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Posts posted by NorthfieldNick

  1. General PSA: If you ever have to call 911, please tell the dispatcher that 1) you have dogs, 2) they are or are not contained, and 3) ESPECIALLY if one or more my be reactive, and what the reaction might be. Remember that an emergency is a high-stress situation, and a bunch of strangers flying into your house fussing over you can set off even the mellowest of dogs. The dispatcher will relay the information, and your friendly neighborhood EMTs can make a plan. I was very happy for my dog experience and training more than a few times on aid calls. I even once ended up taking the patient's timid, but non-aggressive female BC home with me. (Small rural community, with patient's permission. She turned out to be super sweet, just old and used to things being pretty quiet.) One of our paramedics got bitten by a dog on a call, and that address forever had a "make sure dog is contained" warning before we'd go there.


    Also, think about who you could call at 3 am to come get your dogs/other pets when you're about to be put in an ambulance. Post the number on the fridge or some other obvious place with instructions. Just about every EMT I've met would call if you are unable to, or will take the info to a hospital with you.

  2. I know flagging it won't do anything about this idiot, but it might stop someone else from seeing it & repeating it with their own puppies. Removing the video also gives less ammo to the PETA-types who believe working any stock with a dog is abuse.


    I did not mean to imply that this is "hobby herding." I just meant that extreme videos like this might make someone realize that sheep aren't dog toys or tools, but that they CAN be worried, abused, and quite terrified while being worked by dogs, even when worked properly. To someone who knows nothing or very little about working stock, watching a well-trained, well-handled dog move knee-knocker puppy sheep around doesn't look like it's stressing the sheep at all (and, honestly, it probably isn't). What they might not realize is that that is a very well-controlled situation, and that even though a great dog on tough sheep can put as little stress as possible on the sheep, the sheep are still generally unwilling participants. I've encountered a fair number of people who want to try "herding" as something to do with their dog who never gave the sheep any more thought than they did piece of agility equipment. Not everyone, for sure, but once you involve another living thing in your "activities," it really does require a shift in thought processes.

  3. No, Ruth, that's not how it's done properly. Thats not now it's done at all. That video is nothing but ignorance & abuse. I normally stay away from these things, but as a livestock producer, that's appalling. I flagged it as animal abuse, because it is.


    This video should be posted to any thread where someone doesn't understand why "hobby herding" has gotten such a bad name from "trainers" who treat the sheep as dog toys, and not as a living being.

  4. Someone in the horse world here was asking about Border Collies, so I stepped in & offered advice & opinions. She was very receptive to the working vs AKC bred dogs- turns out she's had GSDs and is unhappy with what is happening to the show lines. Sounds like she mostly wants a drivey, trainable dog for dog sports & obedience.


    Could anyone give me contacts for a rescue in this area? I know there's at least one in TN to avoid, and I want to make sure to do that!



  5. My parents' old Lab had a spinal stroke a year ago and was totally paralyzed in her hind end. She's since recovered use of one back leg, and most use of the other, but before that, they had a harness that had two pieces. One around the front she wore all the time, the other supported the back end, but could be clipped on when needed. It worked really well to have part of the harness on her all the time, as lifting a 70+ Lb dog to put it on would not have been easy. I'm not sure what the brand is- it was borrowed from my mom's coworker.

  6. If there's a tack shop or livestock supply place that caters to horse folks, you can almost certainly find Show Sheen there. That stuff is dangerous! If you get it on ANYTHING that you don't want totally non-stick, wash it off right away. Just about every horse person I know (including myself) has made the mistake of spraying the horse in the saddle area. The saddle will slide off in the middle of a jump course. I have video to prove it :)


    On the plus side, if repels snow, and grease, and dirt, and it'll last forever because a tiny bit goes a long way.

  7. Mine get zapped about once a year. They figure out really quickly that if you're climbing over it, etc, that it's safe to do so as well. It's not fun the first time they zap themselves, but they get over it. Wait until you get zapped...


    My older dog, who should have known better, once zapped himself trying to reach through electro-net to eat a goat turd. I had to just shake my head at that one.

  8. I had a mixed flock of laying ducks. They're loud, dirty, stinky, and I loved them. Mine were in a movable, bottomless pen, so they couldn't mess up any one area too much. I had to rinse & refill their water tubs every day.


    They're a pain in the butt to work. My older dog looked like it was torture to work ducks. My young dog will work anything, and he took right to them. I have no idea why people start on ducks. Sheep are much easier. Ducks seem to believe if their head fits, so will the rest of them, and they get stuck in things trying to run away. I'd never put a barely started dog on ducks- sounds like a recipe for disaster.


    Your best bet is going to be to find a mentor/trainer who has stock.


    Now, if you want ducks to have ducks, go for it :) They're goofy little things. They can be LOUD- I had an old Khaki Campbell who was super friendly and would quack VERY LOUDLY whenever she saw a person. Also, if you don't have the heart to put them in your freezer, ducks live a loooooooong time. My noisy old Khaki is almost 10 and is still going strong (I no longer have the ducks). The eggs are huge, and great for baking. If the ducks have access to a dirty pond, though, the eggs taste like mud. Some people find the flavor too strong, and I know a couple of folks who are allergic to duck eggs. OTOH, I used to trade my farrier duck eggs for horse shoeing- she couldn't get enough of them!

  9. My young dog, who has been castrated most of his life, somehow found a hormone reserve just after his fourth birthday and started marking & mounting. He'll also get so distracted he won't pee when he goes out. The rule in my house is no playing until you pee (within reason, obviously). The boys have to put down the frisbee/stick/whatever and pee before playing. For a while with Hoot, that meant he went out on his own first. Once I determined the marking was behavioural, he went back to puppy-style boot camp for a few days (ie, constant supervision or in a crate) and he knocked it off.

  10. I'm with Julie. The tri on the right would be my choice. Or the second from the left, with what looks like a dot on her head & an incomplete collar.


    I'm partial to the names Cora, Tip, and Lark, but I wait and see what name fits. Hoot was supposed to be Rook, but it became apparent that was way too serious a name for him. I'm holding Whiskey in reserve for my next dog. Or Bulleit- makers of my favorite rye whiskey.


    What's the breeding on the pups?

  11. If no one has already mentioned this: The first few (or many) times on sheep, even the best-behaved dogs tend to forget everything. There's a reason for dragging a long line. I had to tackle my young dog to get him to stop the first time he really started working. He had an awesome recall off sheep. They just get SUPER EXCITED and go into work mode, and they forget things. They come around, especially when they figure out that they're working WITH you. Even after your dog learns "That'll do" off stock, I'd expect it to not work the first time you try it on stock. Just remember, don't give a command you can't reinforce. Telling the dog to "Lie Down" a zillion times is just teaching the dog that "Lie Down" means nothing.

  12. I also had one ewe who should have been wild as a marsh hare, but was extremely friendly. Her daughters seem to learn it from her, too. She's a pain in the ass sometimes, but she's a darn nice little ewe. Every now and then it's kinda nice to NOT have to chase down that one ewe who needs something.


    A lot of my old ewes learned the annual routine of weaning. By the time their lambs were lifting them off their feet, the ewes were ready to be done. My old gals would just about bash the sorting gate down to get away from their over-sized offspring. The young ewes would always hang back & worry, at least until about the third year. Then they're right in there looking for freedom.


    My ram pen bordered the driveway, and my old BFL ram, Hank, kept a close eye on traffic. Many folks called him my watch shep. He was always at the fence, waiting to see who got out of the car. He was way friendlier than I like a ram to be, but he

    never caused any trouble. His last year, he was in with my lambing ewes because he needed the extra feed. He'd escort the ewes with their new lambs into the shed when I brought them in, then wait for me to let him back in with the rest of the flock. I'd find him in the pasture with lambs climbing all over him. His daughters inherited his easy-going personality and attentiveness.

  13. I had a shelter mutt and my older collie for a long time, and it was a great combination. Lu was a who-knows-what-mix, definitely some GSD, possibly ACD. No Border Collie, that's for sure. She & Nick got along famously. Lu was there first, but I don't think that mattered. She was a fairly dominant dog, and pretty strict about her boundaries. Nick was perfectly happy to let her be top dog, and he respected her rules, and I think that's what made it work.


    After Lu died, and I added Hoot, the second collie... Well, that's when things got interesting. Hoot's 4 now, and Nick is 9, and even though they mostly get along, I still have to run interference every now & then.


    More than breed, I'd say it's important to make sure the dogs' personalities mesh. Nick's favorite dog in the whole world was our old neighbor's small, poodle-something mix. Daisy was not my type of dog, but Nick loved her! He'd go into "slow mode" playing with the little fuzzball. And Hoot, out of the blue, decided he loves my sister's enormous, sweet, but amazingly dumb, Golden. Go figure :)

  14. I tried to send you a PM, but it didn't go through.


    Contact Heather & Joe Haynes, in Arlington, WA. They're both USBCHA handlers- both have been doing quite well lately- and Heather is in to Corgis, as well. They're also some of the nicest people I've ever met. They don't breed often (think every couple of years, if that), but Heather could probably steer you in the right direction. Tell them Ben from Lopez sent you.

  15. That's not Nan. I'm not sure if that's Maid (I don't think so), but it's certainly not Nan. That might be Rainey, but I'm not sure Diane ran her at Vashon.


    Looks like they used lambs this year, instead of those wily range ewes (one year, the ewes were so tough, they were almost impossible to set). I'm sad to have missed the trial- it's one of my favorites, even though I never did very well on my runs. Nick & I always had fun setting sheep, watching from the top, and visiting with friends I didn't get to see very often.

  16. My young dog, who is pretty much un-motivated by food, loves cheese. String-cheese (those mozzarella sticks they mostly sell for kid's lunch boxes) are perfect- individually wrapped, easy to break off a small bit (my dog won't bite the end off), and they don't really melt or get too gross if you leave them in a pocket or the car :)


    I'm sure your girl will come out of her shell as time passes. The advice to start as you mean to continue is great. Treat her like a puppy- let her explore and figure out her world while you guide her into the boundaries you'll want for her as an "adult." She's probably not used to a lot of interaction, and once she figures out that you're not going to disappear, she'll become more independent. Or not... I have one who still follows me everywhere 4 years later. Makes it easier to keep him out of trouble :)

  17. You probably have this figured out, but I'm going to say it anyways in case someone else in a similar situation reads this thread.


    Your dog looks extremely kind & patient with your kids, which is awesome. My older dog is like that. He adores little kids & babies. A friend of ours has 6 yr old twins, and Nick is in heaven running around with them, even though they're loud & rowdy. He thinks a kid being close to him is a good excuse to lick their faces. So, even though a lot of dogs *don't* like children, some genuinely do. Even so, I've found that my dog runs out of tolerance for kids before they tire of him. He won't get snarky; he'll just remove himself from the situation. I ALWAYS make absolutely certain that he CAN get away, and that the kids understand that he's in "time out" and wants to be left alone. (With the twins, I phrased it as "how do you like it when your sister/brother won't leave you alone?" Even little kids get that.)


    Bottom line, make sure your dog has a safe place to go to get away from it all & that your kids know to leave her alone there. Since you already have dogs in the house, I'd guess your kids already have a good understanding of dog behavior.


    Thanks for giving her a home! That's a photo of a happy dog.

  18. Also, "producers with fewer than 3000 laying hens and those who sell all of their eggs directly to consumers are exempt from the Egg Safety Rule."


    Not going to affect your neighbor with a dozen yard birds who supplies you with eggs, which is possibly not legal anyway, depending on your local regulations. Not that I expect, or want, anyone to stop doing it. For once, the USDA exempted the small farmer. (Okay, hyperbole. I actually generally had no trouble working with the USDA).

  19. My dogs cut, tear, rub, etc their pads fairly often. It rarely slows them down for more than a day. I make an effort to keep the foot clean- just washing it off, no boots or anything- and keep them from running hard on rough surfaces for a couple days. Paw pads heal amazingly quickly.


    My sister's Lab, OTOH, acted like she was going to die from a tiny cut on her pad. She didn't settle down until my sister had bandaged & wrapped the whole foot. Silly Labs :)

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