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Everything posted by Belleview

  1. I was very disappointed with this vote, and oppose it. I don't believe that someone who has decided to become involved with supporting the AKC to the extent I'm assuming one would have to be to become a judge in any AKC venue should be given the privilege of judging our National Finals. ( Several people have contacted me about this, but I did not run for re-election, and am no longer part of the BOD.) Lori Cunningham
  2. Actually, there was a complaint made about a person's treatment of a puppy. However, the person was no longer there when I came over to deal with it. Sounds like the same incident. However, I did catch the 3 juvenile delinquents who were dropping cups of water in front of people in the muck to splash mud on them. Happily, I can report they were, um...vigorously scared straight.
  3. Saturday, October 27th, 9am-5pm . One day SHEDDING TIPS fun day fundraiser at my place in Milton, PA = central PA, near the intersection of I-80 and rt. 15. Limited to 8 dogs. Beginner shedders are welcome as long as you have decent control over your dog to avoid chasing sheep into my fences! Everyone can work once in the morning & once in the afternoon. We'll provide lunch. $75 per dog. ALL PROCEEDS will go to the 2013 National Sheepdog Finals in Belle Grove next year. Interested? Contact me at loricunningham@windstream.net or call at 570-768-5953. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  4. So very sorry to read this, Donald. What a wonderful journey you two had together. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  5. On March 31, 2012, Tom Forrester & I will be talking about working sheepdogs and doing demos at 10:30am and 12:30pm at Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown, VA. This is Belle Grove's opening day and admission is free. We hope do do a series of demos over the next two summers to peak interest in Belle Grove patrons and the local community about our plans to bring the 2013 finals back to Virginia. Hopefully, these efforts will help increase interest and encourage attendance when the finals return. If you're in the area, stop by, introduce yourself and say hello! Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  6. "Lori, I am not going to get into the "only trial dogs are worthy of breeding" debate. I've seen and worked with many a priceless farm dog that will never grace the trial field. If we take all those dogs out of the gene pool we will be in big trouble (lose some excellent genes and have a genetic bottleneck). I trial when I can get away from work, but for me it is a fun weekend and not how I determine "breed worthiness." It is how the dog performs over a long period of time in a wide variety of situations that ultimately leads me to either neuter or breed it." Liz P.- Right. That debate wasn't at issue. Nor was taking non trial dogs out of the genepool. I don't know you, or anything about you with regard to your experience to train, handle or assess the breeding quality of working dogs outside of what you portray in your frequent posts here. However, when you list your website in every signature block, you must expect people might read its content. If you choose to highlight very minor novice trial (and clinic?) accomplishments and refer to one of your breeders as a future "dog to beat on the trial field" and another as your "future nursery dog", one might assume those novice trial references had some meaning to you. Perhaps you chose to put those comments on your website for other reasons. I don't know. Regardless, good luck with your dogs, and as you invite on your website, I'll look forward to seeing your dogs "on the field." Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  7. Liz P wrote: "Very true. But I also have different standards for working quality vs breeding quality. I've had many dogs over the years who I considered great for work but not worth breeding." I'm curious about this statement. Maybe Liz P. would elaborate? Just looking at your website which is listed in your signature block. Have you trialed the dogs you talk about breeding beyond the accomplishments you list on your site? By what combination of factors did you assess their breed worthiness? Lori Cunningham
  8. "One says 'Good morning" to those destined for Hell." Poetry. Now I'm going to be thinking of this when I say good morning to several people. thanks, Donald.
  9. Hi New 2- Personally, I don't like this behavior and I don't allow it. I don't want to be tripping over a pup (mine or anyone else's) and frankly, I think it's just bad manners. Forgive the bluntness, but my dogs work sheep. They don't work people and they don't work other dogs. It may not be particularly annoying to you, but if you intend to travel or trial, it can be really annoying to other people and other dogs. I'm sure alot of pups do grow out of it, but alot of them don't. From the time I bring a pup home, any time it blocks me or grabs a pantleg or a shoelace while I'm walking, it gets a firm "no", followed by "get out of that" which is my general command for knock off whaever wrong thing you're doing. They'll also get some negative stomping in their direction. I want them to know I'm serious. I've never had a pup not get it within a few days. Then, it's over. There's a whole big wide world of puppy fun out there, they'll not be damaged if chewing on your pantleg is taken out of the toybox.
  10. Kim- I recall having an interesting conversation with Polly Matzinger a few years ago about how some of her research theories were being used, I believe specially with regard to oral cancers in dogs. I don't want to mis-speak on the details as it was awhile ago, but you might want to contact her. She's always generous about sharing information. good luck. Lori Cunnignham
  11. I couldn't stop myself from watching the "stutter step" dog video. Anybody run hurdles in track? I did, way back in high school. In short, ideally, you run as fast as you can while still maintainging the same number of strides between equally spaced hurdles so you maximize your efficiency as you approach & clear the hurdle. You can't run AS FAST as you really can because you would sacrifice the most efficient approach to the jump. It's a blend of speed and form, and you can work on perfecting the blend because the spacing between jumps is always predictable. Imagine now if the hurdles were irregularly spaced (as I imagine they are in agility due to different obstacle layouts or angles of approach?) and you had to run AS FAST AS YOU CAN. Bet you'd see two legged runners taking those same stutter steps approaching the jump to try to get to their fall-back most efficient jumping mode as they anticipate the jump. And, if the runner ( or dog) came to particularly dislike or fear taking a jump down, bet you'd see it more. What do I know? FWIW. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  12. Wow. You are making tons of assumptions based on a 6 mos old pup's first time on sheep. If "every" pup you've started to date showed their winning promise and potential for being good working dogs on their first exposure to sheep, you have had a really special group of pups, or you have some special dog fortune-telling ability that I surely lack. According to your standards, every pup I've owned and trained has been a doomed loser. Hope you find him a good home if you've decided he won't suit your needs. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  13. As Julie (and others) noted, really experienced people are going to appreciate raw talent even in novice hands. But maybe even more common, really experienced people are going to hear a novice, in excusing some fault, say something to the effect of "my dog would be so much better if he/she had another handler", and think to themselves, "probably not." Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  14. "The Lift: How do you get a good one?" Personally, I am not keen on dogs that are naturally very cautious to lift. (Although, I concede I am likely impatient, and "too long" for me, may not be "too long" for alot of judges.) In my very limited experience, I don't like some of the other traits that often seem to be part of the total package of a dog that is cautious to lift. Because I tend to favor forward dogs, I am left with stopping them at the top, and sometimes again on their way to the actual lift. It took me years to come to understand and accept how lifting too hard or too fast, regardless of the line, was negatively affecting the rest of my run. I don't necessarily look at it as "natural" vs. not, but rather that most dogs don't think so well when their feet are moving fast, or sometime, just moving. They simply read their sheep better when backed off and reminded of pace, and they may have to be reminded alot. I think this is most important at the lift. If the dogs don't do it on their own, the handler has to step it and do it for them. Likewise, I am convinced that the #1, most common mistake new handlers (or whatever the PC term of the day is for new handlers) make is not having a reliable stop on their dog, starting at the top. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  15. Hi Mark- Sorry to hear. FWIW, my Riff broke a toe when he was 2 yo- front foot, one of the middle toes. He was rested, but no cast. He was also treated with a fairly long course of antibiotics as the vet was concerned about an infection in the toe bone. It did heal with a big lump on it. He would come up lame on that foot for several months afterwards if he worked extra long or hard on very hard ground. Very rarely still does, but a day or two of NSAIDS takes care of it. He's 10.5 now & altho the foot is pretty ugly, it doesn't seem to bother him. Good luck. Lori
  16. Hi Donald- I began doing my own dog vaccines about 5 years ago. For 15 years, I'd been hauling all the dogs in for their annual shots on top of the other sometimes frequent, random vet visits that cropped up over the course of a year. I noticed that 1) the "annual physical" for which I was charged $38 per dog with a "multi-dog discount" was not much of a physical. If I didn't raise a specific issue or concern, the dog got the injections, a very cursory once over, I'd be told how well behaved the dogs were, and on to the next; and 2) the cost per vaccine represented a mark up that over the years increased above my comfort level. I buy the same vaccines by the same manufacturer that my vets use and have it shipped overnight with a cooler & ice packs. I buy the 25 dose packs & share with friends. The cost is less than $5 per dog. I peel off the labels from the vaccine vials & put them on a sheet of paper along with dog's name, my contact info and give copies for each dog to the vet to put in their records. Works for me. Lori Cunningham
  17. Hi Gloria- I wouldn't be holding sheep with a 15 mos while someone worked a puppy. That's sending alot of mixed messages, both in the actually holding chore and being in close proximity to someone else trying to manage a pup. Give your pup some time to grow up, and be willing to let her be a little bad when she's worried about something, don't be too quick to correct any youthful exhuberance. Just let her learn that you're going to let her do what she thinks she has to do right now to get the job done and I bet you'll see her confidence come up. good luck! Lori Cunningham
  18. Deb- What are the airport choices around the finals site? Thanks for the info. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  19. Next time you go to a trial, watch some runs with an eye (and ear!) to just understanding the whistle language. You'll get into the mode of "translating" it pretty quickly and get to hear alot of variations which might give you some ideas. I always get a kick doing this kind of translation when talking with spectators/non dog friends at trials. It's really cool when you think about it as another language. Do choose your whistles carefully. When you think you have a set you like, run them by an experienced open handler & ask them if they hear any possible problems with similar or confusing tones. Easier to fix that kind of stuff sooner rather than later. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  20. Having your own sheep also helps your dogs learn that it's not a big deal to be around sheep, and that they don't always have to be working them. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  21. Hi Nancy- Just curious- How good would the 50% have to be to prove themselves good working dogs in your situation? Would you have a baseline like making it to Open, or something like that, or something else? See you in VA! Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  22. Belleview

    My question

    Hi Julie- Well, then good luck in PN. Given that I've posted 82 times since 8/04, and you've posted 4,365 times since 1/05, if you're referring to me with your "retorts" comments and subsequent odd PM, your perception that "it always seems" is strangely unfounded. Best wishes, Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  23. Belleview

    My question

    kelpiegirl wrote: "I moved up, because my dog is capable of doing small open level sized courses for driving and cross driving, and sheds. " Wow. So you moved up to open? congrats. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
  24. Years ago, I was setting out at a trial which was using nearly unworkable sheep, as in for a variety of reasons, the sheep were repeatedly challenging the dogs, both on the course and at the set out. At one point, a non-saavy announcer apologized to the crowd for a delay, saying, "sorry folks, but the sheep are attacking the dogs at the top." We laugh about it now, but at the time it wasn't so funny. Long story short, two of us were at the top. I was (stupidly) using a young dog, who was short on brains, but was willing to repeately fight the sheep off the set out chutes. My set out partner, a friend, was using a bruiser of a dog...experienced, no nonsense & just plain brave. Our dogs weren't kennel mates, but spent time together enough to to be companionable We were taking turns at set out. On one of my go's, a giant old ewe squared up to my dog. Both his & my timing was just a bit off and her momentum of coming at & down on him seriously outweighed his coming up at her. I remember it as a spectular crash. He screamed and I wondered if she had broken his jaw. (She had hit him so hard that his teeth cut thru this cheek.) The ewe had knocked him off his feet and kept after him. As I was on my way to help, a big black & tan hairy flash rushed by me and absolutely bowled into the ewe, both knocking her off my dog and taking her down. The other set out dog had independently bolted in from the side lines to "help". It was pretty cool. We called him off...but not right away. Lori Cunningham Milton, PA
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