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Everything posted by herdcentral

  1. I teach my dogs that the crate is where they learn to relax and mine preferentially use their crates to sleep in. You can pop them in a crate with a lick mat or a chew, feed them in there etc. When your dog is playing and getting nippy you could try redirecting that nippy behaviour on to a tug or some calming obedience training. mix it up a bit so the nipping is discouraged and more appropriate behaviour is heavily rewarded in its place. Once the training is finished pop him in the crate for some downtime, but make it a pleasant experience. So the crate is associated with relaxing and downtime and the nipping is redirected onto a more appropriate behaviour. You then dont confuse the 2 and the puppy grows to be very used to crating which can be useful for traveling and medical situations and for encouraging their off switch. In the end it is about what works for your dog!
  2. Well my first dog ever was a high drive working bred ACD and I had lots of youthful energy so I did just fine. As to dog sport and herding, when I started I had zero experience with those sorts of activities. I never expected things go perfectly and still don't. As long as you are having fun with your dog!. I am still very novice with herding but I live on a farm and my dogs work well for me. Trials would likely be another matter lol. Agility, well my BC and I just go out there and have fun. Sometimes we do really well more than often we don't but who cares really. I am sure in the hands of an experienced agility person with all the resources my boy could have been a star. But he has me and we have fun. As to mistakes in training, yeah been there and sometimes I have had to go back with certain obstacles or foundations and start from scratch. Border collies are always keen to learn and as long as you have put some foundation down and have a good respectful relationship with your dog it is fine. The thing with dog sports is not to get too hung up on it all, things go wrong, things can be retrained and in the end it is about having fun. People can get very intense about this stuff. I don't and I don't pay heed to anyone who might make mean comments, which can put some novice handlers off. There are also plenty of supportive people. There is always a ton to learn but never lose the joy of just having fun with your companion.
  3. I farm now but when I lived in suburbia with high drive working dogs, Cattle dogs and Border collie I spent a lot of my free time with my dogs. Rain, hail or shine I was up crack of dawn before work and sometimes walking dogs late at night. Weekend activities always included the dogs. The commitment level was high maintenance but my dogs repaid in spades. Same as other people have mentioned. Even on my farm when there is not a lot of sheep work or I am working I walk the dogs twice a day. They always chill out when I am not doing anything. I have a young dog currently and I often take her for extra moonlight walks if it has been too hot in the day and I also do conditioning and training work inside with her every evening. I also have puzzle balls, snuffle mat, bones etc that I leave with her if I have to pen her for any length of time. It can work and will possibly depend on the dog but all mine have been active and needed to be involved in my life to be happy. I have fostered the occasional working breed that has been handed in for behavioural problems and it has generally stemmed from complete lack of understanding of the dogs needs by the previous owner. I myself have dogs from rescue that were completely out of control and they have turned out to be terrific dogs. They just needed a home that understood their needs.
  4. These days there is a system called an uncemented hip replacement system (I have the Biomedtrix BFX). So the parts are not cemented into place, they are press fit and held by friction and the bone grows into them. The cemented systems over time can loosen but this is not a problem with the uncemented system and will easily out last the dog so can be used on younger dogs. The materials are also very high tech. I chose this option because it gives the best outcome for a totally normal hip function. The key is to find a surgeon who has done at least a 100 hips and there is one specialist where I live at our University vet school who has this experience. He will only do the surgery if the life of the dog is not viable without. My dog was so bad when my local vet who deals with a lot of working dogs took the x-rays she rang me up and asked me if I wanted to euthanaise while my dog was still sedated. She continued to get worse while I waited till her growth plates had closed and was unable to run without falling over. it was horrible to watch. The specialist didn't even think twice in her case. The first hip is successful in 85-90% of cases. 10% of cases have complications and 5% of those can be fixed and 5% are a disaster. Generally the disasters are most likely to occur where it is impossible to keep the dog quiet in the first 4-6 weeks weeks or the owner does not follow the strict protocol. My girl has been crate and penned trained so was very good thank goodness. If I need her other hip done at least we know this so her chances of success are good There are dogs doing agility and working sheep and doing protection sports after THR surgery. I doubt I will run her through the yards where a dog has to back sheep and jump panels, I have my super athletic kelpie and my other BC for that. I want her to be a paddock dog and to perhaps trial with. I will keep you up to date with her progress. I found it very helpful to read other peoples experiences when undertaking this surgery because it is really scary in those first 6 weeks where there is risk of dislocation, fracture if the implant subsides and infection. Her femur fissured during surgery when they tapped the stem of the implant into her femur and they had to use a circle of wire to brace it, the sciatic nerve was also temporarily damaged. This surgery is harder the smaller the dog. I sent the video to her surgeon and he is very pleased with her progress and he is keen for her to have a working life so will work with him.
  5. Hi, I thought I would post a video of my 14 month old Border collie first time on sheep after having Total hip replacement surgery nearly 14 weeks ago. She was diagnosed just after 6 months old and was very lame. I had to wait till she was 10 months old to do the surgery. I am thrilled with the results as the other option was euthanasia it was that bad. I am looking forward now to working with her. I like what I am seeing particularly as this is probably only her 5th time on sheep, she had one of the older ewes stand up to her and she didn't give an inch and had a controlled intensity about her that moved the sheep on.. I have no commands on her as yet so we are right at the beginning of our journey. I may have to do the other hip but that will remain to be seen. Just so happy seeing her able to do what she was born to do.
  6. They are primarily Wiltshire horn genetics with polled characteristics after an infusion of Australian polled Merino and several other polled British breed sheep. They were developed in Australia. I like them because they are easy care, don't fence crawl which is essential as I am surrounded by fine wool merino flocks and they are nice to handle. They also tend not to lay down lots of fat as prime lambs. They mainly twin. They are seasonal breeders so I run the rams year round with them. The only criticism I have is that they are seasonal breeders and tend to lamb just that little bit late to catch the full benefits of the late winter and spring flush where I farm in the low rainfall area. I am currently selecting my earliest breeding ewes and buy rams from early lambing females. I would post a photo of some of my best lambs from this year but don't know how to upload straight from my computer. Until I get my new satellite dish I don't have the megs out here to keep uploading to photo and video sharing sites and then downloading on to here.
  7. Thanks, the sheep are 8 month old Wiltipol ewe lambs
  8. Hi Donald, she is a Border collie out of imported UK ISDS lines and Australian working lines
  9. Video of Tess at 7 months old second time on ewe lambs in the training ring . I just let her go, with me walking around in the ring videoing her. She has no commands on her. Just before this video was taken I was becoming concerned with what I was observing in her gait and had her x-rayed. Diagnosis severe HD with femoral heads only 1/4 and 1/3 in the joints. Options presented were euthanasia or Total Hip replacement surgery. She is now 13 months old and 11 weeks out from THR on her most symptomatic hip and doing great. Surgeon reckons I can try her back on sheep in about 4 weeks. Biggest concern will be how her other hip stands up. If it doesn't, I will have a choice of a second THR or the cheaper FHO. Any advice or experience with other working dogs in this situation would be much appreciated. I like this little dog she is full of spunk and intelligence
  10. We only have 2 venues. The most popular in my state is ANKC and I enjoyed the venue and the people. My dogs are registered on working sheepdog, Border collie or kelpie council registers so they don't have to be neutered as these are recognised by ANKC. The other ADAA which is less popular but I enjoy it because it is cheaper and has more variety. You can call an NFC run and spend the time training in the ring which I like as I live on a farm so it is useful with a young dog to get them used to a trial environment. You can choose to run international or regular so have a wide choice of heights and course times depending on the abilities of your dog and yourself. They don't care what breeding your dog is, so neutering is not in the equation. I would just pick the venue that most suits my budget and my dogs. Theses days I choose to run ADAA over ANKC because they suit me better. If I lived closer I would probably run both.
  11. I have one of each. An accurate moderately paced dog and a full on fireball. I get more titles with my moderate pacer and he enjoys agility and is in demand as a pairs dog because he is so accurate. He is nice and relaxing to run and usually places midfield. My wild child will be in the top placings if I get him clear and I hit the sweet spot of handling a course, but more often than not something goes awry. He is loads of fun to run and I always have my heart in my mouth when I step up to the start line. I have to be on my A game when I run him. He doesnt spin and bark he just forges ahead if I am too slow. He is a great sheepdog as well.
  12. I am definitely no expert but me and my dogs manage most tasks. I haven't had too much of a problem moving ewes and their lambs. The mothers can stamp a bit and some sly old girls will try and abscond with their lambs when they see an opportunity. I find if the dog works them calmly they are less likely to get upset. I have 2 dogs and one has a lot more presence and very few ewes mess with him, the other one, a kelpie, works with patience and has a fair bit of eye and will hold her ground and the ewes usually stand down and move on. The lambs just stick my mamas side as far as I can see. Both my dogs move young lambs reasonably effectively although they have to work a bit harder and be on the ball.
  13. Wow, I don't know these people as I live in a different country but if anyone hit my dog, my reaction would be instant and I would be out of there so fast. I have trained many dogs and violence is simply not required. Hitting a dog on the head is particularly bad. I use a stick to train with but I don't hit my dog with it. Good leadership does not require violence in my books. That experience sounds totally psycho if indeed it occurred as reported, that I dont know.. It does sound slightly bizarre.
  14. I have never had a problem with rimadyl but there are other options so if you are concerned why not just go for an alternative. I have used several options myself and they all work pretty well.
  15. I have a couple of hundred sheep at peak times, but it is a low intensity system so my dogs are really only busy at marking, weaning and drafting and when there is a problem and I need to catch a lamb or sick sheep. Those days are intense but sporadic and I couldn't do it without the dogs, but I wouldn't say they are overworked lol. My neighbours have a lot more sheep but they primarily use bikes, cars and quads to muster. Their dogs get a good work out when the sheep are in the yards but most of the time they spend their days riding around with the farmers or hanging out back at the sheds. I have seen quite a lot of portly sheep dogs around my area. The area is extensive and sheep management is relatively low. Grain growing is the main money spinner out here. Sheep are more an irritation for many.
  16. All my pups have been in crates by my bed. I toilet them last thing at night before I go to bed and usually get them out between 5.30 and 6.30 the next morning or when they are restless. Never seem to have had an accident in their crates. There have been occasions when the pup is restless in the night and I get up but that is rare. And yes in the morning the pup needs to be express rushed outside so they dont pee on the way out.
  17. I cant say I am much into trick training. With my youngsters I playing shaping exercise with them because I like the way it develops their learning behaviour, but I use it to get them doing perch work and early propioception work, driving to a toy and also self control work, sit, lie down etc but not trick work per se. My young cattle dog as a pup was probably the most driven to learn tricks and she took to shaping exercises like a mad woman lol. such laser focus and a enormous capacity to try out anything.
  18. I would be getting a referral to a specialist vet or going to a teaching hospital where there are usually specialists on hand. When my boy showed early lameness in is hind end I got a referral straight away, Mild HD was discovered and the specialist told me to do agility as I planned, and work him as a sheep dog and keep him lean and well muscled, 6 years down the track he has no arthritis. He is a big well muscled boy and he weighs 43lbs and I can feel his ribs when I run my hand across him. Good luck and I hope you find out what the problem is with your girl.
  19. If you have him a short time then there will be still a lot of work I would definitely avoid letting him reinforce the lunging and barking behaviour. I have dealt with a very reactive dog and so I know the pain of it. I worked really really hard on heeling so I could go at a brisk run past a trigger situation with my dog focussing on my face, or I would briskly turn the other way and jog away, but this took time. I also had a fun word that I used when good things were happening like treats and so I would keep my dogs attention by laughing and happy and saying this word and this would keep her attention on me as we jogged past quickly.
  20. I think with insurance certain dog breeds are definitely penalised. However my insurance company doesn't ask me to provide papers as to their pedigrees, they just ask for the breed of dog. Fortunately my breeds are obviously considered lower risk but there is no difference in premiums between ANKC registered and working bred versions of the same breed as I have had both. I know quite a few poorly bred crossbreeds that have had major issues. I doubt they would distinguish between a working bred GSD, a showbred, or a GSD x, especially if the cross is with another high risk breed like a Rottie. So I dont know how they work it out.
  21. I have known a few agility Border collies go between 8 and 11 from cancer mainly lymphoma. I think stress could be a factor as well, given that stress is known to be a likely contributing factor to human cancers. Also there are a lot of chemicals in the environment and dogs are probably pretty close to it by sniffing, licking, digging rolling etc.
  22. Yeah my great uncle lived into his nineties and he was a pack a day smoker with more than a few good shots of whisky to wash it down. My longest lived dog was 17 and she had a diet mainly of pedigree, back in those days that was the most expensive food so had to be good right? lol My dogs have all lived from 14-17 yo but they have all been cattle dogs. My oldest BC is 6 so no idea what his lifespan will be. I have read new research that suggests adding yellow /orange vegies to their diet on a regular basis cuts their cancer risk by 70% and green leafy vegies by 80%. So I make them up a pumpkin/ spinach and whatever puree with a few sardines thrown in every week. Otherwise they get Blackhawk (Australian) and Wellness core (USA) kibble plus some commercial BARF and fresh meat when I kill a sheep or it is on special in the supermarket, plus bones. I keep them all lean and fit and hope genetics does the rest
  23. My BC was about 11 months old and everything seemed fine. We went to visit on a farm further south where this was a lot of water. My 3 young dogs went crazy running and playing on the wet paddocks. Two were fine but my BC pulled up very sore the next day. He could hardly move in his back end for quite a few days so I crated him. Anyway a vet examined him and said he was showing pain in his hips and referred me on to a specialist for x rays. The outcome was mild HD. I kept him lean and work him on my sheep and do agility with him although I don't over train or do a lot of trials or do drills. He is now 6 and I had him x-rayed again recently and there is no sign of any arthritis at all and is fit healthy and active. The breeder x-rayed her dogs hips after that and they all seemed good, perhaps it came down through the fathers UK lines. I think it was a bit of a surprise because her dogs are all working on thousands of sheep with no problem. Another pup from the same breeding also has HD. It isn't always straightforward. Hope you get an answer soon.
  24. It would be interesting to compare to survey done of non KC registered dogs. I go to the local dog walking park when I am in the city and everything looks obese to me. The limited genetic pool in some breeds however is disturbing and I can well see the case for judicious out-crossing to similar breeds. I did read a study done by Helen King who inbred rats for 40 generations. Her rats were better than average but this can only be achieved by using good foundation stock and by rigorous selection criteria by culling anything bad, and good care. It is commonly used in the livestock industry but then ruthlessly culling puppies doesn't sit as easily as with rats and livestock. A friend of mine who is a specialist vet says she sees so much cancer in dogs right across the board. A recent trial found you could cut cancer rates in dogs by a whopping amount if you fed orange coloured vegetables and even more with green leafy veg added to their diet on a regular basis. I am now doing this for my dogs. There are certainly a lot of factors involved but I wouldn't disagree that poor breeding practices contribute quite a lot particularly to some breeds that have been compromised already by silly fashion which often equates to poor selection criteria.
  25. I have an Australian Koolie who I took on after he was rescued from an abusive home. He would pee himself if I so much as looked at him and also if I pointed a finger at him. He was petrified of toys and especially if they squeaked. He eventually started looking like he might play tug but any wrong movement would weird him out. He seemed to be always wetting himself poor thing. So I just went along at his pace, not putting too much pressure on him, building a relationship, doing some training. He is now a great agility dog and he works my sheep. He is still afraid of squeaky toys but is confident in every other situation and is a real love bug with people despite his horrible start. He loved training but would sometimes become stressed if he thought I was putting pressure on him. Now days he just has lots of fun and loves to keep going as he knows I am not pressuring him and he can handle perceived pressure much better and is not as easily put off. With agility if he got half way round the course and then started to panic I would just have a cuddle do something positive and take him out, the judges were great and some of them bent over backwards to be helpful. It took several years but now he just loves heading out on the agility course with me and is in Advanced and Masters and is also sought after as a pairs partner because he is so reliable. He just loves working sheep. It has been quite a journey and he still has a few hangups but he is pretty good.
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