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afrancis

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Everything posted by afrancis

  1. Seen the first two (they've been mentioned before) but hadn't seen the chimney sweep routine. Really creative! And looks like they're having so much fun Ailsa
  2. This is funny to think about right now. There is a window, albeit a very brief one, when there is no mud here. It is just after a major snowfall and just before a sudden winter thaw! So my rugs right now are looking pretty good, I must say. I just have to remember when walking around in socked feet that there will be silent, invisible puddles of melted snow on the carpet or the kitchen floor, made all the more unpleasant by their coldness Ailsa
  3. You are very astute and very considerate for saying so. But, that being said, bring it on! I can't wait to see pics of your most excellent dog Pandi, Ailsa
  4. Okay, so its official. I am truly insane. Responding to my own post. Just wanted to clarify -- I'm making a distinction between puppy mills (those nightmare scenarios you see on 60 Minutes or Oprah, where conditions resemble torture, dogs are found dead, and those still living, horribly inbred, etc.) and bybs (naive individuals pursuing breeding on a small or medium scale because they have a dog or two they really like and want to have puppies from and end up selling most of the litter through newspaper ads, friends and acquaintances -- not evil or delusional, but misguided and cavalier). But then again, this is just semantics really. I imagine the dogs rescued from horrific scenarios who are not adoptable (more than infirm, really, more like debilitated and possibly 'unhinged') are either euthanized or rescued by animal sanctuaries (like the one RDM profiled). The animals that do make it to the fronts of shelters and rescue groups are all considered healthy enough in body and mind to be adoptable - the only difference between their behaviour in a cage and in someone's home is simply a loving, caring owner. But then I think of Vick's pitbulls and how the vast majority of those dogs have bounced back and found loving permanent homes or are doing well in transitional foster care. Anyway, that's it for me Couldn't let that go by... Ailsa P.S. Thanks Eileen. Agreed.
  5. I wouldn't want to break it to him either way yet -- he's still young and impressionable Ailsa
  6. I'm no expert in craps or in poker for that matter, and genetics are something that I must have slept through in science class , but I would agree that if you have no idea of a pup's genetic heritage (several generations, not just one), then whatever that pup's inheritance is in terms of health and temperament will be unknown to you until it is revealed later in life. But a breeder who is doing so casually (i.e. is only aware of the outward temperament and basic health of the two parents, and not any further down the line), will have litters that may or may not be anything like the parents. This breeder could be considered a 'reputable' one because the dogs are considered pets, they are living in the house with the family, they are well fed and taken care of, only one visible breed is being reproduced, they are nice people and there are never more than one litter at a time (with a small number of litters per year). So a pup from this breeder will be well fed, well groomed, apparently healthy and sound, well socialized with people and no doubt, in the owner's and prospective buyer's eyes, a real winner. But not necessarily so; and you won't know until you begin to raise the pup, see how it responds in your environment and how well you are equipped to socialize and train it, and see what DNA it is in fact carrying and how that manifests itself in both behaviour and physical condition. OTOH, I don't think you can lump puppy mills and purebred rescues together like that, no more than you can say all border collies are the same. Sure there are characteristics that are common to border collies (and that is part of the reason why we love them and others, perhaps, couldn't even entertain having one), but not all border collies in rescue are the same. Many (I'd even hazard to say, most) rescues, especially puppies, are happy, friendly dogs whose owners could not or would not keep them (that's my Skye, relinquished at 6 1/2 weeks after a rush purchase that lasted one week), while some others appear to be crazed little monsters, who would need a very firm hand to manage. In contrast, puppies from puppy mills are usually the product of parents that are so badly compromised, both in body and spirit, you are almost certainly going to get a dog that is infirm and/or behaviourally unhinged. And, it goes without saying that the people who rescue those dogs deserve a special medal for compassion and dedication. So yeah, if you were to go to a breeder of border collies that someone from these Boards recommended (one with a proven track record in terms of health, temperament, skill, and soundness, who had been breeding for generations, and had consistently tested for genetic defects, etc.), that would certainly increase your chances of getting a sound dog. But there is no guarantee it would be the dog of your dreams, or even the dog you were hoping for. However, I think one of the things that makes this road more attractive is that these quality breeders will stand behind their litters and take dogs back if they're not the right fit. So a safer bet if things go wrong. But if you look at a dog from rescue, where its' beginnings are unknown, you may equally get a sound dog, or, quite possibly, the dog of your dreams. And no, I don't think the odds are stacked against rescue dogs if you don't know its background and there are no obvious signs of health or behaviour problems. And we haven't even begun to talk about the role of environment versus genetics But let's not Ailsa
  7. Flyer, Sorry if you have felt that this Board is not for you because of the 'doom and gloom', but I imagine you would also find the same tone on a dalmation board after 1001 Dalmations came out and everyone ran out and bought a dalmation puppy for their child . Many more than I can tell you that border collies have become very attractive dogs because of their intelligence, zest, energy and beauty and often wind up in homes with people that can't commit to their demands. But, that's not you. You are an animal person and have had a dog before. You are committed enough to come and research, to read suggested threads, and to keep the discussion going. I really do commend you for that. The more a person speaks online, the more the existing community gets a sense of their situation, committment level, common sense, etc. Many come and go, but often not before a final thread dealing with having to relinquish their dog because it has developed into a source of frustration, anxiety or inconvenience for them and their family. Now multiply that by hundreds more that people involved in rescue deal with personally and you are left with a tone that may be somewhat guarded, skeptical and yes, even fear-mongering. (Last summer on a weekend trip we took to Kingston, we were sitting at a sidewalk cafe with Skye lying on the other side of the railing, when a family with two children approached and remarked how well behaved and calm our border collie was and how they must be great dogs for children. I felt the need to explain to them that they weren't necessarily so at all and that I had done a lot of training with her to ensure she was friendly, calm, well-behaved, etc. So if I kept them from purchasing a border collie because they thought it might be an easy family dog, I am glad.) You came looking for advice about the breeder your first saw with the dogs that you liked, and any other general advice we could give. Lots of people here have spent lots of time sharing their opinions and experiences with you. What you got was: (i) Multiple suggestions to go the rescue route, even for a puppy, since many here do rescue and/or recognize that these dogs are not in loving homes (i.e. shelters) and need help. (ii) Alarms that the breeder you were suggesting was breeding too many litters, was not breeding for 'working ability' (the only reason, in many peoples' eyes, that border collies should ever be bred -- you have acknowledged that you understand this) and had an accidental litter. You didn't mention whether this breeder was doing testing on the parents before breeding, to ensure their eyes, hips, hearing, etc. were not compromised. (iii) Explanations that puppies are 'crap shoots', wherever you buy them from, hearing specific stories from individuals who have acquired puppies from excellent lines. (iv) Recommendations that a young adult dog that is being fostered through rescue might be the way to go since they have fully formed personalities and can be matched well with your famiily. (v) De-bunking the myth that rescue dogs are not necessarily 'damaged', require re-training or are all old. (vi) Advice not to make a sudden decision because of grief (I did this when I got my Skye a week after my Riley died -- like parents, we suggest not doing things we've already done ourselves so I'm guilty here) (vii) Numerous requests for your location (never answered - that's ok ), so we could better steer you to other local breeders or rescues that may help you with your decision. (viii)The a-ok that we'll still talk to you no matter what you decide (that may or may not mean anything to you ) and to share your journey with your new dog, wherever it comes from and whatever age it happens to be. Ailsa
  8. Don't like that.... Just had to say... Whatever. Flyer, I wish you luck. I certainly wouldn't buy a pup that seemed to have an aversion to being held and exhibited manic chewing etc., or whose dam wasn't reliable with strangers. I think you will go with your gut. But I am concerned with the fact the breeder you are considering has had an 'accidental' litter. Concerning the bigger picture here, not sure why there are so many people lately looking for pups that 'must' be from a 'good' (whatever their idea of that might be; 'respected knowledgeable' and yet with an accidental litter?) breeder because then they are a sure thing. There are a lot of charlatans out there pretending to be "knowledgeable" breeders. Maybe its just me ... IMO, if I'm not relying on this pup to grow up and work my livestock or going to pursue "herding" as a serious hobby (where I would then consult people in the working world, make contacts and know that great working parents are at least an indication that the pups *should* also be great dogs and workers), my primary motivation is to save a border collie, whether it be a pup or an adult, rejected simply because it was being a border collie ... Ailsa
  9. You may want to read this thread on puppy bite inhibition for tips: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.p...9&hl=biting He's very cute! And so keen Ailsa
  10. He looks like he has some brindle in his coat -- I agree that he looks like he has some pit or boxer in him. Nice to see a boxer with a full tail and ears Ailsa
  11. That's great that you're having success with them individually like that. Can you also take her with you into stores and along busy streets and such? Do you have any fenced areas where she can meet and play with other dogs? I would work as many of these encounters into your routine as possible to allow her to feel more relaxed with different dogs/people/scenarios. And yes, two walks (one per dog) is alot more work but you won't have to do it forever! Continued good luck, Ailsa
  12. Sorry you're not feeling well. We're in the middle of a blizzard here so I'm holed up inside for the time being. Sounds like your place is a dream scenario, for me anyway Here's a link I pulled from another thread for Canadian working bc breeders: http://www.canadianbordercollies.org/breeders.html Good luck, Ailsa
  13. Congratulations! I can't believe all those puppies made it out of that proud Momma! That's a lotta puppy! I also agree with the blog idea..... Ailsa ETA - just saw the new pics ... I wanna the white one!
  14. Welcome back Shay! Seven dogs and counting....wow. I think only Julie has you beat I went to the Fieldstone website to see what you were referring to; you're right, Virginia is a long way from New Brunswick! But they are beautiful dogs though and a great looking facility. I know this sounds like a broken record, but is a rescue puppy not an option for you? Just wondering.... I think you were looking at Ontario Border Collie Rescue before. I can't give you any specific links to more local bc breeders but I think others can direct you. In regards to your GSD Bella, does she show aggression toward your other dogs or just unknown ones? You are very smart to get this under control (thereby training yourself as well) so that bringing a new puppy into the mix does not endanger him/her or unhinge Bella. You must live in an area where there are no bylaws regarding the number of pet dogs -- lucky you! I'd love to see some pics of your mini Aussies... Ailsa
  15. Welcome to the Boards! You have certainly come to the right place for advice and information -- too bad you didn't come several years ago! Sounds like you have *many* issues with which to contend, not least of which your unemployment. I hope you are able to improve enough physically that you can get working again. In this case, the first thing I would do is spay and neuter your dogs. This is SO important, I cannot over-emphasize it! The silver lining is that while you're unemployed, you can concentrate all your efforts in your dogs I would take firm control of both dogs by doing the following things: (i) your enrollment in obedience class is great. Is this for just Shiloh or for the new male as well? If I were in your shoes, I would use all the exercises I learn at the class with Shiloh when I got home with BOTH dogs separately, rather than bring two dogs (if that's even allowed) to class; (ii) I would reconsider putting either/both dogs out on cables, unless you're right there with them -- even then, I would prefer to keep them on long leads connected to me/my waist. This can be very useful training time, esp with stays, heels and leave its; (iii) I would ratchet up the socialization for both dogs -- bring them with you everywhere you go, to meet all people. Keep treats in your pockets and pass them out to people for them to give your dogs. Even though you are in a rural area, there must be towns nearby where you go to get food/supplies, etc. where they can meet people. This is esp important with your Shiloh and her early experience being tormented. I don't blame her feeling like she must defend herself against anyone she does not know. This kind of behaviour modification will probably be a long road -- and she may always be reticient toward strangers but her ferocious reactions can be tamed. Do you have a library nearby or do you think the trainer could loan you some books? If so, look for Ian Dunbar's books, or Patricia McConnell or Leslie McDevitt (Control Unleashed) or Karen Pryor (Don't Shoot the Dog). These are all great positive reinforcement authors. In regards the eye issue, I don't have anything for you. Perhaps others could give some advice there. It may indeed be a genetic problem (esp since she's part merle - blue eyes?) and if significant, as you fear, may certainly be exascerbating her fear issues. Good luck and keep us informed, Ailsa
  16. Great reply Sue! Welcome FarminFool...and again, thank you for adopting an adult bc and giving her a great home . I have nothing to add except to echo that your interaction (aka training & direction) with her, while outside esp, is what will make her into a most excellent dog. Stick around and share your stories with your new girl (name and pics?) best, Ailsa
  17. Oh boy! I had almost forgotten to look! Really glad they all made it out ok and that both doggie and human mom are ok. You are amazing! Good job! Ailsa
  18. Sorry, I got the names of the dogs confused Sounds like more one-on-one walking and attention is a good road to take right now for managing and shaping responses to other dogs. There are several other books/dvds that are great reading/viewing: http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTB116 - Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor and Jean Donaldson's dvd about aggression/play, http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTB1022 and this one by Karen London (haven't read it but it also looks appropriate): http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DTB1021 There may be other links that have free downloads of some of this material, since the dvds are quite expensive. If anyone else has sources, I'd be happy to hear them. Ailsa
  19. More good and healing thoughts from Canada! Let us know how the surgery went, best, Ailsa
  20. Don't be a-feared, Flyer! I agree with Shetlander that I don't think bcs are necessarily crazy and neurotic. You may also want to read this thread to find out a bit about balance: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=20675 Crazy long, I know, but it will really test your stay-with-it powers and is such a good discussion of bc temperament, etc. I think bc puppies can be puppies from hell if you don't know what you're getting into. Just the combination of bc puppy zoomies, the dreaded double-whammy crouch'n'stare, and the more insistent, pay attention to me you-know-ya-wanna-ya-know-ya-wanna!!!!!!!!! .... can be a *little* intimidating to the un-forewarned And the superficial and naive interpretation of 'border collies need a*lot of exercise' translating into playing with that dog 24-7 can be the worst thing for it, i.e. no off-switch. But seeing as you're being forewarned, not to mention scared silly, I think you'll be fine. Ailsa
  21. I was going to say that when I was training Skye as a puppy to bring the ball back to me, timing, excitement and precise wording were very important. I would throw ball. She would chase it. At moment she picked ball up I would yell "Yeah, good girl!" and throw up my arms as if she had scored a touchdown. Buoyed by my approval and excitement, but no actual commands, she would come back to me with the ball and drop it at my feet. It was the obvious approval and the sheer fun of having done the right thing that made her want to do it again. I also find that a sure-fire way of having her return to me is if I'm sitting down. Ailsa
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