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Thread: The Merle Gene

  1. #11
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    Thanks for explaining Mouse and Chicken.

    Dogs taking cues from other dogs - got a whole bunch of them to take a swim yesterday and today - following Frosty in.

    Wasn't too keen on it today since the water visability was bad - the kind of water that encourages sharks to do taste tests instead of visual checks on their food.

  2. #12
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    there are breeds where merle's can be shown.
    I've not owned any breed myself with merle in the standard but I do find them beautiful to look at.

    I feel this particular coolie, has, for want of a better word brain damage. But the people love it and want to persist. It is pure white, not a crisp white, looks like its got a coating of dust thru it's coat regardless of just having a wash. It's nose is pink and it's eyes are constantly little slits.

    My new favourite book is Jan Fennells the Dog Listener. I read it a while ago and put it down, but lately I've gone back to it and used a lot of the info in it quite successfully. Like her I think some dogs can learn a lot from each other, especially in the physical sense like going into water or going thru an agility tunnel.

    I love cues & conditioned reinforcers they are a dog trainers dream. they can be used for everything, people just have a tendency to limit the reward to food.

  3. #13
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    Hi Mouse and Chicken

    Horses learn that way too - by following each other. It's specifically banned in Eventing - to follow another horse over a jump. Ie the first rider gets to a jump and her horse refuses, and another rider catches up so she gives way to him, he jumps ok and she follows him over immediately - not allowed. But it works - even if it's not all that immediate.

    It's also why I don't want to get a second dog before I've trained the first one. First dog can teach the second dog what I want, but with two of them new at the same time, they'd teach each other what they want...

    I think I had a problem with Jan's alpha dog and pack theories. I think some of the ideas for training are good and work but the reasons (supposedly based on wolf packs) aren't right. And some of the stuff is just silly or unnecessary.

    The stuff about giving your dog some time without you to encourage more compliance - definitely works on my dog. Though she is very very demanding of attention after I've deprived her for a bit. Not the same deal if she's left me and it was her idea, though.

  4. #14
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    aw , yes thats very interesting!
    i was reading a story about online months ago about a double dilute or something, from a rough collie merle to merle.

  5. #15
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    Hyc,

    It's a good read if you take what works for you out of it. I take bits and pieces from books and lectures etc.

    I look at it as having options.

  6. #16
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    Hi Mouse and Chicken

    I'm all for options. Many ways lead to a doggy goal. Or it takes trying many ways to find the right one. And the right one is often different from dog to dog, well that's what I'm finding out.

    Is amazing how hard I have to work for Frosty's attention, and yet when I put half the effort in around other dogs - I soon have twenty looking at me and sitting at attention. I'm quite good at catching other people's dogs when they can't. Sigh. I really need to make going on lead for Frosty as much fun as being off it. And food doesn't work here.

  7. #17
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    Building & maintaining drive and motivation is one of the hardest things to do. Finding the one thing it can't live with out or will do backflips over.

    I used to watch my old boss work his dogs. One, a Rotti, obtained at about 12 months of age, selected because of his drive. He is obsessed with kongs. No food in them necessary.

    He is never left with his kong. His interaction with my boss is thru training. All the staff love this dog, we'd, and I imagine they still do, give him heaps of love and attention. But are invisible when that dog sees his boss. He gave him what that dog wanted. Hard work and his reward the kong.

    The kong could go into a bucket of chicken food and chickens would be in the bucket eating and this rotti puts his head in and brings out his kong. The chicken does not exist.

    You seem like a person with determination so Frosty will get there. Some dogs it can be a maturity thing. My setter for example really tested me. Now at 4 I can't believe it's the same dog.

  8. #18
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    Hi Mouse and Chicken

    Yes as Frosty grows up and I learn more - she gets better. She no longer jumps all over my neighbour when she comes to the door, despite the fact that my neighbour still waves her arms around and squeals and flaps and claps and talks to Frosty and generally carries on like the best dog toy ever.

    Today I got Frosty back on lead at the beach because - I think after a brief while of Nyah Nyah can't catch me - which I ignored - she was exhausted. We did a lot of swimmng. I even persuaded her using the block line of vision and munchie when quiet and sitting and watch me (lick lips and yawn) - to not go bonkers at the horses on the beach. However I didn't push my luck by letting her off lead, until they were gone.

    It's funny - Frosty barking at the horses did encourage a whole bunch of previously unaffected dogs to take up the call and bark too. So I kept her away from them too until the blocking started to take effect. She learned pretty quick.

    She's met horses before and shouldn't be so excited. Her reaction was much the same as when she first saw an umbrella on the beach. Bark a lot. Trouble with a heeler and horses, is she could quite easily play nip-the-ankle (duck and run)... and I'm not sure how keen the horses would be about that. One of them clearly wasn't comfortable on the beach either, spooking and jogging and carrying on.

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