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About Pearse

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  1. Pearse

    Sheepdog Trial Scribe

    You don't need to be knowledgeable about judging. That's the judges job. However, depending on the judge, you may learn a lot about judging criteria. The only way you'd be "more trouble than I'm worth" is if you insist on talking to the judge all through the run. Most judges do not mind you asking questions in between runs (some do so it's best to ask the judge or have the trial host or course director do it and tell you) but the judge needs to focus on the runs while they are happening. If the timer doesn't beep on it's own, make sure you tell the judge when time is up quietly enough that the handler can't hear. Let the judge call time. The trickiest thing is to know when to start the timer because sometimes the way some handlers set their dogs up looks like false starts (and sometimes it is a bit of gamesmanship). If you aren't sure, just ask the judge to tell you when to start the timer. If you aren't comfortable with numbers, bring a calculator, or ask the Course Director to find one for you. Some trials do shed then pen, some do pen then shed, some do shed, pen, single. If its your first time, for the first few runs, put something to the left of the score sheet to remind you which one to mark first. Trials are always short of volunteers. Trial hosts are always super grateful to anyone who wants to help. Most judges are eager to help people new to the sport become knowledgeable and interested. Please do volunteer. You will enjoy yourself and you will learn a lot. Pearse
  2. Pearse

    ACL/CCL injury

    I would give him a week, or two, with no running or jumping. If it's gone by then, gradual return to exercise (walking) and if it is OK after a week then gradually ramp up to normal exercise levels. If the limp isn't significantly better after a few day's rest and gone after a week or so, then have a vet look at it. If it was yourself who came up lame after a run or a hike, you'd ice the affected muscle or joint, take NSAIDS and rest until a week after the pain went away. Then gradual return to exercise over several weeks. I think you need to give the dog the same prolonged recovery period. They are super-athletes but biology is biology and a strained muscle or ligament still takes time to heal.
  3. Pearse

    Learning Sheep

    I recommend to anyone starting in stock dog work to volunteer working the loading pens at trials. You can get a lot of experience in a weekend practicing moving sheep in the pens without a dog (and unless you have a well-trained open dog, leave your dog in the crate for this one). Sorting and moving sheep in the setout pens can give you the type of training moment that Terrecar describes - for free. And, the trial organizers will thank you for it and invite you back next year. They might even buy your lunch.
  4. Pearse

    question re: tending

    John Wentz in Portage WI grazes his sheep on a ski area in the summer. Saves them money and is more environmentally friendly than using herbicide or mowing.
  5. Pearse

    A stopover in Iceland in June 2017

    21,699 k = $200 USD
  6. Pearse

    Flashlight recommendations?

    The flashing setting is very useful for getting found when lost (or so a "friend" told me). It's easier for search parties on ground or in the air to see.
  7. Pearse

    sometimes I think the divide is impassible

    I don't understand this comment. In USBCHA trialling, there is only one course (outrun, lift, fetch, drive, shed, pen) and the only variants are right-hand vs left-hand drive and shed before/after pen. The distances and sheep will vary but the course is always the same and there are people who train their dogs by going over and over that course every day.
  8. Pearse

    Scotch Collie making a comeback

    I thought a "Scotch Collie" was a bad Border Collie who drove his handler to drink.
  9. Pearse

    Reputable Breeders List

    I hear this all the time from pet BC who come up to talk to me at trials "I have a BC, and he/she herds the children. It's so cute". My response is always the same. I tell them; "stay and watch the trial a bit, especially the younger dogs. Watch what happens when one of the sheep tries to run away from the group. The dog will chase, and if he can't figure out how to stop the sheep any other way, he often will bite. Sooner or later, you are going to have a group of kids in your back yard and one will decide to go a different way than the others. When your dog pulls him down or bites him, will you (or his parents) still think it's cute? You can't blame the dog, but you will". I explain that we train our dogs not to herd anything unless we tell them to, and that it's often difficult to teach that discipline. The AKC did have their heads up their asses when they wrote that.
  10. Pearse


    " I hear people complain about the same things I do with him-he always lets the person writing his check win" You know, I have heard this about a couple of judges too. So, I went and looked at the scores from a number of trials that they judged. The numbers don't lie, and the numbers just didn't support the rumours. So, before I would believe that of anyone, I'd want hard proof, and even then I'd want to see someone have a truly dreadful run and somehow win the trial with my own eyes. If I've learned anything in the 10 years or so I've been competing in trials, it's don't listen to most of the s#$t said under the Handler's tent, or anything that anyone whispers behind their hands. Pearse
  11. Pearse


    Pam, I'd say a a couple of things about that; First, a person I respected as a judge once chided me not to make assumptions about how fair the judging was, or how the judge was scoring the runs, unless I was prepared to sit and watch every run because otherwise you aren't seeing the runs as the judge sees them. Second, the rules say a judge must be impartial so if a judge is clearly not impartial or is incompetent, and it is a USBCHA sanctioned trial, then you can file a protest with the HA (if you are a member). You can't use video, so you'd better have a long list of supporting witnesses who would also attest to the judge's unfairness or incompetence to have any chance of prevailing. Third, make your displeasure known to the trial host or course director (privately and quietly since criticising a judge, in the hearing of other, at a trial is not taken lightly). Finally, don't run under them again if you feel strongly about it. To be honest, I haven't seen a lot of biased judging at the trials I've been to. I can think of two judges I would not care to run under or ask to judge a trial. I've seen some lazy judging, and I've seen some idiosyncratic judging but flat out bias is rare. I think, in general, "big hats'" scores reflect the overall quality of the run, not just one infraction you may have seen and grips are one of those things that will always be the subject of great debate. I prefer to invite people I respect to judge trials, and then respect their judgement. Pearse
  12. Pearse


    Qualifications are; you must be willing to do it, and someone must ask you to do it. It helps if the prospective judge has read the judging guidelines and has some experience running dogs in Open. How are judges chosen? Trial hosts ask around. Maybe you've run under someone before and liked their judging style so you ask them. Maybe you know them by reputation. Maybe you get recommendations from people whose judgement you trust. It's actually hard to find good judges. It's 10 - 12 hours a day for three or four days. Pays OK but not great, and most judges would rather be running their dogs. Pearse
  13. Pearse

    Lyme Disease Preventative?

    This approach will not work to prevent infection. It may work to help clear an active infection but it won't stop subsequent infection the way a vaccination would. Antibodies injected into an animal would coat the infectious organism and allow other components to attach to the organism and destroy it. It doesn't create immunological memory. A vaccine stimulates B-lymphocytes to produce antibodies. Those B-cells stick around and have "memory" so that if they see the same organism again, they react much faster to produce antibodies. The other reason this will only work once is that if the monoclonal antibody is made in mice, the dog will see parts of the antibody as "foreign" and make dog-anti-mouse antibodies reducing the effectiveness of subsequent treatments. So this might work for an acute infection where the dog is not making its own antibodies, but it won't prevent subsequent infections and it wouldn't be cheap (big pharma aside, making monoclonal antibodies is not cheap).
  14. Pearse

    IGS in Border Collies

    Testing required by whom? The registry? The net effect of that is that breeders will stop registering their dogs because the cost (testing) of doing so will outweigh the benefits (marketing) of doing so. Those genetics will be lost. And, what testing? As more tests become available to we just add them to the panel? How much are you willing to add to the cost of buying a pup to cover the cost of all the testing? Right now, if we just include those things that we can test for, then you are looking at around $500/dog so $3500 on average for a litter. The breeder is going to add $700 - $800/dog to cover the cost of dogs that test positive or who don't sell for other reasons. So now, the cost of a pup goes from $500 - $1000 to $1000 - $1500 with no guarantee the dog will work. But that's just for the genetic tests. Add in the cost of hips, and clinical evaluations for BCC and epilepsy (future) and you are up to close to $2500 for a pup. >99% of those tests are going to come back negative which means that the money spent was wasted. What I would propose is that we test for the things we know are potential issues (CEA) in the population, and individual buyers can write into their purchase contract that they intend to test for x,y,z and if any of those tests come back positive then they have the option of returning the dog to the seller. Most buyers are going to be content with the knowledge that most of the things we can test for are so rare as to be unlikely to affect their dog unless there are indications to the contrary or a history in the line. Some are going to want to run every test in the book and they are free to do so as long as they can find a breeder willing to accept return of the pup if they test positive. And we shouldn't kid ourselves. A dog returned to a breeder because of a disease which causes significant morbidity or eventual mortality is unsaleable and there's a good chance that pup will be euthanized.
  15. Pearse

    ACL/CCL injury

    Lori, Back in 2005, Riel had a fairly significant sprain of his ACL while training out at Chuck O'Reilly's. He did an outrun downhill and pulled up lame. I took him to the U of MN vet clinic and had him looked at by a top orthopedic surgeons there who recommended surgery. Christie suggested that we not do surgery and that I give him 100% crate rest (carried him in and out of the house, on leash when outside to relieve himself) and put him up for about six weeks and he was fine from that day forward. So, I think it depends on the severity of the sprain and how well you can manage it. There's no objective evidence that stem cell therapy or laser therapy does anything for this injury although lots of people swear by both and neither will do any harm (except to your wallet). I've asked several academic small animal vets (internal medicine and surgery) and one rehab. vet. who I think is really good. The university vets all said that they cannot recommend stem cell therapy or laser for soft tissue injury at this point. The rehab vet gave me some research papers on laser therapy that were interesting and suggestive of some effect, but not enough to totally convince me yet. Pearse