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Root Beer

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Posts posted by Root Beer

  1. On 8/10/2021 at 5:05 PM, terrecar said:

    I am glad you’re happy with Embark. I recently broke down and ordered the Embark test for Hannah and received an email saying they received her swab yesterday. The MDR1 screening is included, as is screening for other genes related to health. It will be interesting to see the breed results and if there is any Border Collie included. To be safe, I kept her separated from my purebred Border Collie for a few hours prior to swabbing. Thank you for sharing Tessa’s results!

    You're welcome!!  I'm glad you sent one for Hannah!  It really is fun to find out the results.

  2. Our Border Collies have always loved the beach.  Dean was part fish and he loved to play in the surf, and would even swim out and ride the waves back if it wasn't too rough.

    Bandit is a little more leary of the waves, but he was on his own when we took him to the beach this summer, and he stepped up!  He played nicely in the surf, and he enjoyed himself.  In the bay, he enjoys retrieving a bumper.  He prefers more interactive play over a lot of swimming out to get the bumper, but he does enjoy it.

    Bandit Dewey.jpg

    Bandit in Bay.jpg

  3. 2 hours ago, gcv-border said:

    Good to know. Actually, I think it is not unusual for a rough coat to develop "hobbit feet" (or I sometimes call them "Sasquatch feet"). They get worse as they age, but I think many people keep the hair trimmed.

    It is so hard to know what goes into a mix. I fostered a cute little B&W dog about a year ago. The new owner just got back to be with the results of the genetic test : BC and Pom. I would NEVER have guessed that, but it was an awesome dog - so maybe a new sport mix trend?  <grin>

    I did have to trim them recently.  I think she was losing traction on her paws from all the fur.  I trimmed them, and it seemed to help.

    Yeah, getting her tested was an eye opening experience.

    I think of all those dogs I evaluated for GHF and said, "definitely a Border Collie", or "maybe a mix", or, "no".  How many times was I wrong?!!?  I even got Tessa wrong because when I evaluated her, I said, "full Border Collie", not knowing her personality yet!!  Oh well - all I could have done was make my best guess.

  4. 3 hours ago, Michael Parkey said:

    She looks great for 13, or really any age.  Which genetic testing company did you use?  We have 11 year old who "looks like" an English shepherd, but we've always wondered.

    Actually, that photo is from a couple of years ago, but she hasn't changed much!!

    I used Embark.  I was very happy with it. 

    Not only did they give us her breed breakdown, but I can see photos of dogs who are related to her that are also in the system!!  Lots of Border Collies!!!!

  5. Hey Everyone!!

    It has been a long time since I came by here!!  I know things are much quieter than they used to be (darn social media!), but I see some familiar names!!

    At one time, I was pretty sure that Tessa was not a Border Collie.  I was convinced that she was an English Shepherd.  She looks ES-y - she has the hobbit feet and all!  Her personality matches the breed description.

    But, I decided this past spring to DNA test her, and I was absolutely shocked to find out that she is 1/2 Border Collie!!!

    The other side was quite the hodge podge.  Mostly Golden Retriever, some Lab, and a few others!  Really not what I expected.

    I am glad she is 1/2 Border Collie, though.  She is "about 13" and is retired now.

    So, we have a Border Collie and a half here now!!


    Tessa Bandit Yard.jpg

  6. 24 minutes ago, terrecar said:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I love that you wrote about him as, essentially, a blessing in your life, and I am glad you got to have him with you a long time. There is not much activity on the boards these days, but those of us who have been around a few years will remember Dean. May you find comfort in your grief and hold close all the good memories.

    Thank you!  I appreciate that.

  7. I haven't been on here forever, but I wanted to stop in to share the sad news that Dean Dog passed this past March.

    He lived the longest of any dog we have ever had - he reached his 15th birthday in February.  It meant a lot to me that he turned 15.

    Life got tough for Dean at the end.  His hind end weakened considerably in his older years, and, after a bout of vestibular disease in December, he was never quite the same.

    But he was content throughout the winter, he was sweeter than ever, and the last months of his life were peaceful and happy. 

    In late March, he took a turn for the worse and it turned out that he had a tumor on his spleen that burst.

    We miss him.  He was such a strong dog, such a sweet dog, and just an extraordinary presence in our household and in our lives.

    But, he got to be old, and that was truly a gift.


  8. I would recommend isolating the rear-end-in movement with a pivot disk, and attach a specific cue to the distinct movement of moving the rear end into position.

    After it is solid on pivot disk, fade that (maybe using a different target as an intermediate step), and make sure the movement is solid on cue.

    Then, I would pair the "get into heel" cue with the "rear-end-in" cue until the dog anticipates the "rear-end-in" cue and then I would try to drop that part.

    I hope that makes sense.  I do have a video of how I use the pivot disk in this way (although just the first step), if you would like to take a gander at it.

    Anyway, that is what I would try.

  9. D'Elle, it is interesting to hear about your experience with your small dogs.  I actually find that Rocky, the Beagle Terrier, tends to learn faster than most of my Border Collies have.  It might just be his learning style.  Or, it might be his background as a free-running farm dog.  He had to learn fast when he was spending his days running free in farm fields because his survival depended on it!!  Or, maybe he's just naturally a fast learner.  In any case, I don't work with him much, but what little I have done really seems to "stick" quickly with him.  :)

    I sometimes think it would be fun to do Freestyle competitions with him because, yes, people LOVE the small dogs.  And, even though he's half Smooth Fox Terrier, people always think he's a Beagle, and I have learned from going around with him some that a lot of dog sport people absolutely adore Beagles.  I hear, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww ..... look at the BEAGLE!" all the time when I have him out.  He would seriously entertain!!!  :D

    However, he doesn't take kindly to the "down time" of dog sports, where hanging out quietly in a crate is expected.  So, I don't know that I ever will.  Yes, it could be trained, but .... husband's dog!!!  :D  But who knows what I will do?

    Yes, I have taken part in Freestyle competitions since 2006!!  Although I am also not competitive, I DO enjoy the social aspect of Freestyle competitions.  Freestyle people are friendly and supportive, and I enjoy being part of that.  I compete through WCFO.  My Freestyle focus is a lot more about creation of art and expression with my dog, but I do enjoy a competition every now and again.  :)

    I hope you jump in and try it.  :)


  10. 2 hours ago, D'Elle said:

    .... at the same time it is not necessary to speak in a stern and commanding tone of voice in order to be heard. You can speak nicely in a loud enough voice to be heard!

    As a loudmouth, I can attest to this.  I talk at the top of my lungs most of the time, and I often have fearful dogs in my classes, and I have yet to have a dog become frightened of me for that reason!

    You can be loud and super pleasant at the same time!!!  :D

  11. 17!!!!!  That is incredible!!!  :)  

    Isn't it interesting to work with the smaller dogs?  I sometimes work a bit with Rocky, my husband's Beagle Terrier, and it is so different.  He's very eager and fun to work with.  I end up using a target stick with him a lot because I don't feel like bending down to his level!!  Thankfully, he likes it!

    I know what you mean about a Border Collie, though.  I miss Speedy in Freestyle, too.  He and I were similar to you and Jester in that - most of our last performances were total improv!!  Bandit is awesome, but we haven't meshed as a team to quite the same degree, although I have hope that one day soon we will.

    I am glad to hear you are still enjoying the sport with your two small dogs.  :)

  12. So, dog sport folks ..... what have you all been up to these days, dog-sport-wise?  :)   I thought it might be fun to just share some what what we are doing.

    My oldest, Dean Dog, who is going on 13 in February, although retired, still enjoys a bit of Canine Parkour here and there.  He is pretty limited as to what he can do, but he throws his heart and soul into what he can do, even simple Interactions like walking between two trees or something!!  He still does just a smidgeon of Musical Freestyle from time to time, as well.

    Tessa, who I truly think I will always think of as my once-in-a-lifetime sport partner, still does a bit of Agility here and there.  We don't trial very often, but we are trying to finish up a few CPE Category Championships.  She still enjoys going to class every week.   Canine Parkour has really become "our thing" at this stage of her life (she's "about 10").  She earned her second ADP Grand Champion Title this past fall, and we are working our way through the Premier Divisions now.  She does just a little Musical Freestyle here and there, but that has never really been her favorite, so we don't do much - a demo video here and there, mostly.

    Bandit has fun no matter what he does!!  Agility is his favorite dog sport, but he is SO FAST that working with him is like learning the sport all over again!!  We go to class every week, and we trial every now and then, but not too much.  With Bandit in Agility, I am more invested in the experience that we have training together than I am in trialing.  I do consider Bandit my "Freestyle Dog" these days.  He is my main demo dog for the videos that I create for my titling venue and online classes, and he is working his way through the PFS program himself.  We also compete a bit in WCFO - he needs one more leg in Novice.  And someday I hope to get more into the DCD Challenge with him (although my focus there has been on finishing up my work with the two older dogs).  We also dabble a bit in Parkour.  He has his ADP Championship Title, but we haven't really gone on into the Grand Champion Track all that much.

    So, what about you?


  13. Donald and I went head to head on many training topics on these boards, and his ultimate response to that was surprising to me.  He reached out and invited me to meet up with him.  We met, and talked, and became friends.

    He was truly gracious and thoughtful.

    He will be missed.

  14. 2 hours ago, Riika said:


    It’s good to see you back! I’ve missed seeing your posts here, as well as on your blog. :)

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Tessa. 


    It's good to be back!!  I kind of got eaten by life and Facebook for a while!!!

    I have also updated my blog, and I mean to start keeping up with it again.  With lots of pictures, of course!!

    In case you don't have the link anymore and you want to stop by ....


    I did write up an update of all of my dogs as my "I'm back" post!!  :)

    Best to you with your puppy!!  I agree that often just letting the dog feel out the situation (while keeping everyone safe) can be the best way to go.

  15. On 11/6/2018 at 9:01 PM, Flystuff53 said:

    I've read in a few posts that it's not a great idea to play fetch consistently with BC'S

    My 7 month old loves playing, she has three balls we play with.

    Any comments are appreciated 

    I've been playing fetch with my oldest Border Collie, Dean Dog, since we adopted him at 10 months old.

    He is going to be 13 in February and we still go outside every day and we play fetch.  These days I have to watch that he doesn't try to jump up into the air, so I roll a plastic ring across the yard, and he chases it, grabs it, and brings it back.  At this point in his life, I don't do a whole lot of "throws", but we still play every day unless it is pouring rain or icy.

    It hasn't caused him any harm yet.

    - Kristine and Dean Dog

    Oh, the picture below is not my old boy, but my younger boy, Bandit.  He loves to run after the rolling rings, too, and bring them back.


  16. On 11/2/2018 at 1:41 PM, Riika said:

    Having strangers feed a dog treats is a widely recommended route of helping a dog through fear of strangers. I've read a few articles about how it isn't always the best route to take as it teaches the dog to pay more attention to strangers than to you(which is up for debate). However, I thought I'd also read someplace that it can create a CER, opposite of what we are looking for-teaches the dog that strangers are always going to interact with him and try to coax him to eat treats, etc. which for some dogs can make them worse. Can anyone point me to the article supporting this, or tell me your experience with having strangers feed your dog? Did it help? Did it hurt? 

    Hi Riika!!

    I don't have an article for you, but I do have experience with this.

    When we first adopted our girl, Tessa, she was a former stray and she was terrified of all people, even me at first.

    She was willing to take food from anyone, though, so we did take the approach of having everyone at the training building feed her.  Any time someone walked by her, they gave her a treat (these were instructors and classmates that I knew and trusted, not random people, BTW!!)

    In Tessa's case, it did not create a negative CER.  She learned that her training building friends are treat machines and she did grow to be very comfortable in their presence.

    The up-sides of this: 

    - Tessa learned that people can be trusted in dog-training/competition contexts.  People will feed her, but never try to "dive in" and touch her.

    - I never found that Tessa started paying attention to other people instead of me.  When she and I are working together, I have her attention.  Of course, I did do other training in this regard, and that training is quite effective, so that may be why she doesn't look to others for treats or anything when she and I are doing something together.

    The down-sides of this:

    - Tessa can be rather rude when we are at trials together because she will stare at people who are eating with a hopeful look on her face.  That said, she only stares - she does not try to go up to people who are eating or anything.  When this happens and people notice, I briefly explain her background and I have never come across anyone who did not agree that having Tessa staring at people who are eating is a much better alternative than her cowering in fear of them.

    Well, that's it.  There are no other down-sides!!!

    Now, I realize that results of this will vary from dog to dog.  I think the key with Tessa was that she showed a strong willingness right from the start to take treats from people, even though she was afraid of them.  At first they needed to toss them toward her, but she always made it clear that getting the treat was important enough to her to tolerate the proximity of the person.

    In a case where a dog is too frightened to take treats from someone, I would never recommend "having everyone feed" before there were a clear comfort level, similar to what Tessa showed from the start, in place.

    Anyway, I thought I would share my experience.

    Have a Day!

    - Kristine


  17. On 11/1/2018 at 11:59 AM, Lenie said:

    I guess I'm asking if I should trust the trainer who has far more experience than I do with dogs or if I should go with my gut. My gut says this class isn't good for Lottie because it's too much for her to handle right now--learning new commands while also being anxious about the new people, dogs, and environment. My gut also says that Lottie isn't an alpha personality and she's too sensitive to respond well to that style of training. 



    I haven't read any of the responses, just your original post, so my reply is directly to you.

    Experience or no, I would not trust a trainer who used this verbiage.

    I agree with your gut on this one.

    Granted, I just popped up out of nowhere and you don't know me from a can of paint, but that's neither here nor there.  I still agree with your gut.


    Oh, BTW, your Border Collie is gorgeous!!

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