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clara

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Everything posted by clara

  1. I've found this thread, and the BBC video, intensely interesting and disturbing at the same time. I don't know much about genetics, but it's a topic I love to read about. Thanks for all the great discussion guys, it has helped flush out a lot of the points made in the the video. Edit: content removed
  2. I'm one of those agility people RDM mentioned... in that I do the sport FOR my dog, and wouldn't get a dog to do the sport. It's fun, but not enough for me to seek out a breeder. I also embody the opposite idea from the one that a truly dedicated and motivated trainer will be able to make almost any dog a champion. I'm a clutz, and not very "sporty", which translates into me being not the greatest handler on earth. But I think my dog could have maybe been a champ, if she had a better handler. The proof I have of this is that my trainer thinks it's a lot of fun to run Ling (I secretly think it's because she has a Corgi ) and has run her in practice as well as a whole trial when I wasn't able to run. Whenever she runs Ling, they're perfect. Flashy and fast and PERFECT... because Ling knows what she's doing, and my trainer knows what she's doing, and it's a good combination. I'm pretty sure Ling is from questionable farm breeding (she's a rescue but there are clues), so to me all the of the reasons given here to breed for agility just seem like excuses to make money from breeding a new "type" of BC. The one BC I know from an agility breeder is ok, but not fantastic, certainly not a good reason to pump out more pups when there are so many in rescue that just need a home!
  3. It's been fun to read everyone's nicknames, and the metalhead stuff is just astounding... I never would have guessed. Mine definitely have some nicknames, and I have no respect for the dignity of my dogs' names. Ling - pretty, little, baby, princess, (one or all, in any combination, she knows that's her name too), Dingaling Bingo - a couple from Monty Python are my favorite, Bignose and Biggus, also Mr. B, Mr. Big, Mr. Biggie or just Mr. or just Biggie. He wags his silly tail to any of those.
  4. Don't have too much to add to what others have said. I just wanted to let you know that I've discovered that Ling swallows a LOT less water when I throw her flying squirrel instead of a ball when we're playing in water. Not sure why, maybe her mouth just isn't as wide open or something.
  5. The only time Ling has shown a definite reaction to a mirror was when she was about a nine months old on Halloween. Trevor dressed up as a princess and he was truly terrifying, with a large fluffy floor length purple taffeta dress, a long black wig, crown and scepter and full makeup and jewelry. She wasn't bothered when she saw him, but when she turned and saw his reflection in the mirror she went NUTS, barkscreaming at that reflection like I have never before or since heard from her. I think the real him smelled like him, but the strange freak in the mirror didn't.
  6. Ling has gotten over most of her strange fears, including the vacuum cleaner and banging dishes. She does leave the room if voices are raised at all, even in an exuberant discussion... so no political talk if we want the dog in the room! She is still scared of the fly swatter (or the dishtowel Trevor whaps around the house when he can't find the flyswatter). This summer I've noticed she has extended the fear to the actual flies, not just the swatter. If she sees a fly buzzing around the room, her ears go back, she tucks her nub and runs to the bathroom. How pathetic is that?
  7. That recipe really works! We had a bad skunk spray situation a few years ago, when we took the dogs to the coast and stayed in a pretty fancy dog friendly hotel. Bingo managed to find himself a skunk in the dunes on our way back from the beach and I had no. idea. what. to. do. It was horrifying. Put him in a car? NO! Take him into the hotel room? NO! Stake him out on his leash on the hotel lawn? Well... probably not. Luckily a friend I got ahold of knew this recipe, so one of us stayed with the dog and the other ran for the ingredients. It worked well enough for him to sleep in the hotel room with us and ride home in the car. So keeping the ingredients in your car is probably a really good idea!
  8. The big party at the end of a well run course is probably a lot of what's missing when I take her off the course for missing a contact, like Kristi and Lenajo both said. But, I think, most of the time when we've got a whole course set up in practice or at a trial, and we go out and miss a contact within the first few obstacles (common for us), and I take her off the course to her crate with no "good girl" or love and hugs, she has also seen all the other obstacles out on the course that normally she would get a chance to do. We don't do too many short drills with lots of extra obstacles just sitting out there unused, so I do think Ling knows the difference between running a full 15-17 obstacle course and doing five obstacles then going in her crate. JMHO And it worked, so that's what's important to me.
  9. Ling also quickly became "trial wise" on contacts, figuring out that I'd let her get away with blowing them at a trial. For me, the start of the contact problem and going back and doing them over, was that obstacles are self rewarding for Ling... she was thrilled to blow her contact on the A frame, over and over and over and over. What could be more fun? So my trainer and I figured out that pulling her from the course if she blew a contact was the only way to get her to do 2o2o like I KNEW she knew how to do. So that worked in practice, but she very quickly learned I was loathe to pull her off course in the middle of a trial run. Once I did leave the ring with her a few times like we did in practice, that pretty much fixed trial contacts too. But it's HARD to pull your dog off a trial course. At least for me, it took a lot of resolve and patience, and some money blown on runs we never finished! Oddly, this was a very hard concept for me to put into practice
  10. I do teach tricks, and consider all training I do with Ling, tricks, agility, obedience, etc, to be a way of establishing communication with her. I think we ALL agree that this is important. I do love that I can talk to my dogs in every day language and they understand a lot of what I say to them... ie. "stop that" or "leave that", "go get a different toy" "back up" "go get in the car" "get your ball and come inside" (not that they always *do* what they know I want ). Those aren't really tricks, it's just having a dog who is easy to live with and I assume most people on this board have that type of communication with their BC, or will eventually. For those of us who need to create work for our pet BCs, tricks can also fill a very important role. I don't have sheep and Ling was disinterested in lessons, so that kind of work is unavailable to her, and I don't need a service dog either. I admire both of those kinds of work, but I need something else for my dog to DO. I hear all the time from people who's dogs don't do tricks that the kinds of tricks Ling does are "beneath" their dog. I don't get that. Many of them involve complicated behavior, as has already been described here by many, and teaching them has really helped me understand how Ling thinks and learns. Going through the process of understanding each other also strengthens our bond, and she really has fun doing it. I think if I was impatient or frustrated, or didn't take the time to go slowly and figure out what would work for her, she probably would shut down and not learn anything. But for a lot of dogs, including mine, learning tricks is a great way to spend 30 minutes a day playing with their person!
  11. Ling ate her rice and chicken this morning, then had a normal BM! Yeah! So I guess we're out of the woods. Now I'm trying to decide whether leaving a cooked turkey bones in an open garbage bag with an unsupervised dog, even for a few seconds, then failing to notice that Ling had taken it is a bad enough mistake to make me switch dog sitters.
  12. Thanks for all the good thoughts guys. Nothing else has come out either end, but she is acting pretty pouty and clingy. I think she probably just doesn't feel too great. She wasn't a happy camper when Bingo got his dinner and she got none at feeding time, and she is really begging at the front door for frisbee time. My instincts tell me that racing and jumping around is NOT a good idea right now though, so she'll just have to endure a quiet night.
  13. Nope, not fun, but not the end of the world either. I'm mostly worried about longer term consequences, like an obstruction. And can't cooked bone shards cause a perforation? My vet didn't mention that, but I'm imagining the worst, of course.
  14. We got home yesterday morning from a week in Alaska (fabulous vacation!) visiting my brother and family. Around 2 in the afternoon, Ling had diarrhea... and I mean REALLY liquidy poop. So I figured it was just the excitement, or maybe the sitter gave her too many treats or something, so I put some pumpkin in her pm food. This morning we woke up to diarrhea in the living room and puke on the rug. But the kicker is that there were shards of COOKED POULTRY BONES in the puke!!!! AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHH! I was, and still am, pretty bummed with my dog sitter. She said the only time it could have happened was when she cleaned the fridge and left the open bag with a turkey breast carcass in it by the front door just long enough to go grab her shoes. And the dogs ARE always very good about not taking stuff they're not given (no counter surfing or dumpster diving problems at my house). BUT STILL.... So now I'm worried about her. Hopefully she threw it all up, and my vet says it's ok to just keep an eye on her today and see how she's acting, not feed her, then give her rice and chicken tomorrow. She seemed fine and was full of energy yesterday, but seemed uncharacteristically restless last night. She's been really clingy, but I don't know how much of that to attribute to the fact that I was gone for nine days. I'm sure she'll be fine, but I don't like the thought of any more of those damn bone shards rattling around inside her digestive tract causing damage.
  15. I'm glad it's quieted down, that sound is just like a knife to the heart! (ok maybe not that bad, but bad) That's why I was such a failure at crate training Ling, puppy howling just makes me cave. My main comment, however, is just a compliment for your very impressive alliteration! Wonderful title on this post.
  16. Here's another idea I'll float out there for those that encounter off leash, potentially unfriendly dogs while we're out with our dogs. It's something I've never tried, but sounds like it might work. Trevor, my DH, is a park ranger who encounters off leash dogs a lot. Sometimes they're not too happy to see him, and he's found that a great way to settle them right down is to simply tell them authoritatively to "SIT". He's told me that every time he's been confronted by an off leash, growling dog and remembers to do this, it looks momentarily confused, then sits and is fine with him after that. Maybe "sit" is just a command even the most irresponsible owner teaches and giving a dog a command it knows changes the dynamic somehow? I don't know why, but it works for him. I wonder if this would work on some dogs in the situation where you have leashed dogs with you?
  17. Every time the subject of aggressive off leash dogs comes up, pepper spray is suggested. My opinion is that pepper spray can have some unintended consequences for the user, especially someone who doesn't know how to use it... like blowing back and getting on you or your own dog. I know it's the strongest response possible, but I'm just not sure it's the best idea in this situation. This product obviously wouldn't help with aggressive people, but I've seen it work on dogs, and it's safer for the user. I know I feel a lot more comfortable carrying it than I would pepper spray. Direct Stop
  18. They didn't have one last year, and I didn't see it in the Weekly this year. They have Art in the Vinyard over at Alton Baker, which is usually pretty fun. I'm going tomorrow - wine tasting, music and lots of frivolous stuff to spend my $ on, what could be better! Next weekend, of course, is the Country Fair! Woohoo!!! How did that go for you? Didn't you say she's freaked out by the fireworks?
  19. Ya, Melanie, it's bad in the Eugene/Springfield area. I have lots of preteen/teens in my neighborhood, so starting at about 7pm until 1am or so, Ling was pretty much a mess and there was NO going out to pee here either. Luckily (since I don't have AC), it wasn't hot out, so opening up the house after dark wasn't necessary. I just turned up stereos and the TV, and found that asking her to play tug-o-war seemed to bring her out of hiding and relieve some of her stress. No time to panic when there's a rope to be pulled on! The trouble was after we went to bed. It was much louder in our bedroom, but she wanted to be glued to my side, so I felt obligated to let her get in bed with me. So we were both awake until very late. 8:30 agility seemed pretty early today!
  20. I agree, nuanced is a great word for that movie. I've watched it a few times and really, really like it. I also love that the dog in it isn't a Barbie Collie. She's not even really obviously a BC as the JQ public tends to expect them to look. I actually had a hard time convincing a couple of friends that she (they) were BCs, not just mutts. I love that the dog character was quirky and even slightly crazy in some adorable ways. She reminded me more of my dog than the perfect, smart BCs in some other movies!
  21. Since the grill is dead, would you like us to bring our favorite picnic contribution if we feel creative? Some kind of dessert? Pasta salad? I hate for you to provide the lunch for all of us since you're providing the property too!
  22. Yes, I think that's it. Ling almost never barks at home or in normal situations, but barkscreams when she's doing weave poles. It's embarrassing, but luckily she's fast so it doesn't last long!
  23. I always wanted a BC, without knowing much about them or why I wanted one, it was just a feeling I had. But I was shelter dog girl, and the dogs that we found and fell for when we were ready to adopt new family members were just never BCs (A Lab and a Springer). Then 12 wk old Ling somehow managed to get hit by a car on an isolated country road when my sister was trying to find her way back to my house, sis picked her up and brought her to me. THEN I learned all about BCs! And if I have my way, I won't have another breed, ever.
  24. I've noticed this in the past few years, both in movies and in advertising. There were a bunch of them in Children of Men, one in Everything is Illuminated, and one in Sex and the City too (Steve's dog), and I know I can't think of all the other movies and TV shows I've seen them in. As fun as it is for me to see them in movies, I agree that it probably increases the number of people who want them because they're pretty and smart, but have no idea what's in store for them, and then in turn increases the number of BCs in rescue.
  25. Bingo is my gator dog and I'm with you guys on training methods and taking treats nicely is something I practice daily with him. He just doesn't get the treat until he takes it gently, and every once in a while we have to "retrain" when he forgets the rules. I just keep the treat palmed and tell him to take it nicely and he always seems to remember when it comes down to whether he'll get it or not. I can tell the body language when he's preparing to gently take a treat vs. grabbing at my hand and it hasn't been one of the more difficult things to train. Pickles wouldn't have worked as a deterent since he's also my garbage gut dog and will literally eat ANYTHING. He's particularly fond of pickles actually. Well... ok, he's pretty fond of anything even moderately edible. Ling, on the other hand, has a disturbingly gently mouth and politely takes anything I give her, but spits almost all vegetable matter out.
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