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Eileen Stein

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    Shady Side, MD, USA

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  1. Bingo! It WAS a result of the last update, but finally we tumbled to it and got it fixed.
  2. I've just received word that the DNA test for EAOD will not be available this month, as hoped. The new estimated availability date is March/April. I'm guessing that means April. I've learned over the years that it's not uncommon for it to take longer than first anticipated to bring a new test to functional availability to the general public. I know we are all disappointed to have to wait a few more months to test our dogs, but the delay is not due to any problems with the test itself, only to getting it reliably implemented.
  3. This thread has been moved to General Border Collie Discussion.
  4. Lenie and jami74, It sounds to me as if you have good concerns, and are addressing them well. One thing I haven't seen addressed -- possibly because it sounds like a criticism although it absolutely isn't -- is the fact that both of you have been frustrated because you want your dog to look good (naturally!) but s/he isn't looking good in front of people. People are thinking your dog is bad, when you know that s/he is not. This is a universal feeling among relatively new dog owners -- so natural that it would be strange if you did NOT feel it. But don't overlook the fact that these are sensitive dogs, and they are well aware that you are unhappy and frustrated, and a normal reaction to that is for the dog to feel an increased sense that things are "not right," which in turn contributes to some degree of desperation and uncontrolled behavior. I feel silly saying, "Don't feel that way. Don't worry about what others are thinking," because that's probably advice that hardly anyone could follow. You feel what you feel. But just think about the parallel between your not being able to ignore your concern about others disapproving of your dog, and your dog's not being able to ignore your your frustration with him/her (as well as the other strange things surrounding him/her). So what I would just say is try your best to eliminate that factor. Try your best to forget that others are watching you and may be judging you. Try to make it be an interaction between you and your dog where you're trying to help him/her understand what behavior you're asking for, without regard to whether s/he knows it at home, or s/he's just anxious, or s/he's not alpha, or whatever. Try to make yourself the best you can be for your dog. This may not be advice you need right now, since both of you are not going to be attending classes at present (and I'd say that's good). But maybe it's something to keep in mind for the future.
  5. This forum is for questions about training stockdogs. I'm moving your post to the General Border Collie Discussion forum, where I think you'll get more responses.
  6. I am moving this question to the General Border Collie Discussion forum.
  7. According to their website, all of their females are merles. You cannot get merle coloration accidentally. It is dominant, so one parent must be merle to produce merle. Likewise, you cannot breed two merles together -- well you can, actually, but you wouldn't want to, because of increased risk of defects in sight or hearing in the puppies. So all of their males are solid colors, either red or gold, and each could be bred to any of their females with a statistical probability of getting merle puppies. Not a single dog or bitch is black or black tri, the most typical coloration by far in border collies. One is gold (ee red), which is rare, not found in any working dogs that I've ever met -- if you've bought in a gold pup it is in order to breed for color. I cannot imagine a kennel with that array of colors that is not breeding primarily for "unusual colors." The huge red flag for me is that they are not breeding for working (herding) ability. Both what they say and what they don't say make that very clear. They are breeding for multi-color pets that run fast. I would see nothing wrong with that if the dogs were another breed, but that's not what border collies should be bred for.
  8. The Ask an Expert forum is for questions about working stockdogs, so I'm moving this thread to the General Border Collie Discussion forum.
  9. Donald's passing is a loss to all of us. He cared so much for his dogs and for the working border collie breed, and always went the extra mile trying to do right by them. He was a unique, irreplaceable figure in the border collie world. Rest in peace, Donald -- you will be missed, and remembered.
  10. There is no "incorrect, outdated and misleading info" on the thread about the thread's subject, "Which Heartworm Preventative is Safe for My Border Collie?" There are several dated statements noting that the MDR1 mutation has not been found in border collies as of the date specified. While those statements were correct when they were posted, the post has now been edited with an update that gives the current status.
  11. I'm sorry, I've tried -- I've even re-read the whole thread -- but I just can't read that the way you're reading it. It's very clear to me that Mark was posing a hypothetical question about a theoretical dog who was an international supreme champion or a national champion -- a dog of undisputed superior working ability. He thought that would crystalize the point he was trying to make. (I have no idea what being European nursery champion even is.) You and Journey may have been thinking of this particular dog, but I assure you Mark was thinking about dogs carrying MDR1 in general, if only because ABCA and ABCA HEF would not legislate or regulate about one particular dog. The fact that taking action against one particular dog owner seemed to be what Journey was looking for was one reason it was hard to respond to her. When we make rules, we make rules of general application. The fact that you were thinking of one particular dog while we were thinking of how to deal with MDR1 in the breed probably also gives rise to Journey's repeated implications that we are not taking action because we are shielding or catering to one particular dog owner, which from our point of view is preposterous. The answer to your last question is that no, I did not know what dog was being talked about until you began describing a particular dog in your first post to this thread. I still don't know who owns the dog, although I assume Denise does know, since she is the director who is now trying to look into this particular situation. We do give information on the genetic defects that affect our breed. Look at the Genetic Mutations section of the HEF website, which I cited above. Mark Billadeau himself has personally been monitoring the MDR1 mutation for at least 12 years, periodically contacting researchers at UCDavis who have been tracking the incidence of the mutation. There has barely been a trace of an incidence in border collies found up until very recently, which is naturally what we reported. (Note: I passed over your comment about finding Mark "very condescending" earlier because one of the reasons it's against the rules on these Boards to insult posters personally is that it has a way of leading discussions off-topic, and I didn't want to go off-topic. But I have to say that Mark loves the breed no less than you do, and makes a tremendous contribution to the health of our dogs. He devotes a major part of his time to understanding and informing people about health considerations affecting our breed, using scientific knowledge that very few of us are fortunate enough to have. He links to research that he hopes will help people to understand more difficult concepts. I think you make a mistake in disparaging his contributions. I don't see how he can win. If he references studies using scientific terminology, you say you don't know a heterozygote from a billy goat and think he's condescending not to use terms you can understand; if he simplifies, you think he's condescending because he acts like you aren't smart enough to comprehend scientific language. It must be hard to give so much time and effort to advance the health of our breed, only to be personally disparaged.) We are not going to provide a list of dogs carrying the MDR1 mutation or their owners. ABCA provides the HVB list because the registry has solid, uncontestable information about how many pups breeders register, it is very difficult for puppy buyers to obtain this information, and we believe puppy buyers should have access to it in making their purchasing choices. We do not provide information about the health test status of individual dogs because we believe in the long run it would drive breeders/owners to refrain from testing and/or to conceal health problems in their dogs to avoid such publication, and we think it is better to encourage openness about testing and sharing test results. I don't think Journey or you have been abused, and I know you haven't been dismissed. We welcome health information from anyone. We are not running around with our hair on fire -- I don't think that's our role. But we are trying to monitor and address MDR1 in the soundest and best way we can.
  12. Just to be clear, when Mark wrote "Do you want to ban the breeding of a national or international champion if it is mdr1m/n?" he was not referring to the particular dog you have spoken of (who is not a national or international champion). He was asking if a dog of undeniably superior working ability should be removed from the gene pool because he has a mutation that causes sensitivity to certain drugs. I think that's a fair question. I do see an inclination on the part of many people to get more upset about a problem you can test for, whatever it might be, than the overall level of working ability in the gene pool, which is more amorphous and harder to reduce to a number or a yes/no. I think it's a natural human tendency, but one we should resist. I wasn't being snarky or trying to suggest that you lack scientific qualifications when I asked what you'd recommend -- I genuinely wanted to know. Do you want more regulation of breeding on the part of the registry -- saying who owners/breeders can breed to and who they can't? That level of regulation, which is found in many countries, is not one that I think most people would find acceptable here in the US. Do you think the ABCA should expel members for breeding dogs with certain mutations, and if so, what mutations would those be? Do you think the ABCA should require genetic tests for registration, and deny registration to dogs who test positive for certain mutations? There are a number of reasons that we don't do that, and I think they're good reasons. Now it is sounding more as if you favor an educational approach, and with that I agree. We have tried to do that with the ABCA Code of Ethics and Best Practices and in the Genetic Diseases section on the HEF website. The MDR1 (ABCB1) entry there is not perfect, and we are trying to investigate further and expect that it will be improved over time. We have also discussed developing a separate article for the Health and Genetics section that would discuss inheritance patterns that are less widely known than simple dominant and recessive, which we could link to from the MDR1 entry. I expect we will probably do this when time permits. I doubt we will have a page where you could go to record any issues you are having with a pup, but others have done that with regard to other heritable diseases. I think that discussions with friends and acquaintances about the problem as you've encountered it, and recommending against buying a dog from an MDR1 carrier is a legitimate and effective way to advance your point of view. I think that kind of "consumer pressure" has resulted in a greater acceptance of genetic testing than existed when I first got into this -- it has probably had at least as much effect in changing attitudes as the continuing and significant efforts of the ABCA.
  13. You were not one of the persons I was referring to that Denise has contacted. I don't know who Eileen is, but I'm pretty sure she too is not one of the persons Denise has tried to contact. I believe Little Bo Boop is one, however. The information you mention re test results in the UK is third-hand to me, but if it is correct, those UK breeders can surely pass it on to the ISDS with more credibility than ABCA -- which has never seen these test results -- could do.
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