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Everything posted by KelliePup

  1. Of course handling and socialization. When Kayzie was a puppy, we had quiet time every day,a couple of times a day. Sometimes she was alone in her crate, other times she was on the receiving end of a massage. The down time is important too to teach your pup to relax. I have a bad knee, so I don't do a lot of extra physical activities (ie daily walks, jogging) with my dogs anymore. Instead, I focus on their minds. I have a lot of food puzzles, both purchased and home made. I rotate the puzzles so they never have the same one twice in a row. I've also become a clicker master...meaning I'm great at shaping behaviors by just catching parts and letting the dog figure out what I want. About twice a week, we'll go on some little trip either to the pet store or to one of the local dog parks. Even though I could go it alone, Kayzie and I go to training classes several times throughout the year. Best advice is to keep the physical and mental activities balanced.
  2. Ummm.... have you even tried? You can get excellent, working line dogs I'm sure. I know I can and I've never even trialed. There are plenty of "herding washouts" to choose from. We now have, what, 39 pages of Times Roman 11 point font of people politely telling you over and over that this is not enough. Genes are tricky little things, and it is very, very easy to lose the natural aptitude for stock work if every single pairing is not evaluated by the offsprings' performances on stock. How else would we know if the pairing should be repeated? If it makes you feel better, I'm a CGC Evaluator for the AKC. Because I believe it is the only program with any validity, and the program has received a resolution by the state, I run the tests, but at the same time I know it is another money trap. Look at all the CGC and now the STAR Puppy products and try to tell me otherwise, plus that I have to buy the test forms. I know what runs the AKC. It's the same reason why the prestigious American Kennel Club opened its doors to mixed breeds to run in the sport trials. Just like any other business, they go over quarterly profits and find ways to line their pockets more. The AKC is a corporation with their hands even in the 4H clubs so that kids think the AKC is the end all. If you truly want them to stop supporting puppy mills and such, you do not write letters and petitions, you hit them where it hurts: in the wallet. The big money makers are the sport trials. If you truly want to protest the AKC's actions and sponsors, you get a very large number of competitors to boycott all trials for at least a year, perhaps more. In essence, you go on strike until there are changes. Treat it like the corporation it is and demand changes. You have to make a big enough dent to make them listen, just letters and petitions will not work. I can't believe I got sucked into this again. It's like an addiction, despite the fact that I'm clearly being ignored.
  3. Congrats! First border collie then? I, personally, like to start with impulse control. Leave it is essential in my house since I drop things... a lot. It has been said that it takes somewhere to the tune of 9,000 good repetitions before a dog truly "knows" a command. I have never had much luck with drilling or specific training times, so I employ "commercial break training." This means that we'll have plenty of mini training sessions throughout the day with only 4-6 repetitions per session. A solid recall is also a must for any dog. After that, manners and what you can live with (I know some wonderful dogs that have never been taught to sit or down on command in their lives, but they don't jump on guests or steal food, so it's all good). Good luck!
  4. I get it. I train dogs differently based on both the dog's heritage and own personality. It's a matter of tapping into the dog's natural inclinations and using those forge the partnership. It's all a matter of getting through to the dog. The border collie, and this is something I have not experienced with any other breed, brings a unique type of focus and devotion to the table when you're talking about dog sports. It is a byproduct of their stock working purpose that makes them an absolute joy to partner with, and it can also be very problematic if you don't know what you're doing or have someone to help you.
  5. I think the overall point here is instinct. It is possible to train non-herding breeds, ie a Golden Retriever, to herd stock, but those dogs do not possess the natural aptitude that working stock dogs, which were bred specifically for that purpose, possess as part of their heritage. However, even that heritage could be suspect if the breeding pair do not produce viable working offspring (and I mean working stock). That being said, it all depends on the traits you value. For an agility dog, the handler might want a focused, fast dog who is not so overly excited in running the course that it blows the contacts. A SAR dog, depending on the area of SAR the handler favors, needs focus, a good nose, caution going over unstable surfaces, and good pacing to get to a person in trouble before it's too late (if you're looking into primarily live rescues and not cadaver searches). And none of this leaves out temperament by any stretch of the imagination. Being toy or food motivated is secondary to a dog with a natural inclination to the type of work. In essence, the work itself is the reward. IMO, border collies are the most versatile breed because they love the work. They love to work for the sake of working. That is a byproduct of their particular heritage: the intelligence and control they possess to problem solve and read the stock to get the stock where it needs to be. If we were to remove that element from the equation, or dilute it, we still have a dog that can do other things well, but we loose that drive, that natural tendency, to read the stock and do what needs to be done with limited to no direction from the handler. Sure, there will be "washouts" and "leftovers" (and I mean these term affectionately), but aren't those in every discipline? Take a service dog washout; one specifically bred for the work, it might not have passed the rigorous tests, but it still makes a fantastic pet. Likewise, I've seen, and trained, shelter dogs to fully functional SDs if they possess the right personality and desire. Point is, if we breed for the original purpose, be it herding, hunting, tracking, sledding, or even companion (the American Eskimo Dog comes to mind), then we will have dogs with the potential to do their traditional work, but can excel in the newer sports we have created.
  6. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, KZ is the fastest dog I've ever had. She's made a career out of startling people, in all disciplines, the first time they work her and see her really move. I haven't clocked her at all, but I know she can out run all the dogs at the dog park and have longer stamina than all of them save the greyhounds. Now that I'm confident she's finished growing and her joints have settled, I'm introducing jumps, so it should prove interesting.
  7. Congrats! I agree that we need pictures. There are some files a rescue would withhold, especially financial records and anything that might have previous adopter's names.
  8. :lol: That whole scenario gave me a really good laugh! Best guess, someone who wants real sheep, but the evil ordinances won't allow it. As for burying heads, Mav and KZ both do that. I see it as a sign of respect, trust, and adoration. We call it "puppy hugs."
  9. Okay, new question. I definitely agree with over training for trials, but there's something that's bothering me and might be misconstrued by other people just entering this world. It has been said throughout this thread that Open is the end goal. I'm assuming that means the end goal with trialing? I can imagine that there would be some situations on a ranch that would be different than those on a trial field. Am I right in this? So, theoretically, would not the end goal of training a stock dog be to work on the ranch? While trialing, more or less, is a fun way to show off your dog's (and yours) skills?
  10. I promised I wasn't going to do this, but this really will be the last one. There is nothing wrong with agility. Agility is a great sport that helps foster the relationship between the dog and the handler. It can be quiet and beautiful, especially when you see a dog that everyone thought was worthless make a connection. I run it for fun, I've run it for canine therapy, I build the obstacles, and I teach other teams how to have safe, clean runs as part of my living. Meanwhile, I am also learning to work stock. From my personal experience, Serena, and as plain as I can make it, here is the difference: In Agility, there are two species to read off of each other: the dog and the handler. In Herding, there are three species: the dog, the handler, and x head of sheep/cattle/ducks/stock in general. The dog must be able to read off not only the handler, but the sheep as well and make decisions, good decisions, of his/her own without waiting for a command from the handler. That one, simple yet complex trait is what border collies should be bred for, otherwise the line is diluted. To bridge this, my initial recommendations stands put the agility champion to be bred on sheep to determine stock sense and if it should be bred. That is how you honor the border collie tradition and show you truly understand what the border collie is. Unless you, or anyone really, are breeding for the stock sense, in both parents, and then testing the offspring of that pairing, then you run the risk of diluting that trait. The question you still have not answered is: How do you test for stock sense in the Agility ring? From where I sit, you can't because you are missing the one critical ingredient: the stock. I'm sorry if this or my past posts on this subject seem harsh. I have tried to be civil and chose my words carefully, but, again, language is an impure science. With that, I am done.
  11. Thank you so much! That does help clear up a few things I was wondering about
  12. They're all soooo...... boxy. Like Aussies with longer backs. No wonder I was told KZ's flanks weren't wide enough. Silly me, my first thought was "How would you know? You haven't seen her work! ----- Oh, you mean her butt." Wouldn't be able to turn fast on stock my a$$. Is it just me, or do the working border collies seem sleeker? More streamlined and aerodynamic? There goes my aviation background again.
  13. Kayzie and I are no where near trialing yet, but I love reading the advice on starting/getting ready to trial. Just to show how new I am at this, and not to take away from the question at hand, but what differences are there between the Nursery and Novice classes? Is it just an age thing? Does anyone know of any good runs done online that aren't Open? Sorry to be a pest, but I've been trying to figure out the course set ups and I'd like to have some visual references rather than just reading it. This thread brings other questions to mind, but I think they might better be addressed in either another thread (or even a quick search to see if they've already been covered). On a parallel note, over-training and training at different fields is an excellent suggestion. I've over-trained my dogs for every milestone we've done (the CGC, Rally, Freestyle and currently working on Obedience and Agility in the herding "off-season" here), and it has definitely paid off when we've stepped into the ring. I can imagine it would be the same on the field.
  14. IDK... It looks like the dog might be about 17 inches tall at the withers? And it doesn't look like there's much of a stop. Maybe Aussie mixed with smooth Sheltie?
  15. When Kellie was a puppy, she never wanted to go to sleep. The whole "I ca sleep when I'm dead" thing definitely applied. It was so bad that she'd running around the house, playing with Bandit, the cat, and then just drop, dead asleep, mid-run. There would also be times when she was playing with Bandit that he would cry and we'd say "Kellie!" She would peek her head around the corner, we'd say "Gentle!" and then she would slink back and start scuffling again, but softly. Kayzie is also a talker and a hugger. She also does this complete collapse thing when people are petting her. It tends to frighten people the first time they see it happen because it's just the perfect stage fall and her eyes even roll back. If the person doesn't continue petting her after she collapses, she'll give him/her a disdainful look, leap to her feet, and push her head under his/her hand. Completely my fault, she has to have her massage every day, but I really don't mind that since it makes her completely relaxed, so much so that people at obedience trials comment that she's the calmest border collie they've ever seen (she falls asleep at the trial if I start giving her a massage). Kayzie is also a snacker. I feed twice a day, and she'll carefully empty half her bowl, one kernel at a time, and hide the pieces in her bed, under the mat. After I pick up the bowl, she'll secretively return to her bed throughout the day and eat one or two kernels before going off again. Only issue I have with that is Maverick found her stash and it's ruining his diet. Last thing, Kayzie was bitten on her paw by a snake almost two weeks ago while we were in Texas, and ever since then, she's been licking the doors and walls. I think it might be a little bit of boredom since I had to keep her pretty quiet to heal. She's just now to where I'm letting her really run as long as she's wearing her boot. I'm hoping that one will stop once we get back to our normal routine.
  16. Kayzie doesn't get to hang out with other border collies that often. She's okay with other breeds, but they tend to annoy her. Personally, I don't think she thinks of them as "dogs." That being said, we drove down to Texas near the beginning of November, just Maverick, Kayzie, and myself, and I thought a good way to get rid of the car ride crazies would be to go directly to one of the dog parks down there and let them run. It was a great idea, they were both cool with it and I earned the best mom award for about two hours (it was retracted after the baths). Long story short, I looked up and noticed Kayzie was missing. She had found the only other border collie people in the park and was having fun running with their four border collies! Basically, it was like she said "So long, Mom! I'm hanging with my peeps!" To the point that she almost left the park with them. Two things brought her back: Maverick crying as he tried to catch up to her, and the owners saying, "Hey, that's not one of ours!" So, breed recognition? Yeah, definitely.
  17. Perhaps the dog isn't really reading the camera, but the handler instead? There may be a slight change in the handler's attitude about having the camera set up and recording a run.For example, when I first started recording training sessions, I was always a bit nervous because I wanted that perfect take. My dogs would read that energy off of me and, depending on the dog's personality, perform differently than if the camera wasn't recording. The best I can describe it is the dog goes on high alert. I have one that will shut down and another that will amp up performance.
  18. So, I made myself cry last night, and I'm tearing up now just thinking about it. I went through and re-read some of my very old posts when Kellie was still a puppy. As far back as 2005. In one thread I found I had posed the question about training a dog on stock... I can honestly say now that I didn't get what everyone was trying to tell me then. All of it was so foreign... until I put Kellie on stock. Even now, I'll admit that I still learning; I doubt I'll ever stop. Kellie and I had a remarkable journey, and even now, two years after she was violently taken, I'm grateful for everything she taught me and how she opened my eyes. I don't think words can truly express our emotions. I think working a border collie on stock is the only way to understand what our words have failed to do for the past 13 pages. Watching it really isn't enough; you have to experience it. I, too, am bowing out of this thread. The definition of insanity: repeating the same experiment over and over and expecting a different result. Nope, not unless you change the variables.
  19. My mix, Maverick, has had seizures, however, we believe his seizures were the result of red #40 in his diet. Once we eliminated that, the seizures stopped. I can actually time it now if I wanted to. If Mav has anything with red 40 in it, he will seize in 30 minutes to an hour after ingesting the food.
  20. Well said And isn't that freedom how the "border jack" came to be? Breeding for a small, fast flyball dog? We're very close to getting to the definition of insanity now...
  21. Why in the world would it be okay to breed a border collie with no stock sense just because s/he is an agility champion? That is not a border collie, and, even if you did breed to a wonderful stock dog, the pups' border collie traits would be diluted and destroy over a 150 years of careful breeding selection that brought the border collie into existence. We love the breed and are trying to better it to work stock, not dilute those natural traits. I can understand agility people wanting their lines preserved, but you're asking us to abandon our principles for it. Put the agility champion on stock and then we'll talk depending how s/he does. Again, that's only possible bridge I can see. There is no "yes, I agree with everything you're saying, but..." In this, there is no middle road. Walk one side or the other side, or squish just like grape. ps. Seriously, read "The Dog Wars." You can order it here.
  22. Serena, First of all, let me explain a fundamental point about communication: the particular words you use matter. English has been called a hard language because a single word can have several different definitions, and the context does not always give the reader a clue as to which particular definition is being used. For example, straight out of the dictionary: That's where miscommunication starts. Certain adverbs and verbs seldom leave room for exact interpretation, making language an impure science by all accounts. The adverb "merely" gives the connotation that you think little of either your abilities or the abilities of others in the agility ring, unless you have achieved a MACH title, because you are "nothing more" than a hobbiest and pet owner. Little things like that, whether we consciously recognize it or not, affect the psyche and limit our ability and potential. So please, take care when choosing your words, not only to avoid miscommunication, but also for your own mental health. You are obviously putting a lot of work into your dog and agility, and that makes you more than merely, or simply, a hobbiest and pet owner. That much work makes you exceptional, regardless of the titles you have achieved. My next question, logically, is why you would choose to have anything to do with an organization in which the members think so little of the work you do with your dog. To me personally, it is depressing to be around people who look down on me and my dog. It is also an attitude which I have only come across at AKC shows. When I was younger and naive, I went to several AKC shows to learn, and I met cold shoulders everywhere I turned. Not one wanted to share the smallest piece of advice or kind word for my dog, and I was actively snubbed when I proudly declared I had rescued both a border collie and a border collie X boxer. I turned me off competition period; however, I found the welcome I had desired in the UKC. I took Maverick, my mix, to compete in Rally, and I was very nervous at first to tell people that it was my first show ever. I was completely blown away by the reception Mav and I received at that show. Not only were we welcomed with open arms, but everyone I talked to was more than happy to give me pointers on stepping into the ring. On a side note along the same lines, how can there possibly be "prestige" attached to a title that any pure bred dog can achieve? The favorite "comparison" I've heard involves someone teaching their golden retriever to herd. Sure, the commands are known, but what if a ewe or ram decide not to cooperate? I have yet to see or hear of a golden making a decision on their own to get the sheep back in line. Goldens just weren't bred for that. Okay, I have to clear the air for a moment. My initial post concerning SAR was my nicest possible rendition to be offended by your claim of the AKC agility being the only practical form. So, I gave some examples to how practical UKC agility obstacles are to other disciplines, such as SAR. I never said we should breed border collies for SAR work. Quite frankly, it isn't necessary. Specific search and/or rescue breeds already exist and are very good at their jobs; in fact, they are supreme in their field (and I'm not talking just about labs here either. Try the Newfoundland and the Bloodhound, or other breed that was bred to hunt and weather the outdoors). The border collie is the supreme stock dog. There is no way to test what makes the border collie the supreme stock dog in the agility ring; therefore, I have to agree that the act of breeding border collies for agility is deplorable because you cannot gauge the dog's stock sense in the agility ring. I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb here, but the only possible bridge I could see even remotely being formed to accepting a sport dog for breeding is if the owner sent the dog to an experienced stock dog breeder/handler to be evaluated for a prearranged length of time and money. At the end of that period, the owner of the sport dog, no matter what titles and/or placements have been earned on the dog, would have to accept the stock dog breeder's mandate on whether the dog should or should not be bred. Frankly, I don't see that happening.
  23. No, no, that isn't the issue at all. The down home issue at hand is breeding practices. The border collie is, IMHO, the best herding breed in the world. They are the product of centuries of selective breeding for their working ability. This can, in part, come down to intelligence, problem solving ability, biddability (sp?), stamina, desire, control, balance, agility, stock sense, temperament, courage and so on. In Agility, the dog is given explicit directions on which obstacles to tackle... how does that prove to expand the breed's intelligence and problem solving abilities versus a dog you tell "bring in the sheep" and the dog does it on his own? Agility courses are, what, two to three minutes at high speed? Maybe a little longer depending on the course? How would that burst assist breeders in knowing a dog's stamina and whether the dog could work for 12 hours? Or even three hours? What about balance and stock sense? There is no way to see that in Agility. Courage? Not even close to the same level. And control. Without a doubt, it does take a decent amount of handler control to handle your dog in an Agility ring; however, that's not the type of control I'm talking about. There needs to be strong self control for a dog to not get distracted when working sometimes out of sight of the shepherd... and to not get overly excited grip/kill stock. The only way to test these qualities in a dog is to put her stock because you just can't see it in the Agility ring. As for the AKC Agility "MACH handlers" being "the best of the best," I really, truly just cannot see that. The whole argument of AKC Agility being more "practical" is a bit alien to me. Personally, I think it's harder to train some of the UKC Agility obstacles. I can see the sway bridge having a practical application to SAR and the open tunnels that the dogs have to crawl through having practical application for war dogs... or any dog that has to crawl under barb wire. The blind jumps in the UKC definitely require a high level of trust in your dog that you won't have her jump off a cliff. I competed under both UKC and AKC rules in rally, formal obedience, and agility, and it is sooooo much easier, IMO, to get a Q under AKC rules. As for placing... well that also depends on the day's competition, so I really don't see what any of that has to do with keeping the border collie lines true, much less bettering the breed, because you will lose critical elements that make the border collies what they are. People here who have been herding longer than I have can probably answer this: While you can get some sense from an instinct test how a border collie will react on stock, would you say a clear picture on the dog's true stock worth depends on the length of time on stock and different situations? And a difference between practical stock work and herding trials?
  24. Umm... I may or may not have done that before in extreme cases...
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