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Everything posted by juliepoudrier

  1. Bicoastal, I sent you a message via this forum regarding another clinic in Virginia. J.
  2. Alasdair MacRae used to be in Shipman, but hasn't been there for some years now. I don't know about just showing up at the clinic. I doubt they'd mind, but it may be wise to just send Stacy a quick email to let her know you might be coming. Tommy is super nice so no need to feel intimidated. As for your current trainer, I don't think they should object to you going to audit someone else or even take lessons with someone else. Sometimes a dog and trainer just don't mesh, through no one's fault. If something's not working and your current trainer is at a loss to"fix" it, what other options do you have? Parking at the clinic is away from where the stock/training takes place, so your dog might not notice unless you walk him over to the training area. Note that depending on where they are in the clinic they could be working sheep near the house or up in the larger field, which you can't see from the road (though you can see the drive leading to it). J.
  3. Just to add to info for folks dealing with epilepsy: I had a dog who had grand mal seizures, diagnosed idiopathic epilepsy at age 4. Was put on phenobarbital at ~4.5. Never had another seizure that I know of. Bloodwork came back good every year until she was 10 or so, and then just a slight increase in one liver enzyme, nothing the vet was concerned about. She had to be PTS this summer at age 11 for an unrelated issue, but I had no reason to believe she wouldn't have led a full life to age 15+ like all my others, despite the epilepsy and being on Pb for years. There are better options now than just Pb, but epilepsy need not be a death sentence or even change quality of life (I still worked her and used her to set sheep trials). That said, age of onset (younger = worse) and type of seizure (clusters = worse) will certainly have an effect on outcome. I was lucky that Phoebe led a pretty normal life. Her littermate brother wasn't so lucky and had be PTS before he was 4. J.
  4. P.S. There a Tommy Wilson clinic Maggie's Farm (Stacy Scott and Peter Hall) in Sperryville, VA, this weekend (12/2-3). I imagine all the working spots are filled, but think auditing pretty cheap. If the OP is interested it would be a good introduction to Tommy's training, and he's good answering questions. The address is 455 Old Hollow Road, Sperryville. It shouldn't be much more than hour from many places in NoVA. I'll see if I can find/attach the flyer. Stacy's email is sss2604 at gmail dot com. J. TomW+Signup+2017.pdf
  5. Interestingly enough, since his name was brought up, Tommy W does advocate taking a dog in a pen with sheep and leaving the dog to settle. Call it flooding or something else, I've never seen a dog go nuts and try to bite, attack, or anything else like that. Generally they settle down very quickly. But of course, if the OP believes the approach would be counterproductive for her dog, I can't gainsay her. For me, it creates an environment where the dog gets nothing but calm from me (I'm just reading after all) and the dog's overexcited behavior gains it *nothing*--no work, no response from me, no real response from the sheep. I agree with Eileen that if the dog were reacting out of fear doing this might not be a good idea (although IMHO a fearful dog might just realize there's nothing to fear if it's in close proximity to stock and nothing happens), but for a dog that needs to learn self control around stock, this isn't going to somehow permanently scar him. That said, I am not the OP and the dog is not my dog. Only she can decide what she's willing to do to try turn this situation into a productive relationship. J.
  6. I think you might be surprised. Nothing is moving, so there's no real stimulation. I've never seen a dog go nuts in such a situation. Generally they just figure out that nothing is going to happen, period. J.
  7. What about sessions of just hanging out calmly with sheep? You bring a book and a chair, put the sheep in an enclosure where they are close but where you can create space between you in your chair and them. Dog on leash. Take dog in with you, sit down, read or otherwise entertain yourself. Let dog do whatever it's going to do within the length of its leash. Ignore dog and sheep. Nothing happens (except you reading) until dog settles down. This will likely need to be repeated until the dog can enter into close proximity to sheep without losing its mind. I think your dog needs to learn to settle its mind, and this is the approach I'd take. It'll be rather tedious and could take a while at once-a-week visits, but it's the approach I'd take to start with. J.
  8. I would say males can easily go to the mid 40 lb weight range. I have 7 working bred border collies right now, and most are smallish, around 30 lbs, give or take. My one male usually stays around 42-43 lbs at a fit weight. I have another male who hovers around 38 lbs. And then there's the youngster, who is already 42 lbs at 10 months. His sire and his sire's sire are big dogs and he apparently inherited those genetics. People who have or know his littermates say that most are not that big. But, I got the big boy. Still, as long as he lives up to those genetics workwise, I'll be happy. Of dogs past, I'd say all fell in the 30-40 lb range. J.
  9. Congratulations, Eileen. Your HOF induction is well deserved. I've enjoyed watching you run dogs over the years too. J.
  10. Donald, I'm so sorry to hear that you've reached the end of dog trialing. I'm just now trying to get back in, and I'll miss seeing you, just as much as I miss the Highland Occasional trial. I hope I do get to see you and Anne again sometime. Julie
  11. Smalahundur, In my experience what vet practices charge for services very much depends on where they are located and the relative wealth of their clientele. For example, a vet acupuncture visit that cost me $35-40 in NC or rural VA costs $100 near Charlottesville, VA (wealthy surrounding population). An ultrasound I got at a specialty practice cost double ($700 vs. $300) what it cost at my regular vet. In defense of the specialty practice, I guess they had to pay for their instrument and the local rural vets used a traveling ultrasound vet (although that vet had to pay for his/her machine too). My local vet hired an office manager and a second vet and the prices went up, unsurprisingly. In general, that practice's surgical fees, at least, are still much lower than they are in nearby Richmond, VA. Another observation I've made is that mixed vet practices, or vets who work on farm animals as well as pets, tend to be less pushy about sending clients to specialists or suggesting more expensive treatments. I think this is likely due to their experiences with farm animals, which, generally speaking (horses and some others excepted) aren't worth enough money to make it practical to spend a great deal on veterinary care for them. That's not to say that I think vets shouldn't offer more expensive treatment options, but I, for one, appreciate a more practical outlook at times. When my Willow was being treated for mast cell cancer and the last treatment we tried made her quite ill (without doing anything to the tumors), the specialty practice pushed additional treatments. I went back to my regular vet and had a very frank discussion about continuing treatment vs. palliative care. (I opted for palliative care and within several months she went into remission, which surprised us all.) I'm not slamming vets; they need to make a living too, but I do prefer vets who are willing to work with me and discuss *all* options and not push only the most expensive/difficult solution. As for the OP, she said her dog had been recently seen, so all the comments about people who don't take their dogs in regularly don't really apply here. I understand the argument that the vet may still need hands on, but I'd be willing to bet that had the urinalysis shown nothing remarkable, Jovi would have taken her dog in for follow up. I don't expect my vet to diagnose over the phone, but I also try to have a good relationship and good communication with my vet so that when I do call with a question/concern he may well be willing to discuss it with me without actually seeing the dog at that moment. If I had a vet who routinely was adding procedures and products I didn't want or who wouldn't listen to my ideas or concerns regarding the path forward with treating my animals, I'd be looking for another vet. J.
  12. Not related to dogs, but when I used to trail my sheep through the woods to a pasture about a mile away, they would race to the oak trees to glean acorns. As for dogs, I have no scientific evidence, and obviously blockages could be a concern, but I wouldn't think acorns in moderation--and it sounds as if he's eating very few--would be toxic. J.
  13. I think if you could intern with T, you would find it to be an invaluable experience. If you can, go for it! J.
  14. Yep, size is relative. Most of my adult female border collies arein the 28-35 pound range. My male is slightly larger at 43 lbs. Then I got a pup from a breeding I really liked. His parents and grandparents are big dogs. He weighs 42 lbs at 8 months old. He is not fat and clearly needs to fill out, which means he's going to end up even heavier. Gah! But of course I got him not for his projected size, but rather because I liked his breeding. I've had youngsters whom I considered thin, but eventually they all filled out nicely (one took until she was into middle age). I just look at them and put my hands on them and adjust their food up or down, depending on what I'm seeing and feeling. A weight of 27 lbs isn't excessively small, though it is on the low end of the range. If she's healthy and eats well I wouldn't worry about her. J.
  15. Thanks! I was just looking and couldn't find out who won. J.
  16. For outside I always use an empty IV bag. Cut pff the end where the IV line is place, cut a few slits in that end and thread some gauze through so you can tie it on once you slip it over the cast. Don't leave it on in the house because it will hold moisture in on the cast. J.
  17. I know someone who has collies and trials in AKC with them. I think the attempts at USBCHA type trialing have been abysmal failures. No one has been selecting for herding ability for a very long time, and despite what many conformation aficianados believe, you can't just "put it back in." I have been told by a corgi owner/breeder that she has dogs in Canada working "large farms," but that doesn't really make sense to me because corgis weren't bred for gathering large areas. Maybe they send the dog then go in and get coffee and breakfast while those short little legs get around the large acreages.... That said, there are breed enthusiasts who are trying their best, within AKC and perhaps AHBA frameworks to "preserve" working ability (such as it is) in their herding breed of choice. I think anyone looking for a working dog of one of those other breeds would have to do some serious research to at least be sure they're finding the best available working genetics that are out there. I have seen plenty of good working kelpies, and occasionally a good working aussie (there was one at the 2013 USBCHA finals running in nursery that was quite nice). There most certainly are others (Aussies) out working on ranches that you just don't see because they're not trialing. ETA: I see you are in the UK. The other breed that you'd most likely find with (still) strong working genetics would be the bearded collie, but again you'd need to look for dogs from working lines and not show lines. J.
  18. Some years ago, my Willow fractured a metatarsal when she planted her foot and then spun going after a ball. Treatment involved splinting, I don't remember for how many weeks, but probably at least a month. She healed fine. Not exactly what you're dealing with, but similar. J.
  19. Well, yes, and I clearly acknowledged that at least the hot-headed/tension aspect could create easy overheating, but then we're talking about two different breeding issues: breeding dogs whose intensity causes them to overheat more easily (or have less stamina), at least in early training and those who just plain don't have stamina. For the OP, I'd say if s/he's suspicious of some lines, then try to buy from lines that work all day on ranches. We are fortunate here in the US that it's possible to find lines that are unrelated, or at least not closely related, to only trial dogs. If the OP's youngster is heavily from trial lines, then ISTM the answer would be to avoid those types of dogs in the future. That is, if one is suspicious of dogs from trialing lines, it should be fairly easy to find dogs who aren't from trialing lines, and I think this would be especially true for dogs that work cattle, since there are fewer cattle trials and lots more ranches raising cattle who also use dogs (and who don't trial). As long as there are weekend warriors out there who don't need a dog to be able to manage more than perhaps a 30-min double lift, then I suppose "we" could be selecting for less stamina. That said, I, for one, believe that even dogs not genetically predisposed to have great stamina can certainly develop stamina through actual work or other exercise. And that was my point. It's a two-pronged issue. If you never actually ask for stamina in any way from a dog, how can you know whether it has real stamina? And this is a separate question from the one about youngsters running hot because of mental excitability. I think for this discussion to have real value from the OP's perspective you'd need to remove from the discussion those dogs who, at least as youngsters, are too hot/intense because I think they are a special "subgroup" so to speak and are not indicative of overall stamina capabilities in trial dogs or work dogs at large. And one final thought: Are the folks who use dogs exclusively on cattle selecting for more hot-headed dogs because they believe they need that extra "oomph" (once mature) when working cattle? Could the two desires/needs be working at odds to one another? J.
  20. Smalahundur, Would your neighbor let you buy/borrow several of his overly dogged ewes? If you could get them and put them in with your wilder youngsters they would have a calming/steadying influence once they have bonded as a group. You could start Peli in your round pen with just the kneeknockers and then slowly add in the lighter sheep as you progress. Even in the larger spaces the kneeknockers would add stability to the group and would help draw the others (the potential fighters) along with them. By the time Peli is ready to manage just the less broke sheep (who will, of course be more broke by that time), he should have the skills needed to manage the flock minus the kneeknockers, who can then go back from whence they came (if borrowed) or rejoin the breeding flock (if bought). J.
  21. I'm sure that mental hyperactivity/stress can have much to do with a dog overheating, but I wonder when we talk about trial dogs vs work dogs if we aren't also missing the conditions in which those dogs are kept. Dogs that are kenneled outdoors and working outdoors for longer periods of time are most certainly acclimated to the hotter temps (and perhaps higher humidity, which is the bigger issue in my part of the world, the southeastern US) and probably have greater stamina due to acclimatization alone. I have friends whose dogs live in air conditioned spaces and when they need to be outside working on a warm/hot day, they don't last very long. My dogs live in the house (but also spend a lot of time outside), but I don't use a/c and they do seem better able to go for longer periods of time outside in all types of weather. This may not be sustained hard work like gathering a hill--it could be something like setting sheep at a trial for 12 hours in the blazing summer sun. As trialing has gained popularity as a sport and so many people have crossed over from other sports, the management of dogs among trial folks has most definitely changed and I think this plays a large factor in how dogs fare out in the weather at trials or just working in general. I also think that dogs who are going to be expected to work longer hours out in the weather need to get exercise out in the weather. With the advent of people exercising dogs from the backs of ATVs or mules/golf carts (I see this mainly with trial people), I think dogs are being conditioned for bursts of speed over shorter periods of time. I don't know many (if any) folks who ride their ATVs for 45-60 min to exercise their dogs. I take my dogs on long walks, 45-60 min. They don't run flat out the entire time--they run, they trot, they walk, they flop in the shade briefly--but I think that kind of exercise will help build stamina, especially in hot climates (we've already had days approaching and exceeding 90 degrees and it's not even officially summer yet) in a way that quick runs on an ATV or similar will not. (And I do realize that some folks just aren't physically capable of taking their dogs for long walks over hill and dale in good weather and bad--I'm just pointing out that even if dogs with less stamina aren't being created through breeding programs, they are likely being created through our own management of them.) So while I think there certainly could be a lack of stamina being bred into border collies, I also think that our own management of them can be an exacerbating or mitigating factor. J.
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