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Everything posted by MaryP

  1. I bathe my dogs, but I couldn't tell you how often, because I've never really given it much thought. It's not something that I do often, though, and is pretty much on an as-neede basis. The thing that I'm most guilty of is not grooming them as often as I should. Then, they end up with mats that I I have to cute off. I do find that bathing them really helps with loosening up that dead underfur so that it can be more easily removed with a brush. I can tell you that Skittles has been getting lots of baths lately with a medicated shampoo because he has allergies, and the shampoo helps. I never realized just how soft his fur is (or, can be)! Re: show dogs. In one of the agility classes that I used to be in with Ollie, there was a very nice woman in it with a springer that she showed in conformation. The dog was always impeccably groomed and trimmed. Whenever I want my dogs to stay put, I typically put them in a "down". One day we were standing around, I had put Ollie in a down, and she had told her dog to sit. After awhile, her dog would slip into a down, and she would immediately make her get back into a sit. I thought it was strange that she insisted the dog sit, especially if we were just standing around not doing anything. Then, finally, I learned that she didn't want her dog to lie down because she didn't want her white belly fur to touch the dirt/sand ground. I have no problem with people enjoying a clean dog, and choosing to bathe/groom them often. But, to never allow your dog to just lie down on the ground really threw me for a loop!
  2. My puppy came to me as carry-on luggage at 11 weeks old, and the first thing he did was piddle in the airport.
  3. So, I need to be calling my dog a jerk on FB more often. That makes a lot of sense, actually.
  4. I was thinking about my ring talk and about the only commands you'll ever hear from me are: Break Come, or come around Get out (the only time I might add "jump") Turn Here Go on Weave Tunnel Table A-frame Dogwalk Teeter and, of course, CHARLIE! We are trying to add "push" to our repitoire, which I'm using to send him to the back of the jump. In that case, I do also say jump, but I think that is mostly because he doesn't 100% get what "push" means.
  5. I know. It's funny to me how people who know nothing about the breed or herding, or their knowledge comes from very flawed sources, are the ones who always want to tell me about border collies. But, trying to point out the flaws of their supposition is usually a pointless exercise. But, yeah, I was secretly rolling my eyes.
  6. You can't put a dog back on a contact obstacle in USDAA, either. But, you can still mark the transgression. Depending on how soft your dog is, start with a verbal. My go to verbal is "no sir." I will also stop and give my dog a dirty look. If that doesn't work, you might lie your dog down for blowing the contact. If that doesn't work, you stop your dog and take her out of the ring. Miss a contact, you don't get to play. A friend of mine was having trouble with her start line stays last year. So, she finally picked a trial to fix it. She took her dog out of the ring twice during that trial. Since then, her dog has been holding her start line stays. It just took one trial to fix it. I disagreed with people for years about this. I really didn't think my dog would understand that he was being "punished" for missing a contact. That was, until I tried it. We are still a work in progress, mainly because it's so hard to give up a run to reinforce contact criteria. But, sometimes you just gotta suck it up for the sake of the greater good.
  7. What Karissa said. You have to maintain your criteria in and out of the trial field. This may mean sacrificing some Q's, but if you're mising contacts, you're sacrificing Q's already. Take it from one who speaks from experience. This has been an ongoing stuggle with my dog, and it's because he knew that I wouldn't hold him accountable at trials.
  8. I was at agility class last night with my baby-dog, Ollie. The woman instructing the class (not our usual instructor) pointed out that I wasn't calling all the jumps. OK, with a baby-dog, I could see how that might be helpful. But, then (and she's my friend, so this is not meant as a slam to her) she proceeded to tell me how border collies are different, and they need to a lot of verbal direction because they are herding breeds, and yada, yada, yada. First off, Ollie is not a border collie, but he probably does have some sort of herding breed in him. Secondly, she runs GRs, and to my knowledge, has never run a border collie. But, I digress. So, I told her that I almost never call jumps with my seasoned dog, Charlie, who is a border collie, and her response was that I probably should have been calling them all along, because Charlie would be a better agility dog, or something to that effect. I told her that I literally would not be able to call every jump, because I get tongue-tied. I'm lucky if I call a contact obstacle by it's correct name, or manage to eek out any word before my dog is already on it. When I'm handling Charlie around a course, I am mainly just giving directional commands, and calling contacts and tunnels. Charlie handles like a dream. Handling is not an issue for him, as long as I'm doing my job well. His issues are more with blown contacts, occasional dropped bars (also, often my fault), and terrible start line stay. In fact, I used to call spread jumps "big" because I was told long ago that saying "big" lets the dog know that it's not a single jump. But, I noticed that when I would say "big" Charlie would often knock a bar. Perhaps it's just my timing (saying "big" isn't really helpful, if he's already in the air). But, I stopped calling those jumps, too, and it doesn't seem to affect his ability to distinguish the jump as a spread jump. But, mainly, I was just curious about others, especially others who are running border collies. Do you call jumps? Do you call every jump, or just some jumps?
  9. I'm not sure how a post about "how dogs learn" turned into a debate about mannerliness of dogs. But, this wouldn't be the first post to undergo some sort of metamorphosis. I've seen this discussion come up before, and it always makes me scratch my head. Why would you compare a stockdog trial with a sporting trial like agility or flyball? There are almost no similarities amongst the two activities (apples and oranges). So why, then, would this comparison be the litmus test for making judgements about the mannerliness of dogs? It makes no sense to me.
  10. I liked the little victory dance you did. Rex made the chute look like child's play, and what's with keeping the tire intact? That's crazy. Did you almost trip over the A-frame during one of those runs? It kinda looked that way. Anyway, congrats on the new titles! That's pretty quick for only running all the classes for a year.
  11. I think that part of the problem is her issues with other dogs. Most people who foster dogs for rescues have dogs of their own. So, it's tough to find someone willing to foster a dog that will fight with the resident dogs, or otherwise be a management nightmare.
  12. Any events that our club hosts (we don't host trials) are held at our club's agility field. I would assume it would be similar for this club, with the exception of trials. What I really like about the club you are interested in is that they practice several different venues: USDAA, AKC, NADAC, CPE. My club and the other place that I train only practice AKC courses and standards. AKC is definitely the dominant force down here. I sure would love to re-run some of the challenging USDAA courses that I've encountered at trials. But, I don't think my club members would go for that. There's only a few of us that trial in USDAA and CPE. So, most of my club members are not interested in trying to run a snooker, gamblers, or steeplechase course.
  13. It depends on your own personal preferences. I'm a member of an agility club. We have weekly classes. I have access to the agility equipment and field to practice any time I want to (was there last night). We bring in top handlers once or twice a year to give seminars or special classes, usually at a discounted rate. We have social events. We host fun runs. We occasionally do demonstrations. Once a year, we particpate in a team competition (this weekend, in fact!). We exchange knowledge and help each other. For me, it's worth it. But, maybe that's not your cup of tea. But, from looking at their website, they look like a really nice club. If you are a newbie, especially, you could gain a lot from being a member of a club.
  14. I don't know about this particular club, but it sounds like a typical agility club. From their website: Why Join ARFF? •Once a week practice at beautiful River Road Farm •An informal mentor program for new members •Camaraderie with fellow dog lovers •Opportunities to attend dog related classes, seminars and fun social events •Information exchange about dogs and agility •A great source for networking •Being part of a fun and well-run club
  15. ABC people. Hmm, I learned something new. I don't know what's going on in your neck of the woods, but I haven't experienced the negative attitude that you and Laurelin have described. I have heard people (with other breeds) make statements to the fact that there are so many bc's in their class that they rarely ever place. But, I haven't heard anyone suggest that the folks with other breeds love their breed more than folks with bc's. But, it is true that some folks transitioned from other breeds to bc's because they fell in love with the sport and wanted a breed that would be competitive and highly trainable. But, that doesn't mean that they aren't fond of the breed because they had (or have) other breeds.
  16. Since I'm not in GA, I'm not a GA licensed rescue, and we do not have a requirement for licensing in FL. We do have requirements for kennels and dog dealers (anyone who sells dogs and is not a 501©3 is considered a dealer, even if they hang out a rescue sign). I know that GA rescues have to be inspected, and I assume that includes foster homes, but I'm not sure. I also don't know all the specifics of all of their pet protection and reporting requirements. But, that info can be easily found on the GA Dept of Ag website. I don't know anything about any requirements for breeders in GA.
  17. GA Dept. of Ag. already has something like this in place. All rescues (and breeders and kennels) in GA have to be licensed by the GA Department of Ag as a not-for-profit shelter. They have to comply with animal protection rules, have to be inspected, keep records, and have to pay a licensing fee (and a renewal fee - not sure how often). No rescue that I've worked with in GA has complained about it to me. The biggest challenge is for out-of-state rescues that offer to take GA dogs from shelters. They either have to find a licensed rescue that will pull the dog under their rescue license, or "adopt" the dog and meet whatever adoption criteria the shelter has, or they have to pay for an out-of-state license. The fee for an out-of-state license is $400, so unless your rescue takes a lot of GA dogs, it's not worth it. Edit clarification: All rescues, kennels, breeders have to be licensed. But, only rescues and shelters have to be not-for-profit, obviously.
  18. Wow, I wish I could have a setup like that, Paula. I can only fit two crates in the back of my Tucson, and they are put in perpendicular, not side by side. It's been really bothering me that I have a crate that is pretty much right at the back of my car. That's Ollie's crate and he would be in the crumple zone in a bad rear-end crash. If I'm only traveling with Ollie, I'll put him in the crate that is behind the front seats. But, when I'm traveling with both Charlie and Ollie, Charlie is in the one behind the seats and Ollie is in the smaller crate at the back of the car. Unfortunately, since Charlie is a bit of a behemoth, I need a bit of a bigger crate for him, and there's more room for a bigger crate up near the front seats. I use airline-style plastic crates, which I feel are safer, though I hate that they are like little ovens. Every time Steve loads the dogs into my car, he says, "OK, time to get into your hot boxes." What I really need is a different car. Can someone loan me some money?? ETA: Paula, I'm also at a loss at understanding why "dog people" would let their dogs ride loose in their cars. I have a good friend (who you met recently) who lets her dog ride loose in her car, even though she could easily fit a crate in her car. I've tried to *delicately* discuss this with her on numerous occasions, and I get nowhere. I have a hard time understanding her thought path.
  19. Woo-hoo! BIG congrats to you, Rex, and Wick!
  20. The outpouring of love and support (and $$) was truly amazing. Dog people are the best!
  21. Tammy, my puppy had swallowed a string. It went from the back of his throat all the way to his large intestines. They originally treated him with antibiotics, thinking it was probably a TBD. He didn't show the classic signs of an obstruction because he was still able to drink and occasionally eat. I wasn't happy with that diagnosis and kept bringing him back in. He was not eating much and was losing a lot of weight. He was depressed and obviously not feeling well. He did not have a fever. Finally, my vet decided to do exploratory surgery because they couldn't figure out what was wrong. That's when they discovered the string. If they hadn't done the exploratory surgery, and just waited a week or so to see if the antibiotics worked, the string would likely have killed him. Then, he had A LOT of complications after the first surgery (episodes of screaming pain, not eating, exhaustion, excessive drainage from the incision), and again, I kept bringing him back. Finally, they did a second surgery to look for any additional string, flushed out his gut, and placed some patches over the incision sites on his intestines. He spent several days at the vet on I.V.'s and antibiotics. Whatever they did with the second surgery worked and two weeks later, he was cleared to resume normal activities. But, it was my persistence and determination that they keep looking that saved his life. I'm sure of it.
  22. OMG, this is too sad. I can't even imagine what she must be going through right now. I hope her Tobie is found safe and sound and returned to her soon.
  23. Does she have a fever? I would definitely do x-rays. I went through something similar with my pup two years ago. It was a nightmare. The biggest thing I learned from the experience is to keep going back until you get an answer. I pestered my vet every day for two weeks. I just kept bringing my dog back and saying, "There's something wrong. Keep looking." I'm convinced that if I had not been so persistent, my dog might not still be here today.
  24. Yay, you picked the one that I liked. Not that the other puppies weren't stinkin' adorable, but I'm a sucker for eyebrows.
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