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Everything posted by simba

  1. No, I don't think it means they're bad neighbors. I know it's done out of kindness, and because the other person has a good heart and loves dogs. If the owner doesn't say anything and the other person's never been taught about it then they can't be expected to know, for example. It's only really rude if it's been discussed and they don't stop. If I make a mistake like that in an area where I'm unfamiliar with the rules (unspoken or otherwise), I'd be mortified and feel I had behaved rudely accidentally: I do it often enough! With most of these areas in life, you're expected to make an effort to learn the rules, and you expect to be given some leniency while learning them. The same kind of thing should hold true here. Interestingly it's mostly dog people who do it, in my experience.
  2. I was always taught that it was the height of bad manners to feed someone else's dog, unless that dog is actually starving (as in 'ribs and spine visible' rather than 'acting hungry'). Both because of the idea that you could be diverting its loyalty or encouraging unwanted behaviour, and because the owner has to be able to control the dog's diet in case of overweight, allergies, food intolerances etc. It really annoys me, because I know it's well-meant, but it's still rude and difficult to solve. Maybe it would be acceptable if the other person asked permission first and let you know exactly what and how much was being fed, but otherwise absolutely not. A friend of mine had a problem with strangers trying to feed her pony poisonous weeds, because they didn't know the difference. I've heard of cats simply not coming home again, and staying with the other person who feeds them. Anyone seen that cat food ad, where the woman 'has to buy extra' because she's feeding her neighbour's healthy cat every day?
  3. I've never owned a crate, never heard much about them, I may get one in future. But how do you use them? I'd be a little worried about the dog not being able to move when no-one's there. Plus it's useful to have the dogs out around the house at night and when no-one's home, since we've had a would-be burglar or two who desisted on hearing barking at the other side of the door or window. Same goes for foxes- if the dogs can get to the window to see them, at least we know where they are. Having said that I'd use it with a puppy. I have one of those mad labradors who chewed everything. She still does if she's left around the house when we go away, rather than in her room. She's nearing a decade now, and no trips to the shelter.
  4. I have my second name, address, and two phone numbers. I've also heard of people putting 'spayed' or 'neutered' to prevent the dog being robbed for breeding: believe it or not that actually happens around us. 'Allergies' or 'needs medication' gets used for the same thing. I've also heard that people use the dog's name to call the dog, but I don't put it on because it seems a waste of space in that I can't see how it'll help me get my dog back. I have boomerang tags, they're good so far. There's also a sugru tag as backup; a hastily-made colourful tag in case someone doesn't notice the tasteful on-collar one. Check what the legal requirements are where you live.
  5. Anyone else have a dog who is convinced that it's incredibly helpful to go over and stand in the piles of sweepings when you're sweeping the floor? The terrier just goes over and stands in it. Whatever she thinks she's doing, it's obviously terribly important and requires much concentration. She gets her 'look what a good girl I am' face on. Much like she does when the puppy escapes from the porch at friends' houses. If any other dog did this the terrier would follow. If the puppy does this, we come out to find the terrier sitting in the middle of the porch with her 'good girl' face.
  6. If you could find a carpenter or someone with good DIY skills (or builders etc) they should be able to make some equipment for you? Weave poles can be difficult but everything else can be made pretty simply by someone who knows what they're doing, and it shouldn't cost a couple grand. They would be able to look at your size and weight limitations as well. An acquaintance of mine did this, she's competed in a few different countries in Europe. I know of a few people who've done it. You might even be able to do it yourself, with some help. Have a look at the agility equipment when you're training: the measurements (lengths, angles etc) and the materials. Would be less expensive and just as fun, and when you have your own equipment it makes it much easier to practice.
  7. I was thinking that as well. A 'reactive dog' in this instance is a dog who overreacts to another dog's inappropriate behaviour rather than behaving inappropriately itself. I suppose you're never going to fix the idiots ("My dog is friendly!" as it bites my ankles- no joke) so all you can do is bombproof your dog as much as possible to tolerate other dogs' rude behaviours.
  8. I've seen stuffingless toys for dogs- think a fox that looks like it's roadkill. There was a squeaker inside it though. My friend's terrier was driven to distraction when someone gave him an 'unbreakable' squeaky toy once. He got really annoyed. It took three days of obsessive work before he finally managed to rip the squeaker out.
  9. My apologies if I misunderstood you. Like I said, I made sure to get a second and third opinion before I replied (without prompting of course), so I was trying to avoid misunderstanding. I appreciate that your intentions were good. I thought I'd taken that into account in my replies- they seem to read as a bit harsher than I intended them? Of course on the topic of disabilities everyone tends to get sensitive, and it's hard to know what the right thing to say is. Irish English here, surrounded by English English speakers. That makes two of us, obviously. A dangerous habit to get in to!
  10. Considering how many dogs get re-homed or worse for being hyperactive, I'd say it's no bad thing to resurrect it. So what's the line between encouraging hyperness and providing adequate exercise? What time/distance of exercise is normal, or required to keep a border collie happy?
  11. Hey, I have an idea- can we ship all the Irish free collie mixes, "won't work so take it now" sheepdogs and 50 euro puppies over there, and get a couple of dozen pretty-coloured death row pit bulls back? Or do you guys have the ridiculous number of border collies in rescue too? I believe the person talking about 'ruining' dogs was referring to breeding for sports, not participating in them. I could be wrong. If I 'flamed' Mum24dog, remember, as you said yourself, when the talk turns to disabilities people get sensitive. The other posters on the same subject seemed compassionate enough, and I don't think anyone could have read those posts as flaming. I was annoyed, too, at the person who said you were lying about your disability, but the point of Mum24dog's post seemed to be that people shouldn't argue with you because you have an "admitted" learning disability and were thus somehow less capable of participating in the discussion or defending yourself than others. I brought a friend and my sibling, both with learning disabilities in to read it in case I was overreacting and they interpreted it in the same way. You are as capable as anyone else of participating in this discussion. I can see no difference in your posts which would signal your learning disability and no reason for Mum24dog to use it in her argument. So many people with learning disabilities, including both of us obviously, have struggled or are struggling with self-esteem issues because of the way others treat them that this is not something to be taken lightly. My sibling's reaction to that particular post: "I have tried all my life to get people not to treat me like I'm an idiot, or like I'm incapable, because I have a disability. It's not kind, and it's not helpful." Never, ever let anyone tell you you are less capable than others because you happen to have a disability. Even if they do so out of the best of intentions. Back on topic, and on to my other hobby horse- generally companies react to outrage because they're afraid it'll hurt their bottom line. If you want the company to change you have to hit them with money rather than just pr. Think of modern companies (often chocolate and clothes companies) who use goods from sweatshops or produced by slave labour. Unless people boycott the product they won't change the practice, and that's when humans are involved. Petitions and outrage will not work unless backed up with boycotts and loss of $ to the company. The AKC or KC have yet to respond in any meaningful way to puppy mills other than take their money. To get them to change we have to make it less profitable for them to take the puppy millers' money than to get rid of those reliable sources of revenue. This means a boycott.
  12. Glucosamine- the best evidence currently suggests that it's no better than a placebo for humans, and there's no good evidence of benefit for dogs either. NSAIDS work but have some side-effects. For fish our dogs get a tin every so often (tinned in oil), plus when we eat oily fish we give them a little.
  13. Not a bc, but my grumpy terrier does not like most men. She loves coming to the bus stop to see me coming home for the weekend when I'm being picked up, and she knows the bus by now. I got off with my backpack, and a tall man got off with his backpack. She ran over and danced around him like he was an old pal. Clearly any backpackers off the bus are instantly her friends. Then there was the insistent 'scratch-scratch-scratch' to the side of my head in the middle of the night, very painfully. I assumed something was seriously wrong. Nope. She nudges under my hand until I pet her, then scratches again when I stop. Oh dear. Hoping that one was just a once-off
  14. I have a learning disability, I'm hyper enthusiastic about many things, and I try to engage in conversations and see things from another person's point of view. I strongly disagree with your implication that someone with a learning disability is incapable of receiving criticism (good or bad) appropriately, and responding and engaging in it, and so shouldn't be offered it. Serena's as capable as the next person of engaging in discussion like this, and has done so so well as to make discussion of her disability irrelevant. The criticism here has been of reasonably good quality- naturally after a thread's been going for a few days you'll see a few rude people, and also some people will tend to discard the 'softly-softly' approach when it becomes clear it's not working. When you've repeated your argument a few times and not had it engaged with, it's hard to find a way to call attention to it that won't be rude. It's also a hard thing to do to change your viewpoint, especially when you're told so often that the kennel club is the way to go, that they're the people who really know dogs. It took me a few years and a lot of reading and observation to realise the truth, so I'm not expecting 10 or 20 days to do much. But the conversation can and will be of use to people in the questioning stage, and I know a lot of old discussions here have been of use and interest to me. It's not pointless. Other people will come along, look at all the discussion, and make their own decisions.
  15. Two points: It hasn't worked in England. The Kennel Club still registers dogs from puppy mills, quite happily. Go to any dog selling website and you can see puppies which are obviously from puppy mills, which are KC reg. It hasn't worked with the IKC either- every puppy farmer worth his salt has his dogs registered. The clubs care a lot more about the £ or $ from the puppy mills than the signatures of a few dog people. Secondly- say I go buy a pup from a puppy mill, someone really unethical, who everyone knows is bad news. I write them a letter beforehand telling them how awful they are. Once a year I go and collect signatures to a document saying 'Puppy mills are bad', and send it to this breeder. Then I go buy another pup from him, and continue to buy pups from him. I insist this is the only possible way, and that we shouldn't be alienating people who buy from this puppy farmer by criticising them. Would that be acting on principle? Would that be "fighting corruption" and never giving up? Doing something to help the dogs? Especially when I know that they've paid absolutely no attention to similar petitions before, and they do so every year to mine. After all, whether it works or not, who cares?
  16. Thanks everyone for all the responses! I was talking to another dog person (not a bc owner) and he was incredulous when I mentioned the amount of border collies with elderly people, or rather vice versa. One of the rescues near me will not adopt a border collie to you unless you exercise it for 10 miles a day. Lovely dogs with those owners, like I said, always walking quietly off leash and waiting at the appropriate stop light, and looking to the owners for guidance. So the two messages seemed absolutely conflicting.
  17. What's the activity range for border collies and border collie mixes? I'm just asking because it seems every fifth dog owner near me is walking a shaggy sheepdog, and a fair few owners are older people who walk slowly with their beautifully socialised dogs. I was chatting to someone today, in and out of hospital with various medical conditions, unable to walk very far, and they have a sheepdog and a jack russell at home. So- is it good management? Are some sheepdogs or bcs really couch potatoes (or at least lower energy)? A combination of the two? I'd never consider a bc because they're too high energy for me. That's a pity since they're very common in rescue and notoriously hard to rehome. So - is that prudence or prejudice on my part? What's the range in exercise and work needs, and the influence of training?
  18. I still don't understand what you're saying. So agility is hard work, like many other pastimes- no-one here has disagreed with this. But you can't get a working sheepdog by breeding for agility as well as you can get an agility dog by breeding for working sheep. No-one's saying that agility doesn't require effort. But it's not what created the border collie, it's a sport designed so that many different breeds can take part. If you participate in AKC events and petition them, you're supporting them with your money and by showing up. That's what they care about. It's like saying I'll protest the puppy farmer down the road by buying a dog from him and writing him a letter- he doesn't care about the letter, he's delighted with me for giving him the money. You're not fighting corruption by drawuing up monthly petitions, you're just wasting paper.
  19. Reading these boards I've never got the impression that anyone doesn't consider SAR etc to be 'not work', or dog sports not to be challenging, or that people who do this stuff with their dogs are somehow lesser owners. The philosophy's simply that you should breed for herding, because if you breed for that you'll get good agility, obedience, SAR etc dogs whereas if you breed say for agility you won't get consistently good herding dogs out of it. It's simply about what tests those abilities best for breeding purposes. So I guess I don't really see what the division is, or what you're trying to say.
  20. Even clueless little me can see why this is a horrible idea. Preaching to the choir here, but I just want to know if there's anything I've missed. A wolf can sometimes work out as a pet when with a knowledgeable handler who knows how to keep it right- which is why we now have dogs (because wolves are good enough pets to domesticate but not as good as dogs at it). They're much worse than dogs at being trained, they're very intelligent so take a lot of minding, and they need a lot of exercise and canine-savviness. Plus they're not bred to be sociable like dogs are so may be timid around strangers. And they're known for killing smaller animals and not being good with kids. Then we have the border collie, which can work out as a pet with a knowledgeable handler who knows how to keep it right. Obviously they're a dog so very different, but they need more minding, exercise, canine savvness and often socialisation than most dogs (I've seen a few downright dangerous sheepdogs, because of lack of socialisation). And they're known for killing smaller animals and not being good with kids if untrained. Then you take these two and combine them in a form that only the clueless will buy- the wolf people probably won't want one, the sheepdog people probably won't want one. A dog that could have been purpose-built to be godawful with clueless people. Is this an evil plot to discourage certain people from being dog-owners?
  21. Just about the tail wagging- I've only ever had one dog seriously try to bite me, but every time she tried she was wagging her tail. Dogs usually wag their tails out of excitement (for example when they're very afraid or angry). Obviously the tail wag looks different from the big sweeping wiggle-butt tail wag you get when the dog's enthusiastically greeting someone.
  22. It's exactly what's being said here now. Why do people try and breed border collies for show or 'pets'? It's been done already- the rough collie came out of it.
  23. Some random books I came across. Pg 533 of Modern Practical Farriery (1875) has an essay on the collie, which is interesting. http://www.archive.org/stream/modernpracticalf00mile#page/n635/mode/2up "In days gone by the collie was regarded as a representative of all that is mean and servile; but within the last ten or twelve years he has been raised above the plebian level, and adopted as a fit companion for lords and ladies of high degree, and has become an essential member of the fashionable establishment, more so as an ornament than for any special services he is expected to render." "Such work (referring to use of collies as gundogs), however, is taking him from his path of duty, and ought to be discountenanced by any shepherds." http://www.archive.org/details/practicaltrainin00wick Practical training of the shepherd dog (1891) "The show collie, being untrained, is losing intelligence, and a good judge can readily distinguish the untrained dog from the intelligent and well-taught, by the fatuous look the idle life of the former develops. The breeding for show alone is having a deteriorating effect on the collie." The author suggests placing show dogs 'of improved appearance' in the hands of shepherds, and the drafting of clever, good-looking dogs from those shepherds.
  24. A bit of soreness is normal after any injection into a muscle, depending on the site and volume injected, and whether the immune system's responding to it. It soemtimes happens to me after I get my shots, though I haven't noticed it in the dog. Probably nothing to worry about. I'm generally pleased when I notice it in myself, because I have to be immunised against certan diseases for work, and I've noticed that when I'm sore, I'm more likely to be protected by that vaccination. It must be that the immune system sets up some inflammation when it notices something's there (whch will help it recognise it and fight it in future). Sometimes it's sore for two or three days afterwards. That's why they often give it in the non-dominant arm. A friend was very pleased, she didn't get any soreness at all- she had to have 2 more courses of the vaccine when the titre results came back. She hadn't got any protection from it the first time, they had to give it again until it took (her immune system finally responded).
  25. I use a particular moniker to signify that the dog has rolled in something awful, and must go to the shower now.
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