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Donald McCaig

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Everything posted by Donald McCaig

  1. Rev him up -just a bit. He'll stop looking back when he's on his sheep and confident. Donald
  2. Dear Doggers, Too many cattlemen fault the shepherds who created the dog with being, er "sheep people" and thus impractical wusses wearing Stetson's they haven't earned..Hence, the shepherd's contests are too "particular" for cowboys and the shepherd's dogs are weak and getting weaker. All that damn trialing! Donald
  3. Dear Ms. Maja, are you looking for what we call a "skinning knife" - for removing the sheep's pelt from the carcass? If so, there are a zillion of them - try your local hunter supply for something like this https://www.amazon.com/Dexter-Russell-SB12-6-6-inch-Skinning-Knife/dp/B008RBSEMA/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1496221737&sr=8-22&keywords=skinning+knife Cheap is best. Donald
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/world/middleeast/tehran-city-council-elections.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
  5. Dear OP, Get your sheep from the neighbor who rears sheep and works them with a dog. You'll need his advice. Donald McCaig
  6. Dear Doggers, 14 weeks is too young for choke or prong collar training. It's also too young to be reliably housebroken. As others have said: Its a puppy! That said, properly used (and yes thy can be properly used) both these collars and the ecollar are employed as corrections, not preventatives. Since Karen Pryor's own dog can't be trusted to recall off lead I don't know why anyone would recommend her or her disciples. Oh, and there is no "scientific" evidence that correction based training methods or tools have a negative effect on dogs. That's a marketing ploy. Donald McCaig
  7. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/26/united-airlines-animal-deaths-flights/100925100/
  8. Dear Fellow Sheepdoggers, A chair/no chair. I've never had a dog who couldn't adjust to a handler on/off an ATV, Inside/outside a pickup - I have often trained them to hold the sheep to our farm Subaru (me inside). My problem was thinking that I - accustomed to movement and erect, handling mostly with voice and whistle - would be mistaken by the dog as a Scottish farmer with splendid small body language (and voice and whistle) - in a wheelchair. I needed to learn to move less while shedding - and as with every trained dog I've bought - train Jake to me. I thought I'd found a shortcut. Nope. I took Jake to Robin French for advice. Thanks Robin. Jake really,really prefers whistle to voice and I'm teaching him to come in on a whistle. It was a mental problem.: a failure to see that to the dog I was NOT Ian Macmillan. Identifying the problem is more than halfway to solving it. Donald McCaig
  9. Dear Fellow Sheepdog Trainers, I heard it again and again. From Jack Knox, Herbert Holmes, Alasdair MacCrae: "What is the dog thinking?" "He's thinking he can around you and get to those sheep.", "He's afraid of that spotty-faced ewe, so he's trying to work the others", "He knows he can get them moving if he buzzes them." Old age makes you forget the basics I guess. Some years ago I met Ian MacMillan at a Scottish Nursery Finals. MacMillan, who makes a living as a sheep farmer trains up one dog a year for the nurseries and sells it on. Ian works and trains from a wheelchair. I have COPD and have trouble breathing. If the shed is difficult I turn blue. So I bethought myself of a dog that can shed to a man ion a wheelchair and went to Scotland to buy one. Jake is a pretty good open dog without a good shed. It dawned on me: I'm not a guy in a wheelchair. What is the dog thinking? Slow to learn, quick to forget I am, yours, Donald McCaig
  10. Dear OP, Do the dogs eat at the same time where they can see each other? Donald McCaig
  11. Dear Ms. Maja, Although I don't sell my trial dogs upon retirement there are good reasons to do so. 1. The look on the retired dogs face when I'm loading up to leave without him. 2. The education such a dog can provide for a novice handler. 3. The love and attention and importance that dog will have as he ages. Donald McCaig
  12. Dear OP, You have set hurdles some agility breeders may meet. If there's a North American sheepdog breeder who meets all your criteria I don't know him. Donald McCaig
  13. Dear OP, I'm not an ecollar trainer and am cautious with their use but I have studied with some of the best ecollar trainers and don't quite understand how, when training recalls with an ecollar, the dog cannot be off leash. Donald McCaig
  14. Dear Doggers, Our murmurers lost appetite as it got worse and Anne made the tastiest human food concoctions she could. Bison burger, lamb liver, ground venison - whatever they'd eat. Donald McCaig
  15. Dear Doggers, If we're worthy they give us their trust. Donald McCaig
  16. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/opinion/an-english-sheep-farmers-view-of-rural-america.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
  17. http://cynography.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-necessity-of-naughty.html#comment-form
  18. Dear Debbie, As Jack Knox once said, "If I could tell which pup was going to be a topper I'd'quit this training and breeding and make my fortune picking pups." Donald McCaig
  19. Dear Ms. Sloan, Nobody competent offers a "herding instinct" test because (a) it's meaningless and ( a dog may refuse to work one day and be desperate to work the next time it goes out If, on the other hand, you want to learn if your Border Collie (age 6 months or older) might be trainable for sheepwork, David Clark outside Lexington is competent, trains and trials at the open level. Contact me privately for his email. Donald McCaig
  20. Dear Trainers, According to Kate Broadbent - by any criteria an experienced professional shepherd - Rolf Kintzel is the real goods. At one time I wanted to enter his tending trial and asked for the rules which were, too often for my taste - style judgements. I believe there is a use for "tending dogs" provided they can act as a mobile protective fence without the shepherd's presence. If the shepherd has to be there too it'd be cheaper to issue him a slingshot. Donald McCaig
  21. Dear Doggers, Well, er: not entirely true. I give similar (not entirely true) warnings but less frequently because the "fact" that the Border Collie is a difficult pet is happily embedded in the culture. That's fine by me. If the prospective owner is too lazy to check things out for themselves they probably shouldn't have any dog much less such a trainable athletic dog. My lamented friend Margot Woods liked to say, "Border Collies are 'incident critical" . You make a training mistake and before you can undo it your Border Collie will have repeated the move three times and got it into muscle memory. Donald McCaig
  22. Dear Doggers, I imported a gyp whose heart murmur appeared at about that age and had passed it on to two litters. (We reclaimed all but one of the second litter). None lived beyond 12 with the best of then available meds. Donald
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