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Eileen Stein

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Everything posted by Eileen Stein

  1. If there currently existed a better test for EAOD, you can be sure ABCA would be telling you about it. But I don't believe that "any test is better than none." It depends on the accuracy of the test. I'm sure you can see how bad things could result if you relied on a test as being perfectly predictive when it wasn't. As a result of a Supreme Court case a few years ago, it's no longer possible to obtain or enforce a patent on genes or gene sequences that exist in nature. That's why you can now get CEA tests from many places, not just OptiGen or outfits that are licensed by OptiGen. So projectDOG would not be holding the results until they could get a patent. They might be unwilling to disclose their results for the exact opposite reason -- since they can no longer patent them, the only way to delay or prevent competitors from bringing out a test of their own would be by not disclosing their results -- keeping them as a trade secret. That does hinder any other researchers from building on their results. It would be helpful for canine research if they shared their results -- the five variants -- and it would enable peer review and make it possible to see if their findings can be replicated. But there are ways to help others to evaluate the test short of disclosing their results. More important are details about the procedures they used to find them -- number of dogs tested, how tested, known or unknown hearing status of the dogs, how the data was analyzed, etc. Obviously it's a lot easier to find a perfect correlation based on 3 dogs tested than based on 3,000 dogs tested. (I'm certainly not saying they tested only 3 dogs -- I don't know how many they tested.) I don't believe they'd be giving up any trade secrets by sharing that information. ETA: I want to emphasize that I'm not telling you not to buy the test! That is your decision to make, and I can well understand why you might want to go ahead and do it.
  2. I can't think of a legal theory under which we'd have a claim. We didn't specify that as a condition of giving the money.
  3. "the excuse"? ABCA found out that projectDOG was going to publicly offer this test for sale at exactly the same time that their website making the offer was published. We decided to issue a statement only as a result of members asking us to, and as result of statements being made on social media. Mike Neary posted here to let people know that ABCA and the foundation were deliberating on a statement. I don't think the length of time it took was unreasonable, or that we have made -- or needed to make -- an "excuse" for not doing it sooner. To the best of my knowledge, no one outside of the persons working on the statement or voting on the statement knew what was going to be in it. Some might have guessed, but I don't believe they knew.
  4. "got into bed with them"?? What the heck is that supposed to mean? PawPrint came to the ABCA with a proposal for a "partnership." (Seems to be the marketing buzzword for just about anything these days -- Clairol wants to partner with you to achieve glorious hair.) ABCA declined, because we felt it was inappropriate for the registry to "partner" with a commercial test vendor. I believe USBCHA did accept the partnership offer, whatever its significance might be. We do accept their CEA results, because the quality of their laboratory and personnel seems to be of high standard. If we were asked to accept CEA test results from projectDOG for pedigree notation we would need to find out what lab is doing their work and make a judgment accordingly. The ABCA has contributed money for research done by Mark and Alison, but not to the entity projectDOG.
  5. ABCA and the ABCA Health & Education Foundation have issued a joint statement regarding the EAOD test currently being offered by projectDOG. The statement can be found here.
  6. With sled dogs, the position of the driver is always the same -- directly behind the team -- so gee always means right, and haw always means left. Europeans and Brits have run in the Iditarod, and I suspect they use the same commands -- at least I never noticed they were reversed.
  7. I have made the post put up by "Stardew" unavailable for now. We do not allow posting of negative comments about breeders or trainers by people who are unwilling to provide their name and contact information. I will be contacting the poster to see if s/he is willing to identify him/herself.
  8. I have made the post immediately preceding the last six posts unavailable. We do not allow posting of negative comments about breeders or trainers by people who are unwilling to provide their name and contact information. I will be contacting the poster to see if s/he is willing to identify him/herself.
  9. I have removed a number of responses from people other than Amanda, who is the current Expert responding to questions in the "Ask an Expert" thread. I have pondered ways to better get across to new members that the "Ask an Expert" forum is for questions about training, working and trailing livestock-herding dogs, and only for questions directed to our "resident expert." If you want general responses from many members, or responses to questions that are not about stock dog training, using and trailing, your question should be posted in another forum, not this one. I understand there are going to be misposted questions from people not familiar with the Boards from time to time (although the OP's question was perfectly proper for this forum). It does surprise me, however, when many longtime members jump in to answer and discuss questions posted in this forum. Do you feel that we should not have a forum for working stockdog-related inquiries directed at a single expert? I would be glad to hear from you all on this question, but please post your responses and/or discussion in the "Wishes and Suggestions" forum (at the very bottom of the index page), rather than here. Thanks. --Eileen
  10. I couldn't have said it better myself. (And I too saw the stylistic similarities.) The posting referred to is anonymous, and on a site which invites consumers to post negative comments against a business (although they accept posts against individuals and non-profits such as ABCA as well), and then invites the business to purchase a service from the site which it claims will work to restore the victim's good name. The site refuses to remove any complaint, even if it is proved to be false and defamatory in court. Because I don't want to give this site any more hits, I have removed the posted link. (ETA: No offense, Riika -- I'm pretty sure you didn't post it because you agreed with it.) Anyone who cares to try hard enough can find the post, although I'd urge you not to do so. It's long, incoherent, false in many particulars, and contains no relevant information beyond what has been posted on other, reputable sites about this matter. Please don't repost the link here. If anyone wishes to criticize the ABCA's policy designed to inform both breeders and buyers as to the number of puppies produced by our highest volume breeders, and stating its opinion that high volume breeding is uncharacteristic of good working breeders, you are welcome to publish your own thoughts here.
  11. I'll just respond to this. When you say you didn't even make eye contact with Tessa at that point, it sounds as if you're saying that was an extreme measure. I think it's absolutely essential when working with a new, fearful dog. Not making eye contact diminishes the fear reaction better than any other single step. Not coaxing, likewise. I also don't insist on direct contact, but I offer direct contact. It is entirely up to the dog if she accepts my offer. When she does, she finds that choosing to interact with me was something safe for her.
  12. Yes, but there are things you would call flooding which would also do that, and are effective and humane. Did you really understand me to be saying that dogs would magically expect the floor to be a treat dispenser? I know that dogs accustomed to working with trainers who throw treats (and usually it doesn't take them more than a few minutes to get accustomed to this) know that the trainer is dispensing the treats. I know they want the treats. I know they're happy to work with trainers to get them to throw the treats. But when your whole purpose is to get a scared dog interacting with people, IMO it works better to focus on more direct interaction, not to act in a way that forecloses it at the start. I was not suggesting that dogs be subjected to overwhelming fear in the hopes that they'll just get over it. Sorry it came across that way.
  13. Why couldn't you just call the dog, give him a pat, and then ask him to go to his mat?
  14. Well, I guess if I had had this experience, I might feel as you do. But my experiences have been very different. Still, I'm not sure why you emphasize that tossing the treat "is NOT encroaching their space." My methods do not encroach their space either. They are free to approach and take the treat or not, in their own time.
  15. Gentle Lake, Root Beer, CptJack: flooding: There is a whole spectrum of conduct that tends to get described as "flooding" (and flooding = bad). An approach that overwhelms or terrifies a dog is obviously not a good thing. An approach that causes a dog to be exposed to something that he irrationally fears so he can learn that it's not scary can be a very good thing. It's a matter of degree. You need to evaluate the dog and act accordingly. why it seems disrespectful: Well, this is a feeling on my part, not a dogmatic statement that it IS disrespectful, but I'll try to analyze my feeling (and no, I don't mean that it's disrespectful to other people, I mean it's disrespectful to the dog). When I give a treat to a dog (which I do much more sparingly than a treat-trainer would, I'm sure), I regard it as an interaction between me and the dog. I am giving him the treat, and he is accepting it from me. (Similarly, if he licks my hand or nestles against me, he is giving that to me, and I am accepting it from him.) Throwing a treat on the ground takes away from that, and makes the treat something else in the dog's mind -- something he gets from the ground, without contact with me. It makes it much more food focused and less interaction focused. And you are the one deciding that there is to be no direct contact between you, not the dog. And in a training situation it's his wages -- as many have observed -- with all the impersonality that implies. It seems to me that IF you can get that direct interaction quality right from the start with a dog scared of people, it's better than having intermediate throw-on-the-ground steps. And in my experience, you usually can. what I would do: Depends on the dog, of course. But not focusing attention on him is key in my mind. It makes such a difference to how a dog reacts. I would have no problem with what Denice proposed (so long as activity in the room wasn't beyond what the dog could take), but I would be observing the dog to gauge its reaction. I would sit and read in a fairly small room with the dog and hold out a treat without looking at the dog (with something to rest my arm on, because it would be up to the dog how long it would take for him to take the treat). Then do the same with other people. I have had good results from having my big, scary husband lie on the floor, on his stomach with his face turned away from the dog, until the dog decided it was safe to approach and sniff him. Stuff like that.
  16. I can understand it in a very extreme case, such as the one you describe. But the OP's dog doesn't seem to be in that category, and I believe Denice's suggestion would work at least as well in that case. As well as the methods I would be inclined to try, such as having the "scary" person offer treats out to the side while continuing talking with you and ignoring the dog. And this treat-throwing fashion doesn't seem to be confined to scared dogs. "Throw a treat near him if he does what you want" -- as Root Beer describes -- seems to be a recommendation in ordinary training situations nowadays.
  17. I don't really understand the current fad for throwing treats at dogs or on the ground for dogs. I can see where that method might work over time in a situation like this, but it seems unnecessary and disrespectful to me.
  18. Nice looking pup, and he does have the look of the old-time farm dogs you often see on old postcards. The breed concept and the traits described sound a lot like the ones prized in the English Shepherd. It'll be interesting to see how similar or how dissimilar the dogs produced turn out to be from the English Shepherd if/as the project progresses. Sorry to hear about Finn, but glad you found Tweed and hope he'll be a wonderful dog for you. Thanks for posting.
  19. Well said, GentleLake. There is a pool of people who are qualified to judge the USBCHA Finals -- let's call them Group A. There is a pool of people on the AKC approved judges' list -- let's call them Group B. There is, at most, a very tiny overlap between the two groups. If there were not sufficient people in Group A to judge the HA Finals, then we might have to consider whether we should nominate a hypothetical qualified person who is a member of both groups. But fortunately we do have sufficient people in Group A to nominate as judges for the Finals, so that issue does not arise. That being the case, there is no need to even consider taking someone from Group B to judge the finals. Why would we want to do that? No one who really recognizes the danger that AKC presents for the working border collie would want to do it. Of course the line between the working border collie and the AKC is no longer 100% sharp. That was bound to happen once AKC recognized the border collie -- indeed, that's the reason AKC recognition was so bad, and why so many people fought against it. There are now people who think, "Why shouldn't I take money for doing what I love, even if it's in AKC and AKC is paying me? Who could find fault with that?" There are people who think, "Why shouldn't I register my dogs with AKC and support them with my entry fees, if it means more ways to have fun with my dog. Who could find fault with that?" There is bound to be a slide in that direction, an erosion, but that slide will accelerate faster and faster the more people signal acceptance of it. If the rule against AKC judges for the Finals had been changed, that would have been another loss of ground to those who are fine with the AKC-ification of the border collie. To me, the very fact that there has been blurring of the line is all the more reason to hold that line, and fight against anything that would blur it further. There was a time when the HA board would never have dreamed of changing the rule against AKC judges at the Finals, but the mistake has been rectified and all's well that ends well.
  20. I don't think we should ever bar AKC-registered dogs from the national finals. The finals is meant to identify and honor the best sheepdog or cattle dog, and to do that it has to be open to all comers who qualify. That's why we allow dogs of any registration or no registration at all (even non-border collies) to compete. If we barred AKC-registered dogs from the finals, we would not be doing that. Moreover, we would be leaving it open for AKC-registering people to say, "My dog could have won if he'd been allowed to compete." The considerations are different as regards national finals judges. We are not trying to identify the best judge. (Indeed, I question whether it would ever be possible to determine the Best Judge -- even the Best Judge on the Day.) We need very good, experienced, competent judges, qualified to judge at the highest level (including double lift and international shed), of whom there are many outside of the AKC and very few (if any) within. So selection of judges is a legitimate area in which to make it clear that we don't think AKC is good for the border collie -- that our goals and values are different and we want to guard against blurring the lines between us and them. That's why the HA has a rule against holding HA-sanctioned trials in conjunction with AKC events. And that's why I think the HA rule that was just voted down should be reinstated. If a person chooses to become an AKC judge (an honored position within that organization, in which they are publicly representing the organization), they should not be eligible to also be a judge in our premiere event (an honored position in the HA, in which they are publicly representing the HA). Because of the rule, they know when they make the choice to go on the AKC roster of official approved judges that they are removing themselves from consideration to judge the HA finals.
  21. The ISDS will not register more than six litters over the lifetime of a bitch, because that is the maximum permitted by law to licensed breeders under the UK's Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act of 1999.
  22. Thanks for these links, alligande. Although ABCA of course has no responsibility with regard to ISDS breeders, there's a lot of interesting info in these lists, especially on the first (breeders) list. I think folks over here tend to greatly overestimate the number of high volume breeders in the UK. For example, Kevin Evans, said above to "turn out tons of pups a year," actually averaged 20.4 pups over the last 10 years, and only in three of those years did he produce 30 or more. Only five ISDS breeders averaged 30 or more pups per year.
  23. I googled just the name, since Deb wrote, "when a person googles Wayne's name, the high volume list shows up . . ." I don't understand what constituted your "research," or what "No" and "Yes" supposedly mean. I assume it was not research into how many puppies each breeder produced, as I've never seen that shown on a breeder's website or FB page. Was it other things that looked nice or not nice on the breeder's website or FB page? If so, (1) the list was clearly labeled as referring SOLELY to the number of puppies bred, and (2) websites and FB pages are unfortunately not a reliable indicator of a good breeder. If you doubt that, take a look at #3 breeder Bill Barnes's online sites; would they lead you to suspect that he would be buying unregistered litters and representing to puppy buyers and the ABCA that they were offspring of his registered dogs?
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