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Columbia MO

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  1. Erik, I think you have really gone out of your way to work on the barking. So I'm going to suggest a controversial possiblity that I'm sure will get a lot of hate mail. Therefore, note that I have not been to the Boards for over a month until today, and do not plan to come back for another month or two after posting. I have been training and competing for 27 or so years now, and I had a dog that sounds like yours. He was an Aust. Cattle Dog who was highly aroused at all times. He barked absolutely non-stop whenever I was around him, though I was well-versed at removing attention, positively reinforcing absence of barking, etc. In a car trip to visit my family--6 hours each way--this dog would bark once per second the entire trip. He would bark on the floor, in a crate, in a covered crate, in the front or back seats, with or without traffic around, when the car was moving or not. He would also spin/bark/bounce while barking. In short, he was hysterical. He would likewise be set off by the slightest noise in our apartment building, hotels, etc. (This was a dog that got many hours a day of off-leash exercise, bike runs, agility training, sheep herding, etc.) Over a 9 year period, I learned to startle awake whenever I heard a sound, just so I could clamp his mouth shut before he started in. Before becoming a positive-reinforcement trainer, I tried shock collars, and he would bark right through the shocks. He could get off any muzzle on earth in seconds--no matter how tight. Citronella did not exist at the time. At age 9.5, my vet suggested I get him debarked. I took him for his appt., then got traumatized by the idea and called to cancel. But it was too late--they had already finished. He came home and I kept him VERY quiet for 2 weeks. (Cotton in his ears, disconnnected the doorbell, no guests, etc.). So no scar tissue formed. (Medically, he was up and around and cheerful 24 hrs. after the surgery). After two weeks of resting his throat, I could then let him bark his head off non-stop for the rest of his life, and nobody could hear a thing. The debarking job was absolutely perfect. From that point on, he had the time of his life. He barked throughout obedience class, he barked at dogs on the agility course, he barked during his musical freestyle routine, he barked in the car, and barked at daycare, and barked at the dog park, and barked in the apartment and at motels. And it sounded like a gentle whisper. So his mom never again had to tell him to "BE QUIET!" I just wish I had considered this surgery before my nerves were completely shot. To this day I STILL startle whenever I hear the slightest noise in the middle of the night. For those people that intend to write hate mail... note that I am not into animal torture. I have been 100% vegetarian for the past 19 years... am active in our Humane Society and in fundraising for BC Rescue... and have been a clicker trainer for almost 12 years. So I don't take "cosmetic surgery" lightly. But my dog had no problem with it and came out much better in the long run. I think he would have chosen this over a life of shock collars, citronella, and lost opportunities to engage in activities that he couldn't do because he was barking non-stop. I don't exactly want to say I wish this was more "popular," but I do wish more people knew of this option. It could save probably 10,000's of dogs each year that are surrendered to the Humane Society because their barking is causing problems with the landlord, etc. Columbia, MO
  2. Be sure to contact the local humane societies, animal control and animal shelters to let them know you have her. This is where the owner is likely to look first... rather than in the newspaper. When I find a dog like this, I take photos with me and leave them with the humane societies. I really don't see a problem with "fake" owners coming forward to get the dog. In our area, we have a 60-70% euthanasia rate for dogs at shelters. I think chances are slim that somebody would go to animal control just on the off chance that they might be able to get a free mixed breed dog by claiming it as their own. Good luck! Columbia, MO
  3. Hi, I'm not sure what the town is like where you'll go to school, but what about buying a house? I stupidly lived in apartments for the first 17 years of my adult life, simply because I didn't know how easy/cheap it was to buy a house (at least in medium sized cities in the Midwest). Even after leaving my prof. career to go to grad school, I moved my two very active dogs into a 5th-floor walkup apartment. I was under the impression I would need $20k+ saved before I would qualify for a loan. Now that I am a home owner, I have HUGE regrets of all the money I wasted on apartments. All through the 90's I was paying $600/month for a 1-bedroom apt. in the drug-dealing area of a college town--the only place I could find to rent with two dogs. I am now a home owner on 10 acres just outside the city limits of Columbia, MO--the home of University of Missouri. I bought this house for a $2000 downpayment, and could easily have bought it for no downpayment. My co-workers all have houses in the suburbs with large fenced yards and typically have $400-500/month mortgages. Once I found how easy and inexpensive it was to get a house, I could have kicked myself for living in apartments so long! Not only was a house cheaper and more convenient (not having to walk the dogs for miles in the rain), but I lost $122,400 in rent rather than investing in a home of my own. I have since discovered that many college students are buying houses instead of renting, just for this reason. A duplex in my city costs only marginally more than a single house ($110k vs. $90k), and you can live in your half and rent out the other half. I realize that buying a house is not feasible in expensive areas (Chicago, NYC, California), but it might be worth it to choose a school located somewhere that you could actually afford a house. The market is on your side right now, with housing prices waaaaay down, and interest rates staying pretty level. Good luck! Columbia, MO
  4. Hi Kirsty, I'm in the U.S. now, but lived in the UK from 1999-2001. While there, I volunteered as the Area Coordinator for Pets as Therapy (Beds/Bucks) and also competed in Obedience and Working Trials with my JRT. Welcome to the boards! Where are you in the UK? Columbia, MO
  5. To throw in another wrench... My JRT that had the ACL tear was neutered at 5 years old and has OFA Excellent hips, OFA Normal patellas, OFA thyroid normal. He had his ACL tear at 9 years of age, got it repaired, and has beaten the odds by being almost 12 and not having had the other one tear. My BC is 4 1/2 years old, was neutered at 3 years and has not had any ortho injuries despite competing at advanced levels a variety of sports AND playing t-ball twice a day AND being on medication for hypothyroidism! BlackWatch, as you can see, I am also not a fan of early spay/neuter. I got converted while living in England and finding out that their intact dogs live healthy lives to about age 17, while our speutered dogs die around 12-13. Many of the UK rescues and shelters adopt out intact dogs because it is considered medically damaging to speuter, particularly with young dogs. Columbia, MO
  6. I agree with Pat. I used to harness my JRT puppy to my 55# Australian Cattle Dog. The puppy very quickly learned to come back when I called the ACD, and I could remove the tether after the first few times. One thing I ended up doing later with my JRT was harnessing him to a soccer ball and having him drag it when we went to unfenced areas. He could gallop slowly while pulling it, but it would quickly tangle around a tree if he tried to bolt after the wildlife. The bad part is that he would occasionally trip up a person walking in the park... usually ME! Columbia, MO
  7. Hi Whinny, The general rule of thumb is that most "average sized" breeds will double in weight from whatever they weighed at 16 weeks of age. Another good rule of thumb for a BC is that an adult BC should weigh approximately twice their height at the shoulders. Heightwise, with my two BCs, I found that they reached their adult height around 10-11 months. This varies by breed. My JRT only grew 1/2" after I got him at 13 weeks of age. Columbia, MO
  8. Starbuck, I have seen a lot of these types of injuries, though they're found in all breeds--not just BCs. You might notice them more in BCs because they are found more often at the top levels of performance sports. However, my JRT had a cruciate ligament tear when he was VERY lightly bumped into by my BC in the front yard. I think the difference you're seeing is not so much breed related as it is due to factors that weren't around in the past: 1) More slippery flooring, such as Pergo, tile, etc. I've heard of at least two dogs that have torn ACLs just walking across Pergo floors. 2) More "weekend warrior" lifestyles. Dogs are often left alone to snooze all day, then their owners come home and toss tennis balls with a Chuck-It for an hour or practice agility without warming up first. 3) All the sports that dogs participate in today: agility, disc dog, dock dog, flyball, competitive weight pull, and stockdog trials. Training for these is more competitive and dogs are being held to higher standards of performance than in the past. Even pet dogs often engage in high-impact sports like running next to a bike, long distance running on pavement with owners training for marathons, backpacking, or playing with "body slamming" dogs at the dog park or doggy daycare. For example, I know of a Greyhound puppy who had both front legs broken during his first day at doggy daycare. Out of curiousity, what were your dogs doing at the time they were injured? Columbia, MO
  9. Hey, That brings up a related point. The split faces that I've seen with blue eyes, always have the blue eye on the "colored" side, and not on the "white" side of the face. I just went to the Border Collie Museum to look at their photos. Of the split faced dogs that have just ONE blue eye, it looks like the ones with that eye on the "colored" side outweigh the ones with the blue eye on the "white" side by about 2:1. Columbia, MO
  10. Hi there, I wouldn't be too concerned about your dog's fear of a frisbee. I think this is common for many BCs that have not experienced a lot of toy play as puppies. After all, the breed is hard wired to be sensitive and responsive to a shepherd raising a crook from 200+ yards away. So it's not unusual for them to duck and run if something is thrown in their direction. To teach your dog to love toys, check out this article: Creating a Motivating Toy . Another thing I would recommend if you haven't done it already is to start with a fabric frisbee rather than a hard plastic one. Most of my dogs have not been interested in plastic toys until they have months of experience playing tug games with stuffed toys and cloth frisbees. Good luck! Columbia, MO
  11. Echo, There could be lots of reasons for the timing of the growling. Two based on coincidence: 1) Mikey had investigated the puppy and was just beginning his "usual" growling and Lucy arrived by coincidence. 2) The puppy might have started acting up (rowdy, putting paws up on Mikey, etc.) and causing Mikey to grown at the same time Lucy coincidentally arrived. Two more that have to do with Lucy: 1) If both males are intact, Mikey might have growled to keep another male away from his potential sex object. For example, seven month old intact male puppies have 7x the testosterone level of an adult male! 2) Or if he doesn't like other dogs, Mikey might have waited until he saw Lucy arriving before he had enough confidence to growl a warning to the puppy. Dogs often feel more comfortable acting out aggression when they have their "homies" nearby. The one thing that there is no evidence for at all is for Mikey to be "protecting" Lucy, except in the sense of possibly guarding her as a resource. I'm voting for the last option, which is that the arrival of a colleague gave Mikey the confidence to growl at the puppy. Columbia, MO
  12. Hi all, I've always wondered this too! To add to the conversation... My youngest BC is a split face with the white side on the right. His great-grandfather looked exactly like him except that his left eye was blue. So both these dogs match the hypothesis of "most blue eyes on the left," "most split faces on the right." Columbia, MO
  13. Hi Sarah, I would flat out NOT expose her to the kind of dogs that aggravate her. I'm glad somebody recommended Clothier's great article (see link above), because that article promotes protecting your dog from these kinds of rambunctious "friendly but in your face" dogs. Puppies and dogs that growl when dogs run up at them are 100% within their rights--they are growling because they are rightfully afraid. However, it is up to you to not allow things to get to that point... Up until 8 years ago, I used to take my dogs to dog parks and doggy daycare daily. My 14 lb. JRT was subjected to as many as 110 bigger dogs a day body slamming him, getting in his face, pawing at him, etc. Back then, I was a follower of the popular idea that dogs like Labs, Goldens, Boxers, Dobes and other dogs with a body-slamming play style were just being "friendly" and that any dog that didn't play the same way was "boring," "unsocialized" or even "unfriendly." I refused to bail out my dog, and in fact he did not get into any fights. However, he was stressed, showing lots of calming signals (like head turning, wandering far from the group), and was NOT happy around this kind of environment. By the time he was 4.5 years old, he would growl/snap/bite at any dog that got within a couple feet of him. My fault entirely for not protecting him better. With my two BCs, they have NEVER been exposed even for an instant to dogs with these play styles. I hand picked every dog they met for the first year. These were non-confrontational, non-physical, older, mellow and boring dogs that just tottered around sniffing the ground and ignoring my dogs... or well behaved BCs at herding trials. After 1 yr of age, I exposed them on a limited basis to "unscreened" dogs. However, we play non-stop ball games, and they are so focused on the ball that none of the park dogs have a chance to try to bully them. I have a hard and fast rule that I do not let my dogs play in any group with a Lab, Golden, Boxer, Doberman (unless they are atypically gentle or elderly), or any dog with a rough, in-your-face play style. This has worked great, and my dogs are even tolerant of totally strange intact males coming into their house and spending the weekend (as happened this past weekend). Columbia, MO
  14. Hi Shelb's mum, I've been a clicker trainer for 11 years so far, and I think this particular trick is in the top 5% of hard tricks to teach. I would not try to teach this with your puppy until you have mastered many other behaviors first. So don't feel bad that it hasn't worked out yet! Shelby needs to become "clicker savvy" before doing hard tricks like this. A clicker savvy dog will begin offering behaviors like crazy the second it becomes apparent that you are working on a new behavior. Many dogs know what a clicker is, enjoy learning new stuff, etc. after just a couple days of training. However, a truly clicker savvy dog often requires a year or more of clicker experience. With my very strong eyed BC, he is still not "operant" at 17 months because he is so hardwired to stare-and-cogitate... instead of moving and offering behaviors. For this particular trick, it is almost a "must" to first teach Shelby to shake hands. Then work up to a really big "high 5." After this, encourage a high 5 while simultaneously luring her nose down with a treat lure. She will accidentally brush her paw on her nose, and that's when you give a big jackpot. The tape on the nose trick worked for my JRT, but both the BCs are so stoic they don't make any move to get it off. They figure I must have put it there for a reason, so who are they to question why? Good luck! Columbia, MO
  15. Hi there, I can't answer about AIBC. I have wondered about this myself. A dog with an "ABC" registration number is registered with the "American Border Collie Association," (ABCA) whose website you already visited. The ABCA uses the prefix "ABC" for the registration number. Old timers in my area call the "ABCA" organization the "ABC," too. You didn't mention NASDS, which is the "North American Sheep Dog Society." This is another older BC registry like AIBC. Many people do not realize that NASDS is still around. The former record keeper got way behind processing registrations, and many people switched their dogs to ABCA at that time. However, the NASDS registry is now in new, capable hands, and they are trying to get caught up on all of the unprocessed registrations. Columbia, MO Later edited to change NASDS to the correct spelling and acronym--thanks to Eileen's post below!
  16. For those that have asked about the dog's hip. Yes, it is the same dog who was kicked by cattle many times during his training at 11 months old and very likely suffered a dislocation at that time. It is impossible to know without having taken pre-training x-rays, but two of the three ortho vets that have seen the x-rays say it is definitely trauma, given that his other hip is a Good/Excellent AND that he was known to have been kicked by cattle and immediately come up lame. The third vet says he is personally inclined to think it is trauma but is required to repeat the OFA party line that "all HD is inherited." In the meantime, the dog is undergoing physical therapy, getting lots of supplements, and is showing major improvement. He is working stock with no sign of lameness, and will be spending all of November traveling around Brazil participating in stockdog clinics. He will be re-x-rayed at 24 months old. If his hips can both make Good/Excellent, we will proceed with the ROM. If not, he will neither be ROMd or bred from. In answer to one of your questions, OFA scores (required for the ROM) are based on the worst hip. I believe PennHip scores both hips separately. Columbia, MO P.S. This is my last post to this thread. I'm going to go enjoy the weekend. Heck, maybe I can make big $$$ by breeding my dog a few dozen times, eh Jodi? Over and out!
  17. Charlie & Pearse, Have you ever read the rules for the ROM program? I think you guys must be confused and think I'm talking about the AKC Herding Instinct Test or something! For the ABCA ROM program, the usual route is that the dog has to score in the top 10% at three different Open trials. The other route is that the dog has to do Open level work off his home turf on stock he has never worked... in front of at least 3 members of the ABCA BOD... and the other 9 BOD members have to see video of it... and the dog has to be unanimously approved by all 12 BODs. In addition, the dog and both parents (if alive) must score OFA Good or Excellent and pass a CERF eye exam, and the dog has to submit an ABCA pedigree if available. The ROM requirements are so stringent that only 7 dogs in history have ever gotten a ROM. You may or may not like the 7 dogs that have ROMd in, but they've proven a lot more about their abilities than the thousands of non-trained, non-working ABCA dogs here in Missouri that are owned and bred by rural back yard breeders and who have no problem registering the offspring with ABCA. Columbia, MO
  18. Karen, In reponse to the quote above: I did not even come close to saying I "know" CL is in the working lines. I said that it is very likely to be in the working lines but that chance has not yet led to two carriers being bred. It may indeed be less frequent in working lines. However, until about 500 working lines dogs are tested clear of CL, I don't believe that there is any way anybody can claim that they do NOT have carriers. As mentioned on this list, 1) one littermate of a known carrier is already 3 generations ensconced in the ABCA bloodline, and 2) littermates of the original carrier that was imported to Australia (around 1900-1920) are very likely to have been bred and remained in the working lines in ISDA and ABCA dogs. Regarding that I think "show bred" dogs are superior to "working bred" dogs, please let me know where I have EVER insinuated this. If you look through this thread, all I have done is mention that genetic problems and inbreeding occur in both groups. And regarding the ROM program, I would like to have my young dog ROM'd because his parents and all other relatives are ABCA-registered dogs and because several ABCA working people have expressed an interest in breeding to him if I can get him registered (I think everybody here will agree that a dog that CAN pass the ROM test is worth breeding from). Columbia, MO
  19. First of all, that is wonderful that the ABCA is participating in the Missouri/Minnesota epilepsy study. Yay! Second of all, I agree that the 16% figure I cited does not mean that 16% of all BCs have epilepsy. (But it is higher than the average for all breeds of dogs, which is 4-5%). The study the 16% number came from was likely based on numbers of visits to clinics at vet schools. I'm sure that many farmers, trial people and conformation people vaccinate their own dogs, as I do. So healthy dogs that are vaccinated at home would not have even been counted. So maybe a truer translation of the statistic is that "16% of BCs going to a vet school for a presumably serious physical problem" were there because of epilepsy. Regarding the obedience lines quote, above, you are absolutely right. I forgot to count that line (I think OTCH "Val" was the dog's name?). I had been thinking only of AKC conformation-lines dogs when I mentioned not knowing of any dogs with epilepsy. Obedience lines are a kind of "no man's land" where conformation people consider them "working lines" and working people consider them "AKC dogs." Columbia, MO
  20. I'm glad that you're working on epilepsy in the ABCA community. My figures come from Ned Patterson, DVM, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He is one of two vets working on a huge AKC-funded epilepsy research project. Dr. Patterson was the keynote speaker at the BCSA National Specialty a year or two ago, and used the 16% figure during his talk. Purely anecdotally, the ABCA people I see at trials all tell me that they have owned or known a number of BCs with epilepsy... AND none of them consider epilepsy to be a problem that would cause them to stop breeding from a dog! Conversely, AKC people I know would count epilepsy on par with severe hip dysplasia and would have an affected dog spayed/neutered on the spot. As it is, I have never heard of a single conformation-lines BC with epilepsy (though I don't deny that it could be found in those lines), even though it is the AKC breed club that is supporting the research. I know that ABCA says they are "interested" in the epilepsy problem. Are they financial sponsors of any research right now? Columbia, MO
  21. Yes, he's one of that batch. They were turned over to the MO Dept. of Ag, who then put them up for auction at Southwest Auctions, a puppy mill auction house. The first 14 Awesome dogs were sold intact to other puppy mills and a few local farmers before MoKan BC Rescue was notified of where they were being held/auctioned. Between MoKan and myself, we got the remaining 12 dogs. Despite the fact that the ABCA had registered all 40 of the breeder's dogs, no ABCA Rescue group came forward to clean up the mess afterwards. Luckily, the BCSA (AKC club)'s Rescue Committee provided a $500 grant to pay for my expenses in rescuing my group of dogs, and MoKan covered the rest. Columbia, MO
  22. Denise, Thanks for your great post, and I especially appreciated that you explained your thought processes for keeping conformation ch. out of the ROM process. (I disagree, but I see your point of view). The only part I disagree with is the quote above. I'm not sure about the early development of the conformation BCs in Australia/NZ. However, in the current lines, I see a lot more inbreeding going on in ISDS/ABCA working dogs than in conformation dogs. As an example, the MOST used AKC Border Collie stud dog of all time is my dog's sire, Borderfame Choc Chill. The BCSA website was down a few minutes ago so I can't check for sure, but I believe he has sired about 10-12 litters, representing about 50-70 puppies. This is a massive amount for an AKC BC, and as I mentioned, he holds the record. It is much more common for a conformation champion dog to have a lifetime 3-5 litters, if in fact he is used at all. At the same time, the ISDS used to list their "most used sires" on their site (I can't track down that list at the moment either--they've moved it). As I recall, there were several well known Internationals winners that produced over 100 litters and over 500 puppies each. This is how dogs like Wiston Cap and Wisp end up in pretty much every BC pedigree... even the AKC conformation dogs. Show dogs may be inbred to standardize the looks. However, competition stockdogs are equally inbred (or heavily line bred) on big international winners. They may not be all alike in external appearance, but their "alikeness" is in their working abilities. Furthermore, the majority of BCs bred throughout history are from farmers who are likely to inbreed dogs simply because they are using a small breeding population located within 10 miles of where they live and are likely to be breeding to a close relative of their own dog. I do not believe that any perceived difference in the two lines of dogs is due to the degree of inbreeding. Both populations are inbred, as are any purebred dogs. I feel it was simply the luck of the draw that Aus/NZ-lines conformation BCs ended up with the CL gene being expressed first. (I'm not convinced the gene is absent in working populations). And regarding epilepsy, that was similarly the luck of the draw (or maybe inbreeding on an international winner?) that it wound up mainly in the working BC population. Epilepsy is almost never mentioned on these BC Boards, but 16% of all BCs in the USA have been diagnosed with it--BCs are the #1 breed in the country for epilepsy. And note that working lines dogs here outnumber conformation-lines dogs by over 100:1. And there is a whole line of BCs living near me that have hypoglycemic seizures at cattle trials anytime they get excited or get kicked. The owner gives them some corn syrup and they're "as good as new." Nobody but me seems to see this as any kind of issue. These dogs are routinely bred from and the puppies are purchased by stockdog trial people in this area. Anyway, I just wanted to voice my opinion that I am totally for 100% outcrossing or VERY light linebreeding in any line of BCs. I would personally like to see all stud dogs on earth limited to producing 10 litters per lifetime. However, I do not think that genetic problems like CL are uniquely caused by breeding for conformation, but are found in any lines that are routinely inbred or heavily linebred. Columbia, MO
  23. Yes, he is still intact. He is just 16 months old, and I believe the ideal age to neuter a performance dog is 18 months, whether he will be bred or not. This dog was bought from a puppy mill auction house after a bunch of BCs were taken from a Missouri breeder that was breeding ABCA-registered dogs. My dog's parents were both ABCA-registered and had been bought by the puppy miller from working farms. After getting the dog, I obtained his 6 generation pedigree and have spoken with the owners of all four grandparents to learn about his genetic heritage. My herding instructor bred/owned/handled his great-grandfather, who was #1 on cattle in the MSSDA rankings, and other dogs in his pedigree were successful Open dogs. My dog looks and acts identically to my instructor's dog in every way and is an amazing stockdog on both sheep and cattle. Kathy Knox met him at a clinic at 8 mos. old and loved him. Here is a photo of him stylin': Not that his "looks" mean anything, heaven forbid (!), but this will give you some idea of his nice eye. He is currently in training for Nursery trials next spring. To pass the ROM, he has to pass OFA and CERF tests, in addition to the working test. At his age, I have no idea if I would ever breed him, but I would like to keep the option open by registering him through the ROM program. Columbia, MO
  24. swlmc2, I second the idea of a rescue dog. I compete in a gazillion sports (herding, agility, obedience, rally, earthdog, tracking, weight pull, UK working trials) under the auspices of the AKC, UKC, AHBA, JRTCA and USBCHA. My oldest BC is from a breeder, but a long-term foster (rehomed last fall) and my youngest dog are both rescues. To second what many others have said: 1) Neutered/spayed dogs are acceptable by EVERY organization for EVERY event except conformation ("beauty contests"). Even people who show in conformation often spay/neuter dogs as soon as they earn their championships, as I do. For females, this means they will not go into heat and have to forego an agility trial, etc. For males, they will keep their mind on their work instead of on the girls. 2) Rescued purebred dogs (without papers) are acceptable for EVERY performance event except conformation with EVERY organization. Some organizations issue a tracking number to all comers (AHBA, NADAC) while others require the dog to get an ILP number by submitting photos or other proof that the dog is a likely purebred (AKC, UKC). 3) An adult rescue dog beats a puppy from a breeder for the following reasons: - You can pay to have hips and eyes checked on an adult rescue and know for a fact that the dog is okay. A puppy--even from tested parents--may turn out to have problems. - You will know way more about the temperament than if you raise a puppy. In my experience, about 98% of temperament is GENETIC and independent of socialization or anything else. If you care about temperament, a bombproof adult rescue with a known super-friendly temperament is a much surer bet than a puppy. Even if you raise a puppy "perfectly," it could still have inherited a bad temperament that doesn't show up until adulthood and then it will be too late. - An adult dog will be ready to train in agility right away. With a puppy, you have to wait 18 months before you can teach weave poles, full-scale contact equipment, or have the dog jump full height. Last year, I got a ~ 10 mos. old smooth-coated BC out of the Humane Society and kept her for 6 months until she went to her permanent home with a clicker training agility competitor in Chicago. While I had her, I took classes with her and got her ILP numbers for both AKC and UKC. This dog has an absolutely bombproof temperament, loves all dogs and people, super manners, etc. By our second session of nail clipping, she was eagerly hopping on the table and handing me each foot, held perfectly still for clipping, and loved the treats so much she'd want me to do her feet all again! (She's still like this). About 6 weeks after I got her out of the HS, she was placing in agility matches and even worked for a day at Hallmark Cards as a model (wearing a tutu!). After just 2 months in her permanent home, she began competing successfully in NADAC and will soon begin AKC. I'm sure her new owner was very happy to have gotten a 16 mos. old dog that she could begin competing with almost immediately instead of having to wait through all the puppy chewing stages, etc. There are lots of dogs living in foster homes that have been attending classes just like I did with that dog. The rescue agency will have a very good idea of the talents (or not) of each dog they have available. Good luck! Columbia, MO
  25. How does "engaging in conformation" cut out herding genetics? I finished Savvy's conformation championship at 16 months old after about five weekends of showing. His entire conformation career consisted of a total of about 20 minutes of standing or gaiting around a ring and maybe an hour of training. At the same time, he has spent hundreds of hours working stock. I'm not quite sure how the 80 min. he spent "engaging in conformation" somehow ruined his ability to herd sheep. Every USBCHA instructor & judge I have talked to about the issue tells me they see far more differences in dogs from the same ABCA litter or two litters bred by a single farmer than between ABCA vs. AKC dogs as groups. Savvy is from a line of dogs that had not even seen stock for about 3 generations, but he obviously didn't have his instinct ruined. I do think dogs bred only for looks will eventually lose their working ability, but I have seen nothing to make me believe they lose it in just a generation or two as is generally cited on the Boards as "fact". I could point out any number of working dogs that are bred and produce a litter of "duds." But I would not use this as evidence that "breeding dogs based on the presence of working ability" leads to the detriment of the breed. And conversely, I don't think that spending 80 minutes training for and gaiting in a conformation ring miraculously strips dogs of innate working ability, either. If anybody out there can get hold of the current issue of Borderlines (BCSA magazine), you might read through the BOD biographies. You may be surprised to find that the president and BOD are all hard core working dog people that have conformation as about their 47th priority on the list. Except for this list, I don't hear a bit of anti-AKC rhetoric at trials, etc. Everybody I know outside these boards gets along just fine and owns/breeds/trials working dogs without regard to registry. One of the top USBCHA competitors in Missouri (Nyle Sealine) is also one of the most popular herding judges in the AKC. One of the top AKC herding competitors (Robin Penland) represented the USBCHA at the 2005 ISDS Internationals, and was also chair of conformation at the AKC BCSA Nationals. All of you should try to judge dogs on their abilities and not by making sweeping generalizations, such as "membership in AKC" meaning a dog can no longer work. Robin's AKC dog made it to the Internationals. How many ABCA dogs on the list got to compete? (Note: none of these comments are directed at Julie P. whom I greatly respect and who refrains from making generalizations, and whose dogs could kick either of my dogs' butts. ) Columbia, MO
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