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Everything posted by mja

  1. I have owned and started my own dogs for the last 30 years, still have much to learn and continue to learn from every dog I start. As I am sure many will acknowledge, every dog is different. I have learned more from the trainer in the posted videos than from many years of going to clinics, reading books and watching trials. I was a witness to part of the lesson with 'Otto' and having experienced that type of dog on many occasions, I have faith that given time he will settle. However, he is at a disadvantage working with a novice handler who does not own sheep and is only recieving weekly lessons. I did not own sheep for my first BC and only had weekly lessons and I can tell you the progress was painfully slow. We spent the first 20min of the lesson just trying to get my dog to settle and listen and well, mostly no progress was made. My current male who is 19mths is doing very well but was hellish to start. He attacked sheep, busted through them, knocked me down, pulled me down all in an excited chase. Off sheep he was quite submissive. I took him to a Jack Knox clinic and he would not work at all, scared of Jack. I put him up for two months, took him back to sheep and he was a new dog, thoughtful, kind to his sheep, quiet, it was quite a transformation. In retrospect he was imature, excited, insecure and my pressure on him did not help, but its difficult not to put pressure on a dog that is diving and gripping. He is now doing 200 yd outruns, starting to drive, off balance flanks just a nice dog. If I had showed you all a video of him when he started, I venture most would have said "he's not going to make it, how about just leaving him as a pet". Kevin Evans whom sold me my male as a pup said that generally males mature later than females and since this was my first male and Mr Evans has had numerous males to start, I gave that information much value. He also said pups from my dogs sire were sometimes grippers to start. So ceraintly breeding plays a large role in how a dog will start. I am just thinking that making judgements based on video's can sometimes be very misleading and maybe not all that productive. There is probably lot's of people who have bought a trained dog from a video and found out they had quite a different animal than appeared on the video when they worked the dog in person. I was not going to respond to this post but after thinking it over and having to fight feelings of defensiveness for my trainer, decided to offer my two cents, That may be all its worth.
  2. Just thought I would add that many years ago, maybe 18+ years, we tried to run non-dog broke range ewes for the local county fair dog trial. Only two dogs could even lift those ewes and one finally gripped off, leaving only one that made it around the course, proving it could be done. Since than while they don't use range ewes in that venue, they do use non-dog broke dorper lambs with success. I would say that the use of the tough range ewes or really any challenging sheep have done alot to improve the quality of our dogs. I heard said (yes this is hearsay) that the set out people for recent internationals who could remember the dogs of old, were dismayed at the lack of power they observed on the lift. When asked what they thought had happened, one said " we sent them all to America". I would use trial success as a beginning point for deciding about breeding quality but not before investigating the wins relative to the sheep used, the terrain, the weather, the handler and the competition. Maybe a dog who placed 12th out of 75 dogs on tough sheep in the middle of a rainstorm or a heat wave was the better dog than the 1st place dog. Many years ago I won second in a big trial having the luck of getting 5 consistent ewes from the same flock while Tommy Wilson had 4 from one flock and 1 from another flock. He placed much lower than I did, but you should have seen his run and how Roy handled the situation. To me, it was the best run of the whole trial and you would not find it on video or memtioned in an article, you had to be there in person.
  3. I have purchased her book and find it very helpful and totally agree with her methods, cannot argue with her success and I am not just referring to trial wins. She is working her dogs in the very element for which they were bred. The book has much to offer and sometimes you have to know alot to know what you don't know.
  4. mja


    Thanks everyone for your answers, don't know where this topic was hiding as when I first posted, could not find it but it showed up with the 'search' tool. Also wondering if a change in feed is in order. Thanks again.
  5. mja


    I am looking for advice and or experience anyone might have with OCD and or surgery to repair problem. My 8th old BC just diagnosed with OCD in one shoulder and the reconmendation is surgery however, vet did say she knew of two cases of dogs that recovered with rest. Thank you in advance.
  6. Hello Everybody, As mentioned above I am waiting for my money first. After getting her outlandish em, I responded stating very clearly what the issues were and gave her 2 weeks notice to return the $600 or I would go to small claims court, she has finally changed her tune and em'd that she would send my money, not yet recieved but when check clears, I don't mind giving out her name. I just heard yesterday from friends that trial that they know of a person who bought a pup from her, signed the breeding contract and than at a later date, the breeder told her she had to breed her dog. That person just went ahead and spayed her female. So as we all suspected it was a method to get others to raise pups and enjoy the profit without any expense or work.
  7. Thank you Sue for your observation and post. I curse myself for being so stuck on wanting the breeding going back to a favorite dog I used to have, as it turns out a poor choice for me to make. The breeder is a legend in her own mind and none of her accomplishments speaks to the kind of sheep, the number or experience of her competitors, the type of ground the trials were held on, in other words I would rather be 10th on a difficult field against top competitors than first at Paso fair trial or any fair trial for that matter. The year Paso Fair trial tried to use range ewes, only one dog could move them, and the other dog that could get them going, gripped off, that was the last year they used range ewes. The best I have done was 2cd place on a flat field with perfact sheep while Tom Wilson placed 15th on same field with Roy with extremely difficult group of sheep and in my mind it will always be one of the best runs I have seen. Had I had his group of sheep, I would never even have placed. Or better yet, give me the run so described by Donald with his Fly on range ewes now that's an accomplishment. I had not read of her accomplishments on her web site but now I see there is no mention of 'breeding contracts' or non-refundable deposits and there is a list of litters bred by her by the same agility male owned by the lady to whom I gave my bitch so its the pot calling the kettle black. I so regret that my resources were used to support a business that lacks integrity when there are so much better ways to waste $600.
  8. Thank you Diane. I should have remembered when I was building a house several years ago the contractor fooled me into changing the bid price by just asking me "would'nt you like a few more electrical outlets" , innocently I said "sure" than the bill came and it was much over the original bid. I found out that just by verbally agreeing to his question, I had allowed him to raise the price. After that, my only answer to him was "just give me what you put on the bid, nothing more nothing less". Needless to say, he stopped speaking to me by the time the house was finished. In the case of the puppy, it was pretty straight forward, me asking if a pup was still availabe, her saying only one and I needed to let her know right away as someone else was asking (that should have been my first clue). When I said I wanted a pup, she said the deposit was $600 and that's what I sent her. Approximately two weeks before the pups were weaned I em'd how I was looking forward to getting my pup and that's when she informed me I would have to sign a "breeding contract". She would be on the papers as the owner with me until I spayed the bitch. That way I could not sell or breed without her involvement (I am not sure of the extent). Than she said If I did not sign, she would return my deposit. I told her to return my deposit because I am not signing such a contract and that's when the trouble began
  9. So far she has not returned any money. She wrote me an em where she went balistic on me, calling me "intimidating" and challenging me to list what trials I had won in the last few years and than went on to brag about trials she had won, dogs she has trained and bascically how great she is and once again referring to the bitch I gave away. She also put down all UK breeders because they do not do 'breeding contracts' despite that she bought a trained dog from wales that she intends to breed as that is the male she offered the substitude pup from. So its a case of 'do as I say, not as I do.' I have come to the conclusion that what must be behind all this anger is that I gave the bitch to the woman she worked with and not her, as well as of course she is probably broke having just moved to a new location and trying to set up a training facility there, that can't be cheap. The sad part is that I had been willing to work something out with her such as taking payments but now that won't work for me. So my last em yesterday, I told her "you have two weeks to return my $600" and if you do not, I will see you in small claims court. I am thinking I will be the only one to show up to court.
  10. Hello everybody, the saga continues. The breeder has now told me that the reason she had asked for such a high deposit from me is that she considered me an "irresponsible" person and that she normally only charges a $200 deposit ( I am assuming to those that are worthy in her judgement). So the $600 I paid is now being referred to as a $200 deposit and a $400 "overpayment" thereby allowing her to keep a deposit of $200 not exactly stated that way but thats what i am getting from the conversation. However, no where was it stated that the deposit is non-refundable and of course there is still the matter of not disclosing to me the requirement of signing a "breeding contract" prior to my making the deposit. Than to add to the confusion she offered me to buy a puppy from another breeding without mentioning the dreaded breeding contract even though I made her aware I was fundamentally opposed to a breeding contract. Unfortunately the other litter is from a line of dogs that I had purchased a bitch from and that bitch had Epilespy (another very heartbreaking story for me); When I told her the reason I could not accept a substitute pup from that breeding, she went ballistic on me, accused me of "intimidating" tactics and being a mean person. She made some other negative characteristic remarks aimed at me as well. So its on to small claims court for me. I have to say this experience has been so dishartening that I seriously am thinking of removing dog trialing from my bucket list. I forgot to memtion that the reason she considers me and all UK breeders and sellers irresponsible is because quite some time ago I gave away an intact bitch, very well bred to her previous partner. That partner was quite involved in hobby herding with numerous contacts of people who could provide a pet-hobby herding home. The bitch ended up in a good home but also was bred so in hind sight, I made a mistake. I don't know why it did not occur to me to spay the bitch but it did not and I take full responsibilty for not doing the right thing seeing as there is so much breeding going on and so many dogs do end up in rescue. I don't want to go into the reason I parted with the bitch, except to say it was not a good fit for my situation and I did try many avenues to try and get her the appropriate home but yes, I should have taken the step to have her spayed. So that's the rest of the story in a nutshell.
  11. Hello Gentlelake, not so sure where the confusion started about being a 'conformation breeding' and my brain is not working well enough to fiqure it out. When saying ISDS trials, I was referring to the course so should have said USBCHA trials, sorry for being unclear. I guess my point was that this was a litter bred for the purpose of working. I am a life time member of ABCA and was involved with the efforts to prevent AKC from bringing the BC into its fold, but pretty clueless with AKC functions. At any rate no need to defend my decision to buy the pup, its pretty clear now it was a bad decision. The statement about "quality breeders" was coming from the breeder not from me. I am just so disgusted with this breeder that I was quoting her stupidity, just a part of my wanting to vent. Will let you know of the final outcome.
  12. This was an ABCA litter both bitch and male being run in trials and very unfortunately for me going back to a dog I trained and trailed many years ago and I am afraid my sappy heart fell for that genetic link. This breeder is affiliated with AKC as she trains for hobby owners running their dogs in AKC trials as well as judging both AKC and ISDS trials. Her history includes running dogs at Soldier Hollow as well as the World trial. Getting back to the issue at hand, I have in writing calling the required amount of $600 "the deposit" and also in writing "if I don't sign the breeding contract, the deposit will be returned." She is now saying that $200 was the deposit and she is only willing to return $400. She has also already sold the pup that I made the deposit on and get this, she is offering another pup (not for $600 of course) from another breeding, a son of Dewi Tweed without mention of a breeding contract for that pup even after she knows of my opposition to a breeding contract. I think she thought I would be impressed with the Dewi Tweed breeding which I used to be until I imported a pup from him that after almost 2 yrs. of training was diagnosed with epilepsy and had to be put to sleep (not blaming Tweed but not risking going down that road again).
  13. Hello to everyone; I finally heard from the breeder. She is now saying that the deposit was only $200 so she will return my "overpayment" of $400. I referred her to the em where she told me the deposit was $600 and yes, the contract she wanted me to agree to was for breeding rights. She would have remained a co-owner until such time as I spayed the puppy and she would have owned any litters that I produced. Its coming from the conformation world. She also stated that "all quality breeders require spay-neuter contracts" as if it was common knowledge. I don't exactly live with my head in the sand and had never heard of a stock dog breeder having this requirement or at least it is not sprung on the buyer after paying a deposit.
  14. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I was unsure about going public but did just notice that this person is running an ad on FB about opening a new facility to work dogs, its on the working dogs for sale site. I feel pretty stupid not even knowing about breeding contracts as I thought I was buying a dog, not a dog minus the uterous. As this person also judges ISDS trials, not sure if contacting the Handlers association would be a path to take. Thanks again.
  15. I paid a deposit on a puppy bred for herding and it was my intention to train her for ISDS trialing. Just prior to the litter being weaned, I was told by the breeder that I would have to sign a 'breeding contract' on the puppy and if I refused, she would return my deposit. I am not interested in a breeding contract, told her so and asked her to return my deposit. She has not returned the deposit nor will she respond to any of my efforts to contact her. This person makes her living giving people lessons on working stock as well as judging trials. I wanted to know if anyone else has had a similar experience and other than small claims court or parking myself outside of her place of business, can anyone offer alternative methods to getting my $600 back.
  16. Dearest Donald, I can only imagine how strong your desire is to try running Fly on her orignal home ground. But consider while you were told the story that she was at one time working very well there, it is also the original location of her negative experience. No one knows for sure except Fly of course, how bad was her experience. Maybe she was never handled as a young puppy and than handled in a rough manner. She used to run to her crate for security indicative of either very rough handling or maybe no handling at all. Be that what it may, when you did get her working for you, it was accomplished by no pressure and allowing her to decide when she wanted to work. I suggest that you try not allowing her to work at home. Let her watch you working another dog. Than the only way she will get to work is when she travels to other places, starting with a non-trial atmosphere. I really have no idea of how strong her desire to work is but from your stories it seems she only came around to working when you left it up to her to decide to work. So maybe try taking her somewhere off you property to work and going to other locations will be the only time she gets to work. If no improvement than go to the UK without her, take the money you will save on shipping her and buy yourself a young trial prospect while there. I was given a dog with reputation of quiting due to harsh handling. She was not the quality of dog that you describe Fly to be, however she was a wonderful farm dog. It took me probably 5 yrs to get her to drive without quiting me but she could unbrush cattle, move wild pigs, stand up to contrary bulls, gently move newborn lambs and I loved her to death but would never have asked her to trial, just was not in her psychological makeup to be a trial dog. You might enjoy reading 'Kinship With All Life' by J. Allen Boone. If you are willing to believe that mental communication with dogs is possible, this will provide insight. There seems to be enough evidence (for me anyway) to prove that some people can communicate with those who have passed on so not so far a reach to beleve that mental communication is possible with animals, at least for me. I have greatly enjoyed your path with Fly and have gained much insight via your sharing and wish you the best and support you in whatever you decide to do as I know Fly is in the best of hands.
  17. I so appreciate this subject and everyone's feedback!! Thanks so much.
  18. Sorry to change subject but wouldn't want you to feel un-needed LOL. My dog is 2.5 yrs., very very fast, hate the term forward but I guess thats the term everyone is using these days. Not a good stopper in fact when she does stop you can see one hind legout behind with the hips elevated as a competitive tract runner poses just before take off. So her brain is always in forward thought. I have desparately tried not to get hung up on the stop trying to balance the need for her to get reward by feeling/reading sheep and making the appropriate decision. I have even backed way off of insisting a stop because what was developing is she started to just run wide, out of contact as if to avoid stopping. She is lining out real nice while driving. I started shedding because the opportunity came about one day, she flew into the gap as if she had done it for years. Now if I don't watch her every second, she thinks just the slightest movement on my part towards the sheep means to come in and since her stop is so late, she has already turned onto the departing group (does not matter if it is face or rear) and driving them before I get back into the drivers seat. She is not what I consider hard headed just really focused and I have not been able to become her partner as I would like. Yet if she were loose and able to go out to sheep on her own, she will look back over her shoulder to see if I am coming and if she is loose in the yard and I am in the house she never jumps the fence to go to sheep, yet she is able because she would fly over that fence to follow me to sheep. Nothing about sheep work bores her, the only time she has slowed down to a reasonable pace is after 3 works in one day in intolerable heat, now that the weather is cold, there is no slow down. I have worked sheep on a fence and she can turn and cover without coming in on them. She is very smart as she learned the job of driving sheep off of the hay feeder and guarding the hay feeder as I put in the hay without leaving to work sheep so my best guess is that she is smarter than I am and just puts up with my slow brain, still I would like to trial her but am getting hung up on the stop and without breaks, she will take a wrong flank, run past the point of lift, probably try to shed if a gap appears and be very pleased about it, so shall I just keep plugging away or work her more with the possible risk of burn out or running too wide. I could set up a trial course and she is smart enough to learn to take the sheep around the course without my help and she would set a new record in fastest time.
  19. I love the pic of Tess that you used to have on your blog heading, one could see what a talented sheep dog she is. It is so noble of you to dedicate this time to her and I am sure she is in heaven on earth right now. Bless you for being such a caring person! I know there is more pain a head for you and hope you will find some comfort in knowing you have given Tess the best life possible.
  20. Another thing to consider in trying to raise children without a dog. They could turn out like me and than tell your husband he would be in for a big challenge. I asked for a dog every BD, every Christmas, everytime I saw a dog from the time I could talk. I saved my lunches and enticed dogs to follow me home, hoping my father would give in. Finally he allowed me to have an older dog with all the stipulations ie 'not in the house, not in the car' etc. etc. Well after a year of having my new, used dog, my father was transferred to Holland for a 2yr stay and of course decided I must give away my 'Joe'. I held fast, no way was I going to give up my dog and I refused to go to Holland. Thankfully my mother intervened and after my father left ahead of us, bought a plane ticket for my 'Joe'. We flew to New York and boarded a ship where Joe traveled first class (thats where the kennels were) and we traveled tourist, several decks below. In Holland, dogs were allowed everywhere, on the bus, in the stores, everywhere so having Joe with us never became the burden my father imagined it would be. I guess my point is that having a dog could have been a way for me to be closer to my father (he never admired my determination) instead of the big wall it built between us and remained there for many, many years. So I hope for your kids sake that they are not born with the same insanity that I was, or if they are that your husband can find it within himself to support them in their god given desire.
  21. I have an epilectic dog, imported at 6 mths. of age, first seisure at 1.5 yrs old, after months of training and high hopes of a future trial dog. She is from very popular breeding. She is now a pet, really umable to work safely as her high dose of meds keeps her rather unstable on her feet. I know of one other related dog via top side (sire side) back two generations but since she is from GB, I would not know of any other relatives with seizures. The gentleman I bought her from never responded when I informed him of this problem and she (my dog) was a service fee pup. I have contributed her blood to the seizure research group. Speaking from experience, I would rather now deal with an HD dog than a seizure dog. Due to emotional attachment, have not been able to put this dog down but may have to face that situation some day as she has needed gradual increases in her medications to remain stable. Her case was severe enough to require a week long stay in hospital with IV drugs to reach stability. So speaking from my limited experience, I would never breed if even the risk was 1 in a thousand to produce this disease. Doing research before breeding is all fine and dandy but I am thinking that not all breeders/owners are as forthcoming as they might be.
  22. Wonderful post, much appreciated. I too am working with a challenging dog all though it is I who have created the 'baggage'. Two trainers recommended giving up on her but they unfortunately never witnessed those few seconds of beauty as did I. I knew her future was bleak for sheep work and would be even shorter if given to someone else. Finally was able to get to a Scott Glen clinic and he set on the correct path. It may be a long time if ever that we get to trial together but I think now she likes being "beautiful" and has much to share with me. A friend of mine bought one of Fly's pups on my recommendation from Beverly prior to my being aware that Fly "was afraid to be beautiful". I have not heard how the pup turned out, hopefully it has some of Fly's ability. Thanks again for sharing the Fly journey. It is an inspiration to us all and makes me want to keep trying.
  23. [quote name='Pam Wolf' timestamp='1354112483' post='430332. My Kelpie who would eat 5-7 cups of most good dog foods (including SD Active, PP and others) is down to 1.5 cups of Red Paw and now got some cover on his ribs instead of looking like a poster child for neglect! I've found fussy eaters chow down well on it too. Stool volume is good and never had a loose stool unless fed large quantities. I have a BC that is very, very fussy, very, lean and with her smooth coat, hard to hide that lean look. I have tried various feeds including a raw diet which she liked for a short time. Really only eats if she thinks another dog is going to get her food and than spends that time defending the bowl instead of eating. She is extremely high energy, very fast outruns, burning lots of calories in her daily work so you can imagine the frustration/concern keeping weight on her. I live in Ca but am willing to give different brands a try even if shipping is necessary. Does anyone have success getting their fussy eaters to finish a meal a day? Yes, she does crate with her food but that doesn't help. Thanks in advance.
  24. Hello, I am very interested in buying the tapes but am wondering if anyone knows if the tapes will look exactly like the web cast? I have such bad eye sight, the web cast was difficult for me but I was limited by my computer screen and being a technical dummy, could not get it to go to full screen. I just loved the tapes I bought from the 2011 finals and understand its not the same producer. Oh what the heck, just count me in!
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