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CurlyQ

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    138
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About CurlyQ

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday January 24

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    East Coast, US
  • Interests
    Dogs, border collies, dog training
  1. Am I the only one who delights in making little shapes out of my dogs fur? It's so soft and malleable, and Maple certainly isn't a light shedder! Anyway, this is sort of random, but here's some examples. Maple is the big heart and my yorkie, Pip, is the tiny black one. This may be gross but I think it's fun and makes me feel like I have something to do over break xD.
  2. I think it's okay to trim and brush more than usual. What's most important is making sure your dog has access to a healthy amount of water and shade. Your dog's coat is probably doing more help than harm, so I would keep it intact. It keeps your dog cool and shelters their skin from the sun. Kind of like human hair. I would just brush her very thoroughly at least once a week. It's important to get all of that winter fur out so she has a chance at cooling off more efficiently. I've never had to shave a dog's belly or feet, but that might be helpful?
  3. I never realized this may be the reason Maple smells like garbage left out in the sun when something spooks her!
  4. Just an update... I met in person with Nancy O today and it was a very good experience. We watched her finish up with a couple of twin lambs born today, so we were off to a cute start. She then showed me her dogs on sheep, which was my first time seeing such a thing in person. She showed me different styles of herding with two different dogs she brought out. I forget the bitch's name, but she reminded me a lot of Maple just in the way that she moves and her stature. The bitch was a super good listener and she seemed like she could hear Nancy whisper a command from across the field! She also talked about how learning to move the sheep AWAY from the shepherd was to be learned later in practice because it went more against the natural instinct and was therefore harder to learn. It certainly did seem to take a lot more whistles to get the dog to move the sheep away from our general direction. Next up was Spot, who was a really big guy. He was also really intense, and Nancy had to be a lot more firm in her commands with him. His outrun was incredibly wide! He basically followed the fence before coming up behind the sheep. However, to make up for this, he seemed to be able to control them from much longer distances. Whereas the smaller female was pretty close to the flock, the male got them moving the moment he got behind them on the other side of the field. Since becoming interested in herding, I've watched many videos of dogs working sheep. I must say, it's a ton more stunning in person. After watching her dogs work, I introduced Nancy to Maple. I had warned her ahead of time about Maple's anxieties, so she actually gave my dog a chance to sniff her and warm up first before trying to interact with her. We exchanged some training advice, too, which I hope to test out soon enough. Maple was surprisingly calm, but I'm guessing that's because she didn't feel pressured to interact if she didn't want to. In fact, she sniffed around quite a bit until it was time to go. Nancy explained how first lessons are usually carried out, and that she'll try and be honest when she thinks there's just no hope for a dog. She also made many interesting points about encouraging Maple to make "a choice" in training because when she's working sheep she'll have to be experienced in thinking more for herself. We spent a little over an hour there and I'm happy to say I learned a ton that cannot be explained very well through reading, which I find rarely happens. Looking forward to starting lessons late May to early June, and until then Maple and I are going to work mainly on socialization and her car chasing habits, which are really the only issues right now. Again, thanks to Sue for answering my questions and to everyone else for being patient with me. Also to everyone who helped me towards finding a good mentor. I hope I'll be able to post a video of Maple starting on sheep later this spring. Sophie
  5. Looking forward to start Maple on sheep!

  6. Cute and congrats! He looks like a 'Heath' to me, or maybe a 'Lip'.
  7. Ah, I was unaware he had a website. I guess his dogs are a 'breed' of his own creation.
  8. I know this response is a bit late, but has anyone ever read WORKING SHEEP DOGS (A practical guide to breeding, training, and handling) by Tully Williams? I've never really heard of the guy or seen his name mentioned in the forums, but that might be because he's a kelpie breeder. He does an extremely thorough job of separating heritable traits. It's honestly been a joy to read, but I'd like other's opinions on it and its credibility. Big book though, I'm not all the way through it yet. Still have more than half left. He puts a lot of emphasis on "confident" pups versus "weak" pups. Here's an excerpt I thought was relevant: He later quotes James Moore, "Above all things, never breed from a soft-tempered ['weak'] dog." I know there's a point where he explains how heritable each of these 'traits' are, but I haven't gotten to that part yet. I just thought it would be helpful if not interesting. I'm certainly enjoying the read, taking notes and the like.
  9. Excellent. Just began reading Nop's Trials. I love the dialogue between the dogs.
  10. Certainly. Maple has a tendency to feel quickly overwhelmed in large social situations, so I was looking for a chance to go dog-free and get a feel for things. I think I may audit Carol Campion's in PA. Looking forward to the experience!
  11. I just wanted to pop in and say that while the clinic GentleLake suggested to me was full, Nancy O just contacted me back. She's open to lessons, and after the snow melts I think I may mosey on down to her farm so I can talk to her and see her working her dogs. Hopefully by late spring to early summer I'll be able to get Maple into lessons! Thank you for the efforts in helping me find a trainer .
  12. Ah, perhaps that's it. If you could give me her email, that would be lovely.
  13. Thank you so much Sue! Your tips and answers were very helpful, and I'll be sure to keep them close as I set out and look for a trainer. As a person who hates to jump into things blindly, I feel a lot calmer now . As someone who has been absolutely captivated by livestock and farming long before meeting a border collie, I'll probably have a field day. It just depends if Maple's heart/head is in the right spot, I guess. If things don't work out I can always wait a few years until I'm in a spot for another, more inclined dog. Thank you much! Thank you for the advice. I just thought I might as well add that she does have a very intense, focused eye. I'd be worried about Maple making a big display towards other dogs. She's a barker, but the minute the other party lifts a lip, she's quick to correct herself. I could easily believe Maple would completely ignore a strange new dog if she was doing what she considers a "job" (I've seen her do it). I look forward to the changes herding can cause . Thank you for the recommendations and information. Of all of them, Nancy O seems like the most reasonable candidate. Since she doesn't have a website from what I could see, so her training openings and general practices are somewhat of a mystery, but I was able to (after much digging around on stockdog websites) find what I think is her email and address. Turns out she lives in Coatesville, which is a bit closer than Oxford. I hope her email is current. I will check the NEBCA website when/if it is up again. I will also look into attending the clinic and maybe find a recommendation or two there. Thank you for the informative response!
  14. Of course. I wasn't trying to say that coat was necessarily always a correct indicator. Oily doesn't always equate to fat and dull doesn't always equate to skinny. I've met a fair amount of overweight dogs who were, at one point in their lives, a healthy weight. In every dog I've met whose body shape/weight went from fit to unfit, I've noticed the majority's coats also went from what was normal to oily and untidy (perhaps from sleeping all day!). But I agree with you, coat condition depends on more than one factor. Know what's normal for your dog and perhaps take my observations with a grain of salt.
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