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About Alfreda

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Rocky Mnts
  • Interests
    BCs, herding, animal cognition, farm & garden
  1. this is a valid point so: For the Record: Anyone who might be reading this thread and thinking of letting their dog chase, worry, or “work” someone else’s livestock: DON’T DO IT! Get permission or buy your own, and even then, be wise and careful because as Sue’s excellent stories illustrate, accidents can happen and livestock can do a lot of harm to a dog (and vice versa) not to mention people. o.k. have at it ! The sad thing is, in the big picture, we're really all on the same side: we all love and care for the dogs, we all care about and respect livestock (I hope), and
  2. Sue, Thanks for your interesting stories and for your good intentions. No. Bluntness is not the problem. Bluntness is good! So, I will be blunt too: The problem is that both you and Donald are mistaken in your presumptions. Without knowing me, or my history, Donald misread my posts and/or misunderstood the situation I was trying to describe. So, the “advice,” while generally sound, is very poorly targeted. Let’s take a look at the story you’ve shared about your husband: he deliberately sent a dog out to work strange cows in order to show-off. As you say, the injured dog suffe
  3. Good grief, that kind of backfired. Apparently Donald thinks I'm a total idiot. As a generally responsible adult, and dog owner, I am well aware of, not only my local public open space rules, but state laws, and in general livestock etiquette. I had no intention of "working" anyone else's stock without permission! This is multi-use public open space. Cows are there seasonally on open space grazing leases. Many bikers would just blast toward a calf in the middle of the trail. I got off my bike and leashed my dog. I walked forward and stopped and waited. There was no way to bush whack
  4. WTG Kolt! That is so cool! ....maybe you can work sheep at your folks' more often? After a rough start with a "professional" trainer in a pressurized round pen with 3 flighty sheep, I've had Otto on herding hiatus, ahem, to "mature." But one day, we were on an open space bike-run, and some cow-calf pairs were grazing there. Some of those calves were huge (yearlings?) Anyway, one giant stood across the center of the trail. I dismounted, leashed Otto, and walked slowly forward. Calf: no budge. I stopped. Otto yanked the leash out of my hand, causing me to drop the bike, and before I had
  5. Assuming this is not merely helicoptering... my guy gets bad cracks (that have torn off in chunks) but only on his carpal pads-- It usually seems related to seasons when his pads get wet/dry/wet/dry... Last year my vet suggested trying tea leaves --seriously. When applied directly, the tannins will gently toughen up the pads. Open up a damp (black) tea bag, place it on the pad(s) for a few minutes 2Xs/day. Wrap with saran wrap to hold them in place. The wet leaves need to be applied directly, not just the bag ...If nothing else, it makes for a good training exercise ;-) Just be su
  6. Beautiful tribute to a great dog and partnership! sorry for your loss.
  7. Haha! love this! Which reminds me of an aspect of BODY Language that's also interesting in this context of "intrinsic vs extrinsic": it goes both ways. Body language reflects an inner (possibly unconscious) state, but also, it can apparently be used intentionally on the "outside" to alter an inner state. In the TED talk below, Amy Cuddy presents her research on assertive body language. People who might lack (inner) confidence can apparently build that capacity by intentionally adopting more confident body postures. Doing so may start out as a mere "act,” but gradually the outward pos
  8. Well, I don't know about harsh vs helpful, but I can say that there are places where sound carries differently and our dogs' hearing is usually way more sensitive than ours anyway. There are places I've been with my dog, who is generally *not* jumpy, where I notice that his body language is verging on skittish for no discernible reason. Sometimes, if I stop to listen carefully, I can make out sharp, shot-like sounds from a construction zone (?) on the other side of the valley from where we are... or a deep, ominous machine-like hum.... There is a hike I've taken Otto on, that goes up onto
  9. Sending you and Digger mucho mojo! It's always scary when surgery might be involved, but I am hoping all will be well. Terriers are awesome, and yours sounds like a very special, and beloved character!
  10. Bill, I don't think you, or anyone should feel "bad" about using treats at all!! As some of the most experienced folks have been suggesting, we're talking about nuances here to some extent. Treats are a form of reward that's easy and useful. Easy for beginning trainers to deliver. Useful in many situations as Kristine describes. They're also very useful for teaching brand new behaviors or sequences, and for generalizing those skills to more complicated, distracting situations. The downside- is when people don't fade treats out for behaviors once they're learned, behaviors that have be
  11. Great comments! I just wanted to ask about praise- Is it intrinsic or extrinsic? Fenzi seems to see praise as more of an "intrinsic" (at least compared to food); because praise is related to the dog's internal drive to please... I guess I had been thinking of praise as an external form of feedback/reward...? Which is it? We have carrots and sticks that are clearly external: food/toys & leash jerks/shocks. Yet they too are connected to internal drives: hunger, pleasure, play verses the desire to feel safe, comfortable, avoid pain. So what about when we say "good dog" vs "bad dog"
  12. I'm always so dismayed that people would even think of using an e-collar to train anything. But I do see some- usually hunting breeds-- wearing them in open space... I think this is a cultural thing (among the people who buy those breeds of dogs I mean... Although there is a school nearby for positive gun dogs...) By far the majority of dogs (all sorts of breeds) who are out hiking under "voice & sight" control criteria in open space in my area are trained using positive methods. Here is a link that contains additional resources on how to train a reliable recall: http://denisefenzi
  13. http://denisefenzi.com/?s=intrinsic+motivation This link might work better
  14. In several of our super broad discussions ("Corrections" and "Praise") on this forum, Mr. McCaig and others have expressed concerns about a reliance on external rewards: that it might reduce or undermine the internal motivation(s) of a dog. This interesting question comes up here and on other dog training forums -sometimes there are references to (human) studies, and sometimes it is just a belief that children/dogs should not be "coddled," or over-praised, or that dogs and children need negative consequences and boundaries. Some studies (in human education) for example, do suggest tha
  15. "...These dogs are Nothing short of AMAZING. What makes a Border Collie a Border Collie - I believe it is their ability to reason and think on their feet, they figure out way more than I could ever teach them." Denise, those are some long, tough days. Thank you for those descriptions of your wonderful, hard-working and intuitve dogs! I love to hear such examples of problem-solving and teamwork!
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