Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gea My New Foster Puppy

Gea is a pretty white and chocolate colored Border Collie - Australian Shepherd (Assie) cross with a lovely soft coat of fur. She was born about the end of April, 2011 making her about 9 months old -- still a bouncy puppy. Both Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are smart, active dogs that need a lot of exercise, training (they like fun jobs), and playtime!

Gea was adopted at about 10-12 weeks old and recently returned to the rescue because she was too active in their house and doing puppy things like chewing on things and barking at strange noises. They did no training, not even crate training and no exercise either. Not the right home for an active puppy and puppies are not born knowing the rules of living with humans. They need daily training and exercise and can not be expected to roam freely in a home without supervision.

Gea is now in my home as my new foster puppy and is being crate-trained. She is doing very well in the crate and sleeps all through the night. I am clicker training her and as expected for her breed combo she has some smarts about her. She is very food motivated and works well for dry kibble. I also am giving her slices of hot dogs and pieces of raw chicken gizzards for treats. She also receives two raw beef bones in her crate daily -- once when I leave for my part time job away from home (about 2-3 hours) and again at night when I leave her in her crate and leave the room to go to sleep.

I am walking/training/exercising Gea about 3 or 4 times per day for about 10-20 minutes at a time. Both on and off leash and both in my large yard and out on the wooded trails. I am working on multiple commands during each learning lesson. Some of the things we are working on:
  • Sitting and looking at me before I let her out of the crate and again before I let her out the door.
  • Loose leash heeling on my left hand side. Clicking and treating when she is in the right position.
  • Automatic sitting when I stop.
  • Recalls (Come) and sitting in front of me.
  • "Watch Me" -- clicking and treating when she give me her attention by looking me in the eyes.
  • "In" asking her to go back into the crate, then clicking and treating.
  • "Up" asking her to jump onto a log or bench.
  • "Touch" asking her to target my hand by touching it with her nose.
  • "Down" laying down.
Gea is doing very well and her attention span which was near zero when I got her (Sunday November 13th) is improving nicely. She is still a puppy and her attention is easily distracted by birds, bugs, noises, dog's barking, etc. Gea startles easily -- I don't think she received enough novel experiences and solicitation with enough different people and dogs. Also I feel this might be due to her not feeling that she had a leader which would allow her to relax knowing that someone else was in command and make the decisions.

Please only consider adopting Gea if you plan to do right by her and give her what she needs -- good leadership, fun times, training, and a family that will commit to her for her life span.

You can find a lot of good info on both these breeds online.

To start the adoption process, please fill out the online Adoption Application Form. or email for an application or with questions.

Adoption fee is $375.00 and covers age appropriate vaccinations, spay/neuter, micro-chip, wellness exam, fecal, de-wormer, flea and heartworm preventative and any other various medical expenses needed. This fee also includes transportation via rescue road trips as many of our dogs are pulled from high-kill southern shelters.

Some helpful articles:

Energetic, Anxious, or Reactive Dog? Try the Calm-O-Meter Method | Karen Pryor Clickertraining -
How to Reward Calm Behavior | Karen Pryor Clickertraining -

Just how smart are some Border Collies? "World's Smartest Dog? Meet a Border Collie Whose Memory Astounds
Chaser the Dog Has Learned to Identify More Than 1,000 Objects"



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