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KelliePup

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Everything posted by KelliePup

  1. Simple Solution with Oxy works great too, and they have one that can go right into a carpet shampooer. It used to be that you could only get it at pet stores, but I think Wal-Mart is now carrying it, I know Meijers (store similar to Wal-Mart in Michigan) does. We have Prego floors in our living room and hallway. It has proved very durable and took less than a day to install.
  2. I know about freak accidents. There are 9 long stemmed roses currently hanging on my wall. One to represent myself and each of my siblings. Above them all is one rose cut close to the bud. That one rose represents my younger brother who died in a freak accident this year, just three days after he turned 24. Excuse me now. I have to go cry in my dogs' fur...
  3. What you're describing in mainly in a trial setting. It is actually easier, in many ways, for farm dogs to start with a larger herd in many cases. This would bring up a trialing vs. farm work debate. The things needed to be trained in stock dogs are things that go against their instinct, such as stopping off balance, driving parallel to the handler and such. Shearing also goes against a border collie's instinctual tendencies because they want the sheep all together. ETA: As I understand it, herding trials are actually much more difficult than farm work. The skills are the same, but there is additional stresses and smaller "flocks," yes?
  4. Kristine, all I was saying is that it is not the norm. Dean's issues are not the norm. They exist yes, and it's not always the handler's fault, but it often can be. I'm glad you took the time to research and help Dean. That's great! Let's not discount other owners who just want a quick fix. I also know several vets who will recommend medications for dogs that don't need it. IMHO, behavior issues are best diagnosed by Veterinary Behavior Technicians. Lacking that, a good behaviorist/behavior consultant in conjunction with a vet.
  5. Oi. Just a few points: First, anxiety, while it can be a brain chemistry problem, is not necessarily so. Certain anxieties can be caused be life experiences, and can therefore be worked with through a behavior modification regime. Otherwise, every dog that gets anxious would be on medication with no hope of anything. That's not to say there aren't some dogs with brain chemistry problems, I would just hate for someone reading this to think that's always the case and immediately put their dog on puppy prozac. Noise phobias can be attributed to genetics, and it can also be caused by too harsh of training. Point of reference, Cosmo, a Vizsla, never had any problem with gun shots or birds, in fact, he was very promising, until a certain "trainer" I know of in the business of training hunting dogs ruined him. Now, he's anxious when he sees a bird and panics every time a shot is fired. Likewise, it is possible for a dog with noise phobias to overcome that phobia to a certain extent. Not every dog, sure, but it is possible. On these points, arguments can be made for both sides and backed by research. However, it all comes down to the individual dog. I will say this though, very rarely in the course of my behavior modification work do I have to recommend consultations with a vet for anxiety medications. Some aspects of agility might be natural to dogs, but they are not instinctual. There is a difference in the terms here. A border collie's instinct is to gather the sheep and fetch them. Just as a well bred beagle's instinct is to chase down a fox. Jumping fences, climbing trees, crossing logs, etc. is just a way to get from point A to point B. Natural, yes, but not instinctual.
  6. Gloria, on full editor mode, there's a media button. Just paste the URL from the status bar there Don't use the code on the youtube "share" button. The boards aren't set up for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEFm1qkXaI0&feature=youtu.be ETA: Great vid!
  7. Okay, look at it this way then. There are people out there who seem to have a natural gift toward dancing or drawing or painting. For a teacher or coach, all they have to do is hone those natural abilities and direct them to a cause. Those artistic gifts can be equated to instinct. Then you have people who have to struggle to draw a straight line, even with a ruler, or just can't seem to get the most basic of dance steps. It takes more time, they have to be trained to do these activities because it does not come natural. A working border collie will naturally walk up, will naturally give the "eye," will naturally flank/circle and/or drive. Some even have a natural stop. Those does not have to be trained, just honed and directed. With obedience, rally, agility, SAR, freestyle and a host of other things, the dog has to be trained for those tasks. The learning theory, distinct consequences, comes very much into play with these activities.
  8. Very well, but I personally still feel that hitting the contact "just enough" is still not enough. I prefer clear contacts, largely, again, for safety reasons. You missed the point. Barking is NOT "trained out" in stockwork. The dog doesn't bark because of instinct. The dog is working, not playing. Until you can grasp the fundamental difference between instinct and training, you really can't understand what we've been trying to tell you. Try your hand on livestock, when the dog "turns on" then maybe, perhaps, you'll understand. I certainly didn't understand it at first. There is more to the herding argument than training.
  9. That confuses me to no end Kristine. To each their own, I suppose, but training is all about consequences; therefore, any older dog is going to have training on them, whether it was intentional or not. Example: Dog runs off, finally comes back, owner yells at dog and puts dog on leash/locks dog in crate, so dog learns "fun ends when I come back/I get in trouble for coming. I don't ever want to come!" Training really is no more than learning, so I really don't understand your preference. Personally, I've learned more about training and behavior in general by "fixing" incorrect previous training, and I've even changed the dog's name when it didn't seem to fit, or, if the problem was really bad, I just changed the cue word. No big deal, so I must admit that your argument is really foreign to me. Again, to each their own.
  10. My Maverick just might be the embodiment of laziness. He'll be lying at one end of the bed, I say "Come 'ere, my Mav," and he crawls sideways to me, leading with his head, so he doesn't have to stand! Crazy boy.
  11. Sorry, to me it looked like your "once in a blue moon" dog blew the contact on the A-frame. Didn't get faulted for it, sure, but with it that close, I personally would be concerned about injury. First concern in agility, IMHO, should be safety, not fastest time. Is a championship really worth your dog blowing an ACL? The dog, again IMHO, sees the sport as a game. I say this because of the barking, and my experience has been that dogs bark excessively when they are either having fun or getting frustrated. A working border collie, one that is on livestock, does not (this has been my experience, those with more, please correct me if I am mistaken). Serena, I realize that your background is in art and ballet, but Liz is right, when it comes to the working stock dog, you really don't know what you're talking about.
  12. Oh, my! I fear that some people reading these last posts on getting a dog might think one should never get a rescue or rehomed dog! If you know what you're looking for, it really should not be that difficult to find a dog to suit your needs. Here are my fosters: Roxie, my first foster: surrendered to a shelter because she kept peeing in the house. Turns out, there was a medical reason for it. Other than that, she fantastic with children and makes an excellent day care dog. She's an easy going couch potato, but she'll let kids with learning disabilities read to her, thereby gaining confidence in their reading skills without the fear of ridicule or rejection. Ceana, border collie who spent a vast majority of her life tied to a tree producing multiple litters. Very sensitive and under socialized, but a cuddler if there ever was one. She went home with a man and assisted in his healing from a very nasty divorce where his ex took his dogs. He didn't need a performance or working dog, but a little therapy dog who thought the world of him. Blaze, related to Ceana and again spent his life tied to a tree. Vastly different than Ceana, more outgoing. He displayed a desire to work and so went to a farm. Not stellar, but he's good enough to do the work needed and helpout on the farm. Jaxper, bernese mountain dog x, no back story, but he became a boy's best friend and part time service dog. Jazzy, ball driven and now running in flyball. Let's not forget my own and those in my family: Kellie (RIP pretty girl), Maverick, Jak, Mitchell, Max, Buddy, Scruffy (who helped my brother heal after he was in a car crash that killed his best friend), and little Lily (who appears to have been abused previously, so we're taking it slow). And then the ones who never got to go to another home: Ace and Spot, both euthanized for aggression issues. Neither ever made it out of my house because the aggression issues made them un-adoptable. Both had all the advantages of being well-socialized as puppies, Ace, in fact, was raised by me, but something just wasn't right in his head. Point is, it depends on the qualities you want. An older dog you can find those qualities, a puppy, while being a blank slate, is still the product of genetics and can "go wrong" even with all the advantages. There is still risk either way. Rogue, an aussie purchased from working lines, shows zero interest in working sheep, which we had initially got her for, but she makes a great little agility dog, especially in jumpers. My Kayzie, purchased as a puppy, is showing great promise (I think) toward herding, but time will tell.
  13. Yes, exactly! Granted, you can get a puppy from working lines, and it can be fantastic in whatever field you choose, but you really can't test a young puppy's aptitude, its natural gifts. It's very much a roll of the dice, even if you have researched its relatives, including full siblings from a previous breeding. An older dog, on the other hand, while not necessarily well-suited for stock work, might display the very talents and qualities needed for sports or any other work. Can y'all tell I'm a huge proponent of rescuing? I don't think "washout" or "leftover" should be dirty words, but then I suppose we're getting into the psychology and connotations behind words again. My mistake. I really should've known better! Thank you, Mara, for the gentle correction
  14. Truly? Well, thank doG for my herding washouts. They do very well in the fields that appeal to them and me. Kellie was too hard on stock, but she showed a lot of potential in SAR before I blew my knee, and Maverick, who is afraid of sheep, makes a nice little dance partner.
  15. Of course handling and socialization. When Kayzie was a puppy, we had quiet time every day,a couple of times a day. Sometimes she was alone in her crate, other times she was on the receiving end of a massage. The down time is important too to teach your pup to relax. I have a bad knee, so I don't do a lot of extra physical activities (ie daily walks, jogging) with my dogs anymore. Instead, I focus on their minds. I have a lot of food puzzles, both purchased and home made. I rotate the puzzles so they never have the same one twice in a row. I've also become a clicker master...meaning I'm great at shaping behaviors by just catching parts and letting the dog figure out what I want. About twice a week, we'll go on some little trip either to the pet store or to one of the local dog parks. Even though I could go it alone, Kayzie and I go to training classes several times throughout the year. Best advice is to keep the physical and mental activities balanced.
  16. Ummm.... have you even tried? You can get excellent, working line dogs I'm sure. I know I can and I've never even trialed. There are plenty of "herding washouts" to choose from. We now have, what, 39 pages of Times Roman 11 point font of people politely telling you over and over that this is not enough. Genes are tricky little things, and it is very, very easy to lose the natural aptitude for stock work if every single pairing is not evaluated by the offsprings' performances on stock. How else would we know if the pairing should be repeated? If it makes you feel better, I'm a CGC Evaluator for the AKC. Because I believe it is the only program with any validity, and the program has received a resolution by the state, I run the tests, but at the same time I know it is another money trap. Look at all the CGC and now the STAR Puppy products and try to tell me otherwise, plus that I have to buy the test forms. I know what runs the AKC. It's the same reason why the prestigious American Kennel Club opened its doors to mixed breeds to run in the sport trials. Just like any other business, they go over quarterly profits and find ways to line their pockets more. The AKC is a corporation with their hands even in the 4H clubs so that kids think the AKC is the end all. If you truly want them to stop supporting puppy mills and such, you do not write letters and petitions, you hit them where it hurts: in the wallet. The big money makers are the sport trials. If you truly want to protest the AKC's actions and sponsors, you get a very large number of competitors to boycott all trials for at least a year, perhaps more. In essence, you go on strike until there are changes. Treat it like the corporation it is and demand changes. You have to make a big enough dent to make them listen, just letters and petitions will not work. I can't believe I got sucked into this again. It's like an addiction, despite the fact that I'm clearly being ignored.
  17. Congrats! First border collie then? I, personally, like to start with impulse control. Leave it is essential in my house since I drop things... a lot. It has been said that it takes somewhere to the tune of 9,000 good repetitions before a dog truly "knows" a command. I have never had much luck with drilling or specific training times, so I employ "commercial break training." This means that we'll have plenty of mini training sessions throughout the day with only 4-6 repetitions per session. A solid recall is also a must for any dog. After that, manners and what you can live with (I know some wonderful dogs that have never been taught to sit or down on command in their lives, but they don't jump on guests or steal food, so it's all good). Good luck!
  18. I get it. I train dogs differently based on both the dog's heritage and own personality. It's a matter of tapping into the dog's natural inclinations and using those forge the partnership. It's all a matter of getting through to the dog. The border collie, and this is something I have not experienced with any other breed, brings a unique type of focus and devotion to the table when you're talking about dog sports. It is a byproduct of their stock working purpose that makes them an absolute joy to partner with, and it can also be very problematic if you don't know what you're doing or have someone to help you.
  19. I'm so lucky she loves me... The picture is actually an old one, but I don't think I've shared it here.
  20. I think the overall point here is instinct. It is possible to train non-herding breeds, ie a Golden Retriever, to herd stock, but those dogs do not possess the natural aptitude that working stock dogs, which were bred specifically for that purpose, possess as part of their heritage. However, even that heritage could be suspect if the breeding pair do not produce viable working offspring (and I mean working stock). That being said, it all depends on the traits you value. For an agility dog, the handler might want a focused, fast dog who is not so overly excited in running the course that it blows the contacts. A SAR dog, depending on the area of SAR the handler favors, needs focus, a good nose, caution going over unstable surfaces, and good pacing to get to a person in trouble before it's too late (if you're looking into primarily live rescues and not cadaver searches). And none of this leaves out temperament by any stretch of the imagination. Being toy or food motivated is secondary to a dog with a natural inclination to the type of work. In essence, the work itself is the reward. IMO, border collies are the most versatile breed because they love the work. They love to work for the sake of working. That is a byproduct of their particular heritage: the intelligence and control they possess to problem solve and read the stock to get the stock where it needs to be. If we were to remove that element from the equation, or dilute it, we still have a dog that can do other things well, but we loose that drive, that natural tendency, to read the stock and do what needs to be done with limited to no direction from the handler. Sure, there will be "washouts" and "leftovers" (and I mean these term affectionately), but aren't those in every discipline? Take a service dog washout; one specifically bred for the work, it might not have passed the rigorous tests, but it still makes a fantastic pet. Likewise, I've seen, and trained, shelter dogs to fully functional SDs if they possess the right personality and desire. Point is, if we breed for the original purpose, be it herding, hunting, tracking, sledding, or even companion (the American Eskimo Dog comes to mind), then we will have dogs with the potential to do their traditional work, but can excel in the newer sports we have created.
  21. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, KZ is the fastest dog I've ever had. She's made a career out of startling people, in all disciplines, the first time they work her and see her really move. I haven't clocked her at all, but I know she can out run all the dogs at the dog park and have longer stamina than all of them save the greyhounds. Now that I'm confident she's finished growing and her joints have settled, I'm introducing jumps, so it should prove interesting.
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