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Everything posted by Tassie

  1. Hi Caroline. Eeek - haven't been over here for a while - it's all different. Don't even know where to find my mailbox - will look. Hope you and the dogs (and your mum) are all well. Cheers - Barb (Tassie)

  2. That must be a relief to see the handsome boy's nose back to its handsome self. Scaary that it went so quickly into the leather. But it is a good reminder to protect Border Collie noses from sunburn if they are lacking any pigment on the nose. I have no problem with my girl, but each of the boys I've had have needed sun protection in summer. I usually use white zinc cream, since then I can tell when I need to re-apply it - and the dogs haven't been nose-lickers. My vet is happy with me using that on the dogs, but warned not to use it on cats, who needless to say will lick it off and ingest it.
  3. Oh Erin, I am so very sorry to hear that you have lost your lovely Maggie. As others have said, she was one of those dogs that many of us who've been around for a while felt that we 'knew'. And what a gracious lady in her passing.
  4. I've seen one episode of what I believe was this in my Border Collie bitch. She was about 3 or 4 at the time, and on a mild day, we were trying to gather a mob of about 70 superfine Merino weaner lambs in a sloping paddock. The lambs were being very uncooperative, even though they did have a few dry ewes in with them. Kirra seemed to stop being able to process commands, and then I noticed her legs - rear particularly - wobbling. I stopped her and went over to her and carried her down to my trainer's truck - no stock tank handy, but I doused her belly with the water we had in the truck. She recovered pretty well within five or 10 minutes - but I didn't try to work her again that day. She is a Barbie Collie, but lean and fit. I haven't seen any similar episode with her since, either in the farm sheep work we were able to do in the six months or so after that, or in agility, even in warmer weather. Strangely enough on that very same day, one of my trainer's working bred dogs (a rough coated bitch about 4 or 5) suffered a similar episode. She was working sheep in the yards - a pressure situation for her, since she was more of a paddock dog. Same symptoms - inability to process commands, followed by wobbliness. A dunking in the stock tank saw the symptoms resolve fairly quickly, although of course she wasn't worked again that day. So on the basis of observing those two incidents, it does seem to me that they were not cases of overheating - but there was a very strong component of mental stress. Both dogs were somewhat over-faced with the task at hand, but both had a fairly strong work ethic, and were trying their best to carry out thier task. (I can't see the video, unfortunately, to make a comparison.)
  5. AK Dog Doc. And do the dogs fit in there somewhere? Will have to look out for the book!
  6. My two got Wubba Friends from CR for Christmas (they had free shipping too ). They are good for tugging and for throwing - and both my Border Collies love them My agility girl even likes squeaking heres, she gets tso excited - and she doesn't 'do' squeaky toys usually.
  7. From those photos - it seems like he's settliong in pretty well with you - good job!
  8. For obedience and agility - I use small pieces of soft stuff - mostly human food. I want the dog to be able to eat the treat very quickly and keep their mind on the job ready for the next thing. So I usually have a mixture of low-fat tasty cheddar cheese, microwaved small pieces of skinless hot dogs, chicken loaf (I buy from the deli - get them to slice it about 1.2 inch thick), small cubes of a kind of sausage we call Devon - used in slices for sandwiches - maybe it's called Baloney there - like Strasbourg sausage only not so fatty. These are all not too greasy. ANd you can make a bulk supply and freeze Friends use liver - buy a lamb's liver from the butcher and then cook it (not sure how, but it's smelly), then cube it. For difficult things - roast chicken is usually a favourite - it's a pain though, becuase it crumbles too easily - bits drop everywhere.
  9. An alternative topic heading could be - "Annie showed my son the consequences of a really poor behaviour choice". Sorry it had to happen, Bustopher, but as others have said, sounds like Annie was within her rights, and made a proportionate response, exercising great self-control - good dog, Annie. On a more serious note, I guess this means that maybe you all need to be a little more vigilant (not that you haven't been in the past) about not having Annie put into a situation she finds fearful or threatening, especially with really young or old people, for whom an inhibited nip migth in fact be more of a problem (delicate skin).
  10. Again, without seeing exactly what's going on, I would tend to agree with those who are saying the whole thing needs to be more fun for you and the dog. I'd be wondering if it would be worth consciously doing lots of high energy foundation flat work with the dog for a while. Circle work - and you can do some of your handling stuff there. Rear cross drills - including racing for a toy. None of this will do any harm, and could help. It also takes pressure off both of you. I'm being very conservative - perhaps over-conservative - with my new boy. He's 16 months old, and has had little formal work. We've done some flat work (not enough), some targeting , had a play with tunnel and table and tyre (hoop), some 2o2o on a travel plank, some rear end awareness work, some balance and wobble board work - and we're just now starting working through Susan Salo type jumping program. None of it has been very formal - we're just having lots of fun. I'm hoping that as we progress, he'll just see it as an extension of the games we play with toys and for food rewards. Because when all's said and done, that's what it is for me and my dogs.
  11. Sue - it varies from place to place - some parts of the country have had severe flooding, while much of the south east is still in drought. My trainer and friend has had to reduce her flock by 50% - trying desperately to maintain the great superfine merino genetics she'd been building up. One wheat farmer was quoted on the radio as saying he was a 'wheat planter' not a 'wheat grower' because of the number of crop failures he'd been experiencing. Thanks for the kind words too - I do miss those days spent on the farm, watching my little girl do her best imitation of what real Border Collies do.
  12. Popping in out of the ether to express my appreciation of this topic. Knowing no better, I started in ANKC (AKC type) 'herding'. but was uncomfortable with what was happening. I was incredibly lucky and had the chance to learn to do basic farm chores with my little agility girl on a friend's superfine merino property. As others have said, the sheep came first and foremost and were always to be respected. At that stage she was able to maintain a small flock of training wethers, for her own dogs, and I was able to work with those, until my dog and I became competent enough to start doing chores with the main flocks. I am no longer in a position to be able to do any sheep work - drought has halved flocks and meant that all sheep must be productive - no chance of keeping luxuries like training wethers - but I am so grateful to have been able to experience something of the world of the shepherd, and to learn to have a respect for and appreciation of sheep.
  13. And if you wanted something really specky in the way of color, surely an outcross to a chameleon would do the trick .
  14. Over here in Oz, your Buffer would be a perfect candidate for earth dog competitions - they have to go down holes in the ground .
  15. Another thing that might be worth trying is a home-made version of the TT anxiety wrap. I think it might have been Melanie who posted about that years ago - using a very small T shirt, so it is very snug fitting on the dog. A friend has tried it with some success with her Aussie. (Same principle as Temple Grandin's crush box.) Don't know how a Dog Appeasing Pheromone diffuser would be - could help, and couldn't do any harm.
  16. Hey Julie - thanks for that. Yes, I'm finding that I don't get as much time to hang out as I did. Still working 4 days a week to fund the doggy luxuries - including the new car I've ordered. I've travelled 2,500 kilometres each way to go to a training (obedience and agiity) camp, and between agility and tracking with Miss Kirra, and bringing up my little big man Rory, who is now nearly 11 months old, time seems to fly by. It is nice to drop in every now and again and see how folks are doing. BTW, I've tried my new boy on sheep - once - in the round pen. Plenty of interest, very keen to go to the head, but no idea what to do when he got there . I probably will try him again, when I've got a more reliable stop and recall on him, and when I can find some nice sensible dog-broke sheep to start him on. This was 3 sheep, fairly light. Hope you all are surviving the summer without too many dramas.
  17. Friends have a wonderufl African Grey. Lola has a large repertoire, including phone calls, and inviting people and dogs to 'play peekaboo.' She was free flying one day, and flew down an internal set of stairs with a bend at the bottom - didn't make the bend, crash landed, and was heard to say in a somehat disgusted voice "oh, no!" She also has a totally evil laugh. They are seriously amazing birds.
  18. Only get in here occasionally lately, but Kim, I'm so very glad to pop in today and read this. I know how hard you've worked on behalf of Shep, and it's just wonderful for both of you that you have been able to have this positive experience. Let's hope it's just the first of many. Much kudos to you, your trainer and your vet.
  19. Glad to hear Skip came through so well. Kirra and Rory and I have lots of our down-under mojo for you and Cheyenne. It's a tough time for you. at Jackson.
  20. Rory was about 15.6 kg (= 34 lbs) at 6 months - approximately 19.5". Incidentally, he'll be 7 months old next week - seems that he's been teething this last week - feels like a set of molars right at the back - does that make sense? (Maybe thery're wisdom teeth )
  21. Lots of southern (I mean really southern - mojo coming for you and Skip, Linda.
  22. Haven't been on the boards much lately - life is busy with working 4 days a week to support my dog habit , teaching at dog club, training and running agility and going to a Greg and Laura Derrett seminar, and raising my now 6 month old pup, Rory, who is doing a great job of filling the gap in our lives left by the sudden death of my goofy Fergus last October. Anyway - this agility year has started really well for us - our Q rate is still nowhere near Pat W's - but is improving and our DQ rate is going down. But best of all, this year Kirra has finished her Masters titles in Agility and Jumping, has finished her Novice Snooker dog title, and has got her Open Agility Dog title for the second time (has a distance challenge, similar to gamblers.) And she's collected another couple of Masters passes towards her second multiple. Good little dog. I'm finally finding course analysis and planning getting easier, and sometimes I'm even able to implement my plan - much to Kirra's delight. And sometimes I can on the spur of the moment default to plan B and rescue a run. I was really interested in the discussion about 4OTF /1RTO contacts, since I'm going to have to work out what I teach Rory when the time comes - thanks for that thoughtful discussion. One of the good things about Krira's work lately has been that she's been getting her contacts - good old point and pray (sort of mixed with targetting to the ground at the end) finally worked - but I know I have to do better with the little big man.
  23. Oh Inu - I'm so sorry to hear of Jazzy's continuing issues. I can just imagine how bad you feel for her - but what can you do - you can only be guided by the professionals. Jazzy knows that everything you do is for her. You and Jazz certainly have all our very best wishes from down-under Down Under - for a successful surgery, and a speedy recovery. At least you know you both have the patience to do this lot of rehab. Kirra and Rory send get well soon woofs to Jazzy.
  24. Another game you might like to play with Aveda is to teach her to target your hand with her nose. You can start by luring her with a high value treat between 1st and 2nd finger with you hand held towards the dog, making it easy for the dog to reach. Chances are the dog will nose the hand to smell the treat. Mark that with your reward marker - rinse and repeat. Once you think the dog is getting it, don't use the lure, but still make it easy for the dog to reach the hand. Use each hand, and gradually make it harder for the dog to reach. Once you've got the behaviour reliably with the hand position, you can start adding the verbal cue - I just use 'touch' - you can later on generalise it to other targets. One of the students in my puppy class had obviously been practising 'touch' diligently, and it was obviously more solid than her recall command. Her pup got out when someone opened a gate. Pup wouldn't respond to recall, so the owner tried a nice firm 'Touch' cue with her hand held in the extended palm position. She was delighted when the dog came back and did a nice solid nose touch. She made a huge fuss, and raced inside to get a jackpot of treats and praise. It was so nice for me to hear that story. Just reinforces that a heavily reinforced and well rewarded behaviour can stick fairly quickly.
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