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About Bicoastal

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  1. Update! I took my dog to a new-to-me trainer. I laid out our history, the problems as I saw them, my concern for the sheep, and my unwillingness to permit pain be inflicted to attempt to change behavior. I handed him my fee and said it's ok if you see what you need to see in five minutes and need to tell me this isn't for us. He had me get my dog out and observed us for maybe 45 seconds before taking the lead. Somehow, he managed to not get into a battle from parking lot to pen (I do), while still requiring -and getting, through lots of patience- a loose leash and responsiveness to the
  2. Thanks makes sense, Hooper. My dog had no history at this location. I was stunned at how chill and "normal" he was when we walked towards sheep where he could see them as well as hear and smell them. He definitely has a strong history of excitement at the instructor's location. So do I need to find a new farm to go sit and read a book? It seems like there are actually lots of herding folks in VA but no one knows me or my dog and my introduction of where we're at would naturally alarm anyone who owns stock.
  3. I was able to attend one afternoon of Tommy's clinic. I did not ask Tommy about a private lesson since he was busy clinic'ing. Someone else said his schedule is full year round and he doesn't have room to take on new clients . I learned a lot, and a lot was over my head. Tommy's quite funny, even at the end of a long, tiring weekend. My boy hung out in the car for hours and hours and did great!! I walked him for a minute before hitting the road again and he saw the sheep in the smaller front field but didn't lock in on them. For me, where we stand now, I took that as a good thing. Th
  4. Good info, thanks Julie! I will speak with the family and send Stacy a note if I can go.
  5. Thank you for all of the suggestions and the discussion about flooding. I agree my dog doesn't seem fearful. I guess if I find the read-a-book method too upsetting, I could abandon it and head home. Or is that the worse thing I could do and I need to be prepared to sit there all day AND all night until he's calm? Once I stand up, I bet he'd ping up again. Sit back down. Rinse repeat until we can walk around the pasture calmly, yes? Then I reward him by letting him move the sheep while on lead?? I've seen Tommy a couple of times and have exchanged a few words and a joke with him. I would be
  6. I'm in Northern VA. I'm happy to drive a couple hours and understand we may be done after 15 minutes. The dog was bred by a sheepdog trialer and trainer. I was connected through the sport world. I don't know if the litter's intention was for herding or sports. I'm not knocking the trainer we've been going to at all. He got some great work out of my dog, warmly welcomed me into this community, and was big enough to say he doesn't know what else to do. Maybe it's not the right training match, maybe my suburban lifestyle is too incompatible (weekend warrior sheepdog), maybe the dog has a
  7. Hey Blackdawgs, thanks for sharing your own heartache. I appreciate hearing your story. I really benefited from Sarah Stremming's online class called Worked Up. Biting at the end of the run seems pretty common. I think Sarah would say something like the dog might be frustrated because he expects to receive reinforcement at the end of the run but doesn't in a trial. She might suggest practicing an end-of-run routine so the dog learns what to expect when the run ends and when/how he will receive reinforcement. That class revolutionized how I warm up my dog for agility. He doesn't need any revvin
  8. Apparently I just missed an opportunity for a Jack Knox Clinic in VA. Darn it! As far as don't take him to just anybody [because trying to 'screw him down' is only going to backfire], where do I go? Yes, he pulls me to the sheep and I try to hold his brains inside his head with commands from car to sheep. I imagine all of that is building pressure. He snaps into a "here" with a BAM! He obeys with loads of excitement. When I ask him to lie down, he drops like he's been shot, ears and eyes forward as his brain screams "SHEEP!" How do I avoid that control and pressure build up before we e
  9. I really appreciate everyone's time and care in reading and replying. It gives me a little hope. For the suggestion to take a chair and sit, I think I would be "flooding" him until he gives up. I would definitely need a cable or chain because he'll chew a regular lead. He would probably whine, bark, leap about, maybe scream. It is a passive exercise and no one is exerting any force on him, but it seems like it would torture him. The trainer has already said he has no quit. With his arousal starting before we leave the car, it would probably be better training to start that exercise be
  10. Dog is 3yo. I don’t have any video because… disaster. Gloria, how does one dial a dog down? I know from the horse world that “lunging down” can become it’s own problem as more and more lunging is needed to tire a fitter and fitter horse. Running him before work definitely adrenalized him but adrenaline surges as soon as he unloads from the car. If dialing down is physical correction, the trainer remarked he feels no pain. My response was he can’t think, so he’s not processing cause and effect even if he were beat with a baseball bat. Ludi, he travels crated in the car and the crate is
  11. I posted a year ago asking if an agility person could cross over to herding. In the Fall of 2016, I started taking herding lessons with an experienced sheepdog trialer and trainer. I was quickly addicted! My boy was lovely, with typical baby dog issues. Another experienced sheepdogger visiting watched him move pregnant ewes and commented how perfect he was for a beginner like me: "so nice and easy" while still powerful. I still remember the day the lightbulb turned on over his head and he suddenly "got" balance. It was like magic! He was described as soft to handler, steady under pressure
  12. I know someone near Winchester (PM me) and there is Keepstone Farm in Berryville.
  13. Hey B Point, I just saw your response. If my boy never had to leave farm life, you'd never know he had any issues. I'm sure his breeder didn't, stating his best trait was how he gets along with every dog. Thank you for the encouragement. I have really enjoyed each lesson. The trainer is fascinating, it's a gorgeous time of year, and watching the communications and pressures is mesmerizing. My dog loves it and I guess ain't half bad. I leave the field sooo proud of my boy. Just this morning, I might have bought a better coat and pants for withstanding sheepdog training. Maybe. Just may
  14. My dog's "behavioral problems" nearly vanish in the presence of sheep. He thinks, he exercises self-restraint, he is confident. He is not a gripper. He can watch other BCs with a quiet, intense excitement that appears more stable and thoughtful than the barking outbursts when watching or hearing BCs run agility. As a newbie to this, I do feel conflict keeping pets (sheep) for our pets. The farm and the livestock exist for sheepdog work, not for wool or meat where working them would be a necessary by-product. After our lesson, we did some practical farm work but still those sheep and that f
  15. I have studied Control Unleashed, Control Unleashed Puppy Program, BAT, and Fired Up, Frantic and Freaked Out. I have taken online classes for reactive dogs with Amy Cook at FDSA. I have had him about a year, so he is ~2.5yo. He is on L-theanine and Melatonin daily. My vet does not want to prescribe a rx for daily anxiety. I have a plug-in DAP diffuser. We use Alprazolam (generic Xanax) and Trazadone for extreme sound situations like thunderstorms and fireworks. We also tried chinese herbs on the recommendation of a vet but they caused GI upset. I'm trying. Simply walking in the ne
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