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Wendy V

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Everything posted by Wendy V

  1. Anyone ever do this before? Any advice on how to proceed? I can ship from Detroit or Wndsor, ON. Would it be easier in Windsor or not make much difference? TIA, Wendy
  2. Given natural ability, the work makes the dog. Most of the US has small flocks (under 100 ewes), so there really isn't much work for the dogs. I have 80 ewes and so can have almost 200 sheep when lambs are on the ground, but, frankly, that isn't much work for a dog. Not considering what these dogs are capable of. If all things being equal between farm vs. trial dog, I would buy the dog I like, first, then give preference to the dog from trial lines. To be successful on the trial field, the dog must be able to cope with intense training pressure. Many dogs are not up to this. Also, th
  3. Clearfield doesn't seem to get a lot of traffic, no disrespect intended.
  4. The Kensmuir forum was very helpful in listing working dogs for sale from many of the USBCHA members. Where do people go now to list their dogs? I'm looking for a young goose dog prospect, already started. I'm not on FB and refuse to subscribe. TIA, Wendy
  5. There are still entries available for both the trial and the handling clinic, though the clinic is almost full. Hope to see you there! Wendy
  6. Winter is my off-season for work, so I train heavily during this time. In fact, I love winter training, especially when the snow is about 1 ft deep or so. It really gets a dog pushing. I am fortunate that we are cold enough in Michigan to avoid ice conditions most of the time. I am also fortunate that my field is tiled, so I do not get bogged down in mud either.
  7. Hi Rachael, The handling clinic is geared for those who are currently competing or ready to compete this spring. It is not a training clinic and it is expected that the dogs entered will have a semblance of control by the handlers. Paired with the two trials the next day, it will give novice/pro novice handlers much trial experience and feedback on where they need to target their training/handling. Since I don't know where you are with your training on your dog, it is hard for me to assess the appropriateness of this clinic and trial. If you are just starting out, then I would sugge
  8. It is no more complicated than repackaging food for your own consumption. If worried about electrical outages, than limit your purchases to one weeks worth of food. This apply to your food as well. IMO, a week's supply of raw food would keep in the fridge for a week without worry. A 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters will feed 2 dogs for a week for about $7.00. Don't over think this. It is no more difficult than feeding yourself.
  9. I have fed raw for over 10 years in a multi-dog household, 10+ dogs. My costs are about 70 cents per day per dog; less if we source the food ourselves (culls and venison). The LGD is double that, since he eats twice as much as the border collies. Raw feeding can be done simply and inexpensively, or it can be complicated and expensive, depending upon owner choice. When traveling, I use a cooler and pack food frozen. On longer trips I add ice and use a grocer Simple. If backpacking, which I don't do, I would leave the dog at home. Maybe it is easier to feed raw to a pack than just a
  10. I welcome my Canadian friends! Gas prices are low right now, and there will be plenty of trialing to be had over the weekend. Come on over!
  11. Borders on the Grand Farm in Onondaga, MI is pleased to announce two events dedicated to the Novice/Pro Novice Handler. Ever wish you had an Open handler at your side? On Saturday, March 9th, 2013, Wendy Villarreal will conduct a handling clinic titled: Trial Strategies for the Novice/Pro Novice Handler. This one day course begins as a lecture/discussion in the morning and moves into the field as a trial course dry-run. All aspects of the trial course will be discussed, with an opportunity to practice a course on the same day with Wendy at the post with you. Ever wish you had a sec
  12. I called and the dogs have not been relinquished yet.
  13. Thank you for posting that photo. It means a lot.
  14. Wendy V

    RIP Burl

    My beautiful Burl, dog of my avatar, died in a house fire early Monday morning a week ago. He was in the care of my stepson, who risked great injury trying to save him and another dog. Burl was employed as a goosedog and worked side by side with my SS for the past two years. He was only 8 years old and in his prime. Our family is heartbroken over the loss but grateful that our SS suffered no lasting harm. He will be greatly missed.
  15. Thanks for posting this, Don. I heard the bad news by phone but was surprised that nothing had been posted yet. I guess everything is on FB now. I could not be more sad to learn the news. I wish miss him greatly.
  16. I just saw this, Jen. Egads! How frightening! Glad he is home safe. Good luck with the meds. Fireworks suck! WV
  17. Audit spots available only. Please contact me for more information: wlvillarreal @ gmail.com
  18. Wendy V

    First open run

    I'm a bit late to this conversation and you probably already had your run, but i had a few things to add, in general. Before each Open run, I find it helpful to preplan how I am going to command the dog to set up the shed. If going from the pen to the shed, I decide ahead of time which flank to give to get the sheep out of the pen, making sure the dog flanks to cover field pressure before releasing the sheep from the pen. If coming from the cross-drive panels, I preselect which flank to give to get the dog at the pressure point before I enter the shedding ring. Also, study the sheep pri
  19. In a pasture lambing situation, I do not need to gather all the ewes/lambs in a paddock, I just need to check out only one particular ewe, or have a need to catch newborn lambs for processing. Gathering the whole flock could cause trampling of newborns and contribute to mis-mothering, as well as create undue stress on heavily pregnant ewes. I can usually get close to my targeted ewe/lambs by walking slowly around the flock until I can capture them with my leg crook. I admit, I do not know how to use a dog in this situation. The paddocks are 164' square of electrified netting and hold over
  20. Tea - what you experience is not what you would find here in Michigan. As grazing management becomes more widespread, the sheepdog becomes more useful, but this is the land of the row crop and large pasture areas are hard to come by. Nancy - I am a new producer and I shepherd on the cheap, meaning minimal equipment, pasture lambing, etc. I use my dogs, of course, but I could do so without one as well, with the investment in handling equipment, which would only be a couple thousand dollars. Most of my sorting is done because I sort sheep to train the dogs, not because it is needed on a
  21. Good question. Method describe the way a particular dog works sheep, but when considering how a sheep reacts to a dog, instinctively vs. familiarity, I would say "it depends". It is well known amongst handlers that there is a home court advantage; that is, that sheep recognize certain dogs and react more comfortably with them. That is why most whom host trials refuse to run in them. I suppose that if you had a dog of any sort of color, that moved your own flock with respect and confidence, that you would have no problem at home. But when trialing on different flocks of various breeds and
  22. But they do. All the variables, seen and unseen, are wrapped up in a package called "method". which is the individual way a dog works sheep. I would encourage anyone who is interested in herding to work with whatever dog they have, regardless of color. There are color preferences, and color prejudices. If your interest is the open trial field, then it is best to be aware of them and the reasons for it.
  23. My red dog, Logan, is a grandson to Peg Brown breeding. He also has Lewis Pulfer's Dell in his background, which was also red. Logan was an adequate open dog and a tremendous goose dog. Personally, I wouldn't select red again, given a choice, or an overly white dog. I feel, as others greater than me have spoken, that an off-colored dog causes the sheep to turn and look at them, which can create weakness in a dog over time. But if a person's goal is not the trial field, what difference does it make to me? Life is short, get the dog you want.
  24. Yes, I do. I consider myself a producer and not a hobbyist. There is some interest in dogs, but most farms are set up to work without them. Most producers can move their flock with a bucket of grain. A dog could help with chute work, but without proper training and handling, a dog could be a huge liability in this task as well. There is more interest in LGDs than herding dogs. To be honest, I rarely need a dog in my operation, and I move stock frequently in my pasture management scheme. Dogs can be very hard on livestock (and fences). Until I owned my own sheep, I couldn't appreciat
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