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Carson Crazies

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Everything posted by Carson Crazies

  1. Nicky Noodle says he's the dog for you. I'll keep my ears open for you. Are you specifically in the market for a pup? ps - I've missed a lot - so so sorry to hear about Kipp.
  2. I use an aluminum A1. I also like the stainless steel Montana Lite. I find that the half moons blow out of my mouth, and the brass whistles taste bad to me. It's all a matter of finding what you like. You have to kiss a few frogs...
  3. One other thing (and I know you're putting the decision on hold but wanted to mention this) - a heads up about ages. I can't remember exactly how old Xena is, but usually somewhere around 8 to 12 months dogs often go through their teenager phase and tend to... regress for lack of a better term. Usually somewhere in there I'd like scream, and at that stage I couldn't imagine having another new dog to deal with.
  4. She's adorable. Oh, and she may already have a potty command... it just might not be what you think. When I adopted June I had a heck of a time the first few days convincing her to potty in the back yard - but I KNEW that she had a potty command. I tried a lot of them.. "go potty", "go pee", "do your business"... finally I called to find out what it was. It was "hurry up". I have one who quite prefers to poop on things (like Julie's ex-housemate's collard plants). He'll go out of his way to find the tallest available grasses.
  5. Though I've only met Hil in person once, I counted her as a friend. I'm still in such shock. Tranq, my heart is with you all. This world definitely feels sadder to me since I heard this news.
  6. I'm so sorry. Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of the day that I made the same decision for my old guy - and in similar circumstances. It's so hard, and my thoughts and prayers for comfort are with you.
  7. Most often my dogs will grind their faces in something nasty, and if we're not near a hose I just dump a bucket of water over their heads. Otherwise, they might get bathed with actual shampoo once, maybe twice per year. Pia is 21 months and she's been bathed exactly once. The only exception is Ginger (who is not a border collie). She smells different than the border collies, and gets bathed monthly or every other. She also gets shaved down about every other month. She goes to the groomer if I'm having issues with my clippers, but otherwise I've been doing her myself for about 3 years now.
  8. When I bought and moved into my new house, the ex-husband thought he was going to institute furniture laws(he wasn't even a husband at that time). No dogs on furniture or on the bed. I only had one dog at the time, and anyone who knows Ginger, well, you can imagine how well that worked. I personally didn't care, and it was my house, but I let him try. Hah. We did have a no dogs when humans are on the bed rule, and that usually worked until about 3am when Ginger and Bree would sneak up. Now they're welcome wherever they want to be, though when we're watching TV they all most often choose the dog beds on the floor.
  9. My dogs let me sit in my chair. That is all.
  10. I come from a culture of "you're irresponsible if you don't vax your dogs yearly". It was a very hard transition for me, but I've transitioned over to a 3 year vax schedule for the core vaccines. 3 years on Rabies too, as required by law here. My previous vet (and this is WHY she is my previous vet) was hard core 1 year. I started exploring, and for the first time I tried titers. Then I read some more and concluded I was comfortable with 3 years, and so I finally found a vet that supported and encouraged a 3 year schedule. I would love to get to a place where I only gave puppy vax and then stopped, but I'm not comfortable there. So for me it's a 3 year schedule (and truly, I think that 3 year thing is an arbitrary number). It's a tough call, but good on you for thinking about it!
  11. Diane, I'm so so sorry. It's never long enough with them. Hugs to you and Getty.
  12. Some interesting reading on how working breeds are lost: Click Here
  13. To address this one concept, no, I don't think it is worth it. In fact, I think it's detrimental to the breed as a whole. I think that once you take even a little bit of the focus away from the working package you start losing crucial elements of what makes the border collie what it is (and I mean the generic you, not you specifically Christina). Once you start considering anything beyond the working package you are both narrowing your gene pool and potentially decreasing the quality of what you're breeding, whether you realize it or not. This has the opportunity to affect the border collie breed as a whole, and that's where the rubber meets the road. One can quite easily lose working ability in very short order, as the working traits are very complex. Could it work for a while? In theory, yes. But what I'm hoping is that you'll consider the big picture, and that is the health of the breed as a whole. How did the conformation dogs get to where they are? Selecting for something other than working ability. It's a slippery slope with dire consequences for the dogs, and for those of us who love and need them. I don't know that I would say "ohhh, you should never breed your red bitch to another red dog" but what I would say would be, "breed your outstanding red bitch to an outstanding dog that is going to give you the desired combination of working traits that you're breeding for." So once you know what kind of dog you need, and what kind of dog you like, you will begin to know what traits you're looking for. I would encourage you to continue to do what you're doing - asking questions. Had you said to any of us, straight up, "Hey, I want to learn about working dogs", we would have said, "Pull up a chair and warm your feet by the fire." I am hoping that you can see the difference there.
  14. I've heard my youngest female bark maybe once or twice. She doesn't even bark when the others bark. She has her own set of noises she makes when I come home from work though, that could best be described as a shriek. She does groan and moan, and she grunts when I rub her. My oldest female BC has become the barkiest dog as her hearing has started to go. She was always barky, but now it's about to drive me to drink. She makes few other noises. My other female, a mutt, rarely barks but has a high pitched squeak, and groans. My males, on the other hand, bark, yodel, roo, warble, groan, moan, and make all kinds of noises. I'd say the boys win at my house for depth and type, but June wins for flat out quantity and volume.
  15. Just to clarify (because Ben makes some great points) my concern here would be a situation where the dog has had 5 years of "don't look at those goats"... and *then* you try to take her to work. They *do* learn the difference between running the fence / harrassing and working - but my concern would be what the dog who is NOT being trained - or about to be - will associate should you try to train it to work later down the road. Mostly this is just a caution to tread lightly and consider your big picture goals. I'm NOT saying "don't teach your dog not to run the fence". I'm simply saying that were I in this situation I'd be careful how I did it.
  16. My only thought is that if you *ever* want her to work *any* sort of livestock, I'm not sure this is the approach I would take. If you know that you never plan to ever have her work any kind of livestock ever ever never ever, then I'd say you're doing fine. Should you think there is any chance you might ever want her to work anything... goats, sheep, cattle, ducks... I would be very careful about how I handle this.
  17. My June dog is on Amitriptyline as needed for her thunder-phobia. I only give it full time during the storm months, and as needed (yes, it even has an effect on her at one dose, which is amazing!) other times (like when we had thunder-snow last week). She's on a very, very low dose, but it knocks enough of the edge off that she can now ride out a storm without shaking like a leaf or bolting indiscriminantly. She isn't zoned out on it, but she's gone from extreme to almost normal dog in a storm. We (we being June and I) tried prozac, ace, valium, thundershirts, valerian root, benadryl, counter-conditioning, Nutri-Calm, crating, DAP, desensitization, and the list goes on. None of them worked like this one does. I say all of that to say that sometimes it takes some tries to find the right thing (and I never could convince them to give her Xanax). In interest of full disclosure, though, I often use the meds in conjunction with the thundershirt, and we DID do a lot of counter-conditioning. Still do from time to time. Quite frankly, if I had known this drug was going to be such a game changer for June I would have given it to her even when I was thinking to trial her. Even with the drugs knocking the edge off I don't think it would have made her a world beater, but it sure as heck would have made her life a whole lot better. In fact, it breaks my heart to think that she has lived most of her life without it when it could have made a real difference for her. I don't think the meds are going to make a spectactular sheepdog out of a sucky sheepdog. In the case of a nice dog might it make a spectacular dog? Probably not. A little better than it is? Maybe. Worse than it is? Maybe. Most of that will just have to come out in the wash. I've taken some before (back in another life) - and they didn't make me any more amazing or any less sucky than I already was . They mostly just knocked off the top and the bottom, and helped me to drift around somewhere closer to the middle [of the emotional spectrum]. If anything I would expect the dog to be slightly less sharp, but if it's enough to seriously interfere it might be worth investigating the dosage, or trying something different. In fact, we adjusted June's dose only just to the point that it began to be effective, but not enough so that it zoned her out. I did work June this past summer while she was on the meds - and she seemed to me to be normal June. But that's not much of a test, eh? But Junie is almost 13, and is retired. So hard to say really. Either way, I would weigh the benefits vs. risk and do what's best for the dog. But like Mark and Julie said, one of my biggest concerns, aside from the wellness of the dog, would be how it might impact breeding decisions.
  18. I was fascinated with the choices the sheep made coming down through the rocks. VERY cool. Thanks for sharing - I'd not seen this before.
  19. I have four border collies and one mutt. Only one dog is crated while I'm at work - she's 19 months old and still a bit too inventive for my preferences. Two dogs get the run of the kitchen, living room, and hallway. Two are behind a closed door and get the run of the master bedroom and bathroom. I usually don't give loose privs until they're about 3 or 4. As a side note... I don't find working bred border collies to be particularly "crazy" or any crazier than "normal dogs". In fact, the least settled dog that *I* know personally is a GSD (bless her heart). That's not to say that some border collies are crazy, but most of the BCs I know are working bred, and quite lovely to have around.
  20. And that is why they don't ask me to run things.
  21. I think you should get extra credit if you take out the judge. In fact, I've never understood why you don't get extra points for knocking down bars, but whatever.
  22. Or why not have her run her dog (whatever equivalent of) non-compete? So that she at least gets her runs in? Or do they do that? I have no idea. I am having trouble wrapping my head around the whole "unfair" idea.
  23. Words are just words until a dog or a human associates a meaning with the words. Does that make sense? So what you need to do is find a way to help her associate meaning with the word. As for pleasing their masters... that's a biddability thing. It varies. My border collies vary in this regard. But really? My least biddable border collie is 10x more biddable than my one non-border collie. That particular dog is 12x more biddable than my ex-husband's border collie mix. I did find that my least biddable BC has become more biddable as he's aged. My most biddable BC has become less biddable in certain circumstances as he's aged. It really, really depends on the dog, and depends on the genetics, and depends on environment. Like everything... it depends. Now. As for the squirt gun. What do YOU think? For some dogs the squirt gun will act as a correction. Then you need to give her something else to do. Right away. Stuff a toy in her mouth. Stuff a treat in her mouth. Something else. For some dogs the squirt gun will simply act as in iterruption. You need to then give her something else to do. For some dogs the squirt gun will be fun. Uh... yeah. So then you need a new plan. You might also consider using a can of pennies or something that makes noise. You might throw this on the ground to interrupt and then get her attention. Something standing out to me in what you've said so far is that you can interrupt her and she'll stop. Briefly. In that brief moment you need to find something else for her to do. Something you DO want her to do. ETA: I also wanted to tell you that the un-biddable dog and I were able to do some agility together. She turned out to be a pretty nice dog. She had some quirks, but she and I managed together. The biggest thing was that I had to find out what motivated her, and I also had to recognize that there were certain circumstances in which she was going to act in a certain way, and plan accordingly. I say this to say that you can take the dog's desire to work for itself and mold that into something that works for YOU. So don't give up!
  24. One thing that keeps coming back to me - I had a dog that was a bc mix. While border collies in general tend to vary, I've found that with mixes sometimes you get interesting combinations that will provide you with unlimited opportunities to expand your training repertoire. Xena may well be one of these dogs. We suspected that my ex-husband's little dog had some beagle along with the border collie in the woodpile. She had all of the border collie energy without much of the biddability. It made for a very interesting combination. I was really surprised that we survived her. I can't believe I'm about to say this (as an overanalyzer myself), but Gary... bless your heart... sometimes it's a good thing to think a little less and 'be' a little more. Be in the moment. Use your intuition. Worry less about the what to do and more about the relationship. So what if she bites on your hands? Wear a pair of gloves. Chose a Xena shirt and a Xena pant and go figure it out in the moment. If what you're doing isn't working, come up with something different. She's not going to grow into an adult dog that bites you all over, because you're not going to let that happen.
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