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Posts posted by NorthfieldNick

  1. For other dogs you need to scatter their kibble across the kitchen floor. This bowl works well for some.


    If your dog is not prone to chewing on them or flinging them across the floor, putting a few good size rocks in a large dog bowl can slow them down. Same idea as the bowl in the link, but rocks are free. My old dog would fling the rocks around the floor to get to her food faster, though. Feeding her in a muffin tin worked- even if she flipped it, her food just got scattered around the floor so she had to search for it.

  2. I'm glad it worked! I started Hoot in just the harness, then when he was walking nicely in that, I put a second leash on his collar. I'd keep the collar leash shorter than the harness leash, but if he pulled, I'd shorten the harness leash quickly so that corrected him. (Thank goodness for years of riding dressage. I can manage a lot of reins/leashes at once). Then Hoot wore the harness with just a leash on the collar, then no harness. Of course, by that point, he was working and had a solid recall, so I basically gave up the leash anyways.

  3. I'm no expert trainer or handler, but your dog sounds a lot like my Hoot. He's just 2.5, and has a fair amount of eye. He'll naturally stop on top, and I advised by several Big Hats to not ask him for a stop there. I've also worked close at hand along a fence, having Hoot hold the sheep to me while I move around A LOT so he never has a chance to eye up and get stuck. If he starts getting stuck, I'm close enough to correct him, or, if that's too much pressure (which it often was, even for my hard-headed tough dog), I could scatter the sheep myself so the dog had to bring them back together. Hoot has just started to loosen up and learn pace, and to widen his outruns and flanks.

  4. If my Nick had a thought bubble over his head, it would say, "Yay!!!" all the time. He's perpetually happy, just seems to love life. Bounces all over like a dork :) I don't think I'd call him a serious worker. Don't get me wrong, he's a fantastic farm and trial dog, but he works because it's FUN and there are SHEEP! He works, I think for, the sheer joy of doing it. I love Nick, wouldn't trade him for the world. He can work ewes and new lambs and take rowdy market lambs down the road in the same day. I'd much rather have an overly happy dog around than an overly serious, worrier.

  5. Which rescue did you contact? Please remember that rescue is "staffed" by volunteers, most of whom have day jobs, families, etc. It can take some time to hear back. Some listings have a phone number- you should consider calling. Phones can get answered right away, sometimes email has to wait. It could be that the person you contacted just hasn't had time to review your application. Please don't give up on rescue.


    I don't have kids, but raising a pup from 5 months on nearly drove me insane, and that was with an older, steady, nearly-perfect ( :) ) dog around. Turns out my pup, and indeed a number of his litter mates, do not like children. At all. My older dog loves them. You would probably be safest with an older dog with a proven record with kids.


    Sorry if I'm being too blunt. I was just offered a dog who is a minor mess because her first owner got a completely wrong dog for his situation. Look at it this way: You'd buy an old, bomb-proof packer for your kids first horse, not a greenie with no proven record, right?


    Good luck, and even if you find a dog, I really encourage you to come to some trials. As you can see, a lot of us are horse people, too, and the stock dog community here is really friendly. You might get addicted, though.... Just be warned :)


    Edited... StOck dog not stIck dog...

  6. I wish my blue dog had alopecia... He's a freakin' fuzzball! Massive undercoat. Arg :)


    I have a very nice blue dog. Sire is a tri, dam was nearly all black. Nick's grandfather produced one blue pup. I've had people ask about breeding to him because of the color. I wouldn't breed on that basis, but it's a moot point as Nick is castrated. In any case, Nick's sire has a lot of pups on the ground, and not another dilute in the bunch.

  7. Hello, from another PNW'er, west side of the mountains. And a horse person, although I was a jumper, then dressage, now just play around in the arena and on trail.


    I'll second or third or whatever coming to trials to meet people. I can think of two litters on the ground and another due in spring of nice working dogs. They may be all spoken for, though. In any case check out the WA Association of Stockdog Handlers upcoming events listings. There are a number of trials in Feb, and a bunch in June, close by (lambing in between...). Also the OR Sheepdog Society and the USBCHA also have listings. The USBCHA is national, so you'll have to scroll through to find local trials. Most local trials will also be on the WASH site. Be prepared to meet handlers, get to know their dog's working style, then inquiring about pups. Most working handlers don't breed unless they want a pup and/or there's demand for the pups. There may be pups on the ground that are not claimed because people do back out, and litters are larger than expected sometimes, but there's often a waiting list for nice litters.


    Thank you for trying rescue. A number of people involved in rescue also have stock dogs, so coming to trials is a good way to get involved in both activities. There's also a lot of stock work/agility crossover here at the local level. Some very nice handlers also run their collies, or other dogs, in agility.

  8. My friends who raise Nigerians primarily as small homestead dairy animals say that the Nigerians are hardier and have fewer conformation-related health problems than the pygmies. They're primarily interested in production lines, but I can tell you all of their goats (even the bucks) are friendly and sweet. It's mostly in how the goats are raised and handled. They do not bottle feed (neither do we with our full-sized dairy goats), but the kids are handled all the time, so they're super people oriented.

  9. Dear Amanda,


    If my run is going poorly, can I have a travelling companion release another one of my dogs, so that my run can end sooner?


    I'm not Amanda (duh), but Kristi, if you just accidentally leave your car window down, your uncrated dog can leap out and onto the field when your run goes to hell.

  10. Indira, I haven't yet found a Brassica our goats won't eat :) B. oleracea is the cabbage family, including broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, collards. B. rapa is the turnips and mustards, B. napus the oilseed types. Our goats will eat them all, including other mustard greens like arugula (rocket, sylvetta). Heck, they even eat sauerkraut!


    Brassicas grow like weeds in the climate in the coastal northwest US. We have lots of wild mustards, native and introduced, that populate our pastures in addition to all the cultivated varieties we grow in the garden. I don't know the proper name for a lot of the wild mustards.


    I hope that helps.

  11. Right! Blackberries! How could I forget those. Our goats have cleared our pasture of them. If you haven't already, offer her some browse. I don't know how many leaves you have left on plants there, but our goats pretty happily chew on branches and bark this time of year.


    Other things our old doe would eat when she was declining: apples, sunflower seeds, any brassica.

  12. Julie, I don't have time to read the responses, but Fiasco Farm (www.fiascofarm.com) has a ton of info on dosing goats, including some off-label drugs. Ignore the typos and homey-kitschy tone of the website. It's a great resource for goat info when you need it ASAP.


    Our goats seem to like having a blanket (it's like a small horse blanket) when they're not feeling well.


    I'm not sure if the mouthingbthing is the same, but our goats flap their lips around and make chomping motions when they taste something funny. Goats are fussy eaters... Ours can't resist willow and fir branches... And alfalfa.

  13. I had never heard of Orthobunyavirus until now, so I'm no help with your questions, but I did get to learn something new. Even had to brush off my genetics knowledge.


    The virus is apparently spread through biting insects, which we have very few of in the coastal northwest US, so maybe it's not a big concern in this area.


    We live on Vancouver Island, southern BC. No heartworm here, so that's not a concern.



    I live in the San Juans, just on the US side of the border. My older dog contracted HW, and I learned that while it's extremely rare here, it is not entirely non-existent. Granted, there's no guarantee that my dog didn't pick up HW at a trial elsewhere. My vet said that they started seeing more cases of HW after Katrina. Many people also travel with their dogs, so they can be exposed.I know plenty of folks from your island travel to trials, so while the possibility of HW is very low, it's not entirely impossible.


    I hope you figure out what's wrong with your dog, and that it's easy to treat.

  15. Some days he's eager to eat anything we put in front of him; other days, not so much.


    This is Hoot. He sometimes goes on a "hunger strike" for a day or so when he'll barely eat. The next day, he inhales everything. I generally don't worry about it, but he's only two. He's skinny, but in great shape, and I add a fair amount of fat & protein (raw) to his diet. He'll almost always eat raw, but sometimes, even that is left.


    I've found that the more Hoot gets to run around, the more he eats. On days when the dogs are put up most ofthe day, he won't eat. When he gets to work or zoom around all day, he eats with gusto.

  16. Yes, Nubians are loud! Comically so, but if you have neighbors who may complain, don't fall for the floppy ears.


    I prefer dehorned goats. We have a vet do our kids, under anesthetic. He waits until the kids are about 3 wks old. It only costs us $40- we transport to him. It's worth it to us to avoid the noise and trauma. Our older goats who were dis udder without anesthetic never seemed to hold it against us, though.

  17. I bought my Nick as a two year old, well started, ready to go, for a song. His first owner just didn't click with him, and I honestly still think Nick would have done best as a woman's dog. He just loves women. We do rather well together, though, and I wouldn't trade him for the world.


    I know several people who got started with dogs who weren't quite going to make it as Open dogs, but were great farm workers. It's worth the money to get a dog that knows more than you do :)

  18. After buying a well-started 2 yr old, and raising a pup from 5 months, I'll take the older dog! Although at 2 now, Hoot is much more of a nut than Nick ever was. I think Nick was born level-headed.


    I do wonder if Hoot would be less of an ass if I'd had him from the start. He had very little structure or boundaries for those first few months, and he's still one to take a mile if you give an inch. He's turned into a pretty nice stock dog, even if he never makes it trialling.

  19. We use this for foot rot.


    1 (25.69 gram) pkt Terramycin powder dissolved in 4 oz water. Add rubbing alcohol to 32 oz.


    We squirt that on the foot right after trimming and cleaning. Repeat every 7-10 days. An old dish soap bottle makes a handy squished.


    Have you thought about using a sheep hoof boot to keep her foot out of the mud? I'm not sure if covering the foot is a good idea, though.


    Wash and bleach your trimming equipment after each time you do her feet!


    Good luck. We have a goat that gets foot rot occasionally. He's an old pet wether... Otherwise, he'd be in the freezer.

  20. What do you all think of joint custody of a dog in a divorce? I was talking with a friend yesterday and a gal she knows drives nearly 2 hrs once or twice a week to pick up/drop off her dog with her ex.


    I mean, I guess it's good that they are committed to the dog, but it seems a bit odd and I can't help but wonder if it would be easier on the dog in the end if she had a permanent place instead of being shuffled back and forth.


    I know a dog, a mix of uncertain breeding, who splits his time between Portland, OR and Alaska. Burger (yes, that's really his name!) has some issues, but I don't think they have to do with the travel. He was a street dog in Greece, brought to the US. He seems to handle the changes just fine. It's weird to me to be without a dog half the year, but his Alaska home moves to a fishing boat, so it would be impractical for the dog to stay.

  21. If Nina doesn't understand verbal corrections, now might be the time to work on those at home off stock. If she learns that a sharp "Hey" or "Ah, ah!" means don't do that, then you can use that to your advantage when she makes mistakes on stock.



    What Nina should learn is that a correction means "don't do that, try something else." When someone told me that about corrections and stock work, a lightbulb went off. A correction isn't simply stopping your dog, it's redirecting. My old dog (14, and retired) was never taught to take a correction. He would shut down and quit, a huge part of why he was retired early (at 8) to a pet home. Corrections are another form of pressure, like body pressure, that, in simplest form, says, "where you are is wrong, when you are right, the pressure goes away."


    You'll also be amazed at how much a dog reacts to pressure. I can raise my crook at my dog when he's 300 yrds out and he'll kick out on his outrun. Another lesson I learned early on- pressure isn't always direct, right-there pressure.

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