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Marilyn T

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Everything posted by Marilyn T

  1. I thought I had nice whistles until I spent a week at a Kent clinic. We spent the whole week refining my sounds and the use of them. I have a single note flank for small movements, a two note flank for bigger, and three notes to 'circle the sheep - go big' flank. Each direction has its own variations, and they do NOT start with similar sounds. I have a slow walk up, and a medium, and a hurry,hurry one. I have a stop (with a tail) and a slow down (without the tail,) and use verbal 'take time' at the start of the drive to remind them about pace. I have a peep that means there. I have a recall / that will do. I throw walk ups in with flanks if my dog wants to go wide and I want it to stay tight. I can skip a there by putting in a walk up during a slow flank, and all my dogs turn on the sheep at that point. I do have a look back that is totally different than any other whistle. I practice in the car still, like Donald, to make sure I still have pure sounds. Mostly, I use variations of the whole flank whistle to mean what I need, and the dogs interpret it quite well. I try and let the sheep teach the dog what I need, and pair it with a whistle that soon they associate with the task. Good luck Robin. You are only limited by your imagination. Just take care to not confuse your dog with too many variations too soon.
  2. Update: I have had Lola in the big field maybe 4 times and it is much better than the round pen. She is a speed demon to get to balance, but slams to a stop then. Not trying a walk up yet... still trying to get her to relax. Has not busted into sheep (15) out in the field since it is a pain in the A** to her to regather when she wants them grouped. It seems to be the answer. Thanks Bob I'll let you know how she comes along. Marilyn
  3. My understanding of a packed pen, is to stuff a stall full of sheep, and go in with the young dog. They learn to move near the sheep, weaving their way betweent he sheep and the wall and lose their 'fear' of the sheep. YOu pack it full so the sheep can't back up and ram the pup, and the pup can't get a tornado going inside the small area. I don't know anything more, but have hear that it can really work, if you know what you are doing, or be a disaster if you don't. I agree that the round pen has been bringing out the wolf in her, and have just yesterday, on advice from another friend that knows the breeding better than me, put her on a larger group of sheep, out in a corner of the field. Since she is trying to head them to try and keep them together, the bigger group is way too much work for her to be silly... and the sheep are teaching her to behave. I want to re-read your post a couple more times, and digest your information. However, I'm going off to Kingston tomorrow, so will have to wait to try anything for a week or so. I will get back to you then. Thanks.. see ya. Marilyn
  4. Hey Bob... long time no see. What experience have you had using the 'packed pen' for young dogs. I have a year old bitch, that is fast and furious... your kinda pup! Anyway, she is in the round pen still. Stops dead on balance, and wants to control heads, so is constantly flanking to cover the heads. When I ask her to walk up to the sheep, she rushes in and dives and bites. I think basically it is insecurity of how to handle sheep. I have blocked, and yelled so far... to keep from getting run over first, and to protect the sheep. I also have moved her over a couple of feet, and backed up, and gone through the sequence of 'way to me/ or come bye; lie down; (Me backing up), there now; walk up; DOWN,' and over again. That works for a couple of seconds. I am thinking the packed pen will help her, but am not 100% sure how to use it. Can you help? Marilyn Terpstra
  5. Have you taught her to drive sheep towards pressure? I usually start driving with the dog between pressure and the sheep. Then I do like Carol says, drive across pressure. But don't forget to drive sheep towards pressure too. Lots of dogs panic when they are 'following' running sheep. It is a skill that also needs to be taught. At my place (it is long and narrow) I drive the sheep to the back of the field, flank the dog around and leave the way back to the barn free. I can always count on some of the old ewes to run off towards the barn. I simply keep the young dog behind them at that point, but try and keep within reasonable contact.( I have an ATV that I am on so I can keep up ;>). ) A clappy dog will have a really hard time with it, but they learn it is okay to not always be on pressure. Once they lose their panic, they usually relax and free up. Also, Like somebody said, (Lana I think) the dog needs to be a bit more worred about you than the pressure of the sheep. My old dog used to clap up on cats. I used that to break his concentration. He would clap on a cat, and I would says something to him. No response. I would then take a baseball hat and smack him on the butt, and say the equivelent of 'Hey buddy... I'm speaking to YOU' Amazingly, his 'hearing' improved greatly and he could be broken from the stare much easier. Carried over to sheep. Good luck. Larkie is a fine little girl. Shame to let this mess her up. Marilyn
  6. Thanks Lenajo for the update on Halties and Gentle leaders. It makes sense. I haven't taught in about 5 years now, and they were all the rage back then. Never did use them personally, but as I said, it made walking a 90 pound lab puppy possible for some people.
  7. I taught puppy classes at the local obedience (competition and household) club for 10 years. I tried to stay away from recommending either choke or prong collars for the puppies because they have no idea about corrections when they first start. A buckle collar is much more forgiving for a bad handler, or a puppy that jerks on the leash to go exploring. Actually, a gentle leader, or haltie is even better. I would recommend a prong collar, and fit it to the puppy, in the case of a 90 pound 6 month old lab puppy with an 80 pound 60-70 year old handler. (why these two always seem to pair up is beyond me, but invariably they come together). I would rather teach someone how to use this than hear that the puppy dragged the handler into traffic, or the handler fell and broke a leg or hip while walking the puppy. (BTW this DID happen one year to one of my students). Although I own choke collars, I never even used them to train any of my dogs, even up to Utility. I do like them to attach to lamb legs as an aid to pulling out a large lamb when needed! Personally, like Julie, I only use field collars with the center ring on all my dogs. Of course, they are rarely attached to a leash so it usually is a means of identification for my dogs incase of mishap.
  8. Mike is right... save your money for now, or go and observe some clinics. Your pup is too young to do much except see sheep from the outside of the fence unless you put her into experienced hands. You won't see 'championship designations' on an ABCA pedigree. If you list the parents and grandparents (including owners) from the pedigree, many of us might have seen some of the dogs, and be able to get a feel for what you have. Being an ABCA registered dog by no means insures that the dog was bred to work sheep. Simply saying that the dog is out of Missy by Roy (for example) will be no help, but if it goes back to Pulfer's Dan, (for example) that means something. BTW, welcome to our obsessions.
  9. The graphite ones are very nice, but will break too. I have a friend that uses them and they are ALMOST as nice as my english leg crook that is my favorite for trialing. I use electronet fence posts at home, or if the weather sucks and is really muddy at a trial. I would have taken the yellow ones... easier to find in the snow! the fiberglass ones are very helpful if you need to poke a sheep to move it along the chute.
  10. If you go to Jimmy Walker's website in Texas he describes how to train the dogs, etc. http://www.jimmywalkerbordercollies.com/Running%20Dogs.htm Not rocket science but apparently there is a big market for track dogs to fit sheep. They basically build a fenced in 'race track, and the dogs are trained to push sheep around and around the track. I think all you need is a walk up and a whoa.
  11. Weber makes a little 'go everywhere gas grill' that is quite compact, cools off fast, and is awesome to cook on. (Pop for the Weber...rather than the cheap imitation.... it is well worth the extra money in how it cooks, and how long it will last). I trialed for years out of a conversion van, and it slid in right under the bed in the van. For coffee, use a french press. I like the metal ones (less breakable) and you can get one serving or 5 serving presses. Shop at Amazon or Starbucks. The little water heaters are multi use, (you can heat up water to wash with, or boil water for ramen noodles) where the coffee makers are only one use items. Take celery and peanut butter, great protein and quite portable. Also, as others have suggested, the canned chicken, or deviled ham spread is great. Pop a can open, spread on bread, and you have a sandwich. With the grill, you can run to a grocery store, and get something to grill mid way through the trial,and still get a great meal for lots cheaper than going out to eat. Once I got a bit used to it, I could make a grilled cheese on the Weber.
  12. Way back when (early 90's), UCK was one of the good org.'s for performance over conformation clubs. Don't know if they have gone the way of the other kc's. You can go to their web site and look around. Used to be they didn't even offer barbie classes for border collies since it was anti the purpose of the breed. They might have changed though.
  13. Mary's Rio comes from Ivan Wier. not related to Norm's dogs at all. Both Coal and Rio are nice dogs. Coal made top 40 in Sturgis this past fall as a young open dog. In December I don't think you need to worry about outside potty breaks on your drive in Ontario.... you will be able to tell in the snow if another dog has been there if you have to get him out. I took a litter of 4 down to Kentucky in a large vari kennel last February, and never had to stop for them. No pee in the crate either. They just slept. Did not give them water or food before the drive. That just complicates things. Let Mary know how long your drive is, and she will probably not give them breakfast that day. Last I knew she fed pro-plan, so make sure that is what you have for the transition to your new food. Congrats... you will have fun. (edited for spelling)
  14. Never thought about the scrapie program. No problem then. Have had my premis tags for years. Just haven't used a stockyard in a couple of years, but could take 'something' if I needed to. Please keep us updated. Thanks. Marilyn
  15. I think Mark's quote indicates that it was for the vote in 2005 that you needed proof of sheep ownership during 2004. Presumably, the 2009 vote will require proof of ownership in 2008. Could be tricky if all sheep are marketed privately not through stock auctions. Maybe I should take a couple of 'sacrificial lambs' to the auction this month to prove eligibility. Marilyn
  16. Who gets to vote? Do you need membership in a local sheep association? How do they insure that the voters actually have sheep? I'm sure there must be some qualifications, and if it starts in February, we still have time to 'get registered' if necessary. Need some info! Marilyn
  17. Kevin Taylor has a trial called flint hills in Kansas. He is in Burns, north east of Wichita. He used to use Jack Knox's methods, and although he hasn't run dogs lately, used to participate in our handlers finals in the early to mid 1990's every year. Kevin Taylor 3190 NE 130th St Burns, KS 66840 316-321-1005 If nothing else, he may be able to recommend somebody to you that is closer.
  18. Duck, Duck, Duck... comeon.... give with the details......
  19. Does anyone in the neighborhood fish? A long BIG fish landing net might help. But best is herd it into a covered outdoor kennel!
  20. Hi Virgil! Can you expand on the response? Like how many points off for certain things??? For example.... what do you take off for the sheep folding around the handler with easy sheep vs particularly difficult knee knockers that we can see? Thanks. Marilyn
  21. Years ago I had Aussies, not border collies. All three were working bred. The best way to describe the differences goes as follows. (BTW, my dogs were VERY different from the show bred Aussies I see everywhere now. Show bred Australian shepherds remind me of golden retrievers. The ones I have seen recently cannot even catch up to a softly thrown frisbee.) I do beliveve that the Aussies (I had) were as intellegent or maybe more so than my border collies, But they were less biddable. They were very clever. Could work out any method possible to get what they wanted. You could ask them to do something for you, and as long as you left them alone to work out the how to get it done part, all was fine. Mine (all from very different bloodlines, but working) were fairly resentful about being told how to do something. I could say 'bring in the horses' and they would do it. If I said do it a certain way... uhh uhh... ( I would never use a dog to gather horses these days, but I was younger and more stupid then) I have since gone to border collies, and won't go back. BTW.. an 'Off Switch' needs to be trained into any breed. People can make any dog an obsessive compulsive. I taught puppy class for 12 years, and saw all kinds of breeds that had need of an off switch trained into them. JMHO
  22. Great trial to watch. Take a chair, leash, water, and some silent entertainment for the puppy, like a big rawhide, or cow hoof, or non squeaky toy. You are more than welcome to watch with her as long as she is silent, and not disturbing the sheep anywhere. If she 'turns on' and lunges/barks at the fence know that it isn't 'cute' but potentially could ruin someones run. If she is well behaved, she will get loads of socialization. Have a good time. There will be great handlers there to watch, and the sheep are challenging. Jack and Kathy are great hosts.
  23. Many 'young' dogs (or inexperienced dogs with inexperienced handlers) are frantic at what they percieve as escaping sheep. They have been sent into situations to 'cover' the sheep, and lost or gotten over their heads. The scenario then gets muddled usually with yelling, and corrections on a young dog who knows no other way to handle a panic situation. We, as trainers, need to remove the panic. One thing I always do with a young dog is to move sheep through a gate, back and forth. I am in the gateway, (behind a fence in order to not get trampled initially) and stop the young dog from racing after the 'escaping' sheep. Let them settle in the new field, then send the dog around them to calmly bring them back through the gate. Within usually a couple of minutes, the dog relaxes and understands that the sheep are not going to get away,and by moving calmly, everything will be okay. This will also be of benefit when the dog needs to drive sheep towards an escape route. They will learn to be calm about it and hopefully be able to handle the sheep in those situations too. I routinely drive sheep in all four directions, once the dog advances, to teach them to handle all sorts of field pressures driving as well. Using any tool at your disposal (time on the outrun) at this stage to calm down the initial contact with sheep will be to your ultimate benifit. Now that he has some experience being 'good' you can probably start sending him off with a gentle 'now... take your time' reminder before you say (also quietly) away to me or come by on an outrun. No loss of points that way!
  24. Mark... you wimp! What is a couple of thousand miles??? You need to buck up old boy! The first time I drove to Klamath I felt like I had pedaled a bike out and back, but it gets easier the more you do it. I think I logged in over 4000 between SH, Meeker and Sturgis. How was going by the flooded planes of Chicago? That added a couple of hundred onto my trip.
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