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JaderBug

Working Wands

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I have been half-heartedly looking for a working wand and I've had a hard time finding any. So, I'm wondering what people here use for stock sticks or whatever you want to call them. Some questions:

 

1. Where did you get yours?

2. How much did you pay for it?

3. What is yours made of?

4. What do you like/dislike about yours?

 

Thanks!

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I use one similar to this one. I think the one I have is not available since Hope took over Border Collies in Action, but the one I linked to is the same basic idea.

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Yup, that's similar to the one I have also. I like it. I think sometimes I'd like a proper crook but I like the way this feels in my hand and it's not too heavy but it's not flimsy either. It's not very good for throwing. I got mine at a feed store and the grip slips down, which I hate. I need to get a new one.

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I use a cheap ($8) version of a dressage whip found at the local feed store. Makes a great sound, it's light, flexible, and doesn't hurt anyone when you accidentally catch someone with it.

 

Something like this ...

 

(It wasn't letting me use the tags for some reason.)

 

Jodi

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I have an old working wand I got from Border Collies in Action ages ago. Someone borrowed it to sort stock at a gate and it got crunched in the middle. A friend wrapped the middle with electrical tape like you'd wrap a tennis racquet handle so that the fiberglass wouldn't splinter any worse than it was (yes, I'm cheap). I also have a handmade crook and am getting another soon. Frankly, I rarely use any sort of stick for training. I do take a stick or crook out on the field in a trial because I can use it as an extension of my arm at the pen or for shedding, but otherwise, the stick just stays in the van.

 

J.

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1. Where did you get yours?

I have two main go-to working sticks. Main one, mostly used for sheep not dogs - a $10 wooden cane I got at Wal-mart and took the rubber tip off. I've had mine five years and the only reason it's not older than that is that I lost the previous four year old one somewhere.

 

The second for working in a round pen or general dog stuff is a fiberglass fence post with one end covered with electric tape. Someday I'll actually crack open the can of rubber coating I've got and do a stick right but until then my electric tape seems to hold up okay.

2. How much did you pay for it?

 

Crook like object, $10 plus tax. Fiberglass fence post, $1.50 (although they were 99 cents when I first started using them and if you buy them in bulk, like if you were putting up temporary fencing, you can still get them for that.

3. What is yours made of?

Wood, very sturdy and practical for catching sheep, pulling open wily gates that want to run away after you open them, knocking ice out of water tanks, etc.

 

Fiberglass, can't beat it for being light and not weeping bitter tears when you throw it and it vanishes never to be seen again.

4. What do you like/dislike about yours?

I guess I sort of answered that. The other thing I like about my crook like object is that I can hang it on my forearm and do stuff like inject a sheep after catching it, or process a lamb. I'd love a "real" crook someday, just a regular carved wood one, not the fancy horn crook, one I could still use to neck catch sheep. The cane is rather heavy. The fiberglass post is pretty much useless for anything but training and sorting sheep (and even for that I prefer my crook like object better). It also, of course, splinters over time and doesn't look "purty" out at the post on trial days.

 

I also have a buggy whip (short tailed popper) that I use when the ram is being a cheesehead. I bought him from someone who didn't use dogs and the ram won't move for most dogs, but vastly respects a popping whip. Sometimes the whip works well to make a point during training, too.

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[1. Where did you get yours?

 

Home Depot, plumbing dept.

 

 

2. How much did you pay for it?

 

About $ 1 , more or less.

 

 

3. What is yours made of?

 

PVC. It's about 36" long, 3/8" wide.

 

 

4. What do you like/dislike about yours?

 

Can be bought in 8' lengths, so when your husband takes it to fix the sink, you can cut another.

 

Featured on Derek Scrimgeur's The Shepherd's Pup as the height of fashion in the UK.

 

Fits right in w/ all the other junk we have on the farm.

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1. Where did you get yours?

 

After misplacing two fiberglass working sticks in pretty quick succession, I decided to make my own. The first two came from Border Collies in Action. The three replacements came from Home Depot. I decided to make three because heat shrink and rubber screw caps came in multiples of three.

 

2. How much did you pay for it?

 

About a dollar each for the white fiberglass rods (driveway markers). I almost didn't get to buy them though because they only came up yellow in the computer and the ones I had in my hand were white. It was April and I decided to check out in the garden center at home depot. The cashier was unwilling to charge me for yellow sticks because I had white sticks in my hand. She sent several people back to the hardware dept. to look and they couldn't find a price for white driveway markers. Meanwhile, the people behind me with carts full of mulch and flowers were getting angry. I am sure they were all thinking, "why does she care so much about those stupid sticks!" I let three or four customers go ahead of me while I held my ground on the sticks. If I hadn't let people go ahead, I probably would have been trampled by the spring gardening mob. Eventually, they decided that I could just have them for the price of the yellow driveway markers.

 

The heat shrink was about $4 for enough for all three sticks. The rubber screw caps were a little over a dollar.

 

3. What is yours made of?

 

A white driveway marker with a rubber screw cap super glued on each end to cover up pointy ends and heat shrink on one end to act as a hand grip. The heat shrink is used for electrical work and "shrinks" down when you put a lighter to it.

 

4. What do you like/dislike about yours?

 

They were pretty cheap and I still have all three of them. One stays in the truck, I keep one at the barn, and the third one stays in the fence near the gate to my far pasture.

 

Emily

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I'm a Lowe's driveway marker person. With clear tubing (from Lowe's also) on the top. If the pointing end gets pointy or off I scrape it on some concrete to smooth it down. The whole thing cost me maybe 2$

I don't use a stick much so I've had this one for maybe 4 years. I made about 10 and gave most of the others away.

I carry it out on the trial feild for penning and such but really cause I need something in my hand to comfort me.

 

I would love a nice crook but untill I'm running in open comfortably I'm not going to get one. Like a prize to keep me going!

 

I also have an aluminum 5 ft. crook for catching or gate things. Breaks ice well too.

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I know I'm kind of goofy, so bear with me!

 

Working Wand?

 

In my head you touch the dog on the top of the head with this and amid a sparkle of golden stardust he is instantly transformed into a Working Wonder Dog! :rolleyes:

 

Ok...thats enough Tea.

 

I have never used anything with my dogs, never had to. Gunny and Cap would back off if you raised your hands or your voice. Now that I am tenatively starting Sweep the Broom I picked up an old fir tree branch with a leafy end and swished that around when he was too.....uh.....attentive to the sheep.

 

Cost was perfect

 

And availibility is everywhere.

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My favorite training stick looks like this:

 

http://www.arlenescostumes.com/catalog.asp...;showprevnext=1

 

If you do a Google search on "bamboo cane" you should come up with a number of options from costume suppliers for around $5. It's the perfect length and weight and is incredibly strong. Mine is leftover from an event in college.

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Tea, haha, wouldn't that be nice :rolleyes:

 

My "working wand" is a wooden neck crook with a metal leg crook head on the bottom- does dual use- or a metal leg crook.

 

If you want something else, you could do what I did for the Natural Horsemanship stick-thing I use for working horses. It's a fiberglass fence post with a golf club grip on one end. It was coated with something to keep it from splintering (don't know what), and has a leather tab on the other end to attatch the rope.

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Joyce Geier gave Joanne and I each a wand years ago --we still use them.I have since made three for my grand-daughters.

I bought white fibreglass electric fence rods at a farm supply store,the handles are golf club handles which I bought at Canadian Tire,but probably available at Wal-mart or a sport goods store.Glue them on the rods and you have a nice easy to hold wand.Cost is only a few dollars each --the handles are the most expensive part--about $15 for three in a package.

 

Jim Murphy

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I have a couple flags from Border Collies in action, but my current favorite is my handhewn crook made from a piece of straight pvc with a 90• angle on the top for a handle. Extremely stylish

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My neighbor bought me a crook from the feed store for about $10. I left it at a friend's house though so now we don't have any available. Will check out the driveway markers. We do have lots of old golf clubs around here too. I bought a buggy whip awhile back but the end was shortened and the tip is too sharp to use now. N

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Anybody have any input on graphite working wands? Do they get dented up and stuff? I am thinking about getting one of these but didn't know how graphite stacked up to fiberglass. I would be interested in making my own out of the driveway markers (will need instruction!) but I haven't made it to Lowe's or anywhere to look into that.

 

Also, how long do you prefer a working wand to be?

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Don't know about the graphite but the standard for a crook is, hold your hand out with your elbow bent 90 degrees. The ideal working length should be from your wrist to the ground. For a crook, that doesn't include the hook.

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Most days I no longer go out with a stick.

We do have a few of the thin fiberglass sticks that came from Border Collies in Action.

I've used PVC pipe, bamboo pole, broom, stick laying on the ground, etc.

I have a nice crook (actually they are walking sticks not crooks) for trialing.

 

The length I prefer depends upon how I plan on using it. Most days I’d prefer one that is the right length for a walking stick.

 

Mark

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The graphite ones are very nice, but will break too. I have a friend that uses them and they are ALMOST as nice as my english leg crook that is my favorite for trialing. I use electronet fence posts at home, or if the weather sucks and is really muddy at a trial. I would have taken the yellow ones... easier to find in the snow! the fiberglass ones are very helpful if you need to poke a sheep to move it along the chute.

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the fiberglass ones are very helpful if you need to poke a sheep to move it along the chute

 

I've used my fiberglass driveway marker for poking a sheep along. Now if I need to poke a sheep along, I wap it along. I had a vision the last time I was poking a sheep to get it to move (worming in a chute) that I poked the stick right through the skin. I didn't, but the vision was enough to make me rethink my poking sheep. It does do a good job of wapping one!

 

I like the golf handles but never found them to buy without the club attached. I never thought to look at walmarts.

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Rachel,

 

We pick sorting sticks up at the Story City Sale Barn, I get them in 6 different colors, and to me they have a nice balance and the length is right for me. We also have a couple that came from Theisen, personally I don't like how flexible they are or the balance and prefer the ones from the sale barn. I don't use a stick very often but I found that the stiffer ones are better for leaning on then the flexible ones. If you don't have one purchased by the time we see you next come see us, we always have extras in the trunk for resale, $10.00 each.

 

Deb

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I have a few of the fiberglass ones from BCIA, but most recently the BF fashioned me one out of a fence post thingie for a hair over $1. He put a cute little cap on the slightly pointier end, and some tape for a handle. It's just about perfect. I lose them regularly, so I cringe at paying $8-12 for one.

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