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About Ludi

  • Rank
    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Westward, Cumbria
  • Interests
    Shepherding and farming
  1. This may or may not help, since I can't see your situation in person, and my advice may change if you can show some video footage of an average lesson with your dog. I've had the chance to get involved with the training of quite a few young dogs now, ranging from 4 to 18 months, and your case isn't really that shocking or surprising. A cool customer turning into a pushy devil isn't new nor worrying. So fret not! You mentioned that his excitement hits the roof when the car rolls into the farmyard. Is he travelling in a crate in the car, or loose and able to see out of the windows? I
  2. Very nice to hear, Alchemist! Glad your lambing is going well. And yes, these Cheviots were like popcorn... what a terrifically descriptive term for them. I'm looking into getting some fairly notorious sheep breeds for myself (Soays and Hebrideans), but after handling these wily SCCs and Scottish Mules, I know Meg should be able to handle just about anything they'll throw at her. And truth be told, I like them light instead of heavy and stodgy!
  3. There are quite a few breeds of sheep that get that sun-bleached brown (Hebrideans and Ouessants spring to mind), perhaps you could get in touch with someone owning those? Although, I'm not sure how popular they are in your part of the world!
  4. Zwartbles. Fairly good carcass size, prolific, easy lambers. Downside (or upside, if you're not me) is that they're quite sociable with humans and gregarious. I do not like that, personally. I like sheep who are indifferent to humans, so "pet sheep" don't gel very well with me. The Zwartbles really liked human contact. Could just be the case for these, as they were reared in a very pet-orientated way, but it seems across the board that they're quite a friendly lot. Good for training, though, I suppose. They are fairly robust, and are light despite being sizeable animals.
  5. Oh dear, I quite like Cameroon sheep and was thinking of getting a couple! Maybe I'll rethink that. Mentalitis is a good way to put it. GentleLake, we were extremely lucky with our Cheviot girls. They just squirted their lambs out. We put a pure Texel to them, so I was prepared for some large heads getting in the way, but our Cheviots had nice, wide-set pelvises and the actual act of lambing was incredibly easy. Just goes to show that breeding for those traits is not to be overlooked!
  6. Probably similarly crazy, Smalahundur! I'm not sure if you put your mothers and lambs into pens ever, but we did, for 24 hours following lambing, so the pair could bond and be monitored in case of any difficulties following birth. Even when you would simply walk past a pen with an SCC in it, you could tell she was just a hair's breadth from charging. And indeed, it happened to me twice when trying to draw milk from a stuck teat on a new Cheviot mother. I usually pinned the mothers against a wall with the side of my body and one leg so I could hunch down and draw milk. Well, these girls weren't
  7. SCCs (Border Cheviots) are smaller than NCCs. The SCCs were flighty as hell. Derek had a good way to explain just how they behaved: If you gather a group of Blackies, then send the dog on a look-back to gather more, the Blackies will gradually spread out but stay in the same general area you left them. If you do that with SCCs, they will just disappear. And it's true. It's like they only have two settings - frozen in place, and actively bolting. We had to bring in 6 girls having triplets, and spray-mark them. They were in their own paddock and getting into the ram feed, which has some kind
  8. Hey all, I've not been very good at updating on my young collie Meg's progress in work, but it has been going super well and a couple weeks ago, we came back from our first proper lambing. I drove from France to South Lanarkshire, in Scotland, and came back a better shepherd and sheepdog handler. Meg made huge progress with her in-bye work, and has shown she more than has what it takes to be a good lambing dog. The flock was a fairly mixed bag, with two separate lambings going on (of which we only worked one, next one is due to begin in a week or so). Our group was comprised of pedigre
  9. So good to see you again mum24dog! It was a pretty interesting course, the exhaust pen's location and the Shetlands proved to be a particularly potent combo for some of the less experienced dogs. I myself had to let Meg take the reins on the cross-drive since I had a Heb that fancied bolting for the exhaust, luckily, my dog knows what to do more than I do.
  10. Thank you! She's taking it all in stride.
  11. Meg is 14 months now; we've been doing a lot of yard work since she went through a brief phase of discomfort when near the livestock. She got over it within a few weeks. In this video, I work on keeping those flanks free, reward with some driving, and get her used to working sheep who don't necessarily like humans. It's all very well fetching sheep who just book it to a human's feet but it's another thing to move these awkward girls who don't really like me (and aren't used to dogs, either). We've been on holiday in England for the past 3 weeks. We saw the English National, we caught up w
  12. Saw your feature in the latest ISDS magazine! Congratulations! What a great journey you and Jack have been on. Best of luck with the new prospect.
  13. Bit of a random question. Anyone else heard of or experienced printing errors in their copy of "A Way of Life" by H. Glyn Jones? I'm missing entire pages' worth of text. The photos seem to have made it but the words do a vanishing act periodically throughout the second half of my (paperback) copy. I wanted to know if it was a known problem before ordering another copy. Great read otherwise.
  14. I have a similar issue! Away was/is my bitch's weaker/eye-heavy side, so to get her to give a better shape and breadth to her flanks, she was forced to disengage her eye when going that direction. It seems she's at an increased risk of flying into orbit. I'm going to try to introduce a check whistle near the top to slow her down - she's a speedy mover - but I'm afraid it might encourage her to draw in towards the sheep at the top. Any ideas how to get her to give the right space, but still check in on the sheep? Or is this just a matter of practice and maturity?
  15. Thanks! Yes, she loves driving. I use it as a sort of reward for nice shapes on her flanks, since I know this is something she loves to do, naturally!
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