Resources and Training Recommendations


I wanted this page created so I have a place to share valuable information, tips and links that can provide incredible and extremely helpful information to assist you with your new pup.

There is so much new information available and such great resources for fun, short 3-minute games that, from birth to old age, will help you and your dogs grow into a perfect team. Reward-based training, learning how to communicate in a way that the dog can understand (they can learn huge vocabularies but to learn what words mean requires us to understand how they relate to us in ways that are not obvious).

High energy fun and various treats and love is the best and really the only way to get your dogs to develop quickly and easily from being a chewer, a barker, over reactive, 'no way am I going to come when you need me to,' etc. - all of the things that can make life frustrating to both owner and the dog who knows he or she has displeased the family that they most want to please, but have no idea what they did despite what you think.

I will try to add new resources as I find them and check them out. However, the two listed above work well together and one may fit you better than the other. The biggest thing is pups can be over-stimulated if too much training and too long a session on a daily basis. Every day should have some time set aside, usually several 3 minute games (as you can fit them in and not all at once on those young, under 9 month pups), times that can easily be fit into a busy schedule that works best for dog and owners. Absolute Dogs is great as they post fun new games or bring up particular issues and how to address often in quick How To’s online. They will be in the U.S. later this fall and I am excited to hopefully be a part of the travel group with them as my sister is the U.S. coordinator for this tour. I will let you know if we are going to be able to get them this far west on this trip.

Please never hesitate to call or write if you need help, encouragement or just want to share something fun, silly or special about you dogs. I love to hear from you all.

God Bless and hoping for a fantastic year for you and your pups!

Suzy Foss

Click on any topic below for additional information.

Article from "Hounds to Horses Physiotherapy:"

This radiograph is of a 2 week old puppy.

If you look closely, you will notice how far the bones have to grow before you have a proper joint! This is why you must be incredibly careful and mindful of growth plates. Too much exercise, jumping up etc too soon can cause serious complications later on in the dogs life. 

Remember the basic puppy rule:

Increase by 5 minutes per month!



8 weeks old = 10 minutes exercise per day

6 month old = 30 minutes exercise per day

Exercise includes: walks, training, playing, running! Orthopaedic conditions in young pups are on the rise! Please ensure you bare this in mind while enjoying your new puppy!


Please visit Hounds to Horses Physiotherapy on Facebook:



Attention All Puppy Owners - Please Read

I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read this article on Early Neurological Stimulation by Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia. This is the stimulation technique that we use with our pups. 


Link to Article >


Early Neurological Stimulation

Here is a transcript from a canine reproductive seminar. Everyone with intact animals should read it and understand the differences in bitch's cycles vs other mammals.

Canine Reproductive Seminar Dr. Hutch >


Transcript from Canine Reproductive Seminar

We encourage anyone with a Border Collie or other double-coated breed to read this article.

Click here to read >


Why Shaving Your Double-Coated Dog is Not Your Best Idea

Click here to read the article published by The IAABC Journal, written by David Lane, DVM.


Read article >


Spay and Neuter Surgery’s Effects on Orthopedic Disease, Behaviour, and General Health in Dogs

Outstanding education on what dogs see vs we humans and how we need to adapt our expectations to their reality in developing their life skills and our relationship with them.


Letter to Suzy from Robin Eschenbruecher:

Some time back I found a Rick Gore (Think Like a Horse) video on limitations with a dog's vision. Here is a link in case you are interested in watching it at any point.  If you do I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.


In this video Rick Gore compares a dog's vision to a cat, horse and human vision. I was shocked to learn the limitations with a dog's vision, because I've spent a lot of time learning how dogs communicate but knew nothing about how they see. 


I'd just assumed that dogs have vision comparable to human vision which was ignorant of me. I guess I assumed that a dog sees like humans because of the amazing things they are capable of like running so far out after sheep and herding them back.


Having full senses (sight, hearing, smell) is pretty important for a working dog or trail dog and for their safety. I want to minimize any chance of hearing or vision loss with my future puppy.


Anyhoo, this man's main channel is called Think Like a Horse but this video is on his channel Think Like a Dog.  

Have a great evening and thanks as always for your time. Sincerely,

Robin Eschenbruecher


What Dogs See vs. What Humans See



Excerpt from article:

Pet Owner vs Breeder

The accuracy and specificity of an inherited disease diagnosis are particularly important in the world of dog breeding where every potential health issue must be considered prior to breeding. Unlike general pet owners who may not need to know the specific underlying molecular mechanisms of a disease (especially when there is no routine clinical treatment), the world of dog breeding has grown increasing savvy about the potential of genetic testing technologies and their use in preventing production of diseased puppies.



Health / Genetics:

The Veterinarian’s Corner: Genetic Heterogeneity and Its Importance in Dog Breeding

Research shows dogs pay close attention to different human facial expressions.

Click here to read the article published by Psychology Today >

Health / Behavior:

Dogs Watch Us Carefully and Read Our Faces Very Well

How your dog’s brain health and gut health could be causing their “reactivity.” How to rebalance their bodies and behaviour to make them a crazily enjoyable, healthy and stress-free companion!

Click here to download a PDF of the article >

Health / Behavior:

Balancing K9 Mental and Physical Health

Very informative article by Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA published on the Innovative Veterinary Care website.

Providing optimal nutrition to your four-legged patients includes understanding how digestion works in dogs and cats, from one end of the body to the other.

Click here to read the article >

Health / Nutrition:

Understanding Pet Digestion

We encourage you to visit herepup.com for great health, nutrition, and other valuable information regarding your beloved pet!

Please CLICK ON IMAGE to view full image.


A Chart of Foods from Good to Never for Dogs

Fruits and vegetables for dogs can rev up important nutrients in their diet. Plus they make a tasty dog treat! Of course, certain fruits and vegetables will be better for your dog than others. Take a look at the ten best, and consider adding them to your dog’s meal routine.


Click here to read the full article >


10 Best Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs

From Suzy:
In the past six months I have been on a search to find the best possible dog and puppy kibble available after learning about fairly recent new information about what to look for in our dog food.

My sister learned some very interesting things from a vet who is a part of the UC Davis Veterinary Research team looking at dog food  and heart issues. 

She was told that the most important part of the ingredients list is the FIRST FIVE items.  These have the greatest impact to your dog or puppy.  Here are the top five things to concentrate on when looking for the best foods available.  First should be meat and meat meal.  Meat meal is actually the highest source for food value (absolutely no meat by products).  Brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potato are all excellent along with chicken fat or even better fish oil, and barley is okay in the top five.

Avoid at all cost potato’s and any legumes which are now the main ingredients behind meat in the majority of dog foods out there.  Potatoes and legumes and their by products i.e. peas, pea meal, chick peas, any other bean. etc have been found to be links to canine heart disease and we are paying $50-60 a bag for foods harmful to our beloved pets.

In my research I found only two foods that met this criteria.  I’m hoping those reading this might find more and share.  I have literally read the ingredients list on every brand of dog food available in western Montana as well as more brands and versions than I can count online.  It was very disheartening that the industry raced to replace potatoes with another cheap filler like legumes.  Feeding raw, be it 100% or a mix is a good way to ensure good health.

Blue Buffalo Lamb and Brown Rice Puppy is as close to the standard for puppies that I have found.  Chicken seems to trigger allergic reactions like extreme itching.  For adults Costco’s Premium Lamb and Brown Rice meets the standard recommended.  My vet has recommended feeding to puppies a mixture of puppy and adult to lessen the chance of too fast growth.

Always remember to slowly change your food as sudden change is very difficult to the digestive system.

We at Gold Creek Ranch Border Collies feed the kibble mentioned above but also raw bone in chicken, wild game, raw boneless beef other than meaty knuckle bones and large beef bones from upper leg.  Eggs, cottage cheese, pumpkin, appropriate fruits and vegetables also supplement and keep their food tasty and interesting while enhancing the nutritional needs.  We also give every dog and puppy NuVet Plus immune system boost and NuVet Joint to our adults to ensure healthy bone and joint.

I have recently been hearing from clients that their puppies are itching a lot. If you have not changed feeding the Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice puppy I first recommended, I suggest you change to the Blue Buffalo Lamb and Brown Rice, once the switch from their chicken recipe is made the itching is immediately going away.  A fairly fast switch does not seem to cause any negative gut reaction, I think the chicken version is causing an allergy to chicken.  The Lamb version is also closer to the preferred top five ingredients.

You can order the Blue Buffalo via Chewy for home delivery.  Costco’s Premium Lamb and Brown Rice is an excellent adult food and I’ve suggested to clients that they feed ⅔ rd puppy ⅓ rd adult, this all lessens the chance of too much growth too fast.  It can be ordered online at Costco.com  This should solve your problem.  This issue has just started showing up in the last two weeks as far as me getting asked about it.  I’m notifying Blue Buffalo about this, good company.  These are my recommendations and are not perfect.  Always do your own research.  One thing I’ve learned is that my vets are so overwhelmed by their client load, they simply do not have the time and opportunity to keep abreast of all of the most current diet and even some of the new breeding protocol.  I’m actually sharing my research results with my vets, they check out the material and discuss their feelings about what they read.  I love having doctors in my life who are open to change when there is data and pier reviews to back it up.

This is strictly my recommendations based upon the information available in my research.  I am open to comments and recommendations.

Have a Blessed Day!


Alert on Dog and Puppy Food Issues

Dr. Ian Dunbar is a great source for both preventative and repair and is universally well respected.


Link to where you can see/purchase most of his training videos:



Veterinarian / Dog Training Expert Dr. Ian Dunbar

As mentioned in my page introduction above, another great source is Absolute Dogs out of the UK.


Tom and Lauren have developed some outstanding games that are also fun, quick and work. Their training videos are worth every penny as their 3 minute games make teaching and developing so much fun for both you and the puppy. Ditching the food bowl and playing a 3 minute game seals the bond between family members and their pup and adds consistency to all handling in the family.  



Absolute Dogs

Trainer Nancy Tanner of Paws and People, lives in Bozeman, MT, does Freestyle Dancing, Herding, Triebball and Agility with her Border Collies. This is such a great way to teach a puppy manners without butting heads....great for active puppies. She has a school in Bozeman and does private and group classes. Her website has hundreds of articles on health, vaccines, diet, and training. You can find hundreds of training videos on her YouTube channel. She has a great approach, kind and fair.

Link to Nancy Tanner's video "CALM gets everything, PUSHY gets nothing:"

Link to Video >  

Link to Paws and People Website >


Training Techniques

I highly recommend this book! It explains how puppies speak to us, if we understand that then we can better speak to them in a way that helps them figure out what their person needs from them. The book can be ordered via google search - there is a link below to Amazon.

Link to book on Amazon >  


BOOK - Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program

Thank you Robin Eschenbruecher for sharing John Pilley's video demo showing how he teaches his Border Collie words!


From Robin:

I wanted to share John Pilley's short YouTube video where he demonstrates how he teaches his border collie (Chaser) names of objects. 

Link to Video >

John Pilley says that Chaser understands 2 concepts:  that objects have names and, she has learned cues (find, chase, shake, and put ...into tub) that associate names to object. John Pilley uses play/fun/praise as rewards to strengthen Chaser's memory of the name.   And he employs a structured way of giving cues.  He will say "Chaser, this is", then he'll say the name of object.  He'll spend 2 days per toy in 3-4 minute training sessions (which are essentially play with the dog and the toy).  And all other toys are put away during this time.  He repeats the 3-4 minute sessions multiple times each day for 2 days. Chaser has learned over 1000 names (of toys I believe).  She's tested monthly with random toys from the total # of toys and has a high rate of memory.   Pretty interesting way to train to connect emotion with memory through play (instead of treats). Then it's good bonding time and great mental stimulation for the dog.  


I also randomly look for sheep herding videos on line and found this one by Thomas Longton.  He has a nice way of explaining things in a quiet relaxed manner. 

Link to Video >

Have a nice day.


Robin Eschenbruecher


Teaching Your Border Collie Words

Farm Diggity

Great place to purchase collars, leashes, cute household

Border Collie stuff at wonderful prices!



Great place to purchase discs for your dog disc enthusiast:



When Shopping for Your Border Collie, Consider Buying Here

Link to Chris Zink's video on how to assess your dog's structure and why it's important >

Jennifer Neitzke - Jawanna Border Collies
ABCA Registered Border Collies
(989) 860-4157

Another great article on Border Collies, "What a Border Collie Taught a Linguist About Language." 

Link to Article >

Article on Hip Dysplasia:


Other Useful Resources

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EMAIL: suzy@goldcreekranchbordercollies.com

ADDRESS: 365 Gold Creek Loop, Hamilton, Montana 59840

PHONE: 406-360-1344