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Everything posted by silhouettestable

  1. Loudest bark award goes to my dogs, Lightning even has an award to prove it from one of our local fairs, lol! Most of the time they're quiet, but if we're going to "do" something, oh boy, you can't hear a thing when they get going. Total chaos for the first few minutes when I take them out into the field, or the backyard, or when I turn on the tap in the yard to fill their water bucket. And when it comes to sledding? That's a whole other realm of crazy. If I even touch the sled they go nuts. At races most of the dogs bark and scream (and the sibes can make some really weird screaming noises), but mine start as soon as I take them out of the truck and all the way up to the line. As soon as the countdown is over though and they're running it's total silence. A couple of mine have really high pitched yelping kind of barks that are really piercing. One of those is Flurry and it sounds really funny to hear such a noise coming from one of the biggest dogs I have. Flurry and Rain also woo to greet people and sometimes so does Storm.
  2. We just competed in our first race of the season, and it was great to see a few more Border Collies at the race. There were 3 skijoring teams using BC's, two 4-dog teams that were BC/spaniel mixes, and my guys. Can't remember how all the skijorers did though I know one team was 2nd in the 2-dog skijoring (congrats Steve!). In the 4-dog sprint class there were 17 entries in total, 11 competing for the "open" prize money and 6 Siberian Husky teams competing for the "purebred" purse. Last season was my first year racing in the 4-dog open division, going up against teams from Ontario, Quebec, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other states. I was placing roughly middle of the pack, doing better than most of the purebred sibe teams but only able to place above a couple of the open class teams (most of which are racing the Alaskan sled dogs - a kind of husky mix with hound/pointer/greyhound etc. that are fast, fast, fast, bred for generations just to race) So, after a really good training season our year is off to a great start. Of the 17 entries in last weekend's race we placed 7th overall, beating all but one of the Siberian teams (who was ahead of us by only 3 seconds!) And, that put us into 6th place out of the 11 open division entries. Not bad at all for a relatively young/new team of Border Collies and a relatively new musher, going up against the "big names" with the Alaskans. We race again this weekend, this time I'm again in the 4-dog class but also my daughter will be skijoring with one dog and she'll also be doing the youth 2-mile class with 2 dogs. A friend of ours will also be skijoring with her BC. This weekend should be really fun, this time the race is in our own hometown with nice clean (fast) snow (part of last weekend's trails ran along roads and had the snow built up there, but it's never quite as clean or fast as natural snow that's been packed instead of brought in and dumped). Another bonus this time is that my sled should be faster thanks to a friend and fellow musher (actually the winner of my class last weekend), who has helped me with my sled maintenance and given me a set of brand new "slick black" plastic for the bottom of the runners. It's amazing how everyone helps everyone else out in this sport. Doesn't matter where you're from, what kind of dogs you're running, everyone helps handle for everyone else when they're not busy with their own dogs.
  3. On Sled Dog Central there were 2 dryland events with cani-cross classes listed this past fall for Canada East. Here's the schedule, with links to more information: http://www.sleddogcentral.com/schedules/ca...ast/dryland.htm You can also go to the SDC Talk forum and check out the discussions in the Dryland section, or join the forum and ask for more info about cani-cross. Sorry I don't know too much about cani, I run a team of dogs and have only raced on snow.
  4. With any kind of mushing sports (sledding, skijoring, bikejoring or any other dryland kind of training), the dogs are taught the command "on by" which basically just means to ignore any kind of distractions. No stopping to visit people or other dogs, no sniffing around, no investigating any side trails etc. Their job is to run (and pull) in a straight line on the intended trail, for whatever distance the musher is training for or racing in. Could be 4, 6, 8 miles or more for the sprints, or longer for distance. Distance racers do get breaks for rest, snacks, water etc., but not for several miles. "On by" is easy to teach when you're working with just one dog at a time, on leash with you. Keep an eye on Zorro's body language and as soon as he begins to show interest in stopping or any kind of distraction just tell him "on by" and give the leash a little tug towards you to keep him moving past that spot. Don't wait until he's already stopped, or tugged you over to a hydro pole, watch him and prevent that situation from occurring. It won't take long before he knows what you want. If my lead dog even glances down a side trail, I just tell him "on by" and he knows we're not turning there. (if I did want him to turn, that would be gee or haw, depending on which way). And if we're passing other teams, either overtaking them or passing head-on, "on by" means to keep moving and make a clean pass, don't stop and visit the other dogs. You mentioned improving your pace. Do you run competitively? Have you ever thought of doing cani-cross with Zorro?
  5. Mine have no rituals except to inhale it all as fast as possible, with or without any extras added
  6. Hi Cynthia, That will be the weekend before Labour Day, right? I don't know a heck of a lot about sheep and trialing but if there's anything you need an extra set of hands with I can probably help. I say "probably" because it's better if I don't give a firm committment and then not be able to make it. Nowadays I get so bothered by the heat I can barely function, if it's too hot (and especially humid) I feel weak, sick and get migraine headaches so I'm hesitant to say for sure I'll be there doing a job, but if I can make it I'd be glad to help out any way I can.
  7. I have a frost free hydrant for filling the trough and a floating de-icer. The two combined make winter watering super easy. I used to have to chop the ice out and bucket the water over from the tap at the back of my house, and I have also tried using a hose, taking it up over the grape arbour and a tree limb so that it would drain after each use. That worked okay most of the time, but did freeze up a couple of times when I didn't stretch it out enough and some water collected in a sag in the hose. I would disconnect the hose from the tap and stretch that end down to drain from where it went over the arbour, and then go to the other end by the trough and stretch it down from the tree. The system I use now is so much better, and to keep the hydro cost down for the de-icer I put it on a timer so it's only on part of the time, plus I insulate around the trough with some banked up soil and the snow when it comes. I also tip an old sled upside down over part of the trough to keep the heat in and cover it with snow for insulation.
  8. I think temperature has a lot to do with how much the snow clumping up on rough coats would be an issue. Wetter, heavier snows tend to clump more than a colder, drier snow. I never have any issues with snowballs forming anywhere on Storm's body, only in his feet in wetter snow conditions. That being said though, although I like the look of the rough, I am so sold on smooth for the easy wash-n-wear maintenance. All my smooths get some amount of undercoat and never get cold when we're out for hours as long as they're active. When we go to dogsled races they have no problems either racing or spending the rest of the day in the truck, though if it's really bitterly cold I do have coats I'll put on the smoothies. I see a big difference in the amount of coat on my smooths that live in the house and some of their littermates my friend has that appeared to have the same coats as puppies but live out in a barn or dog kennel. Even though the kennel is made from thick squared timbers (an old log barn) and is plastic-ed up to help block drafts and winterize it, they are living in cooler temperatures than my guys and they have much more undercoat on them.
  9. He is so fast and intense in everything he does, I'm guessing he decided to pick up a stick and dove for it, probably impaling himself in a smaller bit. Either that or maybe he got clobbered in the face by Flurry's big stick that he was carrying around when they were playing. We weren't playing with sticks (no throwing and fetching) but about half of our property is heavily treed and there's no stopping them from picking stuff up when I take them out of the back yard to have a run through the fields. Flurry always carries something in his mouth when he runs around, sometimes a ball or toy, sometimes a bone and sometimes a big stick. By about 11pm-midnight last night he was feeling much better, and this morning he was back to his usual self. All swelling is gone, he gobbled up his breakfast and is very smiley and playful again. He'll be on antibiotics for a while but other than that he's fine. What a relief.
  10. Change of plan. A few hours after returning from the vet, I noticed that the swelling in the throat area was no worse, maybe even a bit better but around the corner of his mouth was now swollen too. I was wondering, could it be a tooth abscess forming or did both the vet and I miss something? I decided to take another look myself to see if I could find anything. Laid him down on his side, head flat on the floor and opened his mouth. His tongue fell over towards the floor and BINGO! There was something embedded under it. Examining him while in an upright position wasn't moving his tongue out of the way and neither the vet or I had tried to do that since the problem seemed to be the throat. So I called the vet, they said bring him back right away and leave him to be sedated and have it extracted. This is what they pulled out! The whole thing was buried under his tongue with just the tip showing. Now wonder the poor guy wasn't feeling well.
  11. Went to the vet and she couldn't find anything specific either. She said I had two options, antibiotics and monitor it over the weekend, or anesthetize him and do a more thorough exam. We went with the antibiotics and monitoring, as he seems to be feeling a bit better this morning than last night. His fever is down some and he showed some interest in food, though doesn't have his usual appetite yet. He usually gobbles up his food whether it's plain dry kibble or has extras in it. This time of year when they're in training I'm usually feeding them something extra (meat, gravy, broth etc.) and last night when he wouldn't eat his bowl had roasted chicken and broth added to his kibble and he wasn't even interested. This morning I guess he was hungry enough that he tried a few pieces of plain kibble, but I didn't give him much in case he had to go under anesthesia at the vet. After the appointment I made him a very soupy mix of some kibble, chicken and broth and he slowly ate most of it when I hand fed it to him. I had an appointment booked for tomorrow morning anyhow to take some of the others in for vaccinations, so he's going to go back then too for a recheck. He's now on pain meds and stronger antibiotics than the penicillin I gave him. If that isn't enough and he gets worse over the weekend he'll go back Monday morning to get put out for a more thorough exam or surgery if necessary.
  12. Anyone have any experience with throat injuries? Tomorrow morning I'm taking Lightning in to the vet to get checked out, but my guess is that he may have a sliver or some foreign body in his throat. This morning when I had the dogs all out running/playing in the fields he came up to me making an odd face, like he had something stuck in his mouth or had tasted something bad. He was not choking, and upon examination I could not find anything unusual, no cuts anywhere on his face or in his mouth, except a scratch on his nose (which he may have gotten when I let them out of the back yard from where they all then run and dash under the barbed wire fence to play in the fields). I kept an eye on him, the odd faces stopped and he seemed to be back to normal. With the gray, dismal day it's been here today my dogs have spent most of the day just lazing around the house, so I didn't notice anything further wrong with him. This evening however I noticed he seemed to be more subdued than usual, and he had developed stinky breath. He's usually a good eater but wouldn't touch his supper tonight, even with chicken and broth in it and he has some swelling on his neck in the area where the skin is kind of loose below the jaw. He's not drooling excessively but every now and then I wipe up a stringy bit of drool that is tinted just ever so slightly pink coloured. I've taken his temperature and he has a fever and with that and the suddenly stinky breath I'm thinking he's developing an abscess. I've given him a shot of penicillin to help until I can get him to the vet in the morning. We have no 24 hour clinic here so after hours it would be an emergency visit with whichever vet somewhere in our area is on call. Even if I call my clinic, the answering service would have whichever vet is on call get in touch with me and tell me which clinic to bring him to, and it may not even be a vet I necessarily want to use. Since his breathing is not laboured and he is not showing any signs of dehydration or shock I think it's safe to wait for office hours and go to my regular vet. He was fine first thing this morning, ate his breakfast and was playing as usual when I took them out for playtime. I'm thinking that maybe he picked up a stick or something else and got a piece slivered in there somewhere. If he does have a foreign body in his throat, I don't know how they would get it out without surgery, unless under anesthesia they can see further down into the throat than I've been able to. Has anyone had a similar type of surgery done and if so how long was the recovery? How long before the dog was able to work again and did it end up affecting their breathing and performance? I'm hoping Lightning won't have to miss this season of sledding and that there will be no long-term effects, he's my great gee/haw leader and he keeps the whole team moving well when passing other teams at races. He's also my daughter's superstar kid & mutt dog, they clean up and win almost all the classes they enter.
  13. I think she taught the basic commands in English but the protective training she did used commands in Swahili. After all, you wouldn't want just anyone being able to command a bully breed to attack someone
  14. I just looked at some pictures I took a couple of days ago and found another one, but this time it's both Rain and Blaze that are standing like that. The dogs had all just had a good run around the fields and were taking a few minutes to catch their breath.
  15. Flurry takes that stance that a lot. Some of my others do it too but with them it's usually only when they're harnessed up and waiting to go for a run, at which time they're leaning into the harness ready to start pulling. Flurry does it quite frequently at other times, whenever he takes time to stop running around playing to watch what everyone else is doing. I probably have lots of pictures of him standing like that, but here's one that came to mind. ETA: I just found a couple more pictures of Flurry standing like this. These are all from when he was younger, about 8-12 months of age.
  16. Another option to toughen feet is to feed a zinc supplement rather than use a topical foot toughener. Something like Zin-Pro or even just zinc tablets from the drug store. Many mushers I know swear by feeding extra zinc for tough feet, and they're putting miles and miles on their dogs. ETA: Here's a link to an old message about feeding zinc http://www.sleddogcentral.com/forum/topic....earchTerms=zinc
  17. My cousin was just the opposite with her dogs. She had (maybe still has, not sure as we don't really keep in touch) bully breeds, I think they were Am. Staffs. She's a single female truck driver and used to take her dogs along with her when driving so she had them trained for protection and her commands were in Swahili so they would listen to her and nobody else. She also did weight pulling with her dogs and I think maybe showed them too.
  18. Of course! Nana was very sweet but you have to love Demon too don't you? I love that movie
  19. I feed the Kirkland Chicken & Rice. My BC's range in size from about 40-45 pounds up to 58-60. My other dogs range from around 45 pound up to 90. In general, the ones in the 55-90 pound range all get 2 cups/day (except Flurry, the largest BC, he gets 2 1/2 to 3 cups) and the smaller dogs get 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups/day. I split their food into 2 meals daily and I frequently check their body condition and adjust the food by about 1/4 to 1/2 cup as needed, depending on how much work they're doing. When they are working harder I also add extras, often cooking up broth, soups and stews for them, plus they always get leftovers when available. Mine are sled dogs so by "working" I'm talking about training runs and racing, putting in several miles/week, usually 4-6 miles on training runs (about 3-4runs/week), and 8-12 miles over 2 days on a race weekend. ETA: my Flurry is also a very long, lanky dog. Even with the right amount of padding over his ribs his hind end still seems kind of boney - well-defined muscle and bone with no other padding, but if I feed him more he starts looking too heavy on the front end. With him when he's not working much he'll get one cup morning and evening, then as work increases about 1 1/4 cups morning/ 1 1/2 cups evening. When he's working hard he'll be getting a full 1 1/2 cups twice daily, or I sometimes will split it into 3 smaller feedings as during hard work I add water or broth to their food to make sure they're staying well hydrated. 1 1/2 cups of food plus the amount of water/broth I add seems like a large volume to be going into the stomach all at one time and I don't want to risk bloat (especially with a dog of his build), so I'll split it into 3 feeds.
  20. I came across this on another forum and thought it was worth sharing. It's something that is not likely to be a common occurrence but still good to be aware of. I've seen bug repellents melt plastic before but not to this extent. October 7, 2009 By: Edie Lau For The VIN News Service A veterinarian presented with a peculiar case of a poodle stuck in its crate last week traced the problem to the pet's spot-on flea treatment. Residue from the product Advantage, which was applied between the poodle's shoulders, somehow came in contact with the plastic base of the animal's crate, dissolving the plastic and causing it to adhere to the dog's belly. When the dog wouldn't come out of its crate the next morning, its concerned owner brought the dog, crate and all, to Dr. Tej Dhaliwal of North Town Veterinary Hospital in Ontario, Canada. Following two hours of sleuthing, Dhaliwal concluded that benzyl alcohol, an inactive ingredient in Advantage, was to blame. Bayer Animal Health, maker of Advantage, acknowledged that the flea treatment was the likely culprit and offered to pay the owner's veterinary bill, compensate him for loss of salary and replace the crate, Dhaliwal said. Bob Walker, a spokesman for Bayer in the United States, confirmed that Advantage contains benzyl alcohol, which reacts with certain plastics. He said he consulted with colleagues in veterinary services and was told, "We know it can happen, but we've never seen it." Walker said a lead veterinarian in the department thought that most of the veterinary community was aware of the potential for the product to react with plastic. Walker said that he personally had not heard of such a thing before. He added, "My counsel would be, if you're not aware, you need to be aware." The incident certainly surprised Dhaliwal, a practitioner for 13 years, who posted his experience in an online discussion board of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). Some veterinarians said they were familiar with the potential for the product to damage plastic, but many were astonished by the news. Dhaliwal said the owner of the dog, a 15-year-old poodle mix, had applied Advantage to the dog before bedtime. He speculated that the dog rolled over in the crate before the liquid pesticide dried. Presumably, residue of the product made contact with the plastic floor of the crate, causing the plastic to dissolve and "glue" the dog in place overnight. Dhaliwal noted that the dog had been unable to eat, drink or relieve itself for 15 hours by the time he managed to free it with a tool normally used to scrape excess plaster from drywall. The white dog had a patch of dark gray plastic about 6 inches by 4 inches stuck to its fur. Following the advice of representatives at Bayer, Dhaliwal said, he removed the remaining plastic using the contents of another two tubes of Advantage. Once freed, the dog was fine. From the start, the dog's owner suspected that the Advantage was to blame, Dhaliwal said. The veterinarian figured some chemical was involved but wasn't sure what. At first, he applied regular alcohol to the plastic base, to no effect. Then he tried a tube of Advantage. The plastic liquified almost instantly, and his gloved hand stuck to the plastic. Photographs snapped with his iPhone show a puddle of liquid across the bottom of the crate. Dhaliwal said one tube containing .5 cc of product covered half the crate base; he speculated that the plastic, as it dissolved, perpetuated the chemical reaction. According to a Material Data Safety Sheet for benzyl alcohol posted at www.sciencelab.com, the compound "can extract and dissolve polystyrene plastic and may attack other plastics." The chemical is in wide use, found in hundreds of cosmetic formulations including baby toiletries, mascaras, hair dyes and skin care products, according to the article "Benzyl Alcohol Allergy: Importance of Patch Testing Personal Products," published Feb. 15, 2006, in the journal Dermatitis. Its function in topical preparations is as a preservative, solvent, anesthetic and/or to decrease viscosity, the article states. Walker at Bayer said the company veterinarian he consulted speculated that benzyl alcohol is found in a variety of spot-on flea treatments besides Advantage. However, it's not possible to determine which products contain the compound by reading their labels, as manufacturers are not required to list inactive ingredients. Dale Kemery, a spokesman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates pesticides including spot-on pet parasiticides, said the agency is considering a new rule to require that manufacturers disclose pesticides' inert ingredients. "This increased transparency will assist consumers and users of pesticides in making informed decisions and will better protect public health and the environment," Kemery said by e-mail. "The Agency anticipates publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register within the next few months." Kemery also encouraged anyone aware of adverse reactions with an EPA-registered product to report the matter to the manufacturer and directly to EPA. "Manufacturers of pesticide products are required to report to EPA information they receive about potential adverse effects of their products, but reporting to the EPA directly is beneficial because the data we receive from the manufacturers is aggregated by severity category, and the report of an individual incident that we receive directly may provide more details initially that could lead to a follow-up by EPA with the manufacturer," Kemery said. Walker said Bayer officials in Canada examined the lot of Advantage used on the dog to check whether it contained an abnormally high concentration of benzyl alcohol but found nothing unusual. Dhaliwal complimented Bayer for taking responsibility right away. "Obviously, this is something of ongoing concern," he added. He said he plans to write a report on the incident and submit it to a professional journal in hopes of spreading the word. "This is something that everyone needs to know," he said.
  21. We raced at Marmora last year for the first time and had a great time. Except I just about cried over the kid & mutt class. I had no idea they were giving away a brand new sprint sled as the first prize when I loaned out our best kid & mutt dog. My daughter also ran him but was beaten by the other little girl who is 5 years younger and lighter to pull. They took 1st and 2nd place but the sled would have been ours if I had of chosen a different dog to loan out. The little girl who won it doesn't even have 1 dog, let alone a team. She said she was going to put the sled in her bedroom and put her stuffed toys in it. We were planning to go back this year and try again but there is going to be a scheduling conflict with a different race we usually attend. Alaskans are fast but the BC's do well too. Last year my team was Lightning (BC/lab - great command leader and our kid & mutt superstar), Rain (BC), Storm (BC) and Thunder (whoknowswhatmixbreed - not from sledding lines at all or I would just call him an Alaskan). Thunder is the slowest dog on my team so this year I'm taking him out of the racing team and putting in Flurry (BC). My daughter will use Lightning for any kid & mutt classes or Flurry and Dru (BC) for any 2 dog classes she does. I have a friend who races with a purebred BC team in the 4-dog class and the lady who mentored her used to race BC's in the 6-dog classes. Crash and burn...been there, done that when skijoring. Once I split the seam on some old track pants when I fell (luckily at home on my own trail, not out in public!). Another time I had a nice, not too fast run down the road with one dog one morning when my daughter was on her way down to the schoolbus. Since it went well I thought I'd try it the next day with 2 of the slower dogs, but in the morning rush of of getting DD ready for school, when I let some of the dogs out in the yard the slower ones went out. Not taking time to think about what I was doing, I decided to take the ones that were inside (Lightning and Rain). This was my first time with 2 dogs and I picked 2 of the hardest pullers and I crashed right at the end of my driveway I got up ready to try again and just braced myself. I didn't move my feet, or my arms, I just tried to keep myself upright and let the dogs go, snowplowing all the way down the hill on the road. I think that was my one and only time hooking up 2 dogs while I was on skis. Did I mention I'm not a cross-country skier?
  22. Glad I could help. If you love to sled, you could get started with just two dogs and a light sled, maybe even a kicksled. I actually started with just one dog and a somewhat heavier sled that I was given and got my daughter into the kid & mutt classes. Since I was the one doing the training with him (not her) I thought adding another dog would be helpful so he'd have an easier time pulling me around and we could do more than just a lap or two around the field. I ended up adopting a couple of pups and thought "great, now I can have a 3-dog team!" But when they grew up and started training one of them didn't like the sled (though he'll skijor). By then I was looking forward to running 3 dogs, so of course I started looking around again and adopted 2 more pups (hey, why have a 3 dog team if you can have a 4-dog?) Also by this point, I had bought a smaller, lighter beginner/recreational sled (just 15 pounds and my daughter needed that to race right?) I entered the first two in a couple of novice 2-dog classes and later moved on to racing in the 4-dog sprints as my pups grew up and were ready. In the meantime I decided I needed to extend my training season and had dh build me a dryland training rig, bought an upgraded sled for racing, was given another couple of pups...heh, heh! This stuff really grows on you. I have a window cling on my truck that says "Beware of Mushers... They will suck you into their addiction" and it has a picture (the view from the sled) of my team flying down a trail. Last season my daughter entered her first 2-dog, 2-mile youth class and she has plans to race in the 4-dog class in the future. Which will mean more dogs, another sled, more lines, harnesses...
  23. You can, though the skate style boots are much more rigid than the classic style ones, for better support while "skating". You can also get what are called combination boots that are adjustable for either style apparently. My sister said that hers are that kind. I'm really not a cross country skier at all and I just picked up some equipment to give it a try. Since I've always done downhill and am used to the stiffer boots, and have skated to cover flat ground I opted for the skate style. I don't really do it often, I much prefer sledding to skijoring but that's probably because I'm not very good at skijoring and I have bad knees. If it didn't hurt and I could stay on my feet better it would be a lot of fun. Something else about skate vs. classic, I think a lot of the classic style skis are waxless with the fishscale pattern on the bottom for traction. The skate skis are usually smooth and do get waxed. One reason the racers prefer skate skis I think it because they can go faster than with classic.
  24. You can use either type, but a lot (most, if not all) of the skijor competitors will use the skate skis. There are a couple of sites where you can find out a lot more about skijoring. One is Sled Dog Central, in their forum there are sub-forums dedicated to skijoring (general) and skijoring equipment. Also there is Skidogs.ca and another site that I think is called skijor now, but I'm not positive of it's address. I think it's advertised on the SDC home page, or you could maybe search and find it. One of the newer SDC Talk members is a skijorer who runs a couple of border collies. He posts under the name diamonddiscdog.
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