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Posts posted by mtnfrank

  1. Yes but CptJack posted this link on another discussion thread (about possible working talent in a dog with a large Barbie component in its pedigree)..though actually it is more relevant to this thread & also to the floppy ear discussion thread. IMO


    Looks like the 'neural crest hypothesis' gained a lot of traction in the popular press (eg was reported by The Economist and others) but the original paper is careful to characterize it as an interesting hypothesis that requires much more research.


    Original paper: http://www.genetics.org/content/197/3/795.full

    (see two last paragraphs of the conclusion)


    Looks that it's at the 'that's an interesting idea' stage rather than well substantiated. I'm not ready to buy into it yet, how would it explain some dogs have pointy ears and others not, or why do some BC puppy ear sets change on a daily basis (being facetious here, it is an interesting idea but is it cause, consequence or coincidence).


    P.S.: elephants have floppy ears ;-)

  2. Sorry, but I don't know. I remember it from a documentary I saw on TV many years ago, but don't even remember if it was entirely about the fox experiment or just a section from a larger theme (I suspect the latter, but am really not sure).


    Don't have time to research it now (I still need to follow up on the biotin thing LOL) but will try to see if I can find anything on it later.


    Was probably Nova on PBS "Dogs decoded", fox experiment starts at 36m20s or so (there are some border collies starting at 27m with a pup and then Betsy and the 300words she knows)


  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_silver_fox




    Phrenology? No but perhaps nephrology (since it may be linked to adrenal gland function but endocrinology would be better term). Lower hormonal production likely linked to tamer behaviour. Different hormonal level also expressed genes differently, which can lead to different looks and behaviours.


    Looking different and acting different happen simultaneously, but not yet proven if they are linked. A->B, and A->C does not necessarily mean B and C go together (but does show a correlation).

  4. How is she when travelling but not to go to a trial?


    Obviously if she was stressed the night before the trial, the battle was lost before it even started.


    Less obvious is why or how to get her in a better state of mine to game day, at least to give her a fighting chance.


    As Mark said, is she sensing something in her handler?

  5. I actually posted my reply (#13) before realizing the post I was responding to was in the wrong thread.


    Not sure how #12 ended up here, but suspect it may have been operator error as well. ;)


    Could be... but I certainly don't remember posting in the wrong thread and reposting to the correct thread!!! Was quite surprised to see that post in here today.

  6. I personally really enjoy doing the "chores" type of herding. It is clear to me why we are doing things. The artificial .... go here, put the sheep thru that, go on to there, etc. type of herding doesn't make sense to me even though I can see that there are practical uses for some of the parts.


    ABCA video on how trial work relates to practical work

  7. Have these 'people' been to court yet, and what is the outcome? It took me a few days to actually read that report on the rescued dogs (I had to read a little bit at a time, it's horrible stuff).


    As far as I understand... there were two separate court cases. Both were adjourned a number of times to prepare more evidence, allow him to get a lawyer, etc.


    A civil case in superior court (Montgommery county), his lawyer says all but moot now that he has surrendered 35dogs (first 25 than 10) and since other court case ongoing.


    Class A misdemeanour for failure to provide sustenance in town of Root. This one adjourned to later this month. This one will decide if gets any of the dogs from the last seizure back. (few that were seized after the initial 35).



  8. From GHF Facebook: next court date for the 11 from the second seizusre is Monday.


    The 10 Flat Creek dogs being 'held' (from the 1st confiscation) possibly to go back are now FOREVER SAFE! They were fully relinquished today to the SPCA who has signed them over officially to Glen Highland Farm!!

    We'll post new pictures and soon they'll be off to foster homes to continue the journey of a better life!!! Thank you for all the support to make this happen.

    There are 11 more 'in limbo' that we are waiting to help (from the 2nd confiscation). Hoping to hear good news for them soon, too.

    We have no information on the puppies that were removed prior to the State Police confiscation on 1/22/14 and have no information on the 4 young Border Collies or the Shih Tzus still at Flat Creek.

  9. "socialized to the owner" ???


    From the GHF report:

    This was evident in the seizure process when GHF assisted the SPCA in handling these dogs. We asked the Flat Creek breeder, Herbert Weich, if he could catch the dogs and he said no. He told us that two mature dogs, D41 and D35 would not come to him at all. Weich’s neighbor, who was assisting in the process, asked Weich to get his ‘hook’ pole – the stick with a large metal hook on the end that catches the large metal rings attached to the collars of the dogs (Exhibit 63 & 64). The neighbor explained to GHF founder Lillie Goodrich that he needed someone to shine the flashlight into the dog’s eyes to blind it, so he could hook the ring on the collar and then pull the dog out of the shelter. This particular dog then bit the neighbor as he yanked her out with the ‘hook’ pole.



    As for malice or not... title says it all, we'll see if charges are laid and if he is convicted but if so it would be 'criminal behaviour', which is kind of malicious by definition!


  10. The are certainly some extreme animal rights activists but there are many more non-extremist that are concerned about a minimal level of care. The new NY law hardly looks 'extreme'.


    There are 'rights' and there are also 'responsabilities'. In a better world, no legislation would be necessary to ensure people are responsible for their spouse, kids, pets, etc. Unfortunately us humans are a pretty pathetic lot sometimes that need laws to spell out consequences for not owning up to responsabilities.


    In this case the animals were legally seized and court proceedings are taking place. Breeder may win some of his dogs back, either ways some people will not be happy with the decision. But calling the seizure the works of terrorists presumably means the state of NY is a terrorist state? We'll have to start detaining all you Yankees at the border... (to be honest I've always suspected americans with your weird football rules, baseball, basketball and non-hockey sports or pretending Thanksgiving is in November)

  11. GHF is luckily well organized and has the facilities and dedicated staff and volunteers but 25new dogs in rescue + 10temporary (for now) at once is a significant undertaking!


    Especially if some of these dogs are under socialized and may require months before being adoptable!


    They had about 30-35dogs when I was a winter volunteer last year. Can't imagine doubling the workload especially if the dogs require special care or socialization.




  12. I use "no" when working with dogs too, especially off-lead. I never use "no" as a chastisement, that would introduce confusion, and therefore anxiety into the training process. It is simply another way to say, "wait, I want something other than what you are doing."


    The distraction of the ratcheting sound alone usually causes the dog to pause in its unwanted behavior, which is then praised, and further direction is given.


    The dog who is given the cue of the sound of the chain alone, is getting a message - but the message is not punitive.


    The way you describe 'no' is called a 'no reward marker' in 'clicker theory'.


    From Karen Pryor, http://www.clickertraining.com/glossary,

    "Intended to be a signal to say, “No, that isn’t what I want. Try again.” From the operant conditioning perspective, it’s intended to add a verbal cue to extinction. However, once something has been added to the situation, it’s impossible to know whether a change occurred through extinction or punishment. No reward markers usually represent an unnecessary level of complexity in a training program."


    I'll note that the glossary entry contains both a definition (first part) and something that some will consider an opinion ('unnecessary level of complexity')


    I see more the chain of dangling-praise as a chain of a conditionned punishment (doesn't mean it is unpleasant in itself to the dog, just that that sound has been associated with a punishment that makes him stop the behaviour) followed by a reinforcement for doing the right behaviour (calming down, looking at handler, whatever).


    Certainly the 'hey' or 'no' the way you describe it is not 'punitive' but a 'no marker' in operant conditionning terms. The dangling of the chain.... hmmm perhaps has the same effect but I wouldn't consider it the same. Though one could argue that if the 'pop' is never (or almost never) done, then that the 'dangling' sound 'classical conditionning to a positive punishment' has been extinguished and as such is now a no-reward marker.


    Should add that I'm using 'punition' here in the 'something that makes a behaviour decrease' sense, not necessarily in the 'whack on the buttocks' sense.

  13. Now the "bang" that dog gets by the application of the training stick on its head on the other hand....


    And most likely the appropriate response to that scenario. But I highly doubt handlers only train with whacking sticks. (obviously they don't, just a rethorical statement, many more lesser punishments-and rewards in their tool bag). 'Come to Jesus' moments are effective if they are not routine. If they have to be routine, probably need to rethink what is not working.

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