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Eileen Stein

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Everything posted by Eileen Stein

  1. Very well observed and well expressed, Brian. I'm thinking I'll move this thread to Under the Handlers' Tent, where more people may see it.
  2. Liz, I understood that your sample was from Freya, who is now deceased? If you haven't already followed the procedure Mark suggested (or even if you have), you can mail your sample (it's a swab, right?) to me. The last time we discussed this was in August, and I suggested that you wait until somewhat cooler weather, not wanting to run the increased risk of bacterial growth in that heat. The researchers want 3 swabs per dog, so please send 3 if you have them. Please include a copy of Freya's pedigree and a completed questionnaire/consent form (see attached). Please send in a padded (not plastic) envelope. I will record your sample in the database and forward to UMN. The same goes if the bitch you're asking about is not Freya, but one who is alive now. If you need my address, or have any questions, please PM me. Thank you very much. --Eileen HEF questionnaire&consent form 12-16.doc
  3. Jeanne Weaver is an excellent trainer and I'm pretty sure she still gives lessons. PM me if you'd like her contact info. She is in Williamston, MI, probably a little less than 1 1/2 hours from Windsor. Heidi is very cute.
  4. If donating by check, please make out the check to ABCA HEF and mail to: ABCA HEF Cy Peterson, Treasurer 4956 Sugar Pike Road Canton, GA 30115 And thank you so much!
  5. As old-timers on the Boards know, this website has been brought to you since January 1999 by the United States Border Collie Club (USBCC). Last year, the ABCA (American Border Collie Association) registry formed a 501( c )(3) tax exempt foundation to support genetic research and education about the border collie. Logically enough, it's called the ABCA Health & Education Foundation, Inc. And since that is quite a mouthful, it's more informally referred to as HEF. Many of the people supporting the HEF (including me) were also involved in the USBCC. Because the missions of the two organizations are so similar, the board of directors of the USBCC recently voted to dissolve their corporation and to donate their assets to the HEF, to avoid duplication of effort. You may notice that, as a symbol of the continuity in mission of the two organizations, the HEF has adopted the dog from the USBCC's logo for its own logo. The USBCC, founded in 1975, now passes out of existence. But these Boards and the All About Border Collies website will not disappear -- they will continue to be maintained privately by Heather Nadelman and me. Now, a little more about the HEF. You can learn more about it by going to its website -- still very much a work in progress -- at bordercolliefoundation.org. HEF is actively pursuing two projects at this time -- a study to find the causal mutation(s) and develop a DNA test for Early Adult Onset Deafness (EAOD), and the collection of DNA samples to be stored, together with health and pedigree information, in a DNA bank, which we hope will be an important resource for future research into genetic issues in our dogs. I will be posting more about these efforts in separate posts. Over the years, people have occasionally asked me if they could contribute to the maintenance costs of the BC Boards. I have always said no, and I still do. But if you feel you've benefited from being a member of the Boards and would like to find a way to express that, please allow me to suggest that you consider a donation to the HEF. Genetic research is expensive, and so are some of the educational initiatives the HEF hopes to develop. The ABCA has launched the Foundation with a significant contribution to get it started, but it will need to become self-sufficient if it is to achieve its goals. Small donations will mean a lot as we begin to grow. They will show larger potential donors -- and even more important, the IRS -- that we have widespread support from the border collie community. So no pressure, but if you could consider a small donation, it would be much appreciated. Ways to donate can be found here. Thanks. --Eileen
  6. I'm sorry I'm not at liberty to answer your questions right now, Karen. Make of it what you will.
  7. Things are terrible now with no knowledge. I couldn't agree more. ABCA has been pushing in every way it's known how to drive this research forward. But if there isn't a definitive test yet, wishing it and needing it will not make it so. No, no, no! I am not implying that PD has no credibility and the test is useless! I'm saying just what the statement said: The test may or may not live up to the claims made for it. But the claims are big, and we have been unable to obtain enough information to have confidence that they're justified. Since ABCA is known to have been very supportive of Mark and Alison's research in the past, we felt we owed it to our members to give our take on it when we were asked. I hope the test proves to be what we all have been hoping for, but speaking personally now, I wish it were not being sold as is. I wish samples were simply being collected for further research aimed at validating and improving it. I worry that if one or more results given to customers turns out to be wrong, then that will have the effect of discrediting research and testing in the eyes of many breeders, a lot of whom already have their doubts about whether tests are a good thing or not.
  8. I'm very anxious to answer your questions and lay all that out for our members asap. I just am not able to do that yet, but as the statement says, we expect to be able to provide full details very soon.
  9. If there currently existed a better test for EAOD, you can be sure ABCA would be telling you about it. But I don't believe that "any test is better than none." It depends on the accuracy of the test. I'm sure you can see how bad things could result if you relied on a test as being perfectly predictive when it wasn't. As a result of a Supreme Court case a few years ago, it's no longer possible to obtain or enforce a patent on genes or gene sequences that exist in nature. That's why you can now get CEA tests from many places, not just OptiGen or outfits that are licensed by OptiGen. So projectDOG would not be holding the results until they could get a patent. They might be unwilling to disclose their results for the exact opposite reason -- since they can no longer patent them, the only way to delay or prevent competitors from bringing out a test of their own would be by not disclosing their results -- keeping them as a trade secret. That does hinder any other researchers from building on their results. It would be helpful for canine research if they shared their results -- the five variants -- and it would enable peer review and make it possible to see if their findings can be replicated. But there are ways to help others to evaluate the test short of disclosing their results. More important are details about the procedures they used to find them -- number of dogs tested, how tested, known or unknown hearing status of the dogs, how the data was analyzed, etc. Obviously it's a lot easier to find a perfect correlation based on 3 dogs tested than based on 3,000 dogs tested. (I'm certainly not saying they tested only 3 dogs -- I don't know how many they tested.) I don't believe they'd be giving up any trade secrets by sharing that information. ETA: I want to emphasize that I'm not telling you not to buy the test! That is your decision to make, and I can well understand why you might want to go ahead and do it.
  10. I can't think of a legal theory under which we'd have a claim. We didn't specify that as a condition of giving the money.
  11. "the excuse"? ABCA found out that projectDOG was going to publicly offer this test for sale at exactly the same time that their website making the offer was published. We decided to issue a statement only as a result of members asking us to, and as result of statements being made on social media. Mike Neary posted here to let people know that ABCA and the foundation were deliberating on a statement. I don't think the length of time it took was unreasonable, or that we have made -- or needed to make -- an "excuse" for not doing it sooner. To the best of my knowledge, no one outside of the persons working on the statement or voting on the statement knew what was going to be in it. Some might have guessed, but I don't believe they knew.
  12. "got into bed with them"?? What the heck is that supposed to mean? PawPrint came to the ABCA with a proposal for a "partnership." (Seems to be the marketing buzzword for just about anything these days -- Clairol wants to partner with you to achieve glorious hair.) ABCA declined, because we felt it was inappropriate for the registry to "partner" with a commercial test vendor. I believe USBCHA did accept the partnership offer, whatever its significance might be. We do accept their CEA results, because the quality of their laboratory and personnel seems to be of high standard. If we were asked to accept CEA test results from projectDOG for pedigree notation we would need to find out what lab is doing their work and make a judgment accordingly. The ABCA has contributed money for research done by Mark and Alison, but not to the entity projectDOG.
  13. ABCA and the ABCA Health & Education Foundation have issued a joint statement regarding the EAOD test currently being offered by projectDOG. The statement can be found here.
  14. With sled dogs, the position of the driver is always the same -- directly behind the team -- so gee always means right, and haw always means left. Europeans and Brits have run in the Iditarod, and I suspect they use the same commands -- at least I never noticed they were reversed.
  15. I have made the post put up by "Stardew" unavailable for now. We do not allow posting of negative comments about breeders or trainers by people who are unwilling to provide their name and contact information. I will be contacting the poster to see if s/he is willing to identify him/herself.
  16. I have made the post immediately preceding the last six posts unavailable. We do not allow posting of negative comments about breeders or trainers by people who are unwilling to provide their name and contact information. I will be contacting the poster to see if s/he is willing to identify him/herself.
  17. I have removed a number of responses from people other than Amanda, who is the current Expert responding to questions in the "Ask an Expert" thread. I have pondered ways to better get across to new members that the "Ask an Expert" forum is for questions about training, working and trailing livestock-herding dogs, and only for questions directed to our "resident expert." If you want general responses from many members, or responses to questions that are not about stock dog training, using and trailing, your question should be posted in another forum, not this one. I understand there are going to be misposted questions from people not familiar with the Boards from time to time (although the OP's question was perfectly proper for this forum). It does surprise me, however, when many longtime members jump in to answer and discuss questions posted in this forum. Do you feel that we should not have a forum for working stockdog-related inquiries directed at a single expert? I would be glad to hear from you all on this question, but please post your responses and/or discussion in the "Wishes and Suggestions" forum (at the very bottom of the index page), rather than here. Thanks. --Eileen
  18. I couldn't have said it better myself. (And I too saw the stylistic similarities.) The posting referred to is anonymous, and on a site which invites consumers to post negative comments against a business (although they accept posts against individuals and non-profits such as ABCA as well), and then invites the business to purchase a service from the site which it claims will work to restore the victim's good name. The site refuses to remove any complaint, even if it is proved to be false and defamatory in court. Because I don't want to give this site any more hits, I have removed the posted link. (ETA: No offense, Riika -- I'm pretty sure you didn't post it because you agreed with it.) Anyone who cares to try hard enough can find the post, although I'd urge you not to do so. It's long, incoherent, false in many particulars, and contains no relevant information beyond what has been posted on other, reputable sites about this matter. Please don't repost the link here. If anyone wishes to criticize the ABCA's policy designed to inform both breeders and buyers as to the number of puppies produced by our highest volume breeders, and stating its opinion that high volume breeding is uncharacteristic of good working breeders, you are welcome to publish your own thoughts here.
  19. I'll just respond to this. When you say you didn't even make eye contact with Tessa at that point, it sounds as if you're saying that was an extreme measure. I think it's absolutely essential when working with a new, fearful dog. Not making eye contact diminishes the fear reaction better than any other single step. Not coaxing, likewise. I also don't insist on direct contact, but I offer direct contact. It is entirely up to the dog if she accepts my offer. When she does, she finds that choosing to interact with me was something safe for her.
  20. Yes, but there are things you would call flooding which would also do that, and are effective and humane. Did you really understand me to be saying that dogs would magically expect the floor to be a treat dispenser? I know that dogs accustomed to working with trainers who throw treats (and usually it doesn't take them more than a few minutes to get accustomed to this) know that the trainer is dispensing the treats. I know they want the treats. I know they're happy to work with trainers to get them to throw the treats. But when your whole purpose is to get a scared dog interacting with people, IMO it works better to focus on more direct interaction, not to act in a way that forecloses it at the start. I was not suggesting that dogs be subjected to overwhelming fear in the hopes that they'll just get over it. Sorry it came across that way.
  21. Why couldn't you just call the dog, give him a pat, and then ask him to go to his mat?
  22. Well, I guess if I had had this experience, I might feel as you do. But my experiences have been very different. Still, I'm not sure why you emphasize that tossing the treat "is NOT encroaching their space." My methods do not encroach their space either. They are free to approach and take the treat or not, in their own time.
  23. Gentle Lake, Root Beer, CptJack: flooding: There is a whole spectrum of conduct that tends to get described as "flooding" (and flooding = bad). An approach that overwhelms or terrifies a dog is obviously not a good thing. An approach that causes a dog to be exposed to something that he irrationally fears so he can learn that it's not scary can be a very good thing. It's a matter of degree. You need to evaluate the dog and act accordingly. why it seems disrespectful: Well, this is a feeling on my part, not a dogmatic statement that it IS disrespectful, but I'll try to analyze my feeling (and no, I don't mean that it's disrespectful to other people, I mean it's disrespectful to the dog). When I give a treat to a dog (which I do much more sparingly than a treat-trainer would, I'm sure), I regard it as an interaction between me and the dog. I am giving him the treat, and he is accepting it from me. (Similarly, if he licks my hand or nestles against me, he is giving that to me, and I am accepting it from him.) Throwing a treat on the ground takes away from that, and makes the treat something else in the dog's mind -- something he gets from the ground, without contact with me. It makes it much more food focused and less interaction focused. And you are the one deciding that there is to be no direct contact between you, not the dog. And in a training situation it's his wages -- as many have observed -- with all the impersonality that implies. It seems to me that IF you can get that direct interaction quality right from the start with a dog scared of people, it's better than having intermediate throw-on-the-ground steps. And in my experience, you usually can. what I would do: Depends on the dog, of course. But not focusing attention on him is key in my mind. It makes such a difference to how a dog reacts. I would have no problem with what Denice proposed (so long as activity in the room wasn't beyond what the dog could take), but I would be observing the dog to gauge its reaction. I would sit and read in a fairly small room with the dog and hold out a treat without looking at the dog (with something to rest my arm on, because it would be up to the dog how long it would take for him to take the treat). Then do the same with other people. I have had good results from having my big, scary husband lie on the floor, on his stomach with his face turned away from the dog, until the dog decided it was safe to approach and sniff him. Stuff like that.
  24. I can understand it in a very extreme case, such as the one you describe. But the OP's dog doesn't seem to be in that category, and I believe Denice's suggestion would work at least as well in that case. As well as the methods I would be inclined to try, such as having the "scary" person offer treats out to the side while continuing talking with you and ignoring the dog. And this treat-throwing fashion doesn't seem to be confined to scared dogs. "Throw a treat near him if he does what you want" -- as Root Beer describes -- seems to be a recommendation in ordinary training situations nowadays.
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