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Starting a puppy for fun & trialling

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I know there are a lot of differing opinions, but I would like to hear what you have to say on starting a puppy. We will train mostly for the fun of it and hopefully for potential trials. I do not have sheep but can arrange for training more than just clinics. My pup is 6 1/2 months old now. We will attend our first clinic in November, she will be approx 7 mos old then.


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I will be going to the Jack Knox clinic in 2 weeks, in Virginia. I have trained my 9 yr old Phoenix, with him for 4-5 yrs at clinics, so I am with one of the best (if not the best in my opinion!). I KNOW, Jack knows what to do, I just like hearing opinions and learning .


Rose is actually a Knox pup (from Kathy's Knox's Peg and Clint). She has been around "easy" sheep from a distance, and we also went to the finals where she watched from a distance and was rather keen watching.


Rose is my 3rd BC, but I am already learning new lessons from this little one. This is the first time I have had 2 BC's in my home at the same time. She is also going to be the youngest to start, so I am hoping to maybe trial with her some day.


Again thank you.

I am SURE I will be on here in the future seeking more :)post-3985-0-89607700-1383322102_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

I am sorry Joanne

I missed this. I thought the ones ahead of it, that got moved, were the ones ones that needed tending and all the time it was you. I apologize.

It sounds as though you are in good hands however, with Jack coaching you, your first time out with the youngun.

When I start them, really start them, not just checking to see if if they are interested, I like to go daily for a few weeks. The pup gets a day to meditate on his training session, something on which to build a dream, just like the song.

I would not expect to start him at the clinic and then just let things ride. I would be out the next morning, and the morning after that and after that. The sessions would be very short, but sessions nevertheless. Dogs that are eager and get tried, without follow up. can be frustrated. Don't frustrate him. Please him, with regular satisfying visits to sheep. Sheep become a part of the young dog's day. A celebratory part of a young dog's day.

Buttressing your daily sessions with visits to clinics to lead you onto the next phase will be very helpful. But occasional clinics do not replace daily work with sheep.

Young dogs will tell you when they are ready. That age varies from individual to individual. Seven months old sounds fine if your dog has the mind to tolerate training 18 months old is also fine, if they have not shown the inclination to work before then.

Good luck with your young dog

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