Tag: border collie
An off-duty Buncombe County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a border collie mix at North Carolina’s Catawba Falls says he did so to protect his children from what appeared to be an aggressive dog.
“You’re damn right I shot your dog,” he reportedly told the dog’s owner, Scott Shulman of Durham.
Shulman, who was hiking with his son, said his three dogs got ahead of them when he fell into the water.
By the time he caught up, he saw Deputy Jason Honeycutt pointing a gun at one of his dogs, a 45-pound border collie mix named Nellie, who he says was barking and wagging her tail.
“I hear two or three pops, and I see Nellie roll over and hit the ground,” Shulman said. “I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I just said, ‘Did you shoot my dog?’ He said something like, ‘you’re damn right I shot your dog.’”
Shulman told the Asheville Citizen-Times that his dog was not posing a threat to the officer or his children, and that he thought shooting the dog was “disproportionate and excessive.”
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the case, and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal probe, but no charges or disciplinary action were recommended against the deputy.
“We don’t have any issue with what our officer did,” said Lt. Randy Sorrells of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department. “He was protecting his children.”
A McDowell County incident report that lists Deputy Honeycutt as the victim states the dog appeared to be aggressive toward children.
Shulman disagrees, and says two witnesses to the shooting also believe Nellie, while barking, wasn’t behaving aggressively otherwise.
“My main concern is making the citizens aware that this incident occurred … I don’t want anybody else to have to experience something like this.”
(Photo: Asheville Citizen-Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggressive, animals, barking, border collie, buncombe county, catawba falls, children, deputy, disproportionate, dog, dogs, durham, excessive, hiking, jason honeycutt, kills, mcdowell county, mix, mountains, nellie, north carolina, off duty, pets, protecting, scott shulman, sheriff, shoots, tail, wagging
Every species, I guess, has its geniuses and morons, or at least those who are so perceived.
When it comes to dogs, for example, Afghan hounds have been called the dumb blondes of the dog world, while border collies are often referred to as the genius of the species.
With humans, in what is an equally unfair characterization, TV and radio personalities are often portrayed as something less than razor sharp. (I’m not sure if that is true, but it does seem that the dumber they are, the louder they are — and the more they interrupt.)
This video, from ABC’s Good Morning America, shows a border collie named Zelda balancing things on her head as the humans on the program, some of them wearing funny hats, seem to compete to see who can be loudest and most annoying.
When Zelda’s owner tries to explain how Zelda came to possess the talent, the host of the show loudly interrupts: “Now we should point out border collies are one of the smartest dogs there are, I mean they’re like real smart.”
At the end of the bit, the camera cuts to a member of the crew, showing he can balance things on his head, too.
Watching this, online, made me reconsider my rankings of the intelligence of the three smartest species here on earth.
I still think dogs are at the top, but I’m unsure of the order in which to rank the other two – humans and computers, earth’s newest species.
But then I read the computer-created transcript of the video, which we’ll only quote in part:
“We have a very special live — we have Zelda. That dog. — commences our — an extra…
“Added I organ committee is all right let’s say you — yes sickened at companies like name. Set — – we Michigan do with the tenth spot didn’t she loves playing with a tennis ball — her favorite thing today — So we — – with a few other thing we should point out that Border — is part of the one of the smartest dogs is very nice seeing real — things — very fast…
“Well we have posted a picture of her balancing my dinner plates you can do that we’ll try now in the — Valentine’s tiny things had a glass of chocolate — yeah…
“We want to hear from you what should Zelda try to balance — and can really the united choices football — – banana frisbee or I’m actually getting other. Okay we’ll take right and we’ll take righted work out things with.”
At the end of the transcript, there’s a disclaimer saying it has been automatically generated and may not be 100 percent accurate.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, balance, balancing, border collie, computers, dog, dogs, good morning america, head, hosts, intelligence, media, news, personalities, pets, television, things, transcription, transcripts, tricks, video, zelda
Chica is a happy border collie who lives on a farm in Clay County, Indiana.
Her favorite pastime is playing fetch with her owners Martha and Buddy Knox.
That wouldn’t be news — WTHI-TV notes — were it not for this: She does it without any eyes.
They were surgically removed when she was a pup.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: amazing, animals, ball, border collie, chica, disabilities, dog, dog without eyes, dogs, eyes, farm, fetch, knox, no eyes, pets, video
The west’s version of kudzu — a noxious weed known as Dyer’s woad — is being sniffed out by specially trained dogs as part of a program in Montana aimed at eradicating the fast-spreading, yellow blooming, Russian-born member of the mustard family.
First found in Montana in 1934, the weed, native to southeast Russia, can grow four inches in a week, produce as many as 10,000 seeds, send its roots five feet underground and climb waist high, leaving little room for native plants.
That’s where the dogs come in.
Deb Tirmenstein and her dogs — a Labrador named Wibaux and a border collie called Seamus — joined Montana’s Dyer’s woad eradication project in 2011.
Wibaux, initially trained to find cadavers, and Seamus, who was rescued from a Bozeman shelter, now scramble up and down mountains sniffing out pockets of the weed. When they find some, they get a treat, and the weed gets sprayed with herbicides.
The project grew out of research conducted at Montana State University, acording to an article by the Montana State University News Service, published in the Helena Independent Record.
Montana Dyer’s Woad Cooperative Project started in 1984, and it has seen the weed’s presence drop from 17 counties down to seven – Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Carbon, Flathead, Gallatin, Missoula and Park.
The dogs are just the most recent tool in the battle.
Kim Goodwin, a research associate in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences in MSU’s College of Agriculture, started investigating the possibility of using dogs to detect noxious weeds when she was a master’s degree student at MSU.
Goodwin’s research showed that dogs and people complement each other when looking for noxious weeds. People can spot large flowering patches of the plants ; dogs can detect single plants, even before they start sprouting.
“Through our research, we found they are able to detect twice as many small plants as the surveyors do,” Goodwin said.
This year on Mount Sentinel in Missoula the dogs detected about 40 locations that humans missed, said Goodwin, whose original research used German shepherds and focused on knapweed.
Goodwin said she got the idea for using dogs to detect noxious weeds after reading about the ”Beagle Brigade,” which inspects luggage and boxes for the USDA at U.S. airports and ports of entry.
Trainers introduced Wibaux to Dyer’s woad by hiding the weed inside a box with holes in the lid and placing the box next to boxes containing other weeds.
When Wibaux realized she would receive a treat or get to retrieve a ball every time she detected Dyer’s woad, she started honing in on it.
(Photos of Wibaux and Seamus by Sepp Jannotta / MSU)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, border collie, control, Deb Tirmenstein, detection, dogs, dyers woad, eradication, idaho, kim goodwin, labrador, montana, montana state university, nature, noxious, pets, program, research, retriever, science, seamus, sniff, sniffing, weed, weeds, west, wibaux, woad
The police department in Union, S.C., is investigating the death, which occured sometime between May 2 and May 8 at Classy Pet Grooming, WYFF reported
John Johnson, of Whitmire, told police that he had dropped his dog off and, soon after, became ill and was hospitalized and treated for a stroke.
Unable to reach the business on the phone, he dropped by after he was released from the hospital. No one was there, so he peered through a window, spotted his unmoving dog inside and called police.
Officers arrived at the business establishment, where they talked to the owner by phone.
Shelly Vinson told an officer that she had tried to take Johnson’s dog for a walk on a leash, but it got away from her and ran away. She said she later found the dog dead under some bushes.
She told officers she carried the dog back to building and, before leaving, turned the air conditioner down low “so it wouldn’t stink inside the business.”
Police reports referred to the inside of the shop as “unsanitary.”
News Channel 7 reported that Vinson was issued a citation for animal cruelty.
An animal control officer removed four other dogs from the business, two of which have been returned to their owner.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, border collie, business, classy pet grooming, cruelty to animals, death, died, dies, dogs, groomer, hospital, john johnson, owner, pets, shop, south carolina, stroke, union, whitmire
To get inside a live dog’s brain, at least as one scientist sees it, you must first get the dog inside an MRI, which turned out to be a pretty big challenge for researchers at Emory University
In an effort to get a better grasp on what dogs are thinking, Gregory Berns, director of the Emory Center for Neuropolicy, sent his own dog and others into an MRI — not with the use of force or restraints, but after training them to willingly enter the noisy, claustrophobia-inducing machine.
That was no simple task, as the video above shows, and as he recounts in the current issue of Psychology Today.
The knowledge gained from all that work? Hardly earth-shattering, but it’s a beginning that could end up leading to some amazing places:
“Critically, we found that the reward system of the dog’s brain behaves very much like the human’s. When Callie and McKenzie saw us giving a hand signal that indicated they were about to receive a hot dog treat, a part of their brain called the caudate lit up with activity. This is the same part of the brain that in humans becomes active when we anticipate something good about to happen. In fairness, this was exactly what we expected, because all animals have reward systems that respond to incentives.”
The research was inspired by the dog that took part in the Navy Seal raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, Berns said:
“This should not have been particularly surprising, and certainly not to anyone associated with the military. Dogs had been part of military units throughout the 20th century. But the fact that a dog had helped kill the most wanted man in the world was something special. It showed that dogs were not just companions. Even though it could have no concept of democracy or freedom or individual liberty, a dog had helped defend a way of life…
“After learning the incredible things these dogs can do, I resolved to figure out what was actually going on in the mind of man’s-best-friend by using the tools of my trade: brain scanning technology.”
Berns started out with his own dog, a feist named Callie, and a border collie named McKenzie. Researchers watched what went on in their brains as they responded to two human hand signals.
But it took a long time to get to that point.
“ … We were naïve, and there were many hurdles. Ultimately, we wanted the dogs to walk up a set of steps into an MRI scanner, and shimmy inside a ‘head coil,’ which detects the signals from the brain but looks like a small birdcage lying on its side. Once in the coil they would need to put their head on a chin rest and remain absolutely motionless. A few millimeters of movement would completely destroy the image quality. And one more thing: when the MRI is running, it sounds like a jackhammer.”
Because of the scanner noise, the dogs had to be trained to wear ear muffs. All the dogs were allowed to quit the experiment at any time. “We used only positive reinforcement,” he said. “Just food and praise.
Berns said the research started year ago and is aimed at answering “the eternal question of what dogs are really thinking. More specifically, we wanted to know what a dog is thinking when it looks at its human owner.”
“As a lifelong dog owner, and currently living with dogs #6 and #7, I would like to think that I know something about what goes on in my dogs’ heads … If you saw me walking the feist you might naturally conclude that I really knew what she was thinking. After all, I talk to her like a person. Never mind that she doesn’t respond. We have developed a relationship that transcends human language. We gaze into each others’ eyes like people do. So surely there must be a bond there.
“Or is it all one-sided? Is the dog-human bond all a sham, albeit one played willingly by both parties, with the dog getting food and shelter in return for making goo-goo eyes at its owner, and the owner getting a simulacrum of undying love?
Berns believes “gazing into our dogs’ brains is like a portal back in time. We now have the tools to see how they see us. We can see the things activating in their heads that our hominid ancestors selected from the dogs’ wolfen brethren. And now we can see it from the dog’s perspective…
“Now we can begin to answer questions like: can dogs map human emotions onto their own feelings, in other words, do they have empathy? How much language do they understand? Just because they don’t speak doesn’t mean they can’t tell what we are saying.”
To learn more about The Dog Project, go here.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, border collie, brains, callie, dog, dog brains, dogs, emory center for neuropolicy, emory university, empathy, experiment, feist, gregory berns, killing, language, mckenzie, mri, neuroscience, osama bin laden, pets, psychology today, raid, relationship, scanner, science, the dog project, training
Here’s an ad we doubt would have flown during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In fact, it never saw the light of day anywhere (except online), having been banned from appearing during the 2006 Super Bowl.
In the ad, for Bud Light, an upscale dog owner, sweater draped over his shoulders, is showing off his purebred border collie. Then he asks the mutt owner he is talking to, “What can your dog do?”
To see the painful answer, watch the video.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2006, ad, advertisement, animals, banned, beer, border collie, bud light, commercial, dogs, dogs in advertising, marketing, mutts, pedigree, pets, purebreds, super bowl, tricks, westminster dog show, woof in advertising
In an effort to keep putting greens pristine, and keep golfers from getting all poopy-shoed, some golf courses, like Rebsamen in Little Rock, have turned to dogs.
That’s where a 12-year-old border collie named Fern has patroled the grounds for 10 years – up until talk began about retiring her in the last month or so, and another golf course requested her services.
“She’s gotten a lot of attention the last couple of weeks because of what’s going on,” said assistant city manager Bryan Day. “I’ve gotten e-mails from people wanting us to loan her to North Little Rock,” Day told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Registration is required to read the story.)
About 200 geese are living at Burns Park in North Little Rock, feasting on the greens and using the grounds as their bathroom. It has gotten so bad that city officials decided to let hunters come in and take care of the problem.
Opposition from animal lovers has led North Little Rock to rethink the plan, and at least consider the far easier and less messy route of getting a dog like Fern.
Border collies are used across the country to keep geese away from airports, neighborhood ponds, golf courses and parks. Generally, all it takes is a prolonged stare from them to send geese on their way.
Little Rock bought Fern for $3,000 in 2001 from a North Carolina breeder. Costly as that sounds, it was far cheaper than the $20,000 in labor the city had spent on repairing goose-related damage.
Her presence alone keeps the geese away — and she’s earned some attention along the way. She was on the cover of Turfnet.com’s 2008 “Superintendent’s Best Friend” Calendar, which features working dogs on golf courses across the country.
Now, at 12, Fern spends her time mostly kicking back in the club house, or going for rides in golf carts. Because there are no more geese, she has it pretty easy. But because her presence ensures the geese won’t return, officials have decided not to retire her, and not to rent her out.
“She’s got 300 acres out here,” Jay Carnes, the golf course superintendent said. “She needs to stay here and be buried here.”
(Photo: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arkansas, border collie, burns park, calendar, control, damage, deterrent, dogs, fern, geese, golf, golf course dogs, golf courses, hunters, little rock, pets, poop, rebsamen, superintendents best friend
When Denver Mayor Michael Hancock insisted that “Occupy Denver” choose a leader to deal with city and state officials, members of the movement picked a 3-year-old border collie.
“Shelby is closer to a person than any corporation: She can bleed, she can breed, and she can show emotion,” Occupy Denver quotes a Shelby supporter saying at the time of her election.
A press release from the group stated they reserved the right to elect a different leader in the future …
” … but for now, Shelby exhibits heart, warmth, and an appreciation for the group over personal ambition that Occupy Denver members feel are sorely lacking in the leaders some of them have voted for on national, state, and local levels.”
Shelby is expected to lead this Saturday’s Occupy Denver march, according to ABC 7. Occupy Denver said other “civic-minded dogs” (and their leash-holders) are invited to join the march.
The Occupy Denver group is occupying Civic Center Park, in front of the Capitol building on Broadway between Colfax and 14th avenues.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, border collie, corporations, denver, dog, dogs, elected, elects, leader, march, mayor, michael hancock, movement, occupy, occupy denver, pets, shelby, video, wealth
Here’s a memorable scene from the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals, held earlier this month in St. Louis.
That’s Bracken, a border collie owned by Diane Allen, competing in the Incredible 30-Weave Up-and-Back competition.
The event featured dogs of all ages, breeds and sizes in Olympic-style competitions, such as Freestyle Flying Disc, Head-to-Head Weave Pole racing, Jack Russell Hurdle Racing, large and small dog agility, Speed and Catch, and the crowd favorite – dog diving.
The world record for dog diving was broken during the finals, with a leap of 31 feet, 8 inches.
A few days later, some of the competitors traveled to New York for an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman (Oct. 6).
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agility, animals, border collie, bracken, competition, david letterman, diving, diving dogs, dog challenge, dogs, flying disc, huurdle, incredible, incredible dog challenge, pets, purina, racing, st. louis, video