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Young dog update


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Hi, I posted a little while ago about my young BC Drift and his unplanned first experience with sheep. About 4 weeks at age 6 months I was visiting a friend with experienced kelpies and we decide to put him in the round yard with one of them and some dogged sheep. He just thrived and was so confident that I decided rightly or wrongly to start with him at home. I built a large round yard and did some very short sessions with him.


Because he tends to flank very wide and from advice from the board, I decided to get him out into the paddock as soon as I was sure I had enough control of him. Well we have had 3 or 4 runs in a 15 acre paddock, which is my smallest paddock and he is just thriving on it.


I an not really familiar with all the terms but he naturally does nice wide outruns and when he gets a bit close up the top of the sheep I flicked him out a few times with my plastic pipe I use and he soon got the idea. He has no trouble getting them out of their favourite corner or out from the rock heaps. I give him encouragement but try and work with his natural sense and instinct and not to hinder him.


The last few mornings he and I were in control enough to get the sheep through the gate of the round yard. He seemed to know what I wanted and pushed then straight in.


He is very fast and with maturity I think he will be both fast and strong, a couple of the largest sheep have occasionaly challenged him and he is simply not fazed at all. He has no problem gathering up the occasional break away from the small flock. He doesnt allow breakaways and immediately reacts to pick them up.


Being directionally challenged I have elected to use the words I use in agility for right and left - round and back as flanking commands, instead of the traditional commands.


As I plan to eventually run about 200 ewes, his farm work will be his bread and butter although I would love one day to have a go at trialing him in the distant future, but at the moment we are just having fun and just sticking to the basics. Drift is waiting every morning at the garden gate to come with me and fetch the sheep up to the round yard. He just quivers with anticipation.


I have started training my showbred 3 yo BC in the round yard and she has taken to it like a duck to water. She doesnt have the same natural grace, ability and strength as my working bred but I think she will be handy.


I have also probably rashly rescued a 7mo working bred Koolie. No idea what he will be like as a sheepdog I will give him time to settle in and bond with us. Apparently his parents are good workers.


I normally work my dogs on my own but next time someone vists I will get them to take photos of Drift working.


I am really enjoying the whole experience. I have 5 sheep that I use for training and will stick to them untill we are both more experienced, before we attempt working with a larger flock.





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Nice photos, beautiful county, and very best wishes for a great time training and working your dogs!


Thanks Sue, this is what happens when I buy a BC to do agility with, join the board, become fascinated with working dogs and end up buying a small farm and learning how to train working dogs.


Lucky I already work in the agricultural industry!

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