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Eileen Stein

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Posts posted by Eileen Stein

  1. What I'm going to say seems to be the minority view on these Boards, but I'd say it's the majority view among working dog people.


    IMO, a dog should know what a correction is. I use "Ahhp" and it's important to me that the dog learn that if she hears it, it means that what she is doing, or is about to do, is wrong. You don't have to bellow it or use an intimidating tone -- once the pup learns that it's a correction, you can use it in a soft, reminding tone. The length of time it takes for a pup to learn that it's a universal "No" can vary a lot, but you'll know it's happened when she discontinues doing what she was doing or was thinking about doing.


    Very seldom do I care what she does instead. When she's little, I would likely give her a chew toy at that point to show her that there are other okay things to do that are fun, or take her outside to show her that's where she's supposed to go. But that's early in training, when she's pretty clueless in general. I would hope not to have a grown up dog that had to be shown "what I want her to do," when there isn't anything I want her to do except stop doing what she's doing. My ultimate aim is for her to know that she has to stop what she's doing, and then decide for herself what she wants to do instead. A working sheepdog needs to think for herself in many situations, and by approaching training this way I feel you're more likely to develop a thinking dog.


    I think it does matter somewhat what word/sound you use as a correction/interruptor. I like "ahhp" because it is not used in ordinary conversation, and because it is a sharper sound (no matter how you say it) than "no." Just by its sound, to the dog it comes across more like a warning than "no." And the person who says it is less likely to feel oppositional when they say it than when they say "no." Which matters, because you are not your dog's opponent in training, you are her partner. This may seem fanciful, but I do think these subtle characteristics of sound and usage make a difference. For those reasons, I think "stop" would come across better than "no" for what you would want to convey. But not as well as "ahhp." :)

  2. Eileen, I had already let you know that when I went to submit Freya on the web page I had no response. I tried again, still no response.



    I don't believe this is so. My recollection is that you posted about Freya (not by name, but that you had a dog to contribute) a number of times in various places, and either I contacted you privately about her or you contacted me privately about her, with no mention of your having submitted her on the website. If you HAD tried to submit her via the website and gotten no response, I think it's odd you wouldn't have mentioned that in post #10. ETA: Also, on re-reading the posts between #10 and #18, I see that you told Mark you DIDN'T fill out a form for Freya because she didn't seem to meet any of the criteria.


    A TW (not TM) from the southwest submitted a form, and has contributed samples. No PP from New England.


    I just now tried to troubleshoot the website function by filling out the form myself for an imaginary dog called Tester, and submitting it. I received the forwarded form about a minute later. There is no apparent malfunction.


    I see nothing to be gained by continuing to go back and forth about this. I had my say, and so did you. It is what it is. I hope we can all support this research, as we all (and all our dogs) stand to benefit from it.

  3. I read the forms from the website. We have not had a lot of submissions by that means -- no more than 20 total, I would estimate. We have not had any from you, either for Freya or for the dog you're speaking about here, and it doesn't appear we've had one from your "friend," although without knowing his name I can't be totally sure.


    I suppose it's possible that there's some kind of defect in the automated website transmission. In view of what you've written here, I will consult with the webmaster and try to figure out if there is a problem. But I can't help thinking that -- since you know Mark and I would be the people to contact to report a problem, and you know how to contact us -- it would be more constructive to have done that so that we could investigate whether there's a glitch before griping about how unresponsive we are on various public forums/Facebook.

  4. Hi Maja, I'm not Mark but I'll jump in here. Many thanks for the offer.

    The Principal Investigator in the research we are sponsoring (Dr.Hannes Lohi of the University of Helsinki, working in collaboration with Dr. James Mickelson at the University of Minnesota) is actually overseas also, so I don't think this would be a stumbling block. The samples we collect go through UMinn, where the DNA is extracted, but we will try to find out whether that is necessary, or whether you could submit directly to Dr. Lohi's laboratory.

    I should probably mention in general that these researchers are members of an international consortium which makes possible confidential sharing of data from samples among its participants. So this research is able to draw on thousands of samples collected from border collies in different countries, in addition to the ones we in North America are able to provide.

  5. In Mark's post he detailed the steps that are necessary to find the mutation(s), develop a test for it/them, and validate that test. It may sound discouraging that so many steps must be gone through, but I want to make sure no one misinterprets this to mean that we won't end up with a test like the one for CEA. Indeed, that is the goal, and at the end of the process we have every reason to hope and expect that we will have a test just like that. How long it will take to get there, it is impossible to predict.


    Journey, as I recall it has been a month or two since we asked if any of the interim report could be publicly released. Frankly, I expected that they would not want to have it released to the public. It is research in progress. Nor do I think it would be very helpful to anyone but a molecular geneticist. It is predominately things like "We were able to define the critical region to a XXXXXXX region based on XXX. . . . In addition, when [doing XXXX], the region was further narrowed down to XXXXXXXX. . . . The XXXXX gene speculated in the previous study is excluded by our study." I think it's safe to pass on that they did find support for the mode of inheritance being recessive.

  6. Liz, you keep posting stuff like this in various places -- including last year in page 1 of this very thread (see post #10 and post #17) -- making it sound as if the HEF is not responsive to dog owners wishing to submit samples, and that we are causing people to be "frustrated and lose faith in the study." I have called you on it privately a couple of times, but at this point I want to say publicly that I don't know what you're talking about.


    During calendar 2017 alone, through intensive effort, we collected samples from, and administered free BAER tests to, over 300 dogs. We have initiated contact with other dogs who are of interest for the particular phase the study is in, as well as taking samples from people who have contacted us directly. You yourself have provided a sample (see posts #10 and #17), so you certainly know how to contact us. I don't know why you tried to make it sound as if you had had no contact from us regarding giving that sample. Sadly, at this point it is difficult for me to escape the conclusion that you yourself are trying to cause people to be frustrated and lose faith in the study.

  7. Again this year the ABCA Health & Education Foundation (HEF) will be sponsoring a health clinic at the USBCHA sheepdog finals. BAER testing will be offered, as well as DNA sample collection. The clinic will take place over 3 days -- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Sept 27-29). Colette Williams will be administering the hearing tests, as she did last year. Participating dogs must be registered with the ABCA, but they do not have to be entered in the finals to take part. There is no charge for participating.

    This is a great opportunity to find out your dog's hearing status at no cost to you, as well as to contribute data to the study aimed at finding the genetic mutation that causes Early Adult Onset Deafness. All dogs are welcome as time permits; dogs with EAOD in their pedigrees and offspring are especially welcome; and dogs who are over the age of 8 with no apparent hearing loss and with offspring who have no hearing loss are also especially welcome this time around.

    If you would like to enter dogs in the clinic, please email me at [email protected], including the names of the dogs you would like to bring. You will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire, and to provide a copy of each dog's registration certificate. All information provided and test results will be kept strictly confidential.

    Hope to see you at Belle Grove!


  8. I just wanted to comment that the OP's question is not one that can be dismissed out of hand. It is certainly theoretically possible for smooth-coated prick-eared border collies to have higher energy and drive than rough-coated ones with a softer ear set. Remember "Belyaev's foxes," the silver foxes that Belyaev and Trut bred for tameness? Over the generations, as the foxes became tamer and more people-centered by temperament, these behavioral changes brought with them changes in appearance, most notably in their coloring and markings, as well as in other behavioral characteristics (prolonged puppyhood, more frequent heat cycles). (There is a new book out, written by Trut, which deals with this project, called How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) -- I haven't read it yet, but I'm eager to.)


    Gene linkage is one possible explanation for this -- if a behavior you're breeding for happens to be caused by a gene that is in close proximity on the chromosome to a gene that affects appearance, the two would more likely be passed to offspring together. Changes in the production and timing of hormones by genes could be another explanation.


    So it could be the case that smooth coats and prick eared dogs could be higher in energy. But are they? You'd have to observe a lot more dogs than most people are able to do to answer that question. For example, my current pup is from a litter of eight, where four were smooth-coated and four were rough-coated. So far (they are 10 months old), there does not seem to be any correlation between coat and energy level in the pups, but that is a very small sample.


    So I guess what I'm saying is that it is possible that smooth-coated prick-eared border collies have more energy and drive than those without these characteristics, but evidence that they actually do is lacking.

  9. I was just starting to answer this when Riika's good post popped up. I find the search function on this software kinda disappointing, so I can well believe you get better results using Google search. Finding threads like this by using the Boards search tools is greatly helped if you can remember one or more unusual word(s) that occurred in the thread, e.g., "Jester," " Wisecarver," and use those as your key words. If you can do that, you will get a manageable number of hits, as opposed to something like "puppy" or "breeder," which are no help at all. I should think the same is true using Google search.

  10. A lot of what you outline here is pretty normal behavior for a puppy.


    Submissive urination or urination from excitement is a puppy thing. Not all pups do it, but it's not unusual. It is something you just have to manage as best you can until the pup grows out of it. Try to have him greet your husband or meet new people outdoors, or on a tile floor. Ditto with correcting him -- avoid giving corrections strong enough to cause him to pee when he's on a rug or on furniture, and definitely don't correct him for submissive peeing -- it will only make him try to show more submission. You do say that the pup will pee if you don't throw the ball a lot with him or if you take toys away, but is that really the case? That would be much more unusual, and pretty odd.


    When your son plays and dances next to your pup, and the pup "bites him without warning," it could well be that he is soliciting play or responding to what he interprets as a play solicitation. Young pups typically bite one another when they run and play. If you find it hard to tell whether the biting is out of aggression or out of playfulness, it might be good to have an experienced trainer observe, as waffles suggests, so that you can be sure which it is, and act accordingly.


    I agree that you do not need to spend this much time throwing a ball for your pup. It only accustoms him to that level of exercise, which is more than you want. I agree that loose-leash walks, teaching tricks, and teaching impulse control would be better. There is also nothing wrong with crating a pup of this age 15 or 16 hours a day, properly spaced, IMO. As a start toward impulse control training, teach him to sit calmly before letting him out of his crate, and progress to teaching him to sit and stay before letting him out of his crate. You have the upper hand in that situation -- he cannot get the better of you, so you can be calm and effective. If you think he'll dart past you before you tell him it's okay to come out, and you might not be quick enough to shut the crate door, close the door to the room the crate is in before this exercise so he can't escape.


    There are a few things in your account that give me pause, for example:

    "he will find things to chew on, knowing we don't like it"

    "I don't mind spending the time with him. I just hate being bullied into it."

    "he loves to dart in front of me and stop so I trip over him"


    Please try not to attribute bad motives to your pup, even in your mind. I know it may be hard to do, but it's important to change that mindset. The pup finds things to chew on because pups like to chew in general, and are driven to chew when teething. He isn't bullying you, he's asking you to spend time with him; if you give in to that when it's more than you think is right, that's on you, not on him. He's not trying to trip you up, he's just drawn to want your company and be near you and interact with you. You need to discourage the behavior you don't like and encourage the behavior you do, and that takes time and patience and creativity. Of course you're very, very exasperated and frustrated with him, but it's an impediment to your training to let that come through to him, and please believe me, it comes through to him loud and clear. "What can I do, she doesn't like me!" That message is devastating to a border collie pup, and it cannot fail to get in the way of the messages you are trying to get across to him. You and he need to be a team in this effort to teach him what's wrong and what's right.


    I wish you the best with him, and that you will think it was all worth it as time goes by.



  11. Instead of bashing registries, why not put the same effort into making your County Commissioner aware of the pitfalls of restrictive laws?



    I find I can spread my efforts on behalf of border collies wider than a single issue. For example, I can oppose misguided legislation, support health research, and still try to make people aware of the pitfalls of various registries.

  12. Both types' fanciers need however to face the common enemy. If we do not unite against the animal rights movement we will fall, separately or together.


    I agree that we need to face common enemies and oppose common enemies. I don't agree that we need to "unite" against common enemies. If the AKC had known about this county initiative, no doubt they would have weighed in with their views. Likewise, if the ABCA had known about this county initiative, no doubt they would have weighed in with their views. I don't see any reason why the two organizations should unite to present their views. Seems to me that would probably be less effective rather than more.

  13. One more thought - I had a dog with IGS or the inability to absorb Vitamin B12 (cobalamine malabsorption). He had periodic runny poops from a very young age. At that time, this genetic issue was not widely recognized and the blood test that finally let us know what his problem was, did not give us that information until it was too late for him. So, if you've ruled out other things (parasites and protozoans, incompatibility with certain foodstuffs, etc.) and still have a problem (especially if your pup's appetite is also very on/off), you might consider testing for this. I'm not meaning to be an alarmist but if someone had only told me about IGS, it would have been an easy and inexpensive save for a good young dog that I miss every day. Your pup is still very young and this should simply be on your radar if the problems you are seeing do not appear to have a cause and persist.



    I agree that this is something that should be kept in mind if the problem doesn't resolve. It can be diagnosed with a DNA test, and if your pup should happen to have it, she can lead a fine and normal life with periodic cobalamin injections -- you can easily learn to give them yourself.


    However, I also agree with Sue that it's probably the least likely of the options that have been mentioned here, so you can wait awhile before pursuing it, especially if the pup is eating eagerly.

  14. Maybe I am 'overbuilding', but I have seen some dog/sheep interactions in the round pen where the sheep or dog quite forcefully met the fencing. It would have to stand up to that. [Hopefully that scenario wouldn't happen too often,]


    Actually, there's something to be said for 'underbuilding' a round pen. As you say, sheep can meet the fence forcefully when a young dog is just starting out. I built a pen with wood posts and cattle panels that looks very spiffy, but at a clinic held here a number of years ago one of the entered dogs ran a sheep into the fence, which broke its neck. I have another round pen, made of t-posts with woven wire field fence clipped to them (regular tube gate and wooden posts for the gate). It looks saggy and baggy by comparison, but the fencing has enough "give" to it that the same sheep would probably not have been injured at all. That's the pen I use now for beginner dogs.

  15. Liz, I understood that your sample was from Freya, who is now deceased? If you haven't already followed the procedure Mark suggested (or even if you have), you can mail your sample (it's a swab, right?) to me. The last time we discussed this was in August, and I suggested that you wait until somewhat cooler weather, not wanting to run the increased risk of bacterial growth in that heat. The researchers want 3 swabs per dog, so please send 3 if you have them. Please include a copy of Freya's pedigree and a completed questionnaire/consent form (see attached). Please send in a padded (not plastic) envelope. I will record your sample in the database and forward to UMN. The same goes if the bitch you're asking about is not Freya, but one who is alive now.

    If you need my address, or have any questions, please PM me. Thank you very much.
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