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  1. Lawgirl


    So I have binged the four episodes of Muster Dogs. I enjoyed it a lot. It was described as an experiment to see if it was possible to bring a well bred dog on faster than the three years generally accepted to be needed to train a stock dog. The pups went to their new owners at 3 months, and then had assessments with specific goals at 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. I was surprised at how local to me a lot was, with the breeder, the head trainer couple and one of the participants all living within two hours or so of me. The pups mostly went on an epic road trip to reach their homes, with the longest being 7,000km (4,350 miles). The early goals were things like bond with owner, communal feeding, recognising their name, dragging a long lead, loose lead walking. The halfway point included holding stock on the fence, bringing stock to the handler, off lead walking and jumping onto bike or buggy. Nine months was resisting distraction, having a stop, sit and hold on stock, work stock to the sides and do a 50m cast. The final test was to go into a paddock, bring a mob of cattle to the handler and through a gate, and then to bring the stock back through the gate but hold them near the gate to stop them running off. Four of the handlers ran cattle, one ran sheep. Two of the handlers also had packs with border collies, the other three seemed to only have kelpies. There was drought and then the drought breaking, there were snakes, injury and many many cute and funny puppy moments. There was a sad moment at the end. There was lots of reflection on why people were using dogs instead of other methods, and how it was a question of animal welfare for the stock and also better for the land. All the dogs completed the assessments with varying levels of success. The black and tan bitch that won was amazing to watch - she glided around the stock, very calmly but with authority. She and her handler were incredibly in tune with each other. I don't know much about stock work, but this was really enjoyable.
  2. Lawgirl


    I found this ABC article which has a trailer for Muster Dogs at the top when I view it. Hopefully others can see it too. https://amp-abc-net-au.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.abc.net.au/article/100761400?amp_js_v=a6&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQKKAFQArABIIACAw%3D%3D#aoh=16425007261400&csi=1&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From %1%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fnews%2F2022-01-18%2Fsheepdog-training-helping-bored-working-dogs-living-in-cities%2F100761400
  3. I swear that my Oscar was the spitting image of Dog Footrot Flats is still so much fun, and I love the movie, even if the theme song is a complete earworm
  4. Lawgirl


    I am somewhat resurrecting this thread, as I have just seen an advert for a new series being produced by the Australian ABC, called Muster Dogs. The premise of the show is that five Kelpie puppies are given to five graziers from various parts of the outback, and the show follows them over a year as they train these pups up to compete against each other as "champion muster dogs". I am not exactly sure what they mean by muster dogs, but it sounds like a great excuse to see cute puppies and stockwork training, based on the trailer. I guess my Sunday evenings from 23 January 2022 are sorted for a while. Or I may just catch up on watch on demand and binge. Wish they were BCs, but maybe if it is a success other countries may pick up the format and use BCs? Not sure if anyone who is not in Australia will be able to watch, unless you have a VPN. Just in case you can, here is the link to the page https://iview.abc.net.au/show/muster-dogs And for video of a Kelpie dog working stock, there are some links to Facebook videos in a previous post of mine about a world record price for a Kelpie in 2021.
  5. What a beautiful story. Damn onions, making my eyes water...
  6. The only advice I can give is to get him into the vet as soon as they open. In the meantime, keep a close eye on him so you can accurately describe his symptoms to the vet when you can get in. Maybe write them down, so you don't forget anything in the stress of the appointment.
  7. In the time it took me to register and confirm my vote, the count went from 3999 to 4132. Fingers crossed this goes well!
  8. So sorry for your loss Geonni. They are never with us for long enough.
  9. Also, out of the four dogs that we have castrated in our time, George was the only one who suffered any side effects of the procedure, but that was moderate to severe pyoderm, or razor burn. We were prescribed a steroid cream to apply twice a day, and some tablets for the itch/irritation. Normally they would prescribe oral steroids, but he was on a NSAID pain relief, and he could not have that and oral steroids. This was completely unexpected, and meant the cone stayed on until all the stitches came out and the rash had healed enough. I guess he is just a sensitive soul!
  10. To be honest, there was no suggested regime of checking up beyond whenever he had to come in yearly for vaccinations, and if he came in for any other reason they would just check as part of the examination. George has been having issues with his anal glands not expressing properly, so we have probably had him in maybe three times in the last 18 months, and his prostate was pretty much unchanged from "slightly enlarged" until the last time, but as he was getting older, the risks increase, as do the risks of anaesthesia, so we decided the time was right. I think they have probably been gently encouraging us to consider castration since 2018. But they also recommended keeping an eye on him when he pees, to see if he strained or has intermittent flow, which might be symptoms of a worsening prostate.
  11. I have just castrated my 9 year old dog George. The vets have been checking his prostate gland every checkup for several years, and suggesting that we may want to castrate him as his prostate was slightly enlarged, but as it was only a slight enlargement, and not painful we had not done anything. But recently George had infected anal glands, which had to be treated under anaesthetic due to the pain, and when they checked his prostate gland it was big enough that they more strongly recommended castration. Since we want him around for a lot longer, we agreed. His stitches came out a couple of days ago. Our other three dogs are all castrated, two of them while in our house, and I have never felt that they have significantly changed in behaviour. Our youngest dog was a rescue and was castrated well after his second birthday. He is pretty much the same in disposition and behaviour. It is possible that he has calmed down a little since being castrated, but he is still bouncy and full of energy. We do keep a fairly close eye on our dogs weight, and adjust food amounts accordingly.
  12. Four current BC boys, varying degrees of velcro-ness. The oldest is more velcro to my SO than to me, but they have such a bond it is amazing. I.E., if my SO is at his desk, the dog will be under the desk, but much of the time he just will go off and lie wherever he wants. Our house is not so large he does not know where we are. Second oldest is not a close velcro, but he will always know where you are, and is always watching. You move, he moves, but he may be watching from the doorway, or from the doorway down the passage. Exception is when we are exercising the dogs, and I have a treat bag. Then he spends a huge amount of time heeling nicely and doing puppy dog eyes for treats. On the other hand, he is the dog who is equally focussed on what the other dogs are doing. Third dog is a cuddle bug. You sit down, he wants to cuddle and get love, but if you get up and he is comfortable, he will wait for you to come back. He does love to hold your hand. Youngest dog is a velcro dog. I cannot go to the bathroom without him wanting to join me. If I move in the night, he jumps up and wants attention. He pesters for attention when I get home, sit at the table or desk etc. If I get up and move, he is with me.
  13. She is a very talented lady called Janet Bird, and she is the wife of someone I know through agility. She does a lot of portraits of dogs for her friends and contacts. I was only charged AU$150 (about 110USD or 80 pounds) for each portrait, which I think was super cheap for a handmade, personalised portrait. The framing actually cost more! I adore them, and they are hung either side of our bed head.
  14. My George is 9 years old now, and he is much the same. He has always been one to sleep most of the day, but take him out and he is puppy-like as ever, and still seems to have the same energy levels, although he is starting to go a little silver around the face. I doubt I need to repeat the vet test vote, but I join with all the others.
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