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2nd Time on Sheep


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As I was cleaning up my camera's memory, I found the video I took two months ago of Juno's second training session on sheep.

 

 

We're on a bit of a hiatus right now because I have health issues that make it hard to get out in the cold, but we'll be picking up again in earnest in the spring. In the meantime, we're keeping busy with agility classes, but I'm itching to get back to those sheep!!

 

Any input, advice, or feedback you have about the video is greatly appreciated!

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watched the video... have no comment. only questions. for all those sensitive out there, my questions are in no way intended as a veiled criticism... truly looking for understanding.

 

explain please: advantages and disadvantages of working young dog like this, outside of penned sheep. dog works around pen with no access to sheep. i have never worked a dog like this but i can theorize all sorts of things both positive and negative. much rather hear from folks that have done this before.

 

thanks in advance.

dave

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I have seen that some trainers/handlers from the British Isles and Europe do use this sort of technique (sheep inside a pen, dog outside) for young and very enthusiastic beginning dogs in their first few exposures to sheep - but I think it's the exception rather than the norm. I think like many other variations from what is considered the norm, there is a great deal of disagreement and debate about the value of this technique but there are some very successful trainers who do use it.

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Dave, I have used this method to start my Gláma, I think it is a good idea, especially if you are starting out with a green dog and non dogged sheep, and no access to a trained dog to assist if things go wrong (not everybody is so lucky to live in an area where training facilities are available).

The sheep can´t get away, but are able to move off the dog.

 

As Gláma has come a long way since then and I have my own dogged sheep I think I would not set up such a little pen for the next pup (that is in the planning and "convince my wife of the absolute necessity of another dog" stage).

 

I also think that if things are looking good, dog heading the sheep, and willing to lie down at the right spot, one should quickly move on.

 

Looking at Juno´s moves and the seemingly pretty docile sheep, I think that would be what I would do in this case (move on to an open field I mean).

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Dave, thank you for asking. I'd also like to hear what others have to say about the sheep being penned.

 

I was surprised to see the pen during our first training session and just rolled with it because I'm a greenie and don't know squat about starting a sheep dog. I was under the impression that Juno would have access to the sheep the second time around - but still, on the second visit the pen was put up.

 

From what the trainer told me, Juno was too young at the time of the lesson to have free access to sheep because young dogs will give chase and use grip (meanwhile, Juno is HIGHLY obedient and when she had an accidental opportunity with our own livestock, didn't even come close to giving chase or using grip - and I told the trainer as much). Trainer said that Juno was likely to run a sheep right into a fence post or a gate and break a neck. Also said that the idea was to get Juno "turned on" to the sheep and that once she turned on, the pen would come down(as you can see in the videos, that is not really a problem. Juno has had obvious instinct since her very early days and clearly wants to work).

 

I'm in an area that is sorely lacking stock dog trainers. We drove nearly three hours one way to go to these lessons, which meant six hours of driving for about 20 minutes of Juno running circles around a pen.

 

This is not to say that I'm unhappy with the pen, necessarily. Like I mentioned, I am a newbie. Perhaps there is a deeper rhyme & reason to the pen that I'm unaware of. It was very neat to see how Juno clicked on and wanted to work the sheep, great to see her willingness to co-operate & lie down despite the intense eagerness to go-go-go. I'm interested to read what others have to say about the pen, both good and bad.

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I think it is a good idea, especially if you are starting out with a green dog and non dogged sheep, and no access to a trained dog to assist if things go wrong (not everybody is so lucky to live in an area where training facilities are available).

The sheep can´t get away, but are able to move off the dog.

 

Thanks for that input! The sheep were very well-dogged, used on a regular basis for training dogs as well as worked daily by the trainer's dogs. There were also several of the trainer's own trial dogs on hand just on the other side of the fence. :)

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It seems that trainer is erring on the very cautious side of things.. ;)/>/>

 

I had a friend visiting with her pretty green dog couple of months ago, taking advantage of my dogged training group and Gláma´s ability to keep it together.

We did that session in the open field, I was not afraid that would cause mayhem and broken necks.

 

It didn´t, we had a good time, and her dog showed great promise.

 

I think your Juno is more than ready to let the sheep out of this pen.

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I haven't seen this type of start but I will say, other than the part about the fence being a bit confusing to me the dog looks great. I started to worry that she was just going round the fence then she pulled up right behind the sheep in balance to the handler.

Nice little dog...hope you get to take the fence down soon.

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Who would set up such a training pen up using hot netting...?

Perhaps because Donald, as an experienced sheepdog handler, knows it would not be wise to have the netting electrified, he was just asking to make sure that it wasn't.

 

I don't know where (or to whom) the OP is training but there are people who bill themselves as "professional" sheepdog trainers who don't have much of a clue about what they are doing. In addition, if Donald was not familiar with any previous information posted, he may not have had any idea where or with whom the OP is training.

 

I think it was a valid question - many people looking and seeing a form of electronet, might assume that it's charged because it is electronet.

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As you see Sue while you were typing and quoting my post I edited down to a somewhat milder tone. Regrettably the original post lives on in your quote.

 

I do stand by my opinion that the possibility of the netting being hot is rather farfetched, unless of course you intend to teach your dog fear of sheep.

 

I can personally not imagine anyone being dense enough to do that.

But I have on earlier occasions underestimated people´s potential for stupidity, so who knows maybe it is worth the warning.

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It's fixed now!

 

I agree with you that someone would have to be dense to do that but the other side of the coin is that electronet without power is pretty flimsy. I would think that it would be beneficial if one was using a small round pen (with dog inside or outside) to make it more substantial than just electronet.

 

Apparently, the electronet works well for this trainer and that's what counts.

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I believe that in MommaLove's original post in the general section the trainer was mentioned (by Cynthia P.) as an open handler who has successfully trained numerous dogs. She typically starts youngsters this way because her sheep are very light. Donald asked the hot question in that thread too, and no one got bent out of shape over it, other than to note that the net was not hot.

 

J.

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Yes, I also think this pen is constructed too flimsy, but the trainer gets away with it because the sheep are so dogged and handler oriented, which in turn kind of makes the pen unnecessary, at least with a dog like Juno here.

 

When I made mine I hammered six pretty sturdy fence poles in the ground, and used wire sheep netting, all in all strong enough to withstand a not too forceful collision with a sheep. I used it about five or six times, looking back, I think I could have moved quicker to an open field (but experiences with the dog before Gláma had made me err on the cautious side...).

 

NB. Thanks for replacing the quote.

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I wouldn't of even thought about fencing the sheep and allowing new and or young dogs to not have immediate access.

 

When keeva started on sheep in October she had full contact with the sheep. Understand these are not my sheep. My sheep are coming in the spring.

 

Maybe once I get my sheep I may not want a new or young dog to have contact.

 

Changes ones perspective.

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I would think that a trainer could possibly use this method if you don't know just what kind of pup you may be dealing with. Seems to me a fairly safe way to see if a pup is as mindful as the owners claim, once instinct takes over.

I don't see anything wrong with it unless it is done maybe more than once or twice.

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Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

Thanks. It might have been a solar charger in the video. And yes, I have seen sheepdogs trained against hot electronet. Bad idea.

 

I start sheepdogs in a conventional ring which has one disadvantage vs this setup: pressure on the dog who can't escape. I try to get them out of the ring as soon as the sheep will survive because the extra room relaxes the dog and lets him find his own working distance.

 

 

Disadvantages of the electronet ring? Dunno - I've never trained with me and sheep inside a ring and dog circling outside. It'd be much harder to crank the slow or reluctant starter and the very timid dog might run back to his/her master: end of lesson. Some very keen dogs might jump the electronet to get at the sheep which would be one hell of a mess. And it prevents the worst dog behaviors (sheep assault/buzzing) instead of allowing for routine correction. As Jack Knox likes to say "Don't prevent! Corrrrrr-ect!"

 

Trainer pressure on the dog would be less. Often a timid dog can be induced to start by the trainer removing pressure (body language) only to restore pressure just before timid dog begins its dive. A dog like the OP's which is keen and biddable can probably do fine without trainer pressure - provided training briskly moves out of the ring. But I wouldn't want to start a dog at either end of the hard/soft extreme or a dog with baggage without the ability to get in the dog's face and/or back off and take myself out of the dog/sheep equation.

 

Like I said - I haven't trained this way. I don't use Bobby Daziel's long line or longe whip either although he's a better handler and quite successful with those tools. If the trainer is getting results on the usual variety of dogs go for it. The proof is in the pudding.

 

Donald McCaig

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So, after all this discussion about netting (which you are all free to carry on with as you choose!), does anyone have anything to say about Juno? ;)

 

I'm curious to know what more experienced folks may see in her - whether good or bad. I think she's doing pretty well, but I don't know much and I'm learning right along with her.

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So, after all this discussion about netting (which you are all free to carry on with as you choose!), does anyone have anything to say about Juno? ;)/>

 

I'm curious to know what more experienced folks may see in her - whether good or bad. I think she's doing pretty well, but I don't know much and I'm learning right along with her.

 

 

Juno looks very nice! :) It's hard for me to tell much, when all the trainer lets her do is circle and stop, but what I see looks good. She has nice pace, stops promptly - stops on her feet sometimes, which I really like - and I think she has a decent sense of balance, though again, hard to tell in these circumstances. In all, she looks like a sensible girl. For a youngster of only 7 months, I'd say there's a lot going on. :)

 

Do keep us posted with future videos, when your circumstances permit!

Cheers ~

 

Gloria

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I think the consensus is that Juno looks like she's starting very nicely for a youngster from wha people can see in your videos, and I hope the two of you enjoy learning together!

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