Friday, May 29, 2009
So where are we at two years of age?
I have noticed quite a shift in the past three months. It's not a huge shift, but it's a shift regardless. Ellie seems a little more bouncy, a little more willing to test limits, and has more prolonged bouts of energetic enthusiasm. If you didn't know her, you'd still think she has low motivation and low energy (particularly for a Border Collie), but I, as her everyday walker and trainer, can see the differences. If I had to put a figure to it, I would say that she's about 20% more energetic, responsive, and 'buzzy' than she was about three months ago. On a good day, that can be raised to about 33%.
She still gets on with other dogs, though, as we planned and wanted, she doesn't really mix with other dogs as such when walking. The home-boarding has really helped her become more accepting of other dogs, and to this date, we've only had to turn away one dog. That was because Ellie was entering into her phantom pregnancy, thus elevating her hormone levels and making her far less tolerant of the visiting dog. When dogs do visit, she likes those dogs which leave her alone, but is capable of issuing a growl, or even a quick reprimanding nip, if the visiting dog doesn't stop pestering her, or behaves a little too energetically around her. Like many young Border Collies, she can tend to fixate on moving dogs, giving them the 'collie eye' and trying to force their path. I think she thinks they must be sheep!
She now weighs 14.2kg, which, as you might expect, is at the lower-end of the Border Collie weight range for bitches. (12-19kg), and is still on a Burns dry food diet.
With regards to training, she's now getting to the point where higher energy activities are becoming more commonplace, such as repeatedly jumping over my arms in a circle, or 'relaying' where I run and she has to run along at my side and place the ball into my outstretched hand. She seems to particularly like this activity.
She still isn't a food-motivated dog, preferring instead to work for her beloved tennis ball. Ideally she would have been spayed by now, but this time, her phantom pregnancy got in the way of the ideal time to have it done. So, once again, we'll need to wait until after her next season.
Posted by The Dog Man