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Posts posted by BrittanyS

  1. but that doesn't mean I think my own experience is conclusive evidence.



    Couldn't agree more with this. Hopefully my posts aren't coming off that I know everything...just stating my preferences. :)


    I don't have a dead set opinion on early s/n and certainly wouldn't turn a dog down simply because of it, but if I had the choice I would certainly wait.

  2. My opinion is just that- my opinion. I don't know how you can say that ' you wouldn't base an opinion with just a small sample'....it's not like I am saying what I know is factual.


    From the small amount of male dogs that I've owned (under 10) to the many male dogs I've worked with in rescue (too many to count) to all my friends male dogs, in my opinion, the dogs neutered later on tend to be more 'manly'. That's what I like, I don't like the goofiness.


    Of course there are males that who have been neutered earlier that are still 'manly', but the majority that *I've* met are goofy. Just my opinion as of now...But that's the wonderful thing about opinions. They can change as we learn! :)



    Not one that was neutered in our ownership changed in drive afterwards and it isn't something I've ever heard any of my many, many Agility friends complain of. In our case, the ones that were extremely keen stayed that way and reached the top grade here while the ones that were stubborn, sensitive or uninterested didn't change either.


    Did you know the dogs that you say lack drive before they were neutered? If not, how do you know early neutering lessened their drive? And presumably they wouldn't have started Agility training so it would be hard to judge. Can you be sure that they weren't going to turn out the way they are anyway?





    Yes, I did know them as they were my own dogs. In my personal opinion, males neutered earlier ( >4 months) versus males who are neutered later on do tend to have different attitudes. They are more puppy-like and seem to have a very goofy personality. Not to say that this applies to ALL males as of course every dog differs.


    Edited to add: When I said I was coming from an agility perspective, I meant that I neutered later on due to making sure growth plates were closed. Upon rereading it I realized it could have been interpreted as meaning I neuter later on to make sure they have drive for agility.

  4. Brittany,


    As far as what to look for in those folks who are training I will give you some of my criteria.

    1. They are calm, quiet, confident when working all the dogs, their dogs and others.

    2. The dogs understand what they are being asked and some progress is being made in each training session.

    3. they have high expecations of themselves and the dogs

    4. they are able to communicate to you how to train, where you should be, why the dog is doing this or that, where the dog needs to be to accomplish a certain task.

    5. They understand and admit they do not know it all and are still learning

    6 They want the best for each dog and handler

    7 They treat each dog as an individual and adapt the training method to suit each dog.

    8. The dogs comes away happy and still wanting to work 95% of the time.

    9. They see the big picture and end result they are aiming for and accept small steps toward that goal, each session doesn't have to be perfect, they allow the dog to work and learn using its natural ability, step in to Help and show the dog what they want and leave some things alone picking the battles to fight.


    Big turn offs to me are - all the dogs are treated the same, this is the 'method' and the dog needs to figure it out, big egos, and they can't explain (or show me how it works) why they do such and such. I go the other direction when I see these things. Just because someone trains, is paid to train or gives clinics doe not mean they Should be doing those things. Stock work is a Team effort so I want a trainer who is part of the team.


    These are things I have seen and come to understand in my journey with these dogs. I hope you find it helpful. There are some great folks who train and give clinics out there and there are scary ones as well so choice wisely.




    Thanks Denice, that's really helpful! I'm going to print this out and take it along with me..

  5. This bears repeating. The whole idea of a cow-bred dog is one who, as Julie says, will readily bite either end when needed, but can also back off when appropriate. I like to see a dog use a bite as a last resort, only when walking up and eye don't get things moving. Now, on fresh cattle (never seen a dog), a bite or two on the heels (or often the nose, as fresh cattle will probably be looking at the dog wondering what it is and why it's there) is probably a good thing on the lift, as the cattle have no clue that they are supposed to move off the dog, and are generally not inclined to do so without some incentive. But, unfortunately, the idea of "super tough" "rip 'em up" kind of dogs working cattle gives working cowdogs a bad name. And it's too bad, there are many who are sheep trial folks who think all cowdogs are like that (without ever having seen a GOOD cowdog work).


    Off my soapbox (for now) :rolleyes:



    Was this aimed at me?


    The point I'm trying to make is that aggressiveness in and off itself does not make a cattle dog.




    I know it doesn't but when I first heard about these dogs I was wondering if they were a bit more of an aggressive breed. I didn't want to take my sheep bred Border Collie out to someone who was used to working with a "cow bred, aggressive breed". Even though it's apparent that my thinking was wrong, it's the whole reason I made this post. I wanted people to help me get a feel for this breed.


    As a newbie to herding you have to know that I am very inexperienced so I have a whole lot to learn, which is obvious as to how little I know regarding cow bred/sheep bred. So thank you for taking the time to educate me and not just write me off as another city slick, herding wannabe. ;)

  7. Hi Brittany ~


    Whereabouts in central CA are you? If you're in the Sacramento area, I will second the recommendation for Suzy Applegate. I live in Nevada but I've been going to her for "tune-ups" once a month. She's a good trainer - and she just won the Meeker Classic with her dog, Buzz. :) Here's her website: http://www.hoofandpawfarms.com/


    I've also heard good things about Tom Spenser and Bill Berhow. I just don't have contact info for them.


    If you're further south, Amelia Smith is out of Valley Center. Her website is here: http://www.bordersmith.com/


    Hope this helps!

    Cheers ~




    We see quite a few of those Hangin' Tree dogs out here on Nevada cow outfits. Tough dogs, good workers. :)


    Thanks for the recommendations! Sacramento is about 2 hours away from me. Not that far of a drive in general but just out of my reach for now.

  8. I think this is something of a myth. Yes, dogs who work cattle have to stand up to cattle (i.e., be willing to bite), but that doesn't automatically mean that the dogs have to be more aggressive (despite the whole macho cowboy image that seems to perpetuate the whole rip-and-tear cowdog thing) than any other working border collie (the exception could be for dogs who are, say, rounding up wild cattle out of the swamps of Louisiana and the like).


    To be registerable, Hangin Tree Cowdogs have to exhibit head and heel bites, but having a head and heel bite doesn't necessarily make a dog more "aggressive and in your face." Lots of good dogs who work cattle can also work sheep, and these are the kind of dogs that are the best, IMO. They aren't all bite, but instead are capable of notching it up as needed and dialing it back down when not needed.



    What I meant was, that I thought they were a more aggressive breed due to them being bred specifically for cattle. Most breeders who breed them do so for cattle work so they would need a more aggressive breed in general (according to google searches).


    I don't know this breed at all, so I can't say what their personalities are like.

  9. I have two Hangin Trees and one Border Collie. The HTCs generally have less eye and work closer to their stock (necessary for working cattle), but they are a gathering dog like the Border Collie. They are 3/8 to 1/2 Border Collie in their breeding. Fred Todd has been successful in training and breeding his dogs, so he is certainly capable of training a Border Collie. Even if you decide to go with a different trainer, I would take him up on the invitation to visit his ranch and see him work his dogs, surely an educational experience.


    I'm not sure of your definition of 'harsher', but the Hangin Trees generally have more bite and push than a sheep bred Border Collie, but a cattle bred Border Collie can have just as much bite and push. The HTC certainly isn't all bite, I have trialed mine on ducks, sheep and cattle with success.


    Good luck in your search,



    I figured they (Border Collie and HTC) couldn't be that much different...basically comes down to their breeding (like you said). Fred told me he has handled many Border Collies and feels confident that he could help me out. He has been nothing but welcoming in his emails. I figure it can't hurt to go out there. :)


    ETA: When I say that they are 'harsher' than a Border Collie, I just meant more aggresive and in your face...basically what a cowdog should be.

  10. To me the recall is the most important thing. Cute guy; good luck with whatever you do. He is gorgeous.


    Thank you!


    We are working on his recall as it's not too good. He gets distracted very easily but everywhere I take him we practice his recall. I'm hoping this gets him used to listening in unfamiliar situations.

  11. I really don't know where to post this, so please excuse my ignorance!


    I have been on the hunt to find a local trainer to help me with Dash, and so far I have only found one person. He is a very nice person, runs in cattle dog trials and has offered me the chance to go up to his ranch and see him work. I told him I have a puppy and for right now I would only be observing him before making my decision as to whether he can help train me.


    Well, he has Hangin Tree Cowdogs. I had never heard of this breed until he mentioned them and have no idea how they work. I'm thinking they are a harsher breed as they are bred for cattle..am I right? He also has sheep and would be training Dash on sheep. I guess I'm just asking if he would be able to train a Border Collie?


    Also, when evaluating a potential trainer..what things should I be looking for? I would love to be able to travel to a top notch trainer but right now I don't have the time. Herding will be a hobby, and I'll most likely dabble in trials when one comes close...but I really have no plans on making it to nationals.


    Here is a link to the gentleman's recent trial. CLICK. His picture is the one on the lower left.

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