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Everything posted by airbear

  1. Yes, the site is down right now . Maria figures it will take perhaps another half day for it to be resolved. The servers where the system is hosted is down, and they are working hard to resolve it!
  2. Thanks to Maria Amodei, the USBCHA has a new points site that tracks back as far as 1998. Active for both cattledogs and sheepdogs, this site provides hours of fun for the data geeks amongst us. Huge thanks to Maria for her hard work, and to Gene Sheninger, who for the past 20 years ran the USBCHA points database.
  3. This was published in 1996, in the Working Border Collie magazine. Agree 100%, shock collars/ecollars have no place in training sheepdogs.
  4. I suspect this is key. I have a dog who was run very successfully for years by a handler who has beautiful finger whistles. This poor dog now has me with my mechanical whistles. In my mind, I'm playing what he did, just on a corian whistle, but when I hear it on a video playback, I realize that it's not super close in some places. As part of our transition package, he put Gail's whistles on my phone in two sets: one with him finger whistling, and one with my whistle. His whistles are very close. There are times when I blow a whistle and Gail's shoulders hunch up, as if to say "Oh come on, that's not even close!" and then she takes the command because she is a Very Good Girl.
  5. I sure wish my finger whistles were as good as my mechanical whistles! It's my project this winter (as it was last winter and the winter prior). When the wind is blowing in your face, those finger whistles carry way farther than a mechanical whistle. I hear ya about the icky part too, and of course, there's the matter of being cold. Still, I think there's a reason why top hands finger whistle so yeah, carry the hand sanitizer!!
  6. Hey Pearse, Has anyone brought up a downside to this change? Sounds like you still can't serve for more than 6 consecutive years and an extra year of runway will be good for directors to get up to speed. Also, will there be snacks at the meeting in Alturas? Asking for a friend.
  7. MacRae Sheepdogs (Alasdair and Patrica MacRae) just released an online resource called The MacRae Way Academy. It's an online repository of videos and articles pertaining to herding, trialling, training, livestock management, etc. A basic membership is free, and gets you access to some pretty great content. MacRae Way Academy http://www.macraeway.com/academy/
  8. Well, in the interest of full disclosure, this was our first run at Kingston. Most of the time, sheep like Bar, because he's kind and non-threatening. These girls did NOT like him. Bar put on some miles trying to get them around the course - good thing he's fast LOL!
  9. That is Sgt. Lajeunesse, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)! One of the handlers (Dave Young) carved him and presented him to Amanda Milliken, our trial hostess, in honour of Kingston's 30th Anniversary. It took four big guys to wrestle him out to the post, but he stood proudly for all of Open 2, and the double-lift Final.
  10. The Kingston Sheep Dog Trial at Grass Creek is quite the event! In addition to the trials, there are lots of attractions and activities, which draw thousands to the park. The field itself, while small, has lots of tricky bits, including swales where the sheep can lose sight of the dogs, and the turn around the post, where many MANY sets of sheep make a break for the other side of the hill, and it's on your dog to scoop them out. For Open 2, the judge asked for a pull-through on the crossdrive (rather than go through the panels, go around them high and bring the sheep through). Bar had a bit of a rough go in Open 1, with sheep he couldn't settle. In this run, he had lovely sheep who would rather graze than run, and I was very happy with how Bar performed. He still looks at me a bit more than I'd like but on balance, I was pleased with the effort he gave me. He's the third dog I've had the pleasure of running at this great trial, and every time we come, we have such a great time. Great trial, tricky sheep, fantastic competition - just a top notch trial for handlers and spectators alike.
  11. We got one of those ewes in our first run! She split off, ran like mad, charged my dog when he caught her, and generally created mayhem. It was wild! When we timed out, she made a break for it again. Bar was NOT ready to let her go so he and Dorey tag-team exhausted her off the field. You're so lucky to have such a cool trial in your backyard. I really enjoy Kingston every year we come to this trial.
  12. I just got home from this trial. It's my third time there, and each one is better than the last. Over 170 Open dogs, very clever sheep, and all kinds of things to do (and eat) when you're not running a dog. Absolute class event! If you can get to only one or two large trials, this one should go on your list! Amanda is an incredible organizer and she and her team run a wicked trial.
  13. Generally, you are given a scribe sheet. The judge will tell you what he/she wants to take off for each element. You write it down. Sometimes, he'll say "take 5 off the drive". Other times, he might say "take 1, take 2, take 1". You add up the points lost for each element, calculate the total points lost, subtract it from the start value, and that's your score. You likely will be responsible for starting the timer, and letting the judge know when time is up. Time only matters if you go over. Field trials do not reward speed. So for example, if the team times out, say, at the shed, then they lose all their shedpoints (10), their pen points (10), and their single points (10). This is assuming the course ends with shed-pen-single. Attached is a copy of a scribe sheet. This dog had nothing off his outrun, 1 off his lift, 6 off his fetch, 17 off his drive, 5 off his shed, and nothing off his pen. That totaled 29 points, so with a start value of 100, his score is 71. And yes, they let you use a calculator! Scribing is an amazing way to learn about sheepdog trialling, so don't be shy, jump in and have a go!
  14. Do it! It seriously is a fun thing to teach, and if you can't get it done, you should get a frame for free, and a pretty fast stopped DW. Signed, An enabler
  15. Thank you! We weirdos have to stick together. I probably shouldn't mention that one of my thrice-monthly-washed dogs is a bare-skinned smoothy with no undercoat whatsoever!
  16. I bathe my dogs a couple of times a month, which apparently makes me a huge outlier! They stay in hotels a lot, sleep on the bed, and they work sheep in often icky conditions. I use Mane n Tail diluted one part shampoo to three parts water. We have hot water plumbed to the outside, and a booster bath. If it makes me seem like a little less of a loser, I never blow dry them LOL! Skin is fine, coat is shiny and soft.
  17. If Canada to the US counts, then we were international! Worse case scenario, you check the furniture mover as another check in bag.
  18. This is what the furniture mover looks like when it's bungee corded to the top of a crate.
  19. You could look at something like a Zinger crate, get the wheels and airline travel kit (side rails). If you're going to travel a lot, it could be a good investment.
  20. I put in on top of the crate (wheels up) and uses bungee cord to secure it to the crate.
  21. I use a furniture mover like this. You can put your suitcase on top of the crate for your walk to the rental care place. When you check the dog in, bungee cord the furniture mover to the top of the crate. Get some sort of handle so you can pull the crate along, and watch out for hills!
  22. This is an absolute class trial and I'm looking forward to running Bar on that big gorgeous field. This will be my 4th trip to the Bluegrass. Great sheep, great set out crew, the aforementioned gorgeous field, and the top dogs and hands in North America. Oh, and a fibre festival for all those knitters out there! Then there is the whiskey trail, the horse farms, the fried chicken ...
  23. I agree with this SO VERY MUCH! My first working collie, I bought as a three year-old. His owner had imported a male and she needed to move along this dog as he didn't have a role in her breeding program. I felt grave injustice on my dog's behalf, and made it my mission to prove her wrong, to show her she sold the wrong dog. She would rue the day she tossed my dog for that fancy import blah blah blah. The thing is, the dog didn't care. He adapted to his new life quite well, first living with a friend, then with me. He was always happy to see his original owner, saving especially large tail wags for her, and getting excited when he heard her whistles. When I tapped my side, though, he left her very willingly. Fast forward, I'm on my third purchased sheepdog. We just got back from Bar's home state of Missouri, where he got to be spend time with his first owner (who had him for almost 1.5 years) and another guy who trained and ran him for a month or so. He was glad to see them too, and I do not doubt that he recognized them, but again, he was clearly my dog, and as soon as I got up to leave, he was at my side. Not saying that some dogs don't attach keenly to their people. However, this idea that we are betraying them or breaking a covenant when we sell them on has not been my experience. I know that my three purchased sheepdogs did not suit their sellers for numerous reasons, and that they suit me just fine. Not sure how this is a bad deal for the dogs.
  24. airbear


    The quietest dogs leave a deafening hole in our worlds when they leave us. Amy, you wrote a lovely tribute to a good and honest (and orange!) bitch. I wish you peace.
  25. I used Dawn Weaver's book to teach a stopped DW and running frame. I didn't follow every step, but I used most of the foundation. I'm happy with the results.
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