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    East Tennessee
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    working my dogs

ItsADogsLyfe's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)

  1. I did manage to get in touch with Lil and hopefully she'll find someone to work with her and Bill. I was in a hurry on my original post and put Bill as the sire of Lil's Bill and my Mike and it is Ben. Not sure where my head was.. Tec, Tombstone is one of my favorite movies. I think Val Kilmer portrayed Doc better than any other movies I've seen. But that's my personal feelings..
  2. I just was reading Lilliam's thread and as the topic is locked and she posted as a guest I can't respond. I know LIlliam personally, in fact I own her Bill's brother, Mike. They are son's of Alasdair's Ben out of a Wisp Granddaughter owned by Ken Willard. Lilliam does know how to work dogs but has been out of it for a number of years, as I myself have. I do have sheep however and work my Mike occasionally. Not sure if you are aware Lil, but Mike and Bill are 11, not 12. If you ever are in my area, E TN, you can come work Bill on my sheep.. Seth has retired himself from sheep and will only work chickens and then only if he feels like it. Meg was working my horrible ram when she was 12 last year and taking some pretty good hits, but she kept at it till she had that mean son of a ewe controlled. He's gone now and the 10" bruise on the side of my leg is healed so I only have nice sheep now.
  3. Back when I was working and training my dogs more, they're all older now. Wherever we trained at, whether it was my house in the field across the road, or out in the desert, we would each bring several dogs in various stages of training and tie them to a fence or the truck and work one, put it up, then work another. Obviously the older more experienced dogs would help the younger ones by holding sheep and fixing wrecks. This way the younger ones could watch and learn also. I miss those days as I have nobody to work with anymore.
  4. Well, I've had the good fortune to be able to work my dogs on sheep. My dogs are rarely on a lead and I can control them from a great distance with a whistle. My dogs would do anything I wanted them to do so they can work. They are more than just a pet, they are a partner and I don't shock my partner and break his trust in me by doing something to him he can't understand. I teach him by using methods that make sense to him. You may have worked with dogs, but you obviously haven't worked with a working Border Collie or you wouldn't need to ask me such a question.
  5. I know we've been through the pro/anti shock collar discussion before, but I don't think I've ever commented personally on it. I've seen too many dogs that have had the collars used on them and it changes them. One dog, an Aussie had been sent to a "trainer" at the age of 6 mos and that "trainer" used a shock collar on the dog. That dog is now over 6 years old and her mind has never been right since she had the collar on. I get dogs in my groom shop all the time that have shock/barking collars on and I have a real hard time handling them because they don't respond right. They get jumpy and panic at the drop of a hat. Sure you can beat a dog with a leash or anything, but at least that dog knows where its coming from. And I'm certainly not condoning beating a dog with anything. My belief is that an electrical shock, no matter how mild, triggers an instinctive response in people and in other animals. If its strong enough it can kill. I don't understand why people take this shortcut when training their dogs. Instead, show the dog what you want and when he understands praise him for it. I own chickens, guineas and sheep. I sold my goats. We had a fox come up and grab a guinea with all 6 dogs out running around. The dogs were on the other side of the fence, but still within 30 feet of the fox. I had to go through 2 gates and I don't run as fast as when I was young, but that fox couldn't run real fast with the guinea in his mouth. When I got within 20 feet he decided he'd lost and let the guinea go. I've had several taken by some kind of predatory bird, also with all the dogs loose. Border Collies aren't guardian dogs and as good as my dogs are with my poultry I would never leave them loose with them. If I need the birds put away my dogs are great, but to guard them I would not choose any of my Border Collies. They may sit and watch them all day, but they won't let the birds move or eat or drink water. Well except for my old guy, Seth who will eat chicken feed with the chickens now he's decided he's retired. There is a lot of good information on these boards and there are still some really good, knowledgeable people who devote their time to helping new, and not so new people. They have years of experience with the breed and can offer some good advise. Please listen.
  6. You know, I've been in the "dog" business most of my life, in one form or another. I can tell if an E (shock) collar has been used on the dog. I can read dogs very well and dogs that have been subjected to a shock collar do not act the same, ever again. Of course some dogs react better to it than others, just like humans all dogs are different in how they handle things. No matter who is handling the dog and how it is used, it does not make sense to the dog. Sure, the dog can be conditioned to respond to the collar, but it will never make sense to the dog. I just love how humans can justify anything they want to do and build their egos doing it.
  7. Not to detract from the original topic, but I wanted to address this statement. The dog was not working sheep in the video, therefore any pressure she may have been feeling does not apply to a working stockdog. My best bred dog is very human shy and would definitely "bug out" when approached by people he either doesn't know or hasn't seen in a while. However, he does not back off pressure when working sheep no matter who is near. You can't tell how a dog will work by what it does or acts like off sheep. Just another example. One of my other dogs is very sensitive and used to be fearful of people when he was younger. He can't handle any sort of pressure "off" sheep. When he is working he becomes a different dog. One well known handler once told me Reign could probably move anything. He was very grippy and I could not call him off when he was younger. Totally different attitude when working than when not.
  8. I was taking a lesson with my young dog and the sheep had just been moved into the field with the LGDs still with the flock. They eventually were taken out but before that happened, we went ahead and sent my dog and he being young and very energetic flanked all the way around full bore and smacked right into one of the LGDs. Enough to make it stagger a few feet. My dog looked mortified but the LGD just had a look on his face that seemed to show disgust for the stupid young dog. He was not aggressive with my dog, but it could have been disastrous if he had been.
  9. I know the dog "Hollman's Mike" Mikey. He could have been a really good working dog but his previous owner didn't work him to his full potential. A Friend of mine tried to buy him and she would have done very well with him, but they decided to sell him to Karen instead and she has bred him to death. Very sad, I really liked that dog.
  10. A friend lent me this book. I have only just started it but it seems very similar to Donald McCaigs "An American Homeplace" only goats instead of sheep. Has anybody else read this book? The Goat book I mean.
  11. Goats will eat grass, but they are considered "browsers" not "grazers" like sheep are. They will smash down fences, or go under or over if they see something they like better than what they have. They prefer browsing on weeds, trees etc to grazing grass. That said, I have a doe and a wether right now. The doe will graze with the sheep for the most part, the wether will get out of any fencing and browse the trees, shrubs,poison ivy, whatever he can get to instead of grazing the grass. They are La Mancha's, so they are a dairy breed. I'm not sure if maybe the meat breeds might be better grazers. I have mine on about 1 acre of some graze and some browse. Including my sheep I have 9 animals and I have to supplement. Also I would think 1 buck to 9 does would be more than sufficient.
  12. Not to get too off point, but for Tea, I agree about the wolf hybrid thing and most do not have wolf in them. The dog I am talking about did most definitely have wolf in him. I got Lobo in the early 70s. I also agree they do not make good pets and I have actually preached this myself to people having studied the wolf and hybrids after I got Lobo, and realizing they do not make good pets. Lobo had enough dog in him to overcome the wolfish tendencies, but occasionally I would see something in him not dog-like. Sadly I lost him at only 5 yrs old after leaving him in a kennel and coming back to find he had chewed thru a concrete and metal kennel, leaped two 6 foot fences and got hit by a car on the highway. I was devastated to say the least. Back to the instinct vs trainablity vs intelligence though, Of all the dogs I've owned I would have to say my most intelligent have not been the most biddable. In working Border Collies on sheep I think the instinct is necessary for the job, but if there is no trainability the dog will be useless to you. Again intelligence is also necessary for working out of sight of the handler and being able to figure out the best means to get the job done. Given the variety of situations that can occur it would be impossible to train for what might happen, so the intelligent dog would hopefully be able to figure out the best course of action. Not to ramble, but my Seth is my most intelligent dog. He can be hard to work with sometimes though. He wants to do things his way, does not always want to listen to me but when the chips are down he has always bailed me out. I was having the dogs hold the flock off me so I could open the field gate and let them out. My older female and young dog were holding them back while Seth stayed off to the side. My very stubborn hardheaded female decided to flank around the bring them before I was ready. The young dog followed her so I had two dogs running the flock towards me and a very narrow gate. I called Seth's name only and he saw what was happening and ran over to me and held the sheep off me until I could get out of the way. That was intelligence on his part, plus 12 years experience working sheep and working with his stupid owner. My anecdotes can be taken for what they are worth...
  13. I had a wolf hybrid one time. He was 1/4 wolf, 1/4 husky and 1/2 Doberman. He looked like a pure black GSD. He had some wolfish traits and was hands down the most intelligent dog I have ever owned. He could be taught anything in a very short time, IF he wanted to do it. If he didn't, he would not do it. If he thought I was showing off to people with some trick he would not do it for me, but if the other person asked him he'd get all hammy and do it with gusto. Biddable? I'm not sure. Intelligent, extremely. He was with me during the time that people were supposed to show dominance with their dogs. The training trend at that time was to throw your dog down on its back and hold it down and growl at it to show your dominance. I did this and he promptly kicked me off and then stood over me as I lay on my back. I said ok, we'll just be equal partners then and for the rest of his life that is what we were.
  14. Agree with Sue. I had a Weimaraner that was very intelligent. She could figure out lots of things my other dogs could not. But it was all things that benefited herself. She could escape any enclosure and figured out how to jump on the old chain link fence and hold it down so the other dogs could either get out or back in when they could not and would not ever go out alone. She figured out how to get the sample packets of dog food out of a cardboard box that was on top of a microwave that was on top of a counter. Without disturbing the box or anything on the counter. The only thing that gave her away was the empty packets lying around. Had she put them in the wastebasket I may never have known. She was horrible at obedience or any other doggie sport that required training. She was not even good at hunting or retrieving. My most biddable Border Collie is not my most intelligent. My most intelligent Border Collie is definitely not the most biddable.
  15. I might try that. Only problem is I only have 3. One doe with her baby and 1 wether who thinks he can eat dogs for lunch. Through the fence that is. It would be nice putting him in his place as he drives me nuts. That exercise might be good for this dog too. Thanks!
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