The Echo Bouvier Message Forum  

Go Back   The Echo Bouvier Message Forum > All Breeds > General Topics

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-24-2007, 07:21 AM
Mike Jordan Mike Jordan is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27
Default Non-Bouvier Discussions

This area is for those that have non-Bouvier dog breeds or have another breed along with their Bouvier(s). While this site is dedicated to Bouviers and those that own them, there are a number of breeds that are very simular to the Bouvier and would fit right in. And most of us have experience in other breeds besides Bouvier as well. So feel free to post in this area if you have a questions, comment or just want to chat about your dog... regardless of the breed.

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-30-2007, 07:29 AM
kathyh kathyh is offline
Moderator
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 6
Default The importance of consistency

This is about a border collie but the whole issue could easily be about any breed and I think it's interesting.

Pearl came to us 3 years ago as a puppy and a well-bred herding dog. She also came (unbeknonwnst to us) with a heart problem -- ended up not being serious and very, very bad hips (ended her working career).

She is also wired odd and varies between super affectionate and super independent and fear-aggressive. She is also very, very intense. When I got her home in the middle of winter at the age of about 11 weeks, the first thing she did was go out in the 2 acre field *by herself* and wander around exploring until I got worried enough about the cold to go find her and carry her in... that did worry me.

Anyway to cut to the chase, over the years, what I have discovered is that Pearl is very difficult to communicate with. I swear she over-analyzes human actions and she interprets things in ways that other dogs I've had never have (my friend who is a vet has seriously proposed that is wired wrong!). She is, BTW, super bright.

Finally, I have figured out that what makes sense to Pearl is super consistency on the part of humans. To give only one instance, we have always had this deal where she would come up to the door to be let in and then would leave...not as a game but somehow as if she thought that was what she was supposed to do. We have finally got that fixed (sort of). If Pearl comes to the door, we go to open the door, no eye contact, no voice contact. We count to 5 and if she comes in we tell her that is great once she is in. If not, we close the door (no emotion) and wait at least 2 minutes by the clock before doing this again. It has taken about a week but Pearl seems to have figured out how her actions control the door. All the other things I tried including all the usual (she is not a food hound which makes it harder), just didn't work. This has.

So this has led me think about how all the other dogs I've had have been so much "better" at "reading" humans and dealing with ambiguity and how much easier we can make our dog's lives by giving them consistent cues and consistent consequences... at least in the learning stage. It has also made me think again about how "alien" we must seem to dogs and how well they do at figuring out how to communicate with us.

I've been thinking back to past dogs and issues and wondering if this may not have contributed.

But, geez, is it hard to be consistent!!!!!!!

Kathy/Iowa
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-30-2007, 12:54 PM
Mike Jordan Mike Jordan is offline
Administrator
Site Admin
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 27
Default

That does sound like the dog is wired wrong in some way. It's almost like she can't hear very well or just doesn't process the information she is given. That's a shame and it is probably a genetic issue of some kind. It does kind of highlight just how much we sometimes change our lives to accomondate our dogs. No wonder some people think we are the crazy ones.

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-30-2007, 01:23 PM
kathyh kathyh is offline
Moderator
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 6
Default

I agree that there's something genetic going on and I suspect that it has to do with breeding for too much intensity... which is something certainly not limited to border collies.

Pearl is fine hearing wise, sight wise, etc etc. In fact there are times when she looks at you that could swear she can see your soul!

Donald McCaig in his book, The Dog Wars (a great story of how the border collie and the AKC went to war), talks about a dog whose "genes had knots tied in them" and that's Pearl.

I don't think it's just border collies either... it's a lack of balance. Pearl is the opposite of biddable...she works for herself and tries to figure us out I sometimes wonder is she is not one of those dogs who would be happier as a kennel dog, if the world she lives in just has too much stimulation for her.

As for who's crazier,her or us... good question but, for some reason, both Dan and I love Pearl. She is very lovable...when she's not being impenetrable!

Luckily she is very, very good in a crate and, in many ways, is very easy to live with... quirky beyond belief though and certainly a dog who will live out her days with us.

BTW she is SophieRose's (bouvier) best friend. Really weird because Pearl is one of those bitches that hates other bitches but loves male dogs. She gets along with SR just fine though....but we keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Kathy/Iowa
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -12. The time now is 02:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.