Jump to content
BC Boards

sometimes I think the divide is impassible


Recommended Posts

Aww, thanks! I think you're the only one who watches them, so maybe I'll just send them straight to you LOL!

 

I remember walking backwards, falling down, getting stepped on, watching the sheep leave ... it's how we all start! But it's an incredible journey and I hope you enjoy every bit of it.

I watch them.

I would do it myself if my life allowed it but instead I watch others doing it and daydream. :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Well, what I meant was

  • walking backwards
  • wondering if you're doing it right
  • realizing that you're not doing it right at all
  • trying to process what your instructor is saying while walking backwards
  • catching a glimpse of what it's supposed to look like when you accidentally end up in the right position
  • going home and watching your starting dogs DVD for the umpteenth time
  • looking at listings for farms in your area
  • buying your first whistle even though your dog has no flanks or a stop
  • attending your first trial and seeing what could be

That is the stuff that I remember from when I started this journey with my big rescue Aussie. Every time I go to the post, I thank him for showing me this world. Even though he never did get flanks or a stop. Or an outrun. :D

 

<3

 

Yep. I can say: I have a stop. And an outrun, an inconsistent often too tight outrun but an outrun.

 

But I can so relate to everything else! Especially the walking backwards trying to process what your instructor is saying. And watch my dog. And watch my sheep. And keep working on remembering which side is away when he is going in that direction...

 

I am enjoying every crooked step on this journey.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

  • buying your first whistle even though your dog has no flanks or a stop

 

That's a thing actually I wish I did, and I strongly advise everybody to do so. Yet, too often I get an opportunity to say "I told you: buy the whistle before you actually need it".

Link to post
Share on other sites

<3

 

Yep. I can say: I have a stop. And an outrun, an inconsistent often too tight outrun but an outrun.

Lucky!! :D

 

But I can so relate to everything else! Especially the walking backwards trying to process what your instructor is saying. And watch my dog. And watch my sheep. And keep working on remembering which side is away when he is going in that direction...

Watch your dog ...now watch your sheep! Watch your line! Watch the draw! Where is your dog going? Where are you going? WHY ARE YOU BOTH ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE SHEEP???

 

 

I watch them.

I would do it myself if my life allowed it but instead I watch others doing it and daydream. :-)

:)

 

That's a thing actually I wish I did, and I strongly advise everybody to do so. Yet, too often I get an opportunity to say "I told you: buy the whistle before you actually need it".

Why? ISTM that it takes most people about a week to figure out how to blow a whistle and make sounds. Maybe another week to choose whistles for their dog because there seem to be perhaps 3 or 4 sets of whistles that people use - choose one. Or are you saying that whistles are hard to find and it takes a long time to get a whistle? :blink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

For first time sheepdog owners it is often that they think the time before they start to trial is way off. And then things start falling into place and they go to a trial and they see that their dog can't hear because they don't have the whistle yet in place. And the dog's understanding of whistle commands takes training, even if the owner is a genius and can produce consistent whistles within a week.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For first time sheepdog owners it is often that they think the time before they start to trial is way off. And then things start falling into place and they go to a trial and they see that their dog can't hear because they don't have the whistle yet in place. And the dog's understanding of whistle commands takes training, even if the owner is a genius and can produce consistent whistles within a week.

Huh. I guess you have much more advanced beginner trials there. Here, it is rare in the Novice Novice class for anyone to be using a whistle. Maybe just for lie down. They use verbals. The outruns are about 100 yards, the drive very short, so using your voice is more than adequate.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Or in my case, "Where are you going? You're letting the sheep dictate your movement!"

 

I'd wager I'm the only one in the history of animal husbandry who got the livestock to herd the person. :mellow:

 

 

Watch your dog ...now watch your sheep! Watch your line! Watch the draw! Where is your dog going? Where are you going? WHY ARE YOU BOTH ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE SHEEP???

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, sheep are more clever than they are given credit for, I think. I remember not realizing I was being pushed toward the feeder until I suddenly stumbled on it hahaha

 

Or in my case, "Where are you going? You're letting the sheep dictate your movement!"

 

I'd wager I'm the only one in the history of animal husbandry who got the livestock to herd the person. :mellow:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, sheep are more clever than they are given credit for, I think. I remember not realizing I was being pushed toward the feeder until I suddenly stumbled on it hahaha

Lol, that is fantastic! Did you try whistling at the sheep? :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

Huh. I guess you have much more advanced beginner trials there. Here, it is rare in the Novice Novice class for anyone to be using a whistle. Maybe just for lie down. They use verbals. The outruns are about 100 yards, the drive very short, so using your voice is more than adequate.

The lowest class trials have 100 m outruns too and a short drive like yours, but I've seen mostly beginner handlers in this class trying to shout the commands on the out-bye work. The more advanced handlers, even if they have a beginner dog, they use a whistle from the beginning most of the time. And after the time I went to the mountains where the wind was blowing hard and he dog had no idea what I was shouting until she go close to me, I thought - never again. We still won (ha, ha never miss the chance to brag ;) ) but is was a good lesson for me. And this is the usual story I hear, it's very windy or the wind blows the other way, or they get a sore/dry throat, and so I get to say my line" I told you to put her on the whistle as soon as you can." :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

P.S. I even have whistles available to buy [and thus comes out my secret agenda :lol: :lol: ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: whistles

 

I have been thinking about buying one, even though my dog is far from needing one. I have heard many stories of how long it takes a newbie to learn how to whistle correctly. This is the first I've heard that it only takes a week or two to learn to whistle consistently - although that would be great, I am not counting on it (for myself).

 

I can produce an ear-shattering whistle using 2 fingers, but it is only one or two tones and I try not to think about where my fingers have been before I put them in my mouth. Perhaps a shepherd's whistle may be a bit 'cleaner'?? ;-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: whistles

 

I have been thinking about buying one, even though my dog is far from needing one. I have heard many stories of how long it takes a newbie to learn how to whistle correctly. This is the first I've heard that it only takes a week or two to learn to whistle consistently - although that would be great, I am not counting on it (for myself).

OK, I just made my co-workers try to make sounds from my whistles. Three out of four figured it out within the first five minutes to the point where they could play Happy Birthday reasonably well. The fourth person was fairly hopeless. I don't think it would take the first three guys too terribly long to learn to blow my simple whistle set consistently. We are none of us musicians either. :D

 

I'm not saying that you are going to know what whistle to blow when within a week, nor that your dog is going to pick up on whistles in a week. Just that I don't think it's as big a deal as people make it out to be.

 

I can finger whistle too, but like Jovi, I am loathe to put my fingers in my mouth in most agricultural scenarios. :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Or in my case, "Where are you going? You're letting the sheep dictate your movement!"

 

I'd wager I'm the only one in the history of animal husbandry who got the livestock to herd the person. :mellow:

 

Uh...no. Happens to me all he time. I also do the work for my dog.

 

I recently took a lesson with a expert Open handler, and she was so very sweet when she asked me why I was moving myself so that my dog who had stopped in the wrong spot would be in balance. "Your dog is supposed to be the one moving to balance, sweetie."

Link to post
Share on other sites

... she was so very sweet when she asked me why I was moving myself so that my dog who had stopped in the wrong spot would be in balance. "Your dog is supposed to be the one moving to balance, sweetie."

Oh bless! That is fantastic!!! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying that you are going to know what whistle to blow when within a week, nor that your dog is going to pick up on whistles in a week. Just that I don't think it's as big a deal as people make it out to be.

 

Nobody is making any deal out of it. I just meet people who wish they had started earlier. So in fact, you can't start too early, but sure as the sun rose this morning, you can start late. No harm done, of course, just a few trials worse than they could be if the handler had the whistle in place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Re: whistles

 

I can produce an ear-shattering whistle using 2 fingers, but it is only one or two tones and I try not to think about where my fingers have been before I put them in my mouth. Perhaps a shepherd's whistle may be a bit 'cleaner'?? ;-)

 

I think finger whistling is a great backup (but not for main use for the reason you mention : ) ) - you can never forget to take your fingers with you :). I would learn it if I knew how.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I just made my co-workers try to make sounds from my whistles. Three out of four figured it out within the first five minutes to the point where they could play Happy Birthday reasonably well. The fourth person was fairly hopeless. I don't think it would take the first three guys too terribly long to learn to blow my simple whistle set consistently. We are none of us musicians either. :D

Oh, that gives me hope! I am now going to order a whistle - I just have to figure out which one. Will have to refer to previous threads where whistle design/ease of use were discussed. Exciting!!

 

I think finger whistling is a great backup (but not for main use for the reason you mention : ) ) - you can never forget to take your fingers with you :). I would learn it if I knew how.

You can learn - even now! For some reason, I had a whistle tutorial link pop up on my FB feed about a month ago. I bet there is a Youtube video - or two or three. Basically, I use my fingers to curl the tip of my tongue up and blow - hard. DH can do the same thing, but he can do it without using his fingers! Show-off!

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can learn - even now! For some reason, I had a whistle tutorial link pop up on my FB feed about a month ago. I bet there is a Youtube video - or two or three. Basically, I use my fingers to curl the tip of my tongue up and blow - hard. DH can do the same thing, but he can do it without using his fingers! Show-off!

:D

 

When Derek was giving a clinic in Poland, he showed me how to pull-in a dog on an outrun and he also showed how you merge the whistles for it. Bonnie at that clinic was running around the sheep in tight circles like she left he brain at home, and I didn't even own a whistle yet. I think I probably just stood there looking really dumb not knowing why he was telling me these two things (whistles and pull-ins), among others. And 5 months later, I was in Slovakia running in a trial desperately needing both and having neither :lol: :lol: :lol: .

 

And he did all the whistles on his fingers. Incredible. So I think you're right I should learn to whistle on my fingers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

Whilst I enjoy whistle discussions as much as the next half deaf geezer, I'd like to return, briefly, to the original issue.

 

During the Dog Wars, I couldn't understand why the conformation people - some who understood dogs and all who loved them - persisted in policies which caused so much pain to dogs and their owners. We sent individual invitations to each AKC director for a sheepdog demo within an hour of their home. How many took us up on it? Zero.

 

Afterwards, Heather Nadleman suggested that the dog show people couldn't understand us (or other critics) for quasi

religious reasons and I thought she was close to the mark.

 

Recently, in honor of Donald Trump, there's been attention paid to: How could somebody believe that crap?

 

A useful way to change minds - perhaps even dog showers minds: http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs/Debunking_Handbook.pdf

 

Donald McCaig

Link to post
Share on other sites

The more and the longer someone has invested (time, emotions, involvement) into something, the more difficult it is to convince them that what they have been believing in and succeeding in is worthless. More: that it is detrimental crap. I'd say each time a successful show person gets turned round, it's by divine intervention.

 

It's not just shows, it's everywhere, in academia and politics quite prominently so.

 

But not all is crap and . . . the truth is out there for both sides.

 

(gee, no more whistle talk. . . :unsure: )

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

The more and the longer someone has invested (time, emotions, involvement) into something, the more difficult it is to convince them that what they have been believing in and succeeding in is worthless. More: that it is detrimental crap. I'd say each time a successful show person gets turned round, it's by divine intervention.

^^This is so true, in my opinion.

And it is rare, very rare, that it happens.

 

As for whistles........I won a whistle in a little dog contest at a border collie gathering once. Try as I might, I never could get it to make a sound. My close friend got the hang of it within a couple of minutes and tried to teach me, to no avail. Good thing I did not actually need to use one, although I wish I had.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...