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Everything posted by RMSBORDERCOLLIES

  1. Team results: England 1st., Canada 2nd., Norway 3rd. Individual: 1st. Jaran Knive - 2nd. Kevin Evans -3rd. Serge Vanderzweep
  2. Kristi, Lou is with you still. He is in your heart, your mind and your memories. They never fade. I remember from the start and to the passing and I remember him helping you out throughout your early years. He is what we call "steady" and consistent, courageous but not aggressive, willing but not needy and BIG! Don't fret. Enjoy the memories and that part of your life with him. Bob
  3. I have a friend on the Isle of Skye who has been using it for his cows and sheep for years. There is a great distillery on Skye and most of the farmers there use the mash. It is delivered to them right from the distillery. Bob Stephens
  4. Great videos Dave as usual. Anyone not looking at these is not interested in getting better. This video is a free clinic/ Bob Stephens
  5. I think you probably figured that out for yourself too Eileen by adding the first and second round scores as I did. But there's nothing posted yet as to who the Champions are. Bob Stephens
  6. I get a little upset when I hear all this stuff about white factoring and deafness. I know there have been studies done to establish whether white factoring (whatever that is) leads to either early onset deafness or deafness at a later date. None of these has been conclusive as of my last reading. My original kennel stud dog, Del'mar Turk was a split face dog out of a split face sire and a bitch with a fair amount of white on her. Turk produced at least 25 pups over his lifetime and not one was ever deaf until very late in life when most border collies experience some form of deafness. I'm talking about 12 years of age plus. Turk, himself, was 15 1/2 when he died and still able to hear quite clearly for his age. I don't see anything abnormal in the pictures of the bitch or the dog to make me think there would be a problem. However, that said, I don't know the lines of either dogs and, if early onset deafness was present in the ancestors I might be tempted to do the hearing tests. (Not sure they work that well either)...Bob
  7. His gait looks fine and you're in pretty good shape too. If it's not broke, don't try to fix it. If the vet doesn't see anything wrong there likely isn't. I'm sure he would recommend rays if he thought they were needed. He appears to be athletic and of good nature and pretty happy with doing stuff with you. Enjoy him......Bob Stephens
  8. Thanks Dave for the excellent videos, as usual. Just like being there. Looks like it was a great trial. Once I get my eyes and knee fixed, we'll see you on the trial field, maybe this winter......Bob Stephens, thanks again
  9. The secret (not really) to controlling this type of dog is a very good stop. Don't even take him to stock until you know that you have a pretty fair stop on him. Apart from being able to keep him off the stock so he can't grip, the stop is the only other thing that will save you. This type of dog is very valuable around the ranch as he likes to control stock all the time and, as long as you have control of him, he will serve you very well over his lifetime. To get this stop, you must be extremely consistent and never let up in order for him to understand that you are in charge. 2 1/2 weeks is not anywhere near enough time to train this dog to be consistent in his work. Get the stop first and then continue on with his sides and gathers, walk ups etc. To get the stop, work in close with him backed off the sheep so he isn't bumping on them all the time and scaring them. Tell him to lie down when the sheep are approaching you on a gather and get your hands up in the air and make yourself as big as possible. Move towards him if necessary to get what you need. Big voice, big person and you in charge all the time. Don't let up. You must be the king, God, whatever it takes. You're in charge, ALL THE TIME!! When you have an excellent stop then continue on with the rest of your training. You can do small gathers and some short driving if you like but I doubt that you have any sides on this dog yet. Am I right? Don't hesitate to visit the ask an expert section. Amanda has a lot of experience with most kinds of dogs. She may also be able to help you. Bob
  10. You`ll do fine. Have fun but try hard to do the right thing in your mind. Again, have fun!!!!! and remember, WE WE`RE ALL THERE AT SOME TIME AND WE`RE NOT HERE TO JUDGE YOU! (Unless, of course, we are the Judge) Bob Stephens
  11. I have given Eileen and Heather my notice of retirement from the expert's position and you will be very excited about my replacment, I'm sure. You will be getting advice from one of the top trainers in North America and a very knowledgeable and dedicated handler who has been extremely successful. Enjoy her and take advantage of her knowledge. This kind of experience does not come along every day. I have enjoyed working with all of you and especially those challenging questions that kept me awake at times trying to figure out a solution. That is how we learn and, if we ever stop learning, we go backwards. There are no stupid questions and there is never just one answer. Enjoy your dogs as much as I enjoy mine and your life will be full forever........Once again, thank you for the opportunity to challenge myself and to help you in any way I could. Tight turns and straight lines and let your dog work. He does have a brain.......sincerely.....Bob
  12. You can't do it without yelling with some dogs and I would suggest she is one of them. The "lie down" is one of the most important commands on a working dog and, if not executed effectively, the dog is in the wrong place all the time. I am a little concerned about the "waiting for your direction" statement as you want your dog to be thinking when she is working and take direction when needed, not waiting for you to give it. Don't be too concerned about yelling while training a dog. You need to use a firm voice and, at times, a loud voice to get the effect you are looking for. As the dog progresses in her training you will have to use less volume in your voice. The stop or "lie down" must be executed as quickly as you are telling the dog to do it. If you want the dog to stop immediately, use that kind of command. ie; "LIE DOWN!!!!! If you want her to slow down or stop slowly, soften it up quite a bit. Use a soft voice for actions that you want executed in that manner and, of course, the sharp, firm voice for things you want done immediately. You can use your whistle the same way. Now, as far as the dog running through you when you give her a command, don't put up with it. Get yourself out to her and give her a scolding if she is ignoring you. Use as much force as is necessary to accomplish the task of getting to listen to you. This can be in the form of "shame on you" (words aren't important, it's the inflection in your voice that counts) but I don't think that will work on her. The next step is to really chastise her harshly so she knows she has done something wrong which will likely work and if that doesn't give her a good shaking. Don't carry on too long with this stuff and don't hold grudges. Give her the correction and then get on with your training in a positive way. One thing that is very important with a dog like yours is to not move out too far too fast. If she is lying down well at 100 feet like you say just move out to 125 feet and when she is consistent there then go a little further. So often we find that we go to far too fast and the dog goes backwards instead of progressing. Take little steps. They work much better. I must apologize for taking so long to answer you but we are lambing right now and there isn't much time in the day or night to spend on the computer. Let me know how you are doing with her in a while and we can continue from there........Bob
  13. Hi Suzanne. Glad to hear of your successes this past week end. Your dogs sound like they are very keen which is really nice to have. Your young one, Yoko, is just very keen going to the post and wanting to get at it right now and can't wait to get going. She will settle somewhat as she gains more experience but I think you'll find that she will always be ready and willing even as she gets older. Going to voice works very well when the dog tends to run through you and is the right thing to do in that situation. I always say that if what you are doing is not working try something else. Definition of insanity is, and I'm sure you have heard this, "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Keep up the good work. You will become dangerous! ....Bob
  14. An inside flank is a flank that is executed with the dog flanking between you and the sheep. The best way to train this flank, in my opinion, is on a fence with the dog driving the sheep along the fence and you standing at right angle to the dog and sheep about 40 feet away. Walk the dog up on the sheep and keep them on the fence by flanking the dog to the outside of the sheep but staying behind them. As the sheep move down the fence give the dog a flank to the outside of the sheep and call his/her name and call the dog to you with a "here". You don't want the dog to come to you but you do want him to start to you. You then give him another flank as he gets almost past the sheep to finish the flank with the dog approaching the sheep from the opposite side. Tell him to walk up and start driving the opposite way on the fence and do the same thing but, of course, with the opposite flank. So to explain it another way, if the sheep are moving past you on fence going to the left of you, with the dog driving them past you to the left, you will call the dog's name and say "here". As the dog moves his head to your direction give the flank, "come bye". If the dog wants to go around behind you, you can step into his path, getting yourself between him and the sheep so that he has to go between you and the sheep. The picture you are looking for is the dog answering to his name and the "here" command and then turning nice and square when he is given the come bye flank. You may need to give a couple more come bye's to get him all the way around to the other side facing the sheep but it will come quite quickly if your timing is right. The nice thing about working on the fence is once the inside flank is completed you can then start to go the other way and train the other flank as you go. Timing is important as you must give the flank as soon as the dog's head turns to you when you call his name and "here". Try it for a while if your dog is ready and get back to me with any problems you are having. Your dog should have fairly good flanks before you start this. It will make it much easier. Bob
  15. You are much too humble Lana. I would say that anyone who accomplished what you have in your time at this way of life and who has undertaken the ownership of a relatively large sheep ranch and raising two kids to boot doesn't have to call herself average in the training or any business. And as far as nursery dogs go I don't think you've ever seen me run very many of them either. And Julie, it sure isn't impossible to find a good dog with courage that is biddable but it sure isn't that common either. I wish there were more of them especially when you start getting into the mid 70's and you have to start those young ones that just seem to think you're wrong all the time!! Have fun with your dogs guys....talk later.....Bob
  16. I'm back. Not once have I heard the word courage mentioned when talking about a cow dog in this post. I think that dogs that train easily are great also but when it comes to working range cows all the training in the world will not get the job done unless the dog has courage and the desire to control the stock. So, as far as I'm concerned, and I train a lot of cow dogs for ranchers in BC, you need to know that the dog has the right stuff before you spend all that time in training. I have seen some that have enough presence to move cattle and are also fairly biddable but the majority of good cow dogs take a fairly determined handler to bring them to the level of training that makes them useful to the rancher. I delivered a "broke" (ranchers' lingo)dog to a client the other day and, of course, we talked dogs for a while and one of the really important comments that I got from this rancher was: "Some of the people in our industry will go out and spend as much as $10,000.00 for a cow horse but they won't spend a nickle for a dog and the dog will do 3 times more work than the horse will and do it quicker." Obviously this fellow knows his dogs and horses and the family has ranched in this area for 100 years now and run their cows in the rough forestry permits on the mountains around here. He breeds his own dogs, and most of them are pretty good, but has them trained out when he needs another one and he is very appreciative of the dog and his abilities and all the help he gets from his dogs. He would never be without a good dog or a good horse. He runs about 500 cows. I have had lots of calls in the spring and fall requesting started or trained dogs as this is driving and gathering times when the hard work getting the cows to range or permit and back is occurring. The usual request is, "have you got a good dog for sale? I'm killing my horses trying to get my cows to range." There's more and more of the ranchers using dogs these days and the cowhands working for them are becoming more aware of the value of a good dog in the bush and on the range. To me, this is probably the "real" future of the working border collie and I, for one, like to see this happening. Bob
  17. Hi Suzanne. Once again, I don't know what happened here but I missed a couple of posts during the holiday. One of the things you could do is work her on a bigger flock (20 sheep +)and work her so that she is pushing really hard and getting them to trot. Slow her down and speed her up so that she gets the idea that she is in charge. Sometimes we work so much at controlling the speed of the sheep when we trial that we take a certain amount of confidence out of the dog by making them work at controlled slow speeds all the time. Let her razz them a bit and get a little full of herself at times to bring that confidence level up and let her know that she is capable of doing anything you ask her to do. It's good to challenge dogs in a controlled environment at times when training so that you can see what they are capable of and build their confidence and yours at the same time. It's not always about control and straight lines and tight turns; it's sometimes about handling change and being successful with it. Create situations from your imagination that she could possibly run into while you're training her and then help her get through them and be successful with them. Get outside the box and do "real work". Hope things are going well with you and we'll see you down the road sometime this summer.......Bob
  18. I have to apologise to you for not answering your question right away. Somehow I missed it. Your dog needs to have some good old manners put into him so that he recognizes you are there. Get a good stop on him so that you can control where he is and then start to gather with him after you have control of him. You may have to use a long line for a while to get the stop (lie down) on him but don't go back to gathering until you have it. Just walk him up and down the fence on sheep with a walk up and lie down until you can stop him well. Sounds like he is a strong one who wants to do his own thing right now and he is not much into pleasing you. Once you have control of him he will be easier on you and try to do as you wish. Get back to me when you can stop him on sheep and we'll carry on from there...Bob
  19. I have been following this thread quite closely and it is my firm belief that education and putting proof in the pudding is the answer to the border collie being used more by the ranchers and farmers. My part in this is writing aticles in the "Beef in BC" magazine which is the magazine put out by the British Columbia Cattlemens' Association. I have been doing this for about 4 or 5 years now and have lots of response and emails asking questions about stock dogs, specifically border collies, how to raise them, how to pick them, feed, training etc., etc. I get so many calls either for training or to buy started or finished dogs that it is impossible for me to do it all most of the time. I do take in some dogs over the winter for training and I do some clinics at my place for the ranchers and farmers in the area and I make them cheap enough and usually short enough that they can take the time and money to come to them. I have seen some good growth in the use of stock dogs, not only in this area but up north also, and, even though it's not where I would like it to be, it is growing. I could carry on longer but I think you get the drift of what I am leading to and that is that each one of us, in our own way, needs to contribute something, if we want to see our fabulous dogs being used more and more in the ranch and farm world. And that doesn't involve criticism of the rancher and farmer, it involves a lot of patience, knowledge of their needs, and the dedication by all of us to give them what they need, a good, stgrong, well trained cattle dog and the ability for them to run them. ....Bob
  20. Yes, it looks like she is understanding what must be done and she went to balance very well at the top on this outrun. I certainly would not get her any wider than she already is as she will get wider with age. She is showing a nice pear shaped outrun and her lift is a little fast but it will come under control with practise and time. I waw her looking closely at some of the sheep that were trying to go to your left as they were approaching you and that is good as she understands that they must be kept together. On the previous video I saw a lamb that was lagging behind all the time and you need to reinforce that she doesn't leave this one behind by telling her to "look" when she goes on past it. You don't want her thinking she can leave stock behind. All in all, it looks like she is progressing nicely and you can start getting a little more distance on your outruns now. Not too much at a time though. Start with 10 or 20 yards and then,as she gets better, move a little further out. Rembmer to move yourself around at the bottom so you are changing the balance point all the time so that she is always aware of where you are and will go to balance as you change it. Your sheep are pretty well dogged so you need to change things as much as possible when working her on your sheep. Good luck........Bob
  21. I have a 4 year old that is for sale and on whistles. Contact me privately at delmarturk@yahoo.com or 250-828-1176. Bob Stephens
  22. To be quite frank, Donald, I always tell my students to send to the pressure unless there is some physical or mental reason to do with the dog that you can't; these being: doesn't run well on one side, dog loses sheep on one side on the way out etc. It doesn't appear that any of this kind of stuff prevailed at the trial in question so I would say to send to the pressure. (Send to the side to which the sheep tend to want to go)..Bob Stephens
  23. Pretty nice when you can have that kind of confidence in a dog that he can pretty well get any job done. Good luck and thanks for getting back to me. Also I would like to recommend that those folks who can get to a Bobby Dalziel clinic get to it. I know that he is putting one on back east this spring and this would be a good opportunity for some of you to train under one of the masters of the world. Bob
  24. Leave your stock with the horse. They seem to be comfortable with the horse and the horse will protect them from pretty well anything. I have used only a horse for a guardian for 18 years now and have never lost an animal. And we live in a very populated sub division with dogs running loose all over the place. It is very necessary to get the horse and the sheep used to each other before depending on the horse to guard but it doesn't take long. Bob Stephens
  25. The best advice I can give you in this situation is to flank the dog off the leader or antagonist that he is eyeing so that you break the focus on that animal. It won't be easy. You should also let him know that that is not what you want right now by correcting him if he doesn't take the flank. I take it he is quite a strong dog and likes to do this quite often and it is really time consuming when that happens. Now, it isn't always the dog's fault. Sometimes that ewe or doe just won't let up and turn which is what he wants her to do. To get on with your work, when in this situation, it is proper to get him up on her and even grip the face if necessary. You can't keep fooling around in this situation and a good face bite will usually turn the ugly one. Remember, you're working goats and they can be quite different to sheep and the dog must maintain authority over them at all times. When in close quarters like a trailer full of goats, it is necessary that you help the dog to maintain that authority as much as possible and, if you see a doe that is going to attack, put the dog on her and I'm sure that this action will prevent him getting hit. Team work will prevail. Sounds like you have a good one there and there's always something that comes up to force us back to the drawing board. Bob
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