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That is an unnecessary convoluted (not to mention time and money consuming) way to train your sheep on grain, training a stock dog first. There are more direct methods....

My point of course being that if that is the only (kind of) chore you "need" your dog for, you don´t really need a stockdog.

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What works depends upon the situation on your specific farm. Just like farm chores depends upon how you manage your sheep on the land where you raise them. Which is my point; you have in your mind a definition of farm chores based upon your personal experiences which is based upon the land where you raise your sheep. This definition may be similar to those of your neighbors; but not likely the same in other parts of the sheep raising world.

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Your two post express quite clearly the sensitivity of the point I raised.

I stated my opinion clearly enough, and from your posts I see that you are getting it.

 

Oh and yes, I have experience on "training" sheep on feed. There is nothing easier than conditioning sheep with feed/grain. But you knew that already didn´t you?

 

At this point the tone of discussion is getting a bit too childish for my taste so I will leave it at this.

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Of course it's easy to train livestock to come to feed; or pattern train them. The example of gathering every day off salt marsh is one where on the face of it the farm chore is more difficult than many trials but when you know livestock you understand this may not be that difficult of a task for dogs. Just another example of where farm chores may not be as much a test for dogs one one thinks farm chores would be.

 

Not all farm chores are created equal and the same is true of trials. To really know if either is a difficult test of the dog one must know the details of the tasks. "Farm chores" is not the mythical gold standard test of a dog, a higher standard than "trials"; for both "it depends".

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Dear Doggers,

 

To bring in a hundred ewes from 150 rough acres every winter morning to feed required a chore dog. I'd go out, whistle (and whether or not the dog was outrunning or even with me, the sheep would come in. Doesn't take much dog. Same sheep, pitch black, sheets of icey rain and the rams have broken out to join and mount fragrant ewes due to lamb in the next day or so. Simple farm work, but that takes more than a chore dog.

 

Donald McCaig

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Back to the old "Trial dogs are better", huh?

 

While farm chores may be simple on some farms, trials can be simple. Flat fields, short outruns, sheep that run towards the handler, drives towards a draw-these trials don't really test the dog.

 

Some people can help a dog learn to work better, others cannot. Some can train, others handle, and a few can do both well.

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Nope, it's not the old "trial dogs are better"

 

It's the old problem that many only can conceive what they have experienced and therefore it must be that way everywhere. If the trials were easier tests than their farm chores, then farm chores are THE true test of a dog's working ability. The problem with stating this is folks new to livestock work will think this is true everywhere.

 

The true test of a dog's working ability is difficult work. This can be found on in some farm chores (but not in all farms) and it can be found at some trials (but not at all).

 

Trial dogs are tested on new fields and new sheep in small groups, chore dogs rarely are typically working the same sheep in large groups on the same fields. Trial dogs are given many commands which can help hide faults but which the dogs must be willing to take; chore dogs are expected to get it done mostly on their own but not necessarily in straight lines.

 

Finally, the better trial dogs do both; trials and chores on their own flock and typically not just a training flock like some seem to imply. It would be difficult for a dog to do well at trials running undogged sheep only working a small training flock at home.

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