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  1. Just playing devil's advocate but... Don't you think your vet might just have been trying to be helpful, knowing you were interested in raw and already having a client who seemingly knows a great deal about it? If it wasn't convenient for you to take the call, or you found that woman's style a bit abrasive, you could have cut the call a bit short, politely saying either "it is not convenient for me to take this call right now, let's talk later" or something like "thanks so much for the help but I think I've got this covered now." Either might provide an alternative to "I can't believe he gave my number out" and "I can't believe they both think I'm not smart enough to figure this out on my own." Just a thought.
  2. I haven't read all the replies, since the discussion is still going on I'll pass along the most reasonable answer I've ever heard. To sheep, predominantly white bc's (and white in the face) look too much like sheep, and not enough like wolves--so they are believed to be less effective. The black faces/blaze and even split faces go a little further toward stirring the "oh, oh, a predator" alarm in sheep. That's why sheep guardians, like Great Pyrenees and Kuvasz, are predominantly white. It makes the sheep think "it looks enough like another sheep so I'm not that concerned." Now, how that all ties in with black-faced sheep I'm not sure--but this argument always sounded the most reasonable to me. it means that a white faced dog can be just as good a sheepdog as any other, but he might have to work a little harder.
  3. Okay, I'll take it one step further. Me: 50-ish married male writer, two bc's, loves the country life, lives the suburban life. (1) About how long a drive from Atlanta? (I can actually drive up from my cabin near Franklin, NC) (2) What chores need to get done? (3) I'm guessing I can bring my dogs. True?
  4. It's wonderful and flattering to think about our dogs protecting us when we're in trouble but, the truth is--as much as we'd like to believe otherwise, most dogs don't really have great instincts about who is a friend or who is a foe. So, while you'd like to think your dog will attack the bad guy who lays hands on you, the fact is, that dog is just as likely to go after the old friend who meets you at the park and hugs you. I've got two bc's now--one that would drop a tennis ball for the attacker to throw, and one that I have no doubt would take a chunk out of an attacker's leg. Sadly, she also tried to take a chunk out of the UPS man's leg and the old guy who was delivering phone books. He looked particularly suspicious to her. Statistically, the good people we come into contact with outnumber the bad guys by about 5,000 to 1. So today I'm more than happy to have the golden retriever-type bc. My little protector is the one that I've got to watch like a hawk or its lawsuit city. Be happy with your friendly dogs. Also, count the number of fear-biters on the border collie boards. That's a particularly unattractive trait in any dog, and seems to run rampant in border collies.
  5. Even more important than recalls recalls recalls is socialize socialize socialize. Check out the number of posts about "reactive dogs." BC's are prone to edginess anyway so make sure you get your pup in front of as many different people and dogs as you possibly can. And everybody on this board will emphasize mental exercise. That's important--but in my experience absolutely nothing can replace a good 30 minutes of off-leash sprinting twice a day. A good BC is a tired BC.
  6. Years ago, I wrote and produced a public service announcement for the Atlanta Humane Society that had people turning their children in because... I never thought he'd get so big. We're moving. I caught him digging up the garden, again... This sort of reminded me of that, in kind of a reverse way.
  7. This comes up a lot. I was always a firm believer in the sharp knee-in-the-chest correction as you say "off." Believe me, that works just fine. But with my most recent pup I learned that by far the quickest and best way to solve this problem is simply to turn away from her every time she jumps up and give her the command to sit. This way, she does not get what she wanted--your hand. She gets nothing. But as soon as she sits, praise her and pet her. That way, per Diane's post, you've made not jumping is more rewarding than jumping. My dog was a world-class jumper-upper. But now she will race at 60 miles per hour to greet me, and at the last possible second----stop and sit. It really works.
  8. This issue comes up time and time again. Some people will tell you that, unless you can do it a lot, never ever put your bc on sheep. It will change your dog--and maybe not for the better. I've seen posts from other people who say it settled their dogs down and gave them a better sense of purpose. I would be interested in hearing both sides of this myself. I have avoided introducing my dogs to sheep because I know I wouldn't have the time to do it even once a week. I can do frisbee daily, which makes it a better solution for my lifestyle--and a better outlet for my dogs-- than herding or agility (same problem, unless you own or have regular access to the equipment). I'm guessing, like just about every other issue that comes up here, the correct answer varies--depending upon your dog. Just when you want to generalize, you realize you can't.
  9. Also, a great concept to introduce to a bc puppy, which becomes critical if you have multiple dogs, is that outdoors is for playing, indoors is for settling down. That's a really easy concept for a bc to understand, and will pay dividends for the next 15 years.
  10. Don't forget your pup is just 14 weeks old. And here's the bad news: for the next year he's going to get bigger, stronger and more energetic. The best advice I can give you is--a good puppy is a tired puppy. I looked twice at the words "he gets two long walks in the evening." I don't think the word "walk" should ever be used in reference to exercise with a bc. A walk may be a pleasant diversion, a way to see the world and share time with you. It may even be good exercise for you. But unless you are walking off leash somewhere, which means, in general, you are walking 2 miles, but your bc is running 4 miles, back and forth and around you, a walk isn't bc exercise, and it isn't going to tire your dog out. You don't say if your dog is crated during the day, but if he is he's got to be going zonkers by the time you're ready to settle down. My advice--run that pup's butt off from 7-8:00 and see if he doesn't settle in a little better. After an hour of frisbee, I simply need to turn up the TV to cover up the sound of two panting bc's and they're ready to watch American Idol, too.
  11. I think what they've done to GSD's is criminal. Why doesn't somebody stop that whole slant back thing? Anyway, I recently went to a canine frisbee clinic here in Atlanta. It was almost all bc's and aussies. There was one bc there and the owner really wanted to teach it to play frisbee like the other bc's--but her dog had no interest in chasing the disc. As you've already guessed, it was an AKC bc. Her name wasn't Barbie, but it could have been. To recap some of the other comments, it was not an ugly dog. It just wasn't a bc. And while all the other dogs were exhibiting their drive and desire to work, this one was exhibiting a very lovely coat--and that's about it.
  12. As an avid tennis player, I can assure you that every neighborhood tennis court in your area is loaded with free tennis balls. Even most semi-serious players open up a new can of three balls every time they play, and throw out the old ones. If these tennis balls are used as toys in a game of fetch, there's little chance of long-term wear. The dog picks up the ball, brings it back to you, and drops it. I just don't let them serve as chew toys. The texture is rough enough, and the balls are hard enough, so that will erode the teeth. So after the game is over I pick 'em up and serve as the keeper of the balls.
  13. Puppy Rule #1: A good puppy is a tired puppy. When you say 30-minute walk, does that mean putting you dog on a leash and taking a loop around the neighborhood? That's not exercise for a 5-month old border collie puppy--it's a warm-up and, at best, a way to keep him occupied for half-an-hour. He needs to run--a lot. Not flyball, just run. He's old enough to chase a tennis ball, run after a frisbee rolled along the ground, or just play some hide and seek. The problem here is that you're assuming the exercise needs of an adult lab and a young bc are the same. If you can figure out a way to wear that puppy out, three things will almost certainly happen: (1) You will have taken some of the pent-up energy out of your pup and he will be in a much better position to sit and focus and listen for a brief training session. (2) He will settle down better once you come inside. (3) He will learn, with your help, that outside if for running around and inside if for settling down. For many years I coached kids sports, and every good coach of little kids knows that you make the kids run a few laps around the ball field BEFORE you try to teach them anything. It takes the edge off. The same is true for bc puppies.
  14. It sounds to me like a great way to spend time with your dog and give her added socialization. My dog was well socialized as a pup and still doesn't like her personal space invaded. She even showed her teeth and air-snapped at a puppy last week. A puppy! But she's not aggressive, isn't a fighter and I just keep throwing her back into the fray and tell her to get a grip and deal with it. My advice: you sound like you worry too much. Bring your dog. Have fun.
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