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Everything posted by silhouettestable

  1. Thanks nice to be back. Hopefully this little old laptop keeps going at least a few more weeks, I have a nice new one on order for my daughter for Christmas that I plan to share
  2. Wow! I haven't been on this forum in AGES, cause my computer was messed up and wasn't letting me into some sites. It finally crashed and now I'm on an even older laptop that can't seem to access everything online cause it's so old and I'm testing what I CAN get into. Lo and behold, first time back on this board and one of the first things I read is about BC's pulling :D/> Not only can they pull, they can do it well. We use ours for skijoring, sprint racing, a bit of mid-distance racing and recreation. We do dryland training with a 3-wheeled rig and scooter and have raced dryland too, but my preference is running on snow with a sled. My daughter and I both race 4 dog teams in the 4 mile sprint classes and I've done 6 dog 15 miles and plan to do that again this winter and a 6 dog 20 mile class too, in addition to our sprint racing. I often hook up an 8 dog team for training and fun too. I usually log my training runs and races and have put on over 300 miles in a season. As for how BC's compare with other breeds for pulling, in the classes I enter I always finish in the top half of the class. We are competing against teams of siberian huskies, alaskan huskies (a type developed over many years for racing and faster than the majority of purebred sibes), greysters (greyhound mix), pointers and other houndy mixes (some called eurohounds). I train with a cycling computer or a gps and have logged my dogs max speed at 25.7mph (yes, miles, not km) They don't maintain that speed, that would just be coming out of the starting chute. I usually record a max of 20 or 21 when training but speeds fluctuate throughout a run and average training speeds for a whole run are often more around 10-12mph and racing averages around 14-16mph. The winning teams are averaging speeds of about 20mph. One race I go to also has a weight pull and for fun I entered a dog in it last year. He's not purebred BC, he's BC/lab mix. He did very well and ended up coming 2nd. He had completed his last pull and could have tried again to go for a win but it was his first time doing a weight pull and he was getting tired. My friend's dog who was also still in it was looking less tired and I figured would win anyhow so I didn't want to demoralize my dog by asking him to do more when he was already trying so hard and getting tired. So I decided to stop while he was having fun and we took 2nd Something else we had some fun with last year was I was asked to take part in an elementary school's winter carnival and give dogsled rides. there was barely any snow so I started with only 4 dogs until they tired a bit (would have been no stopping a big team in those conditions) and then added in more dogs after so I had 8 on for hauling the kids around. We gave rides to over 200 kids that day. The next day we had another interesting "job". I'd been hired to deliver a bride by dogsled to her outdoor wedding, on the lake in front of her cottage. She met me at the public boat launch and I drove her about a mile or so down the lake and into the bay by her family's cottage. Dropped her off for the ceremony and I took the dogs for a spin around the lake and then back to the wedding for photos. It was lots of fun for the bride, guests and us and some of the children in attendance also got a little ride in the sled :)/> ETA:I usually harness break dogs somewhere around 8-10 months of age but keep it very short and fun with no real weight. They're about a year old before I start doing more and gradually work up the distances they're running as they gain experience and condition. As with any activity, you don't want to rush to do too much too early and injure your dog although running in harness is fairly low impact since there is no jumping, no sudden stopping or turning. It's just running smoothly straight forward with teammates also helping pull what little weight there is to a sled or training rig. If you're going to be doing any pulling it's important to get a proper harness designed for the type of work your dog will be doing. There are many different types of pulling harnesses available for different builds of dogs and different types of pulling. A freighting harness would be used for weight pull or other heavy pulling; one of the many different kinds of sledding harness would be used for sledding, dryland training or skijoring; or a carting harness for carting (different again than dryland rigs)
  3. Haven't been on for a while...just catching up with this now. I did go ahead and get them processed and have sold some to help offset the cost. The rest I'm keeping for the dogs. I did think about skinning but I wanted to keep the skin and fat for the dogs. I feed a kibble based diet but supplement with various meats for extra protein and fat when the dogs are working doing training runs and racing (sled dogs). I raise chickens for our own use and in the colder months I tend to cook it frequently so the dogs often get chicken, chicken soup or broth, hearts and livers, whole raw eggs etc. plus my neighbour has started giving me a bunch of meat from her freezer whenever she decides to clear it out. Nothing wrong with it but every now and then she decides to make room for fresher stuff she gets in her freezer orders. From her I've gotten: ground beef, stew beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork, venison etc. Depending what I pull out of the freezer I might just thaw and feed raw or I might cook it up in a roast pan and then kind of stew it and take bones out.
  4. No input on the LGD's but I hope your other ducks return unharmed. I had a neighbour's dog go after my chickens one day back in the early summer but luckily I was home and ran out and he took off. I went and told the neighbour and he's never been back. He injured one chicken bad enough that it died but when the others scattered a bunch of them went up into the bush. I didn't know how many might have been dead or missing but the rest came back okay. I hope the same happens with your ducks.
  5. They do pass and he heals all up except the hair is a bit thinner in some spots so he has a bit of a scarred look. Luckily it seems to look worse than it feels because he really doesn't act much bothered by it other than when it's bad around the eyes, at which time he rubs it along the fence and makes it bleed and scab worse. Yes there is more than one condition referred to as collie nose, one is solar nasal dermatitis which usually affects dogs that have white markings and pink skin above the nose. The others are the auto-immune disorders. The only way to be sure would be to have it biopsied and go from there. Treatment in that case could include prednisone which I'm hesitant to put him on for an extended period. Last time the vet saw him she suggested I manage it by keeping him out of the sun, using sunscreen on him and she also gave me an anti-inflammatory/antibacterial eye ointment to put on around the eyes to help soothe that area. I also use a zinc oxide cream on the rest of his face and ear tips and since I suspect seasonal allergies are contributing I'm also currently giving him Benadryl. It's not as bad now as in these pictures. The sores on his nose are now healed and the pink on the nose leather is turning black again. The bridge of the nose is still bald and pink but not as raw looking as a couple of weeks ago.
  6. I also missed this post the first time around. I'm glad his nose is better now but keep a close watch on it in future. My rough collie Noah has had "nose issues" for the last 2-3 years and each time it comes back it gets worse. The first time all that happened was he lost a bit of pigment above his nose for a few months and then the colour came back. Now when he gets it he looses hair all up the bridge of the nose, around the eyes, tips of his ears and gets all scabby. This most recent time he also lost pigment on some of the nose leather and got sores there too. And, in conjunction with all that going on with his face he he's been getting terrible hot spots on the back of his thighs and under his belly. He's turning 9 in October and he's only been getting all this happening in the last 2-3 years. He's been seen by the vet who did a skin scraping on his face which came back negative for mange, yeast or bacterial infections. I suspect environmental allergies are contributing to Noah's problems, he only gets this in the warmer months and in the winter he's fine no matter how much time he spends out in the sun then. Here are some pictures showing the progression of what he looked like the first time he experienced any problems, and more recent ones I took a few weeks ago. His face is now looking better than when I took these most recent pictures but the hot spots have started again.
  7. I think I'm going to be there Sunday. Was planning to go for sure (probably more than one day) but things changed. Busy with work and my brother and I have to take care of some family business and he may only be available to come up on Saturday. Still hoping to get there Sunday though unless more plans change. At least I'm close enough (about an hour northeast of the trial) that I can go "spur of the moment" if that's the way things work out.
  8. Reminds me of one of my dogs recently....in town, working geese one evening and there was a crowd of people around for the friday evening music by the river (band set up, people standing & sitting all around, some walking the paths along the river, some with dogs etc.) Anyhow, my dog was totally focused on the geese swimming downstream, ignoring the people, dogs, etc. completely intent on the geese...so much so she jumped right over some guy laying on the grass much to his surprise and the crowd's entertainment Nothing gets between her and her geese
  9. You can get neoprene wraps for support/protection from sled dog suppliers. Here's one example: Booties & Wraps Not sure where you're located but you can find links to various suppliers if you check out this site and click on the "equipment and supplies" link (left side, scroll down) Sled Dog Central
  10. Have you looked on ebay? I haven't been on there in a long time but there are often various stickers, decals and license plate frames available on there. Another thought would be to make up your own through a site like Cafe Press or Vista Print. Can't remember if Vista Print does stickers but they do make decals and you can choose to have them made for inside or outside the window in case your windows are tinted dark. Everything is completely customizable so you can upload the photo/graphic you want and ad the text in whatever font/colour you want to. Or just upload the complete design as is, as long as it is high enough quality to give you a nice finished product. I've only used Cafe Press once for some bumper stickers but I've ordered a lot from Vista Print...usuaslly when they're offering free promotional stuff and I only pay the shipping, or for extra customization beyond the basic item they're offering free. Some of the things I've gotten there include business cards, letterhead, mouse pad, banner, truck door magnets ( there's another thought for you, they have different sizes & styles of magnets available), note pads, pens, notebook, keychain, t-shirts, hats.....you can find them either at vistaprint.com or vistaprint.ca I think with all their items you can either start with a pre-designed template or just choose "blank template" and start customizing.
  11. I've been reading up on diatomaceous earth. It seems that it can be applied externally to treat fleas and ticks, and also fed (food grade only, or it's poisonous!) to keep worm-free. I've had to treat for tapeworms several times in the last year, my dogs kept getting them from eating mice in the chicken coop. Drontal gets so expensive I decided to try the DE and have had my dogs on it for the last few weeks. Haven't had any fleas or ticks so I haven't used it for that purpose yet. Here's a link with some good info about DE: Diatomaceous Earth
  12. You know this is probably going to sound stupid but I can't remember what I paid last year. It used to be a minimum charge of $4/turkey for 16 pounds & under and $0.25/lb above that, double per pound for birds over 30lb but I think it went up last year. I think it might have been a $5 minimum now, $0.30/lb and $1/lb over 30 lbs (they're trying to discourage the really big birds). Chickens I don't remember at all but they are a set price per bird, not by the pound. I don't sell any chickens I just raise a few for our own freezer so I don't necessarily keep track of the costs all that well. With turkeys I get about 10, keep 3 for our own holiday dinners and sell the others. I just called last night to check the cost for ducks and they said $6.50/duck. I figured that with my ducks laying so many eggs I'd incubate them and hatch out some ducklings to raise for my dogs. I've got them on starter feed right now but the plan is to mostly let them free range so that I don't have a lot of money invested in feeding them. From what I hear duck is not inexpensive to buy so if I market them I may be able to get enough back to pay for the processing the whole lot and it will work out to be inexpensive meat in the freezer. I just need to find out what would be a fair price to ask for free-range duck.
  13. Can anyone give me an idea of what price per pound duck sells for? I'm raising some to put in the freezer for my dogs but I'd like to sell some also to recoup at least some of the processing fee. Either that or do the deed myself and keep them all but I'm not sure I really want to get into that. Used to do our own chickens and turkeys but we've been taking them to the processor for years now.
  14. If you're going to run two, why not get them proper pulling harnesses (either x-back or the "shorty" skijor harness), teach them to line out in front and join them with a neckline (so they run close beside each other)? Lots of skijorers and sledders bikejor or scooter with their dogs in the spring and fall. I haven't ridden a bike in so long I'm not nervey enough to hook my dogs up to one, but I do have a 3-wheeled training rig I use that's made from BMX bike frames and I run up to 4 dogs on that. For bikejoring you can hook up your line to the front of the bike below the handlebar and a bungee section will reduce any jerking on both yourself and your dog(s). You can find lots of info about biking and scootering with dogs in the dryland forums at Sled Dog Central forum or at Skidogs.ca Here are 3 of my guys on a training run a couple of years ago. I don't think I have any more recent pictures of them dryland training
  15. I feed eggs too, whole raw eggs in the shell. The dogs just don't really need too much "extra" stuff right now when they're not really working. It's the winter time when they're training and racing when I like to add the extra protein and fat from meat. That's why I was thinking ducks in the freezer might be a good thing. I wonder if eggs could be stored in the freezer? When I get frozen cracked eggs in the winter I feed them to the dogs, but I've never tried purposely freezing eggs and storing them that way. My coop doesn't have electricity so without light and heat I get very few eggs from the chickens in the winter, and the ducks stop laying. I wonder if I could put some eggs away in the freezer for the dogs for when my supply is low.
  16. Was the duck and rabbit domestic or wild? Could it have had a "gamey" smell or taste? My Lightning is really funny about stuff like that. I cooked up some ground venison for the dogs one day and he barked at it and ran away When it was mixed with chicken and mixed into his kibble he was okay with it, but not when I offered him a piece on it's on. No way! He is kind of the same with lamb. Even when it was cooking he kept looking worriedly (is that a word?) at the kitchen and running away. My other dogs all loved the venison and the lamb, whatever the flavour or scent.
  17. I'm talking about actual duck meat, not kibble with duck as a meat source. If you do, do you feed it raw, or cooked and if cooked how do you prepare it (I have never in my life cooked duck, I can only assume it would be roasted like a chicken if it's whole). How do you find duck as a meat source for dogs? I'm assuming being waterfowl it would probably be fattier than chicken or turkey. I have a few ducks that are pretty much pets, but they are laying eggs. Eggs, and eggs and eggs. LOTS of eggs. A friend of mine has already taken some to incubate, and I'm thinking of incubating some myself to raise duck for the dogs to eat. I do already raise meat chickens and turkeys, for our own consumption and to sell a few, so I'm starting to think, why not ducks? If I find there is a market for them I could maybe sell some, and put a bunch in the freezer too. In the winter I like to have meat for the dogs when I'm working them, sometimes it's just some leftovers and trimmings from our own meals, sometimes I cook up some chicken just for them and I like to make them broth too. Because they work outside in cold weather the fattier the better, they use the fat as an energy source and they don't get fat from it because they are working and burning it off. Just thinking, as the eggs keep accumulating. I could just collect the eggs daily and feed the eggs to the dogs (I don't like duck eggs scrambled etc., although I don't notice a difference from chicken eggs for baking). Right now there are close to 4 dozen duck eggs in my coop that could be set, I've been leaving them there in case the ducks decided to set them but so far they haven't. They just keep laying them and they bury them in the shavings to keep the temperature right. Sometimes they move them around and expose them, other times most are buried. A couple of weeks ago my friend took close to 4 dozen to incubate and now I'm thinking of doing the same.
  18. I just heard it will be on again tonight at 8 and 11 on Showcase. I don't think I get Showcase I wanted to see it since I know some of the dogs in it.
  19. I didn't get to see it, but I think I know the one you're talking about. If it's the one I think, my friend's dogs were in it. I remember at the time of filming all the talk about "commands" being given. Were they also saying things like "away from me" and "come around"?
  20. I believe my Lightning is a BC/lab cross. We know his dad was a purebred BC and his mom was very labby looking but we're not certain if she was 100% lab. Lightning stands 24" and ranges between 58-62 pounds depending on his conditioning. He's the one in my avatar picture, and here's another couple of shots of him. He's the one out in front running single lead on the sled, and the one on the far right in the other picture.
  21. Just found a couple more older pictures. These ones were when Flurry was only a year old and Rain, who's with him in one was a little over 1 1/2. She is my smallest adult dog, she just barely makes 40 pounds now that's she's mature, not sure of her height. Quite the pair if I run them beside each other on my dogsled team. The biggest and the smallest, 64 pounds and 40 pounds, 25+" and maybe 20"?
  22. My Flurry is one of the big ones. He's a good 25" if not more and is 58-60 pounds of lean muscle and bone. ETA, he just weighed in at 64 pounds on April 7. Still not fat, he's built up more muscle sledding over the winter than I had even realized Very heavy legs (thick bone and joints), deep wide chest etc. ETA: Here are some pictures of Flurry. Notice how he towers over my other dogs and how thick his legs are in comparison. Oh, btw, he was 2 in these pictures.
  23. I used to feed Nutro Natural Choice Chicken & Rice to my dogs and they did great on it. However, I was paying $52.99 for a 17kg bag of the large breed formula, and $59.99/bag for the High Energy formula. Feeding 9 dogs it was just getting too costly so I decided to try the Kirkland Signature brand from Costco since I'd heard a lot of good things about it. Seems a lot of people felt it was one of the better lower cost foods available. My guys have been on it for a year now and are doing fantastic and it only costs $25.99 for an 18kg bag. Most of mine are working sled dogs and whatever kind of kibble they're eating I do also supplement with extras (meat/fat etc) when they're in training and racing. Most often the extra meat is chicken since I raise my own poultry. Sometimes I cook some just for them, other times they get soups and broth made from leftovers when we have roast chicken for dinner. Any kind of meat scraps, gravy, fat trimmings etc. go into a "dog" bucket in my fridge to be used as toppings for their kibble. On this kind of diet and with their training they are hard-muscled, have beautiful gleaming coats, good teeth, firm stools and boundless energy. Oh, and I've also started giving them raw marrow bones as a treat occasionally too.
  24. I use some of my dogs for goose work too. I don't have sheep, but I took them to a friends to start working with her sheep before beginning to do anything with geese. The were also already exposed to poultry at home, (chickens and turkeys) and were used to accompanying me into the coop during chores. Next I got permission to take the dogs to some private properties and at first I found that if they put the geese into water even if the dogs swam they didn't really know how to get the geese to leave, and really only one dog wanted to swim. The thing that seemed to really make it click was taking them to geese up in a hayfield were the geese would always fly away. They had no water to head into so they would leave. The dogs got the idea that they were to drive the geese away and now when they swim they don't give up no matter how much swimming they have to do. Also now both dogs are swimming eagerly where before one was more reluctant to enter the water. Last year I was hired by our township to keep the geese away from the public walkways and park, plus I had some other clients as well. In town I did work during the summer months, after clearing it with a conservation officer. A river flows right through our town and that gives the geese access to swim up or downstream from where ever they had nested (don't know where that was, couldn't find any nesting activity on lands I had access to), but it also gave me a route to send them back away. True that they can't be made to fly away in the summer, but because we were not causing them any harm and not putting them in danger on roadways or anything, the CO said it would be fine to drive them back down the river and away from the public areas. My dogs have learned the difference between when I want them to push the geese downstream and when I want them to be getting them right out of the water. I work mainly with those first two dogs but I have also started doing a bit with a couple of my other dogs, usually in quieter private locations. When the geese visit my neighbour's hayfield in the fall it provides a great opportunity to take the younger dogs and get them learning to drive the geese away. Oh, I will also use either one of the first two goose dogs to gather up my chickens and ducks in the evening to put them into the coop for the night. I have pictures of my dogs working geese from last year posted on facebook (3 pages worth of photos!) Goose Dogs at Work Also 2 pages of pictures of them with our ducks. I think this was the first time either one of them was exposed to the ducks out in the open, outside of the coop and they were very intrigued that they flocked up, unlike the chickens Ducks ETA: as for how I went about getting hired by the town, I just submitted a proposal and presented it at one of the council meetings. The town has spend a ton of money on building this nice walkway, plus there has been fundraising done, donations etc. and then people were complaining about it being too messy to even walk on because of the geese. Also the beach at the park would sometimes get posted as unsafe for swimming because of high bacteria counts and the beaches were so full of goose poop that kids couldn't play there in the sand. The town had gotten some group to do a study about possible solutions the previous year but they hadn't made any decisions about it. So I offered them a solution and they took me up on it. Worked out great, the park was clear of geese all summer, beaches were clean and although there were geese in town in the spring and for part of the summer we kept driving them away before they had the chance to make much mess. By July they weren't coming into town as frequently and they stayed away for the whole month of August somewhere downstream and only came back for a few days in September.
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