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Everything posted by Rosanne

  1. This breeder is 10 minutes from me. I've used her swimming pool (it's open to the public for $10 a dog). Her main address in Spring City is a residential house and several outbuildings. The dogs are in kennels. They appear well fed but the runs are small dirt runs. There is a lot of barking. She maintains/co-owns several locations though, and sells several hundred dogs a year. From the looks of the residence and kennel runs, I would not consider her a "reputable" breeder, but rather a large scale BYB. This blog has a lot of information; http://abbyk9.blogspot.com/search?q=biden
  2. Honestly I should probably remove that from my site, but would I breed him to a bitch that I personally approved of owned by a person with what I considered ethical breeding practices and a healthy pedigree? Possibly. Wendy, I really don't care that much what you think. My MOTHER owns the bitch, so no, I didn't originally plan to keep a puppy, but I wasn't going to get paid anyway since she paid for much of my expenses out at USDAA Nationals last year and my Steeplechase winnings didn't cover it. I am not breeding to your standards, but I am breeding to standards. I don't breed much at all, once so far and probably no more than a few times in the next 10-20 years. None of the pups would be marketed as "working" pups and thus would not be even seen by working people, let alone bred to. If you didn't want to hear the answers to the topic's questions, then why read the topic? Someone asked what the justification behind sports breedings was, and I answered as I see it. Most people on here believe there is no justification at all, and I know that some were actually curious, so I answered, since no one else on this board competes or is interested in agility to the level that I am. This topic is not supposed to be about whether I personally "lied" about something. If you feel deceived that's too bad. But I am what I am, and that is a very opinionated person who doesn't form those opinions willy-nilly, and thus will not be swayed by name-calling.
  3. A dog who is called "sticky" coming down the contact is the creeper. The one who knows where the target is, knows he should go to it, but slows down and eyeballs it while slowly walking down the plank. I have no idea if these are the same dogs who get sticky on sheep, but I suspect they may be. As far as the outrun around the jumps, I'm not speaking of dogs who fly out with an arm motion. I'm a little beyond random arm movements. I'm speaking of situations where the handler runs in a straight line, but the BC's instinct isn't to run in a parallel straight line, but rather to curve out away. BC's in my experience tend to naturally look out away from the handler, rather than in a straight line, much more than other breeds. ETA: the stickiness can certainly be a training issue. Probably mostly. But some dogs just seem more prone to it than others. My dogs don't stick. They run. Also I will be away at an agility trial all weekend so it will quickly become pointless and in poor taste to bash away. I do NOT advocate all agility people breeding willy-nilly. I certainly do NOT think working dogs are "crazy" or that no working breeders do health checks. On the contrary, I think that most of them do all they can, it's just the nature of the work and the lifestyle that prevents the health tracking, for the most part. I actually agree that most sports breeders are not high-quality, and I have yet to come across a line of merles I really liked (and yes I used to own one). And I certainly would never, ever try to sell a sports-bred pup as "working" bred or suitable for anything but basic hobby herding.
  4. Yes I bred my dog. Once. And I made not one iota of money off of it. The bitch owner lost money. We bred them and each took a puppy. The amount charged to buyers was certainly less than $1000. Do not ask a question and then mock one who actually answered it in a straightforward manner. When I was more active on this board, you may have noticed I did not ever jump into the "everybody needs a rescue or a working dog" arguments. I left the breeding arguments to those who are truly the core of the board. I respected the Sticky. After much thought and reflection on myself, my career, and my philosophy on life, I could not personally agree that all agility dogs should be supplied by working breeders and rescues. I think casual participants should certainly look to rescue. I, personally, have found that few working breeders are willing to divulge much health information about relatives of their dogs, or even the health of pups they have bred. You have to know somebody who knows somebody to get the info. As far as structure, believe it or not LOTS can be told about a dog's structure at 8 weeks. This has been known for some time in conformation and sports circles. The angles and overal proprotions of a pup at 8 weeks is pretty closely approximated by the dog it becomes at 2 years. As I said, you all believe what you believe. And I certainly will neve be a breeder-for-profit. But will I breed my own dogs, FOR MYSELF, in the future? Probably, yes. If they continue to meet all the criteria I mentioned previously.
  5. I know you have moved on from this topic, but I figured I might as well throw out a view from the other side. I am a sports person. Pure and simple. I'm not on these boards any more because after much thought and research I found that my personal philsophy did not mesh with that of the boards. I do read here once in a while for interesting health topics or just interesting border collie stories (or drama!). Most of you will disagree with some of what I'm going to say. Go ahead. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I do believe those of you on this board are the guardians of the working stock dog and I think that is no small task. I have a lot of respect for those who work the dogs as they were originally intended, and work hard to maintain that level of talent. However. I am a sports person. I was raised a sports person. I began doing agility when I could still walk under the dogwalk without hitting my head. I have been competing and training in agility since 1992 - for 16 years. That is the majority of my lifetime. I eat breathe and sometimes dream agility. So I am one of those who got the dog FOR the sport. Now, my dogs do NOT live in crates 24/7. They eat great food, they sleep on my bed and my couch. They get out to run and play once a day at least. I love them. They live good doggy lives. I only crate them when they're young and can't be trusted loose, and when we're traveling. I do not "go through dogs" although I am beginning to collect quite a few. I re-homed one dog, once. She was 7 years old, and it was a temporary "vacation" that turned into a permament retirement home. I keep in touch. Anyway, here are the reasons that I and people I know go to sports breedings. Keep in mind I am a very serious competitor, not just a "for fun" person. I don't just pretend to be a World Team hopeful, I really am. I placed in USDAA National Finals the last 2 years running, and already won my way into the Finals this year as well. This is what I and my closest agility friends look for in a dog: Health. Not just parents' OFA, but parents' siblings, grand-parents, pups from previous litters. If there is dysplasia, then how much? How many OFA Fairs? Excellents? How about Pennhip? I prefer to see a dog with both scores, if possible. I will not take a puppy from a parent who OFA'd Good but has no siblings with hip scores. Both of my first 2 dogs were dysplastic and I like to reduce the chances of that happening again. Sure, it's always possible that a dog whose parents are OFA Good, whose parents' siblings are all Fair-Excellent, and whose grandparents are all good too, will have a dysplastic pup. But its less likely than a total unknown, or one with known dysplasia in the lines. Epilepsy: Full sibling of either parent seizes? Won't touch it. Half-sibling? maybe. . .depending on how many other relative are out there and healthy and over 4 years old. CEA Testing - I'd accept one parent if it was Normal. I won't take a s/n contract puppy. If I put 5 years of hard work into a dog, and it is the Best Agility Dog Ever, and all its siblings are healthy, I will probably want to breed it. Structure: Prefer a dog who is long and lean without being weak. Good front structure is important to jumping, as a shorter neck that is low set can get a dog into trouble on takeoff. Compensating for that can throw the rear end out of alignment. Good moderate rear angulation gives you acceleration and speed. Flexibility is important for tight turns and the ability to accelerate and decelerate quickly. A dog who is too small will have trouble jumping the jumps. A dog that is too tall will have trouble going full speed between them. Temperament/Drive: Most people I know absolutely do NOT want a dog that is over-the-top drive level. It's a pain in the ass to deal with and we all live in houses too. I only know ONE person who kennels her dogs all the time. And I know a lot of people. Most of us want dogs who flop on the couch at home but when you go outside with a toy they turn ON and want to work/play with you. Softness/Hardness level is very important as well, a dog that is too soft becomes unwilling to keep trying behaviors for fear of being wrong. A soft dog like that can be difficult to get to run full speed because of fear of making mistakes (even if you aren't a hard trainer, a soft "no" can be enough to upset some dogs). A dog that is too hard will keep making the same mistake over and over and not care as long as he's enjoying himself. A dog with too much eye or stickiness tends to get stuck on contact behaviors and is hard to "free up" and get moving properly. A dog who wants to outrun people makes it hard to run down straight lines of jumps as their tendency is always to move away from the handler in a circular pattern (don't laugh, it's true, I've seen it a lot - keep in mind I'm not making claims about the way these dogs would actually be on stock). Also the dog should be smart enough to problem solve, but not so forward-thinking that it tries to guess the course before being given direction at speed. I know some strict working breeders who produce fantastic agility dogs. But even the ones I really like I know have close relatives with bad hips or not-so-great temperament in some way or another (too soft, etc). I also know plenty of sports breeders who I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole because of health problems in their lines too. So don't think I'm only saying "working people don't do health checks". I am saying "sports people have trouble finding working people who do health checks, keep track of the health and temperament of the puppies they've produced, and are willing to sell unspeutered to sports people" and hopefully the parents are at least close to all the criteria above. Again, I don't expect you guys to agree with any of this, but since you asked, here are the reasons we go to sports breeders. Why do we like working lines mixed in? Well because we know that the brains come from the working dogs. And the ranginess in structure is often found there too. Fluffy square dogs don't really cut it at the top levels most of the time, at least not here in the Northeast (we have some of the absolute biggest trials). Please keep in mind this post is in response to the Original Poster's question. It probably justifies nothing to most of you. But plain and simple here are the reasons, and what we look for. I can think of very very few working breeders who produce the type of dog we want, and keep track of all the health of close relatives. I will say I agree that its silly when sports breeders claim they are producing "working" dogs. I don't agree with them advertising that at all. If you breed for agility, then say that. If you are producing fast twitch Flyball beasts, then say that.
  6. I don't post much anymore, but since Pat mentioned me I'll say my thing. I've been training running contacts for 5 years. My dog Drifter has been clocked on the dogwalk at 1.35 (on video, with replays), so yes, they sure are fast. I taught him with a foot target, then faded it away on the a-frame so he runs that naturally. I don't think that 30%/70% number is from real research - my boy hits the a-frame 95-98% of the time. He's missed one this year out of 7 trials, which was maybe 15 a-frames? And the one he missed was at the first trial back from the winter. The dogwalk I still try to require him to hit the "target" most of the time (which is in the yellow, not on the ground), but sometimes I allow him to run full-out, which is how he gets the fastest times. Even when he doesn't hit his target as I'd like, he still rarely actually misses the yellow, although he is slightly less consistent than on his a-frame, I suppose. I don't believe Sylvia Trkman teaches a target area of any kind, she simply teaches the dog how to run down comfortably without jumping. I don't think that method will work reliably for you unless you are a very, very good, intuitive dog trainer that can see problems before they start, and work out ways to solve them. Look at it from the dog's point of view. If you don't think the dog will understand the behavior, then I wouldn't train it. If you have no criteria like a target or a lie-down, then you can't correct the dog for missing it at the trial. There's nothing to correct. In closing, my usual opinion on running contacts is that they are really cool to watch, but difficult to train, AND they create more difficult handling challenges - the only time my dog actually stops on course is the table! Yikes! That not only makes my job harder, but it also means my dog doesn't have a moment anywhere to collect his brain - he is running full-out all the time. Sometimes with a young dog, it helps a lot to have them stop for a second and cool their mental jets. . . If I were not thinking World Team, personally, then I would go with 2o2off. In fact I have my 22-month old stopping on the bottom of the dogwalk right now. I will probably fade that eventually, but since I don't have contacts at home myself, it's difficult for me to train! ETA: i think most wrist wear comes from the up contact on the a-frame. However, if you are very worried about it, try looking into the 4-on-the-floor method. That method will work for you IF you are very consistent with insisting the dog actually does the end behavior all the time. If you let it erode the dog may start missing the contact.
  7. I don't know anybody around here that stops entering a game altogether after getting that title. We have Lifetime Acheivement Awards in USDAA that require you to keep accumulating each class, so most people keep entering everything. And of course, MY BODY never screws my dog up. I'm the perfect handler I never try hard to teach my dogs verbal obstacle discriminations but they always seem to learn them by the time they're 3 or so anyway. Or they at least learn "Out X" versus "Come X"
  8. Now don't get too cocky up there in Canada, my dog does 9/10 gambles that I run him in. There are lots of great gamble and snooker dogs down here. It's extremely rare to see a Masters Snooker won by someone who didn't do all 7's. I would never put sheep by an agility ring. . . that's just mean. . . and I train on stock in my "spare time" I don't believe in training for gamblers because I always expect my dogs to handle the same no matter what distance they are at. So that's an example of how I'm probably different from a lot of folks. I never train FOR gamblers, but my dogs almost always DO the gamble, so obviously what I do works. And don't even try to say American gambles are easy, because they aren't! I've never competed in Canada but know a few people who drive up for AAC Nationals. Too long a drive for me. But unless you compete down here all the time, you probably shouldn't say "lots of American dogs"! I don't know more than 1 or 2 Canadian dogs, and I honestly have never competed in Canada so i would never make generalizations about the dogs up there. I bet the training and running styles are not that different.
  9. I have seen wires work on weaves too, but when the club I was in used wires, they put them on a channel and used them as back up, so the dog really was just learning a channel. I think the difference with the weaves is that the dog must learn the striding/foot pattern no matter what method you use, but it seems to me that it takes longer with wires, since the dogs are more focused on "I can't get out of the weaves" instead of thinking "how do I go through them" I have used 2by2's for years now. I think I have the first dog trained that way to do the 60-pole challenge, but that's unconfirmed. He was young so 14.1 was a pretty good time, but no records (he was maybe 22 months old, this was back in mid-2004) I love 2by2's but I think some people get too caught up in training entries while they're still open, and take too long to add all the weaves once they are closed. Anyhow, yes, I definitely want to train in ways that keep the dog focused on the real obstacles, not props. What I don't like about props is that when there IS a prop, the dog will focus on the prop. The only behavior the dog knows that he is learning is "go under/through the hoop". He doesn't KNOW he's supposed to learn "duck your head down". That's my beef with hoops. How do you tell your dog which part of that behavior is what you want? You can't. So essentially hoops (and weave wires) are just sort of teaching by preventing the wrong thing from happening at home. Of course I acknowledge that dogs and people can learn things they don't have to think about. I AM typing after all But I just don't like the term "muscle memory" because people tend to think that it is what it sounds like - a memory you can imprint on a dog's muscles by repeating something a lot. I don't really agree that you can fade hoops from contacts and still get the same behavior all the time - unlike weaves, where there's only one way to go through them properly, there are many ways to run down a ramp, and the dog has no real reference or reason to change his striding coming down. Nobody has to listen to everything I say, but I believe rather passionately in what I'm talking about and have trained and helped train lots of dogs and seen many things go wrong, and I'm really just trying to stir some thoughts in people.
  10. I guess what I really don't like is the term and some of the old school thoughts behind it. For instance back in the early 90's we used to think that if you put a cookie on the bottom of the contact all the time at home, the dog would get magic muscle memory and be fooled into always looking for it (and of course striding down towards the invisible cookie) at trials. That obviously didn't work. I have nothing against using hoops as a secondary tool to help a dog who is having trouble with something, but in all my years of training I have never really seen a prop like a hoop, strider, etc really "teach" a dog anything. Sometimes a dog will learn something useful and apply it on their own but most dogs trained with only those props don't hit the contacts reliably at all. I know a couple people who use hoops just to keep their dogs from jumping onto the aframe too hard but that's just a safety thing. They aren't really trying to train anything with them. I always want my dogs to apply their brains to learn a behavior, and to focus on the actual obstacle rather than any props, because if they are focusing props to learn a behavior then when the prop is gone the behavior will be too in most cases. I still wouldn't call that muscle memory with your dogs and the wire, I'd call that reflex. Something like that wouldn't transfer to, say, your neighbors yard. And props don't transfer to new situations where they never were either (in my opinion). I don't train like most people, but thought I'd share an opposing viewpoint. I very much try to train by getting inside my dogs' heads and trying to figure out how to get them understand a behavior, not just to do it. If they understand it, they are much less likely to fail in new situations.
  11. Well, yes, if it were that easy many trainers would be out of business, right? Dogs can't see the full range of color. Some contacts they can tell the difference, some they can't. For instance green, yellow, and orange all appear to be shades of the same color for them. So a green/yellow a-frame looks very similar to a dog. An indigo one with yellow zones might be obvious, but there's too many different paint jobs out there. But in general, dogs don't differentiate yellow very well. Ever throw an orange toy in the grass and wonder why they couldn't find it? It blends to them. What you're describing with the stairs and a target is basically what we would call a foot target, and if you're consistent training with it you can certainly use that on the contact. Dogs can learn places very well, regardless of color. So the dog can easily learn a certain spot on the contact or the ground and step on it if you start out by putting his target there and then slowly taking it away and teaching him to hit that spot without it.
  12. I wasn't implying that you thought hoops were the only way to train. But Shetlander, that isn't muscle memory either. See, wires are pretty much invisible to a dog at full speed so unless they stopped and made sure they weren't there, they're going to play it safe by jumping over them. I'm sure once they slowed down and checked it out, they stopped jumping. I don't consider that muscle memory at all. I think muscle memory is a very misleading term and too many people are convinced that if you just repeat something enough times the dog will magically behave that way forever after. Many dogs learn many behaviors in the ring that they never do at home. I used to run a dog who would bite me playfully in the ring. Wouldn't do it anywhere else. I see LOTS of dogs who have lovely perfect contacts at home, all the time, trained with whatever method, and yet they will jump in the ring. Lots of dogs run differently in the ring to begin with - the stress and excitement will cause them to go faster or slower, add strides or take them away. If a dog's only default behavior is to run down a contact, and he gets very excited, why shouldn't he lift his head and jump? And I've also seen several very fast BC's keep their heads and bodies down and still stride right over it. It happened in the Steeplechase Finals this year in the 26" class. I fundamentally disagree with the popular notion of "muscle memory" because I've seen supposed training techniques involving it break down in the ring many times over the years. I also just don't think that habits you form at home apply during the excitement of trials. I try to teach my dogs with the thought in mind that they WILL be more excited at trials and therefore I want to have either a command to remind them with, or be able to compensate in some other way (even if its babysitting) so they don't start leaping off. I really don't know any competitive dogs that have been trained with hoops, but then I don't know Canadian dogs so if there are great Canadian dogs who were trained that way, please excuse my ignorance. As far as Geoffrey goes: if what you're doing now is working consistently, at trials, I'd leave it alone. I agree that 2on2off is probably a bad idea for a heavy lab. Some dogs will hit the yellow on their own, most won't, just be prepared to train a behavior if something goes wrong, that's all.
  13. Northof49 perhaps you've had great success with hoops, but I know plenty of people who've tried to use hoops and striders and props to teach a dog things, and most dogs that I've seen have learned very little from it. And that's just the point, that they're not on the contacts in the ring; most dogs figure out plenty of things that are different in the ring, and this is often one of them. I don't believe in "muscle memory" as such, I believe in teaching a behavior that the dog has to learn using his brain, and then working with the dog until it becomes a habit. But I want it to be a behavior that I can affect in the ring, not something I'm just hoping will continue to affect him. I've had great success with foot targets, and with Drifter's a-frame I did fade it away so he does essentially just run. I have another dog who is also learning a running a-frame who will never see a hoop, and a 3rd who I have trained to down on the ground now because she had a tendency to "pop" off I didn't stop her. Different methods for different dogs, that's the way I think it should be. But using hoops as the only method to me seems like saying "well I have wires on the weaves at home all the time but now I don't understand why my dog keeps popping out of the weaves at the trial!" My first border collie could leap over the yellow and still go through the hoop! She was very talented! Oh, and to me any contact where the dog was trained to keep moving is a running contact. I don't call it a running contact if the dog was trained to stop and the handler just happens to signal them to keep moving instead - I call that a quick-release. ETA: I down my one dog all the time to re-direct her, as she's young and doesn't always pay enough attention. I've NEVER been called on training in the ring for it in USDAA. (haven't shown in AKC in a long time now) But it's quick- I say "lie down", she hits the deck and looks at me, I tell her where she SHOULD go and she goes.
  14. I just feel that too many people blame it on a mystery trauma that may or may not have ocurred, which they never saw themselves. I'm not advocating that every epileptic dog should have all his relatives s/n right away, but that it should be kept in mind, and I certainly do feel that a dog who seizes absolutely should not be bred. But most epilepsy sites will tell you, that "mystery" idiopathic epilepsy is probably genetic. Laura, I certainly would not call Sophie epileptic. Craig would be a mystery; I've heard others say it was head trauma too, and then siblings and grand-children seized too and it clearly wasn't. As far as low thresholds, this is an excuse I've heard from a high-volume breeder in regards to 2 of her dogs seizing. Apparently they weren't epileptic, they just had low seizure thresholds. That's the same thing, in my mind. If a line of dogs seems to have a low threshold for seizure activity, I sure wouldn't want one. I'm not trying to pick a fight with anybody. I'm just concerned about all the "other" reasons I see for dogs being epileptic these days. Genetics are a big part of it. I know quite a few epileptic pedigrees just as Liz P does, and often the same dogs appear behind the seizing ones.
  15. I know several people with epileptic dogs. None of their dogs are any more or less "OCD-like" than any of the other border collies I know. I don't know ANY dogs that have seized for a reason other than it being idiopathic, which is to say, genetic. Unfortunately there is such an array of lovely excuses for it that breeders often ignore it, or use wonderful excuses or phony research to provide them reasons to keep breeding closely related dogs. To me, epilepsy is the number ONE worst genetic problem I'd ever have in a dog. I would much rather risk hips, ears, eyes, etc. A dog that is dysplastic/deaf/blind can still live a happy, healthy life (excepting the very worst of each problem, but most dogs don't fall into those categories). I wish people would be more open with problems in their own lines. I know lots of people who have dogs linebred on dogs with epileptic relatives, and they don't even know it! Anyhow, behavior wise, I have definitely heard of instances where around seizure-activity, the dog loses some awareness of what's going on. We had an older dog (retriever) seize once in his old age (he was developing a brain tumor!), and afterward he was suddenly the happiest friendliest most clueless dog. He was wagging his tail and sniffing noses with our other male at the time, who he usually was busy trying to fight with. Seizures are odd brain activity, but I don't think the dog's behavior at times other than when they are about to or have just seized should be any indicator of whether they are/are not epileptic.
  16. I train with running contacts on some of my dogs. I never use hoops. They don't teach a dog anything useful. I used a foot target on one dog (Drifter) but then faded it away on the a-frame for a natural running stride. He is supposed to hit it still on his dogwalk but sometimes blows me off at trials. Running contacts are not for beginning trainers or for the faint of heart. They require that you uphold criteria constantly, have great timing in rewarding/correcting your dog, and be a good enough handler to handle complicated sequences without the dog pausing on the end of the contact. I know some dogs who have had great success with Hit It boards, and some that have had little to no success at all with it. I don't personally like it very much. I want to reward the dog for the behavior, and I want the behavior to be deliberate on the dog's part, not just incidentally brushing the right spot.
  17. I was kind of worried that that was how I had come across. I mention yelling or growling because simply walking away usually isn't enough. The dog needs to know that "Mom" is NOT happy with the behavior, and that's WHY the dog is walking out. My dogs also would happily walk around with me, but I lean/glare/growl ANd remove them from the situation when they bark and they get the hint. Of course, for all the amazing training the in the world, it should be noted that not even Susan Garrett was able to get Buzz to completely stop barking at trials! Some dogs are just incorrigible!
  18. I don't yell at my dogs constantly. Please don't get that impression. I just see far too many people so obsessed with finding the "positive" way to get their dogs to be quiet. . . . Barking is a self-reincorcing behavior. The dog barks, he likes it, so he barks some more. As Lenajo said, this is something I simply won't tolerate in my own dogs. I also don't tolerate it when I teach; if a dog barks like that I ask that they be left in the car when it's not their turn. My dogs are allowed to bark only if they are alarm barking AT something/someone. No recreational barking or mindless excitement barking. This does matter - the field where I train has had neighbors complain about barking dogs and the township will be upset if he starts complaining to them. I'm sure this is true in more than my one circumstance. Barking dogs are nuisances to others, not just their owners. The way I correct my dogs goes like this (I would definitely invest in a head halter, by the way, for a barky dog) Dog barks. I say something quiet like "hey" and pull gently on the head halter to turn the dog's head towards me. If the dog quiets down and looks at me - even if it's only because I'm holding the halter, I praise and/or give treat. If the dog continues to bark, I will growl "Hey" a bit meaner, and walk backwards firmly. If the dog quiest down as above, I praise as above. If the dog continues to bark and act out, I growl, glare (use body language! act mad!), and firmly walk the hell away until the dog settles. When they do, it's praise, treat, and take a few steps closer, until you find the "line" of distance where your dog can stay quiet. You have to make barking something he doesn't want to do. You'll probably need to combine associating negative consequences (verbal correction + walking away) for barking and positive ones for shutting up. That said, some dogs just have hard time focusing in a class when they are starting out. It might be a good idea to get a few privates to get started, then try again in the class once the dog gets the idea they are there to work with you, not watch. I also don't tend to let my dogs watch other dogs at all (except when walking past rings at trials, etc). ETA: At 9 months my dogs barely know Sit, Down and Stay, so don't rush anything. . . And I absolutely do believe in correcting dogs who being selfish and inconsiderate by screaming till my ears fall off. I'm in charge, after all. I also yell at them for getting into the trash, chewing things they shouldn't, etc. If dogs don't learn how to take a correction, they are difficult to train, usually becoming either obstinate or softer than they need to be. I take care to teach my dogs that a correction means "Stop doing that right now!" but it also means "try something else and you will be praised"
  19. When my dogs bark, I yell at them. It's worked so far. Also if he is excitement barking removing him from the situation until he stops barking should help. Once he shuts up, bring him back. He barks take him away again. He should begin to get the idea. Barking is a pet peeve of mine and I won't tolerate it from my own dogs. Then again if they've learned it, it can be a very difficult habit to break. I get after them as little pups so they have it set in their mind by the time they're grown that it's NOT OK. Corrections will NOT hurt a dog! Many people don't ever correct their dog, and then when they finally do yell at it, the dog can't handle the stress and shuts down. If you start corrections early and teach the dog what they mean, they will learn that a "No" is not the end of the world. You wouldn't ignore a shouting carrying on little child would you?
  20. Thanks for all your thoughts. She's almost 18 months old. I waited some because she was just so overly-enthusiastic at first, and I wanted to let her mature mentally. No I can't video - NOT talented to do that and dance around sheep at the same time! Yes I can follow her around to push her off the 10-o'clock spot but too much 'chasing' gets her a little too excited to think hard. She does try to balance them to me but on that come-bye side she just sort of hesitates. My instructor and I are working out a little plan for her. I think she's got talent, we just have to calm her down and get some miles on her. My boy has been trained very sporadically due to my agility schedule but miraculously he still makes good progress every time, so I'm a little spoiled!
  21. Geeze, stupid computer! It told me my post hadn't even posted this morning! I've talked to my instructor some too, and she feels that we need to get her off the sheep farther, and she also corrected me that it is a 70ft round pen :-)
  22. Hey, I'm just looking for any additional exercises I might be able to work on with my youngster. I've only just started her recently, and she is very EAGER to get to her sheep, however despite her maniac look she goes right around them and will circle nicely. She changes directions easily as well, and is doing a little natural wearing. This is all in a maybe 40-foot round pen, on 5ish sheep who are pretty well-behaved but not knee-clingers. Her issue is that on the come-bye direction she is tighter and often gets stuck at about 10-o'clock. This happens both with mini-wearing and just the baby-dog circling exercises. She is farther off and covers better on the away side. She usually hangs up right about where the sheep butts are :-) (I guess she's not a natural "header"?) Any ideas for helping fix this now, before we move on in training or it becomes a bigger issue? Of course I'm working on using a paddle or stick to guide her out farther, but she still hangs up before I can get to her. Sometimes using it or "pushing" her out too much makes her more excited, as well, which doesn't really help. I was wondering if there are any other easy little exercises to help her understand to cover both directions better. I don't think she could keep the sheep with her yet in a bigger area, but my instructor could use a dog to help us if need be. Would it make sense to take her out of the pen and start wearing over larger areas and let her figure out how to cover that way? She wants to wear really badly and while close, does seem to have an understanding of NOT to push the sheep overtop of me (she will stop and stand if she's on balance, and walk if the sheep are walking)... P.S. I CAN down her if I growl a bit (found that out when she kept catching up on the leash and I wanted to take it off rather than have her break a leg).
  23. Thanks guys! I haven't been online much since I've been busy working (gotta make money to spend it on dogs) and training and trialing. The rest of our weekend was fair unremarkable - no E's but no other placements, aside from 3rd in GP Quarterfinals (which doesn't count for anything). Luckily he decided to be the dog I've always known he is - in 2 classes, at least! (Semi's and Finals) Yes, Spree does indeed do a bit of a stutter and over-jump thing, but somehow or other she is still really fast. Actually Juice had the fastest time in 26" but she missed her contact. There were lots of missed contacts, even though there was only one a-frame. Lucky for me, Drifter's a-frame is independent, reliable, and FAST (he runs over it).
  24. I had a student with a BC who was totally soccer ball motivated. I have 2 rules regarding balls in class: 1. the dog HAS to know the ball comes from you, that you control it, and you must interact in some way when you play with it (throwing repeatedly DOES count) 2. please throw it outside the arena, after the dog has completed his run It doesn't sound the other 2 dogs in this class are really going to be yanking anybody's arms off over a ball. My class is 4 fast BC's. . . Oh, and don't always run with it in full view like a lure. Ideally, the ball can be kept ringside once you're doing 'sequences' of obstacles, and once you're done (or got a hard part correct) then person and dog run back to the ball location and play with it out of the way. Some trainers will not allow fetching in place of tug. I prefer tug, but as long as the dog knows that YOU control the toy and is playing with YOU, then who gives a rat's rear? Oh, and I don't really use treats to train my dogs to do anything. They're not necessary. Useful sometimes, for some behaviors, but completely unnecessary I even teach targets with toys. ETA: now that I thought about it, I don't even HAVE any treats, at all, and I currently am training a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 15-month old who's just barely learning her obstacles. So don't worry about treats too much, and hopefully your instructor is open to giving you a shot at it with toys instead. Oh, and if the dogwalk is low enough he won't hurt himself falling off, then just teach him that falling off is not what you want, and let him work out his own speed. My dogs DO fall off when they're learning. . . and that's. . . OK. . . see, even kamikaze BC's don't actually ENJOY hitting the ground from 3-5 feet up at 97mph. . . so they adjust!
  25. Just so you know, there are actually 3 different FedEx drivers for every area. . . FedEx Express operates completely independently from FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery - there is a separate driver for each of those branches, although sometimes Home Delivery and Ground packages can be mixed between their systems, Express packages will NEVER be delivered by Ground and vice versa. So if you got a package and you want to contact the terminal the driver dispatched from, you'd need to go back and check to see if it was Express, Ground, or Home Delivery. You could probably then call the 800 number for FedEx customer service, and tell them you had an issue with a driver from the terminal that delivers to your house, and then ask them to connect you to somone AT that terminal and tell them there - they should have fax - they could even post your flyer inside the terminal and give it to the drivers if you fax it to them (and they're willing - I can't speak for ALL Fedex employees!) You could probably do this anyway, just to get the word out even more.
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