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Demon Puppy

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Albuquerque NM
  • Interests
    Agility, Flyball, Herding, Rescue, keeping the dogs properly spoiled

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  1. I'm on the wrong side of the tracks here, but as one of those evil sports people, I'll put in my thoughts and opinions, for what they are worth. Delete if you feel this is inappropriate, inflammatory, or just too freaking long. I got my first dog (whom I still have) from the pound. He was a year old GSD/Australian Shepherd mix with little or no training and the drive of a freight train. Over the years, I got into dog sports in an attempt to give him something fun to do. The non-AKC club had 20 dogs in a class and the required equipment was prong collars and leather leashes. The AKC club had a quarter that many dogs in a class and required equipment was a buckle collar, treats and a toy. So, I went with the AKC club. I got my second dog, Seelie, from the pound. She is a border collie. I had fallen in love with the breed because of the border collie one of my friends had. They were the only breed of dogs that I that I really liked. Seelie was so spooky when I brought her home that she peed in terror coming out of her crate or if you even reached over her back. She would also leap out of harnesses and collars to flatten herself in front of cars and try to head them off. I talked with the non-AKC club, but their deal was still choke chains and confrontation training. Even when I tried agility classes there, dogs were running in muzzles and one was in a shock collar (!). So, I went with the AKC club for her puppy classes. Once Seelie reached her full height of 21.5", I realized running her in AKC, she would run several trials a year in the local area, jumping at 20" or if I went with USDAA, she would have the chance at two trials a year jumping in the highest height class of 26" The other agility venues were so few and far between here to be not worth the effort. So, I went with AKC trials. Now, with my youngest puppy, I wanted the experience of raising a dog from puppyhood, and I wanted to know she started off life well and that her parents were well tested for any hereditary deficits. I also wanted a breeder that knew where all their puppies were, who had dogs I knew and liked, and who I knew would be there if anything didn't work out. So that is what I went with. Yes, she is AKC. So, my experience with AKC is that they have good training clubs, that they have venues my dogs, including pound puppy specials, can compete in, and that they have some good ethical breeders. Isn't that what we want AKC to be? Certainly, I agree that there is a a sport vs conformation vs stockdog collie confusion. I wish we could just name them three different breeds and call it good. If the AKC evaporated tomorrow, it would have little or no effect on the worst of the sport dog breeding and the doodle and designer mix trends. There are plenty of non-AKC puppymills, so I don't lay that at AKC's feet. I don't think AKC is a particularly good organization. I just think they are irrelevant. My only interaction with them is as a sanctioning body that provides a training club and venue for me to compete with my pound puppy specials in one of my sports. I have never bred a dog. That said, I came to this board with more sympathy for the plight of saving the stockdog collie than I have now. Honestly, the anti-AKC rhetoric, and the attempt to minimize sport dog people to wannabes or shove them in with the barbie collies just trips my "yeah, right" trigger. When I read threads mocking another venue's nationals, or minimizing a health concern specific to a given sport, or saying a color pattern should be bred out because it's popular in another venue, it makes me think there is no hope. I love and respect real stockdogs. I find stockdog trials fascinating. One of the main reasons I mess around ineffectually teaching my dogs herding is to learn and grow my appreciation of the level of skill involved. But, I don't particularly want to own a stockdog. I never plan enter a USBCHA trial and this kind of childish "tee hee, they suck 'cuz they don't have real stockdogs" reminds me of junior high cliques. Do youtube videos and education. That is what will teach people about stockdogs. Show them what you have, don't taunt them because they don't. Otherwise, you just alienate your potential support base as they go back to their show dog and sport dog friends and never even see a real outrun. Just my opinion.
  2. It is a loaded question, but discussing it would be a good thing. I am here reading this board instead of going to herding practice this weekend because I am feeling ambivalent about last weekend's session with the trainer. One of my dogs was bonked with a plastic bottle on a stick by the trainer. It did seem to startle the dog out of her too intense focus on heading the sheep, and I certainly hadn't been able to do anything with her. She kind of magically went to circling and moving around the stock. The other dog, the trainer grabbed her leash and yanked her around on the way to the pen to get her to heel, but criticized me for telling the dog any clue of what it was she wanted. That dog had never had a leash correction in her life and is EXTREMELY biddable. She walks beside me up to the sheep off leash just fine when I tell her to. The intimidated and bewildered dog wouldn't hardly engage the sheep and kept fleeing to me for reassurance. It's a different culture and I am VERY ignorant, but discussions like this help people like me decide whether its a sheepdog training culture issue or a trainer issue, or a I baby my dogs too much and they are just too wussy to do this issue.
  3. Raw meaty bones - there is a buying coop here that helps us buy in quantity. The coop buys from restaurant suppliers and wholesalers. I occasionally cook for them to get them some odd bits of vegetable or feed them people food, for variety. (edited to add, I feed them outside. When traveling, I find a secluded corner of the hotel parking lot and feed them there. It is gross. I don't cook people food with meat anymore, but they have their own freezer and food processing area. I get the big 'ole box of icky, thaw it enough to pry apart into little baggies of daily serving of icky, freeze those and thaw the daily ration each day.)
  4. I am definitely not an expert, but you want the dog to bounce the jumps down to the box, then, my understanding is on the last jump before the box, the dog should land, take a stride, land, and then launch for the box. All four of his feet hit the ground twice between the last jump and the box. For example, if your dog is doing the shortcut of trying to bounce between the last jump and the box (landing after the last jump and launching to the box), you position the stride regulators so that he is compelled to shorten his launch from the last jump before the box and take that extra stride. It lets him collect and diffuses some of the momentum. What it takes to accomplish that varies. We use sticks laying on the ground, sticks held by someone who moves them at just the right time to draw the dog's attention. I hear rumors of someone using a vacuum cleaner. Whatever works to get your dog doing it safely. And, I have agree with what everyone said. Use props. Props are the way you coach your dog. They are the playbook of football, the choreographer of ice dancing, the drill sergeant of boot camp. And don't pick at it - using them just barely to get him to do it, then trying to phase them away. He will just get wise to noticing when the prop isn't there. Don't give your dog a chance to screw himself up or learn discernment on when to stride and when to just crash into the box. Trust me, I have a dog whom I have completely screwed up his turn. He can do a lovely turn over a prop and crashes into the box like a freight train at tournaments. Use the props every single time he practices, long past the time it seems necessary. It is probably the most important thing you can do for the health of your dog. I know of 11 and 12 year old dogs who still compete in high levels very well. They use props every single practice, still. I know of much younger dogs who need chiropractic adjustments after every tournament because they never got the right striding. It's not cheating - it's taking care of your dog. You don't want to screw up the dog's shoulders and back over what should be a fun little game for your dog. Anyway, good luck, keep your dog safe, and have fun! JMHO
  5. Then, for the purposes of discussion: Isn't hobby herding using sheep as dog toys? Isn't training for trials if you don't already own a sheep ranch with enough stock to require using dogs using sheep as dog toys? Isn't trialing itself using them as dog toys? Since I have raised sheep without ever using dogs on them, and so have many people, isn't using dogs to work sheep at all treating them as dog toys? I don't agree with the last, myself, but it seems to logically follow, to me. Yes, when people teach mechanical herding to dogs that have little instinct except prey drive, it is a "trick." But, it is also a tool they use to improve their relationship with their dogs, to improve the dog's confidence, to simply learn and spend time with their dogs; just as when I teach my dogs to dock dive, agility, flyball, roll over, pick up all the toys in a room and any of the other tricks I teach my dogs to do. The difference, of course, is that sheep are living beings and worthy of respect. Some people treat their sheep well. They tend them properly, protect them from being pointlessly harassed, and provide a proper, decent life for them. Others don't. They cram them in a small corral, feed them with the cheapest feed, disregard needs for water, don't have the skill to adequately protect them and control the situation with green dogs, don't provide shelter and shade, and the sheep have a pretty sucky life. That, to me, is the distinction between dog toys and well treated animals. It has less to do with the breed of the dogs being trained and more to do with the knowledge, compassion, and ethics of the stockowner. However, I can certainly understand a viewpoint that says my training my border collies to herd is treating sheep as dog toys, as I no longer own sheep, or even that any trialing is treating sheep as dog toys. It's certainly something I think about and wrestle with. I do have trouble following the logic that says that the fact that they are border collies makes it any more justified for me to train my dogs on sheep than if they were some other breed, considering it's hobby herding either way.
  6. Presumably for the same reason that I play fetch with my non-retriever dogs. I am just interacting with my dogs. The fact that they aren't the premier retrieving breed isn't a factor in it. Herding, especially the more mechanical "do what I say" type, can be yet another training exercise, and certainly a learning exercise for the handler. I also have done dock diving with my non-retriever breeds and lure coursing with my non sighthounds. Now, if someone is letting dogs chase sheep around terrorizing them, or using them as dog toys, that's another issue. But, in that case, it doesn't matter whether it's a border collie or a bichon frisse. Its bad care of your stock. JMHO
  7. My observations on merle vs black dogs in direct sunlight is based only upon my observations of the various dogs I interact with regularly and who goes to shade the quickest, and who seems to be the most distressed by the heat. I doubt color would have any affect on heat tolerance in humidity, but you go outside and stand in the sun dressed all in black and see how you prefer it to being dressed in a lighter color. Or, simply touch the fur of a black dog that's been in the NM sun compared to a merle whose been out in the sun. Or watch them - who is panting soonest? Who is going to shade the soonest? Merle or light colored is absolutely an advantage where I live. My argument is not that you should breed for merles, simply that you shouldn't breed against without good reason. I have yet to hear a valid reason that couldn't be more validly applied to other colors and traits. However, you can have whatever opinion your reasoning leads you to, and I will hold the opinion that my reasoning leads to. It's a big world. But choosing to breed against a color trait when color isn't what you are breeding for is just not logic I can wrap my mind around and it makes me sad. I have said my concern over and over: Why breed against a color without good reason? Why allow the fashions of the sport dog world influence the breeding choices of real stock dogs? Why limit the gene pool unnecessarily? Why not simply breed for the best? I have read every thread on here. I have also worked with double merle rescue dogs. I know that issue. I understand the concern that merle dogs are flashy and people are drawn to them and inclined to overbreed them or engage in bad breeding practices to get pretty colors. But, that isn't what we are debating. We are debating whether it is beneficial to the gene pool of the working border collie to chop out a chunk of it based on coat color, when that chunk of it (however small a percentage it may be) has been present in the border collie from the first and would have been easy to breed out, as it's a dominant trait. It seems to have suddenly become undesirable as a reaction to it becoming desirable in the sport and pet world. I don't think that trend should influence the stockdog world. That is my issue. As I said, I doubt it's relevant to anyone but me as I don't breed stockdogs, nor do I intend to. I doubt I would ever buy a stockdog. I just hate to see the breed attenuated because although I don't own one, nor do I intend to, I admire what they can do and hope they continue, in the diverse wonderment of a dog for every job that they currently are. Make the choices that seem best. And, yes, hoping to learn and grow is why I keep coming back to these boards. I sincerely hope I will continue learning until the day I die. But, I think this issue is one that the opinions on either side have been so dug in, I doubt either side will move.
  8. LOL, I'll grant you that I should use spell-checker and proof read a bit more. Hmmm, now I am thinking about a warm brownie a la mode. No, I doubt we will change each other's opinions, and that's okay. I never learn much from just interacting with those that agree with me. I just want to make sure the other side is stated, and people can make their own decisions.
  9. I live in the dessert. I value the lighter coloring because there is a distinct advantage when working in the direct sun. Breeding against that lighter coloring for dogs that are consistently more heat stressed doesn't seem wise to me. The lighter merle coloring is a valuable trait, in my area. Other people live in different climates where a black dog isn't at a profound disadvantage. But, if you limit the gene pool to those dogs that are dark colored, you limit their usefulness. Why do that? They aren't show dogs. It shouldn't matter what color they are. Yes, the other coat color traits I was referencing were the thin coats on dilutes and the higher incidence of deafness in dogs with white ears, and the higher incidence of allergies among reds. The only health problem associated with merles is merle to merle breedings, and that is easily avoided. Would that all health problems were as easy to avoid! My point is, that ALL of these health concerns are brought about by limiting the dogs you breed to by coat color. Limiting to dark dogs in a hot dessert climate isn't a good idea, either. We need the diversity. I don't believe there is one perfect, quintessential sheepdog. I think the border collie is a good sheepdog because of its variety. I hate to see that curtailed by those who are the current curators of the breed without a very good reason. You make the border collie sheepdog less by these kinds of choices, in my opinion. As I said, I am not a breeder. I don't currently own sheep. My opinion is kind of irrelevant, but that's what it is.
  10. I beg to differ: Too much white can lead to deafness, and white factoring is a much more subtle and hard to pick out trait than a merle. If someone is going to breed a merle dog, looks up and sees a merle bitch, they can know, immediately, not a good idea. They are little spotted signposts saying "don't breed us together." Other colors have been linked to allergies, coat problems and skin sensitivities. Unfortunately, the merle to merle breedings have been quite thoroughly explored by idiot mini aussie breeders in the area and they have bred double merle dogs without issues - ones that have the gene from both parents. They do it to produce males that will always sire merles. It sucks that they do that, I'll agree on that point. But, even with a merle to merle breeding you only have a 1 in 4 chance of a double merle puppy, and that puppy may or may not be affected. To attenuate the sheepdog gene pool by eliminating every dog that inherits a certain pigmentation simply because its fashionable with the sport dog set or has been exploited by idiots seems tragic to me. Don't we want the sheepdog genetic pool to be deep and broad, rather than closed off to an inbred trickle like they do with show dogs? Just my opinion, and I don't own sheep and don't plan to be a dog breeder, but I would hate for the true border collie sheepdog that is out there today to be walled off into some esoteric ghost of its former self because breeders got into the show dog mindset and were focusing on desirable and undesirable markings and not on breeding the best sheep dogs.
  11. You are advocating breeding against a particular coat color, regardless of working talent, because it's possible to breed them badly or exploit them through puppy mills? Doesn't that apply to all dogs in all colors? It would seem to me, if the founders of the breed wanted to eliminate merle from the gene pool, it would have been easy, as it is a dominant trait. If it were never occurring in a useful, valuable dog, why would they bother to breed that dog? However, they kept it. Presumably, because under that fur were some good dogs. I am bothered by the idea that you would want to eliminate any contribution from them just because they are the trend of the moment. Trends pass. I don't think whatever the fashion is in another area should affect the choice of dogs used to breed sheepdogs. JMHO
  12. She looks very familiar. Wish I could figure out from where. Maybe she has just been posted a lot as an available dog?
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