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About amc

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    California's Shasta Valley

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  1. Great story and a happy ending!
  2. Please visit this remarkable website: https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/ There is a wealth of information there that directly addresses some of your issues. There are different levels of access - the basic level is free and the highest level is still quite reasonable. I think you and Max will find a lot of help there. Good luck! Amy
  3. Thanks for sharing more of your wonderful stories, Sue. You paint such a vivid picture with your words! I couldn't agree more about a dog that knows his/her job. It's a supreme pleasure to be blessed to work with such skilled partners. Over the years I've seen many, many successful trial dogs who didn't REALLY understand the job but they were darned obedient and under the control of a top hander they shine. I don't want to start the 'trial dog vs farm dog' debate here, but it is true, that there's no match, when the work really needs doing, that a dog that understands the job is the one you'll reach for. Amy
  4. Great! You can stay informed about upcoming trials at Ian's on his webpages, http://www.wolston.com/ or http://www.stockdog.com/. The next big trial there will be the famed Northwest Championship, the longest-running sheepdog trial in the West (maybe in North America?), May 17-19. The Linn County Lamb and Wool Fair runs that weekend, so it's a very fun outing. Hope to see you there! Amy
  5. Where do you live? Ian Caldicott in Scio, Oregon is a long-time brace supporter/encourager and holds a brace competition at his Sheep Thrillz Trial every year in July. I'll bet there are some good YouTube videos out there as well. Amy
  6. Outstanding news! Roy sustained a stifle injury several years ago (he's now 9) while running in deep water/mud, which rendered him three-legged lame. Cold laser treatments fixed him completely, and he's never taken a lame step on that hind leg since. I wish the very best outcome for Gibbs! Keep us posted, and of course post the obligatory photo with him in his 'laser shades'! Amy
  7. Congratulations on your good fortune with Hank! He sounds like a real good'un! Do you have access to some calves or gentler cows that you could section off and train on him a little bit in a smaller area? From the sound of his smarts, it might only take 5 or 10 minutes a day to get a bit of a handle on him. Having a youngster work calves or cows up and down a fence, sending them to the head to stop and helping them let the stock escape a bit before sending them back around can build confidence that the dog is in control and also can show them that they don't need to bite to get things moving. Pups often will get mouthy on cattle or sheep at that age as they 'test their tools' but you don't want unnecessary gripping to become a habit as it can be self-rewarding. You're right that you don't want to down him too much at this stage either, because you don't want to take away his power. What you're looking for is a bit of self-control and if he's got a good, solid mind you might just get that at this age. I do know that many cattledog folk start their pups a bit earlier than many sheepdogger might, so if Hank comes from early-starting lines he just might be ready for the Big Jobs. Keep us posted, and thanks for the videos! Good luck! Amy
  8. You can dab a tissue on her vulva and see if there is reddish discharge. The external vulva will get obviously swollen as her cycle progresses, and she will spend time licking down there as well. If it is her season, when she is receptive she will raise her tail and present herself to your neutered males. It's usually pretty obvious. Good luck and enjoy your pup, Amy
  9. May I highly recommend the following webpage: https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/category/explore/grooming/ and please surf around the entire excellent website. My friend is a certified Fear Free Vet Tech Trainer who, in addition to her clinical work, travels around the country teaching the seminars. You can join for free and receive basic benefits, plus there are additional reasonably priced membership levels allowing more access. Monique is also a working border collie trainer, trialer and handler! Good luck, and keep us posted, Amy,
  10. You didn't mention if your vet had actually done stool sample testing - giardia is a common and indolent infection that can wax and wane, and it requires specialized antibiotics to treat. Also, you might consider cobalamin deficiency (Sue R might chime in here) which is an inherited inability to produce Vitamin B12 that can cause all sorts of problems, eventually resulting in death. There is a DNA test for it now. I personally would be most interested in a full fecal panel first, however. Good luck with your lovely pup! Amy
  11. I'm so sorry, Mark. How wonderful that you two had such a good long life together. Amy
  12. Where are you located, TonksMom?
  13. This is a great topic that has been discussed on these forums several times in the past. You might try a search on "Training Styles" or similar. There was a recent thread about clinics as well. Having said that, yes, there are different philosophies or 'styles' of training the Border Collie. I feel the most successful in terms of dog and handler comfort incorporate the 'pressure-and-release-of-pressure methods now common in horse training. It takes time to learn how to correctly apply and release the pressure, and novices who are unaccustomed to sheep behavior often have a lot of trouble with this early on. Your experience in the horse world should serve you well, especially if you've done any work involving a third species, like cutting horse or ranch horse. There's an excellent Facebook page called "To Novice and Beyond" whose members include top international as well as North American sheepdog handlers and trainers who are most willing to share their wonderful insights and experiences on a variety of topics aimed at those new to working Border Collies but relevant for all of us in this little world. Good luck, and please feel free to continue sharing your journey here, Amy
  14. I'll introduce a bit of 'heresy' here, perhaps. I've had many dogs over the years, some quite intense (like the 2 yo I'm currently working with) who hate to lie down. I'm not a great fan of the 'on your belly' down either because I feel it takes away the dog's power. So, I train a standing stop. As with any learned command, you have to try to be 100% consistent with enforcement at the beginning, and I admit that it's way easier for a dog to cheat a standing stop than a belly lie down - but that's your problem, not the dog's. Just be consistent, and as soon as you get the four-foot stop, release the dog with either a flank or a walk up as the reward. Immediate release/reward will help the dog understand that stopping is a good thing, not a bad thing. You can also work on this off stock, as Nancy outlined above with the lie down, but just get the standing stop instead. I found that with my keen, hate-to-lie-down dogs, trying to get that hard down was a battle not worth fighting, and I and my dogs have been happier (and more successful) since I abandoned it long ago. Good luck, have fun, and enjoy the journey! Amy
  15. I'm curious about your choice of diet - you say 'fresh meat' but that alone won't provide complete nutrition. How about trying a good quality kibble and put out a ration for him and leave it? He won't starve himself. Good luck! Amy
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