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Donna Smith

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About Donna Smith

  • Birthday 03/06/1960

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    Ontario Canada

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  1. Thanks! I will stick with this then. Much appreciated, take care. Donna Smith
  2. Thank you so much. Sometimes I let the sheep go back to the draw, with Jet in a down, thinking it would be better for her to have a mental break, then go start again at the draw. What I interpret a "break" I suppose Jet has interpreted as "losing." What about working on the flanks in the area of the draw for awhile? Thanks again, I appreciate your response. Donna Smith Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
  3. Hi Jeanne I am looking for any ideas for a good exercise to calm my dog down and ease her anxiety whenever sheep are pulled strongly to a draw, such as a paddock or exit gate in the fields where I work. I think that if my 2-year old Jet would worry a bit less about losing them, the sheep would stop trying so hard to get there. When she senses that sheep are trying to angle to a draw, she obsesses about holding them, and although I realize this is a good quality, she has such a strong presence that she gets sheep up on their toes and it becomes this chicken and egg thing - she is anxious, they are anxious, so she is anxious, etc. I can work the exact same sheep in the same area with my other dog and he has a different effect on them, so that they try less to get to the draw and are more willing to stay put or be moved about...which is why I think if Jet could learn to be calmer, she and I would find things went more smoothly. He is much wider in his flanks and stops them without getting too close to them, but Jet runs tighter, and perhaps this is the crux of things, however, I am not sure. I am limited to practicing in this large fenced area, and I am starting to feel like my sessions are getting to be repetitive with Jet and I work at keeping the sheep at the upper end of the field. I frequently lie her down when the sheep seem settled away from the draw, I try to watch how close she gets, and I try to keep myself calm. Is this just something that time and experience will heal? Or can I be trying other things to help her relax and think a bit more without getting frustrated (her, and me). She is such a nice dog and so keen and I want to do the best by her. Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have, Donna Smith Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
  4. Thanks Julie Last night I kept her on a leash and it worked well. She was very distracted by the other dogs moving around us, and for the first time I noticed her keying in on my other bitch in particular, even eyeing on to her. Could it be less herding drive, and more of a desire to more up the ladder, and she is using her herding moves to intimidate? So, I corrected for this, and she seemed a little confused and even started with some nervous panting, which I took to be her reaction to my interference with this behaviour. I assume this won't carry over into her livestock lessons, if I correct her for herding behaviour with my dogs. I walked her to her run on a leash this morning and was able to get in a good correction when she took a run at the collie, which surprised her, but didn't get the same nervous reaction. Many thanks for the response. If others have had this situation I would be happy to hear your solutions. Thanks again. I will keep plugging away at this!
  5. Help! I have a wonderful, high-drive 10 month old puppy being trained on sheep. Make no mistake, I love this puppy and she is extremely talented. However, I have run into a snag with our other dogs, not with her herding training. She has started to scare my other dogs by chasing them when they trot around the yard, and flying in to nip their back legs. She badly bruised my (rough) collie's foot. I am trying to use herding commands and a stock stick with her in the yard now (lie down) and it works, but that scares my other dogs who are now cringing around me. I know her behaviour is just "bad" and not really herding behaviour, though it is rooted in herding instinct. I just want some tips to stop it, even if it means separation for awhile, or putting her on a leash when I am in the yard with the other dogs. I have tried to discipline her various ways but yelling is no good, scares the other dogs (collie and German Shepherd) and excites her, plus I don't want to yell when she can run away (it is a big yard). Throwing something at her also scares the other dogs. I feel like the other dogs are confused or terrified of me more than her as I try to break her of this new behaviour. My poor GSD just cringes against the side of the house. In the house, this puppy is fine and the dogs get along. She is most apt to run in at pressure points - dogs gather at door, dogs head into their own runs. This has just started and I want to nip it in the bud (sorry, didn't mean to say nip! haha!). Ideas would be so appreciated. Any ideas. She is my first BC and I admire her tenacity and determination, but need to outsmart her. Thanks.
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