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Old 12-21-2010, 08:50 AM   #856
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Ideally you would ultrasound the female especially in this case where you have no idea who the father is (large size difference can mean pups that are undeliverable naturally and require C-section). You'd also see how many there are and how they are positioned. At the very least, have a vet familiar with reproduction lined up in case she needs to go in for a C-section. Some breeds almost always required them because they are incapable of delivering naturally. When she is ready to give birth her temperature will drop so you should have a thermometer and be checking when she is due. Some people give the dog vanilla ice cream when they go into labor, I don't remember what for.

When she delivers make sure she is safe and warm. Do NOT put her in a crate or small cage/box/kennel, the pups will get crushed. If she rejects any puppies, you should euthanize them. She may also cull (kill) them herself if there is something wrong. It sounds harsh but every person I know who has tried to "save" a puppy that the mother rejected regretted it later b/c the puppy had serious problems and poor quality of life. If there are a lot of puppies you will need to make sure they are all getting a chance to feed. If there is a runt or a puppy with a problem you may need to remove it and feed it yourself or find a surrogate mother. Make sure she does not develop mastitis, that is serious for the puppies and very painful and serious for the mother.

I don't breed so I know very little about whelping puppies. Those are just the bits and pieces I remember from helping a friend that is a breeder.

At two days old we start doing a bio-sensory neonatal stimulation program with the puppies to aid their development and socialization.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:17 AM   #857
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A vet lives next door and I'm pretty sure he's dog is the father. Same breed. And after a preliminary check-up he reckons it's gonna be fine. And just by palpating he seems pretty sure that there are just two puppies.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:51 PM   #858
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The vet let his dog impregnate a dog not even 2 years old? I'd be getting a different vet!
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:38 PM   #859
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^Agreed..
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:24 PM   #860
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The vet let his dog impregnate a dog not even 2 years old? I'd be getting a different vet!
Since the last couple of days, her vagina has protruded outwards. And i also noticed some colorless discharge yesterday. The vet says it's quite common during the fifth and sixth week of gestation. It has stopped now. Do I need to worry ?

And I think I'll keep the vet. There aren't too many of them, and I need someone nearby during the final week. He has been really helpful. I think he knows that he's dog may be responsible and he's trying to make up for it.
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:26 PM   #861
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i want this adorable creature !!!
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:35 PM   #862
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Here's my current competition/protection alert dog and his show ribbons minus his Champion title b/c it hasn't arrived yet (these are just the awards from conformation, not any other sport/working discipline).

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Old 12-27-2010, 09:23 PM   #863
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A vet lives next door and I'm pretty sure he's dog is the father. Same breed. And after a preliminary check-up he reckons it's gonna be fine. And just by palpating he seems pretty sure that there are just two puppies.
She gave birth yesterday. Three pups, not two. The vet was a noob. Anyways everything is fine now.

Thanks for your advice Liesje.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:16 PM   #864
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Whoops !!! Four actually. Another one came out during the night. This one is white. Looks like a little rabbit. The first three were black.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:23 PM   #865
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My Husband and Gracie on a hike we did today.

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Old 01-01-2011, 02:08 PM   #866
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My boys on Christmas day (bad pic, it was 5:30 so nearly dark)


My puppy, Pan (Pantalaimon vom Geistwasser)


Pan thinks all presents are for him


Pan at his puppy class


Nikon enjoying vacation


Nikon in his second to last show


mmmm


Coke before his haircut


Pan learning heel


This is what Pan looked like before he grew the black hair
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:24 PM   #867
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Ah Pan is growing up so fast! What a cutie. And Nikon looks pretty big - did he put on some muscle mass? How much does he weigh now?

Do you still have Kenya?
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:25 PM   #868
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I still own Kenya but she is currently living elsewhere and doing great. She is retired from competition (unless her new owner wants to compete but so far they have not asked me to alter her papers and add them as co-owners). She never did take to Phil and is far more relaxed in her new environment. I did many titles with her but she never did take to Schutzhund even though on paper she is perfect for it and her father was an amazing competitor in Germany with some perfect scores at the highest level. I love her as a pet and companion but I had to remind myself that my allegiance is really to the breed more than my own individual dogs and I can't do anything to promote the breed with a dog who cannot perform the breed tests. she taught me very much about the breed and all the traits I now seek or don't like and for that she will always be our "foundation bitch" even though we couldn't and wouldn't have bred her. She is 100% my responsibility and can always come back to me at any time. On paper, I still own her.

Yes Nikon turned 2 in September and has done a lot of filling out since then. His head has still widened a bit and his chest dropped. We had a terribly hot summer here, so the dogs had little appetite, did not build muscle mass because they were more sedentary, and as a result he was very thin all summer (you could see his ribs) with a thin coat that just exaggerated his condition. Now that it's cold (which they LOVE) he is eating better and very active. Also I plumped him up a bit for his final shows. The show dogs are generally a bit heavier (still in better condition than the average pet but to working dog person like myself they look heavy). A tad more weight gives him the appearance of looking more mature. He weighed 66lbs in July and I haven't weighed him recently but I'd say he's around 75 and likely will never be above 80. His mother was a large bitch (but a bitch is smaller than a dog) and his father was a more correct medium sized male. His coat is also a lot better now because of the season and also they are getting salmon oil. I like to be able to feel if not see the ribs, no "paunch" hanging below the ribs or on the belly, very noticeable "tuck" (waist, I guess you could say) both from looking at the side and down from above. Nikon weighs so much more than Kenya because he has thicker bones, a bigger head, and his thighs are insanely muscular, probably 2-3 times as wide as hers. Unfortunately his coat always appears flatter and less luxurious in pics than it really is (he has a good coat, not too long or plush but thick, shiny, and very healthy).


In contrast, Kenya weighs 50-55lbs and Coke (who is by far the tallest and largest looking) 60-65lbs. Most people estimate Coke at 80+lbs but he is all legs and fur. Pan's father is a large dog with a large masculine head and good bone, so it's possible Pan will be at least Nikon's size if not heavier because of bone and substance.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:47 PM   #869
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I saw this on the news and it made me cry-partly because of how much I miss my dog I suppose



As the death toll from devastating flooding in Brazil continues to rise, a single picture drives home the sense of loss.

Leao, a medium-sized brown mutt, lies next to the grave of her owner, Cristina Maria Cesario Santana, who died in the catastrophic landslides caused by heavy rain. This AFP/Getty picture was taken on Saturday, the second consecutive day that the dog refused to leave the woman's grave at the cemetery in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janiero.

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Old 01-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #870
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Nice pics, Lies. It's so impressive how you've worked your way up to becoming a fairly serious trainer and handler with a growing array of awards for your own dogs. When you refer to your goal of "promoting the breed," how does that tie in with the breeders' mission of improving the breed? Are professional working-dog breeders usually involved with the people who bought and show their dogs, or is it more a question of your wanting to show the American audience for working-dog competitions what the dogs from these lines can do? I've never even been to a dog show...


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Just saw this article in yesterday's NYT. I think I'm gonna mark that TV special on my calendar:
Quote:
Dogs Might Provide Clues on How Language is Acquired

Chaser, a border collie who lives in Spartanburg, SC, has the largest vocabulary of any known dog. She knows 1,022 nouns, a record that displays unexpected depths of the canine mind and may help explain how children acquire language.

Chaser belongs to John W. Pilley, a psychologist who taught for 30 years at Wofford College, a liberal arts institution in Spartanburg. In 2004, after he had retired, he read a report in Science about Rico, a border collie whose German owners had taught him to recognize 200 items, mostly toys and balls. Dr. Pilley decided to repeat the experiment using a technique he had developed for teaching dogs, and he describes his findings in the current issue of the journal Behavioural Processes.

He bought Chaser as a puppy in 2004 from a local breeder and started to train her for four to five hours a day. He would show her an object, say its name up to 40 times, then hide it and ask her to find it, while repeating the name all the time. She was taught one or two new names a day, with monthly revisions and reinforcement for any names she had forgotten.

Border collies are working dogs. They have a reputation for smartness, and they are highly motivated. They are bred to herd sheep indefatigably all day long. Absent that task, they must be given something else to do or they go stir crazy. Chaser proved to be a diligent student. Unlike human children, she seems to love her drills and tests and is always asking for more. “She still demands four to five hours a day,” Dr. Pilley said. “I’m 82, and I have to go to bed to get away from her.”

One of Dr. Pilley’s goals was to see if he could teach Chaser a larger vocabulary than Rico acquired. But that vocabulary is based on physical objects that must be given a name the dog can recognize. Dr. Pilley found himself visiting Salvation Army stores and buying up sackfuls of used children’s toys to serve as vocabulary items. It was hard to remember all the names Chaser had to learn, so he wrote the name on each toy with indelible marker. In three years, Chaser’s vocabulary included 800 cloth animals, 116 balls, 26 Frisbees and a medley of plastic items. Children pick up about 10 new words a day until, by the time they leave high school, they know around 60,000 words. Chaser learned words more slowly but faced a harder task: Each sound was new and she had nothing to relate it to, whereas children learn words in a context that makes them easier to remember. For example, knives, forks and spoons are found together.

Dr. Pilley does not know how large a vocabulary Chaser could have mastered. When she reached 1,000 items, he grew tired of teaching words and moved to more interesting topics like grammar. One of the questions raised by the Rico study was that of what was going through the dog’s mind when he was asked to fetch something. Did he think of his toys as items labeled fetch-ball, fetch-Frisbee, fetch-doll, or did he understand the word “fetch” separately from its object, as people do? Dr. Pilley addressed the question by teaching Chaser three different actions: pawing, nosing and taking an object. She was then presented with three of her toys and correctly pawed, nosed or fetched each one depending on the command given to her. “That experiment demonstrates conclusively that Chaser understood that the verb had a meaning,” Dr. Pilley said. The 1,022 words in Chaser’s vocabulary are all proper nouns. Dr. Pilley also found that Chaser could be trained to recognize categories, in other words common nouns. She correctly follows the command “Fetch a Frisbee” or “Fetch a ball.” She can also learn by exclusion, as children do. If she is asked to fetch a new toy with a word she does not know, she will pick it out from ones that are familiar.

Haunting almost every interaction between people and animals is the ghost of Clever Hans, a German horse that in the early 1900s would tap out answers to arithmetic problems with his hoof. The psychologist Oskar Pfungst discovered that Hans would get the answer right only if the questioner also knew the answer. He then showed that the horse could detect minute movements of the questioner’s head and body. Since viewers would tense as Hans approached the right number of taps, and relax when he reached it, the horse knew exactly when to stop. People project their expectations onto animals, particularly dogs, and can easily convince themselves the animal is achieving some humanlike feat when in fact it is simply reading cues unconsciously given by its master. Even though researchers are well aware of this pitfall, interpreting animal behavior is particularly tricky. In the current issue of Animal Behaviour, a leading journal, two previous experiments with dogs have been found wanting. In one report, researchers say they failed to confirm an experiment showing that dogs would yawn contagiously when people yawn. Another report knocks down an earlier finding that dogs can distinguish between rational and irrational acts. The danger of Clever Hans effects may be particularly acute with border collies because they are bred for the ability to pay close attention to the shepherd. Dogs that ignore their master or the sheep do not become parents, a fierce selective pressure on the breed’s behavior. “Watch a collie work with a sheepherder and you will come away amazed how small a gesture the person can do to communicate with his dog,” said Alexandra Horowitz, a dog behavior expert at Barnard College and author of “Inside of a Dog.”

Juliane Kaminski, a member of the research team that tested Rico, was well aware of the Clever Hans effect. So she arranged for the dog to be given instructions in one room and to select toys from another, making it impossible for the experimenter to give Rico unwitting cues. Dr. Kaminski works at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Dr. Pilley took the same precaution in testing Chaser. He submitted an article describing his experiments to Science, but the journal rejected it. Dr. Pilley said that the journal’s advisers had made valid criticisms, which he proceeded to address. He and his co-author, Alliston K. Reid of Wofford College, then submitted a revised article to Behavioural Processes. Dr. Horowitz, who was one of Science’s advisers in the review of Dr. Pilley’s report, said of the new article that “the experimental design looks pretty good.” Dr. Kaminski, too, regards the experiment as properly done. “I think the methodology the authors use here is absolutely sufficient to control for Clever Hans,” she said.

The learning of words by Rico and Chaser may have some bearing on how children acquire language, because children could be building on the same neural mechanisms. Dr. Pilley and Dr. Reid conclude that their experiments “provide clear evidence that Chaser acquired referential understanding of nouns, an ability normally attributed to children.” But the experiment’s relevance to language is likely to be a matter of dispute. Chaser learns to link sounds to objects by brute repetition, which is not how children learn words. And she learns her words as proper nouns, which are specific labels for things, rather than as abstract concepts like the common nouns picked up by children. Dr. Kaminski said she would not go as far as saying that Chaser’s accomplishments are a step toward language. They show that the dog can combine words for different actions with words for objects. A step toward syntax, she said, would be to show that changing the order of words alters the meaning that Chaser ascribes to them. Dr. Pilley says he is working on just that point. “We’re trying to teach some elementary grammar to our dog,” he said. “How far we’ll be able to go we don’t know, but we think we are on the frontier.” His goal is to develop methods that will help increase communication between people and dogs. “We are interested in teaching Chaser a receptive, rudimentary language,” he said.

A Nova episode on animal intelligence, in which Chaser stars, will be broadcast on Feb. 9.

As with other animals for which prodigious feats of cognition have been reported, like Alex the gray parrot or Kanzi the bonobo, it is hard to place Chaser’s and Rico’s abilities in context. If their achievements are within the general capacity of their species, why have many other instances not been reported? If, on the other hand, their achievements are unique, then either the researchers have lucked out in finding an Einstein of the species, or there could be something wrong with the experiments like a Clever Hans effect.

Dr. Pilley said that most border collies, with special training, “could be pretty close to where Chaser is.” When he told Chaser’s dog breeder of the experiment, “he wasn’t surprised about the dog’s ability, just that I had had the patience to teach her,” Dr. Pilley said. Dr. Horowitz agreed: “It is not necessarily Chaser or Rico who is exceptional; it is the attention that is lavished on them,” she said.
A few passages seem somewhat unclear, but I thought it was a pretty interesting article. I remember a few years ago National Geographic had a cover story on 'animal minds' including a profile of yet another border collie, in Austria, who had the ability to retrieve (from another room) objects she'd never seen before, based only on being shown photos of them.

The (few) people I've known who had/have border collies all said they found them a bit overwhelming, even though they knew in advance they were getting a highly active and intelligent dog--that they're really driven and intense, and can easily get destructive or tense/nippy if you don't make a point of giving them lots and lots of stuff to do. I think they're an amazing breed, but I personally wouldn't want a dog quite that driven.
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