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D Strickland

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Everything posted by D Strickland

  1. Thank you so much ..... seems that my theory may be blown to bits !!!! LOL You make some very good points ... and I may be wrong ( don't ever tell my wife that I admitted to being wrong !!! LOL ) I'm going to do a lot more research ...
  2. **** So ... getting back on topic ..... Does anyone have any stories, websites, books, or anything that describes the old working Border Collie dogs ... prior to herding trials ???
  3. So why do I keep hearing from top handlers that I should never use my trial dog as a farm/chore dog ?
  4. 150 years ago ... your dog either worked or it died. There was no agility, no herding trials, and no AKC. Nowadays weak dogs are kept as pets, and some are labeled as Champion Herding dogs by organizations that gauge their herding dogs using very weak standards. Many good trial dogs could never work a 500 acre farm, and the real working dogs are dwindling in numbers as farmers are selling their farms to developers who split them into 10 acre "farmettes" for those of us who trial and want to keep a handful of sheep.
  5. I agree with you but I think that sports like Flyball and Agility are breeding dogs that are faster and possibly a lot more neurotic. ( not trying to offend anyone ... just my thoughts here ). Is there any reference to a shepherd of a drover having to tie-up their dog or dogs at night when they stay out in the fields with the sheep ? Or was the Border Collie back then more like the English Shepherd ???
  6. Hi, I believe that up to maybe 100 or so years ago - before herding trials and conformation trials - the Border Collie ( aka Sheepdog or Collie ) was a balanced and smart working dog. He was not neurotic or have OCD. He would work a full day and at night he would lay down in the field with the shepherd. He would not take-off to go work without being instructed to - and he would not need to be restrained to prevent this. I am looking for any information that could help me support this claim. Anything from what the first herding trial courses were like to accounts from shepherds of their dog's temperaments and work ethics. Thank you, ******************** CORRECTION ********************** My question should've read : " Does anyone have any information on how the Border Collie has evolved from what it was 150 years ago ?
  7. I used to make my own dog food. I found it labor intensive but well worth it. After further research I decided to adopt a more "natural" prey-model diet - similar to wolves - and now feed raw meat and bone. I have not fed veggies or fruits in over 4 years. My dogs are fabulous in the way they look and in the way they can focus and use their brains. I also ran a full panel bloodwork test on my oldest dog and all the levels were great !!! No problems here. Good luck,
  8. In a perfect world I would own 1000 acres and raise a commercial size flock of sheep..... I would also be able to support myself with my own meat and vegetables from my own garden, therefore not supporting the "evil" feedlots that supply a population of "over-eaters" and buffet customer's that waste more than they eat. The reality of it is that I can't have it all ... I feed my dogs the best I can - I butcher my own sheep and goats and I also buy meat from Walmart. When times got tough I switched a couple of my non-working dogs to kibble. We all do that best we can do and to try and force our point of view on others is reminiscent of the Crusades - " believe what I believe or die !!!! " A ridiculous concept to say the least !!!! Whether you feed meat or kibble should make no difference to anyone else.
  9. Welcome to my world !!! LOL When I walk half way up the field between him and the sheep and send him he is extremely wide because he feels my pressure.. The closer I get to him the straighter he gets. If he gets stressed or too excited he will also go straight. The worst is when I pull him off stock and walk him back to redo the outrun ... and the sheep decide to make a run for the trees ... I have to send him quickly and he will be straight. At this point I can see him change almost overnight since I initially posted this.
  10. Thanks to everyone for your replies ... This dog of mine is finally starting to widen ... actually in the last few days of training he's been so wide that I'm getting worried. He's up to about a 150 yard outrun and is nice and deep on the Away side ... a little tight and stops early sometimes on the Come By side .... The good thing is that he may just work out !!! We went to a goat trial this weekend ( these goats had never seen a dog - other than a guard dog ) and if it wasn't for my dog's ability to grip without hanging-on we never would've placed 3rd. Thanks again,
  11. I've been feeding RAW ( raw meat and bone ) for 6 years now. Every once in a while I'll throw in some Taste of the Wild dog food ( it's grain free ). I've tried switching back to kibble 3 times in the last 4 years and, even though my dogs would eat the kibble, I saw a change in the way they worked and learned. After about 2-3 weeks they would loose that focus and energy I love them for so I had to go back to RAW. Stools are smaller, eyes and ears are clean, breath is fresh, teeth are white, focus is great, and their energy is awesome. No kibble can duplicate that. Stay away from pre-packaged raw food as they are EXTREMELY expensive. I rescue BCs once in a while ..... I took the last one I rescued to my vet. My vet said that this approx. 4 yr old dog needed to have her teeth cleaned because they were horrible..... so I said OK and went home. Spent 8 days feeding her a diet of meat and bones and went back to the vet. My vet got mad because she thought I took her somewhere else to get her teeth cleaned !!!! So now my vet doesn't like RAW because it's taking money away from her practice. LOL
  12. My first dog always had a natural outrun - which was great for a first dog. My second dog goes straight up the middle if I don't watch him carefully and set things up just right. I am worried that, although I can teach him what a correct outrun is, he will revert back to a tight or straight up outrun when stressed or unsure. Has anyone here had a dog that started with a straight up the middle outrun and ended-up being a consistent Open dog with a nice outrun ??? Thanks,
  13. Don't work just ANY sheep ... depending on what you are working you will need either "velcro" sheep for a newer dog or lighter sheep to work on driving. If all the sheep do is run from one end of the field to another you will only teach your dog bad habits and get really frustrated in the process. I put some ducks in my old agility field ( 100' x 100' ) and kept them in their own covered pen at night. Indian runners are very easy keepers and the eggs are great for baking !! Price of feed has gone up to about $18 for a 50lb bag but you don't use that much in the summer since they eat all the bugs in the yard. With 10 ducks a bag will probably last about 3 weeks. Not sure if the ducks helped or not ... I found them to be very fast .. which only made my dog faster. If you get Indian Runners you want to get them when they are babies because they WILL bond with you. You want that !!!! We don't have our own stock yet but we've bought the land. We ran our first trial when she was 2 yrs old. Good luck !!!!
  14. You already have a good grasp of the idea from your tracking experience. The main difference is that SAR dogs work more by casting and following a scent cone ... as opposed to Tracking dogs that follow a track exactly step by step. Beginning training is the same .. lots of hot dog pieces and keeping it happy and upbeat. Your dog will need to be able to work off-leash and have a great recall. When I trained SAR and went to a few "call-outs" my dog would feed off everyone's adrenaline. It's one thing to find a live person ... everyone is happy. It's another story to find someone that is dead. ( something to remember... when you find someone dead, and that has been in the water for a while, ... don't try to get them in the boat by pulling up on their arm !! ) --- a little gross but hey ... there's worse. We did cadaver work and my dog loved it. The only problem ( like tracking ) is that when you get to the advanced levels and train for "real-life" deployments ... you will have someone lay a track in the morning and wait until late afternoon or a couple days later before running your dog. It makes for long days - and you can't train in the same places all the time. I LOVED the work - loved watching my dog using her head - but.... didn't like the time away from my wife and kids. PS --- pack some extra testosterone !!!! Many K9-SAR handlers are "want-to-be" cops ..... LOL
  15. I've been feeding it as a meal for over 6 years now. I only feed once or twice a month and have never had a problem with dogs getting "gassy" !!
  16. I do not advocate feeding kibble and raw together but know many people who feed kibble one day and raw the next. I also know of one person that mixes raw and grain-free kibble and has not reported any problems. Of 60 people in my RAW feeding group .... there are A LOT of people that alternate with no problems. The issue is with the grain - as Michelle mentioned. I can't see why someone couldn't feed a grain free kibble at one meal and raw at another. I've been feeding RAW for 6 years - the last 4 years I've been feeding a prey model ( big pieces of meat and bone ) and goat/sheep legs still make me feel uneasy ... the bone splinters and looks extremely dangerous but I trust in my decision and leave it alone. None of my dogs have died or gone to the hospital for anything food related. I have a 9 week old pup that was eating chicken necks at 6 weeks, chicken breast and bone at 8 weeks, and now chicken wings and small chicken legs at 9 weeks. At 9 weeks she can also handle small lamb ribs. RAW feeding keeps eyes, ears, and teeth clean ... you don't have to worry about dog food recalls.... the dogs have more energy, nicer coat, and better focus. It's more expensive in the short term ... but when you see the money you save on vet bills ...it's well worth it. Here is a picture of my newest pup at 6 weeks old ( almost 7 weeks ).
  17. Eye goop is usually an indication of a foreign body in the eyes. This happens more frequently during the dry season because of all the dust. If something is in there you don't want it to permanently damage the eye ... so I would have it checked-out.
  18. My take on AKC/BCSA is this ... The AKC will never go away as long as they can make money from the Border Collie so why not help them !? I am aware that only a few AKC handlers want to change the herding standards to more closely conform to the USBCHA/ISDS way of doing things ... however the Board of Directors at the AKC are not looking to further the breed ... just their bank accounts. So we can either fight the AKC .... and that hasn't worked in the past or we can outcast anyone or anything associated with the AKC which will only serve to shrink the numbers of new handlers we attract. So after years of bashing the AKC I decided last fall to help them out. When someone shows-up with a Border Collie I show them that their dog can be so much more and I steer them towards USBCHA trials. My fear is that Border Collie people start believing that AKC herding standards are accurate. Conformation is only going to further ruin working Border Collies but as long as they keep their registry and ABCA keeps their own we'll be alright. The UK has been dealing with this for longer than we have and we are still importing dogs from over there. I'm new at this and very much a "little hat" ...... just thought I"d share.
  19. I just put my house up for sale .... I'm moving !!! LOL Seriously, that's great that you can find meat that cheap. Thanks for sharing ....
  20. I've been feeding RAW for 6 years now. You can make it as easy or as complicated as you want. I've fed RAW both ways ... even went as far as to calculating Phosphorus to Calcium ratios. ( probably why my hair is now grey !!! LOL ) I've fed it all ... except for home cooked ... and the easiest is this ... feed whole meat and bones with some organs every once in a while. The secret is a balanced diet over time ... not balanced every day.
  21. You need to share you secret with all of us ... I've been feeding RAW for 6 years and even with butchering my own sheep, goats, and chickens there is no way I can feed for $1 per day - unless you have 10 lb dogs. Even a small 30 lb Border Collie needs to eat 2.5% of it's body weight per day - at a minimum - and that's 3/4 lb meat per day. You can feed chicken for that price but that's it. Please share with the rest of us. Thanks,
  22. I have to jump in here ... When I went looking for a herding dog 4 years ago I ended-up with an AKC dog because I didn't know better. During her first year I went to AKC and USBCHA trials and I quickly "saw the light". I then spent the following 2 years bashing the AKC on my website and my business cards. During this time I kept training my dog to USBCHA standards. She can easily complete a 400 yard outrun, lift, fetch, pen, and is doing well at shedding but she does not have the eye or presence to push real sheep thru drive or cross-drive. Last fall I was convinced to try a couple AKC trials. I figured ... what the heck ... let's see what I've been bashing about. I entered 3 trials ( 6 runs ) and came in first in all but 1 run. I had never shed before and during my first advanced run I was not even able to split the sheep but because I was able to hold them in the general area of where the shedding ring should've been .. I got a passing score !!!! I was pissed and told the judges so !!!! On the run where I didn't come in first my dog lost her mind, lost contact with the sheep, and went 80 yards away and laid down ... the sheep, however, turned after the drive panels, went to the cross drive panels, turned towards the pen and waited for us. There was no dog involvement ... we received a lower score but we passed and got another leg towards our Advanced (Open ) title. Now I have a dog with a Herding Excellent title in A ( arena ) and B ( field ) course but she can't complete a simple Ranch ( 1 leg of drive ) course in USBCHA. So I went back to bashing the AKC for involving the Border Collie in their nightmare. Disclaimer ..... I have no problems with the AKC having a herding program for all other breeds since they are loose-eyed and work differently than the Border Collies. I've never agreed with Conformation but there will always be people that look at beauty over function. Adding the Border Collie to all other herding breeds is like comparing apples to oranges and then taking that apple and making apple sauce.
  23. Evaluations and Tests are ways for clubs to make money.... and they make A LOT of it. Some people truly believe that their dog is superior because it looked at a sheep and didn't run away !!! There is NO WAY you can put the Border Collie in the same class as a Corgi or a Rottweiler .... but somehow the AKC did .... it's been downhill since. I've been to AKC herding trials and instinct tests/evaluations ...... it's scary that so many people are working so hard to destroy the Border Collie !!!!!
  24. You probably got that from my signature ... I stole it from someone else last year !!!! LOL
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