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Posts posted by Smalahundur

  1. Sounds a bit silly terrecar, but I think you should just try shedding. I am no "crack" by any stretch of the imagination, but my experience was that some of those "advanced" tasks like shedding and penning may turn out to be less daunting than you think, if you actually just give it a go. In my personal experience this happened with penning, and my first real stockdog  Gláma ( fine worker but not brilliant, bless her, and with the bonus disadvantage of being trained by a newbie). I imagined that penning would be really difficult, turned out she was quite good at it and getting it down was a lot easier than expected ( not really sure who taught who though...;))


  2. I would recommend "Herding dogs, progressive training" by the late Vergil S. Holland. A very practical guide to training a stockdog. It doesn't assume any knowledge from the reader, it takes you through all the stages of the proces in a structured manner. Lots of exercises, and practical advice, no "fluff". It is very much focussed on bordercollies, and their style of working.

    I wouldn't worry too much about your dog barking at this stage, I think it is most likely, as you say yourself, the excitement of this new experience.

    Good luck with your training, and yeah, there will be sheep in your future....:lol:

    We zouden dit gesprek overigens ook in het nederlands kunnen voeren, maar wellicht wat onbeleefd voor internationale meelezers, ;)

  3. "Not built for it",  seriously? If bordercollies were not built to endure cold weather and freezing cold water I would have little use for them. Roundup season is September/October here in Iceland. Getting  a bit wet playing on the beach in the winter, I wouln't worry about it...

  4. I still think yor logic does not take differences in breed in account; in a breed where the ewes are polled and the rams have horns, strongly reducing testosterone is likely to stop horn growth alltogether.

    But in a breed like the icelandic, where ewes are also horned ( but with smaller, thinner horns than in the males), the reduced testosterone might only have an inhibiting effect, resulting in wethers that have thinner horns than uncastrated rams.

    After a burdizzo castration afaik, testicles become completely necrotic,  and therefor stop producing testosterone. In principle no difference to removing them.

    For now I stand by my hypothesisB)

  5. No mistakes, all wethers here are horned (unless obviously those from polled stock;)).

    Those horns grow like Shashlik's; long and wide, but thinner than in uncastrated rams. Significantly bigger than in ewes. That's why I thought him to be a wether, actually I still do. I think a botched burdizzo in which the sperm ducts are succesfully severed, but bloodsupply to the testicals remains intact sounds rather unlikely ( but who knows...?)

  6. If you are talking about a true vasectomy, then the sperm ducts are blocked, but blood supply to the testicals remains intact, and testosterone  production is not affected. Then it should not make any difference when the operation is performed. 

    Here in Iceland lambs who come home after the slaughtertime   is finished ("too late") are habitually castrated to be slaughtered as wethers next year. We just pocessed two of ours for home consumption, they were in the dog training group over summer.  Those lambs  are at least 5 months old at the time of castration. Sometimes people castrate adult rams they don't want to use anymore, at least a few months before slaughtering.

    The castration method is by burdizzo clamps.

    How sure are you an actual vasectomy was done, and not a  burdizzo castration? Your description of Shashlik (great name btw) and his looks do point to a true wether.

  7. No,  I would not define a ram with a vasectomy as a wether, just like a human with a vasectomy is not a eunuch.

    Icelandic rams at least (dunno about other breeds but would think it´s the same) grow slightly slimmer and clearly wider horns than intact rams. I would expect a ram with a vasectomy to grow normal horns, no doubt it is the testosterone that is the factor.

    I would be very weary of a ram called "Ramrod"...:D

  8. 3 hours ago, denice said:

    I would really attempt to keep your reactions and emotions under control.  You have to KNOW and PROJECT that you have everything under control, people and kids are no big deal.  If you are nervous even if it is because you are nervous about Dallas he will pick up on that and think people and kids are making you uncomfortable therefor he has a Reason to be worried.  

    I feel like crossing/avoiding the situation could cause him to be concerned as could leaving when others approach.  I agree you have to do what it takes so he does not bite but just keep an eye to how these things trigger reactions in him.  Notice when he is more worried and when he isn't.  Could be has lots to do with you.

    The leash attached to the dog is an immediate line to our emotions - tension, worry, stress...he feels it all as he does when you are not worried, confident, trusting him



    2 hours ago, Kennedy said:





    Do not think of a pink elephant right now . Is it working?

  9. 20 hours ago, dallasbc said:

    What would you do in our situation? 

    Disclaimers: 1. The following is totally regardless of the emotional bond you have with your dog. 2. I can (obviously) not really say what I would do in your situation, just what I'd do in mine with a dog like you describe.

    That said my harsh answer would be, I would have him put down. This kind of dog is in my opinion a liability. Biting strangers just because they are in reach is of course totally unacceptable behavior. If the only way to correct this would be a many months long traject with a professional trainer ($$$$....),  then that price is simply too high for me. I would rather spend my money, time, and energy on a biddable talented dog who does not have such problematic issues.


  10. Yeah, before I got into sheepkeeping I would not have believed how different two sheep can look, even when they are both white and horned ( "regular" though we also have polled  and quite a variety of color). 

    I wasn't on horseback this time, they were not that far away, and the lower parts of terrain are peat moors, most places you can walk through them ( in your wellies) but horses can get in trouble.

  11. I hope it isn't pannus for your dog's sake, rather something cureable.

    My Glàma's eyes have deteriorated the last months, she clearly has impaired vision right now. So bad that she isn't able to work. And this is happening alltough she is fully on meds. Before her bad spells (she has never been as bad as now) were controllable with medication. It seems to have stopped working. I have a glimmer of hope she might improve a bit over the coming winter (dark, no dust) as she was always better in the wintertime, but frankly I am preparing for the worst.

    I hope your Gibbs makes a full recovery.

  12. Thanks everybody.  I must admit these pictures are a bit deceptive, autumn has hit, and this was a rare beautiful frosty day with hardly any wind. But lately there have been quite some with stormy weather, sleet, snow and rain showers...Days are shortening quickly, the long dark winter is coming, there are reasons this part of the world is rather sparsely populated. But yeah, I would not want to live elsewhere.

    The fleece is beautiful, for interested people, here is some info about it https://www.icewear.is/us/what-makes-icelandic-wool-special The sheep, and especially the lambs looktheir best right now, coming down the mountains in full fleece.

  13. Yeah, I know what you meant. The sound generated by a shepherds whistle is afaik based on so called Helmholtz resonance. I have not found analysis of the shepherds whistle sound but I did of another Helmholtz resonator; a tea kettle. This shows a lot of ultrasound being generated, so that may also be the case for shepherds whistles , though they are of course of rather different dimensions than a kettle. Here is the link, way too technical for me btw; https://engineersportal.com/blog/2017/9/24/acoustic-signature-of-a-tea-kettle

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