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NorthfieldNick

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Posts posted by NorthfieldNick

  1. Good friend of mine is part of the Chicago study.

     

    There's a ton of research that shows the more coyotes you kill, the faster they reproduce. If you have residents that avoid your property/livestock/dogs, don't kill them. Adults train their offspring.

     

    Coyotes are not going to disappear. They've adapted. It's our turn now.

  2. I have one of those rare, super-friendly, loves-everyone-especially-small-children, super social dogs. He was also an excellent working dog before he retired, both at home and on the trial field, limited only by his handler. Nick has met exactly one dog he didn't like- my friend's Aussie puppy who had zero training when she got him at about 6 months. Once he learned some manners & grew up, Nick was okay with him. My pet-dog-trainer friend used to use Nick for her reactive dog classes- he's *that* good at tolerating other dogs & reading body language. He is, however, definitely the exception to the rule, although apparently his mother was much the same.

     

    I have also wondered if selecting working dogs to be so attuned to social clues and behaviors is part of what makes them, in general, so "reactive" and "intolerant" of a lot of people and other dogs. You get used to it after being around them for so long.

  3. Both my boys hate the smoke alarm. Hoot is terrified of thunder & gets pills for it. Nick now associates thunder with peanut butter (he had to have some, too) and runs to the fridge when it storms.

     

    Hoot, weirdest dog ever, has fears that change daily. Weird noises tweak him out, but rarely the same one twice. He was once afraid to go up the stairs he goes up and down 300 times a day. Some days he won't eat if his bowl isn't in the right spot. He is terrified of the WHACK of a golf club hitting a ball (we run past a golf course), but is fascinated by the flying ball. The UPS man is scary, but his female co-driver isn't. (FTR, the guy is totally non scary & the other dogs love him). I really wish I knew what was going on inside Hoot's odd little brain :)

  4. 4-H ewe forms & a three-ring binder, plus a Rite-in-the-Rain notebook for field use. I tried software, and went back to handwritten, paper notes. It worked much better for me. I kept up with two separate flocks, ~100 ewes each. I'm sure the software is much better now (I tried it in 2004-2005), but it seemed overly complicated at the time.

  5. I highly recommend volunteering! I had a blast last year. Volunteering is a great thing for novices. Do something like running or posting scores & most of the time you'll be watching the action surrounded by people who aren't running a dog & who will happily answer your questions. I spent a lot of time being an extra runner last year, but ended up keeping scores in the White House and doing a lot of fast math. The Novice field is really fun to watch, too- you get to see dogs (and handlers!) in a very different stage of training than on the Open field.

     

    There are puppies everywhere. Best part of trialling is getting your puppy fix without actually having one... I'm one of those rare people who'd rather get a dog at 2 years old than 2 months old.

     

    I won't be volunteering this year because of grad school scheduling, but I'm hoping to make it down for a day... with a backpack full of brownies again :)

     

    Sue, no stitches this year :) It took two people, plus Robin on the computer, to do your job!

  6. Never mind different languages, different accents are bad enough! I bought my good old dog when he was 2 from a southern gentleman, who sent along a tape of Nick's commands & whistles. This gentleman had quite a drawl. Nick is a fast dog to start, but when I started working him, he was like a rocket. It took me a week or so to figure out that, to him, my quick, final-letter-dropping, NE Ohio accent sounded like I wanted him to move quickly. Poor dog had been trained in a slow southern drawl his whole life! We figured each other out eventually.

  7. Speaking as a former EMT, we DO try to find out what to do with dogs, etc in an accident when the person is unconscious or unable to provide information. Human care comes first, but there's usually at least one dog person on the team who will look after dog care after the people are looked after. We also DO look through wallets and cell phones, especially now that people keep all sorts of info on their phones. Cell phone lock codes drive me crazy. I understand the need for them, but in an emergency, info stored behind a lock screen isn't going to get anyone anywhere. I believe I've seen an app that allows your lock screen to be a display of emergency contact info.

     

    I once went so far as to take one very unhappy, very grumbly, very scared old dog home with me after an aid call. Poor dog was something of a mess, and I doubted she'd be any better in a kennel at the sheriff's office. She did not approve of my boys, who spent a night in their kennels, but when her owner returned the next day, he was extremely happy that his long-time companion animal had had a decent overnight on a soft bed.

     

    So, yes, do include emergency contact info for animal care. Also, if you live in a rural place with a volunteer (or mostly volunteer) fire department, and you have the space and knowledge to care for and handle dogs, horses, or other large animals, consider giving the FD your name & contact info.

  8. Caveat: I haven't lived in Cleveland since 2000, but I grew up there. My info may be outdated.

     

    Holden Arboretum. No off-leash, but great for walks.

     

    Metroparks!! They're all over & around Cleveland. Tons of trails, etc. Some, especially by Chagrin Valley, had off-leash trails, but PLEASE make sure you have voice control over your dog. The dog trails are often also horse trails. I spent a good chuck of my teenage years riding those trails.

     

    These are both more east-side oriented- sounds like you may be on the west side- but they're an easy drive on a weekend.

  9. My first Novice run I, or rather my very nice but very fast, pushy dog, ran the sheep over the judge. Literally. A very nice Scottish woman whose name I've blocked out. Note to self: get a handle on your damn dog! :) We never did well on that field thereafter (in Open once, the same dog ran BEHIND me to lift the non-trial sheep in another paddock... Blargh!).

     

    Volunteering is great! It takes no knowledge of sheep, dogs, or trials to post scores or hand out coffee, but it's the perfect way to learn because you can ask lots of questions. Be honest about being a novice, don't talk to anyone about to go on the field or just coming off, and maybe bring cookies (my strategy), and you'll make friends fast :) Dog people are generally super friendly. It's not uncommon for someone to know of a young dog for sale or a working flunky looking for a home (you never know, though. I know a "working failure" who turned on at 3 yrs old & was doing nicely on the local trial field).

  10. This:

     

    Mainly, that while teething is occurring it pulls calcium out of the system or out of the cartilage and that softens the cartilage.

     

    makes no sense. Cartilage is composed mostly of collagen fibers. The composition and arrangement of the collagen fibers is what gives cartilage its rigidity, not minerals like calcium. Pulling Ca out of the system I could believe, but it would come from diet and bone loss, not from cartilage. Nevermind that most cartilage is avascular, so moving nutrients in to our out of it is incredibly inefficient.

  11. It's FAR more embarrassing when your 10-yr-old, nearly perfect dog poops on your friend's kitchen floor... for no other reason than he was too distracted by a new yard to poop outside. Same dog who routinely poops on the sidewalk. And who once lost his sheep because he stopped to poop halfway through a cross drive. For Nick, when the need hits, he just stops & lets loose. :blink:

  12. I had a small Sydell system, but because I grazed sheep all over & often needed a pen where the sheep were, I also had 20-30 wooden panels of various sizes. Some I built, some I scavenged, a few were always in the shop for repairs. An old gate from a dog yard I picked up at the dump got worked in there, too. All I needed was a pile of baling twine (like wool, a sometimes annoyingly renewable resource) and my truck, and I could build a sorting pen anywhere. I'd use a few t-posts as anchors if there wasn't a permanent fence post/tree/telephone pole handy. Most of the time, it was me, a dog, and 100 +/- ewes and their lambs.

  13. If by "brown" you mean what working folks call blue and conformation folks call lilac (I think!), then it's a standard black and white dog who received two recessive copies of a dilute gene. The "blue" is a diluted black. In horses, buckskin is a diluted bay, although I think horses have incomplete dominance for dilute. This is NOT Merle blue. That's a totally different gene. My older blue dog looks grayish brown... at the very dusty 2009 USBCHA Finals, people thought he was just an amazingly dirty black & white :)

     

    The red highlights in the black coloration is generally due to sun bleaching. Horse people go to all sorts of measures to keep their black horses from fading.

  14. Is anyone in the Philly, specifically Newtown Square, area who can recommend a dog boarding place that can handle two extraordinarily well-behaved Border Collies who are 100% fine in kennels, but one of whom is NOT dog friendly?

     

    This is kind of a last minute, desperate help request. I'm currently vacationing in Maine, with my dogs. We have to stop in Newtown Square, PA on the way home, just Thurs evening through Sat morning (Aug 14-16), to attend a memorial service for my grandmother, who passed away last week. I'm not real thrilled with leaving my dogs alone in a hotel room while we're at the memorial, and I'm having a heck of a time finding a boarding kennel. My boys are vaccinated per Ohio requirements... but unfortunately not to PA requirements (bordatella is 1x per year in OH for boarding, every 6 months in PA). Hoot CAN NOT be with strange dogs- he's a resource guarder with a large personal space bubble and a short temper. He's great with people. Nick is nearly perfect, and is happy anywhere.

     

     

    Any help would be appreciated.

  15. Seriously, someone should tell her that it is not normal to tear through a bag of shopping just to get to raw carrots. :P

    Could they explain to my dog that stealing and eating cucumbers & carrots out of the harvest basket is also weird? Of course this is the dog who learned how to pick peas & will do anything for a banana.... :)

  16. Small things like poultry necks or backs don't bother my dogs (neither do heads, which is gross, but my dogs raided the gut pile on slaughter day). Larger bones like sheep or deer necks or ribs I have to ration or there'll be some mild GI upset. They get the frozen bones for 15-20 min, then I throw the bones back in the freezer. No clean up needed :)

  17. Nearly Perfect Nick, 10, is, well, nearly perfect. I bought him sight unseen from across the country as a well-started 2yr old, and I've never regretted it. Couldn't ask for a better first stockdog. He's saved my butt many times on both the farm & trial field. Nick is fast, pushy, and without a ton of self-confidence, which makes him difficult to handle on light sheep, but oddly awesome on rank range ewes. He's got some issues a better handler could have fixed, but we made it from Novice to Open, and had fun doing it. Nick is the dog who knows what I want before I ask. He's got some respiratory issues & is retired now, but he's perpetually happy doing whatever life brings him. He's a half brother to Robin's Zac (out of Kate, but by Debbie Bailey's great dog, Ben), and like Zac, Nick is a giant dork off stock. He's amazingly charismatic & has a fan club wherever he goes.

     

    Hoot, almost 5, is weird even for a Border Collie. He's unregistered, born in rescue, but out of some nice, but tough, Saskatchewan prairie lines. He was sent back to rescue at barely 4 months old because he was a horrible puppy (the woman who fostered him told me he was the only puppy she's ever actually hated). If you give him an inch, he'll take 10 miles and keep running. Surprisingly, Hoot never did the puppy bowling ball thing on sheep. He was slow to mature, but the first time he kicked out around my old ewes, there was no doubt he was going to be a fearless stockdog. He totally sucks at the precision necessary for trials, but he shines in practical work. Hoot was my ram/bull/rank ewe go-to dog. He backed down from nothing, and came preinstalled with great head & heel grips. True to his nature, though, if I didn't stay on top of Hoot, he'd be off doing his own thing with livestock, taking them wherever HE thought they should go. Even though he frustrated me sometimes, Hoot never failed to get a job done, even if it wasn't always pretty. He's a quirky, opinionated, weird dog off stock, and even though he's very much my dog, I swear he hams it up for other people just to make me jealous. Hoot's brother is Dexter, of TWAAW/WooTube fame (infamy? The whole litter is bananas!)

     

    And Phin, 6. The boyfriend's terrier mutt, who is a hilariously ill behaved cartoon of a dog. He's supposedly a Yorkie x Bichon, but who knows. Phin isn't truly "bad," he just has a terrier's "I don't care what you want! I want THIS!" attitude. He listens about 1/3 of the time, thinks it's his mission in life to bark at cats, and gets incredibly indignant if we aren't in bed by 9:30 :) Raucous laughter gives him the zoomies, and "Grandma's" house is his favorite place to go because her cat actually reacts to the barking, and the treat jar is never empty.

     

     

    Hoot on the left; Nick with the prick ears.

     

    post-6632-0-19496600-1405174419_thumb.jpg

     

    post-6632-0-33309500-1405174436_thumb.jpg

     

     

    ETA: Poor quality, odd size phone pics. Hard to do this on a mobile device!

  18. A Help 'Em Up harness was a huge help for our old Lab who went through something like this. And boots. We went through a lot of dog booties on the foot she dragged. She never regained full use of her hind end, but managed pretty well on three legs.

     

    Swimming & laser therapy helped Kona quite a bit, too.

  19. Alprazolam (generic Xanax- it's cheap) has made a world of difference for my weirdo dog. It's only as-needed for noise phobia, and while it stopped the blind panic, the biggest effect is that it allowed him to think & respond to behaviour modification. When storms come up now, he goes and hides in one of his "spots" instead of racing around terrified. (And my other dog sits in front of the fridge, since thunder = pills = peanut butter all around.) The alprazolam has not "changed" Hoot at all- he's still as weird as ever- aside from making him temporarily a bit drowsy.

     

    It's certainly worth a try for your dog. Like others have said, don't give up if it doesn't work the first time. Ask your vet for a small RX so you're not wasting money on a bunch of pills if it doesn't work. If drugs can improve your dog's quality of life, what do you have to lose?

  20. Hope, I left my young dog- 18 months at the time- with a trainer neither he nor I had ever met. She came very highly recommended, though. She took him home after a trial we were both attending, kept him for 10-12 weeks (I forget- Hoot is almost 5 now), and then I flew up to bring him back since flights were cheap in the winter & it was easier than driving over snowy mountain passes. Hoot never missed a beat, and he's not really an easy-going, take-it-all-in type of dog. In fact, he's the one who is hyper-sensitive to changes in his routine, and he worries about things a lot. He also went from house living to kennel living, and I think he was like a kid at camp- he was perfectly happy in a house made of straw with a bouncy pup in the next kennel. He was SUPER happy & wiggly when I got up there, but he would have happily stayed, I'm sure. Most dogs are pretty resilient... especially when the "new" temporary home involves working every day :)

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