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Nancy Bovee

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  1. I think I'm just in the mood for arguing today ;-) I think agility is VERY useful. Most of the obstacles are reminders of obstacles that would be encountered by police or search and rescue dogs. Just last week I asked my dog to "table" on a log to get up there so he could move some goats. Quite effective.
  2. I don't see anything wrong with breeding for sport. Just as I don't see anything wrong with breeding for work. I know ranchers who breed working dogs of mixed "breeds" to get the kind of work they need done. What I have a problem with is people who breed for one thing and say it's another. ie. breeing for looks and saying it's breeding for work. Anyone with a really great herding dog will most likely breed for herding which wil keep the best continuing on. What does it matter if the less than great herding dogs get bred for great flyball dogs? Who does it hurt? There are too many sport breeders out there breeding for things other than herding ability. They are breeding for sports and using the bc to breed the mixes. I am not saying it it right but it is the way it is. I give all the bc owners that are trying to keep them for what they were originally bred to be and I am sure they will succeed. It just won't be easy since so many breeders are breeding for other venues now.
  3. It's also difficult to explain to those of us with many training challenges!!! I had pictured the sheep actually against the fence and thought I would be asking him to run directly into the wire..... duh. So now that I think I understand I have another question: I've done an exercise like this when the dog was young asking him to flank to the open field with the sheep actually against the fence. What does flanking toward the fence do differently in terms of changing his notion of how to initiate flank? Thanks, the not just e challenged but all around challenged Nancy Hello all, So sorry for the confusion. I'm not very good at e-training. To square up an outside flank against the fence. You are at 6 o'clock. The sheep are in the middle of the clock, and the dog is at 12 o'clock facing you and the sheep. If the fence is on your right, it will be on the dog's left, and you will be flanking him come-bye into the fence. To square up an inside flank against the fence. You and the dog are on the same side of the sheep. The dog is in front of you between you and the sheep, and let's say the fence is on your right, and the dog's right. You are both facing the sheep. You would then flank him away-to-me into the fence. Either way, if you give him the flank and his first step is forward, give a correction, then lie him down and try it again. The correction should cause him to want to widen, and to do that, he will have to square up. This assumes that your dog is very solid on its flanks. If it's not, don't try this. You'll have a mess. Also, I don't mean that you should all be hard up against the fence. There should be some room for the dog to maneuver. But, when the first step is square, it's easy to tell, because it's straight toward the fence. Another note of caution. This is a lot of pressure, especially in a round pen, and I don't do much of it, and I do it very carefully. Cheers all,
  4. I understand the second part (and since I'm trying to work on inside flanks, this is great) but I don't understand where 6 and 12 o'clock are on your first one, or what you mean by "flank the dog into the fence" - it's really hard to draw and/or understand diagraams with just words for me. Do you mean the dog is just inside the fence? Thanks if you can help straighten me out, uh I mean square me up. Nancy I have an exercise that I do with dogs that have come to me trained, but slice inside. The dogs that I start are taught to be right from the beginning. Once the dog is confident enough to flank between sheep and a fence, put the sheep against one with the dog at 12 and you at 6 o'clock. Then flank the dog into the fence. He will make his first step forward, and you can correct him for it. When he squares up directly toward the fence, it's very easy for you to see, and you can let him have his sheep. If he turns tail, you've over-corrected. It's a fine line. Once, you have mastered this technique, (or if your outside flank is already plenty square,) reverse it and make it an inside flank. Put the sheep against a fence, only this time the dog is between you and the sheep and you are both at 6 o'clock. Again, flank the dog into the fence. His first step will be forward. Depending on the dog, I might at that point down him, walk between him and sheep and kick him out before trying it again. I might just give him a voice correction, or I might go back to an outisde flank and work on that a bit more. In any case, once he flanks squarely into the fence, I let him have his sheep. Sometimes it's easier to perform this exercise in a round pen, and please take my warning VERY seriously. This is not for the uninitiated. If you don't feel comfortable with this, don't do it. It's a LOT of pressure, and if done poorly can cause big problems. You have to know when to correct, how much, and most importantly when not to and when to quit. Cheers Laura and best wishes for Taz
  5. I rewrote the words to a Bonnie Raitt song for my Earl: Turn 'round the flock, turn 'round their heads I sent him away, and off he sped. Lie down for me, don't try to rise Just hold them to me, don't make them fly - don't make them fly. I'll close my eyes, then I won't see The respect you don't feel when you're fetching to me. Moving them toward me, you're picking up speed I try to stop you, but you just will not heed Well you just will not heed! Chorus: 'Cause I can't make you like down if you don't I can't make your head hear something it won't Here in the open, in these gathering hours I will blow on my whistle and I'll feel the power But you won't, no you won't 'Cause I can't make you lie down, if you don't....
  6. I'm no trainer, but I did succeed in teaching my tough dog (who still won't always down) to stand. I started off sheep and gave him the command FROM a down (that way they are different commands indeed) and I use it to also stop the tendency to jump into a run at the walk-up command because he stands slowly from the down and just stands there. Just as people train pups to down when it's already comfortable to down, I'd find the situations where everything is still and ask for the stand. I'm looking forward to the real responses!!! ;-) Nancy
  7. We live in California amidst many bay laurel trees. None of my animals (dogs or cats) get fleas. Actually, they sometimes bring them home from places, but the fleas don't last. I've actually thought of bottling bay essence spray. I'm sure my dogs get a bit each day as they run around. It doesn't seem to repel ticks, however. I use a low dose of biospot for that when they are dropping from the shrubs (the ticks). Nancy B
  8. Hi, I have an almost deaf (a leetle bit of hearing remains in his left ear) 3 year old border collie. One thing to keep in mind is that it is we HUMANS who are most reliant upon voice and sound, not the dogs! If you watch them play, they give lots of messages with subtle body language. I think of the number of times I tell my hearing dog to "Listen!", well, you just need a signal to the deaf dog to "Look!" (that's where the vibrating collar comes in, but people have used lights (I flash the back door light to bring him in at night). Gus is still training as sheep dog. I've used a vibrating collar on him, but the best effect is my effusive body language. His recall is MUCH better than my hearing dog. All dogs are capable of disobeying. You just need clear signals for any message you want to deliver. He doesn't know he can't hear anymore than we don't realize all the sounds the dogs hear that we don't. Good luck, Nancy & Gus
  9. I just have questions. First off, defining the "lift"? I have a dog who moves sheep from a distance (looks like a wild coyote) so when they're up against a fence (and that's what I've been practicing somewhat) the sheep naturally start to move at a right angle and not towaards me as soon as the "bubble" of comfort is pierced. I don't see how a dog could ever lift at 180 degrees unless the sheep were well off the fence, or didn't react to the dog at all as he was moving along the fence. Thanks for any comments, Nancy
  10. What are bull panels? How heavy are they and where would I get them, how much do they cost. I don't really live in a ranch area - mainly just a horse area. Thanks,
  11. Hi, I need to go back to some round pen work and I don't have one. The smallest corral I have is too large, with too much draw to a stall and two nasty corners the sheep like to stick in. I'm not at all sure that just a roll of sheepwire pulled around will hold the sheep (a few are escape wizards) and I want a calm area, not a disaster zone. I can't deal with anything permanent or very heavy, but I know someone must have mastered this challenge before me. Any help? Thanks, Nancy
  12. I would really like to hear more about this - maybe it's a good one to move to the 'expert' file as well. Neither of my dogs responds to a 'that'll do' the way I'd like to see it. My younger dog will stop and come to me, but usually with a "just a minute I have to look back and check because I'm not sure and maybe I should still be holding my ground" and it takes a bit of walking before I get the happy gallop of true release of work. My older really a handful dog (who also scares sheep, but now actually scares sheep, too). often hears the "that'll do" as Time for one last blast at that come-by laggert!, and then he happily calls off. This is the same dog who will readily call off if his outrun hasn't started right and he zooms back with a happy, "Want it different?" attitude. It tells a lot about their relating to me, but go ahead, I an take it... Nancy
  13. You put it in one hand and every time an involuntarily movement creates a 'click' the other hand feeds you a piece of cheese.
  14. Thank you both for helping me to see something I've been doing at the pen. I'll share my mistake and then go work on it. I couldn't figure out why my dog would work so nicely and quietly at the pen, making subtle moves and then suddenly take off on a huge fast flank as I whispered an "away". Well, duh, your description of the calm power needed by the human gave me a picture of myself speaking calmly and waving a BIG STICK! Actions speak louder than words... ;-) Nancy
  15. At this trial the dog was walked around the grounds, walked among the dogs, allowed to watch a little, in his crate, walked, walked among people, crated, etc. Of course, I was probably quite tense by this time, too.... he is used to being tied during shared working sessions and waits quite calmly. But he is also used to being allowed to run at least some time in the day. Nancy
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