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Darine Chronicle


Maja
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  • 4 weeks later...

and that is the beauty and struggle of it all. you will always get conflicting information or opinions. no surprise and apologies that things aren't always black and white. i know i struggled with it for a long time until i had enough information, knowledge and experience to choose what made sense for me and the particular dog i was working at the time.

 

also, completely agree that your pup left to her own devices is probably not such a good thing. possibly too young to be doing any real work or training. important for me when the pup is ready is it his job. bring the sheep to me and control them. letting the pup figure it out with some coaching and encouragement. once it feels good/right to control them, then control them to you, they can often figure out a stop on their own. some dogs don't have the instinct to do this or the instincts haven't yet blossomed... hence 6 months is reeeeeeeelllly young to do any real work with a pup.

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Maja

Obviously it's your decision how you choose to proceed with your pup. But you appear to encourage input from others when you post "chronicles" and videos like this....but you can't control the content of that input.

Personally, I don't start pups this young.

It's not that a pup can't be started this young...and some do choose to start pups young. But from my perspective, you have more to lose than you have to gain by starting a pup at such a young age. By simply letting the pup growing up and mature, you might find that she matures on her own into greater self control and seriousness. In any event, if you wait, the pressure you will need to exert on an exuberant youngster to teach self control will be pressure on a much more mature and confident dog. Sometimes I have found that the consequences of pressure put on baby dogs are not always immediately visible.....sometimes their loss of confidence is masked in the moment by the adrenaline and excitement. Nevertheless, there is sometimes a consequence of pressure on a baby dog pressured too young, and it shows up later.

Go ahead and take the advice of others who are encouraging you to do what you're doing. There are a lot of different ways to train a dog. Every person has their own goals and ideas about what they want to end up doing with their dog and how far they envision an end result.

My method looks quite a bit different.....as does Red Russell

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But I didn't say anywhere I want to control what people write. All I said was I don't want anybody offended about my decisions, should they be different form the advice, and that I don't mean any disrespect, and that I don't have any ideas that I know better. But I have to ultimately figure things out myself, and it is not that I read the input and then do whatever the heck I want. I consider everything very carefully, because I know I know less, and because I value the time anybody puts into answering. That's why I usually try to state my reasons for doing different - if I do different..

 

That's what I was trying to say, which I obviously somehow managed to fail to communicate.

 

I share your concerns (red russel and workingdogs), and I am worried about it. But I don't want to take Darine off the sheep now. If there is no way to go about with this dog sensibly between now and when she is about 9, then it's just hopeless. But I hear often "I don't train dogs until they are 9 months, but I start them on sheep when they are 5-6". So what people do with a dog on sheep that is not trained?

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Yup. I have a six month old pup that has been introduced and on sheep a few times. I'll have him on sheep every week or so until I start his training in a few months... (when he tells me he is ready). We'll go into the round pen with 5 - 6 sheep that I know won't challenge him and I'll let him, help him, go around. The most important aspect is neither the sheep or pup get hurt. Positive experience for the pup... not asking him to do anything really but what might come naturally. Encouraging the good things and ignoring the puppy stuff. (as long as my sheep are okay)

 

Pressure and corrections will be used in training. He is too young to really take a significant correction or pressure so if that were to be needed I'll pull him off the sheep. There in lies the difference.

 

But... as you have stated. lots of folks to things different. Some folks will never use a round pen. Some folks start dogs pretty young. Some dogs don't get started till well after a year because they haven't told their trainers they are ready. Some folks sell a dog if it isn't ready for serious training at 8 months.

 

As you said, you will have to figure this out for yourself.

 

and the last but... keep in mind what Elizabeth said... you can take A LOT out of a dog at this age that can be very difficult to put back.

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I appreciate this thread because I am going through a similar experience with Lady, my 10 month old. I am completely new to working on sheep and I have made a lot of stumbles here and there with teachers who've told me to exert too much pressure on the dog. It's really hard to know what to do, as a novice, when people you respect are telling you different takes on your dog's training. Lady is getting closer to that "magical" 1 year mark where I suppose I'll have to re-assess our progress. I am envious of those of you who can take your young puppies to sheep so often! We are lucky to see them once or twice a month. This thread is helping tide me over while we wait in between lessons!

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red russel,

 

Thank you for the input.

 

Yes, I will definitely keep this in mind - it's very important, since it can pop up way too late. As I wrote, I was not happy with the pressure on Darine in the last video.

 

Ludi,

 

I hope you can find a way to practice more often.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It 's the problem of small flocks - they get used to the dog so easy, and the way my oldest dog herds the sheep get like that very fast. Only my Cameroonians stayed light for a long time. Darinka does not have good conditions for training by any stretch, but I can't run the farm for dogs. The ouessants are really lousy to herd, and they are the main flock. The ewes in most videos are heath sheep and they are usually light. But they are also very smart sheep. They are very good mothers and do turn into killer sheep when their young ones are very young. These in the video are already past that stage, once they are over it they are docile -it's amazing how dramatic the change is.

 

So as I said Darinka's situation is far from ideal, but you know how it is when movement of sheep is not very easy. In Poland, we have no restrictions on movement as such, but the market is so small that if you buy sheep, it's not easy then to sell is as a ewe. So it's not easy to rotate the flock, and if you have a small flock they get dog-broke very fast, and ouessant are just not very wild to begin with. So we just have to do the best we can with what we've got. Soon we will visit my friend again who has lighter sheep, and in the meantime it's once a week 10 minutes for the puppy.

 

I tried Darine on geese, but they got upset about the bouncy youngster and the fluttering of wings popped the fuse in her brain, and the rest is history - no harm done to anybody just chaos.

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