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Everything posted by CMP

  1. Thoroughbred Horses are a good place to look to really study the popular sire effect - the records are so good and the results so obvious. I am learning in order to take over a private breeding program that needs to make sure at least 20 healthy, usable dogs are always in the right age bracket. My great grandfather was a science-guy and so we were lucky to have avoided any line breeding issues and regularly enough (from a genetic perspective) add new blood so that we have maintained a fairly healthy and vigorous population. It is my understanding, based on the many breeding notebooks
  2. Yeah, I feed a diet with a kibble base (Purina) - but augmented by meat, vegetables and rice. The oils - and powder glucosomine - get mixed with the refrigerated portion - the meat/veggies and rice. At meal time I add the right amount of kibble per dog. Then if a dog, such as the BC puppy who had so many issues with lameness, has a special supplement need, it gets added on top of whatever the base contains. The old, arthritc dogs get an extra shot of hemp. The young recovering or "with issue" dogs get extra glucosomine or salmon oil or Vit C or whatever. I have quite a little system hap
  3. Good point. I believe our process involves a lot of proximity active training (sheep are close by, in view but not accessible) and actual exposure with only passive training. So, there's a desensitization process involved and the down/easy off stock biddability gradually proofs itself as it moves closer to the stock, literally. Also, to OP, others may have other takes - it's a wide world, but I heard you ask about when her tail was going to go down so she had more of a working look. You answered yourself When she thinks it is work and not play.
  4. I give oils daily. I mix food in weekly portions but that has 7 daily portions of oil, if you will. All oil intake suggestions are the same: about a teaspoon a day for a dog under 50 pounds. As long as it is cold-pressed and 100% pure, you're fine. I make my own but I know of several suppliers locally (Atlantic Healing Hemp is one) who sell it in pump bottles or by bulk. It is particularly useful as a replacement for NSAID in *MINOR* joint/inflammation issues. I have seen it used successfully on dogs in the first stages of arthritis.
  5. She looks like she has the interest and she was trying to get the animal to go a certain way (as opposed to just chasing blindly for the sheer joy of chasing something). So, as noted, she looks like a youngster most stock people would tick off as a "potential". I know it was her first time and she did observe and have to sit while other dogs worked (which can skew things) but I suppose if there was any one thing I might pick out and work on - which can be worked on without stock to move - it would be the portion of the process maybe best described as stalking. I know here that a down-
  6. My dogs rarely wear collars once they are fully "stay home" proofed - around 1.5 years old. Before that they wear them only when outside. For puppies and juveniles I prefer 1/2 and then 3/4 nylon with flat buckles and large top mounted rings - they make them here with all the other tack type stuff and there's always a bunch lying around and, as Henry Ford once noted, you can get it in any color you want as long as it's black. Works for me, I do not like fancy or colored collars at all. Just a personal quirk. I needed to get two new dogs licensed the other day and had to wait for the clerk
  7. Any of Hemp, Salmon/Fish or Coconut oils, ingested, will work. They all deliver a lot to a dog, aside from less dry skin and nicer hair/fur. They help maintain and lubricate joints and ligaments, keep the animal "regular", all the awesome Omega stuff they bring on board. All my dogs get all three, I mix it in with the kibble base they all get in weekly quantities and am done with it. If I had to pick one, I would pick Hemp as it will more or less do the all the things the other two do plus it has potential benefits in terms of general health (cancer-restricting) and blood circulation,
  8. My Berners say, "Child's play!" Actually, they all like them - even the Scotties who are pretty small. And, of course, the antlers are the best long term chewies ever. Moose hunting is complex around here, numbers closely checked, licenses very restricted, etc. They're large brutes with erratically waxing and waning populations. Even our guard dogs are respectful of them. Of course, you can virtually *count* on someone from the farm hitting one every year. Usually the vehicle is more damaged than the moose :/ Almost the whole moose gets used in making meal for the dogs. Same with d
  9. Ah yes, bone days. The very reason my dogs get up in the morning... In case... We do lamb, deer and moose. Moose have VERY large bones.
  10. I am just going to assume, Julie, that you refer to me. In future, I would be grateful if you could address me directly. "Real" experience is a many layered thing. I hear pronouncements all the time from all sorts of people, yourself included, about things which they admittedly have no "real" experience. We are all entitled to opinions and we are all entitled to ignore those we find distasteful. The need to belittle the people who have differing opinions is, frankly, not something I am overly interested in being the target of, so I wish you would stop, please. Maybe we could jus
  11. Good question, about the independence thing. Evidence? None I can enter into the record, I am afraid. Since it is an important distinction in this case, I did not intend to make a claim but rather express an opinion. I will be more clear in the future and instead of relying on telepathy, I will add the standard "imo". Best I can offer to give weight to my opinion, is that I have considerable peripheral experience with trials (attending, being related to/knowing people who trial, following the trial world by way of reading and discussing with other interested/involved people)
  12. Ha! Tables turned, um, I don't really have answers for most of that - the same way you may not have answers for the counterpart queries. But you make an interesting cut into the discussion (turning tides always do that) from which a thinking person could come away with: Yeah, there really is no perfect solution. Maybe the "most perfect" solution is the one that exists in this bi-partisan community: challenging one another so the *discussion* is engaged. I don;t know about anyone else, but I have never read one of these threads and not had my understanding or appreciation altered, however m
  13. I want to *like* this post. As usual she said in one sentence what took me a few paragraphs
  14. When I talk about stamina, I am talking more about the ability to do it every day, some days for many hours a day (if one has a large farm and grazing is done on hillsides or in remote places, as an example) and less about the ability to withstand many contiguous hours of work (that does happen, but it happens infrequently). The dogs here are with their people all day, not necessarily *working* the sheep in the sense you mean it, but they're trotting around with them, doing this or that, and those people get up and sunrise and quit when the light does and they do that almost every day (we
  15. I agree. We have several dogs that are naturally "soft" and are used in fairly specific situations - and you can trace the softness through the line(s). None of them would even be considered to go work the island/wild-ish sheep or go on long drives, but they're go to with the wool sheep who are worked more often. Interestingly, the softer dogs tend to be the ones with the most white.
  16. ^^ Yes. That represents very closely what I hear as well. ETA: the other morning I watched one of the barge dogs, a very large dog we call Rocky as a nickname, essentially drag, push and intimidate a ram off a boat. The relevant human was engaged elsewhere, busy with the offloaded sheep and the remaining stubborn Ram had to come off. He did drag him a few feet, actually. He is quite biddable, but will not be told how to accomplish the minutia. He could have been called off the Ram but he could not have been told to go left or right or any such thing as that. His whole line is
  17. Yeah, when a dog growls over something at me, I simply don't make a big deal of it. If I was just walking by, I say something like, "never mind that" (a phrase they know) but I don't much care about a warning growl. I am okay with a dog letting me know something is important to them - as long as THEY don't make any more of deal of it than a growl. If I was trying to get it, it's different. I reach down, push a shoulder away with one hand and take the thing with the other. Very matter of fact. A bunch of minutes later they get it back and we see how it goes. I don't encourage resource
  18. Our breeding decisions are similar to the above. This or that trait should be encouraged and bred towards, on a litter by litter basis, to ensure the farm has a good supply of dogs best suited to the tasks to which they will be put. It takes a different temperament and type (strong eyed, willing to grip, aggressive, stamina) to deal with the island sheep, for instance, than it does for the hill sheep. And yet another type to handle the girls and their young ones in close quarters. Sometimes biddability is important and other times it does not matter so much. Since a dog generally is train
  19. Well, in my case, I REALLY hope it's six months But they change, not necessarily growing but filling out, until around 18 months although they are mostly done, by the eye test, around 14 months. IME. But I suspect it's all over the place. I would be very surprised if my 44# 6.5 month old got much heavier. I suspect she will finish in the 50# range and 24" in height.
  20. Yep, first heat happened last week. Weird dog. She is now 44#, same height but looks short legged again as her body gained mass. I can hardly get her to eat. She doesn't even touch food until well into the afternoon and then I have to jazz it up with some especially yummy things or she picks at it and runs to the garden and eats some beans (well, frost burned beans, now). Again, strange dog. She has crossed from puppyness into a higher state of awareness - this is the youngest any of my dogs have ever done so - you know that state, where you can see that they have started to make r
  21. Yes, that folks who not "really" farm (as in make a sole living at it), should be having to encourage folks who do to use a "system" that was once the sole domain of those farmers. So they gave it to the public, who made a sport of it, and that sporting public is now in a position where it is trying to sell it back to its own source. Yes, that *is* strange to me. Not bad, just strange. It is definitely something one should be thankful for. Agreed that it is not awful. Not one bit. I refuse to give up on my belief that it is bizarre. though, because I think that's valid.
  22. I meant from dogs found in the general public/at rescues. Dogs in a breeding program for service dogs have a much higher rate - the number of which I would not be qualified to even guess at. Agreed. Sorry if I was not clear.
  23. That's a good suggestion. Just a query ... would those who attend trials to the point of getting to national finals consider the route there a test of endurance, alike to, say, a sports team getting through the playoffs to win the championship. Really, the team that wins wins on merit and sustainable performance/durability. Is the road arduous enough to merit the comparison? Anyone?
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