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Everything posted by RMSBORDERCOLLIES

  1. I'm sure I could if I just knew where Pullman, WA or Moscow, ID was. Let me know the closest larger city to it and I'll get back to you........Bob
  2. I would start in the big field on the sheep he knows and work slowly into the fresh sheep as he progresses. Start with short outruns and move out as he becomes more profficient with the gathers. Move yourself around a lot when working on gathers which will change the balance point so that he is aware at all times of where you are. This works very well to teach the dog how to handle changes in pressure on the fetch which will help him to keep the sheep coming straight to you without too many commands. Keep up the work you've been doing until your field becomes available but be sure that you make him work properly and do things right and that he listens to you at all times. If you never let him do it wrong, he will do it right most times. Good luck and stay positive and have fun.........Bob
  3. Yes, I know the breeding and he would be distantly related to our Pete and Jenn and Jess out of Peter Gonnet's breeding. Hard, fast dogs but not extremely biddable at the beginning. Absolutely no quit, ever. I have found that using more, rather than less sheep, works quite well with these types of pups in the beginning as they are very eager, powerful and full of themselves and enjoy a challenge. Giving them more to cover will be beneficial for sure so if you could work more sheep now it would prbably make things a little more settled for you and the dog. Good heavy sheep are the best for these types of dogs I have found. They really like a challenge and light sheep just get them all the more excited and things don't progress very well at all. See you at Meeker......Bob and Nancy
  4. Hi Deb. Just keep doing what you're doing and things will go fine. He sounds like quite a little guy to be doing all that at such a young age. He is bending out on his flanks when he can which shows that he is feeling his stock so there is no problem working him in small areas. The real work that he is doing will benefit him greatlly in the big picture so keep on using him to move your stock around as much as possible. In such a case, it is wise to create situations where you can gather as much as possible, rather than drive all the time in order to keep working on a good outrun, lift and fetch. I'm not saying to stop driving though, just introduce the gather when you can. The best advice I can give you at this point is don't pressure him too much and go at his pace of learning which appears to be quite fast. These nice dogs can fool you into thinking they are not under pressure to learn because they are so biddable but be aware that asking too much too soon can be debilitating to say the least. Wait until your field comes available and then start the process of getting the nice outruns and lifts and control on the fetch and long drives etc. when you can. You are still working on lifts etc. even in the small pens anyway so when you get to the bigger field he will already know how to lift. Let me know when you are going to start him on the big field and we'll get him going well then.......Bob
  5. Hey, hope you have good runs at Kingston and take home a pile of money and points. Say hi to all the good eastern folks for me and tell them that Nancy and I wish we were going to be there. Unfortunately it's not doable this year. This method that I have been using with my dogs, and they are very much like your little one, has worked very well for me as long as the stop is good. Try it when you get back and I think it will help. Good luck and see ya down the road.........Bob and Nancy
  6. Hi Marilyn and Elizabeth. Good to hear from you. I hope I can help you with this, however, I never use a round pen when starting or training young dogs. I use a one acre fenced field with corners and pretty well broke sheep. I also insist that my dogs have a good stop when I take them to sheep. I have found that with some dogs (high energy, fast, quick or aggressive dogs) the round pen does not allow them to feel their sheep very well and they can't get where they need to be on them so everything is always high pressure and no settling. When you talk of the packed pen method I take it you would put more sheep in the pen with the intent to settle things down a bit. I don't, in my opinion, think this would work. I think it would create a more intense pressure situation for the dog and set you back somewhat. Putting the dog on the outside of the pen may work better than a packed pen as it would remove some of the anxiety from the dog and allow it to find it's own distance off the sheep. A good stop is absolutely necessary when starting out with these fast and furious types and lots of balance work in the field is also necessary. Sounds like she knows well what balance is but is probably not able to find it in the tight quarters of the round pen. Part of balance is pressure and there is probably way too much pressure in the round pen when she comes to balance and is too close to the sheep which is upsetting the apple cart and creating that intense situation that is causing her to dive in and bite. You are right when you say that this is a form of insecurity which probably stems from lack of experience and time on sheep. Does she move the sheep well from a distance? Does she have the presence to get them moving from a sensible distance away and keep them moving? How big is your round pen? Do you have a small field to work in? One of the things that I do with pretty well all my young dogs is work the corners and the fence to teach them to bring sheep off these tight places quietly and with confidence. Once again, you need a good stop on the dog to do this as you will be stopping the dog behind the sheep on the fence or corner for the first little while. Get between the dog and the sheep on the fence or corner and ssshhh the dog to one side or the other. Block the dog so he goes the way you want him to and make sure you keep the movement under control with your stops so he doesn't have an opportunity to rush in and grab. You are close enough in these instances to control the dog quite well. Stop the dog on the way in behind the sheep and make sure you leave the sheep a place to go so you don't create unecessary pressure for the dog. Let the dog get in behind the sheep all the while keeping things quiet by giving him his stop and ssshhh quietly until he is behind the sheep with him on the fence and the sheep are moving towards you. Once he has started to fetch the sheep to you, do it all over again from the other side. As he progresses just keep moving a little further away from him when you send him in to gather them off the fence but all the time keeping things nice and quiet. I have found this to work well for me and, as you know, I like fast and furious dogs and this is the way I get them gathering. Try this if you like and let me know how it worked for you and get back to me and maybe between the 3 of us we can come up with a good answer. Stay well.......Bob
  7. Hi Suzanne. I would hesitate to chastise a dog for hitting the front leg in a crowded pen. Usually this is happending because the dog gets excited in close quarters and things aren't under that much control. I would tend to lighten up my voice to send the message to the dog to use it's presence rather than it's teeth to take charge, control, of the sheep. Sometimes when we are trying to train a dog to quietly present itself to the sheep and take a nose if needed, we become a little too aggressive ourselves and pass that message on to the dog. If we want the dog to stay calm and take control we need to do the same. So you go into the pen with your dog and you walk up to the sheep with him/her and quietly but firmly say, "walk up on them" or whatever command you use when trying to teach the dog to move in on the sheep. Try not to let the dog lie down while controlling him as he will be able to take charge much better on his feet than on his belly. The dog can kind of lean into the sheep when he's on his feet but might just scare hell out of them when he gets up from his belly. If the sheep don't start to move back off the dog, encourage him to keep walking in by saying, "that's a girl, or something to that effect". If the sheep still don't want to move take one by the neck with you facing the sheep's head to the dog and say, "get her, get her". Hold the sheep's head down a bit so that she can get the nose and don't let her go low on the leg. What you are doing is aiming the sheep's nose at the dog's mouth so that she gets the idea to take the nose. Hopefully the sheep are broke enough and light enough that you can get this done as it's sure nice to have a dog that will stand to the sheep and back it up if necessary. As far as the judging question goes, I probably wouldn't DQ the person whose dog bit the sheep on the leg when being challenged as the dog has every right to protect itself if being challenged. However, due to the fact that the dog bit the sheep on the leg rather than the nose, I would most definitely take considerable points for that infraction. Your five year old dog is hitting the front sheep as that is the leader and that is the one she feels she must control. You will have to be very fast with your timing to stop this, but stop it you must. You may be letting her get a little too close to the sheep in your intention to get them moving a little faster. Remember that flow is what you are looking for, not go, stop, go, stop. You will have to chastise her for doing this if she continues to do it. There is no reason that a strong dog needs to do this other than because she wants to. Try making your commands to increase her pace and get the sheep moving a little bit softer but with light encouragment. Be a little more patient and teach her to work not necessarily slower but with more calmness and purpose. Get her to flow when she's working and to get that you need to show her and teach her how you want her to work. She's plenty strong so you don't have to worrry about confidence but you don't want to take anything out of her either. When you see her wanting to get too pushy just give her a "hey, hey, steady now" or " take your time" or something that is calming to her. There's nothing nicer than watching a good strong dog push the sheep around a course and make it look like a gently flowing steam. Try this for a while and let me know how it's going....Talk later.....Bob
  8. I'm not going to get very scientific with this as it would appear that work is not involved with your concern. Dogs tend to acclimate well to the climate in which they live and will be quite comfortable as long as they are not working or being exercised heavily during these types of temperatures. Provide lots of cool water and lots of air movement and I'm sure he will be fine. The humidity is probably more worriesome than the temperature so air movement is very important. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have a small child's pool available for him to dip into every now and then during these extreme temperatures. Bob
  9. Sorry I have taken so long to answer but I was getting ready for the Stampede and had no time. In my opinion your problem is one of lack of obedience to the command "there" and rather than trying to correct the problem with giving another command, I would chastise him for not obeying you. I don't know what your form of correction is but, if it was me, I would call his name and give him a "hey" very sharply and with some anger to let him know that I won't stand for sloppiness, which is what it is. Then give him the "there" again insisting that he take it right now and backing it up with a harsher correction if not heeded. I certainly can't give you a reason why he is doing it but the very fact that he is requires a response on your part which is what I have suggested. Try that for a while, letting him know EVERY TIME that your are displeased and that you won't stand for sloppiness in his work. Don't stay angry or upset with him once he does it right. Correct him and then let him work and I'm sure that he will come along once he knows that he can't get away with it and that it is not what you want of him. Good luck.....Bob
  10. Hi there. It appears that you have spent a lot of time pushing this dog out and off his stock with your body position and he is reacting to your out as a command to get away from you. It also appears that most of your problem with the slicing is on the drive when he is taking stock away from you. The use of the long line properly will aid in correcting this but you must be in the right position when you do it. Start the dog driving with a 100 foot long line on him. You don't need to use the whole hundred feet to start but you will eventually get there. Walk the dog up on the sheep and stay to one side or the other. To make things easier for you and the dog drive along a fence where you only have to cover one side for now. Stay off to the side and behind the dog and when you want him to flank, call his name, wait for him to look at you, (to get his head going in the right direction)say "here" and give him the flank. If needed, give a sharp jerk on the line and release. Make sure that you are in a position to get him off the sheep squarely so you are teaching him to flank properly. Once you have the flank good on the line, then start with the line off doing the same thing without the use of the line. Call the dog's name, "here", "away to me" or "come bye". You need to correct him with whatever language or form of correction you use if he starts to slice again. This is a mistake on his part as he knows what a square flank is and must do it. I usually just give a sharp "hey!" or "aagghh!" to let him know he's wrong and I'm disapointed in him. I'm not much of a proponent of the commands "out", "get out" etc. I believe if you teach the dog to flank properly and square to start with you don't need these commands. I suppose it's nice to have a back up but I have found over the years that it is a correction that is needed rather than another command for a flank that is improperly executed. Be very consistent by ensuring that your dog flanks properly at all times and things will go much better for you. Good luck.......Bob
  11. In any situation, trial or not, if you anticipate that your dog is going to come in tight or cross over you should automatically redirect him/her with a flank. You are better to, in a trial situation, lose the points rather than cross over and either lose lots of points or possibly not even get to the sheep, or, in a work situation, allow your dog to cross by not giving the redirect and teaching your dog that it is ok to cross over. In other words, there'll be no holding of the breath and hoping and wishing that something will happen. Be proactive as much as possible, rather than reactive. Bob
  12. I really wouldn't even try to train the "lie down" right now but just try "stand there" or "stay there" without the "lie down". In other words keep her on her feet but make her stop on her feet. Bob
  13. I won't say too much about your reputable trainer who can not get a lie down on the dog and you can take from that what you will. If she is very soft and soft does not mean weak, then it is quite likely you don't really need a lie down on her, just a stop. If she will stop when asked or told, that is all that is necessary right now. Some dogs just absolutely don't like to lie down, it puts them in a submissive position in their mind and they are not comfortable with it. I say some because most are fine with it. If your dog knows what "stay there" or "stay" means then just get her to stop by saying those commands. If she doesn't know how to stay there, then teach her by pushing your arm and hand at her, walking toward her and saying "stay there". It is not necessary to have her on her belly when you give this command, and, in most cases, it is better for the dog to be on her feet anyway. Once she has her "stay there" or "stand there", then continue on with her training. I can understand your trainer not being able to continue with her training without some kind of a stop but I do feel that he/she should be able to recognize a dog that is not comfortable on it's belly and teach the "stand there" instead. You need to be able to stop the dog in order to teach a lot of things including pace, flanks etc. so you do need to be able to stop the dog where you want it to stop. Let me know how this works and if you need any more help with it and how your dog comes along with it.....good luck .......Bob
  14. Hi there. Even though I am much older than Bobby, he is my mentor and I think that his Wisp is the best dog I have ever watched run, bar none. I try to follow most of Bobby's methods if at all possible and talk to him as often as I can. With dogs of your type he is a wizard so I hope you learned lots and took it home with you. You have a great dog there and he will serve you well throughout your time with him. Good luck and stay with it........Bob
  15. Ben. Don't feel so bad about it and by reading your post I would say that you're a good person and quite capable of accepting that we are not experts until we get some experience under our belts and even then, we are not experts! I don't know you personally but I was at Whidbey this past week end and I'll let you know this. Those are the most wiley sheep you will run on and have experienced pretty well everything a dog can do to them. If you give them a 2 inch hole they will be gone, for good. It wasn't just the several days they had been run at this trial that makes them have course savvy. They live there and are worked there and trialled there in other venues so give yourself a pat on the back for being wise enough to leave the post when things are uncontrollable. I was running a very young dog in P/N and he was trying to have himself a little circus day so I also left the post due to starting to get larengitis from yelling "lie down" to him. Once you hit those sheep that hard there is no forgiveness so you need to make the executive decision to walk or teach the dog to just keep on ingoring you. Your so called expert....Bob
  16. She sure looks like a Border Collie to me and has a nice eye to boot. Your expectations at this point will be to just observe what is happening when she sees the sheep. This should be done under a controlled environment; ie: 1/2 to one acre field, fenced, long line on the dog to protect the sheep so you can step on it if she gets to chasing or trying to hurt the sheep. An experienced person with you who can monitor the activity (this is probably the most important thing that needs to happen) and let you know what you are seeing out there. Just because she chases does not mean she's showing any traits that we are looking for but at least she's not disinterested and that's a good thing. If you can get her to go around to the back of the sheep and gather them to you that would be a good indication that she has some stock sense and can be trained. As far as proving that she is a border collie or not with her actions, forget about that. It won't prove anything. She's a Border Collie or mostly Border Collie just by looking at her but she's your dog and if she works for you it doesn't matter whether she's pure or not unless you're planning on breeding and I would hope you're not unless you get an ABCA or CBCA ROM on her. She's your dog so just enjoy the fact that she will work and then go out and have fun training and working her and learning all about this great life we get a chance to lead. Bob
  17. Just got back from the great Whidbey Island trial so am a little late answering these posts but here goes. I'll give you my opinion on the scenario you refer to but keep in mind that Judges have the right to their opinion on certain actions within the USBCHA guidelines to Judges and also that there are so many variables that could happen that it is likely that we will only hear of some of them. An opinion can only be offerred on what is known so this may not be the answer to the question if there are any variables missing. Provided the dog has not harassed the sheep throughout the course and caused the ewe to get on the fight, then what the dog did at the pen is completely acceptable and, in my opinion, justified even to the extent of a grip on the face and release. If a ewe charges the dog and has not been provoked by the dog, the dog has every right to protect itself and take control. You will notice that I have referred to the dog not harassing the ewe at any place on the course and this is very important to the Judge to make a decision as to whether the dog is justified in gripping or snapping at the ewe or is he just frustrated because of a lack of presence to move the ewe and is getting too aggressive with her. From what you have indicated in other posts from others on this topic I would say that you did just fine if this is your dog who is the subject of the post. Plese keep in mind that this is my opinion and I do do a fair amount of judging but I am not someone else so I can not speak for another Judge. Bob
  18. Oh Boy!!!! I don't know where you are geting your information but I would really try to find another source before you start your new dog. 4 months is certainly no time to be taking him to stock other than to walk through them to see how he reacts to them. I have no idea how old your heeler is but, if he is just a pup, I would lighten up on "correction" a bit. There is a very good book by Vergil Holland that will help you get started. It is called Herding Dogs, Progressive Training and will get you started very well and is a good reference when you run into trouble. I train a lot of cattle dogs and I start them all on sheep. I find it much better that way as you can get better flanks quicker as the sheep move much differently than cattle. Dogs react to them much better and, of course, there is less chance of injury on sheep. It's very easy to change them over to cows once the training is advanced far enough. As far as age of the dog is concerned, you need to wait until the dog is mature enough to handle the pressure of training and corrections(not the kind you were referring to). This can happen usually between the ages of 8 and 14 months but each dog is different in this department. I would also recommend that you try and find a reputable trainer to help you get a start properly with this as your dog will be of much more help if he is trained properly. If you need help with this there are lots of people on this board who can steer you towards the right person for your area. I may be able to help also if you let me know where you are. You really do need to get more information before you start yoiur new dog and I can help but you need someone to SHOW you how to get started. There are lots of clinics coming up now too so try to get into one of these and get some instruction before you get started. Keep in touch and good luck.......Bob
  19. Hi Suzanne. Yes, we'll see you at Whidbey. Nancy and I are both quite healthy now and getting back into training our dogs again. Went to our first trial a couple of weeks ago since the finals which we shouldn't have gone to but couldn't stop ourselves from going. So we'll see you at Whidbey next week end.......Bob
  20. Hi there. I concur with Ray 100%. You should be able to redirect your dog to any place you want him on the outrun or any other part of the course or work. If your dog is running wide then you don't need another command, just one of the ones you already have; a counter flank. If your dog is going wide on the away side then you need to give him a come bye to the point that you would like to see him and then your away again when he is on the part of the field you want him to be. If you make him do it right all the time, he will do it right without the commands eventually. Don't let him do it wrong. Ray is also very correct when he says 100 feet is not too deep. That's where I would like all my dogs to be at the top of their outrun. Good luck....Bob
  21. I'll give you an example of a late starter. My old Turk dog worked cattle from the time he was 5 months old but did not turn on to sheep until past three. He absolutely had no interest in those little things out there and I was worried that he would never work them. Finally, after many times of letting him watch sheep being worked, he turned on and never looked back. Bob
  22. I have always said that if you can't stop a dog you can't run him. So that pretty well says what I think about that. In my opinion the stop is the most important command in your repertoire. Good lateral movement is a bit of genetics and a bit of training also although I believe that a dog that has it from birth will be better at it than those that are trained to do it. Never quite the same. It's not necessary to get your dog to lie down and, on cattle, I believe they are better on their feet than on their belly. You usually need every drop of presence you can get when working on cattle and they present themselves with much more confidence on their feet than on their belly. Work on your stop and your flanks and let the dog figure out where to be by moving yourself around a lot changing the balance point all the time so he becomes very aware of where it is all the time. The drop you are talking about is really a learned trait and more a duck to avoid getting kicked than a drop. Work on broke cattle until he gets his confidence set well and learns how to protect himself. If he can move the cows without biting that is more desireable than the dog that has to keep heeling to keep the cattle moving. He needs to know how to heel but also when is more important. A dog that can stand to the cattle's head when they are coming towards him is what you are looking for. He needs to be able to approach the cattle, and keep approaching them until they turn and then walk into them driving them away with, preferably, no biting. If biting is needed then it should be on the face, nose preferably and no more severe than needed to get the cow to turn and walk away. I don't like dogs that slash at the side of the face or the belly or shoulder. That form of contact usually results from some form of fear and really never accomplishes anything as it will just get a cow on the prod and make her worse. Good luck and have fun with your dog........Bob
  23. You pretty well need to just take her to sheep and let her watch your other dog or dogs work and then try her again. Take her where she can watch a trial or lots of other dogs working on sheep or cattle and see if she will get interested. I would not try any inducement techniques for a while as you need to just wait and see right now. When you say champion stock I would hope you are talking about ISDS style trial champions and not show champions. It is quite likely that she hasn't turned on to stock yet but that is very rare as the dogs are usually the later ones to come on to stock. Patience and let her watch lots of dogs working and see if she gets interested over the next while........Bob
  24. Hi there. I have always found that some dogs start out biting a little on the high side and it is pretty well a bred in thing to have a good low biter. Teaching them to bite low is not really teaching them. They just learn by getting smacked a few times when they bite too high. You just need to work her a little more on broke cattle for a while until she learns how to bite low and get out of the way. Bobby Dykes is in your area and I believe that Anna Guthrie is close also. Anna is on this list so could probably let you know who is available down there. Bob
  25. You do just exactly what you did. Get closer so that you can encourage her up on the sheep and mover yourself around so that she is getting to balance all the time. Get to whatever distance she will be able to get the sheep started and then work longer as she progresses from there. It won't take long. She is not lacking confidence per se, only when she is confused about to whom she is supposed to fetch the sheep. Once she has taken them off the person a few times, the problem will be solved. Have your set person stand absolutely still and quiet while you do the encouraging. Once she has lifted the sheep off the set person start backing up and let her bring them at a reasonable pace. (as fast as is reasonable, not too slow). Good luck.....Bob
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