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    Mount Hermon, LA
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    border collie sheep and cattle dog trials

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toney's Achievements


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  1. Sometimes dogs trained in handler centric sports have difficulty taking their attention off the handler and onto the sheep, where it belongs. They consider this disobedient or rude behavior. Having someone else work the dog on sheep while the handler stays out of sight can kick start their interest sometimes. The handler can be gradually introduced back into the mix once the dog has keened up on sheep.
  2. The idea of " flooding" to desensitize an animal to an emotional trigger can sound over the top. And while doing the packed pen exercise Julie suggests might fit the definition of flooding in a certain sense, it's not actual flooding in practice. I put my open trial dogs in the packed pen occasionally to remind them in a passive non confrontational manner that quiet behavior equals quiet sheep. I use it with puppies to become comfortable and relax when in close proximity to sheep. It helps them when I need them to clear a trailer of sheep or push sheep out of a small pen neatly and without a fuss. Border collies learn best from the sheep. By putting him on a cable or leash and allowing him to realize that he's not going to work until he has the right attitude won't torture him. Nor, if he is as keen as you say, will he lose his initiative to work sheep. His attitude for whatever reason is wrong. In the car he knows he is going to work sheep so his adrenaline starts to increase. By the time he hits the farm he's already forgotten about you and is too charged to work correctly. I believe this has become a learned habit and now will be difficult to break. He gets in with the sheep and loses his mind. The idea is once he calms down in the packed pen you reward that with a little working in the pen- calm flanking on a leash. Bad behavior means he stops working and you go sit and read your book again.
  3. To put things into a dollar perspective for only a few things Donald mentioned: Going to all regional trials within a five hour driving distance would get you exactly one trial/year where I live. When I trial, it's a minimum of a 10 and more likely 12 hour drive one way. I always plan on spending 650-800 dollars for the weekend. And I've had border collies for 36 years. Like Donald, I have bred 3 litters. Pasture planting costs for winter grazing: $1100. That will last Nov. til mid March, when my improved permanent pasturestarts to bloom, at which time that will be another $700 for fertilizer. Add in fencing, shearing, worming, dog crates, kennels, the actual farm, of course...You'll notice I haven't even talked about dog costs- those are ultimately, when placed against all the costs associated with just raising working border collies, too cheap to mention.
  4. Brian was a real trooper and a great help in the pens. Trials are put on by a small village of workers, those footsore, body aching teams of workers who do the work simply because they love the sport.
  5. I dropped the dinette down in our Class C Motorhome, built a raised dais of plywood and put three large wire crates strapped down (since I use the Motorhome for trialing). It fits perfectly in the dinette area and if I ever decide to sell the RV I can unstrap the crates and deconstruct the wooden platform and pop the dinette up for the next owner. I tried to upload a photo but it says it's too large.
  6. In this situation, it means that the puppy is basically being a jerk to your chihuahua. You need to stop the behavior. It can rapidly become an obsession, making the smaller dog's life completely miserable, as you have already noted. You need to correct the behavior EACH time it occurs to break this cycle. You can't correct her for blocking the chihuahua from going outside, but allow her to lie down and stare at the chihuahua endlessly inside. It's not fair to the chihuahua. And the chihuahuas I know will eventually lose their temper with the dog annoying them and it can lead to a serious injury for a small dog with a big attitude.
  7. There is a reason why those of us who raise and train cattle dogs put only the most experienced of our dogs on cow-calf pairs. An angry mother is way more dangerous than a pen full of rodeo bulls when protecting her calf. I'm very glad your pup was not hurt in his adventure.
  8. "Since when do you have to prove yourself to get a working bred border collie but do next to nothing to go pick up a nice conformation bred fluffy thing?" In actuality, most serious AKC conformation breeders are probably ten times more picky about who their puppies end up with than any working dog person. A friend of mine has just spent over a year locating and then convincing a show Schnauzer breeder to take a chance on her. It involved hours of phone calls, emails, questionnaires and such. The breeder also retained half ownership of the dog and required that the breeder name the dog officially as well. She even specified the age at which the pup would be neutered, which, luckily, is within the age new data suggests but it could have easily been six months or some arbitrary number. The only ones who "make it easy" are usually pet breeders. In regards to social media groups, yes they advertise animals currently available but that gives you contact information and talking points to research a breeder and their dogs. Most of us who seriously work these dogs want a connection before AND after we purchase a dog. We want to know how they are doing, how they trained up, etc. we are happy to see the pups at trials or hear stories about them. As Donald said, it's not all about the pup. It's about the connection.
  9. Before the advent of social media I could see newbies in the border collie world having a little difficulty finding reputable breeders if they did not bother to attend local trials as many have suggested here on these Boards. However, with websites like handlerspost.com and the numerous Facebook working border collie groups that allow postings of working dogs and puppies for sale I guess I just don't see the need for another one. But I suppose anyone could start a database on a website somewhere if they wanted.
  10. I Exercise my pack off leash often at stock dog trials but the scenario is different I suppose. There can be multiple handlers with multiple packs wandering about, running and sniffing but not much interaction is encouraged between packs. They get plenty of interaction with their own.
  11. Caveat: I've never been to a dog park. I probably never will. But is it a rule dogs MUST be unleashed at "unleashed" dog parks? If I'm minding my own business with a dog on a leash at the unleashed dog park is it acceptable for other dogs to approach mine if I don't want them to do so?
  12. Today is the last day of qualifying for the open dogs and the finals for the nursery dogs. You can find the scores on the USBCHA website and Twitter.
  13. I agree with Julie and Anna. Cattle and to a lesser extent goats can really free up a clappy dog. I also use dog broke calves sometimes to get a young pup keened up. That frenetic non-flocking movement is just more exciting to some pups and hits a button with them.
  14. I think I still have a copy somewhere. I haven't looked at it in years. I'll send it to you if I can find it for free. PM me your address and I'll look for it this afternoon.
  15. Some are bigger and heavier boned. But I haven't noticed it being across the board. My cattle bred dog looks like a greyhound border collie cross. She weighs about 30 pounds. Actually all of my pure sheepdog bloodlines, including an import from Wales, are bigger than my cow dog. Heavier boned and heavier in overall weight. I really don't pay attention to size though. I'm more interested in working ability.
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