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Posts posted by Smalahundur

  1. My wife is always making fun of me when I worry if something could have a negative impact on future stocktraining of my pup. Her take is "if he is worth his salt" almost nothing should be able to keep him from working stock.

    Maybe that is taking it a bit far, but I think she has a point. I at least have a tendency to worry too much and overthink this stuff.

    A dog with good strong instincts probably forgets everything anyway when he is put on sheep, and those instincts kick in.

  2. You should visit, in my experiece icelandic sheep smell weakness in a dog a mile off. And they will exploit that weakness with no mercy. Armed and dangerous. The main reason that people here value toughness in a dog, and a good grip.

    Had a good laugh from that "Hearing dog that doesn't listen" remark :)

    Do I remember correctly that you posted a vid once with a crazy hair ram that tried to fell a tree by knocking it several times? One of your camaroons?

  3. A pity how things turned out for Bonnie, especially because of your great working relationship.


    How old is Darinka by now? My wife has been giving me some criticism about being too hard on a second (or third) dog because of comparing them to that nice first dog one spend a lot of time with building a working relationship with. I think she has a point....


    Yeah, those skuddes are nice sheep. Having to deal exclusively with Icelandic sheep I sometimes smile at posts on sites like this or Facebook groups where people ask what kind of sheep they should buy to best suit the needs of their particular dogs....;)

    You don't have your ouessants anymore? Those were cute.

  4. We are kind of in the same boat, having adopted a dog from a farmer family we know (they quit their dairy farm and move to the city).

    Big difference though, he comes from a good home, and is a friendly guy that seems to trust all humans.

    He was supposed to be a foster, but I suspect he will live out his life here.

    Also the third of three (I refuse to count my daughter's chi\pincher mix, that is not a real dog).

  5. I think we agree more than our little bout here would suggest ;)


    Where do I look when prospecting for a next dog? Trials of course, they are the ultimate test of working ability, no doubt in my mind.

    That said, that next dog has to be able to follow me all day long through some pretty rough terrain.


    So I need one that has the sheer physical fitness and to be able to do that. I took the talk about dogs lacking stamina as a discussion of this sort of basic physical ability.

    Not the lack of mental stamina (which I would suspect would come better to light under the high pressure in a trial, rather than in ranche work).


    Here in Iceland I do not worry about the physical ability of that stylish, high quality trial winning dog. I know its handler has a sheepfarm and uses this dog all autumn to get them home from the highlands.


    So for me the discussion is not very personal, more a hypothetical musing, what would happen if you would breed dogs only for trialing sport, with no regards to other aspects than what it needs for short bursts of great work.

    Would those dogs show a diminishing of that physical stamina over the generations?


    Maybe and hopefully that is just what it is, a hypothetical question that has no basis in reality. After all my personal experience (no scientific data ;))is that though I have had wash outs for different reasons, I have not yet seen a healthy bc here that lacked stamina for hillwork.

  6. I'm am fed up with reading about the mythical ranch dogs doing work that trial dogs cannot. People are hung up on those categories (trial vs ranch) and miss the real breeding selection of "work"; where the work at trials and ranches vary so widely that ranch vs trial are meaningless in terms of understanding how high the bar was set for the breeding goals. What ranch, what trial, what sheep, what kind of work, what was used to assess excellence in these tasks; these are what matter not the meaningless categories of trial vs ranch.

    And I thought we were just talking about one specific aspect of working ability;stamina.

    I get the strong impression there really is a rather nasty conflict under handlers over in your country, given your "I am fed up " remark.

    Here not really, there is no split here between farmers (you could call us sheep ranchers) and trialers, they are the same crowd. Everybody roughly does the same kind of stockwork, for instance no need for cattledogs.

    I really don't care about the discussion taking on this weird political direction, complete with smoke and mirror tactics of steering it away from the actual subject.

    I am just interested in the dogs.

  7. I see disturbing parallels in the horseworld.

    Dressage horses of today are completely unfit for the work the dressage sport was once supposed to be a test of.

    Closer at home I see a comparable development in the icelandic horse breed where the expensive sport horses are not really very usefull for the kind of work that shaped the breed until relatively recent.

    Now I don't say this will happen to bordercollies, but it doesn't hurt to be conscious of the risks involved in putting results in competetive sports (as trialling is) as the supreme goal in breeding programs.

  8. A fleshing knife is not what we call a skinning knife mr. McCaig (we call a skinning knife a skinning knife ;) )

    It is a blade with a handle on both ends. A specialty tool for removing rest flesh and fat from the skin/pelt after skinning.

  9. My wife once jokingly proposed an alternative trial, just send the dog/handler teams into the hills in the morning and award points for each sheep that is brought in by the end of the day.


    By the way I think nobody doubts the influence and importance of training/conditioning.

    It is the genetic component that is worried about in the OP.

  10. Haha, the pressure is building...

    Well til last weekend I had the valid excuse of lambing season (in which period you are allowed to be lazy about anything except lamb related activities).

    I promise I will look into it as soon as I am near the lap top holding our pics.

    I'll throw in some of Kátur too, he is quite a looker.

  11. Good news for Peli, we kinda rescued a young male dog, named Kátur (means "happy", seldom was a dog named more aptly).

    Just a couple of days ago, but they already decided they are Best Buddies Forever.

    Everybody else (especially Gláma) is also happy; no better outlet for the playdrive of a puppy than another dog who loves to play and wrestle.

    Before taking him in we weren't sure to mediate him to another home or to keep him, I'm afraid that decision has been made...:)


    NB. I like how you all take part in the brain storming. A lot of good points been made.

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