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Everything posted by dracina

  1. Thank you for the responses offered! I am looking forward to Donald's response to Robin's question about why it is so risky to run a young dog in both Nursery and Open, as I think that it would be insightful. I think that I will have to ask around a bit about the other questions I asked: now I am really wondering about this Nursery/Open thing, which seems a bit ambiguous to me. Karrin
  2. Hmmm. Please tell me that you are not serious about this. If so, my dogs will surely need therapy after I turn down their requests for "Nursery Class of 2010" hoodies. Although as a teacher, I respect the education analogy (however incongruous)....but seriously, Robin- please elaborate, because I can not see how "peers" or "class year" could possibly be an issue. Karrin
  3. This is how I understand the purpose of the Nursery program to be, also. But this still does not answer my question, why is it appropriate to compete in both at the National Finals? I am not suggesting that it is inappropriate (in fact, I think that I may be a part sponsor of one of these teams), I don’t understand what is the benefit. Maybe it seems obvious to others (especially to those that have dogs running in trials), but honestly, I can not understand. As a spectator coming to watch the National Finals, I see the same dog/handler team run in the Nursery and the Open class. To the spectator, the Open class course looks to be more difficult than the Nursery course. Bob, if you were just to tell me what you just said in your post, my first question to you would be, if this “special” dog is so good, has the stamina and is a proven competitor in Open, why still be in Nursery? Does Open not showcase the talents of the dog, as well? Karrin ETA: Or, perhaps a more worthwhile question would be: If the Nursery class is meant to showcase the talents of the young dogs that are capable of running at the Open level, why doesn't the Nursery course have the same elements as the Open course? This would still showcase the "special" dogs, and prove that they can compete at the Open level.
  4. Yes, I see this. Correct me if I am wrong, but in theory, isn't the Nursery course less difficult that the Open course because there is no shed? To me, this suggests that there is a reason for the course being less challenging; and because of the age requirements of the Nursery program, I would guess that this is because the younger dogs lack the experience (as Donald seemed to imply) to be successful on the Open course. However, if a dog/handler team has demonstrated mastery of the Open course regardless of age (and if one has competed and qualified for the National Finals in Open, that signifies to me that one has achieved a certain level of mastery, and is certainly a contender for National Champion), then why is it also appropriate that the same team can compete in a lower class? This is why I find the idea of qualifying and competing in both classes so confusing. Karrin
  5. OK, that definitely makes sense. To be clear, I was not asking to single out one particular person or case. Further, I do not have the dog or ability to run in any class, so I am not passing judgment. I asked the original question because I think that maybe I am not understanding the purpose of the Nursery class. The significance of Nursery, I thought, was for the up-and-coming youngsters. In the case of the Finals, is the Nursery course the same as the Open course, without the (ETA: shed or) international shed? I assumed that once a dog was good enough and qualified for Open, then running in Nursery would be superfluous (even if it is still qualified under Nursery rules). Karrin
  6. Thank you for replying- could it be then, if this scenario did by chance occur at the National Finals, the same dog/handler team could be Nursery Champion, as well as National Champion? That is interesting. Has this ever been the case? Karrin
  7. Hi all: This may be an elementary question (borne of pure curiosity) but can the same handler run the same dog in two different classes at the same USBCHA or CBCA sanctioned trial? A hypothetical example: I am running Jack in Nursery and Open at the National Finals. Thanks, Karrin
  8. Great article; I really enjoyed it. Good for Nigel- maybe we'll be lucky enough to see him run Rex here one day! Karrin
  9. Great work, Julie- thanks for sharing this. Ranger is really coming along. Karrin
  10. Well, if you are going to WI, there's really no harm in stopping in Chicago for dinner. We are short on sheep, but we have plenty of our delicious Jack the Gripper Bourbon County Ale™ to share. Karrin
  11. Ben, I had completely forgotten about the yarn. What a nice surprise to come home from work to find it in the mailbox! It is gorgeous!! This is the first "real" yarn that I have ever had, and I can't wait to knit something. A very kind gesture from you, and I am sure that the other lucky recipients are just as pleased. Thank you so much! Karrin
  12. When I was training my dogs, we would travel between 3.5 hours and 6.5 hours (one way) for different clinics, training, and volunteering/viewing trials. I started with someone closer (about 1.5 - 2 hrs.) but that trainer didn't exactly work out, so I opted for better quality over better mileage. Karrin
  13. I am sorry that you do not see the value in what I am suggesting. I thought that I saw a USBCHA or ABCA bylaw once that discussed member conduct, but as someone who is not a member of any of the discussed organizations, I do not know how they operate. It seems as though my suggestions are far too simplistic. There are obviously many factors here of which I am unaware, and it is true that others are far more informed than I. It is also probably not at all appropriate for me to make any suggestions as someone who knows very little about the situation. I do wish all the best, and hope that the working community finds an answer to the issues discussed! Karrin
  14. Perhaps my case is unique. I certainly do not think that shoddy training or breeding is the norm, nor did I mean to imply that it was. I am not advocating training certification, Eileen. I do not think that is the answer, either. But what I am saying is that if truly interested in educating the public about working border collies (whether or not one wants to increase the size of the community), one can not let the most visible, top people go out to the public and recruit new people using the USBCHA or ABCA names, then use training or breeding practices unbecoming of the working border collie community. What is unbecoming, decide for yourselves. All I am suggesting is that rather than looking how to solve the problem by preventing the other side from advancing, the working border collie community should look at itself first. What exactly is the goal? Then look within to make sure that everything within its own control is being covered as it should be. If not, deal with it appropriately - do not turn a blind eye because everyone should be in charge of their own reputation and choices. To me- a newcomer - that is what I would suggest. Karrin
  15. So, how is that working out for the working border collie community? While I agree that reputation and word-of-mouth are doubtless the best methods, they are most effective for those already inside the community. Mr. McCaig, with all due respect, I think that on this you are wrong. It is very easy to be idealistic if you are someone like you, who is well-known, and knows who's who. For someone new and interested, it is not so simple. You know who is good, because you are part of the small, word of mouth crowd. The general public is not, so we have very few signals to point us in the proper direction if we are willful enough to search. I think that usually, stockdog training is the first point of contact for the general public. You get to enjoy your cultural differences with a nice glass of wine and great dogs; me, I get a USBCHA Open handler (who has won many trials, and competes yearly at Nationals) training me to use a Frisbee to teach my dog flanks. At least I knew enough to check to make sure the trainer was a USBCHA Open handler and had won many trials! Karrin
  16. You really know that you are a narcissist when you start to quote yourself. I really think that one has to start at the point of contact- the USBCHA is the point of contact for most people who have a border collie and question the ACK. When I started looking, I didn't even think about breeding or buying a good dog- it was all about training the dog I have. Even on these Boards, I often hear very reputable and proven trainers speak about people who come to them, totally ignorant of WHAT IS A WORKING STOCKDOG. I think that is the first question to address if the public is to be educated. IMO, before even looking for a working dog, they want their own dog to "herd". The ACK makes this possible. And if my own shelter border collie can "herd"- just think what an expensive Border Collie can do! Honestly, if I would not have been lucky enough to find these Boards, both my dogs both would be HCh (or what ever is the designation for Herding Champion) by now. Even my dog Jack the Gripper, who is lucky enough to have a beer named after him, but who I would not trust to do anything worthwhile with stock. When I said that some (unscrupulous) trainers flaunt their USBCHA Open Handler credibility as a selling point- well, I am saying that I came looking for a way to train my border collie, and that- USBCHA member- is what attracted me as a newcomer. I know that this discussion is about breeding and registration, but I think that if the point is to educate, the training field is just as good a place as any to start. Training is where one will encounter the most newcomers- not breeding. Isn't this fundamental to the topic we are discussing? Karrin
  17. Hi Candy: I am a newcomer, and I hope that you do not mind me telling about my experiences so far in the hope that it will help. This may wander a bit far off from your intended discussion, but I think that I am the type of person of which you speak. I second what Sue said above as far as attracting prospective newcomers ^^^. But I have a bit to add: I am in the market for a quality working (not just “working bred”) dog; I have attended clinics, volunteered at USBCHA- sanctioned trials, and read these Boards often. I ask for advice, occasionally give it, and try to learn everything that I can. I have two border collies, both rescues (shelter dogs), and both have been trained on sheep. Both are very keen, but neither is very good (dart board code: yellow). I think that I have learned enough about border collie culture to make a fairly decent decision about my next dog, but it is still very confusing. I think that your ideas are excellent as far as how to distinguish the quality of the dog, and it absolutely makes sense. But, I don't know if it is foolproof. As someone who is known to be looking for a pup, I am sometimes approached by...shall we say, less-than-scrupulous handlers who would love to sell me a “great dog” (known to be nothing of the sort, but definitely working-bred). Many of those potential sellers seem to me to be a bit shady, but they are USBCHA Open handlers. (Edited to remove "all": I meant MANY- not all) I appreciate and respect the working border collie and the supporting community immensely. But I figured out the "right way" the hard way- not from a bad breeder, but from my experiences with a questionable trainer. I used to do agility and obedience with my dogs at an ACK affiliated club, where I was also a member. I heard about my first “herding” instructor (a USBCHA Open handler) from the other ACK members. If anyone remembers, it was a really ridiculous introduction to working stockdogs. If I wouldn't have looked deeper, I might have turned right around and gone back to the ACK. I am a true supporter of the working border collie and the USBCHA (I am not a member, because I haven’t even run a novice trial yet). I have met some incredible people, some fantastic handlers, trainers, novices, etc., so I am by no means making a sweeping generalization. But, to be honest, I have had difficulty trying to figure out who on OUR side is credible because of these experiences. In short, I try to make the right decisions and get information from reputable sources. But, I often question why more isn’t done by the USBCHA to stop questionable breeding AND training practices, all under the auspice of their very good name. How to get the word out to the public that working border collies are of better quality than “other” Border Collies? I have to say that it needs to start from the inside first. In my opinion, there are members who may be taking advantage of the USBCHA name. When those members use questionable breeding or training practices, it makes the whole organization look bad. JMO- a newbie trying to figure it all out. I hope that I haven't offended unintentionally! Karrin (ETA again- I realize that the ABCA and USBCHA are two separate entities that may or may not have any say in the other's business; I am addressing the "prospective newcomers" sub-topic)
  18. What about Christine Henry, Candy Kennedy, or Robin French? Being that I am still a pre-novice (even less qualified than the "low-quality" folk ), I am not sure about cutoff dates for the Finals, but they are all in the top 150 now, I think. I am sure that others will have more to say! Karrin
  19. I agree with both choices, Sue. Like you, I think that it is very important to support those that help all of us- handlers, pet owners, lurkers, etc.- and Mark and Julie are excellent choices. I originally said that I would pay up at the Bluegrass, but I will send a check before 11 April. Please post the info- and might I suggest PMs, too? In case! Karrin
  20. Have you tried contacting the Wisconsin Working Stockdog Association (wwsda.org)? I know that they have members from both Minnesota and Wisconsin, and they may be able to point you in the right direction. Karrin
  21. Samantha, thank you for the suggestion! I was under the impression that the agricultural extensions were just available in rural areas, but there is one in Cook County. I am both surprised and thrilled, because they have many resources for teachers to use in the classroom. I will contact them this week about a speaker. Thanks again! Karrin
  22. I don't know if anyone here can help or not, but maybe someone can point me in the right direction... I am looking for a guest speaker to talk to my 4th grade class about sustainability in agriculture and livestock production. Nothing too technical- something that 9 and 10 year-olds can understand and enjoy. I am planning an environmental awareness unit for April, and I would really love to introduce them to these ideas. My school is in the Chicago area. This would be strictly on a volunteer basis. If you are interested, please PM me. Karrin PS: If you use border collies in your operation (which I imagine you do, or else you wouldn't be here)- even better! We are currently reading a book about a sheepdog in which they are extremely interested.
  23. Based upon your recent diatribes (all of which I have rather enjoyed), I'm shocked that no one has begged to differ, Mr. McCaig. Karrin
  24. Tommy Coyote, Although I do not believe that it addresses the use of avermectins for sarcoptic mange in dogs with autoimmune disorders, the sticky by Mark Billadeau and Denise Wall **HERE** at the top of this section speaks to the use of Heartguard, Revolution, and others specifically in border collies. It is very informative, and may be useful for you to read. Karrin
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