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Diana A

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About Diana A

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 06/05/1967

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    Northern IL
  1. Even if there was the occasional breeder in one of the 'other' herding breeds who bred exclusively for working ability, without large numbers of similar-minded breeders, the gene pool of the dogs being bred for work would be extremely small and the number of dogs needed for a true viable breeding program is more than one person can realistically handle. I see a lot of the same as what Pam said - there are a handful of breeders in many breeds who really do work the dogs, but they also want to do other things (show champion or agility) so stock work isn't the only (or even primary) consideration
  2. This ^^ Some of the best and most experienced trainers I've seen actually have to correct very little (and those with very minimal force) because they can read the situation and can see a mistake coming before it happens and position themselves in a way that will head off trouble with only a mild bit of pressure. This opposed to a less experienced handler who may find themselves correcting for the dog already having taken a dive at the sheep or sliced into them and scattered them. The sheep will do a lot of the teaching and the trainer is there to prevent trouble and to assist the dog in
  3. If you're interested in a sport dog, the best bet is to go to working bred lines that other people have purchased sport dogs from. They'll have all the best traits of the working dog (especially impulse control as noted above, and biddability) but having some relatives doing sports will give you an idea of what type of sport dog they are and if they meet your preferences. I'd say any of them would be great fun agility dogs, but someone with Nationals or World Team aspirations may be pickier as far as things like jumping and turning ability and a particular body type that suits their handling p
  4. I have one like that too. She prefers to know she's right and be told what to do, but when I leave her alone she does have the skills to handle it herself (after an initial period of confusion when the input stops). It gets way too easy to fall into the trap of just always telling he what to do at a trial. Sometimes not providing enough input leads to what Julie mentioned - dog looking around the sheep for input from the handler. We do work a lot on 'figure it out yourself' but at a new place on strange sheep she still seems happier to have help from me - maybe a confidence thing or just the d
  5. D'Elle, I'm curious what microchip company this was, if you don't mind saying. I read it on Facebook all the time about how a dog is found, has a chip, but the number 'isn't working' and now I'm wondering . . . I have all of mine registered on PetLink.net, even those whose chips were from another company. It's free and you can put in picture, medical information, etc. I had a Home Again chip in one of the one older dogs and when I tried to look it up it kept saying no such number.
  6. Thanks for doing this. I've gotten through several of the runs and am looking forward to watching all of them.
  7. I ordered and my one year has started, but all I'm getting is the 'handlers at the post' video. Am I doing something wrong or are the videos of the actual runs just not ready yet? No problem if they aren't (I imagine it takes some work to get them ready) but if they are and I'm missing out on seeing them, I just wanted to check.
  8. People can be stupid. I've had multiple occasions of people telling me the dog in my profile pic is a mixed breed because she doesn't have the traditional white collar and blaze.
  9. I picture myself being in the middle of the sheep and the dog moving around me as I was lunging a horse. If I'd be pushing the dog on around from left side, it's a come bye. If on my right, it's an away. That has always worked for me even with sheep and dog coming towards me.
  10. A system is just the language you have developed between you and your dog, that you have a certain consistent way of asking him to do a certain thing, so he can be confident of what you're asking and you can be confident that he'll respond in a predictable way to a particular cue. I follow quite a bit of Mecklenburg's system as she didn't just go out and make it up, but actually looked at how dogs naturally react to certain handler movements - more like learning the dog's system. I continue to experiment with it - "if I do X, what does my dog do, and does she do it every time?". If I find a cu
  11. I would approach this cautiously. Yes, agility can be taught with all verbals and the handler not using movement. I guess the question to seriously consider is why would a new agility handler want to go that route when the vast majority of the masters in the sport choose to go with the more traditional (and more competitive not to mention simpler) method of using motion. You need to take into consideration you're taking the much more difficult approach as far as much more training needed, and therefore needing to wait a lot longer before the dog can trial, and going into this knowing that the
  12. One of the beauties of a motion based system is you don't absolutely need all those extra verbals (or all the time spent training them). I teach my dogs the basic cues (much of it is actually natural and takes very little teaching) and I can combine and vary those cues to get the exact response I want. I can run the dog completely silent. I can run my youngsters on some very complex sequences (using wings in place of bars if dog is too young to jump) and they will read it all and perform well with very little training. Once I learned how to "speak dog" with my body, I have the basic alphabet n
  13. Find a good class. No substitute for an experienced eye to catch the details and explain how to do something correctly. As far as backside (go out and come back) vs front side of a jump - it's all in the line you set for the dog with your body language. A very helpful book is Linda Mecklenburg's handling book - it does a very thorough job of explaining all the cues and how to combine them to get the desired response from the dog.
  14. One thing to consider too is if different sheep might help. My last dog, starting at a clinic, went in on really dog broke sheep that ran right to my knees. She was tight and fast and very excited and I could see a possible confrontation developing to "push the dog out". The clinician requested less broke sheep. Totally different dog with different sheep. The previous sheep left the dog frustrated with nothing to do except run in tight circles. With the less broke sheep she had room to head them and get a response, and the sheep being farther from me also resulted in the dog being farther from
  15. I train position on a practice plank, then add a tunnel before it to increase the dog's speed. Use a curved tunnel so you can send the dog in and be ahead for the contact. Then I get ahead in a recall position. The dog needs to learn what to with his body to stop from that kind of speed and having you there gives a little more incentive to figure it out (unless the dog is willing to run into you). Note that you don't TEACH position this way, but are simply using it as a temporary aid to help the dog figure out body mechanics. Increase distance and speed on plank and get it solid before putting
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