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Eileen Stein

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  1. Sharing a message from Bob Stephens, President of the Canadian Border Collie Association: Fellow sheep dog enthusiasts; The Canadian Border Collie Association is pleased to announce the release of the documentary film Amanda Milliken In Conversation. The film is an intimate portrait which offers a rare glimpse into Amanda’s thinking on breeding, training and handling sheep dogs. Amanda tells us how she got started in her career and we join her on the field as she trains her current young dog and talks about her approach to building the partnership that has made her a winner over and over again. She recounts the story of the ‘dog wars’ - the dramatic fight to preserve the working Border collie, a fight that resulted in the establishment of Canada’s breed registry; the Canadian Border Collie Association. She shares memories and anecdotes, sometimes humorous, from the early years of herding in Ontario; how trial competition refined the skills of both dogs and handlers and how the Kingston Sheep Dog Trials grew from a humble event in her back field to one of the most important herding trials in North America. Amanda Milliken In Conversation is an entertaining and educational portrait of one of our sports’ most accomplished members. It is full of gems for sheep doggers of all levels. We invite you to share this film with your members on your website and social media pages. It can be found here: https://www.canadianbordercollies.org/showcase-amanda Sincerely, Bob Stephens President, Canadian Border Collie Association
  2. Sharing a message from Bob Stephens, President of the Canadian Border Collie Association: Fellow sheep dog enthusiasts; The Canadian Border Collie Association is pleased to announce the release of the documentary film Amanda Milliken In Conversation. The film is an intimate portrait which offers a rare glimpse into Amanda’s thinking on breeding, training and handling sheep dogs. Amanda tells us how she got started in her career and we join her on the field as she trains her current young dog and talks about her approach to building the partnership that has made her a winner over and over again. She recounts the story of the ‘dog wars’ - the dramatic fight to preserve the working Border collie, a fight that resulted in the establishment of Canada’s breed registry; the Canadian Border Collie Association. She shares memories and anecdotes, sometimes humorous, from the early years of herding in Ontario; how trial competition refined the skills of both dogs and handlers and how the Kingston Sheep Dog Trials grew from a humble event in her back field to one of the most important herding trials in North America. Amanda Milliken In Conversation is an entertaining and educational portrait of one of our sports’ most accomplished members. It is full of gems for sheep doggers of all levels. We invite you to share this film with your members on your website and social media pages. It can be found here: https://www.canadianbordercollies.org/showcase-amanda Sincerely, Bob Stephens President, Canadian Border Collie Association
  3. Yes, that’s the 2008 French study I was referring to.
  4. It is good to catch up, and also good to hear about your employer's fine work, Mark. We all owe a lot to the researchers who are pushing on all fronts to get an effective vaccine for all of us who need it.
  5. I contacted Dr. Pearce-Kelling about this project when I first heard about it. She said she would get in touch with Greg Acland (whom she knows from her OptiGen days) to discuss this with him and ascertain his current opinion on the existence or prevalence of PRA in border collies. He is retired now but I'm sure he keeps up with this subject, and I myself know of no published research later than a French study in 2008, which Greg was aware of at the time and which did not change his opinion. Dr. PK's study could be a useful one, but I would expect there would be difficulty in finding border collies with genuine, proven PRA to serve as subjects.
  6. I'm on the east coast, but we had a high level haze that is hiding the sun for most of the day, and the weather reporter said it was caused by smoke from out west being carried here by the jet stream. Said it was at too high a level to be a breathing problem. But talk about traveling a long distance! Sure glad to hear your nephew tested negative, Mark.
  7. The reason you haven't gotten any replies is that "ASK AN EXPERT is a forum for questions about training dogs to herd livestock ONLY. So I'm going to move your posts to the GENERAL BORDER COLLIE DISCUSSION forum. In the meantime, I assume your dog has chewed your couch when you were not present, or gone to the bathroom in the basement when you were not present. If so, the most likely explanation is that your dog does not yet know that he is not supposed to do these things EVER, even when you are not there. Dogs often associate learning with particular places -- just because he knows not to go to the bathroom in the living room doesn't mean he knows not to do it in the basement. What measures have you used to try to make him understand this fully? At this stage I would not give him access to the whole basement when you are not there -- just to a smaller enclosed area where he is less likely to think it's okay to go. And I would not give him access to the couch when you are not there to correct him if he starts to chew it. Does he chew other things you don't want him to chew? It's easy for people to assume a dog understands something if they think it's obvious -- like you should not go to the bathroom in the house. But really, why would a dog know this without thorough training to get the point across fully?
  8. The reason you haven't gotten any replies is that "ASK AN EXPERT is a forum for questions about training dogs to herd livestock ONLY. So I'm going to move your posts to the GENERAL BORDER COLLIE DISCUSSION forum. In the meantime, I want to give you some reassurance. Puppies will usually follow a moving person, until they get distracted by something else interesting, and an insecure pup will be hesitant to leave its person's side (not really a good thing). But the kind of "attachment" you're talking about rarely comes in the first year or two of puppyhood. It comes (in varying degrees, depending on the pup's individual personality) with maturity, as a bond gradually forms between the two of you from the time you spend together and the things you do together. As the years go by, the attachment that forms between a good border collie and an owner who has shared its life and won its confidence and trust can be huge, and one of the sweetest things in life. But it doesn't come instantly. Compare it to your kid's first day of daycare or kindergarten. You shouldn't feel bad if the kid runs eagerly to meet the other kids without a backward look at you. If he hangs back and clings to you, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not as promising as a youngster who is focused on its exciting new world rather than on you. Dogs vary also in their natural activity level. Some are much more laid back than others. But if your pup really sleeps most of the time, it wouldn't hurt to take her to a vet to see if there is any underlying health cause.
  9. I sure hope so — the researchers are working intensively on this from several different directions and are optimistic — but I’ve learned that you never know with science. If so, it will have been well worth waiting. But in any case, we will be issuing another statement within a year, reporting where we are at that point, and reassessing the best ways to proceed in light of that.
  10. Here's the full paragraph, from which you quote one sentence: The ABCA HEF does not endorse this marker test, nor do we encourage people to test at this time, before the causative mutation is found. But at the same time, we are not telling people not to test. The test does have some significant benefits, especially for someone whose dogs have deafness somewhere in their pedigree and who must make a breeding decision in the immediate future or who is considering buying or beginning the training of a young dog with deafness in its pedigree. The presence of deafness in a pedigree greatly increases the chances that the marker set will be associated with a causative mutation. The decision whether to purchase the test at this stage is yours alone, but in making that decision here are some factors we think you should consider. [Emphasis added] I don't know, Liz. Do you have to breed all of your bitches within the next year? I'm not familiar with them, so I don't know how urgent the need is. If you feel that you do, then yes, find a stud who tests Clear, while of course giving at least as much consideration to the dog's suitability as a cross with your bitches. ABCA and HEF have always encouraged utilization of tests for deleterious genetic mutations, as well as supporting the research aimed at producing those tests. But we cannot encourage wholesale testing with this marker test -- it would be irresponsible. The cause of genetic testing would not be advanced if we urged people to use a test that was later found to have given flawed results regarding their dogs. I wish the EAOD research we've sponsored had succeeded in identifying the causal mutation, as it appeared for a time it had, but ultimately it has not yet done so. We are trying to give full information about the test, and to strike a balance between the competing considerations that are implicated here. Each person must make his/her own decision about testing, including the stud owners you refer to. Also, it's important to keep in mind that, while breeding carriers to clears is often a good strategy in the short run because it ensures that the offspring will not be affected, it will not work indefinitely in a case where the deleterious gene is carried by a large percentage of the population, because its effect is to increase the percentage of carriers in the population over time.
  11. When you say "shot this test down," it sounds as if you think that we somehow prevented it from being offered, or prevented people from using it. That is certainly not not the case. The test is still there and anyone can choose to use it. Our statement is intended to make sure that people recognize the limitations of the test -- that they do not drift into assuming that the results mean more than they do. It seems to me that this is an example of someone putting more faith in the test than it merits. You are assuming that the carrier results are definitive -- that they really mean the dog is a carrier of the EAOD causal mutation. That's exactly why we felt obligated to set forth our reservations about the test. In a test that directly tests for the causal mutation, a carrier result means that the dog is actually carrying the causal mutation. Here in this marker test, the term "carrier" is really a misnomer. It does NOT necessarily mean the dog is carrying the causal mutation, which is what we were trying to explain. DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THAT FACT. (For one explanation of why this is so, see the attached scenario, which is an internal working document the HEF used in the course of developing our statement.) There are some situations where one might feel a need to use the test in its present form. We mention some of them in the statement. Another instance where the current test would be useful is if you are buying a pup or about to start training a dog -- a "Carrier" result for that dog would give pretty good assurance that the dog would not lose its hearing early, because it has at least one Clear set of markers. But for the many people who do not have to make those kinds of decisions immediately, waiting to see if a test for the mutation itself is forthcoming makes all kinds of sense. EAOD marker test - One Possible Explanation.docx
  12. I should have mentioned that I'd be happy to answer (or try to) any questions that anyone may have about the test or the statement.
  13. The ABCA Health & Education Foundation has published its statement assessing the current state of testing for EAOD on its website here. Also I have attached copy of it here on this thread. ABCA HEF statement on EAOD testing Sept 2019.pdf
  14. I see what you're saying, Mark, but I'm not sure I fully agree. You would take a causative mutation test to get reliable information about your dog. Miss M knows that her dog is deaf, so she is not seeking information about her dog. If she took the test, it would be mainly for research purposes, to add to the number of dogs testing the predictive value of the markers, and the accuracy of the prevalence data they purport to show. But I fully understand the financial decision she made.
  15. Journey, if backtoblack did indeed mean the 3 markers cited in the Yokoyama article when she said "the original 3," then what she wrote is incorrect. The four markers being used in the Genoscoper test are not the three cited in the Yokoyama article plus one more.
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