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Eileen Stein

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  1. After reading the BCSA minutes Journey posted, my guess is that what happened here is this. The person referred to as "Jim Nicholson" in the minutes is probably Dr. James Mickelson, a researcher at U Minn who is collaborating with Dr. Hannes Lohi on the HEF-supported hearing study. The researchers have been making excellent progress on this project, and I suspect Jim might have made reference to this when discussing a different research topic with the BCSA, which got inflated in transit into "a test for deafness is about to be announced." The Board of ABCA HEF is conferring closely with the researchers right now in hopes of being able to present to the ABCA members at the September annual meeting as full and correct a description as possible of the status of the research and the testing it is aimed at. We will be sharing whatever information we are free to share with all interested people at that time, as well as with the ABCA membership.
  2. Sadly, we ARE still having trouble. There are memory resource issues that our website host and the software manufacturers are working together (read: arguing and pointing fingers) to try to overcome. That is what's behind the problems you report, D'Elle, and I thank you (and everybody) for your patience and good wishes. We hope to have this all worked out soon. --Eileen
  3. Well, it is not as simple as I made it sound. Turns out that the new software is incompatible with the skins we are using now. ("Skins" are the design elements -- such as the blue-purple color, the dog picture in the banner, etc. -- that make the Boards look unique rather than generic. Sometime today they will revert to looking generic, the way they did before we did the last re-design. Hopefully it won't take long before we can have the skins restored, but in the meantime it will be functional but not look pretty. Again, thanks for your patience. --Eileen
  4. Hi Everybody, Once again we reached a point where our Boards software was out of date and no longer being supported. We had to do an upgrade, which was supposed to be seamless but as usual was not seamless. I apologize to everyone who tried to log onto the Boards the last couple of days and were unable to do so. The new software is in place now and theoretically there should be no future problems, but we all know how that goes, so please post here to let me know if you do run into problems. There are two significant changes that we had to make. 1) The software no longer has separate entries for username and display name, so we had to pick one or the other to serve for both. We chose display name, on the theory that it is the one most people know. A lot of the people who email me saying they can't get on the Boards are being tripped up because they forget that their username is different from their display name, and they don't remember their username. This will eliminate that problem at least. 2) There is no longer a "friends" feature, instead there is a "followers" feature. We had the choice of making all friends into followers, or dropping the "friends" function altogether. We chose to drop "friends," because on reviewing the way that "followers" would operate, it appeared that it would make formerly confidential information accessible to other people, without warning. Again, if you have any comments, questions or complaints, please post them in this thread or contact me privately. Thank you all for your patience. --Eileen
  5. That was fascinating, thanks for posting. I once knew a dog who got contact lenses after it became clear she was very nearsighted, but that was a hassle to implement. This dog looks very comfortable as a glasses wearer.
  6. The scientists on the Board did not want to use the term "incomplete dominant," because they don't consider that terminology to be totally accurate, both for the reasons expressed in the video Mark linked to, and others that are more complicated (but I'm happy to try to explain them if you want). We thought the education mission would be better served by explaining the effect of the heterozygous and homozygous forms of MDR1rather than using a problematic term. You seem to think that HEF is fiddling while the breed burns, and I'm sorry for that, but there are many considerations involved in arriving at a breeding recommendation (and not all of the diseases we list have a breeding recommendation). First of all, these dogs are not unhealthy. They have a genetic flaw, as all of us do, but the vast majority of them will live out their lives without any ill effects from this genetic flaw. I think any recommendation we might arrive at has to take this fact into account -- the approach of trying to totally eliminate a gene mutation from the breed is impractical and carries its own risks. Many other facts have to be weighed in also, including prevalence, which is not easy to determine, and which can change over time, although it's not going to jump from its current level to 70% of the breed during the time we are deliberating. The fact that a national champion carries the mutation is something that must be taken into account, but only because that dog will likely be bred from more than other dogs, which will have some bearing on prevalence. I think you're probably right that this discussion is not going to result in the immediate satisfaction of your concerns, but be assured we are taking those concerns into account, and will try to deal with them in the best way possible.
  7. Journey, I'm not sure I understood your last post correctly. First off, you've apparently read the MDR1 material on the HEF website. Can you please tell me if there is anything there that you believe to be incorrect? Or is your issue only that it contains no breeding recommendation? Second, you seem to be suggesting here that HEF is misrepresenting or suppressing something about MDR1 due to "who it involves." Am I reading you right? If so, would you please be more specific about your allegation? Who is it that you believe HEF is trying to favor, appease, help, or whatever by what we are doing or failing to do? Why would we want to favor, appease, help, etc. this person? Third, I think you have misunderstood Mark's posts about ivermectin. I did not read them as saying ivermectin is horrible.
  8. For heaven's sake. Sorry, been away, I just discovered this thread. This is the HEF site that I assume Journey is talking about: https://bordercolliefoundation.org/health-and-eduction/genetic-diseases/ If everyone referred to that -- the chart, and the info on MDR1 (ABCB1) in the text below it -- it would make the issue clearer. The chart used to say "recessive" as the mode of inheritance. Following contact from Journey and a review of the literature, we dropped that, and substituted a description of the implications of heterozygosity and homozygosity in the text. We do not feel we can use the term "affected" to describe heterozygous dogs for the reason Mark states -- "Affected" is commonly understood to mean homozygous mutant. It took us awhile to agree on the best language to use, but the wording there now has been up for quite a while -- more than a month anyway. The only wording still under discussion is the prevalence rate, which we hope to have resolved soon.
  9. Okay, I've been away for a week and have just now had a chance to review these videos. This still seems to me an exercise in futility, but here are my reactions: The video of CM and Holly the lab is clearly not Cesar's finest moment. but in no way would I describe this as punching a dog in the throat as a training method. I'm assuming the owner called CM because his dog was attacking him when he tried to take her food dish away or interacted with her near her food dish. CM comes up to the dog with a food dish, squats, puts it down and clearly shows by his body language that he's not giving her the food yet. She looks around, seems unsure, does not seem hostile or afraid. He says okay and indicates that she can eat, which she does. He talks a little. He then moves forward a little and gives a quiet verbal signal that he is taking possession of the dish, but showing no aggression toward her. She quickly snarls and snaps at him, turning back to the dish, clearly expecting him to back off. Instead he moves forward a little more, making it clearer he is claiming the food, and swiping his right hand in a fist around the area where the dish is. She snarls again and lunges forward, and his hand makes contact with her neck. It happens very quickly, and at most I'd say he is pushing her back, but the force of his hand and arm (such as it is) goes past her, not into her. He then assumes a very aggressive posture, not attacking her, but in defense of the food dish, and she continues snarling for a few moments, looking unsure, considering her options, and eventually lies down and looks around. She is in a yard, not cornered. She does not appear terrified or even fearful, and he immediately drops the aggressive body language, backs off a bit, squats down again, and starts talking to the owner. After a bit, with her lying calmly, he casually reaches out a hand to her, not at all aggressively. She snarls, he doesn't move for a heartbeat, and then she snarls, lunges and bites him, continuing the attack for a couple of seconds, during which he fends her off at one point with his foot (could not possibly be interpreted as a kick, IMO). There is then a five minutes standoff between the two of them, with him giving no ground, and her looking uncomfortable and resentful, and very gradually relaxing. He does say he didn't see the attack coming, and I'm sure he's been in many, many situations like this where no attack came. I don't know any trainer who hasn't misread a dog at some point, and in other episodes I've watched he demonstrates an ability to read dogs and dog-human interactions extremely well. He at no time manhandled her, choked her, forced her down, or did anything that could reasonably be interpreted as abuse. I also noted that when that video stopped playing on YouTube, another one came along with a title something like "Dog that bit Cesar Millan -- Kiss Attack," which showed CM and the dog at his place interacting together in a relaxed and affectionate way as he talks with the dog's owner. Another video that came along when I watched this one showed this dog a few years later with a person named Cheri Lukas, who I gather (from yet another video that came along) runs a rescue, respects CM, and works cooperatively with him in training and placing dogs. The person who owned the dog when he called CM for help was a guy who rescued and placed feral street dogs (37 so far), and had captured this one (he noted how many fight scars the dog had on its face at that time) to train and place. He never intended to keep the dog. The dog went to CL's shelter for further training, and was eventually adopted into a family, where she says he is fine with everyone--parents, adult kids, grandchildren, visitors, other dogs, etc. It's implied but not stated that he lives in the house. FWIW -- as with anything on TV or the Internet, it could be fake or it could be real (but the fact that it could be fake is no reason to believe it IS fake, and vice versa). I'm sure it would come up if you searched "Jon Bee." These two videos apparently cast CM in the worst light, since they seem to be used over and over again on the net to show how bad he is. Kill me, but after watching them I still wish I had his physical eloquence, timing and clarity in training dogs.
  10. Good question. I WAS surprised when you brought CM into the Katz discussion, since the only relevance/parallel I can see is that the majority of posters here dislike both of them (and that seemed to be your point too). I didn't mean to characterize a CM criticism as "bad" and the Katz criticism as "good," but I do think there are some major differences when it comes to the worth of any discussion of the two of them. First off, Katz professes to be an expert on BORDER COLLIES, and to explain them to the world at large. Even their thoughts from beyond the grave! :-) I feel a responsibility to challenge that, in a way that I wouldn't feel about a general dog trainer whose methods were different from mine. Second, and more important, is the matter of access to evidence. In this thread there was unanimity about Katz, so no dispute arose, but in previous threads over time there have often been people who stuck up for him, and in those cases I and others have quoted fairly extensively from his books to explain our points. But what access do we have to similar evidence about CM? Someone says he punches dogs in the throat. I've never seen that, and no particular episode is referenced. So did the person actually see him punch a dog in the throat, or has she just heard from others that he punched a dog in the throat? It seems like a very odd thing to do. Was it really a punch, or more like a poke? If I had seen it, would I have perceived it as a punch? Would I have thought it was abusive or not? I don't know because I didn't see it and have no practical way of seeing it. Are the dogs someone says were terrified and shut down actually terrified and shut down? If I had seen it I could draw my own conclusions and point specifically to the reasons for my conclusions, but because I haven't seen it, I can't. The episodes I have seen, I didn't witness anything I thought was abusive. But I have no way of knowing whether the other poster saw those, and if so, whether she considered them abusive or not abusive. So we have no common frame of reference and are, as Maja says, just exchanging monologues. In the dark. To no purpose.
  11. There's a theory that eating grass had an evolutionary advantage for dogs because it was better at moving out intestinal parasites than other things that dogs eat. Don't know if there's any data to support this, though.
  12. As I said when I misguidedly entered this CM abuse fest, no one has ever had their minds changed about Cesar Millan through discussion. That is especially true when the discussion participants don't have mutual direct access to the videos and other evidence in question. Given that, I respectfully withdraw from the discussion. But you've sure got Katz's number, D'Elle.
  13. I think you're over-reacting to the term "alpha." Of course you don't like it because outdated, debunked, wolves, etc. It's out of favor in the dog training community. But it's language that ordinary people can relate to and understand as meaning "Be a leader, act like a leader, project confidence." He may not use language you like, but what's terminology to a dog? Well, we probably just disagree here. I'd say that the confidence and consistency you credit in long-run successes Is the owners becoming alpha in the good sense (because I do believe there's a good sense to the concept despite the baggage attached to the word, it's not just rolling dogs). It's been a long time since I watched the show, but when I did I was impressed with how direct and eloquent his physical movements are, how they uncomplicatedly and undilutedly communicate his message to the dogs. I've never known a trainer, even the great ones, that haven't on occasion misread a dog, and CM is no exception, but from what I've seen it happens rarely. I'm guessing the clarity and simplicity of his message TO THE DOGS is probably what Donald meant when calling him a brilliant dog trainer. I'm as bewitched with words and theories as any human being, but I think the baggage they carry can sometimes get in the way of seeing things actually going on between a dog and a trainer.
  14. Much as WE may react negatively to "ego" and to talk about "alpha status," it's my observation that dogs do not have this negative reaction. Dogs react well to the clarity of a self-confident trainer, and badly to the confusion of an unsure, self-doubting, conflicted trainer, no matter what the training method being employed. Haven't we all seen this? I'd guess that hesitant, mixed-message dog training is responsible for most of the problems dog owners experience. It's evident in real life as well as on CM's shows. (Which, BTW, do not always contrive to portray him at his best, e.g., the biting episode.) It's even one of the many differences between CM and Katz, who is awash in ego but projects incoherence rather than strength to his dogs. Shucks. I can't believe I let myself get sucked into a discussion of CM, about whom no minds have ever been changed.
  15. Who said it's out of the realm of possibility that animals feel, hope, make choices, or that they do not think and do not care? No one here, that I can see. Experience has convinced me that animals feel, hope, make choices, think and care. Experience has also convinced me that Jon Katz is full of baloney. These two opinions are fully consistent -- in fact, the second almost follows from the first.
  16. I know that some rescue organizations buy dogs at commercial breeder auctions to "save" them. I've never understood the rationale for this -- sure, that particular dog may be saved, but the breeder is encouraged to breed more because it increases his/her profits, just as a sale to a private dog buyer would, and rescues would never recommend that individuals wanting a dog should buy from puppy mills. But I thought very few rescues did this. However, a recent investigative article suggests that the practice is growing, that prices being paid are increasing, and even that GoFundMe sites are being set up to support such purchases. Seems crazy to me.
  17. Rather than becoming a tree, you might try just briskly walking in a different direction when he gets ahead of you. If he forges ahead in that direction, quickly change direction again. He will feel a pull on his collar when you reverse direction, which acts as a mild correction, but the main point of this exercise is that he learns he needs to keep an eye on you to make sure he knows where you're both going. And he can't do that if he's ahead of you. You can go faster with your walking and your turns to make it more of a game, but it's a game where he has to watch you or he'll miss out. Might not work, but it's worth a try.
  18. I think these are the special awards currently given: Best Gather Best Drive Best Pen Best Shed Top Rookie (Open) Top Rookie (Nursery) Most Promising Young Dog
  19. Just to be clear, I wasn't suggesting that flooding be employed. I was saying that I don't think the approach Julie recommended -- sitting in a chair reading with your dog in a field with sheep -- would constitute flooding. I don't think it's useful to think of it in anti-flooding terms, e.g. starting out where you turn into the driveway, giving treats, moving a little closer, etc. Again, JMO, but no dog I've done this with has bitten or clawed me. Tom Wilson does give private lessons now, and I don't think you can find anyone better than him if he can fit you in.
  20. FWIW, I agree with Julie. I'd be wary of applying the concept of "flooding" to this situation, or to fear his "giv[ing] up." IMO, that trope is best confined to situations where the dog's behavior arises from fear. Your dog is not fearful, and his giving up this bad behavior is something you want to achieve. I also don't think it's necessary to start from far, far away and gradually move closer. I'm guessing he's just as aroused in the driveway as he is fairly close to the sheep. It seems to me that his undesirable behavior change may well have come about because he's come to see you as the opponent who's trying to keep him from the sheep. I think when Jack Knox says, "Give the dog freedom," part of what he's saying is not to try to block him from the sheep or "make him right" by keeping him off the sheep. Of course, you need to protect the sheep and stop his lunging and biting, but it's a fine line (often hard to achieve) between preventing him from bad behavior and creating a fight between you and him for the sheep. The good thing about sitting in a chair near sheep until he is calm is that it does not fit into that scenario of a fight between you and him for the sheep. Neither of you are interacting with the sheep. You are by and large ignoring him. You're just giving him a chance to wind down from his overstimulated reaction in a place where sheep are present. It would require a lot of patience, but I think it's worth a try. Of course, I'm not saying you shouldn't get to some clinics and/or seek a good trainer for a second opinion/approach. That's good too. But in the meantime . . .
  21. Bill, I sent you a PM about this, but I copied what I wrote there and pasted it here: With regard to quoting -- at the bottom right of each post are a number of options. The button farthest to the right reads "Quote." Click on that button in the post you want to respond to, and it will appear as a quote in the box where you type your response. You can remove any text you don't want included in your quote. If you click on "MultiQuote" you can combine quotes from more than one post. Here in the PM section, what you are replying to is automatically quoted when you hit "Reply." Copy and paste works in the normal way: Highlight and right click on the material you want to copy, hit "copy," go to the place you want to put it, right click again, hit "paste." Hope this helps. I don't use IE, but this works fine in Chrome and Safari.
  22. Hi all, This is a reminder to everyone that if you're shopping on Amazon, you can have a portion of your payment automatically donated to the ABCA Health & Education Foundation (HEF). It's so easy, and doesn't cost you a thing! In the last quarter alone (July, August, September), Amazon donated $136.31 to the HEF. The amount has been growing as more border collie benefactors begin using this simple shopping method. One of our earliest supporters reported to me that as of February of this year (2017), her purchases alone had generated $162 for the Foundation. Here's how to do it: Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-4642702 . You can even click on it right here. Then bookmark it. You'll enter your name and ID once at that site, and from then on you can use that link to do all your Amazon shopping, and automatically benefit the HEF. If you forget and go to amazon.com instead, you'll be reminded of your option to shop through Amazon Smile and given a link to click to get there. You'll have access to the same products, features, services and prices as on amazon.com. The shopping experience is the same, except that the HEF benefits. It's a good cause. :-) If you care about Border Collies, please help us out. Thank you and best wishes, Eileen
  23. Just wanted to point out that there is not one uniform training point of view on this forum. It would be pretty dull if that were the case, and not really much of a discussion group. It's quite unusual to muzzle a puppy. Young puppies encounter the world through their mouths, and I can understand people being concerned about possible negative effects of muzzling in the long run. I can also understand the opposite point of view -- that it's no big deal if used occasionally. I tend toward the second view, but only if the owner is able to read the pup's reactions accurately. Since not everyone is able to do this -- and not even everyone who thinks they are able to do this can do this -- it's not an "attack" for people to point out possible pitfalls to someone they don't know. As for discussion about the word No, well, a lot of people are on these Boards because they are very interested in dog training and enjoy considering and discussing the fine points of it. To some people that's like discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin -- a total waste of time. To others, it's part of working out how they can develop their training relationship with their dog to the max. One of the most interesting things I've ever observed was watching Kent Kuykendall -- an accomplished trainer and handler of working sheepdogs who can put a dog where he wants it to be and make it understand what he wants it to do from hundreds of yards away -- work out with a dog their mutual understanding of the meaning of the whistle commands he was going to be using. Before that, I thought you just taught a dog what a command meant. But on that occasion I witnessed a feedback loop in which man and dog taught each other what they understood the commands to mean, and worked toward a common agreement. (ETA: For those who might be interested, a recent article in the science section of Wired refers to this phenomenon, and a couple of comments here on the Boards about that article are also worth reading.) So please be patient with us. When people offer advice, consider it, and take what you find helpful at the moment and ignore the rest. If you're completely satisfied with the methods you're using now, nobody's going to keep you from continuing with them. If you're looking to find something that might work better, think about the suggestions offered. As d'Elle says, we are only trying to help.
  24. You cannot totally delete your own post. This restriction dates from the time an OP deleted her initial post, which caused a 10+ page thread to be lost along with all the valuable information that members had spent much time and effort posting. People begged for me to get it back, but it was gone beyond recovery. Hence the current limitation. You can edit your own post, however. And you can copy and paste.
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