Sabreur Posted October 31, 2006 Report Share Posted October 31, 2006 Hi all, I haven't posted for a good long while. I have two Border Collies, Turbo and Merlin, both six years and some. The first year I had them (they are both lost dogs, so they were both about 18 months old at the time), I took them to a weekend herding seminar in Northern Germany, about a six hour drive from here. It was fascinating, but no one was offering training any closer, so I basically let it go and worked on basic obedience and playing games with balls and frisbees for almost five years. This summer, my obedience trainer offered a seminar with a woman who trials with Aussies--it was interesting again, but the sheep had never been worked with dogs and were as sticky as they possibly could be, so it was quite frustrating for all of us. However, another one of the participants mentioned that there was going to be another seminar offered nearby a couple of weeks later. It was taught by Anita Hermes, a shepherd who has done quite well at European trials, particularly in brace. Among other things, it was the first time I got to see well-trained dogs work--amazing! One thing has led to another--I now train every weekend I have the chance, and attend seminars when I have a weekend and the cash. Trying to figure out how to slow Turbo down and get him to work wider--he's keen and biddable, but definitely needs a low gear. Merlin has proved to have extremely good sheep sense--he had a tendency to dive and grip, but we've taught him that isn't a good idea, and he works very intelligently and calmly--at the seminar this weekend, I was on the field with him and Anita said the sheep needed to be switched out, then looked at me and said, "Take Merlin and lead them to the far corner (300 meters across the field), hold them there while the new sheep are brought in, then drive them down the fence line, out of the field and pen them." And we did it! It was a bit ticklish for a minute or two when we had left the training field (which was fenced) and were out in an open field, with the folks at the seminar and their dogs on the right, and cornfields up ahead. Merlin likes to head the sheep, and he was standing between them and the pen--I told him to lie down, walked through the sheep to him, sent him away, the sheep started for the pen, he drove (escorted is probably a better word ) them in, then lay down at the mouth of the pen until I could close it... Don't think I've ever been so proud of a dog! MR Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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