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coconutretriever

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About coconutretriever

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  1. Thanks all. We've had a lot of other priorities for the last few weeks so have been on basic maintenance with the BCs. I have let them follow me around on chores and I'm pleased with what I see - there is prey drive, they're observant and smart, the sheep watch them but are not terrified. Hope I'll free up some time soon to order and watch some videos!
  2. Hmmmm, that's an interesting perspective from the sheepdog side of the shepherding job. If like me you've raised sheep without herding dogs altogether for a few years, you do have to have some relationship of mutual trust with the stock to be able to do any work with them. Like any animal, they are able to learn from experience. I never turn my back on a ram but my sheep know and trust me because of how I treat them. Maybe once you have sheepdogs your focus shifts away from interest in knowing and respecting the intelligence of the sheep themselves? I guess a good herding dog would preclude th
  3. Found them!! Thank you for finding these! I do have a circular pen about 20' across that could work for an initial introduction. Food for thought!
  4. That sounds workable. How big a circle, and do you think 4-5 sheep would be enough? Guessing I should pick flightier/more nervous/reactive ewes...? This would be pretty easy to do with electrostop... I also have some small permanent fence catch pens here and there on the farm where I could put a few animals and let the dog run around the outside.
  5. Hybrid vigor is good in sheep. My healthiest ewes and young rams are St. Croix Whites with a nice cross of dorper in them - black heads or piebald markings - and keep a little mane/mohawk of wool along their necks/backs in the cooler months. I'm completely new to all this sheepdog stuff, but I'm guessing you can make sheep a bit "heavier" just by handling them quite a bit and getting them used to you. It seems to be the case with my sheep. Anytime I've gotten a new group, they bolt for the hills off the trailer and run from us at chore time. Over a few weeks and months, especially when gr
  6. Wow, thanks all. This was the guidance I needed!! I will check out some videos. Agree bonding with, and training them, one-on-one is the next step. Gloria I completely agree with you about the wandering thing. As livestock farmers who have suffered losses from stray dogs (a 9-pound feral Cairn terrier and his 11-pound feral Bichon partner killed two of our prize 30lb. heritage turkeys last fall) we of all people should know better than to let dogs roam. They can be shot if harrassing livestock! I agree fully that most pet owners have no clue what their dogs are capable of when in like comp
  7. Also of note - my sheep are all well-broke to LGDs - they'll butt an annoying pup gently. And a handful of the older ewes are hand-tame and seek petting, or at least have a small "bubble" or flight zone for human presence. Their rotational grazing paddocks tend to be fairly small (5-7 days) and they are used to us. Don't know if that would make a difference. But I was more thinking of human/dog interaction to get a sense of their potential first. What behaviors/factors would cause you to 'go no further' investing your time in training a herding dog?
  8. Subbing this thread... I'm in the southeasternmost US (the Virgin Islands) and also looking for training resources. (Posted my story in my own topic - rehabbing rescue crosses...) Gideon's Girl, I am raising hair sheep, mostly organically and 100% pasture fed, keep about 40-70 head on 15-40 acres of pasture, happy to answer questions about caring for them. Did you decide on a breed?
  9. Thanks Gloria! Agree your solution would be the ideal one and the absolute fairest to the pups and to the sheep... however, we're on a Caribbean island so I'd estimate the closest stockdog trainer in the Southeast would have be 'shipped in' – at least a $5-600 flight away plus transfers, lodging etc. plus their time... no stockdogs or trialling clubs or dog-broke sheep in the region, if there were you're absolutely right I'd love to get help locally! I'm considering trying to work in auditing a stockdog clinic sans dog next time I'm visiting family up in the states, but that could be month
  10. We have an organic vegetable and hair sheep farm in the subtropical Caribbean. Just 40 acres and about 40 sheep + 2 LGDs at the moment but looking to get up to about 100 sheep. Also turkeys, chickens. Over the New Years holiday a pair of young stray border collie crosses (BCCs) showed up at the farm. We're trying to decide whether we should hang onto them, I'm looking for help evaluating their potential ...and management tips so I don't ruin their potential! (I'm a total newbie to stockdogs but have a couple years experience with LGDs, moving sheep, and obedience training shelter mutts. I'm w
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