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  1. Aled will be in Cochranville, PA for a training clinic November 2 and 3. He will also be available for private lessons on MTW, November 4, 5 & 6. A couple spots are still open. Don’t miss an opportunity to work with such a gifted trainer. contact Judy at jlg789@epix.net for info or with questions.
  2. Also IMO, with an experienced dog, the training method has to be considered. Was the dog taught what driving means i.e holding sheep on a line by balancing them, considering where the 'pressure' is to hold them on that line and adjusting accordingly, nudging sheep to get them moving and then letting them move as opposed to banging into their bubble and continuing to push.
  3. Hi Amanda, Are there any special things you do to help prepare a young dog for the rigors of trialing? I'm specifically thinking/looking ahead to the time I might be able to go farther afield to attend trials in other parts of the country. It seems there would be many travel days with seeing no sheep not to mention the trial time probably being significantly less than the training time the dog is used to experiencing. Does this become an issue for some dogs, especially when trials are strung back to back with travel time between? Are there other pitfalls you have experienced that you could alert me to in the hopes of helping me miss them? (-: Or really any advice at all would be appreciated. Judy
  4. Thank you, everyone for your interest. All the working spots in the clinic at Windcroft Farm June 29th and 30th are full. Auditors still welcome. Judy Gambill
  5. Sorry for the typo -- it should OBVIOUSLY read -- Tom Wilson Clinic!!!
  6. Windcroft Farm in Cochranville, PA (southeastern corner) is happy to announce that there will be a Tom Wilson clinic here on June 29th and 30th. There are a few working spots available and auditors are welcome. For more information please contact Judy Gambill at jlg456@epix.net
  7. Thank you, Amanda. Just to make sure that I am understanding this correctly. I need to watch the work and if that is going properly, I deduce that the dog is right -- at least when using lightly dogged sheep. Also, that I should get him out and about in order to broaden and deepen his experience. When at a new place, start closer to make sure all is well. If not, then I am to set it up again in oerder to teach him the 'right' way. Would you share some of the techniques you use to help teach this when necessary? Thanks, Judy p.s. Sorry about the post last night, I started, but didn't have time to finish and somehow I still managed to repost your answer!!!
  8. Hi Amanda, Just wondering what your criteria might be for deciding whether or not a young dog (under 2) is wide enough off his sheep on the outrun and lift. I have a young dog when gathering the sheep here (they're all perfect at home, right?) is wide enough to not disturb the sheep before getting behind them which is great. He has not been very many other places so am hoping he will transfer this when he does get to new places. I have tried him with just a person standing with the sheep and that will occassionally pull him in a bit tighter so I will continue to work on that. However, after recently scribing for an open class at a trial, it was quite obvious that he is not nearly as deep as the open dogs. So my question (finally!!) is When do you worry, i.e. work on getting him wider? When do you just let his natural maturity and experience with sheep help teach him the right thing? In the end, I want a good thinking dog who reads the sheep, knows what the job is and learns to adjust to the sheep he is working. I do NOT want a dog who is so wide that he is out of contact with his sheep nor one that is not thinking about what he is doing. Hope that is clear enough and any advice will be gratefully accepted. Judy
  9. As Julie said, backing up from the sheep gives the dog a place to 'bring' the sheep. When you back up, don't just stroll along really step out and move! I'm not suggesting that you run by any means, but think of it as exercise for yourself and walk! This helps create even more space which in turn helps the dog have even more success in bringing the sheep *to* you. Judy
  10. Thank you, Amanda. It is nice to hear that you think we are on the right track. Sometimes patience is what is required, but hard to find!! I will be especially careful to assess myself and what I am asking of the dog so that I am not adding to the problem. (-: Judy
  11. Hi Amanda, I writing to ask for any advice you can give to help me teach a young dog the fun of driving. Cal is 2 1/2 years old. On the fetch he demonstrates good control of his sheep, a thinking attitude and bidability (very happy there!) However, when it comes to the drive he is still having a tendency to get too careful. He sometimes acts as if he is just doing it because he knows that's what I'm asking, but he doesn't like it and he would be much happier to sneak around and bring the sheep back. I have started out with just driving short distances to a place and then leaving the sheep there and going back to start something new or setting up a working situation that would require a drive to complete. Now I'm trying to stretch him out of his comfort zone. At first any driving practice was mostly cross driving at short distances so he could still see me, but now I am asking him to drive them away from me. I am continuing to walk behind him so I'm close enough to 'help' if neccessary. Just lately he's showing glimpses of 'getting it' by automatically reacting to any movement on the sheep's part and putting them back on line before I have to issue a command. He is stopping less frequently, needs less encouragement to keep going, will drive and then do a bit of a cross drive as well. I think we are on the right track, but would love to hear any suggestions you can give. Thanks, Judy
  12. Hi Amanda, I am seeking your advice for what to do about my dog(s) sniffing the set out dog at a trial. Both are intact males, one is 5 years old and one is 2. The 5 year old (Tweed) can be sensitive and I first had an experience of him stopping on his out run to sniff the ground. It happened last year at a trial when the sheep started to move and the person setting tried to catch them with her dog. Tweed stopped and started sniffing, but was able to easily pick up his sheep after I waited a sec and gave him a redirect. Since that time, however, it seems that he will stop and sniff when the pressure gets to him. Recently, it has escalated to sniffing the set out dog at trials. I have worked on this in training, having people over as well as going to new places and asking people to hold or just be on the field with their dog to use that as a teachable moment if he stops to sniff. It seems that it is really just at the beginning before he's actually picked up his sheep, once he starts working, I really don't see the same issue. So the last thing I need to add about this dog is that if I correct him too strongly, he gets very, very careful and loses his natural flow and covering of the sheep. The other dog, Cal, is just 2 years old and has just started trialing. His first trial of the season he did great, but 2 weeks later, he also stopped to sniff the set out dog. On his way back to the sheep stopped to visit the set out person as well. With him, I'm thinking it is just getting used to the pressure and excitement of a trial and will disappear (I HOPE) with more mileage, but don't want to have a trial habit starting either. He calls off of the sniffing easily enough and in training when he slows down a simple sush will just keep him going past the dog and to his sheep. So I guess that's about as much information as I can think of and any advice would be very welcome. Thank you. Judy
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