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juliepoudrier

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Everything posted by juliepoudrier

  1. As someone who owned and managed a fear aggressive dog, I can say that at least in my case, escalating or trying to punish never did anything to diminish his fear biting. Recognizing what triggered him and managing *that* is where I had the greatest success. The first time he snapped at me, my immediate reaction was to swat him across the muzzle. He taught me pretty quickly that reacting to him with any sort of aggression or violence (no matter the mild) was a recipe for increased fear aggression from him. In those 14 years he only seriously bit me once (my mistake) and never hurt anyone else. J.
  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. Cherish your memories; they will help you through this. Mags is waiting for you on the other side. J.
  3. Maja, I think the reason the work didn't necessarily show the condition of the hips is because working dogs are generally fit and well-muscled, and that muscling provides support to bad hips so they may go unnoticed (without radiographs) when the dog is of breeding age. My Jill had terrible hips, discovered on radiographs when her original owner wanted to breed her. She never had any problems from her hips until she was quite aged, no longer working, and of course less muscled. Now that it's possible to view a dog's hips, dogs with bad hips shouldn't be inadvertently bred, but the nature of the beast is such that there can be no guarantees. I honestly think in the case of a dog with relatives with HD that the overall incidence in that family, how good a worker the dog is, and the overall hip "history" of the potential mate would all need to be taken into account. J.
  4. I think genetics plays a role, helped along by good diets and good weights, as well as active lifestyles. All things that are supposed to confer longevity in humans too.... J.
  5. Quality of life is my criterion too. I have never actually been told that I *should* put an old dog down. My vets have always trusted me to do the right thing at the right time. But having worked for vets and having numerous friends who work for vets, I can say that it happens way too often that owners refuse to put a pet down, despite all medical indications to the contrary, because they can't face doing so. The extremes are the people who insist that a dog be brought out of anesthesia during a surgery that finds something like inoperable cancer so they can say goodbye. So if I encountered a vet who suggested my dog was coming up on that time and I didn't agree, I'd either just nod my head and continue to do my own thing or simply tell my vet that I disagreed and that I'm fully prepared to do the deed when I believe my dog's quality of life has decreased to the point where such a decision is necessary. No need to feel guilted by a vet, and when something like that happens, just try to remember that vets likely see far more owners who hang on too long than the opposite. J.
  6. I don't get here much anymore, but an really sorry to hear this. One more "old timer" gone from this forum. Godspeed Pam. J.
  7. Interesting. I have never used the "crap shoot thing" to steer people away from breeders and toward rescue, nor do I know of people doing that regularly. When I speak of a puppy being a crap shoot it's from the *starting point* of a well-bred litter and the discussion is about what puppy to pick. Given that the pup's ultimate ability as a working dog can't be known at 6-7 weeks (the crap shoot part of things), not to mention that the ultimate outcome will most certainly be greatly influenced by the raising and training of said pup, I always recommended that people choose the puppy that "speaks to" them or appeals to them in some tangible way. If you like the puppy for itself, then in my opinion you're going to put more time and effort into its raising and training and maybe also be more accepting of its weaknesses/holes once training has begun. As others have mentioned, a young adult, and especially one that's been started, will be much less of a crap shoot. But I've honestly never heard anyone suggest that because puppies are a crap shoot one should consider a rescue rather than a pup from a breeder. As Sue mentioned I have heard/seen numerous instances of people looking for a pet being asked to consider rescue, but not when the person is looking for a working dog. J.
  8. Donald I was just thinking of you and Anne yesterday. I'm glad you still reach out here. J.
  9. Yes, the work in reference to a game drives me crazy too. J.
  10. Dave Clark and Cheryl Branibar have them, or did. They're in Lexington. Cheryl is on Facebook, so you could connect with her there. They are large. Dave obviously works his and they've hosted trials using their flock, but they could give you plenty of information since they've raised them for a while. J.
  11. Bicoastal, I sent you a message via this forum regarding another clinic in Virginia. J.
  12. Alasdair MacRae used to be in Shipman, but hasn't been there for some years now. I don't know about just showing up at the clinic. I doubt they'd mind, but it may be wise to just send Stacy a quick email to let her know you might be coming. Tommy is super nice so no need to feel intimidated. As for your current trainer, I don't think they should object to you going to audit someone else or even take lessons with someone else. Sometimes a dog and trainer just don't mesh, through no one's fault. If something's not working and your current trainer is at a loss to"fix" it, what other options do you have? Parking at the clinic is away from where the stock/training takes place, so your dog might not notice unless you walk him over to the training area. Note that depending on where they are in the clinic they could be working sheep near the house or up in the larger field, which you can't see from the road (though you can see the drive leading to it). J.
  13. Just to add to info for folks dealing with epilepsy: I had a dog who had grand mal seizures, diagnosed idiopathic epilepsy at age 4. Was put on phenobarbital at ~4.5. Never had another seizure that I know of. Bloodwork came back good every year until she was 10 or so, and then just a slight increase in one liver enzyme, nothing the vet was concerned about. She had to be PTS this summer at age 11 for an unrelated issue, but I had no reason to believe she wouldn't have led a full life to age 15+ like all my others, despite the epilepsy and being on Pb for years. There are better options now than just Pb, but epilepsy need not be a death sentence or even change quality of life (I still worked her and used her to set sheep trials). That said, age of onset (younger = worse) and type of seizure (clusters = worse) will certainly have an effect on outcome. I was lucky that Phoebe led a pretty normal life. Her littermate brother wasn't so lucky and had be PTS before he was 4. J.
  14. P.S. There a Tommy Wilson clinic Maggie's Farm (Stacy Scott and Peter Hall) in Sperryville, VA, this weekend (12/2-3). I imagine all the working spots are filled, but think auditing pretty cheap. If the OP is interested it would be a good introduction to Tommy's training, and he's good answering questions. The address is 455 Old Hollow Road, Sperryville. It shouldn't be much more than hour from many places in NoVA. I'll see if I can find/attach the flyer. Stacy's email is sss2604 at gmail dot com. J. TomW+Signup+2017.pdf
  15. Interestingly enough, since his name was brought up, Tommy W does advocate taking a dog in a pen with sheep and leaving the dog to settle. Call it flooding or something else, I've never seen a dog go nuts and try to bite, attack, or anything else like that. Generally they settle down very quickly. But of course, if the OP believes the approach would be counterproductive for her dog, I can't gainsay her. For me, it creates an environment where the dog gets nothing but calm from me (I'm just reading after all) and the dog's overexcited behavior gains it *nothing*--no work, no response from me, no real response from the sheep. I agree with Eileen that if the dog were reacting out of fear doing this might not be a good idea (although IMHO a fearful dog might just realize there's nothing to fear if it's in close proximity to stock and nothing happens), but for a dog that needs to learn self control around stock, this isn't going to somehow permanently scar him. That said, I am not the OP and the dog is not my dog. Only she can decide what she's willing to do to try turn this situation into a productive relationship. J.
  16. I think you might be surprised. Nothing is moving, so there's no real stimulation. I've never seen a dog go nuts in such a situation. Generally they just figure out that nothing is going to happen, period. J.
  17. What about sessions of just hanging out calmly with sheep? You bring a book and a chair, put the sheep in an enclosure where they are close but where you can create space between you in your chair and them. Dog on leash. Take dog in with you, sit down, read or otherwise entertain yourself. Let dog do whatever it's going to do within the length of its leash. Ignore dog and sheep. Nothing happens (except you reading) until dog settles down. This will likely need to be repeated until the dog can enter into close proximity to sheep without losing its mind. I think your dog needs to learn to settle its mind, and this is the approach I'd take. It'll be rather tedious and could take a while at once-a-week visits, but it's the approach I'd take to start with. J.
  18. I would say males can easily go to the mid 40 lb weight range. I have 7 working bred border collies right now, and most are smallish, around 30 lbs, give or take. My one male usually stays around 42-43 lbs at a fit weight. I have another male who hovers around 38 lbs. And then there's the youngster, who is already 42 lbs at 10 months. His sire and his sire's sire are big dogs and he apparently inherited those genetics. People who have or know his littermates say that most are not that big. But, I got the big boy. Still, as long as he lives up to those genetics workwise, I'll be happy. Of dogs past, I'd say all fell in the 30-40 lb range. J.
  19. Congratulations, Eileen. Your HOF induction is well deserved. I've enjoyed watching you run dogs over the years too. J.
  20. Donald, I'm so sorry to hear that you've reached the end of dog trialing. I'm just now trying to get back in, and I'll miss seeing you, just as much as I miss the Highland Occasional trial. I hope I do get to see you and Anne again sometime. Julie
  21. Smalahundur, In my experience what vet practices charge for services very much depends on where they are located and the relative wealth of their clientele. For example, a vet acupuncture visit that cost me $35-40 in NC or rural VA costs $100 near Charlottesville, VA (wealthy surrounding population). An ultrasound I got at a specialty practice cost double ($700 vs. $300) what it cost at my regular vet. In defense of the specialty practice, I guess they had to pay for their instrument and the local rural vets used a traveling ultrasound vet (although that vet had to pay for his/her machine too). My local vet hired an office manager and a second vet and the prices went up, unsurprisingly. In general, that practice's surgical fees, at least, are still much lower than they are in nearby Richmond, VA. Another observation I've made is that mixed vet practices, or vets who work on farm animals as well as pets, tend to be less pushy about sending clients to specialists or suggesting more expensive treatments. I think this is likely due to their experiences with farm animals, which, generally speaking (horses and some others excepted) aren't worth enough money to make it practical to spend a great deal on veterinary care for them. That's not to say that I think vets shouldn't offer more expensive treatment options, but I, for one, appreciate a more practical outlook at times. When my Willow was being treated for mast cell cancer and the last treatment we tried made her quite ill (without doing anything to the tumors), the specialty practice pushed additional treatments. I went back to my regular vet and had a very frank discussion about continuing treatment vs. palliative care. (I opted for palliative care and within several months she went into remission, which surprised us all.) I'm not slamming vets; they need to make a living too, but I do prefer vets who are willing to work with me and discuss *all* options and not push only the most expensive/difficult solution. As for the OP, she said her dog had been recently seen, so all the comments about people who don't take their dogs in regularly don't really apply here. I understand the argument that the vet may still need hands on, but I'd be willing to bet that had the urinalysis shown nothing remarkable, Jovi would have taken her dog in for follow up. I don't expect my vet to diagnose over the phone, but I also try to have a good relationship and good communication with my vet so that when I do call with a question/concern he may well be willing to discuss it with me without actually seeing the dog at that moment. If I had a vet who routinely was adding procedures and products I didn't want or who wouldn't listen to my ideas or concerns regarding the path forward with treating my animals, I'd be looking for another vet. J.
  22. Not related to dogs, but when I used to trail my sheep through the woods to a pasture about a mile away, they would race to the oak trees to glean acorns. As for dogs, I have no scientific evidence, and obviously blockages could be a concern, but I wouldn't think acorns in moderation--and it sounds as if he's eating very few--would be toxic. J.
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