Friday, June 19, 2009

Does Ranger have BCHADD?

I have a dream that one day Ranger will be a sheepdog. Because of this dream I refuse to give up on Ranger and put him on sheep at least once a month. It is my dream a spark will suddenly ignite the instinct buried deep, VERY deep within the dark scary recesses of his brain.

Perhaps Ranger's instinct is being overwhelmed by a severe case of BCHADD brought on by a traumatic puppy hood? (Falling out of a truck on a freeway then abandoned at the vet could cause permanent emotional scars).

What is BCADD? Border Collie Herding Attention Deficit Disorder

Border Collie's with BCHADD have trouble paying attention & controlling impulsive behaviors. (Wait, doesn't that describe ALL border collies?)

A Border Collie with with this disorder may have some or all of the following symptoms:

-Difficulty paying attention to sheep

-Easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli, i.e. sheep sh*t

-Inability to sustain attention ("Another dog? There is another dog over there! HIYA!")

-Difficulty performing tasks that require concentration (flakes out when pressured)

-Frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another ("What is that? Birds?")

-Procrastination ("MOM! HI! I HAVE MISSED YOU FOR SO LONG!")

-Disorganized work habits ("Gonna go this way...or that way, or this way...'doh what was I doing again?")

-Failure to complete tasks ("LOOK DAD! LAMBS! Lambs running in that field!")

-Inappropriate social behavior

It isn't all bad news, often these same border collies can pull it together with the proper help and stimulation.

Provide consistent routine & structure

Give clear boundaries and expectations

Encourage and keep it fun

Reinforce positive behaviors verbally & physically.

Negatively reinforcing bad behavior by allowing appropriate consequences to occur naturally (If you bite the sheep, you don't get to play with the sheep)

Watch for moments to redirect if distracted

Gradually allow some independence if earned

Set them up for success

Praise and encourage often! Be ready to catch good behavior and reward it

Keep your training sessions short and always end on a good note

Maybe there is something in there after all?

Or I have allowed wishful thinking and photo editing to blur my judgement.


Gennasus said...

Ranger may not be a natural sheepdog but he comes across as such a loveable guy!

Mind you, clever editing or not, he did look the part in those last few photos.

StellaStar said...

Haha! I love the first batch of photos and the descriptions. I believe in BCHADD.

Diane said...

I think our Fling has the Australian Shepherd version of that-ASHADD!
She's 5 years old, and we finally decided she was just going to lessons to visit with the humans....
How old is Ranger?

sheepkelpie said...

Have you ever tried him on cattle?

Emma Rose said...

How funny! Ranger is so loveable and definitely amusing.

Lean said...

Ranger is one funny guy,but maby not always that funny to you.BCHADD WOOF thanks for explanning.And the photo´s you made love them.
greetings Misty&Lean

BCxFour said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Diane - Ranger is 28 months old now. He is well in the range that some instinct should have kicked in for him if it ever was. He is pretty much just chasing the sheep here and there. The rest of the time he could care less about them.

Sheepkelpie - Ranger is scared of cows, flat out terrified of them. When he sees a cow looking at him he just lays down and shakes. He loves horses though and just wants to hang out with them - everyone is his buddy. He would actually be happiest just goofing off in the field and hangin' out with the sheep.

Southbay Girl said...

Mom and I think Ranger has something!!! maybe he has a bit of cattle dog in him-might take him a little longer than normal! You can do it Ranger!!



An English Shepherd said...

Looks like he has herding in in there somewhere :-)

Dare (our Blue Merle BC) wants to herd other dogs. Which can be interesting when they don't want to move along ;-)

Wizz :-)

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Great post, i really like how you put your pix and descriptions on.

Ranger is a cool boy even if he is not a natural sheepdog. He does look good in the last shots though.

A couple of the first ones reminded me of Zac that time he had a go with sheep. Sheep poop was very tasty according to him. lol.

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Just give Ranger a chance.. Louie finally broke out of his shell yesterday. He actually chased the sheep and even gave a little bark. He covered them when they tried to break.. Being deaf it is a bit of a challenge with Louie and Callie but Louie is coming along. Callie girl seems to have lots of natural instincts. She is extremely good at covering the head.. Me, Gus of course I amaze Dad everytime we go out.. I natural picked up the go get them without even being coached..
Keep up the good work Ranger. We know you have it in you...
Happy Father's Day..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Life With Dogs said...

I'd say you are on to something by the looks of it. I see progress!
The first half of that post sounded like a description of my academic career.

Tristan - I'm a Heavenly King said...

I think Ranger might indeed have it SOMEWHERE in there. You just never know! He really looked the part in the last few shots. I don't care if it's the editing, I am so going to trust what I see. ;P

Lilith de Barla said...

I am admiring in front of so much work and talents!

Maddy said...

Great Photos!
I'm sure Ranger has it in him somewhere..
We had a koolie, she was abused and kept in horrid conditions as a youngster and she was discouraged from doing what came naturally to her, herding. So when she arrived at our place she showed absolutely no interest in the stock wouldn't even take a 2nd glance. It took months & months before we could get her interested enough to really start her training and still she'd turn off at slightest sign of pressure, she would mainly just chase until she lost interest or got tired.
I have worked with her for over a year and she is now so much better, she still has a habit of chasing though. She lives on a little farm where she helps move the sheep around from paddock to paddock, she adores it..
I think your Ranger's ability is definately in there somewhere.. Who knows, one day you may take him out there and that 'herding' light will flick on and he'll turn out to be the 'best damn sheepdog around' ;-))
All you can do is keep trying.