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Lambert

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  1. It appears from what I have read that there is a chain of thought that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve excellence in an endeavor, such as violin or piano or basketball. There are people in our sport who have done it for many years, in some cases the 10 years cited in Donald's article who have not achieved excellence and others who have become very competitive in the same span of time. It would be very interesting to know how much people practice. In our sport of course it is not enough for the handler to achieve excellence, you have to have a dog capable of achieving it as w
  2. Short of the fund raising efforts by friends that Nancy mentioned there is no sponsorship money for teams making the trek to the world trial. This is as Donald said a very expensive vacation costing close to $10K for anyone traveling with two dogs. So yes the primary selection criteria has proved to be the willingness of the handler to foot the bill and not inconsiderable aggravation of the trip. While this is perhaps not the selection criteria we would chose in the best of all possible worlds I don't feel it has led to our being poorly represented. We have sent over some top teams and wi
  3. Doing nothing so I just read through this thread. Very interesting look at our "Dog Culture". It really got me thinking. To most of us our dogs are extension of ourselves. I won't say we value them as children but we don't really view them as animals either. Hence our reluctance to buy them from someone who breeds them as if they were... "animals". I know I would have no objection about buying say a Quarter horse from a an operation that kept 88 brood mares and a carefully chosen number of top stallions. The mares might have been shown as reining or cutting horses and have titles and
  4. Well I would guess that Jake's desire to play fetch is greater then his desire to get kicked by a cow. This shows good sense on Jake's part but may not work out in his new situation. Generally, when a dog turns away from the work to pick up something, grass, poop or a stick it is an avoidance move. However, there is a lot going on in his life right now with new work and a new home, so it is possible that he will gain confidence in this new life and be ok. I suspect that only time will tell. Confidence in his new owner will also increase his self confidence which may also help. Beverly
  5. I doubt if you will have any problem. It may take him a bit to learn to work for you but the desire to work should remain intact. Good luck Beverly
  6. I use a light weight of line (clothes line weight) and snap it to the dog's collar. If necessary I will hold the dog very tightly or I can let him range freely and just step on the line or pick it up when he is down to keep him at my side when I walk away from the sheep. The line allows me a bit more control and I find once the dog has been stopped a couple of times by my stepping on the line he is a bit more mindful of m presence on the field. Beverly
  7. Its the relaxed which is the whole secret to the wide flank. If you can get him to relax he will flank out on your pressure, but as long as all he can think about is getting to the sheep he won't respond as you want. No magic formula here just needs a lot of walking around with you getting into his space when he crowds the sheep. If you keep telling him to lighten up and relax eventually he should do so. Beverly
  8. Reading between the lines here I think that your main problem is not squaring your flanks but getting your dog relaxed and working his sheep. It sounds to me like he is trying to beat you around the sheep so he can slice his flank. I think working him up against the fence like this, while its easier to control (since you only have half of the circle around the flock to patrol) isn't really going to address the main problem. Also this sort of fence work with the sheep trapped tends to sort of wind up dogs and if he is uncomfortable at all with the sheep will increase his anxiety and despera
  9. Don't do it. If you don't think you will enjoy this don't even start it. Your dog will enjoy agility or flyball with all of the enthusiasm that border collies are bred to bring to livestock work and it will be a much easier sport for both of you to participate in living in an urban area as you do. A working border collie is an obsessive/compulsive doing their thing. Sure they love it, but you aren't going to be able to take your dog to do this kind of work very often all you will do is create an interest in your dog that neither one of you can satisfy and you don't even want to do. I
  10. If i understand your question you only have 4 sheep now so breaking them down into smaller groups probably won't work. Yeah clearly the best solution is to sell the sorry things. Sheep absolutely get like this if they are worked a lot. I'm pretty aggressive about not letting my get too close to me and they are still bad. The breed of sheep is a factor in how bad they get for this. I like a hair sheep or cheviots myself as they stay a bit fresher longer then fine wool breeds and dorset types. There is no good way to work sheep like this. They are spoiled and will not work for your
  11. I don't like to put a dog in a situation where I don't know what will happen until I am confident that nothing that is likely to happen is likely to damage the dog's self confidence. So I am reluctant to work lambs or ewes with lambs who might hit my dog until he has shown me that being hit is unlikely to hurt his feelings. Sometimes this is not until the dog is two years old or older. Other dogs have such self confidence that I will happily take them into dangerous or tricky situations much younger. I'm afraid it will depend upon how aggressive your sheep are and how self confident and br
  12. I would not think trialing your new dog would confuse her. In order to be competitive at trials dogs need much more training and obedience than they do for daily farm work since trial work is more unexpected and exacting. This additional obedience will allow you to control your dog better during farm work. I would expect that once she is trained for trialing she will be reluctant to split through the sheep to get to their heads but you may well have enough commands and control on her by that time that you can direct her to do this. Good luck. Beverly
  13. practice and keep it simple and close. Dogs are very like people. If they are confused, upset or stressed they can't learn anything all they can do is worry about the situation. So you need to keep her well within her comfort zone as you try and teach her something new. Keep it close and keep it easy. Beverly
  14. I'm afraid that I find dog training mostly consists of making it smaller. Shorten up the outrun to about 5 feet and make sure she will go around the sheep on her 'bad' side. You need to look very closely at your dog as she circles the sheep. Is her flank around the stock correct? Its very easy to skip the boring "go around the sheep" stuff and move on to the outrun. But a dog that won't correctly flank around sheep will not run out correctly. You need more ground work, more up close work. Your dog should easily walk to the post at your side, set up as you tell her and never cut off the top
  15. I would really shorten the distance of the outrun on the bad side. Shorten it down to 10 yards if you need to. Find the distance he will run out to with confidence and enthusiasm with no sign of hesitation. Do this very short outrun for a week or so until he is running out with complete confidence. Then very gradually lengthen the outrun. This looking back, stopping or crossing can get to be a habit really easily. You want to nip it in the bud without in any way diminishing his enthusiasm for the outrun. The behavior you describe is almost always indicative of uncertainty and lack of conf
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