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B Point

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    Ito City, Shizuoka, Japan

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  1. Thank you GentleLake. Yes..especially those first few months. I'm kind of baffled. I suspect it's just a case of being caught in the crossfire between the Hatfields and McCoys. I'm going to ask when things cool down a bit.
  2. Hello fellow sheepdoggers. I'm traveling across the country (Japan) to see a pup I'm very interested in buying. Pups were born August 8 and they will be staying with the breeder and siblings until the end of October. The pup is from a very solid breeding of Aled Owens Maid (sister to his Cap, daughter of Mac) and the sire is Ricky Hutchinsons Sweep. This breeder does the rare litter for herding folk like myself but she is primarily a sport and agility pup supplier as that is where the money is I guess. My question is....Is there any difference in how a pup should be handled in the first few months between a pup going to agility or a pup going to herding? Some here have said for me to be aware of this despite the quality breeding... I can't for the life of me comprehend how any difference is handling the pups at this young age would make any difference. I should have prefaced this with the herding groups in Japan all despise each other and this is a breeder in a "rival" group. I don't care about the politics and egos....I just want a well bred pup. Is there any merit to their concerns? Thank you..
  3. Here's my take as a relatively new handler but now trialing and working up to open class hopefully in another year or so. I have three dogs....one from sports lines, another all border from a mix of really nothing lines, and the third, an ISDS bitch from very good lines. All are young from 2.5 to 4 years. Sporter collie was tried on sheep with approximately 20 sessions but he has zero sheep sense and has become my sports dog as he was meant to be. Dog #2 is super keen for chasing sheep but instinct to herd is pretty much non existent. Still trying to make something of him with lots of round pen training but it's probably in futility. ISDS bitch is a cracking little girl that I took over last Fall after having been already started and we are now trialing together in Nursery and Novice. With your current dog you could find a trainer and they will help you determine if your dog is a prospect or not. I would just assume he's not but it will confirm it in your own mind by giving him a good shot at it. A good trainer will let you know as well. Also, this is a good chance for you to get in the pen as well. There is no substitute for hands on experience. Don't be in too much of a rush to get your next dog. Like any investment, due diligence is prudent. Invest in training videos, subscribe to the ISDS Sheepdog magazine to learn the lingo and to get a feel for what's out there. Attend as many trials and training seminars as you can... even if you don't have a dog, yet. There are never any guarantees that a pup you get will be a trial level dog but the better you can narrow down the variables the more chance you'll find the dog for you.
  4. As a Canadian living in Japan let me tell you sheep dogging is a linguistic nightmare. First of all, when I was new and taking herding lessons I had the hardest time trying to figure out who the hell "Frank" was... Took me weeks to figure out my instructor was saying "flank".....haha. More recently I helped the two guys going to the this years Worlds to register their dogs. I had been around these dogs for years and it wasn't until I looked at their ISDS paperwork that I found out...... MAC was actually MIRK, CAP is actually KEP....and MILLY was actually MERRY.....lol. And to my shock even my very own dog which I thought was "JAN" is actually JEAN on her ISDS card...haha
  5. I wouldn't worry too much about the off sheep behavioral issues. I don't think they have any bearing on how your dog will interact with the sheep. The way I see it.....EVERY border collie is set up for behavioral issues of some sort the moment you take the dog off the farm property simply by the nature of how and what they are bred for. As Maralynn mentioned ...there's a very good chance of your dog's "meaning of life" switch to be tripped. My thoughts on your question about being able to trial as a weekend handler is an overwhelming ...YES. You aren't going to win any tittles but you can get out there with your partner and have fun. I'm trying to manipulate my two sport bred Collies to herd rather than chase but it's very slow going and I'm about 70% reserved to the fact that it'll never happen. Both are beyond the stage of gripping willy nilly (it wasn't too bad) now, but any good trainer will or should introduce the dog in such a way as to not stress the sheep too much. Also and it hasn't been mentioned....but, be very aware that the herding bug is a very infectious pathogen to us humans. It will sneak up on you and before you know it you'll be sacrificing everything to "Chase the Dragon"....lol For newbies like me it is immensely rewarding. So much so in fact that I am in the process of buying a 3 yr old started bitch. I actually ran my first trial (not official) with her a few days ago as our introduction to each other and we hit it off great actually. Before i began even dabbling in herding I was all about frisbee....now, it's a very distant alternative. I have many to thank on this board for steering me down this road.
  6. Separate rooms. They don't interact until 10 or 15 minutes after I've taken the dishes away and their "foody brain" phase has passed. Trouble erupts if I don't do it this way.
  7. I keep reading these kinds of threads hoping for some newly found all mighty perfect chew....but alas, none exist yet. Right now my two medium chewers are ok with short sessions of frozen bully sticks and that hard Himalayan cheese bar thingy....freeze them and last quite a while. Other than that I have to be really careful with any meaty bones as it easily gives the boys the trots....unfortunately.
  8. Both of mine have so much fur you can't tell when I just cut them out. They only form on the butt, chest and the fuzzies behind the ears and the odd one on the tail of my ultra furry Tio.
  9. Sorry for taking time to get back to my post...it's been a very hectic week. Thank you all for the detailed responses. I had a suspicious feeling that yet again training off the field (in this case a lie down) has little to do with behavior when on sheep. I may in fact be asking too much of Juno as he is one of the least biddable dogs I've ever seen. Hence the heavy handed approach of my instructor. In that respect, maybe a good "stand" is what I should be looking for as Mr McCaig and Tea alluded to. He already has a better stand than a lie down to start with. So much to work on...thank you all.
  10. Hello BC folks. It's been a while. Juno my 22 month old has been getting a fair bit of elementary sheep time and to get us to the next step I need to get him onto a reliable lie down. At home or out for a walk while calm he has a reasonable treat based down. But out at the farm or on the field playing frisbee a lie down is impossible. My instructor is of the heavy handed ilk of forcing him down and maybe Juno being as stubborn as he is will learn from it, but I'm not sure if that is the prudent approach personally. Any advice to getting him that bombproof "I've just been shot" lie down would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Hello fellow BC friends, it's been a while. I must tell you about our day yesterday. As of late, Juno my 18 month old (and I) have been doing well with our herding lessons. He will never be a trial dog but he is progressing each time he is on sheep. Yesterday at the farm he was around 10 or so other Collies from true working lines so of course all dogs and handlers were calm, cool and very focused, and Juno is doing well in that area, too. Now the dilemma. Actually, Juno is a sports bred dog and could do VERY well in frisbee in the future. Yesterday there just happened to be the All Japan Frisbee Distance Finals in a field about 10 minutes from the farm so after the herding lessons I took Juno to check it out. Well, in about 10 minutes we went from gum boots and walking sticks to pink spandex, AC/DC and full on huge camping vehicles and rows of glitzy vendor booths. Working BC's that were calm and focused to BC's bursting at the seams, pulling and yanking in every direction to get at their turn to perform. I think even Juno looked at me with a "WTF??" expression. It was the perfect situation to illustrate how far apart the herding vs sports worlds are. I honestly think Juno would do better in the latter, however my heart is in the former. I just assume doing both isn't really an option....is it??
  12. Similar here...decent watch dogs. Juno, the one year old, barks at the wind or anything else for that matter. Tio only pipes up twice a day at the noon and 5pm neighborhood chime... Watch dogs...? Don't think so. We go walking in the bush and if there is a noise or rustling they ....BOLT,,,, in the opposite direction. Wimps.
  13. Yes, that is an option of having a dog from overseas sent to Japan. I do see the odd started dog come up on the FB Border Collie for sale page and given Japan's strict import law a mature dog is about the only option actually....or buying one from a proven breeder here...like Boya Farm etc. Well, as plans go, I have another 6 or 7 years until early retirement from my current career. I was hoping to have a few at least basically trained dogs by that time. I have access to sheep for training about an hour away from me so pretty much every weekend is possible. If and when we make this move it will be back up to Hokkaido with probably similar weather -10C to -20C winters. Having dogs from the get go just seems a logical preparation step.
  14. There are some really great posts in this thread. You know, I'm at a stage of my life where if either of my two young dogs "had it" instead of just "showing promise" my life's course would have already changed drastically. Indeed, the million dollar dog as illustrated above by Mr McCaig. Now, I'm faced with the dilemma of finding a third dog and trying it all again. How's that for stating the human element Waffles...? Basing my early retirement, and family's future on a dogs level of instinct to herd sheep......lol...
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