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    southcentral PA, USA

MickeyDogs's Achievements


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  1. I love watching cross species interaction. My cat, Spencer, would sit on my horse's back as she ate her grain, then calmly the horse would take the cat down into the field as she resumed grazing. Both very content. Annie, my border collie, and Peck, de cat, often play together. It starts with Peck batting at Annie as she dashes by then Annie returns to Peck circling and poking him with her nose, and darting backwards when Peck swats at her. Then one chases the other. A lot of fun to watch!
  2. Learning inside flanks is always exciting!
  3. Trish McConnel also has two other books "The Cautious Canine" and "Fiesty Fido" that may help. Check them out at her website. Check out her blog - always interesting reading!
  4. JMHO Putting the dog in a packed pen is good. Just keep yourself calm and cool to help the dog relax. One guru I extremely admire also had me calmly pick my dog up and rest her on the backs of the sheep while calmly praising the dog. Of course, the sheep need to be somewhat calm too. Keep the time in the packed pen short so there's no overload from either dog or sheep. Putting the sheep in a small area then sitting in there with your dog can also help. You're doing nothing but sitting there watching them graze, if they will. After awhile calmly call your dog and leave the area. Lie the dog down in the corner when taking sheep out of the corner. Let the dog lie there a moment to relax then either let the dog gather the sheep and put them back in the corner to do it again or call the dog off. The calmer you are the better. Quit after a short time again so there's no overload and when the dog seems to be relaxing.
  5. With Nick I wondered too like Julie whether or not he sped up as he got behind the sheep causing him to over flank. That's the MO for many dogs and stopping them on balance helps them to relax in that tight situation. As to Nancy's question it sounds to me the dog is tight and fast coming into the corner causing the sheep to lift off to the side. Of course, the dog can only get out so far because of the fence and it sounds like the dog has a lot of presence. Slowing the dog may allow the sheep to remain in place longer and lift correctly. JMO
  6. Thanks for your replies... So let me ask you this - as you have the dog drive the sheep through the course are you thinking of the shed? If so, are you studying the sheep? Other than the obvious - observing the one that hangs back or otherwise pulls away from the others - what do you observe that helps you with the shed?
  7. At a recent sheepdog trial I was sitting with a more experienced handler as we watched the competitor on the field work the shed. My companion was giving good commentary and at one time pointed out that the lamb in the group had its head down. The way it was stated signified to me that the lamb's behavior had meaning to my companion but being too shy I couldn't ask what. So, here's my question to all of you experienced (or not ) handlers - what behavior do you observe in the sheep that help you set up and successfully shed? What was the significance of the lamb having its head down? At this trial we were allowed to take any sheep, not necessarily the last one on the head. Thanks for any insight you can give me! Still learning on the curve...
  8. Wow! Such anti kid sentiment! I think the OP said tolerate not like. No, not every dog needs to like everyone but certainly in today's litigation-prone society dogs should tolerate children. If it's between a dog and a kid, guess who wins - it ain't the dog, no matter the circumstances. Education for the kids and parents is key (great suggestion - the children's book, "Don't Lick the Dog -- Making Friends with Dogs"!! Gonna go online and buy that one!). Kids don't come "knowing" how to behave around dogs, in fact, they naturally do things that can arouse dogs. We, the dog owners, need to teach them, not the parents - most parents don't know how to behave around dogs either unless they're dog lovers and even then it's iffy. Heck, most unknowing parents buy into that Lassie myth that dogs and kids naturally go together and love is all around!!! Next is helping the dogs feel as relaxed and comfortable around children as much as possible. Dogs don’t come “knowing” how to behave around kids. We need to help them. Unless you want to keep your dogs in a bubble, they are sooner or later gonna meet up with kids. I'd rather have my dog first experience with kids be when I can control the situation so they can later handle the unexpected. Having the older kids throw a ball (under your supervision) is a great way for the dog to view the kids as fun and I like the idea of having the children "train" the dogs. That gives the kids a sense of responsibility and helps them realize the dogs are not stuffed toys but living creatures with feelings. NEVER let the kids and dog alone together, no matter how bomb proof the dog - no matter how dog savvy the kid. ALWAYS supervise their interactions and always be with them when they are together. Be sure to establish "it's time to let the dog alone" rules. It will be your responsibility to enforce these - the parents probably won't. Can you expose your dogs to children before your company comes? Can you find a playground and at first keep your distance so the kids aren't tempted to come over but the dogs can observe the kids playing? Just to get the dogs use to little people that move quickly. Talk with the parents before they come and explain your plan of action on how the kids & dogs can live together in harmony during their stay. Get the parents on board and in agreement with you before they arrive. This experience can either be an unpleasant visit or a chance to develop new, responsible, if young, dog lovers. It's all how you go at it.
  9. Pan's anxiety is now gone and she is at peace, a peace she couldn't find in life. She was one incredibly lucky dog to have had you and no doubt she knows that. Peace to you all.
  10. No flaming here but what I've discovered over the years is that the border collie is one breed that especially needs early socialization and exposure to what life can bring. Other breeds don't seem to require the same effort and not every shy border collie will become the social butterfly. Innate temperament plays a big part. I have two border collies each on the opposite side - one timid, the other outgoing. Maybe it's because I'm a shy, timid person and know how that interferes with my life, I want to help them be comfortable in their skin no matter the circumstances. Depending on the individual dog's temperament that can take time. Also, the border collie being a sensitive breed, I think sometimes the owner's insecurities or anxieties can be mirrored in their dog turning a fairly normal dog into an insecure, phobic one. The downfall of the working border collie is the characteristics of the working border collie. These characteristics make the breed a versatile breed that excels in many areas. Like someone said earlier, in the 70s the border collie took over the obedience ring and the top competitors were buying border collies from working lines (then there were working border collies or pet border collies). Unfortunately, over time, some bred away from what made the breed so successful and, in my mind, created another breed. Same with agility and flyball. Again, the characteristics of the working border collie made them successful in those sports. Luckily there are people breeding to keep the working in the working border collie. It is this work that has fascinated me for over 10 years. Both my dogs work sheep. My older one also competed in agility and flyball. I think she liked them all. It was doing and doing with me that she enjoyed. This breed like all dogs is so adaptable. Would her life been less if she never saw sheep? Don't know - ya'd have to ask her!
  11. 10+ years into this I'm still working on "reading" sheep so can someone answer me this: Your dog is driving the sheep and one stops to pee. Is the sheep 1) stressed; 2) bored; 3) giving the dog the sheepy finger; 4) <enter your answer here> Curious minds want to know Thanks!
  12. Lovely, lovely, LOVELY!!!! I so love old farms <swooning here>. And YEAH for you getting it and not some ole dadburn blanky-blank developer!!! Congrats again and let me know when that fence party is.
  13. Congratulations! It sounds like you kept your head (always a challenge for me!) and helped Soda where she needed it. That's sounds good handling to me!
  14. Hey! Congratulations!!!! Won't it be grand!
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