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Bridging division between Working Border Collie Tradition vs. “Working” Agility Dogs+Other Disciplines

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Maybe the answer isn't so much to wait as to plan ahead. Form some relationships before you are ready to get pup.

 

I can understand not wanting to wait for more than a year before getting a pup when you're ready, but if you've done your homework ahead of time you're much more likely to know where you can get a pup when you're ready.

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There's a lot of deja vu going on here....

 

Karissa,

I think most reasonable breeders would accept a later spay/neuter. I wait 2 years before neutering my own dogs so why would I insist that someone else do it at 6 months, like you seem to be assuming? That said, I would likely want to co-own the dog until neutering if the person buying the pup was someone I didn't know well enough to trust that they weren't planning a litter before breeding. Otherwise I'd sell the pup with an NB status. Of course if sport folks don't care about registration, then the unethical buyer could ignore the NB and breed anyway and just sell unregistered pups.

 

I'm assuming though, that most sport folks wouldn't know if their dog was a breeding prospect at age 2, so if I sold on an S/N contract, I might state an upper limit by which the animal needs to be neutered.

 

But as others have said before, there are plenty of breeders, even working breeders, who will sell to sport people without any sort of contract, so it's not as if sport enthusiasts looking for working bred puppies would somehow be completely shut out from getting one.

 

And the argument that there aren't enough pups produced by working breeders has been hashed and rehashed on these boards. Supply and demand means that if there were a greater demand, there would likely be a greater supply, and I can say for sure that most working bred puppies sell for a fraction of what sport bred puppies go for. Whether the supply-demand equation would benefit the actual working dog population is open to discussion.

 

But really, people are breeding sport collies and will continue to do so. No registry can really police breeders in the ways that have been discussed here, and it's probably a waste of time to set forth breeding standards because people are going to do what they want to do no matter what standards are in place. Folks do it all the time, and if they want their dogs to be registered, they can even start their own registry.

 

And I agree with Mara that one can always *plan ahead.* There are a couple of dogs out there I'd love to have a pup from. So I have spoken to their owners already. I am not in need of a pup right now, but I've already put the word out about what I'm looking for so that when/if those breedings take place, I'm on the list. So if you know that your dogs start to slow down around age 8, you could always start asking around about puppies when that same dog is 5, no? And really, if there's a line you really like, chances are someone can point you to dogs that are very closely related and you wouldn't have to wait as long. And that goes for any planned breeding, sport or working.

 

J.

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Secret BC writes:

Rescue dogs are a crap shoot.

 

Perhaps to a lesser extent - but so are puppies!

 

MANY agility people want puppies because we have our way of starting dogs from the beginning to raise them up the way we want them. So sorry, while it's a commendable idea and does, indeed, work for many people, rescue is not an option for all sport enthusiasts.

 

Understood, but people do agility for all sorts of reasons and with many degrees of competitiveness. For many of these people rescue is absolutely an option. And one that has provided many people with competitive dogs.

 

And I hate to tell you, but many aren't patient enough to wait three years, either. It takes a good two years to go from puppy to partner -- I tend to start looking for my next dog when I feel like one of my older ones is stepping back a bit. Since I don't really want to go a period of time with no dogs, I'm not willing to wait three years. I have no idea where I'll be in three years.

If you plan far enough in advance, as Julie says, you probably won't have to.

 

Your argument of "rescue or wait" isn't going to get you very far or win you any favors with the sport world.

 

No offence, but this is unlikely to keep me up nights. ;)

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It's so fascinating--I think every regularly occurring conversation that happens on these boards (at least in the nearly 8 years I've been a member) has been revisited in this single thread. It's kind of like that movie GroundHog Day.....

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Just WHERE do agility people get the idea that there are not enough working bred pups out there to fill the sports homes? I seriously doubt this is the issue. They just do not network to find working breeders who have pups. Right now I have a friend with most of his current litter still available. These dogs are from good working lines too. That is just one. If I did a little digging I could find several litters just within my area without having to go far to find them.

 

The idea of requiring working ability to be bred is a good one just not feasible in this country IMO. Sweden has such a scheme but it is workable there due to the small size of the country. When this was tried in the US many years ago it failed and it would do so today as the logistics are just too difficult.

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It's so fascinating--I think every regularly occurring conversation that happens on these boards (at least in the nearly 8 years I've been a member) has been revisited in this single thread. It's kind of like that movie GroundHog Day.....

 

 

*queues up "Twilight Zone" theme music*

 

:P

 

~ Gloria

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I feel like puppies are a much bigger crap shoot. Close your eyes and pick one. Hope it works out after a year or so... I know I'm probably in the minority but I like to get a dog when they are 12 - 15 months. You can get a bit of a look at what is in there are that point. How they might work, are they keen, lots of eye or loose eyed, fear problems, bold, do they have heart... still no guarantee but much more to look at and work with. My current open dog had 4 owners before I got him. My youngster in his Nursery year had two. Lots of great dogs out there that, for one reason or another, just didn't fit with their owner. Often no fault of the dog, just style and such.

 

dave imas

www.leadmeontraining.com

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Pam wrote: They just do not network to find working breeders who have pups. Right now I have a friend with most of his current litter still available. These dogs are from good working lines too. That is just one. If I did a little digging I could find several litters just within my area without having to go far to find them.

 

Oops, I am re-editing. I went back and re-read SecretBC's post a few more times and clearly misunderstood...

 

Uh, Kelliepup, I am still horrified about spaying/neutering younger than 6 months. It almost feels like taking a 1 year old and spaying and neutering them if you count dog years to human life span in a 6-8 week old pup. Can any parent bear to do this to their baby or even their young gradeschool child???? A puppy is such a tiny delicate creature, folks! I can't bear the thought of anything slicing into them with such tiny bones and organs. Even at 6 mos. it's uncomfortable enough. Eluane took 3 days to get back to her normal activity at 6 mos spaying... But I am also totally against not spaying/neutering after 6 months for pet owners. It's too darn risky, not a good idea .... Growth plates???? I see the rare examples of irresponsible, inexperienced agility folks who train their pup in agility way too soon and damage the growth plates as a result. There are far more dangerous ways to ruin the growth plates than spaying at 6 mos. Six months is still the ideal IMHO. Each time I see some crazy BC mix "free to anyone who'll take 'em", I wanna screech and tear my hair out about such irresponsible breeding of letting a dog run on the loose. And I want to equally tear my hair out when I see border collie being bred to look pretty with no tests or regard for intelligence, keenness, etc. Pups even from a young age deserve tons of interaction, playtime, things to stimulate their minds. I am still a traditionalist, and always want an original working line but would they sell to me? Grizel sweetly says yes, they do exist, and I hope 12 years from now this doesn't change! And I also want to be able to find a sheepherding breeder who gives thoughtful attention to each pup too, and who has enough patience to deal with me as well, lol (may take a superhuman to do that :P) And a breeder who really makes effort to give out those neuter/spaying contracts, who screens the buyer, who also has things on their websites that indicate that they do know what happened to the pup they entrusted to a buyer. This makes a good breeder in my eyes, someone whom I admire....One of my special friends is a World FCI Champion who has shelties. The care and devotion she gives to each of her pups while they are growing up is very touching. She also knows exactly what happens to each of her pups as well. Folks, people ask about policing. There should be warnings to new potential border collie owners what to be careful about, which are the bad breeders, which are the good, reputable breeders...Also videos help tell the entire story of how someone raises their pups and if they indeed are sheepherders, etc. Real sheepherding at work, as well as trial settings, photocopies of the achievements, etc...These are the things that every new border collie pup owner must know and research. There are so many lies and absolute crap that new, trusting and naive border collie pup owners are fed. It's a disgrace!!!! Fake testimonies, fake misleading names of what a "ranch" is...Ha! Two horses and 15 unsold dogs running around does not! comprise a ranch!!!!! for heaven's sake!! Thank goodness these days we have YouTube, Vimeo things which help us inexperienced folks be educated and to be aware... Speaking of which, to this day no one has yet told me what is a typical working day like for a sheepherder....To me this is still part of the bridge. Whether it's sheepherding, part of the agility world, it's still issues of sharing, of humanity too. Every human has dreams, goals, something they feel passionately about...

 

However, SecretBC has nice questions and issues brought up to the sheepherding side on how people might address our concerns as "agility folks", and to clear away all the misconceptions. Gee, I hope and hope 12 years later, when Eluane passes on, that I can go to someone like Diana, for example and say, hey, can I get a pup? or can you refer me to someone who does have a very nice line of working dogs and is willing to help me find a pup within their litter that is a good match for my personality, my disabilities as well as my own talents and strengths. The sheer beauty of a winning team is the matchup... Dog and handler as one. For those of us who can only have one dog in a lifetime at a time, that is why we try to spend so much time trying to find our pup...If there is not a good matchup (especially in my case with all my issues), both dog and owner suffer...I would want to be the "ideal owner for my dog" too, it goes both! ways....

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Uh, Kelliepup, I am still horrified about spaying/neutering younger than 6 months.

 

And that is your personal preference, but I recommend you research why, scientifically, you feel that way instead of anthropomorphizing dogs in your reasoning.

 

It almost feels like taking a 1 year old and spaying and neutering them if you count dog years to human life span in a 6-8 week old pup. Can any parent bear to do this to their baby or even their young gradeschool child????

 

There have been cases of parents castrating their children. It makes the news every time it happens, and these parents go to court and pay for their crimes. In humans, it is considered a crime because it is believed that humans are sentient and have a soul whereas animals do not. It is also customary certain religions to circumcise male infants. This practice has been found to be less traumatic on infants than on grown men, and has many health benefits, including the decrease in infections.

 

A puppy is such a tiny delicate creature, folks! I can't bear the thought of anything slicing into them with such tiny bones and organs. Even at 6 mos. it's uncomfortable enough. Eluane took 3 days to get back to her normal activity at 6 mos spaying... But I am also totally against not spaying/neutering after 6 months for pet owners. It's too darn risky, not a good idea ....

By this definition, toy breeds, teacup breeds, then and cats should never be spayed or neutered. Not to mention small animals such as ferrets, whose adult weights vary from approximately 2 to 5 pounds. Consider this: the adult size and weight of toy breed is roughly the same as a mid to large sized dog 2 to 3 months of age. (The rescues and vets I know will not spay/neuter younger than 8 weeks)

 

 

It is also a medical fact that younger creatures heal quicker than older ones with fewer complications. What is in dispute, however, is whether the growth and pubescent hormones are diminished during the alteration and/or play an important part in the dog’s physical and mental development. Overall size at the time of the surgery really doesn’t enter into the equation. Age, however, is an important factor since the younger dog is more likely to bounce back than an older dog.

 

My personal opinion in the matter is that the hormones to play an important part during development. I base this on research I have done and my own observations. Therefore, I am in favor of later spays and neuters. My preference may be swayed if new scientific evidence revealing otherwise comes to light.

 

Researching these topics is important because there is almost always a delicate balance of evidence that must be weighed. There are medical studies to suggest that dogs are at higher risk of cancer the longer they remain intact. Other studies show increased behavioral issues in intact dogs. Reports such as these, and others, must be weighed against pet overpopulation, statistical mortality rates, reported growth abnormalities, and even reports of decreased drive. These are the issues that matter, not anthropomorphizing dogs into human children.

 

Growth plates???? I see the rare examples of irresponsible, inexperienced agility folks who train their pup in agility way too soon and damage the growth plates as a result. There are far more dangerous ways to ruin the growth plates than spaying at 6 mos. Six months is still the ideal IMHO. Each time I see some crazy BC mix "free to anyone who'll take 'em", I wanna screech and tear my hair out about such irresponsible breeding of letting a dog run on the loose.

 

The trauma that damages growth plates is what makes it so difficult to get conclusive evidence on whether early spay/neuter causes growth abnormalities. Because of what I want my dogs to do, I prefer to err on the side of caution and keep my dogs intact until that benefit, IMO, balances the risks.

 

Accidental matings is another risk that rescues must take into account. As soon as an intact male dog can produce sperm, he is capable of siring pups, and this can happen before the age of six months. Six months is a guideline, an average, not a rule. By the same token, a bitch can become impregnated during her first heat, which, again, can happen before six months. John and Jane Q. Public are not going to know this, especially since puppies in general are still very much an impulse buy. Since rescues are in the non-profit business of placing dogs and puppies from accidental breedings, they are going to do their best to prevent future accidental breedings. This means exploring, and often acting on, the option of early spays and neuters before the puppy goes to its new home.

 

 

It's fine if you don't agree with it, no judgement here, but I, personally, like to see the reasoning based on logical and scientific facts, not suppositions, assumptions, or gut feelings. I even tell my nieces and nephews that if they want me to even consider their conclusions then they must present me with a logical argument based on fact. That means they have to research both sides, all aspects of the available data, and present both pros and cons. If nothing else, it gets them to question things a lot more, research all the data, and come up with their own opinions.

 

The only exception to the above is a matter of religion. That one rests solely on faith in my family.

 

Quick disclaimer: I am not an expert in canine medical problems. I did not go to school for it and I do not assist in the actual research. What I have done is self study of the published findings, balanced the perceived risks and benefits, and analyzed my own tendencies and failings as a dog owner to arrive at the youngest age that I am comfortable with when spaying or neutering my own dogs. If I get a puppy from a rescue, I either have to adhere to their regulations, or, in a few cases because they know me, compromise on an age that is agreeable to us both.

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It's so fascinating--I think every regularly occurring conversation that happens on these boards (at least in the nearly 8 years I've been a member) has been revisited in this single thread. It's kind of like that movie GroundHog Day.....

Have we hit raw versus kibble, or purely positive versus correction training yet? :lol::P:lol:

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I feel like puppies are a much bigger crap shoot. Close your eyes and pick one. Hope it works out after a year or so... I know I'm probably in the minority but I like to get a dog when they are 12 - 15 months. You can get a bit of a look at what is in there are that point. How they might work, are they keen, lots of eye or loose eyed, fear problems, bold, do they have heart... still no guarantee but much more to look at and work with. My current open dog had 4 owners before I got him. My youngster in his Nursery year had two. Lots of great dogs out there that, for one reason or another, just didn't fit with their owner. Often no fault of the dog, just style and such.

 

dave imas

www.leadmeontraining.com

I am actually getting behind that point of view. One has invested invested a lot (not in the least emotionally) before finding out if the dog is working well, or is just a wash out. The dog that works for me I got last summer, a year old. The one that is now a two year old doesn´t, her I got as a pup.

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Speaking of which, to this day no one has yet told me what is a typical working day like for a sheepherder....To me this is still part of the bridge. Whether it's sheepherding, part of the agility world, it's still issues of sharing, of humanity too. Every human has dreams, goals, something they feel passionately about...

Srena,

The reason no one has told you what a typical work day entails is because there is no one-size-fits-all typical work day. A typical work day for my dogs is completely different from a typical work day for, say, Lana's (has she posted to this thread?), and a typical work day for her dogs is completely different than a typical work day for Tea's dogs, or Sue's dogs or Robin's dogs, etc. My dogs almost never work a 14-hou day, and if we do, it's likely because we've been hired to set sheep for a trial, but I don't have nearly that amount of work on a daily basis at home.

 

A typical work day depends on the type of operation, the numbers and types of stock, the type of forage management system being used: intensive grazing, with sheep contained in small areas and being moved often; trailing sheep for browsing as Tea does; moving large bands from one graze to another, where they stay for an extended period, but perhaps the same dogs that moved the sheep one day must help gather cattle for calf branding, vaccines, etc., the next (as Lana might do), and so on. Farms and ranches are so incredibly varied across this country that there is no typical work day, and because management of livestock also has seasonal aspects, typical work from season to season will also vary. Trying to convey to someone a typical work day for working border collies in this country will invariably result in inaccuracies.

 

J.

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There have been cases of parents castrating their children. It makes the news every time it happens, and these parents go to court and pay for their crimes. In humans, it is considered a crime because it is believed that humans are sentient and have a soul whereas animals do not. It is also customary certain religions to circumcise male infants. This practice has been found to be less traumatic on infants than on grown men, and has many health benefits, including the decrease in infections.

 

 

I believe the law deals primarily in matters of consent not in souls and sentience (though an actual lawyer can comment on this). Newborn humans who are gender ambiguous in their bodily morphology (e.g. without clearly identifiable genitalia) are regularly surgically altered to make them physically appear to be a clear example of male or female--this is not illegal, though it is less common than it once was. This is castration in most cases (owing generally to atypical/unusually small penises and/or undescended testicles) and it typically doesn't make the news at all nor is it considered a crime (except by those to whom it is done).

 

(back to Border Collies and eagerly awaiting the training portion of the conversation)

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(back to Border Collies and eagerly awaiting the training portion of the conversation)

 

We did talk about the "blame the handler" culture in Agility, and whether or not "all things are training".

 

That's kind of about training, although not a debate about reinforcement based training and training that employs correction per se.

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We did talk about the "blame the handler" culture in Agility, and whether or not "all things are training".

 

That's kind of about training, although not a debate about reinforcement based training and training that employs correction per se.

 

I am sitting on my hands....It would be so easy.... :P

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I agree with Julie.

 

 

 

Every day- with a Shepherd- is different. And it is seasonal, each season is different.

 

 

Right now I get up....put goats in- milk them- put them out.

 

Sort the wool sheep that won't lamb till april- move them out of the barn and paddock area away from the hair sheep which are lambing soon. And take them down the trails to where they are currently foraging. This can be a couple of miles. Then they stay out.

 

Then they come back to the main barn in the evening. Meanwhile the hair sheep are put in the paddock and looked over and then I hay those guys. The last month or so I hay them.

 

Then they go back.

 

 

 

Once lambing has started then there is putting ewes in jugs.

 

Sorting older lambs and ewes into a bigger area.

 

 

 

Moving a flock of ewes and two week old lambs out.

 

 

 

And also we go to the USDA mobile slaughter and move stock in and out of our own rig and move others.

 

 

 

I am called on to catch sheep to crutch for other shepherds soon.

 

 

 

And all these things have different challenges and restraints.

 

And with diffrent animals that changes. And the difference with moving a pregnant flock and a flock with a bunch of new lambs is very different. The difference between catching a lame ewe and a bunch of piglets is different.

 

 

 

And the terrain changes- muddy- water filled ditches- snow- icey patches.

that changes how stock behaves.

 

 

Jumping in back of trucks with campers to move out lambs.....going down a stock trailer to move sheep.

 

 

 

Moving someones reluctant undoogged steers..

 

 

 

 

Or this last week catching some older goat bucklings that kept trying to flatten my dogs againest a fence.

 

 

And then on Sat I often go to a trial.

 

 

And do not see any connection between this and an agility trial. And I am FOR folks doing things with their dogs. But only breeding for the work.

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I believe the law deals primarily in matters of consent not in souls and sentience (though an actual lawyer can comment on this). Newborn humans who are gender ambiguous in their bodily morphology (e.g. without clearly identifiable genitalia) are regularly surgically altered to make them physically appear to be a clear example of male or female--this is not illegal, though it is less common than it once was. This is castration in most cases (owing generally to atypical/unusually small penises and/or undescended testicles) and it typically doesn't make the news at all nor is it considered a crime (except by those to whom it is done).

 

I would postulate that it isn't all about consent (btw, you have to be conscious of the self to give consent), especially in criminal cases, as animals are considered property and, aside from euthanasia to dangerous animals, are not responsible, by law, for their actions. The owner, as the sentient one in the relationship, is. The underlying question, especially in juvenile cases and mental illness defenses, is "did the defendant know right from wrong?" That implies adhering to a moral code, dubbed by some as a soul.

 

Very interesting otherwise, but not what I was referencing. Try this (warning: disturbing).

 

ETA: The mother was found guilty.

 

(back to Border Collies and eagerly awaiting the training portion of the conversation)

 

There are four parts to operant conditioning. My personal feelings are to use all four in conjunction with the human's and the dog's personalities and learning styles for maximum efficiency in training. Basically, there needs to be a balance. I have found, IME, that knowing several different methods is helpful because dogs respond differently from one another.

 

Of course, I still have my default method that I start with...

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Have we hit raw versus kibble, or purely positive versus correction training yet? :lol::P:lol:

 

I would like to talk about clicker training my 'herding' dog for titles. Can we work that in?

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I would like to talk about clicker training my 'herding' dog for titles. Can we work that in?

 

I'm having an absolute blast clicker training my new Freestyle partner. She is shaping up to be an awesome little performer!!!!

 

On occasion I've used raw food to reinforce her, but I usually use kibble. :P :P :P

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Typical day? what's that??? I just have 80 acres so not a big farm. We have hills and cliffs-rugged terrain. The goats get out often-dogs are best at finding them and bringing them home. May have to move the cows (pasturing a few for a friend), check the ewes-take a horse and dog or drive over to the east pasture. One day may mean moving over 100 ewes/lambs/goats/kids a mile down the road keeping them out of the neighbor's yards and pastures along the way. Maybe move the flock across the road to graze then home at dark. Tend the sheep/goats while they glean the corn from a nearby field. One day may be gathering stock for shearing and helping sort at the end of the day.

 

these things do not 'earn' any achievements on paper, just in my heart.

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I would postulate that it isn't all about consent (btw, you have to be conscious of the self to give consent), especially in criminal cases, as animals are considered property and, aside from euthanasia to dangerous animals, are not responsible, by law, for their actions. The owner, as the sentient one in the relationship, is. The underlying question, especially in juvenile cases and mental illness defenses, is "did the defendant know right from wrong?" That implies adhering to a moral code, dubbed by some as a soul.

 

Very interesting otherwise, but not what I was referencing. Try this (warning: disturbing).

 

ETA: The mother was found guilty.

 

 

It's not the owner's sentience that confers that responsibility. Perhaps we are using different meanings of the term sentient?

 

Souls are matters tied to beliefs about the essence of beings (usually human but increasingly also non humans) and are not the same thing as morality--regardless of what some people may believe. Certainly, it is not the fact that some people believe humans to have souls that makes it illegal for parents to castrate their children but legal to castrate their companion animals.

 

In humans, it is considered a crime because it is believed that humans are sentient and have a soul whereas animals do not.

 

(My point in bringing up gender ambiguity was that parents are free to (consent to) castrate their children if they deem those children to have ambiguous genitals--I agree that they are generally not free to perform such castrations themselves. It's interesting to consider, perhaps, what would happen if a "mentally deranged" person, who showed evidence of cocaine and methadone in their blood at the time, castrated their pet dog with a sharp instrument while it slept--as was described in the article you linked to. Somehow, I suspect they could be charged with animal cruelty. But, I'm not a lawyer. ETA: It does bring up questions regarding the topic of this thread though. :D )

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On occasion I've used raw food to reinforce her, but I usually use kibble. :P :P :P

 

Many brands of kibble could kill your dog. And using raw like that will spread salmonella and make people sick. You'd best use cooked meat (or only approved kibbles a, b, and c) for training treats

 

:P :P :D

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Have we hit raw versus kibble, or purely positive versus correction training yet? :lol::P:lol:

 

And once we hit correction training, Cesar Milan is next! :lol:

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Has anyone said candy colored Agility dogs?

 

If so, I can't recall. Better get that in!!

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