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Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Everything posted by Rebecca, Irena Farm

  1. Exp handler in NC looking for help getting back into sheep and stockdogs after long break. Currently in Northwest of state but willing to drive...moving end of year to Charlotte area. My dog is well bred, was well started, but we are both rusty as an old harrow left in the weather. Can and will trade flock grunt work (hooves, shearing help, worming, etc). Contact Becca Shouse: text is best, (276)Four F1ve One-4315
  2. In a phobia the sensitivity (where one sees a reaction to a trigger) has crossed the line into dysfunction (inability to function normally around the trigger). Dr. Dodman's protocols are largely behavioral (training) - so seems odd to me to hear he is ignorant of training. It was during discussions with him (for another reason) that I got my approach to dealing with thunderphobia - one which is 10% pharma based and 90% behavioral mod (training). The pharma is so subtle that I can usually use herbals (valerian, camomile, l-tryptophan, GABA, melatonin). The point isn't to sedate but to modi
  3. Because breeding is super important, and breeders are important to the breed (lol), it's easy to step on toes. Public internet forums are difficult places to say things that can be sensitive. It's easy to keep discussion pleasant on general topics, and not give offense. When one gets into names, and individual cases - it's very natural to feel defensive. After all, one never knows who is out there reading these things. A careless word is impossible to take back.
  4. Kristine/Root Beer, sent you a PM re: noise phobia. I think Sue hit the nail on the head here. It's a year later now - Working livestock is where the ideal of the Border Collie breed lies. It doesn't matter how many wonderful, amazing things individual dogs can do. Come to Rural Hill, NC - the sheepdog trial - in November and there will also be dockdogs there. You will see, I hope, my Sam jump 22 feet straight off a dock into a pool. Also jump eight feet out off the dock and five feet up to grab a small bumper off a pole suspended above the water. It's very cool. It is not what Bor
  5. Tea, you illustrate what I have believed fundamentally for a little while now. I live with my working dogs, with little "noise" other than what's needed to keep the peace and keep from tripping over them. For these, I expect them to react to the most subtle movements and quiet commands or, "ahem." (ah-ah is like a vocalized throat clearing or the buzzer noise on a game show - I use it for a sharper correction). My philosophy is that, even though when I do step in and retrain something, I take a positive approach, it is still aversive because I have to interrupt the daily routine.
  6. The service dog trainer trains many artificial behaviors. It takes years from birth to partnership. Very intense, tough training. For the majority of service dog teams, life and death is most certainly on the line. These dogs are very effectively trained in a wide variety of methods. There is little inherent motivater in the work, unlike hunt/herd/protection. Yet the dogs have still been meeting these high expectations for generations. Can we say then that, "X is okay for you, because you do this, but anyone doing that other thing with their dogs should never consider it"? I just
  7. Thank you muchly. I spaced out a bit there and when i reread it AFTER posting, it didn't seem lucid. Ish. I really wanted to respond to the assumption that positive training comprises no pressure, no consequences. I read a few pages and was shocked no one picked that up. But then I evidently saw a squirrel. First, most sport people and many working dog trainers know the importance of stressing puppies mildly, from a very early age. Once mobile, it is vital to place variable surfaces and objects in the whelping area. This practice is more analogous to satisfying neonatal requiremen
  8. Odd that this is not in the training section. The last (many) posts seem to be focused on whether corrections are truly effective. By definition, a "punishment" is intended to extinguidh behavior. The Skinner quadrant isn't inherently evil. It's a handy way to present to myself, where training challenges and opportunities come from. Dogs in particular who very much live in the moment, and immersed in their environment, respond to these pressures. By training I always mean, chances to open more fully the understanding between me and another species. For particular reasons,
  9. Sam's training as a full access service dog is the most intense training in which I've personally been involved. Eg, I have not personally had any contact with SAR or other public service canine training. Minimum standards here: http://www.iaadp.org/iaadp-minimum-training-standards-for-public-access.html I have found, indeed, from a practical standpoint that these are indeed minimum standards. Sam is already beyond this (um, except that darn sit/down/stay). But he has miles to go on the public access training *I* need. This does not count individual assistance task training. So
  10. Sam is done with his basic training for full access service dog work. He has been working stock on the farm since long before this eight months of SD training, and continued with his usual duties right through. If anything his keeness, focus, etc have improved. He's lost some technical ground that I can't troubleshoot here. It would be odd if a two year old without really solid foundation work, did NOT have some real issues by now doing what Sam does. Time for Sam to put on his Big Boy Sheep Pants though. Im curious to hear those with experience working with training their own SDs or some
  11. Honestly, I wonder whether it was factored in, Jovi. This is where peer reviewed studies come in handy. Laura, our steps are wood and the tape is stapled. Another alternative is concrete or floor paint, or reflective dots attached with cement adhesive. I have both the dots and the tape. The tape helps me more, but the dogs seem to target the dots as they trot up and down. Julie, I kmew that was smart but couldn't remember why. Now I remember where i first learned this, I think. Back when agility was just learning obstacles and essentially getting your dog from one to the other as
  12. Apparently those close to the blue or yellow spectrum bands appear muddy or dirty versions of those colors. So, a very yellow green (like safety green), is greyish green, according to the most recent best guesses. If it is a very dark color, like dark blue violet, the shade is most important. If you squint in low light, like dusk on a cloudy day, you'll get the idea of what they think is happening. My kids noticed yesterday, under those exact conditions, that the yellow and blue bands and blue cords were the ladt colors they could see when they squinted. Another interesting thing, when my
  13. I've pretty much known this for a while. To refresh my memory on the details, the first reputable looking source that popped up in Google was this one by Stanley Coren from 2009: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/200810/can-dogs-see-colors I doodled around a bit in more scholarly sources and they backed up the basics. There is a nice illustration in that article. I did some highly unscientific experiments with making food dough balls, and coloring them with cake frosting dyes, for my eighteen and thirteen year old dogs who used to be super at food catching. Bright blue, a
  14. I haven't been on in a bit. It's probably going to be the pattern for a while. I'm starting a real business venture all my own and it's been intense hard work! Anyway, it's a canine Bed and Breakfast sort of thing. In reviewing ways to make the "guest room" most comfy I was reminded that dogs ONLY see the colors blue and yellow. I had forgotten about that! I have three teenage dogs (and one twelve and a half), all starting to have vision problems. My eighteen year old dog has some rear end stability issues also. This is a big problem at night here - there is a porch, the terrain ma
  15. Oh, I forgot. My Border Collie females have mostly been all business. I did have one cuddler, but unfortunately, and ironically, she is a sheep killer. All of them were, well, bitchy in sine way. Every single Border Collie male I've had was people focused. Not always touchy feelie but always "in touch" mentally. Their quirks are usually simple and have two or three session fixes, like territorial grumpiness.
  16. Lynn is the first female I've ever had who didn't lift a leg and mark over every male pee spot on walks. This might change as she's gradually taking over some of privileges that were previously Maggie's. Currently at four months shy of 18 years old Maggie can and insists on marking higher than everyone else here. My female Chinese crested does a handstand to do her little tinkle as high as possible. Ie, both back legs in the air. You can train any of the dogs to do their business and keep up on a street walk. It is way outside my confort level to wait here and there, when in tow
  17. Mark, in my experience, fear biters adapt poorly and learn slowly. There are other signs of these characteristics besides the biting, which can be spotted long before the dog gets to that point. In training terms, one simply needs to take care to be aware of every source of pressure on the dog when a new concept is introduced. One pressure to assimilate at a time. The flooding point is reached very rapidly. Clearly, these dogs are going to wash out quickly as working dogs. I have workex with many and have been able to wirk out the social issues, but they are never suitable as workers i
  18. And then there's this place, where electronet, I've found, is pretty much impossible to set properly. Rocks. I had not thought of metal step in. I've seen them - gee, now I wonder why? Motivation to roam is low so this is a grand idea, thanks Ben!! Predator pressure is massive here. Wolvs are the only thing we lack. Dog, fox, coys, coydog, bear, big cat, but the dogs take care of it. There's only six sheep and maybe five acres they cover foraging. Presently none of it is fenced.
  19. Transition very slowly, but I'm sure you know that. Many small meals a day. Beware of the high sodium content of canned fishes. It's counter productive to building muscle. I use the Healthy Select soups and stews or whatever low sodium house brands are available to top kibble. Myself, I just crock potted meat so I control the protein and fat. Sweet potatoes are cheap here in NC. Squash, Zucchini, carrots, a medium potato. A dried eggshell chopped fine for calcium. The actual food isn't a science, to be honest. It's just a few weeks. The next part is frosting. If you are also
  20. I've got four dogs now over twelve. Our previous house had no air and the temps hit the 100s at least once a week from April to Sept to years running. We shaved their undersides. We trimmed up all the hair on their pads. We took that Mars coat king thing and really thinned their coats. Relentlessly. There was, of course, a blower on the floor just for them. Not a fan, one of those commercial blowers like for shops. Tongues do better with directed flow. Lu lives outside. I did all the grooming stuff for her, but she wouldn't come in for the fan. Here Lu does come in for about
  21. Precisely. Even more so, in the Border Collie, is a dog that HAS come so close to be "all things to all people," that disappointment is severe when the particular dog doesn't fit in the particular situation. One of the things that keeps the breed useful and healthy, yes in both body AND mind, is the variety. I am not in favor of culling out every dog that cannot live with other dogs, is reactive in some situations, is touchy about personal space (but can learn to be handled), lacks the Walmart greeter gene. I select dogs for myself now whose parents and ancestors and relatives a
  22. In the three years before quitting rescue entirely, I took probably ten dogs with radical temperament issues. So my most recent experience lies in this area. I believe in pathological issues (oh do I ever). But I now believe the dog population will turn out to have a far lower rate of actual genetic disorder than humans. What I've seen and heard makes me believe dogs are largely prone to pathology in the anxiety spectrum. This area is mostly environmentally shaped. In humans, for the most part,it is treated with cognitive and behavioral therapy with the help of pharmaceuticals.
  23. I agree that in general, "Don't try this at home" applies. With respect, I do believe Fly's success is not all that serendipitous. First, I don't get the impression that she is a shy, reactive dog who has trouble adapting to new situations. Second: obviously I know little about Fly,but I have the sense that she's just the kind of clever, gutsy dog who needs most of all to be needed. If that's true, she just needed a predictable leader who included her in the daily routine. A dog like this, her world is filtered through the brain of a guy who has about four and a half feet high
  24. I'm telling you guys, stop being so mean! We have a national treasure here. All other experienced breeders, on a first time cross especially, just think and study parents' working styles and weaknesses and health issues, then can only pray the pups will mature to be what they hoped for the breeding. Here is someone who knows which pups will do what in the whelping box, without any of that other bother! Friends, think of all the expense saved on gas, trial fees, "puppy sheep," handling clinic fees, campers and hotels!
  25. Oysters. Canned. Cut them up in little pieces, lay in a lightly greased plate and freeze. Then bag them up and put back in the freezer. Give one to three treats a day. These have a safe form of zinc that is hard to overdose. The pills provide massive amounts of zinc, which binds to copper (um, I think?) and can create other problems. Vitamin B-50 complex, crushed, mixed with sardines, salmon, or Jack mackerel. Make sure the nails are very short. Walk daily with a weighted pack to spread the pads (build up the weight gradually and no more than 10% body weight). Good luck!
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