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Everything posted by Smokjbc

  1. I am going to say something that may be unpopular- but why do you think she needs that much exercise? I had a very active dog (my first border collie, actually) that also had Border Collie Collapse. She lived to be 16 1/2- had minimal arthritis, chased a ball occasionally or went on a short walk (sometimes on her own fence jumping volition) and worked sheep about once a year from the ages 4-12. She was not my favorite dog- she really was a miserable dog to work because of her reactive style but she was, after the young adult years, a model house dog. I never made any effort to give her "hard" exercise- partly because of her condition and partly because she seemed to do fine without it. She had a long, happy life and she settled into pet dog life pretty easily for a dog that was fairly hyper as a youngster. I don't feel guilty that I didn't do much with her for over ten years of her life. She seemed to think warming the couch was a fair enough deal.
  2. I'm very sorry about your loss, Diane, we know Tess was very special. We have Tess's son, Brice, and he's been a really nice working dog and definitely sounds like he got his mooching gene from Tess . Not sure he'll ever do a outwalk though - we used to call him Seabiscuit because every 40 yards of his outrun would be a higher rate of speed. We love him and thank you and Tess for such a good dog (when he minds !
  3. I am no fan of AKC but... that article failed to make any real connection with the world of AKC and the condition of the dogs. IF the couple were such big time breeders ignored by AKC, you would think they would have more than 4 litters registered. It failed to show the motive for keeping the dogs in these conditions (With so many dogs and supposedly only 4 litters, the motive is probably not profit) and does seem more like a hoarding situation. Multiple houses, too many dogs for no apparent reason sounds like hoarding to me and a person who is mentally ill.
  4. I watched part of the semi-finals and every run in the Finals today. The production crew did a great job soliciting feedback and doing their best to improve. I for one am very appreciative that I got to see so many good dogs (and frankly, heart-breaking runs) today. Definitely was the next best thing to being there.
  5. I guess my experience with rentals is a little different. We currently have four dogs and two cats in a recently remodeled home with full disclosure to our landlord. It was the first house we looked at when we decided to move last year. Granted, we didn't look any further once the landlord said "ok, four dogs and ...um, two cats? pause...ok" but my rental before that was fairly easy to obtain with a slightly higher number of animals. Neither one charged a separate pet deposit and the current one didn't even charge us first and last month's rent - he was just too worried it would be empty. I think the key is to avoid rental management companies - understandably they don't want the hassle. But private owners are often very motivated if you can sell yourself having stable employment and good rent history. I do live in an area where foreclosures are rampant, so you do have to be careful but we ended up with a good pet-friendly, affordable rental in a great neighborhood very easily.
  6. That to me does not sound like a heartless cad who shrugged off his dog's injury. It sounds like a man in a terrible situation - who probably never should have put his dog in that situation - who just ran out of options and luck. At worst, it now sounds like he's most guilty of bad judgement and crappy thinking, but not of deliberate cruelty. The single most damning question of all is why he didn't manage to get help back up to his dog, even if he could not get there himself.>>> Gloria I just have to say I agree. I had been on the fence about posting - honestly not brave enough. People make mistakes- it does sound like he made an effort but was discouraged. I believe it was entirely possible he believed the dog had quickly perished. I wouldn't have believed that but I work for vets and know how tough, in general, dogs can be in bad situations. Not everyone knows everything. He should have done more, sure -but he did do something. He wants his dog back and as long as he's willing to foot the bill at the vet and possibly the expenses of the rescuers - I say forgive and hope he's learned his lesson. We could learn a lesson from the dog - I'm sure she would forgive him.
  7. True, but I did get to witness part of that and I have to say, it's much more entertaining (when nothing is hurt of course) to watch another person's wreck than to participate in your own. Edited to add: that particular wreck did result in a very extensive tour of your awesome grounds @ TEC ..I was not joking. It's the kind of thing I see happen with other people all the time. I saw the window of opportunity to send my dog and rescue the obviously about to bolt sheep and it just...slipped.... by. I make a point to stop at Anna's whenever I can to work sheep - great lady and great place to work dogs.
  8. I tried to post earlier but my smartphone ate my reply . When I say "cull", I mean "remove from the gene pool". I do that by spay/neuter and rehome and haven't bred a litter now in 12 years due to not being entirely convinced I had something breed worthy. For the record, I have only rehomed dogs that were either completely unsuited for working at a minimum level that I would want or in one case, a dog that had more work to do and wasn't getting it done any more with me. That dog benefited more than I did (hell, I still cry over that dog) from being rehomed. My best dog to this day was spayed when she was 4 so I'm not one that thinks it has to be exceptional breeding quality to be worth keeping. By using the "cull" word, I remind myself that it's not an emotional choice - it's not about what I want as much as it is about how the breed will benefit from breeding or not breeding an individual animal.
  9. I'm the one who wrote the "God will make more dogs" post. Of course, it was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Dogs will make more dogs. Not necessarily God. It was meant to point out that the loss of one dog's breeding ability, whether by neutering or a .22, is unlikely to affect the breed overall. I say it all the time and it's the mantra I repeat every time I decide to spay another of mine instead of breed it. Unfortunately, there's plenty of local breeders willing to supply the Vegas population but I just tell myself I know where to get a good pup so why bother with it? It was not a suggestion that working dogs are considered disposable by working folks, in general. That is all.
  10. $25 sounds reasonable for a doggie daycare type place. Our hospitals have kennels and charge $20/night for the largest dogs but we don't have a play area - just an exercise yard where dogs get turned out 3X a day. It sounds like the second place has a good, open attitude and the stay free for a day is a good idea. I would caution though that if they allow dogs to play together that someone is watching them constantly and seem knowledgeable about how to read signs if a fight is about to occur. I have seen extremely nasty injuries due doggie daycare type situations where the dogs weren't screened or watched properly for dog aggression.
  11. I don't worry about that. I think that idea is what makes people breed dogs that are not up to snuff. "MY dog is special, if only...", etc. Sure some may slip through the cracks due to bad handling but if the genes are there, they are likely to have siblings that fell into the right hands. I doubt many of the very superior nicks get full stopped. As a (very hard culling) kelpie breeder likes to say, "God will make more dogs". It is extremely rare that the loss of one dog for breeding will impact the breed overall.
  12. Why would it? Registering with ABCA is the same as voting with your dollars. Either you support the working dog registry or you support the ruination of the breed . Edited to add: Or you don't register at all which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  13. This is the problem. If you worked your dogs to an appropriate level - I'm not saying TRIAL them, I'm saying WORK THEM - you would understand that "stock-work" is not a singular trait. A good dog is of good temperament. How else could we trust them with lambs? A good dog is of sound health and body, stamina and work ethic. There is nothing that can prove that out unless they are working regularly at an Open level. Again, I said WORK not TRIAL. A good dog can pick up sounds you and I barely register. They can spot sheep several hundred yards away and have the courage to do so at a new place, on stock they've never seen before. A good dog can learn. If, in the right hands, they make learning easy for themselves, they are biddable. If they are rash and thrash stock around and need too much work to make it work, they don't have the temperament to be a good dog. They probably don't have the temperament to be a good companion, either. A good dog is intuitive regarding livestock and people. They know what you want before you want it. They know exactly where the stock thinks it's going, wants to go, and what the stock might try to pull on them. They know why they outrun. They know how to move stock that doesn't want to go. You cannot train that. You can only breed it. If you don't work your dogs on challenging stock and push them to a high level of work, you aren't saving any part of "stock work" that's worth saving. You are damaging the working dog gene pool. At least, if you are going to ruin the breed - stick to AKC only and leave our ABCA dogs alone. Tired of being nice about this. Some people will continue to stubbornly do what they want at the expense of the dogs.
  14. What I like about ACD's: They seem to have more of an "off" switch, from what I have read. For example, after work is done, or if they don't have a job one day, they are okay with it. They don't obsess nearly as much over work as a BC, from what I have heard. I'm sure that it depends on the individual dog, but as a generalization. They stick to you like glue. They aren't scared to take it another step with the cattle. >> Just an (admittedly breed-biased) opinion. I live with three border collies (all working) and one ACD. The ACD is definitely the most hyper, obnoxious animal in the house. He does not have an off switch even though he's at least 10. He also will not work an lick on stock and I have never seen any ACD that could do anything comparatively useful on cattle that a cattle prod couldn't also do. They do obsess about work, but in ways that are not helpful IMHO. Granted, while I've never seen one that was from parents that worked to any kind of standard but I think that's part of the problem - there aren't many that do. He is definitely a one person dog (not mine, can you tell !) and if you aren't that person, he'd rather bite you than look at you. Get a border collie. You'll thank me later. (This in about 50% tongue in cheek, but I definitely take exception to the idea that ACDs will "take it another step" on cattle. Nothing beats a good, strong border collie on cattle.)
  15. Recently, my Nellie had a mammary growth return on a previous surgery site - it was huge. Luckily, it turned out to be a surgery-related cyst - completely benign but they had to make a large incision to get it out. Before picking her up from the vet, I stopped by Target with the same type of motivation- something to make her feel better. Bought her just a plain, soft bed pad and it was a winner. She's got it in her little corner and aside from me having to kick off the younger dogs off it occasionally, she spends most of her house time on it. The other gift she gets (and it's debateable who is rewarded the most) is that I have a person come out with a dog that's not very keen or talented and she spends half of her time with Nellie learning what it's supposed to feel like, at least on a small scale. Nellie does outruns and short drives in a smaller, more old-dog appropriate space on sheep she can still catch and Cheryl gets the benefit of a good, broke dog that will show her the ropes.
  16. Lewis- just in case you didn't get my PM, I know someone who has been looking for a dog very similar to Seeka. Would be an excellent, forever home. Who would I/she contact about Seeka?
  17. Hello,

    I know someone in Vegas who lost both of her elderly border collies (both well cared for and lived through health issues to past 13/14 years.). I've been looking for an adult female for her that's cat safe and biddable. It would be a pet home and the lady lives alone and is devoted to her pets. She currently has one cat and a heeler mix. How would she go about inqui...

  18. I have never had a vet out for my sheep but I have the advantage of working for vets that can give me advice. Also, with my Kathadin/Dorper crosses, they generally are very healthy. I have euth'd a lamb myself(too small to eat, lost it and it's twin to a strange neuro issue I never figured out what it was). I've only had one stillborn lamb and aside from a oxy inj. now and then to expel placenta or stimulate milk production in a younger ewe, which I do much less than I did at the beginning, I have very few breeding issues. Most of my "vetting" has come after letting idiots in with my sheep. I've stiched up a couple using dental floss, gave them a whompin' antibiotic injection and everything went just fine. I have an old ewe that will probably be needing more vetting as she gets more ancient (13 now and dog attacked when younger which has left her with a lot of throat scarring so she coughs and occasionally gets abscesses in that area). I try to sell on older ewes so I don't have to deal with disposal of them but this one and probably another great ewe I have will probably live out their lives with me. My pharmacy consists of Banamine, penicillin, and oxytocin. I can order in anything else through our vet distributor and get it in a day. I don't worm as often as I should but my ewes are dry-lotted and in a very arid region so I don't have many issues with that. I did start vaccinating for overeating disease after unexpectedly losing three (very nice ) yearlings suddenly - I think it was more likely toxic but maybe someone threw something over the fence and they happened to get to it first. I understand not making every womb a friend. The last two generations of ewe lambs have brought unusually friendly ones. I had one practically a pet and she went and rejected her lamb. Now, I've got another, Blackie, that lets me scratch her head and is just a lovely, pretty thing. She's fat with her first lamb, so crossing my fingers she had no issues because one thing I do cull mercilessly for is anything that requires assistance with lambing or raising a lamb.
  19. To sum up.... We don't need agility breeders to keep the border collie doing what it's meant to do. They need us. Why else did AKC keep the studbook open? IF anyone is going to "bridge the division", it's going to have to be these MACH top whats-its handling their dogs in USBCHA Open to an acceptable level and THEN breeding them. That's the only way I can see harmony on this subject. As far as the tragedy of the shattered agility line goes....the sooner, the better.
  20. This is the point that so few will ever understand until they experience it for themselves. Although we are far from laying down good runs (serious stopping problem! ARGH!!), I experienced it this past weekend when we were asked to help move 1400 plus fiesty, fat yearlings on a commercial range operation. Jet has never worked more than thirty sheep and it's usually more like 5-10. Aside from a pace issue at first, it was amazing to watch her "get" the different balance point, they way she needed to tuck in the ends and check waayyyyy over on the other side to make sure those sheep were with the program. Any sheep that turned on her got a firm "hey, what do you think you're doing" look and before long, we had gone probably a mile with VERY few commands at all. It wasn't fancy trial work but it was something she hadn't been trained for but took to as naturally as a duck to water. And was about as ecstatic as a dog could be to boot. I had a very natural cow dog that won her first (novice) cow dog trial class on the VERY FIRST TIME she worked cattle. I was very lucky to have that dog, I had no one local to learn from, but she taught me more about stock sense and livestock handling than anyone could have. I've had to wing it for years in a sheepdog wasteland and the dogs have always been the best teachers anyone could ask for. You cannot test natural working ability at an agility trial. There is no shared point of reference. No testing of ability, pace, thought and grit. On this day of Thanksgiving, I'm extremely grateful to the breeders, shepherds and sometimes cowboys that are responsible for the dogs I have owned and own today. Thank DOG none of them came from an agility breeder.
  21. I think so - we have a dog that started that way when he was young. He is a very nice dog that has done OK in Pronovice, could do better if he got more work. Extremely useful dog although I will say he's not 100% trustworthy and needs to be kept under your thumb more than our other dogs. I'll admit (he's Mike's dog) that we had several arguments over keeping him from bloodying my sheep when he was a youngster but he did come around to be a (mostly) good dog with good feel for his sheep. I agree though that sometimes you just have to push yourself and your dogs to the next step. It will get ugly sometimes (as I discover many times when I step on the trial field with dogs that never get to see a real pasture at home) but most of the time, the worst that can happen is that you will have to run up there and pull things back together. Start with your dog down and you as close as the sheep will let you get. Get a good stop at the other side and don't worry so much about speed so long as the dog is covering at first. My dogs have to start doing their outruns in a patch of BLM land with no fences. We take a solid dog as backup and good sheep that won't overreact. Very rarely, the sheep might get away but so long as we can get the dog back, the worst that can happen is that the sheep will make it 1/3 mile down the road and land in front of their own gate, no harm done.
  22. Serena+Eluane B.C., on 20 November 2011 - 07:23 PM, said: Sheepherding is the primary and best means to distill the ideal qualities, but it is not the only measure of that discipline I maintain, because then what does one do with the changing times? More and more farmlands will be replaced by conglomerates, land buyouts. In Kansas itself we are losing tons of farmlands, every highway system and suburban sprawl eats away at the landscape. >>> Although I prefer most farming and ranching be family operations, it's true that more and more are held by large companies or other entities. However, those operations are still managed by families in many cases. I got the chance to help on a commercial flock that is part of a major central Nevada operation. It's not owned by a agricultural company, but another organization that bought the land for water rights but made an agreement with the county to maintain the land as a traditional working ranch. The herders use dogs. Today I counted about seven border collies and four guardian dogs - those were just with the two bands of sheep I saw, about half of what the ranch holds. The ranch manager has plans to increase the current 4500 to 7700 head of sheep. That will mean more jobs for dogs. If anything, big-business farming means more livestock, not less!
  23. A chance, yes. However, there are many traits that a active dog could have to make it a less attractive working candidate. My 1st dog was a prime example of this- extremely keen, even stylish. Very hyper though and pressure sensitive in the worst way. No way should she have ever been bred and while she was ok as a pet, she would have challenged most owners. Would not even look at cows, fear-motivated biter on sheep. She looked really good as a pup, I had offers on her. No one wanted her as a two year old though and she warmed my couch after that.
  24. I think the point could be made that the environment where these dogs were developed was not conducive to pet homes lined up. I would also say that the ones I've seen would not be good dogs for the average pet owner because they are extremely pushy and active (although good tempered IMHO, the ones I've known). So, for arguments sake, lets say that the type could not have been developed as successfully without hard culling in that environment. You could say that limiting breeding to the availability of pet homes could leave the people with a true need for the dog without actual quality of the dog they need because pet considerations are made. I don't believe these were developed to work on hobby farms or even on the trial field, but on commercial operations with a large number of tough livestock in harsh conditions. I think letting the pet equation into those breeding decisions might be problematic. Again, I couldn't do it. But I need a dog to work my dozen sheep and go to a dog trial without being laughed off the field. I like to think I have pretty high standards as far as that goes but I know that it is very hard for me to truly prove out the worth of a dog for breeding choices. I don't need a dog to work long hours in hot, harsh conditions on stock that were extremely tough and wild.
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