Devil in a puppy suit
Posted 28 October 2005 - 04:30 AM
Back to the topic, thanks for the suggestions of how to occupy Repo during the day. I had considered a doggy daycare (I used to teach obedience at a facility that had one), but the one here is only 1-2 days a week and very expensive. It tends to have very bullying, overexhuberant dogs like Goldens and Great Danes.
However, I did find a great thing to wear Repo out. I have a pond in the far corner of my property, up a very steep hill. I almost never leave my tame lawn to go into the rough part of the property. There are HUGE amounts of ticks most of the year, and when the ticks stop, the burrs begin. I will agree with any of you that say "conformation dogs" are impaired with regards to burr resistance! If my adult BC runs about 30 yards into the field, it means an hour of grooming when we get home--he gets burrs stuck to every square inch of his coat, his eyelashes, etc.
Anyway, I bit the bullet and took the dogs up to the pond. It then suddently occured to me on our trip there, that in the 3 months I've had Repo, it was only his third or fourth off-leash walk. No wonder he is getting cabin fever!
Here's why... I have an invisible fence for my 3 acre front yard, at the end of a dead-end country road. Until last year I worked from home, and my other dogs (pre-Repo) would run around out there all day while I gardened and did chores.
When I got Repo, there were several things conspiring against him going into this large yard to run around:
1) A family moved into my upstairs as tenants. Their door leads to this front yard. They use it to walk their 3 very large dogs (who my dogs have never met). I live in the walkout basement with my three, and they go out into a smaller, chainlink fenced backyard. So the huge front yard has been "off limits" since just after I got Repo.
2) Repo was too young to train to an invisible fence prior to having the tenants arrive. Dogs have to be at least 6 months old. And besides that, he is a car-chaser in the making, and it is unsafe for this kind of dog to use an invisible fence.
Anyway, all this talk of Repo not having enough exercise (which is true) made me realize what a different lifestyle he has had from all my other dogs. He gets his 2-3 mile daily walks on a Flexi, running all over along the sides of our country road, but it's not the same as being off leash, digging for moles in the orchard, chasing each other around for hours, etc.
So I took them up to the pond yesterday, burrs or not! Repo had no interest in swimming on his earlier visit, but this time he plunged right in. He swam from one end to the other in a very obsessive way for over an hour. He would not come out when called, or for treats, toys or tuggies. He resolutely just plunged ahead with the most gawdawful swimming "style" (basically flailing wildly), swimming back and forth with a glazed look in his eyes. He did not even notice me calling him or waving toys--he was mesmerized by his own flailing or the water droplets, or whatever. (Sue Garrett's dog Buzz is the same way when swimming in her new book "Shaping Success").
I had to actually leave and go back to the house and hope Repo would eventually tire and come out. About 10 min. after I got home, he showed up at the door very wet.
Anyway, I'll bet he sleeps GREAT today. Although I did have to brush my other BC for an hour when we got back, I'll have to incorporate a daily swim as long as the weather stays warm enough. With an hour of swimming a day (especially HIS version!), I don't think Repo will need crating, daycares or trips to work with me!
P.S. A few of you have mentioned that I am spoiling him or wearing him out by "playing fetch" 500 times every evening. I didn't say we were playing fetch! I said he "brings me the ball" 500 times each evening. I don't throw anything for him unless I take him into a separate room and initiate a game with a "special" fetch toy. But when I am otherwise engaged, he still brings me balls and other toys over and over, dropping them at my feet, in my lap, shoving them against my leg, setting them politely on a nearby table, etc. even though I TOTALLY ignore him, do not look at him, speak to him or touch the ball.
So there is no spoiling or forced exercise involved here. It's all Repo being obsessive!
Posted 28 October 2005 - 04:52 AM
I raised 2 border collies in a 850 square foot apartment. Space to me is not an issue. My dogs have off switches now, and were fine growing up.
Unfortunately you have let this dog create LOTS of jobs for itself that you are going to spend a long time working through. I totally agree with the persont that stated you are creating a self-rewarding dog.
You cannot compare this pup to ANY dogs you have currently or had. As each dog is different. If you think Repo is going to act like your currenty BC, sorry.
Repo is bored out of his mind and is trying his hardest to find things to do. Tearing up things is much more rewarding than being good--I don't blame him I am sure if I let my 9 week old pup out in the yard I would for sure come back to bad things happening....to me that is a fact of life, so I don't allow her out like that.
The first year is keeping these dogs from obsessing about things, and developing the relationship to work WITH you. Nothing in life is free and Repo is getting ALOT of freebies. As I said earlier...you have let him develope a tone of obsessions already. Not a good way to start off.
I am not going to say I am the "guru" on border collies, but I have raised three herding bred dogs and they are a challenge. PERIOD.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:07 AM
A couple of things: I didn't think you could get more than one conformation title (i.e., once you've got the champion that's it), and so I think it's disingenuous to compare that one conformation championship with the multiple championships available in other venues. (Since of course you'll only ever have that one conformation CH on a particular dog whereas you can always get multiple "other CHs" depending on the performance event and organization that offers it.)
Originally posted by Columbia MO:
Hey, my "conformation dog" resents these comments! He has ONE conformation title (champion) and SIXTEEN titles in performance events, including herding. He's now doing AKC Advanced herding, USBCHA Novice (could do Ranch, but we're working out some kinks first), agility, obedience and tracking. He is a High In Trial obedience & agility dog and a Reserve High In Trial herding dog (from the HRDII class in AHBA).
I have no desire to discuss fast vs. slow or on vs. off switches as more often than not they are training and breeding issues, but for those who may be reading this and are unfamiliar with the various herding programs out there, I want to point out that neither AKC nor AHBA herding programs come anywhere close in difficulty to USBCHA type trials, as is clearly indicated by this dog who can do "AKC Advanced herding" and has an RHIT in an intermediate AHBA level and yet can run only in novice (lowest level) in USBCHA type trials. I don't know what the definition of ranch class in MO is, but even if it's the equivalent of east coast pro-novice, claiming "my dog could do it if...." is very typical of the folks from a conformation mind set. Also things like HIT and RHIT in AHBA refer to *one trial* and so aren't the equivalent of any championship anywhere. And for the record I don't think any strictly conformation bred dog, you know, those dogs with the perfect conformation to speed around the ring in agility, etc., has ever reached the highest levels of USBCHA type herding (and I'm not talking about dogs from working lines that have been dual registered, but rather strictly AKC conformation-bred dogs).
I've stayed out of the working bred vs. conformation bred bit on this discussion, but I think we should remember that the pup in question came from a puppy mill and in no way represents a well-bred working dog any more than Columbia's other dog does. To extrapolate anything about well-bred working dogs or their behavior from this probably poorly-bred mill puppy who happens to be registered with the ABCA does a grave disservice to true working dogs.
Off my soapbox now, and I'm sorry Columbia if these comments offend you, but I certainly don't want the regular border collie owners reading this thread or this general section to be left with misinformation about the real work and real tests of that work that true working-bred dogs do.
I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream. ~Vincent van Gogh
Willow, Farleigh, Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Twist (the troll), Katty Rat, Little Miss Larky Malarky, Phoebe (the rabid possum), Pipit (aka Goober), Ranger Danger, and Kestrel (aka Messy Kessie)
Willow's Rest, Tunis sheep and mule sheep
Willow's Rest Farm blog
Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:09 AM
I'm going to use the method that Sue Garrett used with her water-obsessed dog, Buzz. I will be taking him to the pond on a Flexi, practicing some obedience beside the water. When he complies, he can go in for a bit (on the Flexi). If he comes out when called, I'll let him resume swimming. If he refuses, I'll reel him in like a fish and we'll immediately head for home.
Don't worry--I'm not going to let him swim and ignore my "here" commands any more after that first time!
Posted 28 October 2005 - 05:23 AM
I have a friend who trains goose dogs. She loves the water-obsessed ones for obvious reasons. She trains in a pond where she knows she can go in and GET the dog if it ignores her drop dead recall command.
Swimming is terrific exercise for a pup. But I would suggest getting your waders on.
Cord, Ted, Gus, Sam - plus Maggie, Zhi, Lynn, Jetta, Lu, Min, and Tully
Posted 28 October 2005 - 06:34 AM
As far as the burrs are concerned, couldn't you just take Repo up to the pond without your other dogs? You said your other dogs didnt really need any changes, that they were ok with things like they are. He could probably use some one on one time with you anyway. Maybe you could work it out with your neighbors so that when you take repo up to the pond, your other dogs can run in the front yard.
Maria & Jenna
Posted 28 October 2005 - 08:37 AM
Adding more "run around like a freak" time to your dogs already freakish schedule is not going to solve your problem. It just gets these wired dogs a little more crazy and a little more difficult to calm down.
You need to un-teach every self satisfying behavior that dog has taught himself. There is nothing wrong with walks on leash for a pup. Taking off the leash isn't going to help you much - it's just going to make your obedience training of this dog much more difficult as you WON'T be able to reinforce your commands.
Settle this pup by limiting his access to the world. Control his behavior by controlling his enviornment.
A marathon runner trains to run as long and as hard as they can. After running a mile for 4 weeks that mile becomes very easy and not tiring at all. Giving your dog more only builds his stamina and makes him NEED more in order to get tired.
Building a routine of down time in a crate with limited access to ANYTHING is how you train the off switch. NOT by letting the dog run like a mad-man off leash.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 08:52 AM
I ordered a book and implemented parts of it and am still reading it...Ruff Love by Susan Garrett...an author that I believe the OP mentioned above. The concept is very similar to NILIF concept. I think pup just needs more structure to its life but not necessarily meaning a daily structured routine.
Originally posted by BigD:
Building a routine of down time in a crate with limited access to ANYTHING is how you train the off switch. NOT by letting the dog run like a mad-man off leash.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:16 AM
>we should remember that the pup in question came from a puppy mill and in no way represents a well-bred working dog any more than Columbia's other dog does
You are totally wrong on both counts.
First of all, Repo definitely came from a puppy mill, but he is quite a well bred herding dog. Both his parents were bought from decent working stockdog breeders under false pretenses. With the help of ABCA, I tracked down these breeders, and they were shocked to find out that the person they sold them to had been a puppy miller--one actually burst into tears when he heard the news.
Repo's dam's breeder is a veterinarian here in town with two working dogs. The female (Repo's grandmother) was imported from Ireland. The male is the son of a multi- Open trial winner.
Repo's sire was bred by another Open level competitor in SW Missouri, and that dog's sire is a son of a dog named Job, another multi Open trial winner who was the foundation dog of my herding instructor. Repo is apparently a dead ringer for Job, both in looks and temperament.
I have no beef at all with his genetics, his working aptitude, etc. He is already VERY stylish and if I can get enough access to sheep, may even make a great Nursery dog. He does have a very glaring conformation fault in that he is very cowhocked and narrow in the rear, to the point that his hocks slam against each other when he moves. He is still very fast, and I do think that some degree of cowhocks adds to a faster turn, so I'm withholding judgement whether or not the cowhocks are a disability until he is old enough to do real work.
The "puppy mill" portion of Repo's background was the neglect: he was kept at a run-down place with 40 dogs running around, some caged, many loose, some dead and left in the yard, and a bunch of puppies covered with parasites and very anemic. Now that Repo is healthy, I certainly can't blame any part of his behavior on being from a puppy mill (in fact, he has a very friendly and outgoing temperament and is bombproof around noises or the "unexpected"). Repo is just a very exhuberant puppy with no off switch, and I have known many BCs just like him from both conformation lines and herding lines.
Lets all learn to treat dogs as individuals: Not "all conformation-lines dogs are lazy, slow, and crappy at herding" and "all herding dogs are fabulous workers, active and high maintenance." I know so many exceptions to both statements that I can tell you that there is no truth at all to either statement.
About my conformation dog, there are in fact various conformation titles available, including championships offered by nearly every developed country, international championships (from FCI), German style evaluations of conformation, not to mention AKC and UKC, which both have different requirements.
In addition, after a dog earns its AKC championship, many go on to be "specials," meaning they are shown against other champions to rack up points towards "Top 10 BC of 2005," or "Top Herding Group Dog" based on points earned in group wins, etc. These are not titles, as such, but are much craved by a small fraction of show people. Because I only show for fun, a spirit of competitiveness, and to make sure any prospective breeding dog has good structure, I got his AKC championship and stopped there.
In addition, you are also asking a lot for my dog--conformation bred or otherwise--to be doing Open level work when he is 3 yrs. old and has actually been in a pen with sheep or cattle about 80 times in his entire life, including trials. Since last November, he has had exactly six practice sessions (most 10 min. each), and still managed to compete at three USBCHA Novice trials, where he came in at the middle of the pack against a dozen or so dogs that all get to work daily.
The reason he is not winning Novice and going on to compete in Ranch is that he developed a new habit this spring of crossing over on his outrun to hold the sheep to the setout person. And no, that's not because he's a "show dog" but because he enjoys working for knowledgeable men more than for me... and he figures the setout guy at the other end looks a lot more sheep-savvy than I do! We are going to two clinics in the next month (Danny Shilling and Kathy Knox) in order to address this issue before we move up to Ranch.
By the way, you folks that are constantly dissing AKC herding trials have obviously never been to one, and it shows. I will definitely agree that the AKC A course is easy, but the AKC B course is identical in every way to USBCHA. AKC Started = USBCHA Novice, Intermediate = Pro-Novice/Ranch, Advanced = Open. Many AKC and USBCHA trials are held at the exact same venues, with the same sheep, same obstacles, same distances, same obstacle settings and same JUDGES. In fact, most or all of our AKC and AHBA judges so far have also been USBCHA judges.
By the way, the highest scoring American at the Internation Sheepdog Championships in Ireland this year was Robin Penland, who competed with two dogs that she bred and trained.
Robin's dogs are all AKC registered. She is both an AKC and USBCHA judge, and has two dogs in the USBCHA top rankings.
At the AKC Border Collie National Specialty this year, Robin was the show secretary in charge of.... conformation.
If the American that scored highest at the Internationals respects AKC conformation shows, I would hope that any lesser people in the herding world would also get off their high horses about the alledged "division" between show and herding dogs and treat each dog as an individual rather than a "first class" (i.e. herding bred) or "second class" citizen.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:51 AM
AND--I will say this as I have seen it over and over again--there are dogs that are best for beginner herding people and then there are dogs that are best for experienced people. I have found that the "easier dogs" get out there and trial quicker with novice handlers..and might even win. Those dogs you don't have to hold the reins on. But I like the dogs you have to hold them down a notch. They are more of a handful, but when they are ready...watch out! So remember that when you are comparing dogs (although you shouldn't be according to your post). Just because a dog starts out pushy and close on stock and in a hurry--doesn't make it a bad dog.
The bottom line is this: Put the ego aside with the other BC, don't expect Repo to act like him, they are not the same dog. Don't blame it on their breeding whether he is herding/show/agilty whatever bred. When you do go to that Kathy Knox clinic..I am sure you will hear her "ego and pride" speech...take it to heart. There is no place for it in dog training.
Maybe you should talk to Kathy about his behaviour..I am sure she would tell you the same stuff all of us are saying...in fact I almost guarantee it As she has taught me everything I basically know about these dogs and how to handle them properly.
The BOTTOM LINE---You haven't held up your end of the deal in his training...start doing it.
Teach him an off switch, don't let him self reward, and work him mentally, not just physically---if he needs more work than your "other dogs" then so be it..step up to the plate and work the dog more. Don't look at it as a pain in the rear, look at this animal as a dog that NEEDS to herd...there is a difference between wants to herd really really badly and NEEDS to herd. A HUGE difference.
I don't care if the dog was a Yorkie....it is exhibiting boredom behaviour, and becoming OCD about EVERYTHING, I would never put up with that, right now my 2 are resting..one in the middle of the livingroom and my pup in her x-pen...QUIETLY.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 09:52 AM
I think what you are missing here is that most dogs have been taught to have an "off-switch". Tess would go for hours if I let her as she has tremendous drive and energy; however, I do not tolerate constant activity...she needs a break and so do I.
Originally posted by Columbia MO:
Repo is just a very exhuberant puppy with no off switch, and I have known many BCs just like him from both conformation lines and herding lines.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:07 AM
Sharon, I think you're missing the point. Julie said, "we should remember that the pup in question came from a puppy mill and in no way represents a well-bred working dog any more than Columbia's other dog does."
It's fabulous that Repo's parents both come from working lines, and that one breeder cared so much that they burst into tears, but that's neither here nor there. The point is that Repo's breeder has never proven her dogs' working ability, and has no idea how one dog would compliment another as far as working ability is concerned. Just because a male dog and a female dog may have come out of nice lines does not automatically mean that breeding that male to that female will get a good result. Repo's breeder is clueless about a dog's working ability, and those litters were produced for money. So I think Julie's statement hit the nail on the head.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:13 AM
That is true--I had an ACD that was born with no off switch, too, but got one "trained in" later. At 7 weeks old, I had to walk the ACD 4 miles each morning (offleash on dirt hiking trails) just to take the edge off--he was sooooo athletic. Even Repo probably couldn't have kept up with that baby ACD! In fact, most 7 week old puppies I've known couldn't make it around a block very well without getting tired.
I think the thing about Repo is that I was taken a bit off-guard by his energy level. When I started fostering him, he had come straight from puppy-mill life, where he likley had no exercise. He was loaded with internal & external parasites, coccidia and was very malnourished and anemic.
Right after his arrival, he slept most of the time or played a bit with my other dogs. He couldn't focus on clicker training sessions for more than about 2 minutes at first, which was very low for a 15 week old puppy, but understandable given his condition.
After a week or two, he could focus a bit longer for training, and learned to do a couple of easy things like sit/down. And he was able to take a walk of about 1/3 mile (equivalent to going around one city block)... though he would zonk out sound asleep right after we got home.
In fact, he even toppled over sound asleep sometimes after bringing me a ball a few times at the computer (which I ignored). He almost seemed to be narcoleptic a couple of times! So I had thought of him as a pretty low energy puppy.
But after all the parasites got cured and he got on some good chow, the REAL Repo came out. However, that didn't happen until just 8 weeks ago or so, at 5 months old. Because of his low energy before, I never bothered to work on a "settle" or on extended stays or anything you'd do with a typical high-energy puppy. So now I'm gonna get started.
We're having our first private lesson with my friend Betty tomorrow morning. She is a local OTCH trainer and BC owner.
However, other than bringing balls and dropping them all around me so many times every evening, Repo is great in the house. He is housetrained, totally non-destructive (the destruction is in the puppy room while I'm at work), makes eye contact and sits for everything (all the dogs are on NILIF), will not run through an open gate but waits for permission, and I can recall him away from people, other dogs, ducks, sheep, cars.... but apparently not the pond!
So the hooligan example I gave in my original post is not to say that he's a bad boy or trouble-maker normally. Just that he gets bored and needs more exercise... and that no matter how puppy-proofed you make a puppy room, there is always some puppy that can figure out how to knock 4' fluorescent bulbs down from the ceiling so he can take them out in the yard and bury them!
Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:32 AM
We can all learn a little something from everyone on these boards and that is why we come here...to learn and talk amongst people we would like to call "friends". So I'll be glad when you can take something away from this thread and Repo becomes better for it.
You had told me in a recent post that all dogs are food motivated. I think that my dog is NOT food motivated but I took your advice and tried something very yummy last night for weave pole training and Keegan enthusically did the training for me. I also had to give him an easy command because he nibbled my fingers to death. You also said to take his normal feedings away and give food to him during training.
So take that same advice here and take your dog away from his comfortable time in the house where you might already have trained an "off-switch" and train him during a difficult time to have an "off-switch". Does that make sense?
Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:35 AM
> It's fabulous that Repo's parents both come from working lines .... Just because a male dog and a female dog may have come out of nice lines does not automatically mean that breeding that male to that female will get a good result.
I do agree that just because two dogs are good workers they will not produce a good worker. I have met numerous ABCA registered dogs that will not even look at sheep.
However, I guess there is a difference in opinions of the definition of "well bred."
You and Julie are seeing this phrase as referring to the qualities of the BREEDER and her intentions. Or in other words "bred by a knowledgeable breeder based on information on the working abilities, structure and temperaments of both parents." Which I agree is the goal that should be behind every breeding. (And I would strongly agree also that people from any registry should not be breeding BCs unless they have evidence of working ability, not merely "instinct").
I'm using "well bred" in the more common usage, in which I'm referring to the PRODUCT of the breeding--that is, the puppy--having good qualities. All I'm trying to say is that both Repo and my adult BC happen to have turned out to have great herding and sports abilities (or potential, in the case of Repo). That their abilities are somewhat unexpected is beside the point. I consider them "well bred" for herding because their various pairs of genes combined to make them both into dogs that have excelled or are likely to excel in both herding and a bunch of other sports. (Repo had his first herding lesson in an arena at the Ozark Empire Fair this month, and I had serious offers of trial people wanting to buy him due to his style and eye).
The fact that one was bred to be a conformation/sport dog and one was bred based on color (Repo's breeder priced puppies higher if they had unusual colors or ticking) doesn't negate the fact that they both turned out to be nice, "well bred" dogs. It just depends on whether you're definining well-bred by the breeder and her intentions, or by the final result--the dog--and his abilities.
So I can see your point, but wanted to explain what my definition was.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:42 AM
> take your dog away from his comfortable time in the house where you might already have trained an "off-switch" and train him during a difficult time to have an "off-switch". Does that make sense?
Yes! And thanks for letting me know that your dog finally responded to some food. What did you use that finally turned him into a little "shark"?
About training in the off-switch, you are right. I'm going to take your advice, using the method in Sue Garrett's new book. She basically uses NILIF even during training sessions. If Repo loves tunnels, I won't let him do a tunnel without first doing something like eye contact, 30 sec. stay, roll over, tug with me before entering the tunnel, etc. This is also what I'll do at the pond.
I have also started doing something else from her book which is to avoid creeping start lines. You have the puppy sit, do a lead out, then instead of saying "go!" you ask for other position changes, such as down, stand, back up, etc. Then you go back and reward with food or a tuggy. Is this the kind of off switch training you're talking about?
I also think I should start either crating Repo or tying him to a doorknob for 15 min. or so right after a training session, just so he learns to settle down when asked. Right now, he is at liberty all evening to bring me those 500 balls that I don't throw... and he's very distracting even when I try not to acknowledge him in any way!
Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:03 AM
In a way you are teaching control which is what I mean by the "off-switch" which is basically what you were saying above.
I would definitely crate him to give him a relaxation period of sorts during your down time. Tess learned to relax much better than Keegan. Keegan had a lot of time in his crate in order to learn to relax himself.
Good luck...and remember to stop making excuses, realize what the problem is because if you make excuses for it then you might overlook something. In your replies you have made excuses for his behavior such as he comes from strong herding lines. Well, my Tess comes from strong herding lines and she knows what I mean by "go lie down". Sometimes it is hard to admit we have made a mistake in our training.
Posted 28 October 2005 - 02:25 PM
Hmmm, how old was Twist when you moved her to Open, Julie? And how many sheep did you have when you did that?
In addition, you are also asking a lot for my dog--conformation bred or otherwise--to be doing Open level work when he is 3 yrs. old and has actually been in a pen with sheep or cattle about 80 times in his entire life, including trials.
There's a dead horse here stinkin' up the place but I CANNOT let this pass unchallenged:
AKC Started: "The Started class minimum outrun shall be 60 feet for ducks and 150 feet for sheep and cattle. The maximum outrun will be no more than 100 feet for ducks and 300 feet for sheep and cattle. "
AKC Started = USBCHA Novice, Intermediate = Pro-Novice/Ranch, Advanced = Open. Many AKC and USBCHA trials are held at the exact same venues, with the same sheep, same obstacles, same distances, same obstacle settings and same JUDGES
I have seen AKC trials. Here, the minimum started outrun (50 yards) is usual and widely accepted. Typical novice course is 75 to 100 yards.
AKC Intermediate: "The Intermediate class minimum outrun shall be 75 feet for ducks and 300 feet for sheep and cattle. The maximum outrun shall be no more than 150 feet for ducks and 600 feet for sheep and cattle."
Again, the minimum is more usual than the maximum. The setout for Pronovice around here is typically between 150 to 250 yards. Already there is a substantial difference. Add to that the fact that the drive is assisted and there is little comparison even at this very basic level.
As to Open and Advanced being comparable!
"The Advanced class minimum outrun shall be 100 feet for ducks and 350 feet for sheep and cattle. The maximum outrun shall be no more than 150 feet for ducks and 1,200 feet for sheep and cattle. "
The usual distance for setout for USBCHA sanctioned Open courses are around 350 yards - it's much more in several notable trials where the Open dogs are expected to find their sheep at distances of 600 yards or more. But outrun distance is no complete test of a Border collie's abilities.
There are no rules in USBCHA Open for what kind of stock is to be used, or whether the dog should be able to see the setout around the entire outrun, or the shape or size of the field. Course directors may add additional obstacles at will, change around the tasks, or even change the shape of the usual course.
It's a totally different mindset - it's all about setting high standards rather than leveling the playing field so most dogs look good.
And yes, I know whereof I speak - I'm having an AHBA trial here this weekend with all courses - HTD is similiar to AKC - it offers more similiarities to the novice trials in fact - but the very fact that I can set it up in my little three acre paddock rather amuses me. I'll be full of admiration for the Shelties, Bouviers, Tervs, and Aussies that can run the full course - but to think that this - or any title-oriented venue - is a true test of a Border collie's full potential is laughable.
Cord, Ted, Gus, Sam - plus Maggie, Zhi, Lynn, Jetta, Lu, Min, and Tully
Posted 28 October 2005 - 03:15 PM
Not true. I diss them all the time, and I've been to several.
<< I will definitely agree that the AKC A course is easy, but the AKC B course is identical in every way to USBCHA. AKC Started = USBCHA Novice, Intermediate = Pro-Novice/Ranch, Advanced = Open. >>
Nonsense. The minimum outrun distance for Advanced B Course is 350 FEET (i.e., less than 120 yards). For Started B it is 150 FEET (50 yards). From what I've seen, very rarely does a course exceed the required minimum. The chief difference I've observed is in the sheep, which under AKC rules must be "dog broke," "reliably familiar with obstacles and their negotiation," and "pliable and maneuverable." In the trials I saw, they sure were! The concept of trying to make the sheep easy is foreign to USBCHA trialing.
<< Many AKC and USBCHA trials are held at the exact same venues, with the same sheep, same obstacles, same distances, same obstacle settings and same JUDGES. >>
A couple might be, but certainly not "many." Moreover, there simply aren't that many B Courses offered. The vast majority of AKC trials are A Course only.
<< In fact, most or all of our AKC and AHBA judges so far have also been USBCHA judges. >>
Don't know what "our" refers to. Most AKC judges have never been near a USBCHA trial.
<< By the way, the highest scoring American at the Internation Sheepdog Championships in Ireland this year was Robin Penland, who competed with two dogs that she bred and trained. >>
I assume you mean the World Trial, not the International. She did compete in the WT. She was certainly not the highest scoring American. According to the results posted on the World Trial site, she was not even close to being the highest-scoring American. She did not get through to the semi-finals.
<< Robin's dogs are all AKC registered. She is both an AKC and USBCHA judge, and has two dogs in the USBCHA top rankings. >>
Sadly, this is true. (Well, it's not true that she has any dogs in the USBCHA rankings at the moment, but I should think she will by the end of the year.) Fortunately, this is not typical, it is anomalous.
<< At the AKC Border Collie National Specialty this year, Robin was the show secretary in charge of.... conformation. >>
This is probably true also. I know of only two USBCHA Open handlers who engage in conformation, despite the obvious marketing incentive to do so, so this too is not typical.
<< If the American that scored highest at the Internationals respects AKC conformation shows, I would hope that any lesser people in the herding world would also get off their high horses about the alledged "division" between show and herding dogs . . . >>
Again, Robin is not the American that scored highest at the Internationals. Even if she were, it wouldn't change the fact that there is a manifest division between show and herding dogs. How can anyone dispute this?
I've said this before, but it bears saying again. It's easy to ascertain the truth or falsity of a statement like "Robin Penland scored highest at the Internationals." Other less-specific statements, or statements where the underlying information is not as accessible, are not so easily verifiable. This is something that should always be kept in mind in reading anonymous posts.
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