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Ooky

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  1. Well see, there are precious few "normal people" in Saratoga/Los Gatos/Menlo Park/Cupertino area where I spend time in parks most frequently. Conspicuous consumption is a way of life here. There is something called "signal theory" in economics, which posits that pretty much everyone is engaging in, if not conspicuous consumption, a sort of broadcast to the world what your subculture and preferences are. So, for example, buying a prius is important to people here not just because of the higher gas mileage, but because of what it signals to others what you find important - and they've shown exactly how much extra people are willing to pay for that signal. Expensive purses signal something else, maybe a love of high fashion (I honestly don't know because even though I've reached a point where I can afford nice purses I can't for the life of me see wanting to spend that money on them when I could buy more stuff for my fish tanks ) Does this mean buying a prius or nice bag is a bad thing? I don't think so at all. But seeing a super rich lady wearing all Lululemon clothes and pushing a very expensive Phil and Ted's stroller and walking her goldendoodle - I do think she is signaling a variety of things with her dog, no matter how much she loves the dog or doesn't consider it disposable or whatever. That's really beside my point. What I don't like, personally, is this idea that people can come to understand that mutts are better in most cases and yet STILL, normal mutts just aren't good enough, it's almost like these expensive mutts are so much more controlled, and better than mutts there are already too many of and that you could get for close to free. The bought dog is rareified. It's not pedestrian, and its trendy at the moment to boot. Now, I see that same lady walking what is clearly a rescue pitty or what seems to be just a normal old Heinz 57 and I do think different things about her, although it's true I don't know off hand who is actually the better or more "moral" dog owner. Again, the trend just bugs me. Although I'll grant you, not as much as seeing Cavs and English bulldogs and show bred GSDs dragging their tiny back ends bug me.
  2. Robin's points are well-taken, but I also feel that there is something, if not more insidious, at least somewhat uniquely insidious about the designer breed craze, and in that I think I get where Geonni is coming from. First of all, the sale of these dogs seems to play even more directly than normal on ignorance of dogs and animal husbandry from the purchaser. As Mark pointed out, these aren't real breeds, in the sense that they are hybrids (and to my knowledge largely F1 hybrids) and can't be expected to breed true. The dogs seem to be marketed on people's perceptions that you will get something that is all the best qualities of each breed and none of the bad qualities. Or at least, that it will be 50% (meaning equally like both parents). Whereas a hybrid can have characteristics that are almost 100% like one parent or the other, or anything in between. Thus the main reasons to buy a pedigree dog (that you weren't going to have to do a specific job like stockwork or hunting) is that 1) you are supposed to be able to know what your dog is going to be like to some degree, as it should be true to breed if bred well, and could be bred to produce more dogs that breed true, and 2) your dog is registered. You get neither of these things with a deliberate cross breed. And they are so popular right now, at least where Geonni and I live, that these dogs seem to go for even more money than really good examples of registered purebreds - i.e. 1000s of dollars. One woman told me proudly that she had been on a waiting list for her goldendoodle and paid $3000 for it. My neighbor in my office complex with the gorgeous, well-bred GSD from Schutzhund lines (her back is excellent!) who bought his dog in the same area, paid only $1200. So, it's almost as if people who just want to spend way too much money on the purchase price of their dog, of whom in 99% of cases I'm sure would be equally happy with a shelter mutt, have seemingly found an EVEN BETTER way to spend stupid amounts of money on that purchase price, which really can be a status symbol. Without even getting the two (probably dubious in many cases) benefits that a high purchase price on a purebred was always supposed to get you. The hypoallergenic claims bug me too on the doodles, because that is just out and out wrong, but that does seem to be what many people think they are purchasing. So, now we have a whole class of people willing to pay $3000 (and probably more in some cases) for dogs that may or may not be like either parent, and will not be true breeding. A fool and his money are soon parted, and it does make me wonder how many of these $3000 dogs are bred out of really poor BYB or puppy milled parents from the original breeds, as anyone selling a non-true-breeding, unregistered dog for such exorbitant fees is in my mind likely to be out for the money almost exclusively. There are terrible examples of purebred breeders, but there are also ok or even wonderful examples of people who are really not in it for the money but for the good of the breed. It's harder for me to see that being likely from anyone breeding deliberate mixes and charging massive fees. I would love to see data on the QUALITY of the papered parents producing these crosses, and compare that to similar parent quality in similar priced purebreds. I would not be surprised if a lot of the parents of these $3000 dogs are very poor examples of their original breeds to begin with. Finally, while I do appreciate that on one hand people seem to be getting into mixes, it's almost as if this whole trend is the exact wrong message. The message I would have liked to see infiltrate our culture, would be one of, wow, why would I go buy a purebred dog from a petstore when I just need a companion and there are so many wonderful mutt companions to choose from out there in rescue or shelters. Instead, it seems like what is being ingrained, and moreso all the time in this affluent area, is that some mutts are way fancier and better than others, and can be something you can really spend gobs of money on too. People will do what they will do, but I agree the trend bugs me as well. I do appreciate, like Robin, that I don't think puppy millers or BYBs of any purebred have the moral high ground. And at least these people making border-crosses are not likely to be able to hurt the real breed as much as people who are selling registered BCs who look 100% BC but have not had a whit of thought put into working ability when breeding. No one is trying to claim a Borgi is a full on normal BC, and no one would mistake a borgi for the exact same thing as a well bred BC either.
  3. There IS actually some reason to think this, although I agree not due to anecdotal observations of outcomes in a single line with a lot of white. First of all, there is a difference between white fur and unpigmented skin. Normal coloration for most mammals tends to be colored fur (white coats in winter aside), usually some sort of agouti color. Also, normal skin tends to have pigmentation (whatever color that is in the animal, be it black, brown, tan, whatever). When you develop as a very young embryo, one of the first things that happens is that your cells differentiate into three main layers - an endoderm that a lot of your organs are formed from, a mesoderm that your muscles and bones form from, and an ectoderm. The ectoderm becomes skin and hair and oddly, neurons and your brain and sensory organs. Although it wouldn't seem so, we're all basically shaped like a big donut, meaning that although it is different tissue, the inside of your stomach and intestines, etc, are also formed from this ectoderm layer. Since white spotting of hair and skin is typically not normal, it is usually caused by a mutation that affects the function of one of the genes in this ectoderm layer. Sometimes the mutation just affects coloration, but sometimes if the mutation is bad enough, or hits the right gene, it has other effects beyond whatever color effects you see. In many mammals, it was known that white spotting was frequently caused by mutations in two genes, cKIT and EDNRB. Some of the mutations for these genes are mild and really only affect color. But other mutations for these genes can have much more wide ranging effects, causing defects in several tissues derived from the ectoderm, including intestinal and sensory issues: HOWEVER, it turns out that white spotting and associated white skin in border collies is specifically NOT controlled by either of these genes: "ConclusionsBoth EDNRB and KIT were excluded as a cause of the white spotting pattern in at least two of the intercross progeny. Although these genes have been implicated in white spotting in other mammals, including horses, pigs, cows, mice and rats, they do not appear to be responsible for the white spotting pattern found in the Border Collie breed of dog." From http://genomebiology.com/2000/1/2/research/0004/ I haven't read up on the latest studies that might show what does control white coloring in border collies, but I do think color genetics is a pretty fascinating subject!
  4. I'm a one dog person. I would like to add another dog but am very concerned how Odin would take it. He is great with other dogs but I can't say I think he's like wishing for a little sister or anything. I take him to work almost every day and we take him everywhere we can as a family, and it probably wouldn't be able to work that way with 2 dogs. I can't decide if the extra stimulation from having a doggie friend would make up for the decrease in time he gets to come with me/us. We are able to spend more doggie time lately now that my daughter is getting older, but I also have been thinking that I should really invest that time back into him, rather than stretching our doggie time to another dog too. But, I peruse rescue websites semi regularly, and dream about adding another kooky, wonderful BC. Geonni, I am glad to hear that you typically wait a long time to add a dog, I was worried a dog who had been an only dog for as long as Odin wouldn't be able to adjust to a pack.
  5. I agree with Gloria here - both on the why drive yourself crazy and become a "nag" to your pup, as well as the idea that most pups regress in obedience and begin testing limits at about that age - its adolescence! If you can't put up a fence, I would stop what you are doing now as it is likely eroding your recall. When training a recall, you aren't supposed to call the dog for many non-fun things, the ratio should be to call them way more for FUN so they associate coming to you with good things. You are doing this in part with the petting and love when he returns, but if he keeps leaving and is no longer always coming back, my guess is that it isn't that fun to come back just for pets when there is a whole other part of the yard and road to explore. So right now, the desire to explore is winning, at least some of the time. Because a rock-solid recall is so important, and because it is pretty common anyway to have a really good recall at 4 months that fall apart by 6-7 months, I would keep the pup on a long line attached to your waist or something when you are outside with him. That way, he just can't go too far, so you don't have to call him back. He won't keep self reinforcing, and he'll be safe, and you can get work done. Separately, take him elsewhere and keep training recalls and other more stimulating tricks. Try to find some rewards he really likes if treats don't do it for him - a tug toy maybe, or even just a fun game between you too. My dog LOVES it when I run and jump a bit and rough his neck fur up playfully, I think it is as big of a reward as any food and Odin loves food
  6. I am so, so sorry to hear this news. My heart goes out to you and your family Tranquilis. What a wonderful person, a wonderful writer, advocate for dogs, and what a wonderful life. She touched many people.
  7. This is so good to hear! I've been thinking about you guys and wanted to check in to see how things were going. HI Sixx, I understand where you are coming from with this advice, I just wanted to clarify my advice and why we chose the route we did (and why I suggested it as advice to the OP). If I had a dog like the one you describe, and he/she continued to be terrified of kids and reactive towards them after I had one, I think it would be best for such a dog to be rehomed. You mention keeping them separate until the toddler is older, at one point you say supervised which I absolutely agree with but later seem to say stop all interactions. I want to explain why I don't think this is such a great option. While I absolutely agree that it is up to the parents to control and manage the situation, this is not the same as keeping two dogs that fight separated 100% of the time. Because a toddler must have parental attention and supervision constantly, keeping your dog separate from your toddler 100% of the time is IMO a recipe for a severely neglected dog. I'm sure it could work in the short term, like for injuries etc., or might be easier for more low key or less demanding dogs than your typical BC, but for any period longer than a month or two, I think the dog would really suffer, because the only time it could come out of the confinement/sequester area would be when the toddler is out of the house, or if one parent works with the dog away from the house or the rest of the family. As the life of a couple who works and keeps up a house and raises a toddler is always super busy, even the best intentions of making a lot of time for the dog who can never be around the toddler are likely to get so onerous that I can't imagine many families being able to fulfill the real needs of the dog for long, at least without a ton of stress for the parents. If a lot of time can't be made for the dog, it's going to feel neglected and lonely, and may develop behavioral issues related to loneliness and boredom (or have any existing issues worsen). If the parents are stressed and tired with all the extra work of splitting parenting duties for a substantial period of time each day so one of them can make time to work with or be with the dog, I imagine one or more of the parents could come to resent the dog, which most BCs would pick up on. Now, I think part of the problem for us, and I think for the OP too, is that the dog already does feel somewhat neglected! It already is hard enough to remember you need to make a commitment to pay particular attention to your dog. I really think this elevates the stress and anxiety levels the dogs have, to suddenly get so much "less" of you. But in these cases, at least the dog was still around the family and with its pack even when not being paid particular attention to or trained or exercised. If ALL attention and companionship had to occur without the toddler around, there's no way it's going to be remotely easy to involve the dog in your life in a way that they feel fulfilled and not neglected. Secondly, keeping the two separate will not allow them to grow together. You won't be able to teach your kid how to act around the dog through consistency, repetition, and enforcement of rules, and knowing most toddlers, they would likely become obsessed with trying to get into where the dog was isolated, which the dog would obviously know about even if it was behind a door and would this likely be upsetting for the dog, might start barking problems, etc. And the kid might even be successful when your back was turned or you went to the bathroom anyway. Kids are scary because they change, I remember the day my daughter walked right over to the cabinet with all the cleansers and Draino and just opened up the child lock with NO prior warning that she had ever learned how to do that. Thank goodness I was looking right at her when it happened, because that was how I learned the child locks we had depended on without worry for 2 years suddenly offered exactly zero protection. The dog also won't be able to experience any of the good things about the toddler that should help alleviate some of their anxiety - like the fact that they are essentially little sticky treat dispensers constantly dribbling food who can be very sweet, very loving, very fun, very willing to play, and also are a member of the pack! Is there risk in not rehoming the dog? Of course. I would posit there is risk in having ANY dog, especially of BC size, with small children. If you hate risk, don't have kids though because, well, there are a TON of things that risk their little lives and safety. You can't make them 100% safe all the time no matter what. And to a certain extent, every risk you completely eliminate reduces their freedom and potential for growth. Many risks come with great benefits, for example in my mind it is a HUGE benefit to the child's health and emotional development to grow up with a dog. As a parent no one but can you can decide where your comfort level is for accepting risk vs. reward. In our case, we evaluated the situation and know there is some risk she will get bitten (I maintain this is true of any toddler growing up with any dog, but yes BCs are not quite like "normal" dogs either!), but I have worked to minimize that risk while still keeping our dog part of our pack and part of our family. And while NO, toddlers cannot be trusted, per say, they certainly can be trained and can learn simple rules so that YOUR job supervising them is that much easier, AND the dog starts to feel they are operating (most of the time at least) under rules they can be comfortable with. IMO, if due to Odin's reaction we had decided that the risk was too great to do anything but keep them separate, I would have felt we owed it to HIM to rehome. That would have broken my heart but he is a pet dog, raised as a pet, that is what he understands and he deserves a pack and an owner he can be with. Also, if we had felt the risk was too great to do anything but separate 100% of the time, it would have been because he wasn't issuing enough warnings we could react to and showing such good control, and my opinion of him ever really being able to live with a kid in such a situation would be pretty low. Sorry for the long winded post but I just wanted to clarify.
  8. Have to agree with Orbit on this one. I have a 2 yo about to turn 3 and I do think you are making the right decision here based on your description. My 5-yo BC Odin LOVES kids, and he LOVES his baby girl....but he does NOT love toddlers. We went through a pretty bad phase around 2 years where she just kept chasing him at what seemed like every opportunity. He definitely gives warnings, first warning is calming signals and trying to get away from her, depending on his own excitement levels it was variable how much additional crazy toddler attention he could take after the first signals before going into "I'm REALLY asking you to stop" mode. He tends to give a submissive grin and try to lick her face, if not stopped soon after that, or if she tried to come after him when he had something he really wants like his favorite antler or his own food, low growls could happen. Once or twice, we got all the way to an air snap, but never at her face. I am sure that is the next step. What I am saying is that as parents, it is not easy to keep them separated 100% of the time to avoid 100% of these altercations, but my dog, and it sounds like your dog too, has very good control and is willing to give lots of progressive warnings that they are uncomfortable. What I did to get through this phase (because as Orbit said now at almost age 3 it is so much better): Be thankful for every warning. Don't punish your dog for them, even the more scary ones like growls. Thank your dog that they are trying to bring the situation to a resolve by "diplomacy". Praise heavily when they give appropriate early warnings such as calming signals (turning head away, coming to you, trying to remove themselves). Let the dog out of the situation in a way that doesn't punish. Odin doesn't go outside so much that it is a punishment to him. When I would see things beginning to upset him, as soon as possible I would ask in a very upbeat voice, Odin do you want to go out? Let back in when he asks to come in too, so he doesn't feel banished. Usually he came back in "reset" and able to cope with more toddler antics and noise for a while. Never leave them alone together. This isn't forever, but be strict right now. Encourage your child giving the dog yummy treats and toys, and praise. Holding leash on walks is cool too if you can make that work. Discourage touching, hugging, patting, etc - not forever but for now. WORK ON THE KID. This is one of the biggest steps. If you are like me, I don't really enjoy coming down hard on a 2-year old, but there were two things we did this on. One was safety near roads, and one was NOT bugging/chasing/stepping on Odin and LEAVE HIM ALONE when we tell you to. Do not bug him when he is in his crate, EVER. A 2 yo can understand this, but we did have to get harsh with her, because they love testing limits. These rules are so important it is very worth it in my mind to really have her understand. You must be consistent, and you must be stern (if your kid is like mine).. Pay more attention to your dog, play more, train more, etc. This helps too. Your kid will get more predictable, your dog will feel better. One day you probably will see your dog who had primarily been trying to get away from your toddler all the time, actually seeking her out and asking to play. At least that was my experience.
  9. ^^^This, exactly. i could go into particulars regarding my own experience in childhood but it could not add anything of substance to this wonderful summary. To what I CAN speak to: I am the mom of a 2.5-yo, and a 4-yo BC who is not 100% great/"bomb-proof" with her. He is a border collie and I have learned he is more sensitive than the dogs of my youth in terms of movement and things like hair-pulling. They still love each other to pieces and enrich each others' lives, and though he has shown her teeth a few times (all completely reasonable), he has never put a tooth on her. It is up to me and DH to avoid any failures, and that IS a big responsibility. If that sounds scary, don't have a kid. Because be aware, it is also up to us to ensure: *she doesn't get hit by a car (this danger exists ALL the time for us) *she doesn't fall down the stairs *she doesn't drown in MIL/FIL's pool (WAY more kids die this way than a LOT of things you would think of, including guns in the house) *she doesn't get sexually molested by a person we know (which is who mainly molests children, not strangers) *she doesn't kill herself 100x a day from climbing, running, jumping, and other VERY NORMAL activities -and I truly think until you are a parent you will never understand how much of a dance this is *she gets vaccinated, doesn't ingest lead paint chips, eats correctly so there are no nutrient deficiencies, etc., etc., AND *she doesn't become a neurotic mess because WE ARE HELICOPTER PARENTS. And NONE of these things can be done away with as easily as you are talking about doing away with your dogs. Many of these issues can't be done away with at all. And I AGREE with others here that your kid loses out on things they are missing as much as they are protected from not being exposed to certain things - like dogs. You have apparently loved Riley all these long years. What has he given you? What has he taught you? And Sarah? Do you really think they would bring nothing but risk to a future child? If so, maybe they should be re-homed. But if not....
  10. Sure, the same way you'd have no real a priori way of knowing whether excluding all dogs with a certain earset would be neutral, positive, or negative - any outcome COULD be possible. However it seems easier for many here to see how selection based on muzzle length or earset would be likely to be counterproductive for maintaining working border collies. And I'm also going with what is MOST likely -A restriction of the gene pool that is not based on traits you have been trying to select for to achieve a certain phenotype -- particularly a very complex phenotype based on a lot of individual traits that need to be finely balanced -- is very unlikely to aid your selection towards that given phenotype. As you also say here. In reality I'm less concerned about specific selection on this trait (still not convinced it deserves such a designation) than I am more about the rhetoric this represents towards enhancing a systematic, holostic approach to selection and breeding decisions that's based solely on agility. this does concern me, as long as dogs from the two worlds are interbred and considered by the general populace to be the same breed. I agree there could be surprising linkages though, as well as stochastic effects that are hard to predict, but I was trying to stay "basic" (that's all I meant by that word, by the way). I'm saying selection decisions based on ETS have nothing to do stockwork,so you might as well just be spinning the genetic roulette wheel.
  11. All it would really take is for a grad student to successfully pitch the idea to a major professor and then secure some sort of funding. It could easily take hoid if there is a lot of chatter about this, and could also be influenced by the researcher's off-line hobbies and interests.
  12. ROFL! No, I think my "forum muscles" have atrophied, I'm not as concerned as I should be how things are coming out!
  13. Absolutely 0 snark intended, and Julie was right, this wasn't directed personally to you at all.
  14. I think the example of development AND marketing of genetic tests for ear sets, candy coat colors, conformation, etc., are a very good analogy. It may be much easier to see why those would do NO good to the breed and would likely do much harm. I think with ETS, if you believe it is a physiological and also genetic condition, its easier to imagine this "syndrome" being something that really might be bad for the dog in a more general sense. First of all, there is the very strategic use of the word "syndrome", which already implies disease. Secondly, you might be thinking these dogs have neurological problems, they are looking into vision issues etc. However, this all seems like hype to me. First of all, the best and brightest of agility didn't even recognize this "syndrome" themselves until somewhat recently - like less than 10 years ago. So, that says to me this isn't even a big problem FOR most agility UNLESS this was a very recent mutation and that's tyhe reason no one identified it until recently. Which it can't be a recent mutation, if it affects other dog breeds. So, I agree a good hypothesis is the game has changed so much that it is able to now isolate these dogs that just aren't the greatest for agility in this very specific way, or this thing really really does not affect the life of dogs not doing agility. Or maybe it just isn't real at all. So, funds that may have been used to research epilepsy, BCC, noise phobia, or even more general health issues like OCD, cancer treatments, whatever, will go to studying this. How does that help this breed really? Kristine may feel that any research that MIGHT benefit SOME is worth it, but we do live in a real world with a finite amount of funding and time. What bugs me is that if you are into agility, of even just know more about agility than other dog issues and pursuits, this apparently seems SUPER sexy and it has a lot of push from these famous agility types. Finally, just a basic genetics lesson. If you disproportionately breed dogs that have a random trait, not related to ANYTHING that was originally selected on to develop these dogs in the first place, you don't know what else you are excluding from the genepool. You also don't know what else you are inflating within the genepool. All you can be sure of is that the exclusions and inflations will have nothing to do with stockwork or the type of balancing selection that gave us this breed in the first place. Basically, Mark said it way better, but these are the specifics of why I think such a test and even serious effort into trying to see if you can develop such a test would be predictably Bad For The Breed.
  15. I could see how you could think that. As a researcher myself I am probably way more used to thinking about a lot of research that really does NOT need to be done. Because the hypotheses are useless or negative effects could outweigh potential positives. OR because in a world of limited resources and funding, the question is not of use to enough people. And that's exactly how I think of this condition. As you have said many times, other may, and apparently do, disagree. I wasn't trying to make these questions about research and freedom of research in general though. I'm trying to talk about capital B Border Collie. The breed. And consistently, throughout the entire year this thread has been going, you are not. You are talking about individuals - individual dogs, individual teams, individual handlers, just like Mark is saying. Trees vs. forest I guess, so OK. I'll take your word for it this really could help someone feel better about their dog somehow, but I can't agree that has nothing to do with handler ego IF it is true. So, sure, who am I to try and take away these people's happiness? That's the best argument I can think of against the good of the many outweighing the good of the few-type arguments. But when I think of individuals, I personally think of ranchers having a harder and harder time finding a well-bred border collie, and dilution of some traits, skewing of others out of balance. Then I get really mad and think of ME the individual, 20 years from now unable to find a border collie like Odin and many of the other wonderful dogs I've known - like the german shepherd people today. I will be cursing this Meckleburg woman's name! (joke, btw - I am sure she is the best trainer and also a super nice lady. to SOME. ha.) As you say the responsible working breeders will always be out there making decisions based on work regardless, but that's completely ignoring the dartboard theory, the quality of the pool of B-level workers you have to draw from. The base of the main population influences the level of the B-players which will eventually influence level, health etc of the A players. Not to mention the behavioral characteristics of the general pool of dogs most of us who are pet owners will mainly have access to. Is this the thing that's going to do it? Obviously not this alone but it's extremely unlikely to help the by-all-accounts worsening situation either. Exposing my ignorance here, ARE there other breeds of dogs they think have this? If so why are they so sure it is genetic?
  16. Ok, say this is a both/and. Say research into this and development of a genetic test benefits some individual dog/handler teams, and also is to the detriment of the border collie as a breed at the same time. If the net result is negative to the breed, would you still condone it? Meaning, should the benefit to that group of handlers, who are not even engaging in an activity that requires border collies at all, be considered worth the damage to the breed in your view? I guess my other question is since you agree with the viewpoint that such a test would be used in breeding decisions, do you think such a practice would cause further harm to the breed in general? I mean even worse than the harm the sport breeders do now. If not, why not?
  17. I'm not saying that they don't. See below from my post: I agree ego won't be the only reason - just one of the very few motivations/reasons to do an activity that can't be satisfied the same way without competition or a competitive mindset. I hope you did not feel the self-unaware comment to be a personal attack, I did not mean it as such. I'll stop presuming as you ask and stay confined to philosophical arguments.
  18. LOL, or that I would use the weird quasi-eastern religion stuff they spout at yoga anywhere but there. I feel PRETTY darn good about myself for having brought up that point though...
  19. ^This has direct ties to the other reason that cannot be satisfied the same way without competition, breeding decisions. Also, assuming breeding is not a consideration, COULD be satisfied through attending clinics at other farms, working on other farms for worming or lambing, etc. Again, competitive mindset does not have to be against others. It can be against other dog teams at your level. It can be against your own last performance. In either case can be a great motivator and challenge to help one advance and reach new levels. These are all good things, and again you don't necessarily need to trial to do any of them. You could attend a trial as a spectator and still have similar social interaction. Participating in trials may be one of the easier ways to get access to different and or challenging sheep and a big area for many, but it is certainly not the only way to get those things. Like Kristine, I am equally sure this is true of some or even many dog sport participants. Still doesn't negate the role of ego in competition. Also doesn't mean the role of ego in competition is all bad, only bad, always bad, or even usually bad.
  20. Open minded = agreeing with you? I'm sorry, it seems to me that you are being closed minded as you refuse to even entertain the idea. Your answers back to Mark also strike me as incredibly self-unaware. You have not provided any compelling arguments that whatever non-ego driven drives and rewards you claim people get from competitions cannot be gained from non-competitive training, clinics, classes, lessons, etc. I know when I engage in ANY form of competition, especially voluntarily, it has something to do with my ego. Heck, I know when I do yoga even the "competition" I feel against myself to exceed my OWN prior accomplishments has something to do with ego, and real yogis will also discuss this teaching under some of the more spiritual discussions about the practice of yoga. That may not be the only motivation to enter competition - so please don't argue that strawman. However, again all of those other reasons and motivations, aside from a more objective measure to use for breeding decisions, CAN be gained outside of a competitive venue. Whether a person chooses to get those other things solely from non-competitive activities is their choice obviously, and also doesn't necessarily make the person a "bad" or even egotistical person but it also doesn't negate the role ego plays.
  21. They do not have to be the exact same thing to be related, or two sides of the same coin, so to speak. I am not a breeder, but as a biologist I have studied many systems where the extreme versions of a complex trait are deleterious, or even a mental illness, but the median trait (or in very simple gene systems, the heterozygous condition) is adaptive/advantageous. So, selection for aggressive behavior may lead to aggressive fish that are more successful than docile fish, but if a fish is so aggressive it cannot attract a mate or even kills all potential mates it will actually do much worse than the low aggression fish. What I mean by this is that it is very believable that breeding FOR the type of hearing you need in a working stockdog and/or other traits may well give rise to a larger number of dogs with the deleterious condition of noise phobia, however you want to define noise phobia, than if you didn't breed for dogs with very acute hearing. Also sensitivity and keenness -- I can actually see all of these traits tripping over into an a predisposition into deleterious anxiety over strong stimuli in general. Not saying I know this is the case with this condition in particular, I doubt anyone does. My point is breeding for the work is what has given us this dog, with all of its great pet traits AND all of the traits that are not desirable or perfect for all owners. And I doubt severe noise phobia is good for stock work so I do think you can select against the illness itself but still select FOR traits that would lead you to have a higher proportion of dogs in the outlier/too much sensitivity/phobic range. If there is a clear genetic marker for noise phobia, that's something that could benefit breeding for work, especially if it turns out to be a simple system where you need to avoid breeding two carriers together but a carrier to a normal would be fine. There is no scenario with ETS that I can think of that this would be the case. IF it is a neurological or vision disorder then it certainly only seems to affect the dog in VERY specific circumstances - that have nothing to do with stock work. Yet as others here have said if a marker could be developed it would certainly lend itself to breeding decisions and allow sport people another reason to avoid correctly bred border collies in favor of sporters. "Those icky working breeders don't even test for ETS! But my favorite kennel Top Speed Maniac Agilidogs does! They are the real responsible breeders..." I had the pleasure of basically digesting this entire thread from start to finish yesterday and the take home message for me is that: 1) No one is even sure that ETS exists or that it is one "syndrome" or has been able to produce real evidence that it has anything to do with physiology, let alone genetics. 2) Breeding away from ETS is at its heart making breeding decisions that have nothing to do with working, hence is a stupid idea in my book. 3) I would like to know what Dr. Neff (I think this was the name) had to say about ETS, if anything.
  22. It's taken me a full day to get through most of this thread. Couldn't hold back any more. +100, from a mom who is waiting for her wonderful kid to grow into her amazing, life-changing border collie (and future collies), rather than wanting border collies to be bred to be more kid friendly.
  23. I have also been refused an apartment or house due to having pets. I've been refused for being a college student, too. The reality is that in highly competitive rental markets, you might get refused for almost anything, including having kids, although they may not tell you the reason. In fact, I've helped employees I've hired get cheap passable rentals when they are first moving out and I have come to believe many places will tell you they have a lot of interest towards their units just so they can just tell you they rented it to someone who got their materials together first (rather than, I preferred to rent to that person). What I am saying though, is that eventually you can always find some place that you can bring your pets. You may or may not be able to afford the pet rent they charge, but that to me has nothing to do with your right to own a pet. I have every right to own a horse right now...but can I afford the board OR be reasonably sure that I can afford board consistently for the next many years? No. I'm trying to say the fact I have no horse has nothing to do with my *right* to own one. Yes, and boy howdy do I know this to be true. My 2-yo is WAY more destructive than Odin. And I have now come to believe there is no such thing as a ruly, quiet, neat and tidy 2-yo. They are all to one degree or another like living with a drunk, undomesticated, unhousetrained badger. People say that prairie dogs and raccoons make terrible pets, but human toddlers make TRULY terrible pets Levity aside, though, the difference here is that people cannot rehome their kids. I am sure there are many heartless landlords that would not allow kids if this were legal to do for just the reasons you describe. I think the bigger issue here is that searching for rental housing of ANY kind in the bay area can be damn hard. Because it is such a competitive market. I've found 4 different places for my family to rent here, in a spectrum of rent classes from the absolute Oakland ghetto to nice family neighborhood in San Jose, and none of them were easy housing searches. And yes it is REALLY damn hard to find a place that is affordable. Period. Once you start adding ANY extra non-negotiable requirements, such as "I have pets" but also, "I need to be located near a good school", "I need 2 bathrooms/yard/X number of bedrooms", "I need to be located within walking distance of public transportation/my job/the freeway", "I require a house with a stove that actually functions (true story)", "I need at least one dedicated parking space", "I don't want to live in a ticky-tacky house/yuppie complex/THAT neighborhood", or whatever, you will make it that much harder on yourself to find affordable housing. Still not really about pets at all. The last place we got actually does NOT charge us pet rent, so that makes 1/4 that has not since I have lived here (and again I've rented elsewhere too and paid pet rent there as well.). We were pleasantly shocked. This house had been up for rent for literally ONE DAY. It was an open house for one day on a Saturday. We went, but assumed we'd just be turned away because the listing didn't say "pets ok". Strangely, because we were renting from a young family, our kid actually was the reason we got that house. But there were 7 applications in line in front of us after only a few hours. So, many more people visited, but a full 7 other people had already put in an application and paid the app fee within hours of this place going on the rental market. That's what I mean - when competition is that stiff pets are just one more thing that MIGHT weigh against you enough for you to lose out on place x, because it doesn't take much at all. It is stupid to be sure but sometimes the restrictions are based on insurance and liability rather than reason. A lot of insurers have clauses against certain dog breeds. My father in law (an attorney), and also a dobie lover and owner, counseled me and my husband against several breeds while we are renters, including dobies, because it is that much harder to find housing. Again, not impossible, but just one more thing.
  24. I admit I am a little confused on the original thesis behind the OP. I expected from the title to see a post discussing laws and/or regulations coming down from government or responsible agencies. Perhaps regarding licensing or animal limits. However, I don't see how private landlords choosing not to allow pets, or choosing not to allow dogs on the premises of their grocery store, bar, or whatever, has anything at all with anyone's right to own a dog. As for pet rent, I imagine your shock over seeing the VA listing has more to do with the fact you are a homeowner who does not have to worry about these concerns than anything being out of the ordinary. Lucky As a long time renter in several areas of the US over the past 2 decades (I've not yet purchased any house), this is extremely typical. And it's not just dogs, it could extend to cats and rabbits or other pets too. Heck, fish tanks are often not allowed in standard leases. I am here to tell you that it is really a situation of where there's a will there's a way - if you have a REASONABLE number and species mix of pets, you will always be able to find housing to rent. It may take more time, and yes, it will probably cost some money. But that has nothing to do with anyone's right to own anything. I have paid anywhere from $15 - $100/month for pet rent, and pet rent is required the majority of places I have lived. NRF pet deposits are very standard as well, and I have seen them up to $1000. As a consumer, you can always decline to rent at that place if you feel the pet rents are too steep. I agree with others who have posted too about the US seeming to become more dog-welcoming within public areas in recent years. It probably depends how urban and/or progressive your area is, but I have certainly noticed this myself. There are shopping centers and restaurants all over the bay area that allow dogs in the outside mall or seating areas, increases in dog parks, plus I find it much easier to find a nice hotel room these days that allows pets than I did when I was always moving cross country back and forth from college to my summer home with my family. Of course they usually require a room fee, but at least I don't have to try and sneak anyone in! The biggest deal that irritates ME personally is that even in areas where dogs aren't actually allowed (like grocery stores, or inside dept stores in the mall), I see tiny "bag dogs" more and more. People act like becaus ethey are tiny and cute, and I guess CAN be put in a bag, the signs saying "Service Animals Only" do not apply to them.
  25. Terrecar, I've seen that exact thing you describe, and it basically occurred like Julie is saying in her second example. The handler was very experienced open cattle trialer, and it was a young dog so enthusiastic but definitely had training on it already. The ewe ran into a gate and it sounded like a metal gong. Instant death, broken neck. I helped butcher the ewe right there. It is a good reminder these are not toys for fun. YOU can also be hurt by sheep, as could your dog. It is not something for play to be sure and it's good you've got your head right about that from the beginning. I always try to listen to others who know more and are wiser about stock, I watch them for signs of stress, distress, thirst, etc, and I am probably too freaky with my dog because sometimes he has not enough oomph - I can be overcareful even. As I'm in the early early learning phases, I'd rather err on that side personally. Given what I saw. It took less than 3 seconds.
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