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About Sabreur

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  1. Hi all, I haven't posted for a good long while. I have two Border Collies, Turbo and Merlin, both six years and some. The first year I had them (they are both lost dogs, so they were both about 18 months old at the time), I took them to a weekend herding seminar in Northern Germany, about a six hour drive from here. It was fascinating, but no one was offering training any closer, so I basically let it go and worked on basic obedience and playing games with balls and frisbees for almost five years. This summer, my obedience trainer offered a seminar with a woman who trials with Aussi
  2. Germany is very dog-friendly. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in almost all restaurants and hotels, and there is an amazing amount of public green space (forests, meadows and farmland) where the dogs can be off-leash. Most German dogs are quite well-trained. Make sure your recall is really good if you let your dogs off-leash in the forests--a dog that chases game can be shot--most of the Forstmeisters/Jagdmeisters (forest/hunting "masters") are not so hardline, but it is always better--and more responsible--to be safe. Agility is pretty common over here--look for a club in the area y
  3. I have a futon, aka the world's biggest dog bed. Turbo usually sleeps on his bed right next to my pillow, unless it is really cold, at which point he gets on the futon--he also sleeps on the futon during the day when I'm at work. Merlin usually starts off on his bed, at the foot of the futon, and moves onto my bed when he thinks I'm asleep. On warm nights, Turbo will occasionally go downstairs and sleep on the leather couch, or go into the bathroom and sleep on the tile floor (cooler, I think). In the morning when I get up to shower, he inevitably moves onto the bed where I've been slee
  4. I think, because the vet felt like he had to do something.... He made some vague noises about trying to limit activity, but his heart wasn't really in it because he could see that there was no pain. MR
  5. Here's an odd one--and I'll preface it by saying that Turbo has been under the vet's care for a week now. I came back from two weeks vacation last Thursday--my dogsitters gave both dogs a bath Thursday night, before I came home, and didn't notice anything. I had Friday off and spent it with the boys for the most part--didn't notice anything. Saturday afternoon, I notice that Turbo has a pretty good sized swelling on the inside of his rear right ankle. The swelling is hard. He shows NO signs of pain, limping or anything else, either when running free or when the swelling is examined
  6. Whenever anyone asks me what owning a border collie is like, I tell them it is like driving a Porsche, as opposed to a station wagon--you have to know what you are doing, and be very attentive, but you get an unmatched level of performance. I love Melanie's picture of Skeeter, Solo and Fly, by the way.... MR
  7. My older dog had a similar problem recently. He has now gotten over it--took about two weeks of restricted activity--no frisbee. He was improving when I took him to the vet, who recommended against hip X-rays at the time and suggested a joint supplement--I've been giving both of my dogs the supplement since. I think he just had a pulled muscle, but it was pretty frightening. Like your dog, he's very high-energy and focused when playing. MR
  8. I found Turbo abandoned on the street in front of my office. I adopted Merlin from a family that couldn't keep him anymore. MR
  9. My younger dog doesn't like boxers. He tangled with one once, and now gives any boxer, especially ones that are the classic tan color, the evil eye. Another case of a dog recognizing breeds--in this case, a breed different than he is. Different dogs have different abilities to categorize information--the smartest ones clearly have the ability to think within abstract categories. Some recent research in Germany (on Rico the toy-recognizing dog, among others) appears to show that at least some Border Collies have cognitive abilities similar to those of a human three-year old. This is
  10. The Australian Shepherd is an American breed, according to the (ugh) club propaganda: "Would it surprise you to learn that the Australian Shepherd is the only livestock working breed developed in America? Contrary to his name, the Australian Shepherd is not an Australian breed at all. We can trace his early ancestors to sheep herds, many of which were brought from Australia. Basque shepherds on the west coast were known to have "little blue dogs with bob tails" in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Sheep were imported from France, Spain, England, New Zealand, and Australia along with shephe
  11. My younger dog, Merlin, has issues with people he doesn't know and with children. We work off-leash almost exclusively, but I always am very aware of who is around us and what they are doing. I have no hesitation in calling him over and putting him into a down-stay to prevent a situation from developing--an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That being said, I also do not encourage people that I don't know to pet my dogs. Merlin, as I said, has issues. Turbo flinches when someone he doesn't know tries to pet him on the head (I can imagine what kind of puppyhood abuse that
  12. Thank you all for posting these--I love to see border collies working. Mark--Merlin, my youngest, can get that shade of green down by the river, where the geese hang out (UGGGGHHHHHH). MR
  13. To add to what everyone else has said. Rescue is the way to go, unless you are planning to work sheep with your dog. They'll help match you with the dog, and there are more than enough border collies out there looking for homes. At least, most of the time, rescue will help match you with the dog--for an opposing point of view, see SoloRiver's story about how she got Solo.... I walk my dogs for about 40 minutes in the morning before I go to work--at least 20 minutes of it is frisbee time, which is work, not play. I walk them for an hour to an hour and a half in the evening, muc
  14. Oh bummer. I lost a dog to lymphoma about four years ago. My thoughts are with you. MR
  15. I've flown two dogs from the U.S. to Europe, and two dogs roundtrip Europe to the U.S. and back. Dogs didn't have any problems although one of the flights was a descent into about the fifth ring of the Inferno for me... A couple of tricks: 1. Use a porter if you can't figure out how to manage--it's amazing how much easier it makes it if you pay someone to move the crate (especially if you have two crates!). 2. Replace the little plastic water dish with one of the big metal water dishes you can get that hang on the door--the night before the flight, fill it with water and put i
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