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Everything posted by KelliePup

  1. It all comes down to interpretation, one of the fundamental failings with the written language because tone and emotion are not well conveyed for the most part. It's the reason people continue to debate the meanings behind some of the greatest literature in history. My direct interpretation of Milton, Frost, Shakespeare, Lawrence, etc. might vary considerably than yours. And it should! That's part of the magic. It doesn't mean that we all walk on egg shells when conversing, but it does mean that we should be open to other interpretations and understandings without ridicule or seeing something as a personal attack. It means we hold discourse until we come to some sort of accord, even if it is to agree to disagree. After all, not all disagreements can be remedied, and we should not have to give up base principles, through words or actions, to make someone feel better. In light of that, I personally feel this thread has lived out its usefulness. The arguments have been stated, beautifully debated by some, and conclusions reached. What more is there except to get off topic and sometimes silly? ETA: Just to clarify, at first, I was hurt at the implication that other breeds were somehow lesser, which is why I joined in the conversation in the matter. Now, I think there is a much better understanding from all sides, and I think we've come to some sort of agreement on it. And ps I've watched that Wolfe run like 20 times or so, even paused it to figure out if I could see where that back paw was just enough on the contact. Maybe it's the video itself, but I still think the bc flew off without touching it. Other than that, Diane I think it was? did a great analysis of that run.
  2. ^^This^^ Whether it was intended or not, some previous posts by several different people really seemed to downplay the specialness of other breeds, and, thereby, the connection between the owner and the dog.
  3. Now that would make sense to me given what I've seen. Perhaps the difference is more purpose of instinct. In my area, there are still a lot of dogs bred for their original purpose, and they definitely bring something different to the table. So much so that I can usually spot them in an instant.
  4. I really couldn't help myself Far too much fun
  5. How can we then be so sure that they're not talking about the speed with which a border collie just flies through the course? Or the apparent ease that borders have in learning with the right handler? Or maybe it's not really the breed, but the "smug arrogance" of border collie owners (my apologies, only repeating what I have heard)? I'll admit, there are some breeds that it takes me a while to train, but I've seen those same breeds learn something very quickly with a different trainer who understands that breed and knows their motivations. You can be sure that dog it giving its all, but might not be as physically capable of some of the same maneuvers. I belong to an all breed club. I'll hear things like "wow, she's fast!" and "you've really been working with him/her." Specific breeds really don't come into the mix. We're encouraging and supportive of all, and never, not once, does anyone say this breed is better than that breed. Every unique dog is special because of their backgrounds, because they are loved, and because they give everything they have and more to their owners and vis versa. Through this club, I'm learning even more how to train and react with other breeds by utilizing their natural attributes and motivations. That's partly why I say I see sparks in all of them, not just borders. For many of them at the higher levels, the difference I see has more to do with physical capabilities than anything else. ETA: Wow, this thread certainly has taken several interesting turns!
  6. I still have to wonder if it's not the fact that certain breeds appeal to people. I've two friends that talk the exact same way about their dachshunds, and others who will say the same of labs, goldens, corgis, weims, and a whole host of others. It might have more to do with a person's mentality and personal preference. Take my bf. Mav, Lily and Roxie (especially Roxie) appeal to him because of their personalities. KZ, on the other hand, he failed miserably with because there was no connection between him and border collies. He's better with chows and I've heard the same speech from him about how special chows are, that they're different and have a special spark about them that he can't explain.
  7. Perhaps then it's that most of the border collies in the training places I've been have been bred for either sport or show, which would just further prove the point not to breed for anything other than stock work. I just don't see that special something you're talking about when I've run other borders, and with KZ, it's still too early for me to make any suppositions, but maybe someone with more experience in other dog breeds can expand upon it.
  8. Hmmm... I'm not so sure of all of that. And all here that follows is based on my personal experience. The only "spark" I ever feel is when I'm working my own dogs. Maverick running a course because he loves it brings me to tears sometimes because I know if we did any serious agility training, he would be in almost constant pain. He's slower than KZ, but he puts his whole heart into it and needs great timing on directions from me to make the obstacles or else we lose even more time. I could get him to go faster, but then we would be inviting injury because of his back legs, and winning first, or even placing, doesn't mean that much to me to cause my dog pain. He runs for fun on the equipment I've made, and that's enough. Before I figured out the thing with his legs, I pushed him, and he gave me his all and more. Kellie was fast and kept me on my toes because she seemed to think three obstacles ahead, and would do them in the manner she desired unless I told her otherwise far enough in advance. I still felt a connection because she was my dog... and my heart dog at that. KZ is working her way. We'll see how she is on the course since I just started her on some of the obstacles. Meanwhile, Rogue, my niece's aussie, can match KZ for speed and agility and focus, and actually jumps higher than KZ. But, Rogue is my niece's dog, and I don't feel any spark when I run her. It's the same with my niece when she runs any dog other than Rogue. And again, the same thing with my other niece when she runs Max. Max will pour his heart into the agility run for his owner, but no one else, and when he does that, he is fast. Oh yeah, Max is an All American Heinz 57 dog and he regularly beats border collies in agility, obedience, and rally. He and my niece have more first places than I can count in the venues he's allowed to run in. Even if we put the adult divisions in on the same course, Max still wins with a perfect score and the fastest time. Like Maverick, Max is so completely devoted to his owner that he gives his all and more. We'll never see him in any world championships though because he isn't purebred. I think that special spark has more to do with the dog/handler relationship than just the dog. As a person, border collies appeal to me because I too am a thinker and I like mental puzzles; however, there are other breeds I can see similar intelligence in and I might consider owning when I'm rich, retired, and have a lot more time. There are other dogs and dog breeds that I personally think are dumb as rocks... and that sentence just might be insulting to rocks.
  9. Simple Solution with Oxy works great too, and they have one that can go right into a carpet shampooer. It used to be that you could only get it at pet stores, but I think Wal-Mart is now carrying it, I know Meijers (store similar to Wal-Mart in Michigan) does. We have Prego floors in our living room and hallway. It has proved very durable and took less than a day to install.
  10. I know about freak accidents. There are 9 long stemmed roses currently hanging on my wall. One to represent myself and each of my siblings. Above them all is one rose cut close to the bud. That one rose represents my younger brother who died in a freak accident this year, just three days after he turned 24. Excuse me now. I have to go cry in my dogs' fur...
  11. What you're describing in mainly in a trial setting. It is actually easier, in many ways, for farm dogs to start with a larger herd in many cases. This would bring up a trialing vs. farm work debate. The things needed to be trained in stock dogs are things that go against their instinct, such as stopping off balance, driving parallel to the handler and such. Shearing also goes against a border collie's instinctual tendencies because they want the sheep all together. ETA: As I understand it, herding trials are actually much more difficult than farm work. The skills are the same, but there is additional stresses and smaller "flocks," yes?
  12. Kristine, all I was saying is that it is not the norm. Dean's issues are not the norm. They exist yes, and it's not always the handler's fault, but it often can be. I'm glad you took the time to research and help Dean. That's great! Let's not discount other owners who just want a quick fix. I also know several vets who will recommend medications for dogs that don't need it. IMHO, behavior issues are best diagnosed by Veterinary Behavior Technicians. Lacking that, a good behaviorist/behavior consultant in conjunction with a vet.
  13. Oi. Just a few points: First, anxiety, while it can be a brain chemistry problem, is not necessarily so. Certain anxieties can be caused be life experiences, and can therefore be worked with through a behavior modification regime. Otherwise, every dog that gets anxious would be on medication with no hope of anything. That's not to say there aren't some dogs with brain chemistry problems, I would just hate for someone reading this to think that's always the case and immediately put their dog on puppy prozac. Noise phobias can be attributed to genetics, and it can also be caused by too harsh of training. Point of reference, Cosmo, a Vizsla, never had any problem with gun shots or birds, in fact, he was very promising, until a certain "trainer" I know of in the business of training hunting dogs ruined him. Now, he's anxious when he sees a bird and panics every time a shot is fired. Likewise, it is possible for a dog with noise phobias to overcome that phobia to a certain extent. Not every dog, sure, but it is possible. On these points, arguments can be made for both sides and backed by research. However, it all comes down to the individual dog. I will say this though, very rarely in the course of my behavior modification work do I have to recommend consultations with a vet for anxiety medications. Some aspects of agility might be natural to dogs, but they are not instinctual. There is a difference in the terms here. A border collie's instinct is to gather the sheep and fetch them. Just as a well bred beagle's instinct is to chase down a fox. Jumping fences, climbing trees, crossing logs, etc. is just a way to get from point A to point B. Natural, yes, but not instinctual.
  14. Gloria, on full editor mode, there's a media button. Just paste the URL from the status bar there Don't use the code on the youtube "share" button. The boards aren't set up for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEFm1qkXaI0&feature=youtu.be ETA: Great vid!
  15. Okay, look at it this way then. There are people out there who seem to have a natural gift toward dancing or drawing or painting. For a teacher or coach, all they have to do is hone those natural abilities and direct them to a cause. Those artistic gifts can be equated to instinct. Then you have people who have to struggle to draw a straight line, even with a ruler, or just can't seem to get the most basic of dance steps. It takes more time, they have to be trained to do these activities because it does not come natural. A working border collie will naturally walk up, will naturally give the "eye," will naturally flank/circle and/or drive. Some even have a natural stop. Those does not have to be trained, just honed and directed. With obedience, rally, agility, SAR, freestyle and a host of other things, the dog has to be trained for those tasks. The learning theory, distinct consequences, comes very much into play with these activities.
  16. Very well, but I personally still feel that hitting the contact "just enough" is still not enough. I prefer clear contacts, largely, again, for safety reasons. You missed the point. Barking is NOT "trained out" in stockwork. The dog doesn't bark because of instinct. The dog is working, not playing. Until you can grasp the fundamental difference between instinct and training, you really can't understand what we've been trying to tell you. Try your hand on livestock, when the dog "turns on" then maybe, perhaps, you'll understand. I certainly didn't understand it at first. There is more to the herding argument than training.
  17. That confuses me to no end Kristine. To each their own, I suppose, but training is all about consequences; therefore, any older dog is going to have training on them, whether it was intentional or not. Example: Dog runs off, finally comes back, owner yells at dog and puts dog on leash/locks dog in crate, so dog learns "fun ends when I come back/I get in trouble for coming. I don't ever want to come!" Training really is no more than learning, so I really don't understand your preference. Personally, I've learned more about training and behavior in general by "fixing" incorrect previous training, and I've even changed the dog's name when it didn't seem to fit, or, if the problem was really bad, I just changed the cue word. No big deal, so I must admit that your argument is really foreign to me. Again, to each their own.
  18. My Maverick just might be the embodiment of laziness. He'll be lying at one end of the bed, I say "Come 'ere, my Mav," and he crawls sideways to me, leading with his head, so he doesn't have to stand! Crazy boy.
  19. Sorry, to me it looked like your "once in a blue moon" dog blew the contact on the A-frame. Didn't get faulted for it, sure, but with it that close, I personally would be concerned about injury. First concern in agility, IMHO, should be safety, not fastest time. Is a championship really worth your dog blowing an ACL? The dog, again IMHO, sees the sport as a game. I say this because of the barking, and my experience has been that dogs bark excessively when they are either having fun or getting frustrated. A working border collie, one that is on livestock, does not (this has been my experience, those with more, please correct me if I am mistaken). Serena, I realize that your background is in art and ballet, but Liz is right, when it comes to the working stock dog, you really don't know what you're talking about.
  20. Oh, my! I fear that some people reading these last posts on getting a dog might think one should never get a rescue or rehomed dog! If you know what you're looking for, it really should not be that difficult to find a dog to suit your needs. Here are my fosters: Roxie, my first foster: surrendered to a shelter because she kept peeing in the house. Turns out, there was a medical reason for it. Other than that, she fantastic with children and makes an excellent day care dog. She's an easy going couch potato, but she'll let kids with learning disabilities read to her, thereby gaining confidence in their reading skills without the fear of ridicule or rejection. Ceana, border collie who spent a vast majority of her life tied to a tree producing multiple litters. Very sensitive and under socialized, but a cuddler if there ever was one. She went home with a man and assisted in his healing from a very nasty divorce where his ex took his dogs. He didn't need a performance or working dog, but a little therapy dog who thought the world of him. Blaze, related to Ceana and again spent his life tied to a tree. Vastly different than Ceana, more outgoing. He displayed a desire to work and so went to a farm. Not stellar, but he's good enough to do the work needed and helpout on the farm. Jaxper, bernese mountain dog x, no back story, but he became a boy's best friend and part time service dog. Jazzy, ball driven and now running in flyball. Let's not forget my own and those in my family: Kellie (RIP pretty girl), Maverick, Jak, Mitchell, Max, Buddy, Scruffy (who helped my brother heal after he was in a car crash that killed his best friend), and little Lily (who appears to have been abused previously, so we're taking it slow). And then the ones who never got to go to another home: Ace and Spot, both euthanized for aggression issues. Neither ever made it out of my house because the aggression issues made them un-adoptable. Both had all the advantages of being well-socialized as puppies, Ace, in fact, was raised by me, but something just wasn't right in his head. Point is, it depends on the qualities you want. An older dog you can find those qualities, a puppy, while being a blank slate, is still the product of genetics and can "go wrong" even with all the advantages. There is still risk either way. Rogue, an aussie purchased from working lines, shows zero interest in working sheep, which we had initially got her for, but she makes a great little agility dog, especially in jumpers. My Kayzie, purchased as a puppy, is showing great promise (I think) toward herding, but time will tell.
  21. Yes, exactly! Granted, you can get a puppy from working lines, and it can be fantastic in whatever field you choose, but you really can't test a young puppy's aptitude, its natural gifts. It's very much a roll of the dice, even if you have researched its relatives, including full siblings from a previous breeding. An older dog, on the other hand, while not necessarily well-suited for stock work, might display the very talents and qualities needed for sports or any other work. Can y'all tell I'm a huge proponent of rescuing? I don't think "washout" or "leftover" should be dirty words, but then I suppose we're getting into the psychology and connotations behind words again. My mistake. I really should've known better! Thank you, Mara, for the gentle correction
  22. Truly? Well, thank doG for my herding washouts. They do very well in the fields that appeal to them and me. Kellie was too hard on stock, but she showed a lot of potential in SAR before I blew my knee, and Maverick, who is afraid of sheep, makes a nice little dance partner.
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