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Michael Parkey

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  1. I've owned both breeds, and the breed differences in disposition are insignificant compared to the personality differences between individual dogs regardless of breed. If I were you, I would contact legitimate rescue groups and breeders for both breeds, and describe the personality you are looking for. If you are worried about getting a hyper dog, ask for a lazy one. There are puppies of both breeds from working parents that just don't inherit the drive necessary for high level stock work or dog sports. These can be perfect companion dogs!
  2. Ha! This is suspected to be true of human males, but I've never seen any evidence supporting it for dogs. And having a dog that is conditioned to seek sexual gratification from humans poses a whole set of new problems. How do you explain to such a dog that leg humping is appropriate only with some people, LOL?
  3. How to deal with your dog's behavior and if/when to castrate him are separate issues. Poch's behavior is not unusual for a dog of his age, neutered or intact. This a developmental stage (a "phase") and the solution is to continue good training practices and avoid over-stimulation if feasible. Don't overreact and it will pass. To put it another way, he is almost a teenager and you know what that means. If and when to neuter is a more complex subject than many people realize. I think the consensus here is to wait until the dog is at least two years old for health reasons. In fact, there is recent research that indicates it may be best for health and longevity not to neuter at all. Neutering sometimes changes behavior, but not in always predictable and desirable ways. Every male dog I've ever owned marked, whether castrated or intact. When and where they mark is a matter of training. For example, our 9 1/2 year old was neutered before the age of 6 months and he marks. Our almost 2 year old intact male marks. But neither of them EVER marks in our house. The old dog marks outside, but not when he is inside a building, familiar or strange. The two year old marks a lot outside, and is learning not to mark inside any building. It really comes down to training.
  4. Two months after we lost 15 yo Bob, we adopted Levi. We weren't looking or expecting to adopt that soon, but Levi was perfect for us. Totally unlike Bob, and that was a good thing! We also have a Buddy, now 9.5 yo. Your Buddy is so cute, I hope he brings you as much happiness as ours did.
  5. No good suggestions from me, but this is a REALLY nice thing to do!
  6. Just to clarify, Wren's sire did not show any merle markings? Was Wren's dam a merle? There are no "carriers" of the merle mutation in the way usually meant by that term. If a dog has one copy of the mutant gene, it shows the characteristic pattern. If it has two copies, it is a double merle (homozygous merle) and is usually mostly white with eye and ear defects. The only rare exception to this is a "cryptic merle". This is a dog that shows only a tiny bit of the merle pattern that could be overlooked. First, Wren is in no danger of developing heath problems later related to the merle mutation. If she is healthy now, she will never show the defects associated with double merle. Since you don't see any merle markings on Wren, she almost certainly is just a "normal" border collie--no problems in breeding her associated with merle. If she is a very rare cryptic merle, then the only precaution you need to take is to avoid breeding her to another merle. Post lots of photos of her so we can take a look. Or better, let an experienced breeder or veterinarian who is very familiar with merle examine her. This exam would be necessary in any case if you want to breed her.
  7. Another vote for ducks. The water mess can be solved with a little creativity. We think the eggs are delicious, and ducks often lay better than chickens. They definitely do flock and are much easier to control than chickens. You want one of the lightweight or mediumweight breeds. These are too heavy to fly, but are still mobile enough to give a little challenge for the dog. Wild-type mallards are classified as a bantam breed, and all bantam breeds are fair to excellent fliers. Muscovy ducks are an entirely different species, and behave very differently than other domestic ducks.
  8. On every walk, Buddy (Australian shepherd mix) finds at least one irresistible patch of grass to roll on. On his back, on his sides, pushing into the grass with his muzzle, finishing by laying on his back, all four legs in the air with a silly grin waiting for a belly rub. Levi (border collie) doesn't much enjoy this hobby but occasionally will do it.
  9. Not to minimize your concerns, but a lot of this sounds like typical teenage dog behavior. Dogs in the "teen months" often act distracted, stubborn, like they've forgotten all the training you've done, unable to stop sniffing, and fixated on social behaviors. As long as he is not aggressive, frightened, stressed, or obsessive, don't worry about it too much. Don't slack off on your training, and maybe even go back to simpler training tasks. Do the training in an environment with minimal distractions, but also allow him some time to sniff and meet other dogs when it isn't a problem. Our 21 month old Levi is just coming out of this distracted age. In the last month we see him acting more and more like a mature dog, not a teenager. Australian shepherd Brenden didn't grow up until he was 2 1/2 years old--suddenly the light came on, and he showed that he actually had absorbed all that training, he just couldn't control himself before.
  10. Are you referring to the tan marking on her right leg? That looks like a normal tricolor marking to me, and I don't see anything on your beautiful dog that looks like merle.
  11. Like GentleLake, I don't any merle markings on your dog. Please post some good whole-body photos and we might know more. Love the puppy pictures!
  12. Love the second picture! It reminds me of this:
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