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Everything posted by blackacre

  1. You do sometimes get one dud in an otherwise stellar litter. Sad but true. I had one out a repeat breeding, lots of top flyers in the first litter and, as it turned out, in his litter too. Poor little bugger never even got close to making it--and he went to a VERY highly qualified trainer after me who did his best with him. Actually, we speculated that he might have been dropped on his head by his mother, or whatever the dog equivalent to that is. Happily, he found his niche with a (very) small cattle operation where he became the farmer's best buddy and rode around in his pickup with him everywhere. Happy as a clam, dumb as a box of rocks. A
  2. Yes, I think that would work, Laura. Good idea. The idea is not to cause pain but to shock the dog into believing that you can affect his behaviour even at a distance. The "long arm of the law", if you will. A
  3. Interestingly enough, I now see you made the identical comment on another thread. Apparently, the deer are also to be left to fend for themselves. Hey, they're only wild animals. God forbid we should take the smallest risk of injuring our precious pets. And . . . you still haven't graced us with your solution for Hoku either. A
  4. Northof49: Urban myth. But either way, I bet you have the perfect solution. A
  5. Ummm, what, you think the deer was maybe packing heat? Kristen, I suggest you put him on a long line, invite the behaviour, let him get a head start and then flip him but good once he reaches the end of the line (run the other way if you need to). Then, once he picks himself up, call him back nicely. A couple of sessions like that and he'll be thinking twice before he blows you off on the recall again, deer or no deer. Yeah, it's harsh, but so is killing deer. Even if he never catches one again, chasing after one is bloody dangerous too. A
  6. Hey cool, Darci. Glad it worked for you. Kent had a whole bag of tricks like that. He was a treat to work with, one of my favrouite clinicians of all time. I'm sorry he's retired from the scene, even if it is only temporarily. I look forward to having him back one of these days. A
  7. Kent Kuykendall suggested an exercise to me that might be useful. Start the dog at your feet, with the sheep in sight but a fair distance away. Walk her up (it might take a little to persuade your dog that this is really what you want). Flank her a ways. Stop her, walk her up again. Flank her again. You can use both flanks in this exercise--you're not creating an outrun per se, but are developing flexibility in the dog and conditioning her to approach sheep more directly without affecting them. Once she is in range and is getting into the bubble, you can flank her all the way around and get her to bring them back. Rather like our anonymous poster's description of the zigzag I would think. I've seen a Nationals winner do this, just to test his control of the dog on the outrun, and it was pretty impressive. Neat party trick too. Same guy can use his dog to shed a flock of sheep at two hundred yards, into smaller and smaller segments. Now that's control. A
  8. How far away from you (and the post) and at what acute angle will tell the dog how far away the sheep are. Likewise, a handler will want to put a wide running dog pretty well in front of her and pointing up the field. The opposite for a dog that runs tight. Some people will actually manually 'place" their dog where they want it to start from; most will walk to where they want the dog (with the dog beside them on the correct side) and then step back to the post. A
  9. Wish I was there Anna. Sounds like a little piece of heaven. A
  10. Likes his away, huh? Merry Xmas! A
  11. Why run to the judge, especially if he/she has a faulty perception of what it takes to get the job done in the most efficient and correct way? And, even if you think it could save you a point or two from that judge on the lift/fetch, you'd still have to get the dog back into the right place and get the sheep back on line, thus losing points on the fetch line, no? Or worse, taking the risk of losing the sheep entirely (think the double lift at the Bluegrass, for example.) A
  12. Well, not trying to bum you out, just hoping to give you the benefit of my own experience with many many intact males in a house situation, sometimes 3 or 4 at a time. Well, always, actually, because I only have males (although at the moment they are all dogs I raised myself, which reduces the tension significantly). And of course, I haven't actually observed your two, just going on what you've described. To me, it sounds like they've come to an uneasy temporary accommodation that has the *potential* to flare up, especially in a situation like feeding time. Yikes, I don't think I'd EVER start doling out food with potentially antagonistic males waiting around, just to take one example. And, I'd agree with others that Taz is getting in touch with his inner stud dog, which is always, shall we say, a dangerous phase. Also of course, if Craig was neutered late in life, there will be little appreciable difference in his behaviour. So, take it as you will. Whatever else, it's a fascinating lesson in dog behaviour to watch this kind of stuff and get good at reading it. In more general terms, it's the essence what I love about training dogs. Good luck, A
  13. Ummm, I'd say you have a nasty fight brewing. Usually if it comes to that, it will settle the dominance issue, but you might not like how it shakes out. The vet bills suck too and, worst of all, you've created a fighter where before, at least one of them was not. I speak from personal experience. I made some mistakes with my first male--out of ignorance--and the effects linger to this day. Since then I've had at least 8 or 9 intact males go through my house and have never had problems aside from this one dog. However, since he IS the first, and the king of the world (my world, anyway), the others are the ones who have restricted or highly supervised access, for their own safety. So, be aware and watch it: bringing an older intact male into a household with another intact male is always rife with danger, even if the "intruder" was not a fighter in his previous situation. You may be missing some of the subtler signs and allowing tension to build. A
  14. Bill! Jeez. Lisa, it's more in how you work them rather than numbers. I have anywhere from 25 to 50 breeding ewes (and their lambs if I breed). I'll keep a few lambs for replacements, so the group as a whole is always reasonably fresh. Sheep that are constantly worked by young dogs (ie a lot of outrun/lift/fetch) or weak/useless/coyote-type dogs will get sour very quickly. The safest place for them is right with you, so that's what they'll always try to do. Or they'll learn that they can beat the dog and get attitude. Sheep are not dumb, eh? If you make sure to work your sheep with your advanced dogs and fix whatever bad habit the sheep develop from being used to train the young dogs, they should stay useful for a long time. Breed dependent of course, as discussed above (I haven't ready most of the thread but I assume the available options were discussed.) A
  15. Hmmm. I wouldn't call my St. Croix deer, although the new lambs sure can be sprightly. For a while. Good stamina in the heat, mind you. However, they're certainly not particularly hardy, kind of feeble actually. Easy handling; they're weak as water and give up in seconds, in contrast to the Border Cheviots that fight like lions and are incredibly strong for their size and weight. Could be a regional difference of course; they've been pretty rare around here (Canada) until recently, so the ones I started with might well have been seriously inbred and cull material a la Bill's take on the rare breed crowd. A
  16. So, we had our first fun trial in the series. Handlers could leave the post to help their N or P/N dog. So, in a fit of hubris, (and after a couple of coolers, natch), I decided to put Glen in for fun, as a non-compete. As far as Glen was concerned, though, it was dead serious: We get the pen (the pen gate was staked open for this round). A
  17. Hey, cool Wobin. I love how his tail goes down within a few seconds and how, even when he beats you when you step out to get him to change sides, he doesn't get stupid and dart in. Nice one. What's his breeding again? From Laura Hicks, was it? We might need to get together and play with puppies when I head down to VA this sprig. Christine sent me some pics of Ross last week, so maybe we could all hook up somewhere. A
  18. Well, I'd say it was a lot more complicated genetically than one's observation of a dog's phenotype ie how much it shows and where. I've seen predominantly white pups produced from a breeding between classically marked black and white parents (no white up the stifle etc.) In fact, I seem to recall that Stu Davidson's Craig produced a lot of white even though he was not, to all appearances, white factored himself. While I'm thinking about it, I also seem to recall that it is now understood that the gene that causes white on the body in a piebald pattern is different from the white factor that produces white heads. A
  19. Hey Wobin, Dunno, never had one before. Kelly Murnigham is convinced he is her old Gus, reincarnated (his birth and Gus's passing were within a day or two of each other.) She keeps trying to steal him. So, how about some pics of your new ones? How's Moss doing? Have you had Billy on sheep? Where are the pictures? Maybe we need to start a thread on young 'un's just starting out. How about it Denise? I betcha you have a few of your littermate to Moss that would blow my pathetic contribution right out of the water. A
  20. Awwww. Glen says hi. He's not actually that big at all, he just has a lot of presence Hey Christine, are you out there? Have you started Ross yet? I'm waiting for a report from Scott on his. He said he was going to go home and try his after he saw mine! 'Course, Mr. Spot Glen is bound to be the best one of the lot. A
  21. Hey, that'd be cool Bill. Format alert: we're doing a modified arena trial format at two of the trials due to numbers of sheep overwintering and size of field. Nonetheless, we've had a lot of fun with this in the past. <<Dear fellow sheepdog enthusiasts, - triallers and spectators alike.. For relief of trialling season withdrawl and great training opportunities, we are offering 3 fun trials around southern Ontario/GTA. 1. Sue Jewel's in Utopia (Barrie) - Sunday, November 25th, 2007 2. Viki Kidd's in Georgetown - Sunday, December 30th, 2007 3. Andrea de Kenedy's in Stouffville - Sunday. January 27th, 2008 The format at 1 & 3 will be arena style based on points and time; # 2 will be a field trial type with a few twists. Along with running your dog(s), there will opportunties to judge, hold, work in the pens etc - all the other cool stuff in the trialling experience. We will need everyone to pitch in make this happen; and what better place to learn than in a relaxed atmosphere amongst friends. The class structures will also be relaxed - everyone trying the courses at the level of assistance you feel your dog requires. (i.e. the N/N handlers can walk with their dogs on the drives, standing away from post on big outruns, trying your dog out at a higher level etc.) And the big bonus...there will be a super-duper 1st, 2nd & 3rd prize for combined scores over the 3 events! Cost per entry/per trial will be $10.00; We hope to be able to hold a couple of go-rounds each day to to allow multiple runs...of course the daylight and # of entries will dictate. Trials will start at 9:00 am each day to get the most of the day. Entry is the morning of the event - but e-mail notice of intent to attend would be appreciated. Bad weather cancellation announcement will be sent out via e-mail within 48 hours of event. Lunches may be sandwiches ordered in or potluck or served chilly -- something...this small, but important detail to be determined by each event host closer to the date. See you all there - and tell your friends too! Regards, Sue, Viki & Andrea<<
  22. Hi Melanie, 10 months. A friend of mine describes him as a little old man in a puppy suit. The puppy does come out regularly, though (I didn't post any of those pics!) A
  23. Hey Pearse, Come on up and bring your wife. We're having a series of fun trials this winter. Mine will be at the end of January: Not only are they fast as lightning, these particular ones are spooky as hell ever since one of their brethren got picked off by a coyote last week. Needless to say, they're being put away every night since then, A
  24. Hi J. D, Actually it's a student's dog, Meghan Thacker's (Quickeheels) breeding. I tried to get one similarly bred after I saw this one, but apparently I wasn't a suitable buyer, since I wasn't willing to sell the pup back to the breeder at puppy price if I didn't want to keep him. That doesn't work for me after I put a lot of training into a dog. Howwever, there were a couple of Toby pups (Crow grandsons) at the last clinic I held: take a look at the pics from that if you haven't already: Scott Glen Kelpie only clinic I particularly like the red and tan one that went to a sheep farmer a couple of hours from me. I think he appears there somewhere, along with his black and tan brother. So, tell me about your Scrimageour pup. Have you been working her? A
  25. Hey, Gloria, tell me I'm seeing things. Is that Glen?!??! With a new collar? Uh oh. Well, Esther, not too bad so far. Maybe it's gonna be OK Gloria. Wow! He's listening to the human. Must be a trick. Too early to relax, though. He IS a puppy. Yup, I knew the human was keeping something from us. A Kelpie! Jeez. Let's get outta here Esther!
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