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From: julie (
Subject:         Re: Nice to meet you
Date: March 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm PST

In Reply to: Nice to meet you posted by Callie on March 22, 2009 at 10:35 am:

Hi Callie - Thank you so much for the advice! I really didn't think she was being out of line, but you just reinforced the facts that a) you have to be careful in dog parks and b) the herding instinct can be at least modified to keep anyone or any dog from getting hurt.

Velma rarely tries to herd me or my older dog, but she will occasionally mouth my hand or wrist (softly) and rarely, nip at my leg. I've let her know that isn't okay by saying "ouch!" in a high voice as if it hurts. She caughton quickly - she's quite smart and she definitely wants to please.

She has some issues, since she was a street dog in Mexico before being rescued last year and brought to San Diego. I got her from the people who rescued her and she'd been with them for about six months. So it seems as if she is still not sure that she won't be taken away somewhere else and she gets nervous if she is separated from Frankie (the older dog) or me (when she was getting groomed she was not happy). She also got anxious when I babysat a friend's dog for a few hours in my place, and when I had out of town company. I have a feeling she gets worried if anytyhing changes in "her" territory or "her" pack!

We are working on long stays in basic obedience right now. I'm glad you gave me some ideas about how to teach her about balls because she LOVES to play with them when I throw them, but hasn't caught on that if she brings them back we can keep on playing. I think a book on herding would be a good idea, and I'll look for a place to take her to herd. I haven't heard of any out where I live, but I'll ask around.

I did take her to look at an agility class because I thought it would be fun. But it was way too serious and regimented (geared towards competition) for either one of us, and Frankie - who came along for company - just whined and cried the entire time from the x-pen he was stuck in. That, of course, made Velma nervous!

I was told about one grooming and dogsitting place that has "play" classes. It's kind of a trek, but I'm going to see what they offer (if anything, since it will shoot up into the 100+ temps by June here).

Thank you again, you have no idea how helpful it is to hear from someone who knows herders. Any other ideas, please pass them along.

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