopped out puppy - for around 15 minutes if you're lucky:D;)

    Good for you going to visit your in-laws puppy, that's so sweet and kind.(y)

    LOL of course, always a bit nervous before a new puppy arrives home, after all it's a huge responsibility knowing you're going to be molding a youngster's life. So can well understand the nerves. But once Paige is home with you, you'll be too busy to be nervous! Don't worry, you're gonna be a great puppy Mommy!:D
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  15. paigegirl Active Member

    MaryK, that is great to know! Soothes my nerves a bit. Thank you for the encouragement! I pick Paige up on Wednesday, will post some pictures of her later this week! As for training with Paige, I will try to train when she's hungry to keep her interested but will definitely keep the session short. Can't wait to play and love on her! By the way, Leaf is such a cute name!
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  16. MaryK Honored Member

    I'm getting excited for you:D Can't wait to see her photos and videos - hint hint arrival video please:D Puppies are always hungry LOL but it is best to train before their meal, other than potty training of course and that's a full time task in itself:rolleyes::D

    Thank you. Leaf got her name when she was rescued. The person who rescued her had her son with her and he said Leaf looked like a little leaf. As she went straight into a really loving foster home, I kept her name as it really does suit her.:D
  17. paigegirl Active Member

    Boy am I exhausted this morning! Crate training is no fun. Woke up at 1am, took her out to poddy came back in at 2, then back out again at 6am and in again at 7 (she gets play time after she goes). I am up for the day and enjoying my coffee while enjoying the satisfaction of having tired her out. She's a sleeping fur ball all cuddled up with her stuffed bear and I'm slightly jealous. I need a nap too. Overall lesson, I am crazy for doing this. At one point throughout the night, i woke up after a dream that I should've mixed water in with her food. Then after I had taken her out and put her back in, I got worried because she went quiet in her crate so fast! I thought she might've choked on her blanket so I get up to go peek at her, she's just laying there, flopping around, getting comfortable. Fellow puppy Mom's, I am a bundle of nerves and so worried about messing this up! Please lend some sound advice! I love her, I want her raised to be a balanced dog which will not happen if I can't stop worrying about every move I make! Yikes. IMG_4539.JPG IMG_4542.JPG
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  18. Amateur Experienced Member

    Believe me - being nervous was the least of my emotional turmoltuous adventures during puppyhood.
    I cried every day for months- probably did everything wrong that could be possibly done wrong
    but I am here to say she turned out great despite my shortcomings.

    Relax enjoy cry scream ( not at the dog though) bang your head against the wall ... it will all be fine .
  19. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Sounds much the same as being a new mom to a human baby. The good news is that everyone makes mistakes, and most of them can be corrected. Not every mistake you make will matter much in the long run, and babies are very forgiving.
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  20. kassidybc Experienced Member

    All I have to say, is AWWWW!! So cute!
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