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Michael Parkey

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    Dallas, Texas

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  1. Years ago I went to my herding lesson one day, and the barn cat brought her kittens out for the first time. They were all block and white, and marked exactly like border collies! They were immediately nick-named the "border cats".
  2. No, Levi is a blue merle and white, but there has been a lot of discussion of red merle in the Health and Genetics forum under "What color?" But I'll attach a few photos anyway, can't resist!
  3. Beautiful puppy, and another tricolor red merle!
  4. Adopting an adult or near-adult dog is a great idea because you can know the energy level of the dog before you adopt. A good rescue group should be able to help match you with an appropriate dog, and allow you a trial period. And good rescue organizations always want and/or require that you bring the dog back to them if it doesn't work out. Of course, be honest with the rescue about your situation. But it is perfectly OK to emphasize your agility experience and show them some ribbons if you have any! Please post your location so people can refer you to a good group if they know one in your area.
  5. Agree with GentleLake, if she was an Australian shepherd I would call her a red merle tricolor.
  6. The big question is, does she act like a border collie? Border collies are what they do, not what they look like. In the photos she has the alert, intense, intelligent expression one would expect in a border collie.
  7. Any thoughts on Simparica? We had a tick plague last fall and winter (?), and had to add Simparica to Trifexis. It seemed to work, and then suddenly the tick plague disappeared in early spring.
  8. Too cute! Here in Texas we often see other herding breeds mixed with corgis. No way to be certain in Rosie's case, but this would account for the short legs.
  9. GentleLake, sorry to correct you, but you have reversed the meanings of homozygous and heterozygous. Merle is a codominant (incompletely dominant) mutation that can affect any base color of the dog (black, red, etc.). One copy of the mutation paired with a normal gene (heterozygous) gives a dog the familiar mottled pattern we call merle. Two copies of the merle mutation (homozygous) produces a dog that is mostly white in color, with varying degrees of blindness and deafness. So if you breed two "normal" colored dogs, you will get all normal puppies with no chance of merle. Remember, merle is codominant, meaning that it is always visible and is never hidden. There are no "carriers" of merle, although a dog may be a "cryptic merle" meaning that the pattern is subtle and might not be noticed. A merle dog mated to a normal non-merle dog will produce (on average) 50% heterozygous merle puppies and 50% normal puppies. As GentleLake says, there is no risk of genetic defects related to the merle mutation in such puppies. If you mate a merle dog to another merle dog, on average there will be 50% heterozygous merles with the mutant coat pattern, 25% homozygous normals, and 25% homozygous merles. It is the homozygous merles that are mostly white, with varying degrees of vision and hearing loss. Merle is extremely popular in Australian shepherds, and has been introduced into many other breeds of dogs: dachshunds, great Danes, etc. So the average dog owner is likely to come across merle dogs whether they know it or not. Responsible breeders never breed two merles to each other, although some people are willing to do it if both merle parents have some outstanding complimentary characteristics. Such breeders often euthanize any homozygous merle puppies, but sometimes don't since partial blindness and deafness can be hard to detect in young puppies. Then you see ads on Craig's List for "Rare White Aussies!" Obviously, this is disgusting and unethical, but probably no worse than breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with skulls too small to hold their brains, or shar peis with eyelashes that grow inward and scar the cornea, or bulldogs with pelvises too narrow for normal birth--all puppies must be delivered by Ceasarian section. In other words, welcome to the AKC!
  10. Truer words were never spoken, especially because we are largely "blind" to the dog's most important sense: smell.
  11. Here's a view from an evolutionary perspective. . . Border collies and many other herding breeds retain more instinctual behavior than some other dog breeds. This includes social behavior and signals. When a herding breed dog is approached by another dog, the herder will usually give the appropriate social signal which reflects it's attitude toward the approaching dog. This may be fear, dominance, caution, playfulness, curiosity, submission, etc. This usually works well when the approaching dog also has these instinctual behaviors intact--in other words, they can communicate. But many breeds of dogs no long have these instinctual signals, and can't recognize them anymore. Think of the Bichon Frise who approaches all other dogs with an aimless, mild curiosity, or the Labrador charging in oblivious to the other dog's reaction, or the bully breed who no longer can even give the facial cues and has, in fact, been bred not to do so. Dogs with intact social behaviors really do not like any of this! They give their (correct) signals, but don't receive the appropriate response, or any response, or the opposite of the appropriate response. It is rather like how we humans feel when a stranger approaches who is muttering, shouting, twitching, staring at us, ignoring us, acting fearful, acting aggressively--in other words, not giving any of the appropriate social signals.
  12. What does Jasper think? Seriously, does he have a preference in playmates? Any aggressive tendencies toward one sex or the other? Will your puppy be neutered? Does Jasper react differently to neutered versus intact dogs?
  13. Pretty much anything I throw in their pond (wading pool) becomes an immediate delicacy. Throw the same thing in their pen and they will often ignore it.
  14. Thanks for all the replies. I will feed reasonable amounts of eggs with no worries. And thanks for nutritional comparison chart, I had not seen that one. If anyone is curious about the ducks, we have a small backyard flock of Welsh Harlequins. I've kept chickens for decades, but ducks only for a few years. I find them to be much more productive and actually easier to keep if you can control the mess they make with their water, LOL
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