Posts Tagged ‘border collies’

Favorite Video Friday – Border Collie Fun

June 2, 2017 2 comments

I have a thing for musical videos featuring dogs. I don’t know what it is, but they almost always leave me feeling happier and lighter in spirit. This week’s video is no exception. It features a young 5 month old Border Collie learning new tricks. It’s very sweet and cute.

Which leads me to a question, why do most of these wonderful videos feature Border Collies? Where are all the other dog owners? Why aren’t they making videos like this?

Let me know when you have an answer. I’m off to watch some more musical dog videos. ūüôā

Happy Friday everyone!

Favorite Video Friday – Border Collie plays Futevolei

May 13, 2016 4 comments

Minnesota has been a somewhat gloomy and rainy place this week. I think I’ve seen the sun three times the whole week, and only for a few minutes at a time. It’s a rather depressing.

A¬†person and her dogs has to have some¬†sun! We’ve gots to have it.

So what do you do when the weather where you live is crap? Find a video that has the sun in it.

Fortunately, this week’s video features sun, a beach and an amazing Border Collie, named Scotch, who knows how to play Futevolei¬†with his human and his friends. I can’t help but be impressed with this dog (okay, and by the amazing looking men with him). He is amazing.

Watch Scotch, take in the sun and sand, and enjoy.

Happy Friday everyone!

Favorite Video Friday – Border Collie Ballet

October 16, 2014 2 comments

We’re heading into the last throes of fall here in Minnesota. The leaves are peaking, the bees and mosquitoes have called it a day and the sun is setting earlier and earlier every day.

Perhaps a last look at summer fun is in store before we settle in for the polar vortex (or whatever else we have in store this year). It seems appropriate that we enjoy a little fun in the sun (ballet style) before we put away all the garden hoses. Don’t¬†you think? ūüôā

Happy Friday everyone!

A dog training video: What do you see?

September 22, 2014 4 comments

The week before last I wrote about how videotaping yourself with your dog, especially during training sessions, can help you to see things you might not have noticed in the moment. Looking at pictures I had taken while working with Maggie made me realize how pressure sensitive she is and how I needed to change my approach with her.

It’s¬†not just the every day dog owner who can be helped by videotaping themselves with their dog, dog trainers do it too. Sometimes they do it to¬†improve their technique or sometimes they do it to observe a dog’s behavior more closely. For many, it is also a way to educate dog owners on how to train their dog, as I believe the video below was meant to do.

While I very much disagree with the trainer’s assessment of the dog she is using in the video, I also had the luxury of watching their interactions (on video) several times. Slowing down a video¬†and watching it over and over again can help you to see so many things. I suspect the trainer in this video was so focused on making a specific training point that she¬†missed all the behaviors telling her otherwise. Either that, or she did not recognize the behaviors at all.

So today, you be the trainer. Take a look at the dog’s body language and describe what you see.¬†Is the dog distracted or is something else¬†going ¬†on here? ¬†

You can see my observations and analysis below, but try to do a little analysis yourself. What do you SEE? What is the dog doing or not doing? What behaviors is she displaying? Are the ears up, back, or forward? Is her body leaning? If so, in which direction? What else do you see?

My observations of Bubbles, the Border Collie:

  • At the beginning of the video, Bubbles sniffs¬†the ground several times and pulls at the end of a leash.
  • Bubbles does not look at the trainer, but looks in the direction of the camera and towards the group (perhaps her owner is there?).
  • Ears are back and she appears to be panting.¬†(This is about the time the trainer mentions how Border Collies can become very distracted by their environment.)
  • 23 seconds into the video, Bubbles’ ears go up and she looks to the left (her left). Her body turns¬†in that direction immediately afterwards. ¬†Her ears go back down.
  • Bubbles continues to turn left as she goes behind the trainer sniffing and looking distracted. Her tail is down and very close to her body (almost between her legs.)
  • When the trainer mentions her name, Bubbles ignores it and keeps sniffing at the ground, moving¬†further left and to the trainer’s right. Her ears are closer to the back of her head.
  • Bubbles continues to sniff the ground and moves behind the trainer again and to her right. Her head lifts up. Her ears are pricked and she is looking straight ahead and pulling in that direction. Her tail is down.
  • She pulls¬†as far away as she can¬†from the trainer and continues to look off in the distance. Her ears are up. Her body is leaning forward and away from the trainer.
  • The trainer shortens the leash and pulls Bubbles around and back to her and uses a treat as a lure. Bubbles’ moves towards the trainer with her ears down. She lip licks and yawns, sniffs the food, and then turns away. Her head is down and her body is leaning away from the trainer.
  • At¬†55 seconds, Bubbles’ body goes down lower to the ground. She is leaning away from the trainer and looking away
  • The trainer pulls Bubbles closer. Bubbles head is lower. She looks up and lip licks and turns her head away. Her ears are back and low on her head.
  • The trainer crouches down next to Bubbles and reaches her had out to her with the treat. Bubbles does another lip lick and turns away. Her tail is low and wags slightly for a moment.
  • At 59 seconds, her body is leaning away from the trainer’s. She rejects the treat in the trainer’s hand.
  • The trainer pauses to speak. Bubbles tries to pull away again. She lip licks and glances toward the trainer.
  • Bubbles lip licks several more times and glances at the trainer before looking away again.
  • She now pulls even further away from the trainer so that her head is the furthest away from her and her butt is closes to the trainer.
  • The trainer calls her name and her ears immediately go down and back on her head. It looks like she lip licks before her head and upper body goes down. She moves her body closer and her tail wags low, but she keeps her head as far as she can from the trainer.
  • Bubbles moves her body so that she is completely facing away from the trainer. At 1:18 she is leaning away from the trainer and has her back to her. She gives several more lip licks.
  • When the trainer calls¬†her name and pull her back towards her again, Bubbles pulls again and then turns her body slightly horizontal to the trainer’s body when the leash is pulled toward the trainer. She sits and looks up.
  • She is offered the treat again, but turns away from it. ¬†I could be wrong, but her busy seems hunched forward.
  • Bubbles turns her head further away and looks behind her, lip licks, and then starts to stand up.
  • She pulls away (lip licks), but sits back down because she has no leash length to pull away. She again has her back to the trainer.
  • More lip licks.
  • Bubbles continues to look away and to the side with her back to the trainer.
  • She pulls away as hard as she can and tries to create distance.
  • The trainer tries to engage Bubbles “one more time” and pulls her (using the leash) towards her. Bubbles faces towards the camera. The trainer reaches down with the treat in her hand and puts it in front of Bubbles’ nose. Bubbles glances quickly at her hand and turns away. She lip licks and yawns.
  • The trainer then knees her in the back-end, forcing her to sit. Her body is leaning away from the trainer.
    She glances up at the trainer. Her ears are back. She lip licks again. The trainer reaches her hand out with the treat again. Lip lick again. Bubbles opens her mouth when the trainer inserts the treat in her lip. You can to longer see her ears.
  • She takes the treat, turns her head away and lip licks.
  • Lip lick again.
  • Bubbles starts to stand up again, looking away. She stands with her back to the trainer. Her ears are back and low on her head. Her tail is now between her legs.
  • Her ears go up and down again. She lip licks. She sniffs the ground and pulls away from the trainer.
  • She continues to pull away in all directions from the trainer.

My assessment:

It clear from all of Bubbles’ behaviors that she was extremely uncomfortable. Perhaps it was because she did not know the trainer (as the trainer admits) or because she was unfamiliar with the setting or even afraid of the camera,¬†or maybe, both. She displays a lot of¬†calming signals¬†– lip licking, look aways, yawning, etc. She also tries very hard to create distance between her and the trainer, over and over again.¬†¬†Bubbles is not distracted by squirrel, but is uncomfortable and nervous. The trainer should have stopped as soon as she saw these behaviors. The fact that Bubbles refused the treat was a dead give away that she was way to nervous to be enticed by a treat. Not only did the trainer’s words not match the behaviors being displayed, but she did nothing to build the trust between her and Bubbles because she forced her to interact with her and even kneed her to sit down. ¬†A better approach would have been to stop completely and give Bubbles her space and the choice of¬†whether she wanted to interact or not.

Favorite Video Friday – What happens when you leave home

March 7, 2014 15 comments

A friend sent me this video a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea it would enlighten me so much.

Is this what goes on at home when I leave?

It sure explains all the toys on the floor when I return (and that torn up photo, huh Daisy?).
Now if only I could get my dogs to clean up as well as these dogs!

Happy Friday everyone!

Favorite Video Friday – Snow!

November 8, 2013 12 comments

This past week Mr. Winter finally made an appearance. I know I didn’t leave out the welcome mat, but clearly someone did. Was it you???

Despite being less than pleased to see him arrive at my door, I think he’s starting to grow on me. The dogs certainly seem to love him. We shall have to see how this works out. If he overstays his welcome, like last year, we may have to give him the boot.¬†

In the meantime, it seemed appropriate to feature a fun video featuring old man Winter and a gorgeous Border Collie named, Vicky. You have likely seen her before in other Favorite Friday videos. She’s kind of a favorite of mine. ūüôā

Happy Friday everyone! 

Sheep herding (in pictures)

October 7, 2013 10 comments

I love watching working dogs do what they were meant to do. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of helping out at a sheep herding trial and watching several different compete. I was surprised at how many of breeds were represented – Border Collie, Rough-coated Collie, Rottweiler, Kelpie, Australian Cattle Dog, Samoyed and even a Bouvier des Flandres.

Unfortunately, I was so busy watching I often forgot to take pictures, but I did manage to snap a few. Enjoy!


The morning started chilly and wet, but we did get a small bit of sun.


Dogs competed with goats and sheep. Goat herding is a lot different than sheep herding. Here is one goat giving me “the look”.


Rough-coated Collie herding sheep. They herd so much differently than Border Collies.


Collies, Shelties and other breeds need to remain upright to appear intimidating to the sheep and maintain control of them. Border Collies and Kelpies use their “eye” to control the sheep.


Traine uses his eye to control the sheep,


Holding the sheep until the gate can be opened to let them in.


Moving up to the sheep to move them towards the exit gate.


A Border Collie at work. Amazing dogs to watch.


Traine drives the sheep.



Traine is told to “lie down” so the sheep can be loaded into the trailer. Even at this distance, he is an intimidating presence.


A Samoyed herding sheep.


A Samoyed chasing sheep (not what a handler wants to see).


Bouvier des Flandres herding sheep. A very different style than Border Collies or Kelpies.


Getting the sheep into the trailer.


A stormy and cold end to the day.

Favorite Video Friday – I invoke Vicky and the “S” word.

August 30, 2013 7 comments

After a week of extreme heat, I am so ready for a cool down. I know it’s wrong, but I am actually dreaming of winter. Is it possible to get a day of snow? Just a day? I’d be fine with it (for a day).

Maybe that’s why this video looked oh so appealing today. I know. I know. It has the “S” word in it, but I couldn’t resist.

Brought back by popular demand (well, at least my demand), it’s Vicky! Have fun. Stay cool. Enjoy.

Happy Friday everyone!

Favorite Video Friday – The Lovely Vicky

August 1, 2013 10 comments

CaydenThursday was a fairly emotional day – in a good way.

Cayden, a lost 6 month old Sheltie in St Paul, was reunited with his owner last night after almost drowning in the Mississippi River. Many thanks to the St Paul police who saved him.

Then, I saw on the news that JJ, a Border Collie lost in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), and who I first saw via a desperate plea on Craigslist, was reunited with his owners thanks to a good samaritan who kept him safe in his tent for two weeks until he could call his owners (you only have to look at the map of the BWCA to know what a miracle that really is).

Then there was the Lab mix that had been missing from her family for over a month was reunited with them after they saw her picture posted on Lost Dogs-MN. The person who found her had been caring for her all that time in hopes her owners would see her picture and call. They did.

And then there was Lalo, a rescue dog with Midwest Animal Rescue (MARs) who was found after missing for 4 months. Wow! Lalo was also featured on Lost Dogs-MN.

It seemed only fitting that I share a happy and uplifting video today to celebrate all the great news.

Last week, I shared a video of Vicky and her best bud Dixie. I loved the video so much I just had to go back for more. Vicky is not only a beautiful dog, but her mom has a good eye and her videos are beautifully shot and edited.

Clearly Vicky is loved very much.  I have a feeling she will leave you smiling as you start your day.

Happy Friday everyone!

Favorite Friday Video – Best Friends, Border Collie Style

July 25, 2013 17 comments

After last week’s feel good Friday video, I figured I would just keep the warm fuzzies going and share another great video featuring best friends.

This one features Vicky and Dixie. Best friends, Border Collie style.

One has to be impressed with both the dogs and the owner. Clearly, these girls know a great many tricks. They also swim, do agility and just hang out with one another.

I hope you enjoy these sweet girls and their very sincerely felt friendship.

Happy Friday everyone!


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