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Posts posted by Smalahundur

  1. No harm done, it's no biggie. In the written word there is a tendency to come over harsher than intended ( to be clear, I am talking about my own posts). 

    I assume you want to be polite. Btw it was not the gender that was the point, but the use of mr. in combination with a forum handle instead of a name ( I am male).

    Where I live now, contrary to my home country, mr and ms aren't used, just given names, no matter if you talk to a child or the prime minister ;)

    What do you prefer yourself, Donald or mr. McCaig ?

  2. These are some pictures of Seimur working today (6. October 2018). This kind of work is what we do most this time of the year; the organized roundups are done, but not all sheep have been found. These two we spotted from the road, they are in the hills over our farm. Not our own, from the next farm , 6 km down the road. On the last pic you can see our farm in the distance.

    Seimur is just 16 months old, but doing a great job. I would rather not have put him to work like this, but my main dog´s eyesight has deteriorated to the point I can´t use her anymore. I had to change gears and find out how to use him. Big part of that was daring to trust him....It turned out he was more than ready for the responsibility.

    These kind of jobs are not easy; an ewe with just her lamb is much more likely to challenge a dog, defending her lamb, than a group of sheep. Also they are completety non- dogged (no working dog on their farm) and to top it all off they have no interest in going to our farm, they´d rather go home! But Semmi, in stark contrast with Gláma is a courageous dog, and we got the job done, just called my neigbour he can come and pick his sheep up, they are in the stable.

    semmi smali 1.jpg

    semmi smali 2.jpg

    semmi smali 3.jpg

    semmi smali 4.jpg


  3. Not really. I personally use 4 different languages in my daily life, I can speak an additional local dutch language, frisian. Dutch dialects from the south can be rather difficult for me to understand, especially when spoken in their purest form ( f.i. by  elderly people). The difference between a dialect and an accent is pretty clear, a dialect is a local variation on a language, with differences in both vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.  An accent is just a difference in pronunciation (f.i. non native speakers).

    I think that "bluriness" comes from the fact that these kind of analogies can never be accurate, just a vague ilustration of a point. Whistle commands have in common with human languages that they are both forms of communication, but a whistle set is obviously not the same as a human language.

    I just tried to polish up your analogy a bit. I probably should have known better.

    I don't have your kind of troubles with whistle sets from other trainers, because I train my dogs myself, never bought a fully trained stockdog. If I would I think I would start by teaching the dog my whistles.

    Oh yeah, Donald, on a side note, and I have told you before, using "mr" in front of my forum handle is plain weird. As I pointed out to you multiple times, my name is not " mister stockdog". It kinda makes me feel as if I were a character in a children's book.

  4. Yeah, she is cute isn't she. Our lammetje ( you actually speak dutch?) is doing great, looking even cuter now all dried up, and growing by the day. The mother is one of our few polled ewes. She saved her life by this pregnancy, being rather old and failed to be with lamb last year she was on the cull list. To answer your question about how we know our sheep from those of our neighbours, there is in the first place the archaic but still obliged method of cutting a "mark" in the lamb's ear(s) after birth. You can find them here:  http://www.landsmarkaskra.is/eyrnamork_heiti.jsp At the same time all the lambs get a lambtag with our farmnumber and a serial number. The animals that get to be production ewes get that bigger adult tag you see in the picture. The color is an area code.

    Nice anecdote ms. McCaig. But as with anecdotes questionable if one can generalize it. There could have  been a myriad of reasons why the dog fell apart on the drive, to which the strange whistle sounds might just have added confusion ( a rather bold move btw, trying out your new whistle at a trial...;)) .

    Also I think your analogy goes goo far. If one wanted to compare whistle commands with human language ( a perfectly reasonable thing, I agree)

    I would rather say that a new whistle used by the same handler with the same whistle set would be a change in accent.

    A different handler trying to imitate an other one's set ( for instance the previous owner) might count as a dialect. But maybe rather, like the situation Airbear describes, like trying to speak a foreign language, having a basic understanding of it and knowing the words, discovering that the natives have trouble understanding you though you would swear you pronounce the darned word pretty close to how it should be. Been there myself as a dutch guy living in Iceland. Fond memories of trying to explain I had climbed the "Dràpuhliðarfjall" to someone....

    And a different whistle set unknown to the dog would be an foreign language one doesn't  speak, and is unrelated to the one(s) you do.

    But maybe our resident linguist could give us her opinion on these musings.

  5. As I am a bit playing with my whistles I decided to try out an app called " voice pitch monitor" someone on the novice and beyond facebook group talked about.

    That is a nice  tool for choosing and practicing whistle commands.. As the box says, it visualizes the pitch of the sound, and tells you what notes you are hitting.

    Played a bit with it using both my plastic bb whistle, and my fingers. It encourages to "clean up" your whistles , producing a nice smooth grafic sounds better ( actually the other way round of course;)).

    And I was rather content to find out that I am pretty consistent, and what's more, I pretty much strike the same pitch with my fingers as with the whistle. So it will probably be no problem to use both methods.

  6. 1. Chances are your dog will be very happy with a same species companion. Dogs interact and play with other dogs in a way they can't with humans. Also his new friend will always be there. There is a minor chance your attention might be regarded as " his" and will be guarded against the new guy ("jealous" behavior). But you know if your dog has such tendencies, and even then it is usually managable.

    2. Only trouble I have had with that is introducing an other bitch to the one we had. Both adults, trouble to the point we had to let the new one go. Introducung a pup to a male adult? You'll  be fine.

    3. I would say yes. I would rather not want to manage and raise 2 puppies simultaneously. But at 18 months your dog is allready pretty mature.

    So yeah, go for it, I think you shouldn't worry about your relationship with your current dog, if it is strong now it will stay that way, and no doubt you will enrich his life by getting another one.  Ever since I introduced a second dog to my first I am of the firm opinion that the pro's of keeping multiple dogs very much outweigh the con's.


  7. We'll see. I have an opportunity now to re evaluate my whistles in general, as it looks like my Glàma's working career is over. Her replacement has been set to work this roundup season (we have been training since lambing season, bought him started), and I am very happy with him. I use lie down, walkon and recall whistles with him, but haven't thaught him directional and lookback whistles yet. From what I read, most people agree with you Donald, that for those who can do it, finger whisling is preferable. So I might stick to that anyway.

    Btw I always thought I couldn't learn to whistle on my fingers, until the motivation of stockdogs got me to practise again. My wife thaught me:lol:.

  8. Very stylish! That two hole whistle might have been a good option  for my kind of use. I imagine the bigger airflow it allows would help with my whistle trouble. But in this botched shipment were just  three whistles, two aluminium and the brass one I took. I'll report how I like it when it arrives.

    Btw, we got an autumn lamb Maja. When putting the sheep in the stable last Saturday  to get the ones out of the herd we don't own  (roundup season) I noticed one of ours was in labor! Really lucky, if we hadn't, by sheer coincidence, done this chore last saturday we would not have noticed, and it would most likely not have lived through the night ( bad weather). Now it is warm and dry with mommy in the stable ( can post a pic when you are interested).

  9. You obviously haven't read the actual article; it strongly advises against grabbing the scruff. The described method of intervention is  also (or even especially) effective on big strong dogs, even if the intervening human is relatively weak.

    Nb. You propose to grab two fighting big dogs simultaneously by the scruff? I would like to see you accomplish that feat, if it weren't for the fact I don't wish you any harm...No man, that is not "the best tactic" at all.

  10. Terrierman has a rather well thought out post on his site concerning breaking up dog fights with minimum risk; https://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2011/08/knowing-what-not-to-do-in-dog-fight.html

    Grabbing the offending dog by the scruff of the neck by the way is one of the things not to do in a dogfight according to this article ;) ( your situation though scary enough probably wasn't a fullblown dogfight) .

    Glad you and your dog were okay.

  11. I own a couple of shepherd's whistles, low budget plastic ones. I can use them fine, no problem getting a tone out of them, whistling tunes, different commands, the works.

    But on dogs, especially under pressure, or wanting to whistle very loud ( distance, windy conditions) I kinda "poop out".  No big deal, I am a good finger whistler, I can whistle louder on my fingers than on those shepherds whistles.

    But that method has one big drawback, you regularly put fingers in your mouth that have been places you really (really) don't want to lick...Also I kinda like shepherds  whistles.

    So just yesterday I talked to a friend who ordered some bc stuff, a couple of whistles, lanyards, training dvd's. But by some screw-up of the icelandic post company, and probably customs she ended up with an unwanted second shipment of the same stuff being underway. So rather than sending it back she decided to sell it.

    So I decided to buy a Logan "supreme brass" of her. I don't mind metal whistles, heard good things about this model so we'll see. 

    If I don't like it then I think am going to give up on whistles and keep to my fingers.

  12. Thanks for the explanation Amy, that does sound like a different job is indeed the way to go.

    It happened to me once, giving up on a dog after about the same time period, and also raised from pup. My current youngster-in-training I bought when he was 8 months old, making it possible to start training and evaluating him right away. The breeder would have taken him back hadn't I liked him.  It has the advantage of when you don't like the dog's work you let him go after a couple of weeks, months tops, rather then a couple of years. In my opinion this outweighs the slightly higher pricetag, and missing the puppy period.

    I like that dog fine by the way, no doubt he'll make a good working dog. As for trials, we'll see what the future will bring, but I think the potential is there. Not the highest priority though it sure would be fun.

    Anyway, good luck with rehoming Davy!

  13. Just out of curiosity, what is it he lacks in  trialing ability? My main working dog is not fit for trials, but she is fine for farm and range work.

    I was wondering if that could go for your dog too, as you have obviously trained him for stockwork. It could mean not excluding someone looking for a workdog.

    ( Maybe it is a daft idea, I get the impression that people working their dogs, but not interested in trialling might be relatively rare in the US)

  14. 21 hours ago, Journey said:

    And you both are making my point. There has to be balance in training. The OP has an 11 mo., not a puppy, and a behavior that is being self rewarded for him, and painful to the owner. All the desensitization in the world may or may not work, yet the cycle will/can continue. Whereas a good solid correction can stop this pretty quickly. I am all for *teaching* proper behavior, however, when teeth are involved at this age I'm all for stopping it, immediately. Fastest way to a shelter is biting, drawing blood, not behaving. As was said, not many trainers have perfect *timing* how much blood is allowed while trying to desensitize? Common sense, and it sounds like the OP has it, says stop the behavior. Period. It's not fear based, it's lack of mental control.

    This. Not every behavior modification responds well to the "positive only" approach. Some even " not at all". If the behavior is so self rewarding that there is no other reward that can top it then you have a real problem on your hands if you are not prepared to correct said behavior. Even Karen Prior herself admits readily she could not, using her positive only methods keep her terriers from hunting local wildlife ( fun fact, she uses an invisible fence to manage that. Automated corrections, and in this case pretty painful ones are apparently  a-okay in her book...).

  15. Very cool looking pup, striking eyes! My Peli's ears were first both floppy, then one up, one rather floppy until finally settling for both up somewhere between 6 to 10 months. I think it is rather unpredictable at this stage, but if I had to bet I'd bet I'd say he will end up with something symmetrical. Either way, cute pup.

  16. That was a highly entertaining response. I especially enjoyed the part  "So I choose not to. If you, and a few other select members, would like to depart from the forum, and others with an openness to others, and an enquiring and less bigoted mind would like to engage, I'd be happy". Pray tell, who are the other "select members" you propose should depart from the forum so you can be happy, and free to share your wisdom? I hope I'll be in good company :D

  17. Well you may not like my response, but it  was genuine. I am interested in you as a breeder and your dogs. You claim to breed working dogs, in my, and about everybody's opinion here this is impossible without training and working  your dogs on a level signifacantly beyond "average" in the stockwork field.

    Your silence about these aspects of your breeding program in your very wordy responses makes me suspect you're just another breeder of barbie collies catering to the market of people worrying whether their dog matches the  sofa.

    Now, again, if you are really breeding for work, please elaborate, not to justify yourself ( believe me, nobody cares), but because we are interested in working dogs here.


  18. On 9/6/2018 at 4:11 PM, juliepoudrier said:

    I just think about it in terms of the dog's left (come bye) and right (away). It doesn't matter which way the dog is facing--it's either going to go to it's left it right....



    Yeah, but aren't you also a person that has no problems with different whistle sets on multple dogs ( I am also in the novice and beyond group, hiding under my wife's account;) ).  Up til now I never dared to try it, don't think I could manage, and have genuine admiration for those who can.

    I mean for us lesser mortal devoid of such superpowers of multitasking,  it can be a struggle just keeping our hægri from vinstri. I am also one that has to keep a strong sense of clockwise and counterclockwise connected to the flanks ( like a child learning to count on his fingers I  sneakly use my slightly bend arm/hand as a crutch, rather pathetic after years of handling :D ). And I still rehearse in my head on my way to sheep...

    it is easy to lose track of it in the heat of quickly changing circumstances. One never feels more stupid than realizing you are "correcting" the dog while you made the misstake yourself....

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