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Remember the little Bonnie running around like a maniac at 7 months and later, and her awkward handler, that is me? It's been two years now since Bonnie's introduction to sheep. So far we have managed to go only to two trials one of which we (surprisingly) won. So here are some videos from our recent training and work with goslings.

 

Bonnie is 2.5 years old now.

 

 

maja

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Fun videos. Bonnie has nice wide flanks, yet is able to walk-up close to a large packet to get it moving. Keep that push in her. Sheep at trials, depending on time of day, extent of previous use, and other factors can be heavy -- a little like the groups in the videos. Good job. -- TEC

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Thank you so much for your comments and king words. Our sheep at home are heavy, so she was very good with heavy sheep but a problem with light sheep - she spooked them too much, being too pushy, too zippy, too up-close and it would take her a while before she adjusted. What it meant for trialling, I need to say :lol: .

 

But the geese are very delicate, very easily maneuvered which means easily disastrously mis-maneuvered if she overdoes anything, or pushes too much. So am just about ecstatic (my version of 'ecstatic' anyhow :D )about Bonnie's self-control on the goslings and then afterward about her push on the sheep. We bought the geese strictly for farming business, I never thought of them doing any good in the training, but they are great. So good and unexpected.

 

Maja

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Beautiful Maja! and many hugs and congratulations! Eluane too had tons of things to celebrate on her end on our Special Memorial holiday! What a job well done and beautifully accomplished, Maja! And yes, it's amazing how the little creative ways to train (like your geese) and me with a few experiments I've done can make a difference and help us develop new skills...

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Thank you, Serena! And congratulations to you and Eluane! But I would not take any creative credit for goose training. We bought them as part of a farming business and Bonnie was simply the best trained dog to work them.

 

The other day I was standing and giving commands to Bonnie as she was bringing in the geese knowing my neighbor - who came to see to his horses - was watching. I was so proud that Bonnie was doing brilliantly as I was giving her quiet almost careless commands. As she was bringing them closer I my sense of pride grew as she subtly corrected the course of the flock at my so-much-improved handling. Yes, nothing like a seamless team-work of a good dog and a decent handler. To give the geese more room to go through the gate I stepped back.

 

And I stepped into the biggest smelliest LGD doo-doo I had on the farm.

 

Pride before the fall. I mean, "pride before the doo-doo."

 

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Oh, Maja! Hugs about the doo-doo! The worst is Labrador poop! Oh sheesh, sooo huge and gross and I too have stepped in a pile in spite of warning myself to be careful!!!! (was retrieving a frisbee from my Neighbor's lawn and the grass was very long and was plastered to the doo-doo so that it was hidden) It took me a good 2 hours to clean my shoe!!!

 

Maja, I can't see the video! Can you re-post? I loooove watching Sweet Bonnie! She is so beautiful! If anyone else can see please say so. I can only see the top 3 videos....

 

P.S. thank you about congratulating Eluane but I always feel like such a nincompoop (speaking about poop) compared to my oh-so-fabulous agility friends across the pond. They are brilliant and have taught us so much.... Only Little Eluane deserves all the congratulations!

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I sorry, it turnued out I should have fiddled with the link a bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_DX9dHp9KA

 

Smalahundur,

I am wondering about geese myself - basically "what's the catch?" They seem a really excellent addition to sheep herding. With my sheep being over dogged, they are a nice stock-work counter-point. Bonnie has to be pushy with the sheep and very subtle with the geese. Seems like an ideal situation. So, is it too good to be true, I wonder.

 

maja

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The catch? Poultry can bring out eye in a dog. If the dog is loose-eyed to begin with, that might not be an issue, but for a dog with a lot of eye, increasing the eye could cause any of the problems that a dog with too much eye might have. I use my Lark on poultry despite her too-much eye and resulting clappiness. Working the chickens really only exacerbates the problem, but she's a good poultry dog, so I do it anyway.

 

Those geese are nice. They don't rush, which is always a good thing!

 

J.

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Julie,

 

Thank you for the valuable information. That's good news since Bonnie is not strong eyed. But I will remember that with my next puppy! But I have noticed a change in Bonnie. For the first time in Bonnie's life I occasionally have to repeat the "walk" command.

 

I work the geese only a little: 3-4 minutes at a time, and no more than a couple of times a week. And Bonnie knows that they are supposed to move at a walking pace, or else. Geese have a silly habit of crashing into things when the panic. I was told the same thing by a goose farmer that these geese are very calm. They were not like that at first, and it's very easy to get them into a flutter. So will just pat myself on the back that I have such good goose dog :D:D :D ;)

 

Maja

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Great video Maja, I totally enjoyed it! Hmmmmm, being ignorant of herding issues, to me Bonnie is doing an excellent job "training" the geese if anything. Some of her sharp angles gave me a "start" because I thought for sure with such sharp L angles it might startle the geese, but they seem to be doing great because she gives them lots of girth and doesn't keep pushing and pushing but takes just key moments to move??

 

Maja, IMHO, not knowing much, but to me, the geese was a wonderful idea, because Pam told me that in the UK they have a real wonderful sense of what she terms, "method" which actually hones in a dog's ability to really read and to exert its influence with doing very minimally physically. maybe, just maybe???? in my humble guesswork that perhaps working with several different animals deepens the border collie's intelligence and instincts to "read" better? because it is working with a diversity of animals? and teaches sensitivity to a B.C. in gaging different breeds when they encounter them?? Regardless, I really enjoyed the viddy.....

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Some of her sharp angles gave me a "start" because I thought for sure with such sharp L angles it might startle the geese, but they seem to be doing great because she gives them lots of girth and doesn't keep pushing and pushing but takes just key moments to move??

 

I think the more knowledgeable people will correct me if I am wrong, but yes, I think the key thing here is that Bonnie's motion, when she is going into a flank, is clearly away from the geese and thus she is actually taking the pressure off from the stock by making this movement. In the first video with the geese, one person said, "how can they be so calm with such a fast dog!" But you will notice that Bonnie only makes fast moves when she makes flanks and when she can "fold back" away from the geese. In the beginning of the first goose video where there is no room to "fold back" she makes the flank very slowly. This in Bonnie I saw for the first time in that video. And all walking which is exerting pressure on the geese, she is doing very slowly, though she is fast by nature and inclination :)

 

I am sure herding geese is very useful. MHowever, I have noticed in working stock everything appears in pairs:

 

Dog is clappy, keep it standing.

Dog works close, work on distance

Dog keeps distance, make sure it can walk into pressure

Dog has strong instinct - work on biddability

Dog is biddable, make sure it does not stop thinking

Dog has a grip - put it under control

Dog has no grip - put it on

Dog does well on heavy sheep - will spook the light ones

Dog does well on light sheep - the heavy ones won't budge

 

and so on and so forth. This is of course a simplification, but since the geese seem ALL good, I immediately became suspicious that I missed the other side of the coin :D

 

Maja

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, that's correct. Also, I would like to see Bonnie doing more of the work of making the hole. It pretty much looks like you're letting a hole open anywhere and then calling her through. Step it up by deciding you're going to take the back three or something and then get her on her feet helping you to do that. (JMO of course.)

 

J.

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Very intriguing Maja/Julie on the process.... Hey, Maja, do you have a video version without the music. I can't hear the vocal commands so I'm trying to figure out the calls the timing etc....? and trying to coordinate where Bonnie is in relation to your handling.

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Julie,

You are absolutely right. I will try to do that.

 

 

Serena,

Unfortunately, file conversion de-synchronised the audio, so the original sound would be only confusing.

 

Maja

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Hi, Maja. If you copy out the original video from your camera and re-upload it under a new name and as a new video but without adding music, you should be fine..... :)

 

Sometimes timing of verbals can also have an impact on our dogs too, and it could give some of the sheepherding experts a clue as to when and how you are using your directives....Even though the language is different, they will know what you are trying to tell Bonnie, and they might have a suggestion or two as well.

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Thank you for the tip, Serena. Unfortunately, the problem is during the conversion process. However, not I got Corel video editor, so now it will be ok. So here is, I hope, an improved version. Thanks to Julie, for the advice.

In order to make sure I don't create the gap, I put away the stick. It's amazing, how the thing used to get so much in the way, and now seems I can't live without it :lol: . I wave my hands a little here and there to stop the geese.

 

Right now, I am stressing coming through nicely, so I don't always do the drive away.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BvQjKpvgrc

 

Maja

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Thank you for the tip, Serena. Unfortunately, the problem is during the conversion process. However, not I got Corel video editor, so now it will be ok. So here is, I hope, an improved version. Thanks to Julie, for the advice.

In order to make sure I don't create the gap, I put away the stick. It's amazing, how the thing used to get so much in the way, and now seems I can't live without it :lol: . I wave my hands a little here and there to stop the geese.

 

Right now, I am stressing coming through nicely, so I don't always do the drive away.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BvQjKpvgrc

 

Maja

 

 

Wow, Maja! I'm a total goofcase and don't know a thing, but I think I see Bonnie making much improvements? If I compare 1st video versus 2nd it seems she has more mastery of a direct line versus taking up energy with the zigzags? Regardless when she reversed more slowly it made the geese settle down better. I wonder if there is a sheepherding command for slowing down too.... It's sort of tricky because one has to think ok, do I let the B.C. learn on its own by test and trial or do I guide first to the ideal action.... Sheepherding disciplines are a completely different "animal" for me, so I'll be interested in everyone's thoughts as well. Anyway, loved the new video!

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I think I see Bonnie making much improvements?

I think so too :)

If I compare 1st video versus 2nd it seems she has more mastery of a direct line versus taking up energy with the zigzags?

I think the zigzags you are talking about is setting up for the shed, before the split, right? That has to do with me. I have to know hod to direct bonnie and how to choose the right moment.

 

I wonder if there is a sheepherding command for slowing down too..

yes there is a command for slowing down. However, right or wrong here I want Bonnie to be very positive and assertive about it. Zip/slice/zoom and drive away before the little buggers notice anythings amiss (e.g. half the flock gone).

 

do I let the B.C. learn on its own by test and trial or do I guide first to the ideal action

Both :D

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the video. And you see, language is not a problem :D .

 

Maja

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