Are we miss labelling reactivity?
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
1y ago
I was reminiscing today about taking Buddy to a scent class when he was 5 months old. I had zero worries about him being in close proximity to people. As far as I knew at the time he was a little anxious and unconfident. But not ‘scared’ and certainly not ‘reactive’ or ‘aggressive’ Fast forward to three-year-old Buddy, and although we have overcome MANY struggles, a fear of people is still a big one which surfaced at around 12 months old and was emphasised by some not-great experiences. His reactions are less, and his threshold is better, but he does still occasionally bark at people. What is ..read more
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I thought giving him up was the only option
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
2y ago
Anyone that owns a reactive dog will know the shame and guilt that you go through. Firstly it’s almost like grief. You got a dog for a reason. Long walks in the countryside, a family pet that will happily mooch around the house and enjoy cuddles with the kids. When that dream doesn’t play out there is a sort of grieving process that you go through. We have this fixed kind of view that dogs should just ‘fit’ into our lifestyles and get on with it. I feel like we’ve got to a point where we put way too many expectations on dogs and have forgotten that they are in fact animals. And as domesticated ..read more
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When other people offer advice about your reactive dog
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
2y ago
One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with as an owner of a recovering ‘reactive’ dog is other people’s unsolicited advice. If you own a dog like Buddy you will know exactly what I mean! There is always that one person you know (or total stranger) who just loves to tell you what to do and knows everything. It might be a family member who’s had dogs all their lives. They have seen it all. Their dog barked a lot? They soon sorted them out and they will tell you exactly what you need to do. Or they tell you that you aren’t firm enough. Or your dog is trying to ‘dominate’ you. Maybe it’s some ..read more
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Why you know more than your vet about what is best for your reactive dog
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
2y ago
So it’s been over a year since I wrote a blog about Buddy’s journey. So where do we start about whats happened over the last 12 months? It’s all been very hard to share but I can talk more about it now that his behaviour has improved and we are in a better place. And I really wanted to share why, as an owner of a reactive dog, YOU know what is best for your dog better than anyone else ever will. Buddy is 2 and half now. And early 2021 we attempted to visit the vets for his yearly injections now that they were seeing people in the practice again as before I hadn’t wanted to leave him alone. Af ..read more
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THE ONE THING THAT KILLS DOG TRAINING
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
3y ago
Without doubt something that I struggle with is GUILT. It’s something I’m getting better at coping with but every now and again it rears it’s ugly head. When I ditch the guilt I see a noticeable improvement in Buddy.  Because I take off the expectations that are drilled into us as dog owners, that we must force our dogs to fit into the same hole that we see other dogs fill. But whether I like it or not, my dog is a slightly different shape. The thing is Buddy started out as a puppy that was very friendly, came on the school run, walked every day, came to the pub, had fuss and belly rubs ..read more
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To Crate or not To Crate?
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
3y ago
Crates and pens – so much debate! It’s a minefield for a new dog owner.  Some people say it’s cruel, some people say their dogs just don’t like them.  So why use one in the first place then or continue to put your dog through it if they don’t like the crate or pen? It’s something I’ve definitely had to adjust my mindset to.  And now I see the benefits, I have to say I’m a full supporter of crates, pens and boundaries. And I have been through it ALL! The separation problems started in lockdown, and not long before, Buddy started to refuse to go in his crate. A place he used to go ..read more
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Is it fair to keep a Border Collie as a Pet?
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
3y ago
Since getting Buddy, despite how much I thought I knew about Border Collies, this question has cropped up many times in my mind and I think I am now comfortable with my answer having dwelled on it a fair bit. I can imagine it’s crossed many a Border Collie owner’s mind too! For a while, I did wonder if it was fair. When you scour the internet forums (god awful un-moderated places where all sorts of opinions and nasty comments fly about and to be avoided at all costs) you will find MANY dog owners tell you that it’s totally irresponsible to own a Border Collie as a ‘pet’ and that they should on ..read more
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I DON’T LIKE MY DOG
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
3y ago
Okay anyone that knows me knows this isn’t true I mean look at him! – but I’m not afraid to admit anymore that there have been times where I just didn’t like my dog. Tough times where the connection with him had gone.  Where it felt personal.  Felt like I was doing everything I could but for some reason he was holding it against me. That he didn’t actually like me. Sounds crazy right? Well it isn’t.  Because I know sooo many people with sensitive/anxious dogs that have gone through exactly the same thing. So if that’s you reading this I want you to know that you aren’t alone.&nb ..read more
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HELP! My dog struggles with movement and noise…
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
3y ago
HELP! My dog chases (insert thing here) and reacts to (insert noise here)… If you are reading this, you either have, or want to learn more about a dog that struggles with movement and or noise. And OMG do I feel you! Maybe it started to happen all of a sudden, or maybe they always have.  Whatever the case may be, there is a solution, and it starts with management. Now for a start, I have a Border Collie.  I do realise that this is bred into them.  Their awareness of movement is actually a very beautiful instinct.  This is years of breeding specifically for them to do a job ..read more
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IS MY DOG AGGRESSIVE?
Buddy The White Border Collie
by Sam Milburn
3y ago
Aggressive for me is a really funny term.  Why?  Because it just isn’t a clear cut representation of a dog.  It’s actually quite a horrible label to put on a dog, but we use it from time to time to describe a  behaviour a dog is displaying. ‘Aggressiveness’ comes across in many ways.  A dog may be guarding it’s food, barking, lunging and snarling at dogs, or people.  It may only do it when people are at the door or walk past. Did you know, that the dog that is hiding under the table because fireworks are going off outside, is feeling the same emotions as the dog t ..read more
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