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Hi Everyone!

 

My BC is still a very young pup (18 weeks) but I want to know what to start doing in order to prepare him.

 

I have contacted the two trainers in my area (as well as my pups breeder) to see about training and to just establish a relationship. My little one has a good eye, and his sire/dam both work so I'm hoping he will excel in herding. He was put in the sheep pen at 12wks and proceeded to "herd" them...which made my heart melt. :rolleyes:

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Hi Brittany!

 

Is that your boy? What a handsome little guy. :rolleyes:

 

I'd say the most important thing at this age is simply to establish and work on his rapport with you. Basic obedience (not to drill him, just so he understands you're the boss) and basic good house manners. If he's impulsive at meal times, work on getting him to sit for his bowl. If he bolts out gates or doors, work on getting him to wait until you ask him through. Take him places with you, socialize him, teach him good manners with other people and just spend quality time with him. To me, that early puppy bonding is highly important and sets the stage for later training on stock.

 

If he gets in the habit of listening to and minding you as a pup, it'll be that much easier when you start your training on sheep. Oh, and if there are sheepdog trials and trainers in your area, you might take him along and just teach him to hang out and be politely social there.

 

Above all, have fun and enjoy the journey!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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Thanks Gloria! & yes, that's my baby. <3

 

Right now we are training agility (main reason I got him) so he get's a TON of socialization as he goes to the trials with me. We've been working on basic things with him, but I was wondering if there were more specific things I could do?

 

I'm not talking about puppy foundation things (we got that), but things specifically geared to help him late in trialing? Like right now we are working on foundation work for agility. The skills he is learning now have nothing to do with agility itself (commands/equipment, etc.) but will help him for when we actually start teaching agility.

 

Hopefully I make sense! :rolleyes:

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Just my opinion, but I don't think there is a lot you need to do, to prepare him for later work on sheep. I know there are people out there who have espoused various forms of "dry work" before the dog ever sees sheep, but... I don't see the point.

 

The plain fact is, if a dog is keen to work, whatever obedience or training he's had may very well fly out the window, the first time you put him on sheep. :rolleyes: But that's just youthful excitement, nothing to worry about, and it'll pass with time and training.

 

With my pups, I just teach them the usual sit/stay/lie down, how to walk quietly on leash, and a decent recall. (Which, again, may vanish in those first sessions on sheep.) I think simply laying down a good foundation of respect, and a habit of listening to you, is what will pay off in the long run.

 

But I'm far from an expert, so take my humble opinions with whatever grain of salt they may deserve. :D

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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You may just wish to consider a few things. First, in agility, the dog pays a great deal of attention to you and your body language helps direct the dog. In stockdog work, your dog tends to work a bit differently off your body pressure. In other words, you want the dog to go to (or towards) a certain obstacle in agility, and you move (or indicate with your arm) towards that obstacle. It tends to be the reverse in working a dog on stock that your dog moves away from your body pressure (in general).

 

I may be confusing about this but it can pose problems for a dog that is used to working "with" your pressure, to then be working "away from" your pressure. These dogs are smart and, for the hobby level of stockwork, I doubt it would be an issue. Many people feel, though, that serious agility work and serious stockwork can be conflicting.

 

However, I do know people who feel that basic agility work can be confidence-building in a young dog, helps them develop body skills, and so forth. But most people I know recommend primarily that you let your pup be a dog - learning basic manners, developing a good and respectful relationship with you, and so forth, rather than pursuing another "career" path.

 

Secondly, if you are serious about wanting to do stockwork, make sure that your pup learns how to take corrections. Much of obedience and agility is based on positive training (nothing wrong with that) but a stockdog needs to know how to respond to a correction. Dog does something, you make a verbal or physical (body pressure, blocking, generally) correction, and dog offers another behavior. If the next behavior offered is "right", let him/her go on. If not, recorrect. A correction is not the end of the world, just an aid to developing and refining the dog's natural instincts, and should be viewed as such, by both you and the dog.

 

A clinician/handler that I greatly admire feels a stockdog only needs three things when beginning stockdog training - to know his/her name, to have a reliable recall, and to know how to take a correction. All the rest you might do is a bonus.

 

Whatever you choose to do, exercise common sense and enjoy!

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Gorgeous puppy!

 

I highly recommend Derek Scrimgeour's book Talking Sheepdogs and his DVD series on starting a pup as well. He does do a few foundational things that prepare the pup for later. You can get them through Border Collies In Action.

 

Good luck!

 

Amy

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Hi Sue!

 

everything you said about agility was correct, and it makes sense as to why it would confuse a dog to do both 'careers'. Agility and stock work are both just purely hobbies...my way of escaping mommyhood for a bit. If he excels, wonderful! If not, he'll just be a beloved pet. :D

 

All of our dogs (2 lab and a yorkie) were taught with corrective punishment. They are VERY well behaved and know all basic manners...yes, even my Yorkie was taught with punishment. I didn't learn about positive reinforcement until I got into Agility recently. For the first 3 weeks I had Dash (BC) we did nothing but positive reinforcement as that is what the agility people pushed on us.

 

The dog was nuts! He learned zero manners, wouldn't listen, etc. My husband and I decided to put both worlds together...now we have a nicely behaved pup who listens to the things we say. Now don't get me wrong, I don't go whacking him for everything, but if he bites my Yorkie/my daughter/etc., he gets his collar tugged and a sharp NO. The agility people told me to simply remove him from the source & give him a bone to occupy his attention. 'Simply ignore the behavior'...so he learned "I bite baby, mommy picks me up & gives me a bone!"

 

In certain situations positive reinforcement is needed, but I don't think it works 24/7 with our pack. It has helped me communicate better with my dogs and I'm thankful for that. I'm a MUCH better trainer now.

 

SIDE NOTE: I do not abuse my dogs, they are not beaten. When I say corrective punishment, I mean: tug on the collar, tap on the muzzle, etc. :rolleyes:

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But most people I know recommend primarily that you let your pup be a dog -

 

AMEN! In my last post I said something regarding using positive reinforcement for the first 3 weeks I had him, and during that time I was SO focused on agility foundation that I lost focus on my PUPPY.

 

I totally forgot that he was a dog and just had it in my head 'that if I didn't get this agility foundation stuff now, he will be a terrible agility dog!' It got so bad that my husband didn't even want to look at Dash as he feared his corrections/behaviors toward him would upset me and ruin my 'training'. My poor hubby had to have a 'Positive/Agility Training Intervention' for me. :rolleyes: I finally realized I was being ridiculous when he said "Just let the damn dog be a dog!"

 

We have a much better relationship now as I don't worry so much about his training. If I have the 5 minutes to do some foundation work, great! If I'm too tired, we'll just cuddle instead. :D

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1The dog was nuts! He learned zero manners, wouldn't listen, etc. My husband and I decided to put both worlds together...now we have a nicely behaved pup who listens to the things we say. Now don't get me wrong, I don't go whacking him for everything, but if he bites my Yorkie/my daughter/etc., he gets his collar tugged and a sharp NO. The agility people told me to simply remove him from the source & give him a bone to occupy his attention. 'Simply ignore the behavior'...so he learned "I bite baby, mommy picks me up & gives me a bone!"

 

In certain situations positive reinforcement is needed, but I don't think it works 24/7 with our pack. It has helped me communicate better with my dogs and I'm thankful for that. I'm a MUCH better trainer now.

 

SIDE NOTE: I do not abuse my dogs, they are not beaten. When I say corrective punishment, I mean: tug on the collar, tap on the muzzle, etc. :rolleyes:

I had no feeling that you would be abusive. There are some very good trainers on these boards who are purely positive and, if it works for them and their dogs, fine with me. There are also some very good trainers on these boards who use a variety of approaches, including rewards and reasonable, appropriate corrections (I'm keeping this simple, for my sake, not yours!) and, if it works for them and their dogs, fine with me. I am in the latter camp but feel that any humane approach that produces happy, mannerly, safe dogs is the right approach for the person who finds it best for them and their dogs.

 

In your example, I would issue a correction and then, when the puppy responded appropriately (stopped the behavior, looked at me, wondered what to do), give the alternative (chewie or bone) to the undesired behavior (chewing on baby), and praise chewing on the right object.

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In your example, I would issue a correction and then, when the puppy responded appropriately (stopped the behavior, looked at me, wondered what to do), give the alternative (chewie or bone) to the undesired behavior (chewing on baby), and praise chewing on the right object.

 

Exactly what I do. :D Once he stops whatever needed correcting, he gets his "Good Boy" and his marrow bone.

 

And thank you for not jumping the gun and thinking I'm abusive. When people hear that I give 'physical correctin' they just assume I beat my dogs. :rolleyes:

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Hi Everyone!

 

My BC is still a very young pup (18 weeks) but I want to know what to start doing in order to prepare him.

 

I have contacted the two trainers in my area (as well as my pups breeder) to see about training and to just establish a relationship. My little one has a good eye, and his sire/dam both work so I'm hoping he will excel in herding. He was put in the sheep pen at 12wks and proceeded to "herd" them...which made my heart melt. :rolleyes:

 

 

Don't let him get into sheep and get "over his head". You still need to protect them at this tender age...

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Don't let him get into sheep and get "over his head". You still need to protect them at this tender age...

 

The day I went to pick him up, the breeders had him out in the sheep pen with his mom. They were moving sheep when I pulled up..I didn't purposely put him in with the sheep. :rolleyes:

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I'm sorry this is off topic but look at the adorable (yorkie?) in the back of the border pup. how cute!!!!

 

 

Thank you! && yup, she's a Yorkie..my heart dog. We've had many scares with her over the years but she is one strooonnng little dog and never gives up. <3

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To me the recall is the most important thing. Cute guy; good luck with whatever you do. He is gorgeous.

 

Thank you!

 

We are working on his recall as it's not too good. He gets distracted very easily but everywhere I take him we practice his recall. I'm hoping this gets him used to listening in unfamiliar situations.

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