Stickiness and other obsessive behaviors

I was talking last night to my good friend who has just started trialing her young dog.  She is lucky in that she has access to her dog’s breeder who is a successful Open handler for lessons.  I wish I had that luxury, but if you look into the “stories” of how many of today’s successful Open handlers started out, they just did it, which is what I’m going to try to do.  I have no choice in the matter.  Given the price of gas, I refuse to drive three hours one way for a lesson.

Then again, the more and more I think about trialing, what goes on behind the scenes, what it takes for a dog to be a successful trial dog, etc., etc. the more I think I should just maintain my dogs’ status as solid working dogs (vs. trial dogs).   There are no upcoming trials for a while so I can figure out what I’m going to do at my leisure.

Anyway, I regress.

My friend’s instructor told her that she should not offer to “exhaust” at trials because it can make a dog so sticky that it may take months to correct it, if you can ever correct it and that it flattens out an outrun.  “Exhausting” means using your dog to pick up sheep after a competitor’s run and returning them to the pen with the rest of the sheep.  Usually the sheep know where the exhaust pen is and when they are released from the pen after a completed run (or released where ever they may be after a run is completed) they high tail it to the exhaust pen.  So, when you send your dog to pick up the released sheep, they are usually running towards the dog vs. standing still or running away.

“Stickiness” also referred to as “clappy” is a way to refer to a dog that gets transfixed by livestock.  They stand (or lie down) and stare at the stock, refusing to move or take commands.  They have too much “eye.”

There is some pretty strong evidence  that autism is caused by vaccine damage, specifically from the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.  There is also thought that autism could be caused by the mercury-based preservatives such as Thimerosal used in childhood vaccines such as the MMR vaccine.

  AUTISM MERCURY POISONING
Motor Skills and Movement Disorders Uncoordinated; clumsiness; rocking; circling; flaps arms; walks on toes; difficulty with walking, sitting, crawling; difficulty with swallowing or chewing Uncoordinated; clumsiness; rocking; circling; flaps arms; walks on toes; difficulty with walking or sitting; difficulty with swallowing or chewing
Sensory Disorders Oversensitive to sound; does not like to be touched; abnormal sensations in mouth, arms and legs Oversensitive to sound; does not like to be touched; abnormal sensations in mouth, arms and legs
Speech, Hearing & Language Development Delayed language or failure to develop speech; problems with articulation; mild to severe hearing loss; word use errors Loss of speech or failure to develop speech; problems with articulation; mild to severe hearing loss; word retrieval problems
Cognitive Ability Borderline intelligence; mental retardation (may be reversed); poor concentration and attention; difficulty following complex commands; difficulty with word comprehension; difficulty with understanding abstract ideas and symbols Borderline intelligence; mental retardation (may be reversed); poor concentration and attention; difficulty following complex commands; difficulty with word comprehension; difficulty with understanding abstract ideas and symbols
Physical Characteristics and Functional Disturbances Weakening muscle strength, especially upper body; rash, dermatitis; abnormal sweating; poor circulation and high heart rate; diarrhea, constipation, abdominal discomfort and incontinence; anorexia; seizures; tendency to have allergies and asthma; family history of autoimmune symptoms, especially rheumatoid arthritis Weakening muscle strength, especially upper body; rash, dermatitis; abnormal sweating; poor circulation and high heart rate; diarrhea, constipation, abdominal discomfort and incontinence; anorexia; seizures; tendency to have allergies and asthma; more likely to have autoimmune symptoms, especially rheumatoid arthritis
Behavior Difficulty sleeping; staring and unprovoked crying; injures self (such as head banging); social isolation Difficulty sleeping; staring and unprovoked crying; injures self (such as head banging); social isolation
Visual Problems Poor eye contact; blurred vision Poor eye contact; blurred vision

 

I know this is a stretch, but the above chart shows the similarities between autism and mercury poisoning.  Note that “staring” in the behavior row.  Staring aside, there are a lot of other symptoms in the chart that dogs suffer from today.  One big one in Border Collies is oversensitivity to sound. 

Thimerosal is used as a preservative in many canine vaccines. 

Measles and mumps viruses are paramyxoviruses, just as the canine distemper is in the dog. These viruses are pantropic viruses, going into all tissues, but have a real affinity for the central nervous system.  Dogs have been vaccinated, many on an annual basis, for distemper for a long time now. 

Again, I realize it is a little far-fetched to blame stickiness or clappy behavior on vaccine damage, but maybe not.

What got me thinking about this concept was the instructor’s comment that exhausting at a trial could cause damage to a dog that would take months to correct, if it ever could be corrected.  How could a day or half-day’s worth of work cause that much damage?  Maybe it could in a dog who already had brain or nerve damage from vaccines.

I know I’m going to have some training issues with Fern because of the amount of eye she has, but I am confident I can work through it.  That she hasn’t been vaccinated (except for what is required by law) means that she isn’t going to have the nerve damage that vaccines can cause; she’s going to be clearer than another dog who has been vaccinated.  With Fern, I simply need to get my butt in gear and start training her.  She’s learning a “get up” and “walk up” command from her daily work and I can already see a difference in her willingness to move when she’d like to stare down stock.