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Diana A

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Everything posted by Diana A

  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
  16. Yes, that 'partner up' attitude is rolled into what I think of as biddability. Being biddable doesn't necessarily mean the dog blindly does whatever is asked all of the time. Or that it has no other urges to do other than what you say. It's not a specific moment in time of 'I'll do whatever you tell me without question". It's more of an attitude, that the dog acknowledges we are a TEAM and we are doing a JOB together and that job is every bit as important to the dog as it is to me and that the dog has things to contribute to that partnership and will do so honestly and freely in support of our
  17. Mum24dog writes: "If I'm honest I don't want an especially biddable dog for agility, or anything else for that matter. I want one with fire to run and jump because it gets such a rush from it. Control can be gained but true enthusiasm comes from within. I don't want a dog that is only capable of a moderate performance because it has to be coaxed and rewarded all the time nor do I want a dog that constantly has a "What next boss?" look in its eye. Give me a naughty, in it for itself dog any time. That's the sort I can work with and have fun. I find biddability (whichever definition you use)
  18. A couple of things. First, regarding 'failed' sheepdogs or poor quality sheepdogs going to sport homes. Most sport homes want a puppy. Many working breeders will sell puppies to pet or sport homes. They have no idea when they let that puppy go if it's a 'failed' sheepdog, or if they might have just let the next Wiston Cap out of their hands. But if working breeders know that sport homes will buy puppies ,then they can breed more often, so maybe if that litter produces 6 pups and 4 go on to be outstanding workers and 2 go into sport homes and you have no clue how they would have been as st
  19. My border collies have by far been the easiest dogs to live with of several different breeds I've owned. A good border collie should have a good off switch - ready to go when you are but equally ready to chill out when you're home. That is provided they get adequate exercise and mental stimulation, which it sounds you are in a good situation to provide. Don't let anyone feed you that hokum about them needing to play ball six hours a day or whatever - they WILL if you encourage it but they don't need to. Some of the sport lines have lost that off switch - ask about the parents and what they're
  20. Exactly. There is no one type of "ideal" working dog in salukis and I think not for border collies either. You need to maintain a wide range of variation due to the need to have the type of dog for the type of job. The idea of achieving uniformity should never be the ideal. I thought the beginning part about the dog who was really good at spotting hares was interesting. We check for eye defects in our dogs but is an innate ability to see sheep at a distance anything that's noted in certain lines? I also loved the part about the one who always knew where the hare would be or where it would
  21. I found this link in a Facebook discussion page. It's about Salukis, and a bit of a long read, but the author makes some really good observations regarding form vs function that I thought members of this group might find interesting. http://webcanine.com/2013/the-functional-saluki-lessons-from-the-coursing-field/
  22. Bryna, it means the dog passes the jump without taking it, then turns and takes it from the opposite side. It's challenging because dogs typically will want to take the obvious side they can see, so the handler must position himself such as to push the dog past the jump wing or standard, then cue the dog to turn and take the jump from the new side.
  23. Around here (US, IL) it's pretty much leash laws everywhere. The rule in my neighborhood is dogs must be leashed if off your property and no leash longer than 6 ft and it must be in your hand, not dragging on the ground. A lot of the playgrounds and parks don't allow dogs period, not even on a leash. And we have these stupid rules all over for how many dogs, how big, what breeds, etc. And aside from laws, homeowners insurance sometimes will dump people for certain breeds, or raise rates, as they think it's too much of a liability. It's sad. Sounds like England has a much better attitude about
  24. Wrong. Do not assume that is why everyone is there. Some, like me a few years ago, have no yard and the dog park is the only way to legally give their dogs some off leash time and some room to run.
  25. And this is only okay if your dog can take a hint when the other dog isn't interested and leave them alone. A polite dog would 'greet' from a few feet away and the response of the other dog would indicate if that other dog wished to interact or wasn't interested, was afraid, etc. Many dogs take offense at a strange dog just barreling up into their space. I really would have no problem at dog parks if a dog approached mine, mine said 'not interested' and the other dog left. Other dogs may not be like mine however and most dog park dogs I've run across just cannot take a hint.
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