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Everything posted by Ooky

  1. I understood the video had German-bred dogs, that was what I found so surprising. I'm used to seeing a fair number of AKC GSDs around and know their (awful) look. Comparatively, Abby is a functional, sound, breath of fresh air. I think the finer point I was missing is the German show- vs. working bred distinction. For some reason I thought you couldn't breed just for show in Germany and all breeding stock needed to show proficiency of some sort in Schutzhund.
  2. Huh, interesting. Odin's good dog friend is an imported German-bred German shepherd and she doesn't look anything like the AKC ones or the bad examples used in this video, and does not have a roach back at all. She is very functional-looking, with a straight back and is of smallish-moderate size. Looks quite a bit in shape like the old style GSD shown on this video, in fact, or the conformation of the malinois they show later. She's also quite intelligent with a very good temperament, and is doing great in her nosework classes. I don't plan to have a GSD since then I'd have one less spot in my household for another bc, but if I did my conviction after meeting Abby the GSD was that German-bred was certainly the way to go. This dog's owner has had several GSDs over the years and is very passionate about how AKC has ruined the breed in this country, so we get along quite well when talking dogs together.
  3. I also think the sooner and cleaner the split, the better - but in the real world I think this is much more possible and feasible with barbie collies than sporter collies. I mean we just had that huge thread where(although I know Serena does not speak for all of agilitydom) it really seems like the reason collies are the best sport dog is BECAUSE of being bred for work. And it would appear based on that conversation and other conversations we've had in the past here involving looking at specific sport dog's pedigrees that the sport breeders know this...or at least understand just enough to be dangerous. In which I mean that they still want to breed FOR agility - but they want to use working lines at least periodically to do so. So, I guess what I'm saying is that confo dogs are pretty easy to tell apart at this point and have a specific look and from all I've heard a simultaneous change in drive etc. True sport people may not care too much about what their dog looks like, but they DO want certain types of function and temperament - which orginated from and still comes from being bred for the WORK. So at least from all I've heard the confo-bred collies typically won't suit the competitive sport needs anyway, and will even less so as time goes on and breeding for confo continues. I think there's also the danger of people attempting to use BOTH confo and working lines to create agility dogs in attempts to have the function packaged with a certain look. Sort of a hybridization zone. In that case I wonder if performance breeding may itself act as an avenue preventing full separation of confo and working breedings - although I guess that could be accomplished by any number of non-working pet-type breeders and BYBs too.
  4. I must admit I get frustrated when I look into this topic on the internet. It seems IMO too important a subject to trust to master's theses, which are very often useful as a STARTING point for data and analysis, but typically limited in scope, often fall prey to biases and subtle logical fallacies because these students are beginners in their field, and are really kind of "baby steps" into science. OF course I don't know who is going to pay to do a large scale randomized clinical trial covering multiple sizes of dogs using only objective endpoints as measures (NOT owner reported subjective measurements), that goes all the way to geriatric age on the trial cohort, NOR do I know how you would find enough owners willing to leave the decision on whether to neuter or not and at what age based on the randomized trial, so I suppose I should stop whining. I do think BOTH the health benefits and risks must be *relatively* minor in most individuals, because that reality would produce the often contradictory research you see on it when dealing with small sample sizes, different endpoints, correlative studies, and individual breeds with their own health issues as confounders. And while anecdote is not the plural of data, I'm sure we all know of many very healthy dogs neutered before their growth plates closed. Not to mention that this is such a polarizing issue to people who really really care about their dogs, I think there is a lot of rhetoric on it that is not science-based in the least, even among those who should not fall into that trap due to being "experts" (CZ, I'm looking at you!). And as terrecar pointed out, there are always those touting reasons to do this on a large scale for general welfare of dog populations, which does not necessarily say much about appropropriate and healthy choices for your own individual dog. Or maybe not. I think I am a pretty on the ball dog owner (for a pet person), but I would be very nervous to have an intact pet - I never have and don't know how much difference it would make in your life. But is SEEMS nervewracking. I know that when I go to sheep dog clinics and lessons where I personally most often run into intact dogs, and Odin is [politely] meeting other dogs, I get a lot of sort of panicked sounding "Is he neutered??" And when I say yes there is a visible relaxation. I know of one respected handler that has asked people multiple times in my presence "Is that bitch spayed? Because if she ties with my dog you're going to owe me a stud fee." And these are all (for the most part anyway) very well behaved dogs behaving in mannerly ways. So out in the general public? Or me having to be the owner asking o thers what the neuter status of their dog is so I can be that much more vigilant... I know we are discussing sports here, but I willingly did a pediatric neuter on Odin thinking at the time that is what a good pet owner should do. He ended up with unilateral OCD, which after much guilt and had wringing on my part, both I and his vet team do NOT think was due to early neuter at all. But I have thought a lot about when I will alter my next dog (because I certainly WILL at some point, just don't know when). While Odin may not be any taller at all, he certainly has a different aspect to his whole head/neck/mane/shoulder area than intact dogs I know or have seen (including his father) - like there's something that looks a little teenagery in build on him even today.
  5. Yeah Serena, in that one post I think you managed to insult basically every single dog-handler team on these boards except for European and AKC "highest level" agility teams and *possibly* shepherds. The latter of which you then turned around and illustrated once again you know nothing about, yet chastise by name OTHER members of this board for not "learning about their border collie's sheepherding [sic] roots" simply because they mentioned they personally enjoy agility and that stock work is not their thing. Which NONE of the stock work people on this board even have a problem with, I'd wager to bet, yet YOU feel the need to guilt someone like that...and why? You know, I'm sure it is hard for me to understand how I can't possibly be challenging my border collie's brains since I am just a mediocre pet owner who doesn't even know how to do European MACH-style AKC agility or dance ballet, but I enjoy very much, as does Odin, doing agility on found objects completely for free as someone (Julie?) mentioned earlier. I know that wouldn't begin to rise to your elitist standards but I bring it up because I just want to touch again upon the idea that you are FORCED to do what you do. I call BS. After 4 weeks and 750 posts, I think its very clear you do not have a problem with AKC really and instead consider them to be, I guess outside of Europe, the only thing worth doing with your dog. If you can't see that sort of snobbery as a CHOICE, then I just don't know what to say. I mean 36 miles. Really? Really???!?!? I just drove 454 miles round trip on Friday AND worked a 7 hour day in the field. And was thinking to myself, because I'm going to need to go to that site many many times this spring, that I need to make arrangements to take Odin down and start boarding him at a stockwork trainer I know down there and setting up afternoon lessons after my field work days -- I know the work site is near that trainer because I actually have travelled and made that trip just to see that trainer before. But as a mediocre pet owner I of course do not go to nearly the lengths you do to challenge a border collie's mind. And, as always, Julie said it so much better than I.
  6. It's a straw man not because what you say is untrue, but because its a misrepresentation/oversimplification of what many here were saying about the relative importance of training in agility. ETA whoops, RDM already addressed this. Should have refreshed the thread before responding.
  7. Odin is the opposite. He seems to detest the camera. I have a hard time getting good pictures of him even though I have photographed him his whole life. Often he'll be doing something really cute and when he sees me put the camera to my face, he stops. He also is less obedient when I try to take pictures, as in, its hard for me to photo or video him doing tricks because he just seems to stare at me. I bet it is the loss of eye contact or something? If I work with him and my husband operates the camera, there's no discernable difference in his behavior that I've noticed. Although, I really think this is a question for Ouzo...
  8. Wonderful job, Mary and Buddy. You both done good.
  9. Gil's dog's time is about 18.5 mph. Not sure it that includes the turn?
  10. I don't think Serena is a troll. I think she is naiive, misguided, proposing a pretty useless and hypocritical stance with regards to the AKC, and apparently so far unable to understand or at least resistant to understanding what all of us are saying. But IMO she seems earnest. I also feel like what she keeps proposing as being a good way to breed agility dogs is a fairly good description of how the top AKC-registered sport breeders already DO do it. So I wonder who she has been talking to as a mentor IRL who has shaped her opinions. Serena, you say we don't read your posts carefully, but has ANY of this about breeding for stockwork made any sense to you? Are you able to absorb any of it?
  11. This is a great explanation! Serena, simple facts like THIS is why I'm saying you making tons of analogies to ice skating or artists or anything else is obscuring the point and IMO not very helpful to the discussion. Dogs are not people. We could talk about ice skating all day and it would only have certain parallels to agility, and a lot of other issues that are completely different. I still would like you to speak to my direct question - if you DO hate/disagree with the AKC and what it has done/is doing to dog breeds, especially the Border Collie, 1) why would you support them while making gestures like signing petitions they'll NEVER care about (my point about your ACTIONS of support meaning much, much more than signing some website), and 2) rather than bang you head against a brick wall that doesn't care and is happy to take your money, why not simply choose another venue and petition that venue to have tire jumps if you think they are that important, or work with the local club to get more trials in your area? If you don't hate the AKC, or don't feel that the amount of support you give them really matters in the big scheme of things, if you strongly prefer AKC agility to any other style, in other words if you are comfortable supporting them and you have no plans ever to join another venue, why not just own that? You don't have to think like everyone here. There are respected board members who choose to patronize AKC events. Many of us would never do so, but it is a personal choice. I guess what irritates me about your position is that you are trying to have your cake and eat it too - you want to play with AKC but by organizing feeble attempts to change them (that will not work no matter how many monthly petitions you sign) and throwing up a lot of smokescreen arguments about how you're "forced" to do this, you want to be able to keep what you perceive as the moral high ground. After all the great posts on this thread by Jovi and Kristine and cjhonna and Diana, it is clear to me a serious agility person does NOT have to patronize AKC to build handling skills and test and develop your dog's skills, and to really accomplish wonderful things as a partnership. The best argument I've seen for why someone "has" to choose AKC is a scarcity of other organization's trials in your area....but again with all the desire you have for change my assertion is it would be a LOT easier to get one of these other venues to simply have more trials in your area than to get the AKC to change one iota of anything it does or its philosophy. If you'd rather sign petitions that do nothing, fine, but my point is WHY bother. Just OWN your choice, realize what sorts of consequences and meaning the support you give the organization has, and recognize your choice AS a choice, and not something you are forced into. Because ISTM to argue as you are is that it's not a choice is disingenuous, hypocritical, and won't help to bridge any gaps at all.
  12. By this analogy, essentially what you are doing is buying stock in the WORST of environmentally unfriendly companies like ConAgra, Chevron, and Monsanto; voting to allow or deregulate practices strip logging, overfishing, and mining; supporting candidates whose platform wants to strip existing laws such as the CLean Water Act, Endangered Species Act of their existing powers; voting against initiatives for renewable energy and public transportation; buying and driving a Hum V instead of any of the less impactful vehicles that would still fulfill your needs; and making purchasing choices that are all about waste, unnecessary packaging, and toxic plastics. Then signing a petition to "Save our Forests" and using this to claim that you are an environmentalist and telling other people they really should be more green. That's not fighting corporations or being a conservationist, that's HYPOCRISY. But all of these analogies (including the ice skaters and artists) are smokescreens. They are getting away from and obscuring the real point. Again I directly ask, why not point the impetus you have to change things towards making one or more of the non-AKC venues into what you want/need it to be?
  13. So you are pretty sure it is a worthy goal to waste time trying to change a corrupt organization that ANYONE will tell you will not change no matter what petitions you sign. During which time you support said organization, that does so much to actively contribute to the ongoing destruction of dog breeds, including and especially the bred you profess to love, and directly supports puppy mills, among other evils. Hence you are helping to make all of those problems worse while still not being able to get the changes made that you say "you have to try" to get made. So quick question: why would you WASTE time trying to change AKC, all the while supporting it, when you could take all this energy for change and try to work with one of the alternate agility organizations to make it what you want/need? If they are smaller, and do not have all of the connected interests and attached "stuff" that AKC has (confo showing, breeding, etc etc) that makes AKC glacially resistant to change, wouldn't you be more likely to get what you profess to want petitioning one of them to include tire jumps or whatever? Or start a local club and put effort into getting more local trials together? And if, as you say, "Everyone" who is serious about agility feels this same way, wouldn't these other organizations be happy to expand their base if some small changes would make the org an acceptable venue to MACH types? I'm sorry, maybe I'm missing something here. But your arguments seem really weird to me. What I'm reading between the lines is "I *want* to do ACK agility, but I *want* to not have to feel bad about my choice."
  14. Yes, I wonder too, since that is essentially small sharp pieces of glass...what is it supposed to do?
  15. I really think another target, "growth" audience, in California at least, should be land managers for preservation areas (mitigation, parks, etc.). Grazing for habitat management can require quite a bit of moving herds around between pastures and also sheep are often a natural choice for grazing amongst some types of projects, I'm thinking specifically wind and solar farms. But dogs could be very useful managing cattle too, a fact Sue and Anna could certainly attest to! CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), and also the federal and state endangered species acts, mean that the amount of land being put up for mitigation, grasslands to be managed including grazing "in perpetuity", will only increase. And companies have to put up big money for the land management, with an endowment that pays for grazing management and even money to PAY local people to graze the land in some cases, in perpetuity. A recent project, ONE project I worked on, will have to provide over 10,000 acres of grazeable mitigation land. Current grazing plans seek to use sheep and cattle. I mean, this seems like a way stockwork could grow with changing demands. I have to think on my end how to reach that target audience. I forsee a lot of the same issues - how do you convince them 1) this is something so useful they need it, 2)it is worth the money, and 3) it is worth the time and effort to learn. I will be thinking about it!
  16. Thanks for your reply, Jovi. I really appreciate the thoughtful and well-reasoned responses I get from this board. I also spent several years as a research scientist at the Salk Institute, however I left molecular bio several years ago and went into ecology so I am definitely not an expert in immunology, epidemiology, medicine, and definitely not veterinary science, nor am I trying to purport to be. After personally being involved in medical research I am not jaded more than I am aware that there is useful, robust, elegant, and brilliantly conceived research and useless, flawed, and biased research, and everything in between. I think that the funding bias issue is something to keep in mind, but can also be a straw man argument. Just because a research project is funded by "Big Pharma" does not mean that the design of the research is flawed or the conclusions automatically invalid. You have to look at the actual research design and evaluate the robustness of the conclusions the authors draw from it to know whether research is useful or not. Yet the issue of funding bias is almost universally brought up by anti-vax people towards any clinical or epidemiological study adding evidence of a human vax's safety/efficacy/lack of correlation with autism, whatever. Without regard to the methods used in the study, and often, also without regard to whether the study actually WAS funded by big pharma or not. Many studies showing the safety and effectiveness of the current multi-vax schedule in humans were not actually funded by Big Pharma - studies that agree with conclusions from different studies that were funded by Big Pharma. (If this is ever successfully pointed out the tactic often then becomes, "Well, is WAS conducted by so-and-so, who is completely a puppet of the CDC!") etc. But in absence of evidence that the research, the statistical analyses, and the conclusions being drawn are flawed/biased, such an argument is irrelevant. For example in my field, a lot of the work I do is funded by solar and wind energy. That has not stopped my team from finding, describing, and showing evidence for several significant environmental impacts that occur directly because of solar and wind energy development. That have direct negative financial consequences on the very industry and firms that have funded us. So, someone saying that of course our research and observations are going to be biased towards pro-solar because we are funded very heavily by solar would be throwing up an irrelevant argument, because the potential bias of our conclusions should be weighed based on the quality of the work itself. As for "lies, damn lies, and statistics", I think every research scientist who has taken analytical statistics knows the power they have, in the right hands, to distort data and teh conclusions you can draw from it (or should!) A large part of my frustration with the anti-vax moms is that the meta-analysis "evidence" they always throw at me to shut me up on this issue is just taking statistics and cherry picking data and making reality the "expert"'s complete mathematical prostitute. Nicely framed, something to think about for sure. But I guess my first question is "what is too many?" Is it a straight correlation or a threshold? Also, some vaccines tend to either provide protection in a certain individual, or do not. Other vaccines seem to be more analog in the response, so that you might still get the disease but have a much much milder case with a significantly reduced risk of serious complications, or there is greater variation in the duration of protection amongst individuals. So, would both types be affected by such a lowered response? I think it was the immunologist Paul Offit that calculated that a human baby could theoretically safely and effectively receive 10,000 vaccines, based on the number of B-cells etc. So what is the balance of evidence that multpile antigen vax schedules are effective in either humans or dogs? do And finally, I guess I would consider that antibody immunity that you can measure by titer is only half the story, and doesn't consider cellular immunity. So, I could see a situation where you get lower titer measures, but there is no measurable difference in percentage of individuals with protection. But this is not all to say that concerns about reduced efficacy are not a very good and well reasoned argument in favor of spacing administration. T Can't disagree with any of this, or what Liz said about tailoring her vax schedule for puppies! Best practices for one individual may also not be the best practices for another, and best practices for the public often need to account for the lowest denominator. So, it *could* be better to space out by a few weeks each vax you receive (and I'm not conceding that it is, in humans), but if it means the person gets busy and never goes back or goes back later than they should to get the next one, it may be a worse bet because they could end up unprotected or underprotected which could be a worse risk than the risk of inefficacy or even increased vax reactions. This is also where humans are so different than dogs, because with a lot of human vaccine -preventable diseases the true public health goal is eradication through herd immunity, not necessarily 100% protection levels in each individual. You can't have herd immunity for rabies or lepto because there will always be a huge reservoir of unvaccinated individuals (wildlife) even if you did vax every dog in the country. I'll get back to this later. Well, to be fair, a lot of virulent diseases that babies and toddlers are at risk for ARE caused by pathogens whose normal route of infection is either through the GI tract or mucous membranes of the mouth. Take for example rotavirus, which is one of the new vax kids receive in the US, which is actually administered as a sugar solution that they drink and is not injected. But I also feel like there is not a lot to support the theory in my mind at least that an injected antigen that has been engineered to be non-virulent is going to be more dangerous or challenging to the typical child's immune system than a non-injected antigen that is virulent. And just because a vax is injected for a disease that is not normally contracted subcutaneously, does not mean the injected vax is less safe than a vax given in a route that is more like the "biological norm" for infection of that disease. Take the flu vax, which you can get injected or via a nasal spray - except I CAN'T get it via nasal spray because I have asthma. There is a much increased risk of vaccine-related respiratory complications using the nasal spray flu vax in people with asthma than there is for the injected flu vax. But my example of babies sticking everything in their mouths, and this being apples and oranges when we are discussing normal levels of non-vax antigen exposure for an infant, is only one example. I am here to tell you I stand by my assertion they are BUCKETS of disease, just crawling with antigens of every variety. On all fronts of ingestion/antigen uptake, including via broken skin from diaper rash, scrapes, etc. By the way I feel I should note here I LOVE my child more than anything. But she is basically an often-slimy, drooly, sticky-hands Typhoid Mary. The number of antigens *I* am exposed to because I am in close contact with her has shot up by orders of magnitude, based on the amount of times I have been sick in the past year. And with stuff I just wasn't getting anymore now that I was an adult. So, I stand by my assertion that it is hard to believe that only a handful more antigens present a significant risk JUST based on the numbers. Thank you for your very well-worded response, arguments, and explanation for your decision, which I have really enjoyed and appreciated. I do NOT say all this stuff about humans in order to say I think it is not warranted to space vax in dogs, because that really IS apples and oranges. That is why I asked in the first place. Odin is due for new vax and I am right now trying to decide whether to space, and whether to re-vax for lepto, so this is all really timely. I am busy (as we all are!) and the convenience side of it is not actually a non-issue for me, with either my dog or my human. One major way too I could see on dogs being substantially different than humans is that dog vax may just be much more dangerous than the human vax on the CDC schedule. For one thing, there definitely ARE human vax that are too dangerous to be considered worth the risk currently, like smallpox. About 1 out of a million people who get that vax die. And I seem to remember AK dog doc reporting efficacy rates for common dog vax that make me wonder if several of the dog vax aren't more like that (like non response of only 1 in 7000 for rabies or something? I think it is up in the sticky in this group). Since you can't expect to rely on herd immunity, it would make sense to really maximize individual effectiveness, with the potential side effect being more, and maybe more dangerous vaccine reactions as a result. Like, measles mumps and rubella, shown to be a very safe vax, has a non-response rate of 1 in 10 people. But because MMR vax uptake rates (used to be) so high, measles was still effectively eradicated in the US in 2000. If they had a version of MMR with 1 in 7000 effectiveness rates, I bet there is at least some chance would be not as safe of a vax. Thanks again to you and Karen and Liz for discussing this with me!
  17. Thank you Liz, that is great info. Very interesting that it seems to be the number of shots, not the number of antigens. Makes me wonder what is the cause for that (something purposefully in there like an adjuvant or preservative? contaminants? the physical injections themselves?). I would love to see the discussion and what the authors made of those results. Out of curiosity do you know if the study was able to calculate the relative risk increase in multi-shot visits vs one-shot visits?
  18. Karen yes, the guy who caused all that scare (Andrew Wakefield) actually had his medical license revoked too because his research was fradulent and also didn't follow ethics codes. That research has been thoroughly discredited. There is no repuatable epidemiological evidence that vaccines cause autism in humans, although apparently it is very hard for people to let go of that fear now that it is in the public consciousness.
  19. Liz (and anyone else who has knowledge and an opinion on this), Why would you not want to do multiple vax at the same time? I am trying to reconcile what I know about humans to dogs here. Having spent some time on some "mommy boards" in the past year, something that has been making me want to rip my hair out is the wave of vaccine denialism that's sweeping the country right now WRT human children. One of the big mottoes of these anti-vax moms is "too many, too soon", and a famous pediatrician Dr. Sears wrote a truly horrible book that suggests that parents that do want to vax should space out the vaccines and only give one at a time. However, the science this movement and Dr. Sears uses to support their arguments is really, really awful. Like, ranging from arbitrary statement of hypotheses as if they were facts, to ignoring a lot of stuff that IS known, to basically cooking data through cherry picking etc., to having such poor experimental designs that nothing of value can be gleaned form the studies they champion in support of their assertions. In specific, the "too many" part intrigues me because people here seem to think that is tru for dogs. (I get the too soon, you can't vax human babies effectively for many diseases too young either). But it is my understanding that the argument in humans about too many at a time is two-fold: 1) That babies young immune systems cannot handle so many antigens at once, and 2) that having multiple vaccines at once increases the amount of chemical contaminants that a baby's system has to deal with, potentially overwhelming it's organs etc. For the latter it is particularly aluminum and formaldehyde that are presented as "the bad guys". However, in all respected peer reviewed epidemiological studies, there is no evidence that stretching out the spacing of vax in humans protects them from adverse vax reactions ,and in fact just leaves children unvaccinated or undervaccinated for important diseases longer than they need to be. And immunologists have a point when they point out that it is pretty ridiculous to worry about too many antigens at once, because a nomral kid's immune system deals with many mnay new antigens every day that they are exposed to in their food, from other people for all the colds etc that you don't vax for, and that they just generally stick right into their mouths (since EVERYTHING in the world goes straight into their mouths). This is all essential for healthy immune system development and there is evidence that protecting your human child from too many antigens leads to a greater incidence of immune system problems like allergies later in life. For the second part, aluminum/formaldehyde etc, that sounded bad to me too...until I learned that the amount of aluminum in a vax is so much smaller than what the kid ingests over months of just breastfeeding and breathing. On top of that, aluminum injected IM is handled completely differently than when you ingest it other ways - it is sequestered and excreted quite quickly. But injested aluminum which we all are getting all the time is apparently stored in the body. Formaldehyde also sounds scary, until you remmeber that it is a normal product of normal metabolic processes (that is, made by the body already) and therefore metabolozed quite safely in the small amounts that occur in cells (which is much larger than that in human vaccine doses). So basically, in humans, the vast, vast majority of research (and all of the well-done studies) fails to show increased risk from doing more than one vax at once, and instead there is evidence that such a spaced schedule actually has substantial increased risk of underprotection. I totally realize all of this research is specific to humans though, and may not at all apply to dogs and dog vaccines and their vaccine schedule. I am wondering if people here have any insight about this, if there have been any good studies done in dogs. Any vaccination totally IS a risk/benefit analysis, and I want to know as much as I can to figure out how best to vaccinate Odin and any future puppies. Thanks in advance.
  20. Julie, FWIW, I think it was Serena, not CMSGYAY, that brought up the scientist dad. Although IMO both posters may have unrealistic expectations for breeding and what it can guarantee you. This from another scientist who also winced at the description of "recessive problem genes" that are "several generations back". Serena, every living creature on this planet carries "recessive problem genes", including you. Absolutely very single one. It is not a question as to whether they are there or not. The question is much more complex - is there evidence the mate's line also carries that same gene, how is the gene expressed, and other factors that get very complex. Many (probably most) health problems are also not this deterministic, and are the result of many many genes all interacting together (and with the environment the animal develops in). Also, every gene every living creature has is from "several generations back" unless there has been a spontaneous mutation. A "long ago" gene can not have an effect on an organism living today...becuase the genes that affect THAT animal ARE the current genes that they have today. All of which (again excepting the very rare mutation) were inherited. I get that you were trying to describe carriers of recessive genes with normal phenotypes, but your description and conclusions you drew from that are not exactly accurate (i.e., should never breed that line again).
  21. My BC showed literally no prey drive when I met him as a pup at the breeder's. It did not even show up on my radar of things I needed to consider so that didn't worry me. I wanted a great companion that would work well with my personality and not be too much dog for me, first and foremost. Of the puppies I chose from, Odin showed no interest in playing with a soccer ball and tug toy that the rest of the pups and a couple of the older dogs, including the dam, were playing with. Instead, I chose him because he was the quiet sweet one that let his littermates inspect my DH and I first, but then when they all went rambling off to do other things, Odin came up and actually spent time with my DH and I, and seemed to really really enjoy the attention we were giving him. When I first took him home I actually tried to play with him, although not specifically with a towel or anything, but I bought a kong wubba I think...for a day or two he showed no interest and mainly stayed very close to me and was super quiet. Then he got used to our house I guess and within a few days was starting to become the crazy fun happy dog I know today. Oh, and I showed him fetch like ONCE, and then he went nuts over that and the rest is history. Within the first week of being home he wanted to fetch and tug and tackle and "kill" random objects on the floor (in a cute puppy play way, not a psycho way) and was even stalking the cats, so although I didn't see any prey drive for the first couple of days, it was just because I didn't see it! It was there all along and became totally apparent as he felt more comfortable AND as I got to know him better. And I described his adult drive level to you in a previous post. I'm not saying my dog would be a guaranteed sport dog champion or anything, but it certainly would not be his prey drive level that would ever be the limiting factor. Honestly, the pups you saw may be weird in some way (I don't know, I wasn't there and don't know anything about the breeder) but their apparant lack of interest in a towel after they had only met you for a few minutes would not be something that would worry me. *I* personally would wonder about the prey drive or toy drive of the sire and dam if that were something high on my list, that might tell you more.
  22. ....And, I should have realized there would be a much better description than this on the 4th page. Maralynn sums it up very nicely.
  23. I would consider my BC medium drive as far as BCs go. My dog's "best friend" right now is a German-bred, all German, imported GSD. The guy who owns this GSD works in the same office complex as me and we both bring our dogs in frequently. So we have about 2 playdates a week or more with Abby the GSD. She is younger than my dog Odin and is really still somewhat of a puppy at 2 years. She is considered a high drive dog by her owner and I guess he would know as this is not the first German-bred GSD he's had (I think the 3rd). He does not do Schutzhund but he does nose-work which also requires prey drive. My observations are that STILL my medium drive border collie has more prey drive than this GSD. Odin the BC also has better impulse control, so it is not just a case of the "Border Crazies"**. Abby the GSD is no slouch for sure and I would not be unhappy with her level of drive if I had gotten her instead. But basically, her "unharnessed" prey drive seems to manifest as fixation on other dogs. She charges running dogs, stalks them, slinks around like a cat, etc. My BC's "unharnessed" prey drive tends to manifest as a desire to chase squirrels, which he only does when released to do so. What do I mean by "unharnessed?" Well, both of us "harness" the prey drive our dogs have for training, and particularly use toy drive. Both dogs have very high toy drive and toys are an effective means of both motivating and rewarding both. Abby the GSD's toy drive is used for nose work and my underastanding is she is at the top of her class. Odin the BC has learned basically every and command he knows (off sheep) using toys. Between the two dogs, it is VERY clear that Odin's toy drive is much higher than Abby's even though I have not put much work into building it. In fact, it verges a bit on "obsessive" which IME is not uncommon with pet BCs that are not from conformation lines. Obviously Odin's prey drive is quite useful when we train stock work too. In general, Odin is more "drivey" than Abby. But the main difference I see between the two of them in terms of something that would affect future training is that Odin is a lot more biddable, because both of them have as much drive as the typical pet person is ever going to need. Abby just does not seem to care as much about pleasing her owner, although she does care and IS trainable. But it's more like if I yell "jump" at both of them (asuming neither one already knew this command), my BC will start trying to figure out what I mean immediately. He will literally turn himself inside out trying to give me the right behavior, offering behaviors, and always looking for any little gesture I might intentionally or unintentionally be giving that could give him a clue as to what I want him to do. Abby is a lot more like my previous dog, who was a very smart husky. If you yell "jump" at Abby, she basically stares at you blankly and then dismisses you because clearly that isn't a real command (we tried this once). If you let her know that NOW we are training, she is willing to work with you. If you issue a command (and are serious), she will mostly comply. If she gets too hot or tired though, she basically checks out (this could also be due to her training?). If she "thinks" that a recall isn't ACTUALLY required and is more of a "test" from her owner, she will decline. Odin though, he is ALWAYS trying to figure out what I want. ALL the time. And if he gets too hot or tired, *I* have to be super careful, because he will literally go-go-go until he has heat stroke if I keep asking things of him. He naps during the day because he does have an off switch, but all you have to do is *hint* that you might want to do something. And he is THERE before you even realize it. Now, I'm not saying this across the board makes him EASY to train. He picks up a lot of stuff that I don't intend to train, too. Mostly I don't care about that but I imagine in a dog sport setting getting a consistent response to the cues is a bigger deal than me just training him to balnace something on his nose while spinning around or whatever. It HAS been an issue with our sheep training because he tries SO hard to figure out what I want and I am not good enough to always (or even usually!) give off the right cues. Sorry for the long rambly post, but just saying IME even a mid-drive BC is likely to be as much or even more prey drive than you are used to, even with German-bred GSDs. **I hate this term. Have any of you heard it? Usually this comes up in a situation where MY dog is behaving fine and the other dog is acting like a lunatic.
  24. Congratulations, Julie! To Lindsaloo, I had a baby a year ago, when my border collie Odin (who is very well trained) was 2. As hard as I tried NOT to let this happen, Odin had to put up with a major reduction in the amount of time I could spend with him. He was very very patient, and very very good, but there were literally some days that he had to wait 10 hours between walks because I just could not take him sooner than that. There is NO way I could have housetrained a puppy during this period. And yes it would be somewhat easier with a yard which I don't have, but still, despite my best intentions some days I was barely able to get anything to eat. The vigilance and responsiveness needed to housetrain a puppy just were not there. Let alone the fact that I was so sleep deprived that I would have HATED having to get up for a puppy on top of everything too. Can I ask if you are planning to breastfeed? Only because I know in the early days I COULDN'T just get up and attend to the dog immediately while the baby was eating, because I was propped under my boppy in the position that gave us a good latch and it takes time to get there and it takes time to get the baby calm enough to eat and OMG the baby will SCREAM if I stand up now....that sort of thing. Actually Odin took better care of me during this time than I took care of him by keeping me company and bringing me receiving blankets But that has already been well described by others. Depending on your situation, use of a crate, maybe vastly superior parenting abilities to me () maybe you can do that part anyway. What I would MAINLY be worried about would be the other stuff. Like, I put so much time into Odin during his first year to ensure he had a good recall, could walk on a leash, had solid obedience skills, etc. In my opinion if you don't take a very hands on approach with a pet border collie you are asking for boredom and behavior issues. I can't imagine that with a newborn these things could be high on your list all or even most days during the early newborn time. Housetraining maybe, because if the pup doesn't get housetrained YOU will be constantly corrected by having to clean up the floor. But all these other things that don't have such an immediate downside when you ignore them will be just so much easier to ignore. SO I guess from the perspective of someone who has raised both a BC puppy and a newborn in the past 3 years, my advice would be to be VERY aware that any corners you cut at that young age will affect the quality of relationship you have later and will affect what type of pet this pup eventually turns out to be. If your heart is set on doing this and you are confident this is the life you will want, I would invest in a good babywearing sling or carrier, strap that baby in, and really try to commit to a daily training schedule with the pup! I am telling you, the LAST thing you need is a bored and/or poorly trained BC pup on your hands. Finally, remember that the adolescent period, which will hit for your pup right around the time your baby starts being easier and even maybe mobile, is often hard for even those people who have spent a lot of time training during early puppyhood. They just get very excitable around this time, test limits, "forget" their training, etc. This is when most people decide with a dog of any breed that the dog is "wild", or "we just don't have time/space for him to exercise enough", or "he is SUCH a sweet dog but really would do better on a farm with lots of room." Behaviors show up that are incompatible with having a young baby around (or get serious now that the dog is bigger) such as trying to rush out the door when it is opened, counter surfing, chewing (our WORST chewing phase was about 7-10 months of age), jumping on people, etc. I'm sure there are dogs and even BCs that just sail through adolescence and don't require attention to training increased impulse control, retraining recalls etc., but I wouldn't ever count that you get that lucky. In short, I am not saying this can't be done. But I'll be totally honest and say I don't envy you in the least and kind of hope for YOUR sake as well as the pup's you'll really, really consider whether this is a time that you can feasibly raise a puppy AND be fair to the puppy. Without completely driving yourself up a wall because now you have even less time to relax, shower, sleep, go to the bathroom, or eat. Especially given you have another kid who will need attention and care from you too! And I don't see it getting all calm and automatic and not terribly hard for you for at least a 9 months to a year due to puppy adolesence. And again, the less work you put in during this first year, the more likely you are to have a bored or destructive or "wild" border collie on your hands. Very best wishes and keep us posted either way.
  25. *waves* Alright, I will work on it tonight I am very sad I didn't get to read the structure comments before they removed the FB page. But have really been enjoying reading this thread.
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