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Everything posted by dsmbc

  1. I would just leave the ears alone and let your dog decide what kind of ears to have. In all honesty, I am not a fan of gluing ears. I don't know anyone with working BCs that does it. It seems like a "show ring" thing. There is this misconception that BC ears should be a certain way. One of the beautiful things about tis breed is they are not cookie cutter. Also, like others have said, it doesn't seem to work. I know several folks that have tried it and it did not take. One of the pups ended up with a pretty sever reaction to the glue, which really messed up their ears. Plus, it is a lot of fun to watch the ears change as our puppies grow up. I have four border collies currently and had one other many years ago. My first BC had "Lab ears. They flopped over like a lab's. Pete has prick, Jill, a smooth coat, has "flying nun" ears as they go up and then straight out, Ben has one up and one sideways, he is also a smooth coat, and Devi has tipped ears. I cannot imagine any of them with their ears any other way.
  2. I also used woven wire fencing and T-posts. Just enough give, easy to put up and inexpensive.
  3. my suggestion is to get the help of a very experienced trainer. Also, I think it is important that you establish a very clear set of rules both off of stock. if the dog starts to learn that they have to do things your way off stock, it will make it easier for them to transition on stock. I would wait a little while before you tried working him on stock as well so that he starts to learn your rules first, If you are clear and consistent and get good help from a good trainer, you should be alright. but if you are not consistent or clear or at all wishy washy with the rules, he will likely just revert to doing things his way.
  4. I am not a breeder and have never bred a litter. but whether or not a breeder sells pups to non- working homes is a personal decision to each breeder and not universal, so I would look around and ask from folks that have dogs that suit you. In terms of whether or not a pup can work, well I think most folks would say it is pretty hard to determine that from a Pup. but genetics are tricky. You may have two very talented dogs where the cross was not a good cross and did not produce puppies that folks had hoped for. I have heard some folks say that some pups may not work, but I have heard other long time breeders of working dogs say that with the right cross, all of the puppies will work, but that doesn't guarantee that they will work in a manner that suits the breeder. When you are ready, you will find the right pup whether it is from working lines or not.
  5. I agree, if the dog suits you, adopt her. Border collies do come in all shapes and sizes, My first BC was 60 lbs! Right now I have a leggy 50 lb boy that is about 22 inches at withers. but his half sister is under 30 lbs and likely only 17 or 18 inches at withers. big range.
  6. I think the only good part of training off field is to ensure they have an understanding of the command. I don't have much experience, and I've learned the hard way with my first dog what not to do, but my 18 mo old has a pretty solid down because of those mistakes. here is my list of tips: 1. use the command judiciously, rather than as a crutch for yourself. it is better to teach pace so you do not have to always ask for a down just to slow things down. 2. in the early stages of building a solid down, only ask for it when your dog is in balance, it will be easier for your dog as they will feel they have control of the sheep. if your dog is not in the right place and doesn't yet have control of the sheep, asking for the down is only teaching him that to lie down means he will lose the sheep, that is a fast way to ruin the down. 3. As soon as they lie down, ask them back up and let them work the sheep. This way they learn the down does not mean work is over. 4. Don't ask for the down every time your dog does a flank/outrun. Sometimes just let him bring the sheep. 5. if the sheep make a break for it, let him cover. 6. Be consistent, if you are asking for the down at the right time, when your dog is in the right spot, make sure he gives it to you. You can start with a verbal correction or body pressure, but make sure to ask for the down again. get the down before he can work the sheep -- however, be fair about it, if he loses the sheep ask yourself, did he lose them because he wouldn't take the down or because you caused it by asking for the down in the wrong place. 7. Maybe try using a longline, loop it through the fence and hold one end, ask your dog to lie down while you walk part way to sheep, if he holds the down, release the line and let him work the sheep. if he doesn't hold it, correct him, and don't let him have the sheep until he holds the down. he will start to associate the down means I get to work sheep. Don't know if any of this will work for you, but it is what I've been doing with my pup who is close in age to yours,
  7. it is too bad that you dislike Susan Garrett as her Handling 360 is fabulous. Actually, beyond fabulous. I have to say, if you can get past the strong sales techniques, you would not be sorry. I have been extremely surprised by the quality and depth of her online classes and everything you get with it. I have taken some of the other online classes mentioned above and have been disappointed.
  8. what Diane Allen and Rushdoggie said. The other thing to try is prep everything and then go to were you train or out of the kitchen. have your dog "work" for the treat balls by doing sits and downs or nose touches or tricks - something that engages them and gets their minds aroused so they are not fixated on being suspicious of the treat. I try to turn things into a game. I also have one that did not at all like to be touched. Wiping off muddy feet and clipping nails was always a battle that we both dreaded. So I taught tricks that would make it easier, such as a hand shake. making it a game put us both in a better mindset.
  9. agree with what was said so far, though if I had limitless money I would also put up a building with indoor training space for working in the winter.
  10. Congratulations on the new puppy! All good advice here.
  11. I don't know anyone off the top of my head, but would guess that there is someone willing to do an apprenticeship. do you have a state or location in mind? I am not sure how many serious sheepdoggers are still on the boards, but you could also post something to the yahoo group - sheepdog L -- to see if there is anyone that bites. If I had more experience, I would do it. So I would guess others would be interested as well. Do you know where you would like to be? aside from an apprenticeship, I know a handler that is both an amazing handler and trainer as well as the best shepherd I've ever met, living close to someone like that could also be good.
  12. dear Maaki, I know it seems hard having a dog that wants your attention so much, but that is the border collie breed. They were bred to have a job and to work with a human partner. They can pretty obsessively follow you around. with that said, they really don't need that much attention and can thrive with quiet time as well. I made the mistake with my now 9 yr old BC of thinking he had to have several hours of ball throwing or frisbee tossing a day and constant attention. All I did was to build stamina in my dog, lol. but it has also taken a physical toll on him. he also became very obsessed with playing ball and was constantly wanting me to throw the ball. It got very tiring. I ended up hiding of all of the toys and only bring them out once and a while on my terms. i have also taught him to go to his place instead of constantly pestering me. it has been tough, but he is slowly breaking the habit of wanting the ball all of the time or constantly needing my attention. but I also don't mind that they want to be in the same room as I am. I have 3 other BCs now and have not taught them to play ball. just like with kids, dogs, especially BCs, need structure. They can be very adaptable and learn what is expected, Also, 3 cups of food a day is a lot. two of my dogs only get a cup and a half a day. cutting back on the amount of food will not only help your dog get in shape and better health, but it will save you a lot of money as well. but it sounds like maybe this dog is not a good fit for you. please seek out a good border collie rescue. Please don't consider euthanizing him. punishing your dog for a problem you created is unfair. there are a lot of people with a lot of experience with border collies that could give him a happy and healthy life.
  13. AHBA has a facebook page you can post to. I am sure folks here will give you thoughts, but different herding breeds work differently, so not always easy to evaluate unless you know the breed.
  14. I have only seen Austrialian Reds in conformation lines in the US. there is a woman locally that breeds them. though they have very sweet personalities, they are show bred, not working bred. I would be very surprised if you found a working bred Austrialian red in the US.
  15. I also have mixed feelings, but maybe tend to think it doesn't really matter as much if folks are truely qualified. I am relatively new to trials, but one of the things that surprised me talking to handlers at trials is how many really talented, top handlers got their start in AKC herding trials and that a few of them have been or currently are both USBCHA judges and AKC judges. I would guess they do it because it is a way they can make a living working and training dogs. I wouldn't fault them for wanting to get paid for doing something they love. I know that some of these folks make it to the finals year after year and that they are consistently winning open trials. I know someone that is both a USBCHA and AKC herding judge who won the cattle finals in the recent past. I wouldn't have a problem running under any of them at a trial. Just to clarify, I have never run in or even seen an AKC trial and have no desire to, but am not feeling I am in any position to judge those that do. As a side note, I do know a few people with other breeds of dogs (tervs, rots, gsds, boxers) that do compete in AKC herding and they don't like judges that run border collies because they think they are unfair to other breeds.
  16. I know of several very qualified USBCHA judges that are also AKC herding judges. Personally, I would hate to see their talents not utilized because they judged a herding trail in a venue that not everyone agrees with. At least in this part of the country, it seems like there are an awful lot of very, very talented USBCHA handlers and judges that all got their start in AKC herding and now do USBCHA. If they are qualified, why not let them judge the finals?
  17. if you are interested in something like this, I would suggest therapy dog tests. However, the TDI is essentially the same test (with a few modifications) and often done, at least here, at the same time as the CGC by the local AKC club. Not sure, but I think TDI is connected to AKC. My first dog (many years ago), passed his CGC and TDI at 9 months on the first try. I will be the first To say he had no business passing either, let alone getting a Therapy dog certification. I never did use him as a therapy dog. here, at least, delta society seems to be separate from AKC and more rigerous to pass. So if you are interested in therapy work, Delta society might be the way to go.
  18. I am doing h360 and think it is more than worth the money. I actually just renewed my membership (renewals are discounted) I initially took it to help with my bad handling with my older agility dog that I could not keep up with, who just got frustrated with me, it has helped tremendously. I seriously cannot recommend it enough. on the surface it may look expensive, but what you get is completely worth it and then some. i honestly have to say that I have yet to take an online class that I think is of better value than Susan Garrett's classes. I have done a number of online classes and Susan Garrett's have always gone way, way above and beyond. Regular coaching calls, comments and input on you questions and your videos, a Facebook group and seriously in depth training. Plus the community is amazing. and the bonuses she gives us are tremendous. Susan and Linda are extremely accessible. plus, not only do you get new coaching calls, you have access to the past coaching calls as well. Chan, I also think your friend missed a lot of the class, as the system she uses is A). Not incompatible with other handling systems, in fact several current and former world team members have taken the course and . doesn't require you to always be ahead of your dog, but gives you the tools so that you can communicate better with your dog, so your dog has the information he/she needs even if you are not right there. seriously worth it.
  19. are you in europe, in the states or somewhere else? what are the main qualities you are looking for in your next pup/dog?
  20. I started using it when my dog was tearing pads, and it helped toughen up the pads. We applied it daily for a week and then switched to weekly. now we use it about once a month. it helped the pad heal and help prevent additional problems. I do trim the fur between to toes of my dogs as that fur encourages the snowballs between the toes. never have a problem with my smooth coated dogs, only my rough coated dogs.
  21. I agree with Denice about using fresher sheep. I have a set of really heavy sheep that my dog has learned that he needs to push, but when he is on lighter sheep, he is busting them up because he pushes too hard. So I switched out sheep with some much lighter sheep and if he pushes too hard, the sheep let him know, so he is now starting to figure out when to push and when not to.
  22. Sue R, thank you for that perspective. I completely agree that sheep are not dog toys. Though where I am conflicted is that I am one of those people, as are many people I've met who trial, that did not start out with stock. I took my rescue dog to a sheepdog trainer, because I thought it would be fun and wanted to see what would happen. I didn't have any expectations of owning stock (I lived in town at the time) and was just thinking it would be a fun thing to do with my dog. But I soon got hooked and fell in love with the sport and with sheep, and before you know it, I sold my house in town, bought a small farm and a flock of sheep. So going just for the fun of it, kind of changed my whole life.
  23. If your trainer should be able to tell you what they see in your dog and give you an honest assessment. generally, trainers are not going to waste your time and will put the well being of their sheep first. it is true that some dogs take longer to "turn on", so may need more than one exposure to sheep. This is especially true with pups/young dogs. The things your trainer will be looking for are things like sustained interest in the sheep, how the dog approaches the sheep (does the dog bust straight in or are they going around the sheep or something else), what are the natural instincts/talents of the dog, are they trying to find balance, is the dog settling in and being thoughtful, etc. What I would suggest is ask the trainer before they take your dog in what they are looking for. And have them explain what's going on when your dog is in there. Also, there may be some video in these boards of youngs dogs first time you can look at. essentially every dog is going to be different, so just have fun with it.
  24. So glad it seems to have all worked out. Sounds like a perfect home for Maid/Daily.
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