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Posts posted by Firchow

  1. That was funny Bill! what about a black mouth dont forget that. Lana

    That's an old wive's tale. The only sure indicator is if the dog has more black pads than pink pads. The greater the ratio of black to pink, the greater the dog's ability. I know this to be fact because my best dog has one more black pad than my second-best dog and three more than my biscuit eater.


    I think dew claws play a part, too, but I have not done the same in-depth scientific analysis I did with pad color.

  2. My little girl can clear a five foot fence w/ not a moment's hesitation, so I'd be worried about leaving a pup outside in anything lower and ideally a fence that is buried as well to prevent digging out.

    I'm sure our dogs could clear that fence, too, if they really wanted, but ours is 4' max. and we have no problem even with sheep and horses and rabbits and antelope and a multitude of other enticing creatures clearly visible the bulk of the day.

  3. In my opinion the dog house should be large enough for the dog to stand and lay comfortably. You'd have to guess at his full-grown size at this point but I'd think that if you thought in terms of 30"x36"x30" you'd be in the ballpark. You want it to be a snug place for the dog to den up so making it too large defeats some of the purpose.


    Having him outside is preferable to keeping him crated in a boring environment all day, IMO. He's a dog, not furniture, so I think you'd be taking the logical first step.

  4. I have lost COUNT of the numbers of ABCA breeders I have had contact with who not only breed their BC's for work, but for strictly companion dogs..

    I think it is important to remember that the ABCA is merely a registry - not a keeper of the breed. Sure, the ABCA has a stance on maintaining the border collies as a working breed and does not encourage breeding based on anything outside of proven working ability, but in the end the ABCA is a database.


    People like to use "ABCA Registered" as an automatic stamp of approval when, in reality, there is no stamp of approval beyond proven working ability. Most border collies bred and born today simply should not be. That includes breedings from backyard breeders, puppy mills, "working parents", and yes, even the much revered "Open Trial Winner."


    Unfortunately, the definition of "proven working ability" is and will continue to be bastardized by people who want to breed their dogs while maintaining that they aren't doing harm to the breed. There's nothing anybody can do about it beyond strengthening their personal definition of what exactly proves working ability. Does running well at USBCHA trials prove working ability? Not in my eyes. Does walking on the backs of sheep prove working ability? Not in my eyes. Does gathering 5 head off a 3 acre field every day prove working ability? Not in my eyes.


    None of those things disprove working ability, but in my less-than-humble opinion, people who breed these dogs need to actually get out and understand what work looks like before throwing Fluffy and Muffy together. Not just see, understand.


    I have a couple of pretty good dogs and have owned a few others. I also think I understand what real dog work looks like. I have yet to own a dog that meets my personal definition of breed worthy - including "open trial winners" and one that did well at the Nursery Finals and is now neutered.

  5. Originally posted by BorderC:

    Just because some dog are good at it (with training) doesn't mean that others arent interested.


    Has anyone seen a sheepdog that learned how to "work" stock for its handler all on it's own?

    Please forgive me - I shouldn't be posting to this thread......


    Brandon - in a nutshell, no, I haven't seen a "sheepdog that learned to work stock all on it's own," I have however seen more than a couple of eager 8-week-olds get out and instinctively walk up on or get behind stock. And, yes, they will even sometimes bring them. I'd rather they not do that, but crap happens. Seeing a pup do that will both piss me off and bring a tear to my eye.


    I have yet to see a puppy of any breeding see a frisbee 50 yards away in a pasture and go retrieve it without without training. Nor have I seen one go run through an irrigation pipe because its instinct told it to do so.


    I think it is something that needs to be felt to be understood. Not seen.



  6. I have not heard of any talk of a reward, but I'm sure they will appreciate the offer.


    I just received an email from Patti and there has been no sign of dogs or truck. I did post some additional truck information and a photo of the truck on the WSDA page.


    There have been more than 4000 unique visitors to the WSDA site today alone. That's a good thing in my opinion, but I'm not sure what my web host thinks.

  7. Originally posted by WyoBC:

    I think a lot of it comes from the "working" owners that think they're better then everyone else because they work stock.

    You know, I don't really think that's a fair assessment, WyoBC.


    I, for one, have sent you private messages inviting you to join the WSDA, pointing you toward our website, and inviting you to a couple of small trials within easy distance of Casper so you could see what a trial looks like and meet some local handlers and dogs. I recall that I did that because at some point you expressed interest in learning about stock work or at least attending some trials.

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