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Everything posted by blackacre

  1. Oh great! Now I'm going to have nightmares in which an earlier version of the Creamsicle freezes to the ground in some anonymous back yard, pathetically attempting to wave his yet-to-be glorious appendage appealingly. "Please take me in! I promise I won't melt all over the rug! I'll be charming as can be, you'll see. Just give me a chance!") A Woo Too Clan member
  2. Woo! Woo! Woo! RDM, I was about to ask you how you got him. WHO could have given up a treasure like the Woo to rescue!?!?! I need to know more. And, puhleeze, Luisa, I BEG you, I NEED to have the Woo emoticon all for myself, to use in my Woo adoration posts. Can I? Can I? Huh? Fan of Woo Member of Woo Too Clan (Yikes, help me! I think I'm turning CP. SEE what you've done, Mr Woo!)
  3. RDM: You're making me crazy. Are you doing it on purpose? I LOVE that dog. Something about him . . . HELP ME! I bet he doesn't even work sheep worth a damn and I DON'T EVEN CARE! A
  4. Sheep like this are really really hard to shed, and, by and large, you were doing a really good job here. On the first attempt, you got the dog in close enough, were holding your side pretty well, got them strung out and the hole began to develop. However, as Kathy says, when you called him in, the dog was too far behind the eye of the sheep you wanted to turn back, and the effect of the dog coming in was to push her forward towards the two sheep being shed off. Better to have flanked him a bit first (away), as they were stringing out, and then called him in. A good shedder will do this without being asked, as the opportunity develops. Then, sheep being what they are, they were warier after the first failed attempt and basically beat you by curling around you and/or folding around you. You have to hold your side and not let them do this--really really difficult with sheep that have no respect. You did have an opportunity at one point to ask the dog up, when they were facing the dog, so as to get them to fold back away from him on either side like a banana peel, two and two, which is often the only way to shed sheep like this. Hard to explain, but an important variation to learn ie you don't always have to have sheep in a line, strung out, to do a shed. You can try to contrive this situation by, effectively, pushing the sheep onto the dog. A good judge will dock you points, but whatever it takes to get the job done, sometimes. Again, though I have to reiterate that it's a lot easier to see things as an observer, so I'm only typing this because you asked for input. You probably did the best you could in the circumstances. I have a TERRIBLE time with dog broke sheep myself. Again, basically a good job. On to the micro-analysis, since you asked: When you had the sheep in the mouth the first time, the dog probably slashed the come bye flank a little bit and thereby pushed them out of the mouth. Then he went too wide to bring them back, although not catastrophically so--and certainly better that than the opposite. That trait (going wide, along with staying calm and listening well) is probably what commended him as a good dog for a relative novice. However, you may have been a bit tentative in asking the dog up once you had them in position and looking into the pen. This happened a couple of times--once on the approach, before they got pushed out of the mouth, and once the second time you got them into position. Sometimes it's not a good idea to give sheep too much time to think. And, no I don't think you should have done more yourself. (In fact, you probably made the sheep warier on the first go by shifting around, shuffling your feet, etc.-- I think Kathy pointed this out too?) But, to get back to your question, I, personally, I like to see the dog do the work. Your job is to guard your side and no more, IMO. Again, I actually think you were doing a good job. Just throwing out some ideas because you asked. A
  5. They're excellent dog training sheep--for certain uses. They'll cooperate if the dog is right but will turn and challenge if he's wrong. I really prefer my Border Cheviots overall, though. Quick and agile, like little quarter horses, and they don't get sour--always ready to make a run for it if they think they can get away with it. Also much easier to handle, hardy, good mothers, pretty rabbit ears . . . A
  6. Shetlands and Dorpers for the discriminating stockdog owner:
  7. He's pretty damned cool, isn't he? Note the tail! Sheep are North Country Cheviots. The brown one is a Friesian cross. A
  8. Gosh, I sure wish I could do that! You mean I can?!?! Sheeping is the best! Damn, I'm so good it scares me.
  9. Yeah, that was my impression too, from what I see around here. Popularity is never good news for a working breed, I'm afraid. A
  10. Holy crap! Makes my heart go pit-a-pat to see that many sheep all together. When was this? On your trip out west last year? Jealous. Insanely jealous. A
  11. See any Kelpies? Apparently there were a few going. A
  12. Hi Mark, Great pics, but that's not Brock, and I don't think it's Clue either. Clue is a smooth isn't she? A
  13. Ah indeed, that is Thomas. I met him a few years ago when he was over here to judge Lyle Lad's trial but haven't seen him since. I believe he's one of the judges for the Bluegrass this year, so I guess I'll see him then. Is that is place? Do you train with him? I'll be in the Orkneys June 23 to July 1. My son is in the conducting course held in conjunction with the St. Magnus Festival, so I'll be attending that. However, it ends on June 27, so we'll have a few days to travel around. Re Herdwicks, also found this: Herdwick Society A
  14. Oh my. That is quite heartbreakingly beautiful: vista, drystone wall, sheep, dog, the lot. Does your partner trial? Is he in Scotland now? I will be in the Orkney Islands late June and am looking for some trials to attend in northern Scotland. Maybe he'd know of some? So far I've found one in Lairg, June 30, but that's it. A
  15. Kirsty, One of the folks on the UK Kelpie website trains on Herdwicks--or maybe owns some? I was asking about them since they look so unique. Apparently, they lose the brown colour when they get older. Hard to believe, but there it is. Another nugget of information about them that I learned recently is that Beatrix Potter spent a great deal of time in her later years involved with the breed, which she either helped establish or at least preserve, I'm not sure which. Apparently, she was the head of the Herdwick society for many years. A
  16. Soooo, the guy beats his wife? Who would think??!!? Ha ha kidding! Actually, I think the guy's pretty cool--even if he is a wife beater. A <giggle>
  17. Yup, Spot Glen goes to Paula first. Melanie, he's not red . . . does that help? Fosher, you are one cruel SOB. Where'd you get that puppy anyway? And now, to keep the fans happy, Spot Glen and his new friend Lilly the LGD:
  18. Here ya go Sammy Jo, your very own thread. Just to keep things straight, Sam got the horse, I got Spot Glen.
  19. Ooo Paula, glad he makes your heart go pit-a-pat, I do find him awfully fetching myself. ;-) A
  20. OK, guess that means I better break out some of those pics of my divine Virginia holiday, complete with AJ the Horse, Fred the Freaking Red, Buff Perfection, Sociable Nap, Workhorse Sonny, outruns and international sheds, sparkling ponds, snow-covered redbud (wait, you wouldn't go back for that one!), more snow snow snow, Spot Glen doing the snowplow, lambs by the bushelfull--in the snow--Williamsburg--in the snow, that giant pecan studded chocolate coated butterscotch thingie you made me buy and eat all at once . . . OK, so I didn't actually get pictures of all of that, so a few choice selections will have to do. A
  21. A friend of mine suggested we call him Spot Glen. I thought that was pretty good. He is 10 weeks old and came from Eileen Stineman in Texas. By her Don (Irish) out of Trim, originally from Alberta I believe. Yeah, not only is he way too cute, he's also way too SWEET for me. Yikes! As to snow, he saw it first in Virginia. Don't shoot the Canadian--I was trying to get away from the stuff. But no . . . A
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