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Rebecca, Irena Farm

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Everything posted by Rebecca, Irena Farm

  1. I can't for seem ti do quotes on the IPhone I use when I am out using Sam to keep the sheep cleaning out brush, while browsing forums. On having international champions, etc. Let's talk about a dog I have here. His sire win the Bluegrass many times, and the USBCHA sheepdog finals once? Maybe a couple, can't remember. Then my dog's grandsire also win that same title, plus many others. Both of those dogs had many champions and relatives of champions in their pedigrees as well. My dog's grandmother was an International supreme winner. She also won the USBCHA sheepdog finals three years, plus many, many other top honors. His sire's littermates were also multiple top winners, and producers of some top dogs themselves. His dam was full sibling to another USBCHA finals winner, plus sibling to so many other dogs that did so well, that the cimbination was called the "Golden Cross" for many years. These dogs also all worked hard on big farms. The grandmother who was a Supreme champion, did that after an accident while working that crippled her for months. Back to my dog. Wouldn't you bet my dog has awesome "herding instincts"? He sure does! Problem is, they are all put together wrong. It happens sometimes. You can't tell until you really start asking the tricky stuff from them (work a group of lambs in the woods, push a single ram off ewes, run ewes off grain they've gotten into). All the titles in the world don't matter when your dog can't do what you need, and you are standing there with sheep and no way to move them.
  2. You are correct. NIH says no tick disease or other diseases of that type currently in New Zealand. Something about the climate and geography, apparently. Birds are the primary zoonotic disease vector but it is extremely rare. Cattle have ticks but the disease carried by those tickets if practically nil. When is the next plane for NZ? Anyway, the fever doesn't sound vestibular. Seizures are kind of out of the ordinary too. Has his thyroid been checked? I had a dog who had a HYPERthyroid spike before his thyroid crashed. He had a slightly higher calcium blood level too, which was scary because that looked like bone cancer. Talk about Longest. Weekend. Ever. Inner ear infection is an excellent idea but white blood cell count would be up for that you would think? Not a virus tbough. Abx is no good for that. I hope you find something. That can be frustrating!
  3. Oops. Drat this phone. I didn't realize I hit send and then edit. The above post is revised but the above statement quoted is still reflective of my sentiment. I just edited it for space/redundancy. Funny how one ends up chopping out the most passionate bits in the editing process.
  4. I would prefer pups from a dog which protected herself after being manhandled,through her key socializing period, but still learned to adapt smoothly to wildly different environments. The other option would be a dog who went into a state of learned helplessness, and later freaked out when exposed to a walk down a busy urban street for the first time. Border Collies that are properly bred usually are very forgiving. Females can get protective of their bodies though. Worst bites I've taken have been from female Border Collies recovering from mishandling. By take a bite I mean, I will not knock the crap out of a frightened dog to prevent it. Unfortunately, I'm well trained to take a lot of pain so I can take a glancing blow and put her head on the ground crocodile hunter style. Then we can discuss it calmly. It's neither blameable nor a temperament flaw in my experience. It's a perfectly natural and healthy response. Dogs with messed up anxiety levels don't do that. They just shut down. A point Mr. McCaig made that I would like to repeat, is that he has been working on his relationship with Fly a very long time. He described very small increments of progress, or implicated them, anyway. And there were many regressions and basics re-introduced, patiently. I assume patiently. I don't count a few choice words! I am still amazed, over a year or so, at how a dog can turn completely opposite from its mishandled self. The last couple of years I've felt so strongly about this, that i've started looking at "bad" traits in dogs in yin and yang sort of terms. I don't want to extinguish anything, just bring out the useful part. Like saying how nice it is that you like going in your crate. Here's how you can tell crate time from not crate time. Pretty awesome. And waiting until the time is right to work on it. Looking forward to seeing you soon at the post, sir. Got a moose of a dog who pretty much knows the front from the back end of a sheep. We'll see!
  5. Now we are leaping to conclusions here. I'm still clinging to my vision of a Kennel that is reshaping these old lines to meet the needs of today's stocker lamb and calf operations. Shearer, Ettrick, Alta, now Stomper?
  6. There are some awfully interesting genetics in there. I am very, very interested in knowing what type of work they do for you or your clients. I see for instance a lot of progeny from a sire with fairly classic trial breeding crossed on a really strong maternal line - but with what looks like maybe some random color or farm hitches on the last line, maybe. It would be fascinating to know whether you have refined this outcross line in the next couple of generations. There is a potential treasure there if the physical and temperamental health is sound. Do you raise cattle, sheep, goats? I've noticed people who have the flexibility to experiment with their lines (or start from scratch), generally run largely stocker based operations.
  7. I talk constantly to my dogs. My cues don't sound hugely different but my body language and actions, I think, must be pretty clear. It's pretty dramatic when eight sleeping dogs explode into action. Outside is usually the same, though the geography means it's easy to go out of earshot here. I do say their names a lot, which may elicit a glance. But pitch/tone does make a huge difference. And yes, I talk perfect sense to them. Even my "commands" are conversational. 95% of my social time is spent only with them to talk to. Either I have to pretend they are people or I will start thinking I'm a dog.
  8. There's no rickettsial disease or anything similar at all in New Zealand? Lyme is not the only one. In fact, the suddenness of the onset, the persistence of the ataxia, and the nausea and seizures sound more like several other organisms. Not all tick borne.
  9. Meh. My dogs can ask for food. It amuses me. It empowers them. They do all have certain polite ways I expect them to ask something, so its not nuts. And if I say enough, you are all outta here, I am She Who Must Be Obeyed. That's really the only house rule. I wouldn't advise most people go by this though. I treat train. I've learned the principles of most other non aversive methods and worked with them. Treats let me focus on the dogs and my timing. It's just a me thing. Your mileage may vary. Ted doesn't train with treats though. But he's quick to respond to simple praise, and loves the clicker. For him its hugely rewarding just knowing precisely what was right. Shh. Don't tell anyone. I used a clicker on him on sheep. He didn't want to hold pressure on the away side so we shaped it one afternoon. Okay, that's just between you and me. Sam is a lure and treat guy. He just wants to know where to be, so he can figure out what you want from him. Don't lure him "dry". If you want him to learn to put sheep in the pen, show him where to be the first time with real sheep at the real pen.
  10. One thought. If you learn to ride a bull, a saddlebags or bareback bronc, or even sports like team roping and cutting, these don't necessarily translate well to ranch work. Most open handlers and open dogs are handy to have around. Sunday teams are a treasure. The way these dogs develop their full potential had become inextricably linked to the trials. Some of the old documents seem to indicate this was deliberate. It would be interesting to document whether this is true, once for all. It so, then indeed the trials WOULD be the defining standard of the breed called "Border Collie." Sport or not.
  11. Sport is recreation or play. Sheepdog trials, long before they solidified into a formal test of Sheepdog breeding stock, really were just "busmen's holidays." I think today we have a recreational environment with a test of breeding stock embedded within it. Some people are there for fun, some are there to see what monkeys fall out of the training and genetic potential of the dogs. The fabulous thing is that the trial is set up such that the serious trainer and rancher can enjoy herself too, and a spectator can learn a great deal about the real working ability of the dog whose handler is just there "for fun." I am speaking strictly of open level training, of course.
  12. I would expand that to say, "Companion animal breeders are especially weird." I was on a natural cat raising forum briefly. It took maybe three visits to make me stabby.
  13. One of my mantras now is, if your dog is having an anxious moment, or hour, drop down to your dog's level. Assuming you physically cN, of course. From there you are more of a comforting peer, the strong, unconcerned role model. It's also easier to sense subtle gradations in your dog's stress levels. The latter is super important. When I massage for stress relief, I work first on the jaw muscles. If the dog is drooling or just doing a lot of nose licking, I gently praise for any swallowing. Likewise, if I am sitting beside a dog I can feel and hear other calming signals, or reduction in stress symptoms, without having to stare. I can also casually offer or play with interesting treats or toys during long desensitization sessions without begging for the dog's attention.
  14. That is so terrific. It's amazing how animals can adapt given the chance. Good job on your vet/engineering skills.
  15. There's wishful thinking. That's ibased on an unrealistic view that results can occur without personal actions, or actions that are irrelevant to the actual outcome desired. We were talking about "hope" earlier and I wanted to point out, this is the kind of "hope" that was in mind. Then there's real hope. That's the expectation that my actions will have results. It's linked to faith, which looks for truth - hope acts on that. I see bald eagles all the time now in Chesapeake because enough people turned their belief system to understand that raptors are important enough to change their behavior. The reality for me is that I'm both genetically predisposed, and permanently damaged. I can say, "Well, here is my little world, here is what I'm capable of. Lower my jump heights. Play NADAC cause it's easier. CPE anyone? Tunnelers?" Or I can adapt, find out really creative ways to expand my world, find OTHER things that bring out my strengths, box this thing into something I can laugh at instead of letting it shape what I do. Dogs don't have that choice. We give them jobs, then shape every interaction with that job at our pleasure. If they are lucky, we let them "end on a good note" that day. Yeah. Okay.
  16. I used to love Bil Jac because contrary to popular belief, some hard keeping dogs do wonderfully on corn. It was so simple. Chicken, chicken parts, ground up whole corn, prebiotic (beet pulp i thintk), chicken fat, preservatives, and micronutrient premix. Food in, almost nothing out. But they fiddled with Yhe formula and now it's got other gains and other stuff in it, making it not even a very good premium food, but with the same superpremium price. Checked my 4Health bag again. Weird. It's made by a local mill, and it's 39 pounds. Active formula. The kcals are better than puppy, but less protein, higher fat, and more fiber, which I liked. Plus less expensive than puppy.
  17. Goodness. I'm with Julie. I have a condition with no cure. Sucks for me huh? Move on folks, nothing to see here, that's how the world crumbles.
  18. Been out of it SO long. Is Kathryn Hogg's email list still the central source for all things flyball? I see someone else is doing a forum and RSS feed (that would be SO much better). What's the best way to get connected again?
  19. My own Sam is out of some good old Georgia breeding so I can speak highly of the lines there. Sports? Yeah. We've only tried lure coursing formally but let me put it this way, when Sam comes out, the operator is told to hammer the button and keep a foot over the cord (for when Sam catches the lure). We are also working on disc and dock diving. Sam is my service dog, and also works here on my little sheep farm. Some of the old working stock preserved down there is just a treasure. The lines go back to the first dogs imported from the UK, back before there was even a UK registry! Be really careful because in your area you have a wide choice of breeders. From puppy mills, to pet dog breeders, to farm breeders who honestly have no idea what they are doing, to breeders still seeking to produce a balanced and useful working dog, to MANY very high dollar sport focused breeders, and a smattering of pure show breeders.
  20. Funny. Looks like an old fashioned Beardie. Cute. Terrier of poodle cross, maybe? Or do they know? It's really hard to surf back and forth on this phone.
  21. Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful thread. [skip a couple lines] A member got mobile access and asked a question that day [yeah, I know, just sing really fast] Thirty pages later Thirty pages later! I am amazed at the patience and willingness to keep on with this discussion, of the experts here on the Board in the fields of genetics, research, biology, and science in general. Thank you!
  22. This is kind of a long process, bit not hopeless. Anti anxiety meds from the vet would be awesOme. NOT sedatives. For the beginning of the therapy, I do use an herbal combination that is calming, bedtime meds like hops and l-tryptophan. Most anxious dogs actually don't get sleepy on these, just mellow. Instead of explosive reactions to stimuli, the dog has much lower adrenaline "highs". They stay responsive to other things in their surroundings. That's what YOU need. You don't have to work on every trigger. Just pick one that is convenient. Preferably somewhat predictable, like thunderstorms. First exposure. Anti-anxiety meds, the max the vet will allow (I use valerian at double the human dose). Plus a good quality "sleepy time" med. Prepare some of the most awesome treats and distractions you can think of. Roasted chicken. Stinky cheese. Liverwurst. Favorite toys. Sit or lay on the floor with him. Make sure no other pets are butting in on this time. It's likely you will use none of it. It's fine. I do yoga on the floor with the dog. The only thing I won't let that dog do is find a happy place away from me. They say ignore the dog, don't comfort him. Poppycock. Now we sell tons of thundershirts, calming pheromones, and pharmaceuticals. No hugging and baby talk, I'll agree with that. But firm massage and encouraging him to curl up with you will not make it worse. Honest. I've done it with two livestock guardian dogs and both of them still prefer to be with their sheep, now that they are over the worst of their trauma. Dint force anything. Each episode, repeat the same meds, picnic on the floor, offer those treats and diversions. At some point, you'll get a response. Then more. When the responses are smooth and reliable, drop the sleepy meds. When he actually starts getting excited to see the "noise phobia" gear come out, you can start reducing the anti anxiety meds, carefully. But you will want to stay on the meds at least a year until the brain gets in the hsbit of thinking in Yhe new pathways. Take with a grain of Salk. I've only developed this method on my own, so I'm sure I'm just all wrong by pet dog training sysndards. I just know I've seen many dogs go from worse symptoms than you description.
  23. This is kind of a long process, bit not hopeless. Anti anxiety meds from the vet would be awesOme. NOT sedatives. For the beginning of the therapy, I do use an herbal combination that is calming, bedtime meds like hops and l-tryptophan. Most anxious dogs actually don't get sleepy on these, just mellow. Instead of explosive reactions to stimuli, the dog has much lower adrenaline "highs". They stay responsive to other things in their surroundings. That's what YOU need. You don't have to work on every trigger. Just pick one that is convenient. Preferably somewhat predictable, like thunderstorms. First exposure. Anti-anxiety meds, the max the vet will allow (I use valerian at double the human dose). Plus a good quality "sleepy time" med. Prepare some of the most awesome treats and distractions you can think of. Roasted chicken. Stinky cheese. Liverwurst. Favorite toys. Sit or lay on the floor with him. Make sure no other pets are butting in on this time. It's likely you will use none of it. It's fine. I do yoga on the floor with the dog. The only thing I won't let that dog do is find a happy place away from me. They say ignore the dog, don't comfort him. Poppycock. Now we sell tons of thundershirts, calming pheromones, and pharmaceuticals. No hugging and baby talk, I'll agree with that. But firm massage and encouraging him to curl up with you will not make it worse. Honest. I've done it with two livestock guardian dogs and both of them still prefer to be with their sheep, now that they are over the worst of their trauma. Dint force anything. Each episode, repeat the same meds, picnic on the floor, offer those treats and diversions. At some point, you'll get a response. Then more. When the responses are smooth and reliable, drop the sleepy meds. When he actually starts getting excited to see the "noise phobia" gear come out, you can start reducing the anti anxiety meds, carefully. But you will want to stay on the meds at least a year until the brain gets in the hsbit of thinking in Yhe new pathways. Take with a grain of Salk. I've only developed this method on my own, so I'm sure I'm just all wrong by pet dog training sysndards. I just know I've seen many dogs go from worse symptoms than you description.
  24. Plus, there are also people who are looking to rehome young adult working dogs. Some agility people who train with working people might give you hints there, if you keep your eyes and ears open. And of course, there are some rescues with connections to people who are experienced in sports, who can properly evaluate candidates for various pursuits. For instance, there's a husband and wife rescue family near me who have been competing in disc dog and flyball for years.
  25. Tractor Supply has a new line of food that is decent called 4Health. It's like $25 for forty pounds which puts it in the Diamond Naturals range these days. The nice thing though is the kcal per kilo is quite dense, good enough to feed my older LGD even without budget pain. in other words the PRICE PER KCAL is one of the better values out there. This is something to examine carefully when all else is equal and you've found multiple diets that suit a dog with nutritional challenges.
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