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Posts posted by TaliahtheBC

  1. i dont understand the "watch sheep" command as a release? what are you releasing her from? what do you want her to do?


    I have a recall on my young dogs - honestly that is it. All the flanks and even stops are due to body language. I dont use names for flanks till later because I want the dogs learning how to work sheep not learning commands. I just keep moving and turning and helping the dog keep the sheep between us call off then send with ssss or sshhh and correct with ah or hey. If she pushes sheep past you back up and let her bring them back. If she is not paying attention and the sheep leave let them go and make her regather. Let her figure out the consequences of her actions from the sheep. But that means there has to be sheep that are honest and act like real sheep and not sheep that just wait on the dog. If you are working on 'tame' sheep then they are teaching her and you the wrong things.


    Dont turning herding into obedience. Allow the dog time to figure things out on her own with help not commands. If she learns how sheep move and how her movement effects sheep she will have it. If you tell her every step she will relie on being told. Let it be her responsibility. If she is from working lines she knows more about sheep than you do let her use it.


    My young dogs are doing chores, driving and inside flanks, penning before they really know their flanks or more than a stop and walk up. The commands are easy once the dog learns about sheep.

    This has all been rather useful information, will update after todays lesson.

  2. So an update and another question for the masses this morning!:


    I realized that my dog had not fully grasped the concept of me telling her to watch her sheep and I had not understood the importance of her knowing it, so we went all the way back to zero and I just walked around telling her to watch her sheep and walked away from her and them ( in a safe way) I did this enough times that when we would walk up to the fence she was already looking for them.


    After doing this I noticed a huge increase in her speed and when I would release her to watch her sheep I would name flanks as she took them just by redirecting her with my body, and this seemed to work..


    My conclusion is that while she is sensitive to pressure I had made a training error and let it go unnoticed for too long, my question is how would one go about pushing a more sensitive dog off stock?


    post-18976-0-22760200-1465395181_thumb.jpg I love posting the day before training, I get such wonderful feed back from y'all!



  3. I realized today while practicing on rented sheep, that the issue more so then being pressure sensitive was that at the time of making the original post she didnt fully understand what I mean by watch her sheep and I really didnt do a good job of teaching her flanks, sensitive? Yes. But more then that I had made mistakes and stacked training on her faster then she was learning it.


    So we went back to zero and did a good amount of me walking around and touching the sheep and telling her to watch them, while naming flanks when she was doing them just quietly here and there. Then after it became apparent that she was making the connection I stopped gave her a break went back in, told her to " watch sheep" which focused her then gave her a go bye and she zipped around and brought them back.


    Way better then the pitter pattering she was displaying. End rant.

  4. I also had a dog once who was very sensitive to pressure and corrections, so I had to be very aware of her threshold and what she could tolerate. My now ex-husband couldn't work her at all because he was just too heavy handed and had no patience with her so she'd just shut down with him. But I could work her, though I was careful not to overface her because if she got herself in a bind with difficult livestock she'd take much of my trying to help her in the heat of the moment as correction and not do too well with it.


    I had another dog who when she was young was sensitive to pressure and correction, but as she became more sure of herself she was able to deal with pressure and corrections just fine. Once she had the confidence and realized a correction wasn't the end of the world, she worked very well.


    All dogs are different, so Taliah may always be a dog who never responds well to pressure and you may just have to be aware of that and accommodate it. But it's also possible that as she gains confidence and builds trust with you that she'll be able to handle more pressure and corrections. Just take it easy with her and go at her pace as the two of you learn to work together and you'll find that balance point that allows the two of you to work together as a team.


    Hoping things go well and that you'll keep us updated on your progress.

    Yep shes really just a sensitive little girl but today I kept my eyes on the sheep and not her as much and just telling her to watch em and patting them and walking through them and by the end of the day she was being super confident and working like a natural. I also did not carry a crook and just acted as laid back as possible and gave her full control. Iam going to practice this sunday in a similiar mannerand see if I cannot duplicate results.



    I'm guessing that's something like the arena trial thing where dogs are required to hold a packet of sheep quietly off a gate while the handler opens it, as part of a course.


    ~ Gloria

    Thats precisely what I mean! :)

  6. So even though my trainer offers to rent sheep for us to work between lessons I keep asking myself how I can get more time on sheep, we live in San Diego county California and there are plenty of people with sheep in the area but would it be rude to just ask them? I have also thought about just talking to ad posters on craigslist of people looking to sell sheep in hopes of networking out some possible work for us to go do, the experience for my girl would be payment enough. Thoughts or advice?

  7. Dear Doggers,


    The OP wondered, "Will this be a lasting behavioral issue or will her attitude towards stock gradually improve and get better as she sheds concern of wrongdoing?"


    Building confidence takes patience and skill. The more clinics and lessons you can fit in the better. When working her in the small ring, try working using body language w/o verbal commands.


    Donald McCaig

    I have found that in small quarters work she excels, doing a hold or running shoots penning etc shes just fantastic can put sheep in just about anything haha, so hopefully we will get past this, I go for a lesson once a week and then twice the 2nd week so we get a decent amount of time out with them.

  8. Thank you! I think shes got a hard enough will and desire to work coupled with us having a good bond that we can build her up over time or at least I hope. Shes my world and I think she will do good. She is still young after all...plenty of time!

  9. So an update; and




    Let me ask you first how it is you know that she is a mixed breed of Border Collie, Aussie, and Heeler? Is that because you know that that is her background or is it possibly due to someone looking at her and guessing? The reason I ask is although you only have posted a couple of head shots, she looks like a Border Collie and from what you say she seems to work like a Border Collie.


    Aussies and Heelers both tend to work in a more upright and close manner (in general). Many people will look at a Border Collie with a short coat and all that mottling (freckles) and think "Heeler" because they first think of Border Collies as being rough-coated and without all the mottling. Others will look at a dog with varied-colored eyes or merling and think "Aussie" when both those characteristics can be found in Border Collies.


    A couple of experienced Border Collie trainers in your area are Anna Adams Guthrie (stockdogranch on these boards) who is located for the meantime near Pala, and Jennifer Clark-Ewers (who might not be on the boards) who is located down closer to the border with Mexico. Anna is also involved with NCA and her main interest is working dogs on cattle, although she also has sheep and trains on them as well.


    I would not *overdo* the praise (access to the stock is reward enough) or encouragement as that itself can be felt by the dog as another form of pressure, which sounds like something you would want to avoid at this point in time. Find where she is comfortable, let her have her sheep and work them with minimal pressure and direction from you, letting her instinct help to guide her, and increase your presence as she becomes more comfortable and confident.


    I can PM you with Anna's contact information if you would like.

    Ah I know this from meeting her parents, I think dad had some miniature australian shepherd in him and mom had a little heeler, I work with a trainer at least two times a week and after today we were able to figure out that if I turn my back and give her flanks then she works extremely well. She is pressure sensitive and my eye contact was over pressuring her, so today was good progress and helped point me in the right direction!

  10. Hi there as this is my first post please forgive any grammatical or other forms of error when it comes to terminology. So I have a 16 month old mix of the three most regularly recognized "herding breeds" Aussie, Heeler, and Border collie but the border collie comes through the strongest. With her JHD I was told she was rather keen had a medium strength in her eye and was nice to her stock.


    Now the problem that Iam finding myself faced with when we go for a lesson is that she holds back, like shes concerned with making an error, she doesnt do this every time but it takes a gratuitous amount of praise to get her to speed up and cover correctly, now she had a bad experience with another trainer before hand but her Tentativness stems more from her intelligence. I have let her back myself and the flock into an arena corner and encouraged her to watch em/get em and then gone back in the field and was able to see how much more focused and turned on she was.


    Iam going to go back into a smaller area today and see if squaring her flanks up better will maybe help her, she also thinks that when I tell her to get out that she is in trouble. Any help would be great


    Thank you!


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