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Everything posted by smithydog

  1. I thought seal was just a color in terriers (staffies) but that color came to my mind as a "why not?" for a BC. Further investigation on Sava's coat reveals she has many, many fawn-based hairs with black (about 1:4) all over her. She is such a cutie. In direct sunlight, her coat looks deep bronze, but I think ALL black dogs have that effect in the sunlight. Does pure black even exist in plants or animals?
  2. Question. What constitutes a sable border collie? My new dog is a smooth coat, appears basic black and white. However, her tail is "sable," where the ends of the hairs are black but the base of the hairs are tan. She has no tan spot under her tail so she's definitely not a tri. Her eyes are brown, but each eye is a different shade of brown. A friend whose had BC's for decades said she was a sable, but when mentioning this on a Facebook BC group, there were tons of doubters. Just wondering what is going on with her and that tail! Dog is purebred, pedigreed and imported from Wales. Thanks! - Janet
  3. Before I started training my pup on stock, I took him to agility classes (age 6-8 months) because I feel agility is a great way to build a relationship with your dog. I admit, when I started agility classes with my pup (he was the only BC in the class) I came in with an air of arrogance thinking I had the best breed for this sport. The trainer, as well as my dog's actions in the arena, made me realize (humbled me actually) that every breed has their own qualities/quirks/issues when training agility. It turned out, my BC was NOT always the best at the different obstacles/lessons; the Golden Retriever won every time on the 'sit/stay' and the Aussie nailed the plank. My BC did better at the teeter of all things and he, like all other breeds in class, became obsessed with the tunnel. I did not see an agility instinct in my BC - the first thing he did when entering the agility arena was begin to hunt for every morsel of food that was dropped in the prior class.
  4. Interesting topic! I have a Bobby Dalziel's Wisp grandson so when I got the opportunity to chat with a well respected handler who knows Bobby and knew Wisp (Wisp was the 1989 and 1992 Intl Supreme Champion) I asked a ton of questions about him. Much to my surprise, I learned that Bobby was Wisp's 3rd or 4th owner. Wisp's prior handlers/owners were unable to control Wisp on the field; he was apparently a very bull-headed dog that had been known to take down sheep on a regular basis. I guess Wisp had all the makings of a winner and Bobby could see it, it just took a special, talented individual and excellent handling to bring the winning qualities out in the dog. Wisp is one of very few dogs to have won the Int'l Supreme Championship twice. He is also a split-face, super fuzzy dog with a lot of white on him - shows that dogs with lots of white shouldn't be discriminated against because of the color of their fur! Another famous dog is Bobby Henderson's Sweep - an Int'l Supreme Champion in 1998. I have heard that Sweep had a real a gripping/tearing problem with sheep and could be a bit of a hot-head. I had heard a rumor too about Sweep having his teeth filed down when imported to the States (because of the gripping problem) but I am not sure that is true - sounds a little hokey to me. Regardless, in the right hands, Sweep was a superb dog. Like Wisp, Sweep has sired a lot of excellent working and trial dogs over the years who have in turn sired a lot of excellent dogs. My new pup has Wisp double-bred on the top and Sweep on both his top and bottom. Needless to say, I am getting help with this pup's training from well respected handlers! It seems the dogs who are the most challenging to get a hold of end up being excellent working and trial dogs - winning dogs all around.
  5. Hi! I just had a crook sized by George McDonald (the crook's maker) at the Vashon Island trial. I had purchased it from another handler and it was way too long for me. George was able to trim it down in minutes at the trial. Here's George's website... http://theshepherdscrook.net/ When I asked George how long it should be he said that he finds a lot of handlers size them by hanging the crook on their forearm and then blowing whistles. The crook should be able to hang off your arm while you whistle and not stick into the ground to inhibit your whistling. I suppose it should just graze the ground when you have it held that way. Hope that helps! That's the trick I used for my new crook and it seems like the perfect length for me now. Cheers, ~ Janet T
  6. Smithydog pays homage to the Smithfield Sheepdog. My Mattie shares a lot of the same qualities affiliated with the Tasmanian Smithfield breed (looks, working style, attitude, gait,etc). I took a lot of chemistry and biology in college, but ultimately ended up with an Anthropology degree with a concentration in medical anthro / epidemiology.
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