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Everything posted by JenS

  1. There are a whole lot of dogs being represented as McNabs which really are not. The McNab label has a bit of mystic about it but can be very shady. I live just south of McNab country ( McNab country is Mendicino County in California) The dogs called Mc Nab are incredibly variable. Not so much a breed as wishful thinking. The cattle ranchers near me have given up on them. Too many folks using the name, but no proof of a good working dog. Shows how the old notion of a "papered" dog got the reputation it did. I would be very suspicious of anyone selling McNab dogs. Show me the work.
  2. So many variables here. Feed before slaughter, stress levels before slaughter, time meat aged, the exact cuts etc. I had one processor cut up a hot carcass for a customer of mine. Needless to say, lost that customer. I raise Katahdins. The word is they taste better because they are a hair sheep. I don't know if that is true, or if it because of other factors like feed and stress. I do have very happy lamb customers. I have several stories of folks who "don't like lamb" who loved my lamb. Raved about it, even. I have butchered a 2.5 year old breeding ram. Gave some meat to a chef friend of mine. His critique when asked was that visually, the raw meat was darker, and the cuts were much larger, but other than that, tasted the same as lamb. I butchered and ground a seven year old ewe. Delicious! I had many folks wanting to buy some, but since it was not USDA slaughter, they couldn't. Some of these folks "don't like lamb" I tell that is ok, this is mutton! They are very surprised. Mutton has such a bad name but it really can be good. Again, what it was fed, how the meat was handled is very important. Also, much of the flavor ( good or bad) comes from the fat. An older, fat sheep is likely where the reputation of nasty mutton comes from. How the breed carries fat is, I think, important when dealing with older sheep. I think this is where the good reputation of hair sheep comes in. Well, at least Katahdins, St Croix and barbs. Dropper maybe not so much. ( as mutton)
  3. This it what I lost my first dog too. He was older, almost 14. In the morning he was fine, then had a short bout of a very strange obsessive eating, picking at grass and leave and whatever was on the ground, like he couldn't control himself. I managed to distract him enough that he got over it. It only lasted a few minutes and I was present the whole time. Rest of the day he was fine, even helping to persuade some sheep to move into the right field. That night as we were watching TV, he started acting odd. I'll omit details but he went from " is the dog acting weird?" To unconscience and seizures in less than an hour ( emergency clinic is an hour away) by the time we got him in it was obvious he was unlikely to wake up or if he did, there wouldn't be much left. He was euthanized, but his brain was already gone. Oddly, his littermate brother had died the previous year under similar circumstance. He was out working ( lightly, was was older) loaded in the truck for the short ride home and when his owner went to unload him he was dead. Just like that. Losing so suddenly is always such a shock.
  4. You might also consider saving yourself so expense and labor and using electronet for fencing. For only three acres, it might not be worth putting in permanent fence. Also consider you will be doing them a favor by cleaning up and monitoring their unused land. Many folks would pay to have someone clean up their land, you are offering it for free! As mentioned above, you will likely be improving it as well. Their win. My neighbors BEG me to move sheep in for free clean up. Often the forage is past it's prime, so I'm really doing them a favor, not the other way around. Don't underestimate the value of a well tended pasture. You could well be increasing their property value, reducing fire danger, offering care taking ( neighborhood watch) and improving aesthetics on your dime and time.
  5. I'm in California, and it is pretty common for folks to think my smooth dogs are McNabs. I also have a smooth white factor dog with prick ears who has on occasion been mistaken for a Caanan Dog. Rough coated dogs, as much as I like them, are simply not an option out here in the land of foxtails, awns and burrs. Even the LGDs need to be smooth. All the stockdogs on the ranches around here are smooth, though many of those dogs are crossbred. Crossing in Kelpie is pretty common. I get as many folk question the breed due to being tricolor as I do due to being smooth. Quick answer is "Border Collies are not ( or should not ) bred to look any certain way. They are bred as stock dogs" if folks care to chat more about that, it is a good starting point. If folks don't care to chat, well I've quickly summed things up and we go on our way.
  6. It has been ten years now since I was a vet tech, and the clinic I worked for did not stock this "vaccine" ( urban area) so what I recall may no longer be accurate. I cannot give any references as I'm working on memory here, but this is what I recall. The vaccine was developed at UC Davis utilizing Pacific Diamondback Rattlesnake venom. It's effectiveness on other species of rattlesnake may be questionable. It is not effective on other venomous species snake bites. It effectiveness on Pacific Diamondbacks is not proven. By this, I mean the testing done was not conclusive that is actually helped, but the testing was sufficient to prove it did no harm. I would guess the possibility of injection site reactions deemed within normal limits. If a person has a dog get bitten, and that dog recovers, they praise the vaccine ( if given) for that. Most folks don't realize that not all rattlesnake bites are the same and many times snake will bite with little venom, causing far less damage. Or the bite doesn't quite hit its target, or many other possibilities. Also, not all dogs are the same and some will be less affected by bites. The vaccine was placed in the category of "won't hurt, might help". I will not speculate on why any individual veterinarian may or may not recommend the vaccine, but the actual proof that the vaccine is helping is lacking. Rather, it was years ago when I last looked. Perhaps that has changed since then. It would be great if someone had more up to date information, or better proof of its effectiveness. Perhaps someone has. I haven't looked it up in a while. What I have seen did not impress me. I live in a area with a very high snake population. I do not give my dogs this vaccine.
  7. Ooky, If your company is looking for dogs, I might have one that would work. He is three years old, neutered, mostly Border Collie ( with some Kelpie, possibly a bit of Heeler) I'm in Napa County and would bring him in for evaluation if there is interest. PM or email if there is interest. Email ( take out spaces) neff @ dzm . com
  8. I have Indian Runners and have worked my dogs on them. I agree with all comments above. I would never put a pup on ducks. Ducks can be a messy pain to keep. Ducks also tend to try to hide when worked in an area that allows them to do so. They will take cover in bushes, crawl under decks, or smash themselves into corners. They require the dog to work in very close, which, depending on the dog, might not be a good thing. Sometimes they will decide to not move for the dog. This puts the dog in the position of either "losing" to the ducks, or getting more assertive ( which means biting) Dog bites to ducks may render the duck " single use". On the other hand. When I had to travel to work sheep, I found having ducks to work at home invaluable. Now the dog was more than started when I purchased the ducks, and the dog was a damn good dog so that helped . When I lost my small duck flock unexpectedly I initially thought it was for the best. I then went to a trial and realized duck work not only helped my dog, but it helped me keep well practiced in handling. (I was still working sheep at least weekly) Now I still have duck even though I have sheep. A great training aid is to pen ducks in a vari kennel. Quite an exercise. Ducks don't get dog broke. Female Indian runners can fly when stressed. I have had them reach altitudes of about 30 feet with a distance of about 100 yards. As mentioned the balance point on ducks is very small and rapidly changes. This can be good if your dog needs this kind of work. I had a young dog, just starting, who would get crazy when with the sheep. Crazy dog makes crazy sheep so dog can't settle down. Unintended circumstance put the crazy young dog in with the ducks. Since the ducks ( runners) can't move very fast ( compared to panicked sheep) the young dog slowed down and got its' brain together. After a couple of duck sessions, we were ready to begin real training on sheep. I wouldn't have thought of that, but it worked. So my take is don't get ducks for a young dog, until you have a pretty good handle on it. Depending on the dog, if you don't have sheep at home, ducks can help fill in the gaps. Ducks are never a subsitute for sheep ( or goat or cattle) work. Think of them as more as a supplement. You should like keeping ducks if you are going to have them. In other words, get ducks for YOU, and the dog, not the other way around.
  9. While that is disappointing, Heather, I can't object because Hypnotoad will not allow it. Sigh. I love Hypnotoad. Best. Avatar. Ever.
  10. I'm so bad at getting my entries in in time, but I have missed this trial too many times to leave it off this time. By golly, I will be there this year! See you there!
  11. I too, have an Arnold. Love it. Thought I lost it once and was in a panic! Luckily, it was only misplaced. It is stainless steel. I can't use the plastic ones. I have a Montana light, but don't really like it much. I prefer a whistle with some substance, but no flavor. I like stainless because of feel, sturdiness, and I know I can clean it well. I heard somewhere that one shouldn't put brass into your mouth, as there is concern for some bad chemical mojo. Don't recall exactly what the caution was, though. Not sure of the source for that information, either. One of these days I will buy a new whistle, but I will probably always favor my Arnold!
  12. The N. Cal litter on the OSDS website is all sold now. Lucky me, I got one!
  13. Here is a twenty minute radio interview that captures many points in this thread, including the source of many pit bull statistics. http://www.radio.pblnn.com/shows/interviews/320-paul-tullis-time-magazine-s-softer-side-of-pit-bulls
  14. Here is an article showing that many, many, folks WANT to spay and neuter, but cannot afford too. Something to think about when one is suggestion legislation. ( hope the link works) http://beyondbreed.com/the-cronuts-and-spayneuter-craze/
  15. Words fail. I have her blog bookmarked and though she hadn't updated in 18 months or so, I would still check periodically. I loved her writing. I was a vet tech for many years, and would have had a blast working with her. Anything she wrote was informative AND entertaining, and that is a very hard combination to achieve. The world is a poorer place without her. Damn. Totally sucks.
  16. If the breeder misrepresented the CEA status of the parent dogs, can't help but wonder what else she may have misrepresented about the background of her dogs.
  17. Hope this comes through.
  18. David was at the Scottish Games Trial in California in 2010. Nobody recognized him. I thought it was some guy with the same name. The thing that stood out was when he went into the arena. There is usually quite a crowd of spectators, and the novice folks especially get a bit nervous. Not so this Dave guy. Clearly very comfy in front of a crowd, even though his runs we're not so good. Oh, THAT Dave Roth....
  19. It is too bad this is what goes out to the world as " herding". the disclaimer about the sheep not being hurt isn't fooling anyone. The whole thing is unfortunate. I have seen this trainer at a trial. the dogs he brought (supposedly Border Collies) acted much like that Rottie. At a trial. Sigh..... Then if you tell them they don't really seem to know some of the basic foundations of stock dog work, you are labeled as a snob, or elitist. Poor sheep deserve better. It is not about dogs " burning energy" or whatever, it is about stockmanship. Sad.
  20. I never intended to keep this pup. I saved him from a date with a .22. What I'm actually asking, since I'm a poor writer and am not making myself clear, is has anyone had a very young pup, that showed no balance at all, as well as no eye, come out to be a decent worker? I was hoping to at least get a gather on him, I don't expect him to be a trial dog. I have started a few dogs, attended clinics with dogs having their first exposure, and worked with friends and their dogs and have never seen this poor of a result. I realize he is very young. I know there are slow starters, but often they show avoidance behavior, or a complete lack of interest. This is not the case here. also most slow starters had some breeding behind them, which I don't think this pup has. The rest of his training ( manners, housebreaking, basci obedience) is coming along great. He is a nice little dog. I'll probably try him once a month or so, as long as he is here. Just wondering if anybody had experiences to share.
  21. I have a pup I rescued last January that is now about six months old. He is from an accidental breeding from a nearby cattle ranch. These are not the best working dogs. There is a long history I won't go into now, but the breeding is "iffy" at best. At any rate, I officially put him on sheep today. I was not impressed. I have started a handful of dogs in the past, and had some success up into trailing in Open. Every pup has had the keys of a good working dog even at a young age. I could see potential that would come with maturity. This pup has me doubting he is going to be worth much, He has no balance. He wants to engage. He even did a couple of nice nose bites. Still unconfident, which is to be expected. But he had no notice of me, or desire to get the sheep to move. When we got them (I should say I got them) moving, he would race in (I expect that) then bark and hold. No desire to balance or find pressure. I was using broke sheep who would happily move off if he was close to asking for it, but he showed no eye, barked at their faces, had no presence and put them in a fighting mood, and was unresponsive to my help. I could neither push nor pull him into the right spot. It is of course hard to describe, no video as I was alone. I know some dogs start slow. I've never experienced one, but I hear it is so. This dog is very interested in the sheep, I would call him keen to work, but he has no balance, no sense of pressure, as well as no teamwork with the human. He is young, but I'm thinking with the combination of what I saw today, as well as poor breeding, he is not ever going to make even a " light " working dog. Does anyone have any experiences with a similar situation ? Was the dog ever able to preform even simple tasks? Is it worth trying to polish this? Anyone in Northern California want a nice agility dog? ( He could do that well) He is only six months. I know time will be his friend, I've just never seen this poor of a start. I've had this guy since he was six weeks and have grown fond of the little evil one. I really want to give him a chance. If he had no desire to work at all, I think I would be more hopeful, calling him a late bloomer. But he wants to work, or at least wants to bark in their faces. Not much else. I wish the perfect home would appear.
  22. This reminds me of a story.... A few years ago, I knew a person who had an AKC herding breed of dog. These dogs were still useful in some activities, but really were not breed with stock work in mind. there was a "fun day" being very generously held at their place. The sheep they had were very dog broke, and knew the routine. While the handlers and their dogs would hike the 400+ yards in order to send their dogs for a practice outrun, this person would hold these wise sheep with the " other" breed. It didn't work. while this dog was perfectly useful otherwise, bringing the sheep in at night, changing grazing fields, etc., when faced with sheep who REALLY didn't want to be held in the spot for another dog to pick them up and make them work, this poor dog had no hope of holding them. Had to get a Border Collie to do it. If all that was required of this "other" dog was to move or hold the packet of sheep, he looked great. However when the sheep had other ideas, he was very much out of his element. He had done well at some AKC trials, but when faced with a situation that called for guts and guile, he couldn't do it. Many folks think just because their dog can work at home, he is "just like" those fancy trial Border Collies. That is why the trial course ( real Open with tough sheep) is such a test. If a person hasn't experienced the difference, he is easily mistaken.
  23. Thanks everyone, for your insights. We are going back to the vet this week for x-rays and a more currant assessment. His front legs are still quite bent, but his proportions still seem ok. We just saw his brother yesterday and my guy is defiantly smaller, but not super tiny. He just turned eight weeks old and everything changes so much each day. I haven't had much luck trying to rehome the little guy, who I'm calling Oscar. Since it it likely he won't be a working dog or able to do agility and active things like that, not many folks seem interested. He has the working dog mind, though.
  24. Thanks, Pam. The back legs (pelvis?) were "off" before the pup left the dam. Right at six weeks. No other pup in the litter of seven seemed affected. I'm actually watching a littermate today, and he looks just fine. My pup is a bit smaller. Not short, just proportionally smaller. I'm also noticing my pup doesn't walk or trot very much. He is either sitting, or running pell-mell around and attacking things. Very energetic. I'm not sure if his falling down frequently is because he just tears around so much, trying to corner and go over obstacles so fast his legs can't keep up. I noticed the front leg bends more after I took him, although another person who saw him at six weeks said he looked like a bulldog. Did your friend with the Collie notice if other pups from the litter were affected? Which bones were growing unevenly? I've heard, but have no experience, that dwarf pups may have varying degrees of affected bone growth. I'm wondering if it can vary in a non-symmetrical way, with one leg more bent than the other. I'm calling the vet back today to give a status update. wonder if he has anymore ideas......
  25. Back when I was doing agility, I noticed many folks looking to what was termed "structure". There was a lot of stock put into how the dog/pup was put together so it could jump well, or move fast etc. It seemed to me that lots of the "structure" modeled on was that which is used to evaluate horses, such as straight legs, correct angles, and the like. So, in essence, it was conformation although it was quite different then what the breed ring was rewarding. I found it all quite amusing. My agility friends knew full well what I thought of the A.K.C. and conformation, and we didn't discuss it much, but somehow they were convinced that proper "structure" was very important to a successful agility dog. It was rare that temperament, unless it was really bad, was noted at all. There were the "drive" folks (note the quotes) who thought it was desirable to have a badly controlled spaz if you really wanted to be competitive. Most folks were'nt terribly interested in such dogs, although litters of such that were produced were quickly spoken for. I can't speak for what is going on out there now. It has been a few years....
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