Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

Hi there as this is my first post please forgive any grammatical or other forms of error when it comes to terminology. So I have a 16 month old mix of the three most regularly recognized "herding breeds" Aussie, Heeler, and Border collie but the border collie comes through the strongest. With her JHD I was told she was rather keen had a medium strength in her eye and was nice to her stock.

 

Now the problem that Iam finding myself faced with when we go for a lesson is that she holds back, like shes concerned with making an error, she doesnt do this every time but it takes a gratuitous amount of praise to get her to speed up and cover correctly, now she had a bad experience with another trainer before hand but her Tentativness stems more from her intelligence. I have let her back myself and the flock into an arena corner and encouraged her to watch em/get em and then gone back in the field and was able to see how much more focused and turned on she was.

 

Iam going to go back into a smaller area today and see if squaring her flanks up better will maybe help her, she also thinks that when I tell her to get out that she is in trouble. Any help would be great

 

Thank you!

post-18976-0-95545100-1464285071_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!

 

Let me ask you first how it is you know that she is a mixed breed of Border Collie, Aussie, and Heeler? Is that because you know that that is her background or is it possibly due to someone looking at her and guessing? The reason I ask is although you only have posted a couple of head shots, she looks like a Border Collie and from what you say she seems to work like a Border Collie.

 

Aussies and Heelers both tend to work in a more upright and close manner (in general). Many people will look at a Border Collie with a short coat and all that mottling (freckles) and think "Heeler" because they first think of Border Collies as being rough-coated and without all the mottling. Others will look at a dog with varied-colored eyes or merling and think "Aussie" when both those characteristics can be found in Border Collies.

 

A couple of experienced Border Collie trainers in your area are Anna Adams Guthrie (stockdogranch on these boards) who is located for the meantime near Pala, and Jennifer Clark-Ewers (who might not be on the boards) who is located down closer to the border with Mexico. Anna is also involved with NCA and her main interest is working dogs on cattle, although she also has sheep and trains on them as well.

 

I would not *overdo* the praise (access to the stock is reward enough) or encouragement as that itself can be felt by the dog as another form of pressure, which sounds like something you would want to avoid at this point in time. Find where she is comfortable, let her have her sheep and work them with minimal pressure and direction from you, letting her instinct help to guide her, and increase your presence as she becomes more comfortable and confident.

 

I can PM you with Anna's contact information if you would like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a dog that is tentative, concerned, unsure for whatever reason I do not say much or make much eye content, usually nothing in my hands. My intent is simply getting their instincts to kick in, gain confidence and enjoy working sheep. I use the sheep and sheeps' movement to accomplish this. I go to the sheep, touch the sheep, move sheep myself, clap maybe, ssshhh sounds ect. The movement of the sheep should get her excited about moving and going around- might take some time- I am not looking for square flanks or balance or anything at first just letting her figure out sheep. Sometimes with a dog that is tentative if you correct much at all you can set them back, they just dont yet understand. Once they are keener more focused on sheep and more confident then small corrections can be used to help them figure out what it is you want. Lighter sheep in a controlled space like a round pen works well. Once she is going around one direction try to change her direction but if she does not change dont make it a big deal. When she is going both directions and balancing then work on stopping a bit and keeping sheep with you. Small steps will get her there faster than asking for everything at once or perfect right away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So an update; and

 

Welcome!

 

Let me ask you first how it is you know that she is a mixed breed of Border Collie, Aussie, and Heeler? Is that because you know that that is her background or is it possibly due to someone looking at her and guessing? The reason I ask is although you only have posted a couple of head shots, she looks like a Border Collie and from what you say she seems to work like a Border Collie.

 

Aussies and Heelers both tend to work in a more upright and close manner (in general). Many people will look at a Border Collie with a short coat and all that mottling (freckles) and think "Heeler" because they first think of Border Collies as being rough-coated and without all the mottling. Others will look at a dog with varied-colored eyes or merling and think "Aussie" when both those characteristics can be found in Border Collies.

 

A couple of experienced Border Collie trainers in your area are Anna Adams Guthrie (stockdogranch on these boards) who is located for the meantime near Pala, and Jennifer Clark-Ewers (who might not be on the boards) who is located down closer to the border with Mexico. Anna is also involved with NCA and her main interest is working dogs on cattle, although she also has sheep and trains on them as well.

 

I would not *overdo* the praise (access to the stock is reward enough) or encouragement as that itself can be felt by the dog as another form of pressure, which sounds like something you would want to avoid at this point in time. Find where she is comfortable, let her have her sheep and work them with minimal pressure and direction from you, letting her instinct help to guide her, and increase your presence as she becomes more comfortable and confident.

 

I can PM you with Anna's contact information if you would like.

Ah I know this from meeting her parents, I think dad had some miniature australian shepherd in him and mom had a little heeler, I work with a trainer at least two times a week and after today we were able to figure out that if I turn my back and give her flanks then she works extremely well. She is pressure sensitive and my eye contact was over pressuring her, so today was good progress and helped point me in the right direction!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite dog is also pressure-sensitive, although not to the extent that Taliah is. I had to tone back on my actions - less encouragement, softer speaking, less movement, more letting him figure things out with minimal direction from me. I am glad you are progressing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will this be a lasting behavioral issue or will her attitude towards stock gradually improve and get better as she sheds concern of wrongdoing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also had a dog once who was very sensitive to pressure and corrections, so I had to be very aware of her threshold and what she could tolerate. My now ex-husband couldn't work her at all because he was just too heavy handed and had no patience with her so she'd just shut down with him. But I could work her, though I was careful not to overface her because if she got herself in a bind with difficult livestock she'd take much of my trying to help her in the heat of the moment as correction and not do too well with it.

 

I had another dog who when she was young was sensitive to pressure and correction, but as she became more sure of herself she was able to deal with pressure and corrections just fine. Once she had the confidence and realized a correction wasn't the end of the world, she worked very well.

 

All dogs are different, so Taliah may always be a dog who never responds well to pressure and you may just have to be aware of that and accommodate it. But it's also possible that as she gains confidence and builds trust with you that she'll be able to handle more pressure and corrections. Just take it easy with her and go at her pace as the two of you learn to work together and you'll find that balance point that allows the two of you to work together as a team.

 

Hoping things go well and that you'll keep us updated on your progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! I think shes got a hard enough will and desire to work coupled with us having a good bond that we can build her up over time or at least I hope. Shes my world and I think she will do good. She is still young after all...plenty of time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

The OP wondered, "Will this be a lasting behavioral issue or will her attitude towards stock gradually improve and get better as she sheds concern of wrongdoing?"

 

Building confidence takes patience and skill. The more clinics and lessons you can fit in the better. When working her in the small ring, try working using body language w/o verbal commands.

 

Donald McCaig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

 

The OP wondered, "Will this be a lasting behavioral issue or will her attitude towards stock gradually improve and get better as she sheds concern of wrongdoing?"

 

Building confidence takes patience and skill. The more clinics and lessons you can fit in the better. When working her in the small ring, try working using body language w/o verbal commands.

 

Donald McCaig

I have found that in small quarters work she excels, doing a hold or running shoots penning etc shes just fantastic can put sheep in just about anything haha, so hopefully we will get past this, I go for a lesson once a week and then twice the 2nd week so we get a decent amount of time out with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will this be a lasting behavioral issue or will her attitude towards stock gradually improve and get better as she sheds concern of wrongdoing?

 

 

That will depend entirely on the individual dog. Being a mix and especially if there was "miniature" Aussie in the family tree, the working instinct may not be as strong as some, simply due to the genetic makeup. Working instinct has to be selectively bred in to remain strong and will dilute if work is not the main focus of breeding. But if you continue to build her confidence and build your partnership, you can enjoy many years of working together. :)

 

~ Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Doggers,

The OP mentioned "doing a hold ..."

 

?

 

Donald McCaig

 

 

I'm guessing that's something like the arena trial thing where dogs are required to hold a packet of sheep quietly off a gate while the handler opens it, as part of a course.

 

~ Gloria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I'm guessing that's something like the arena trial thing where dogs are required to hold a packet of sheep quietly off a gate while the handler opens it, as part of a course.

 

~ Gloria

Thats precisely what I mean! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also had a dog once who was very sensitive to pressure and corrections, so I had to be very aware of her threshold and what she could tolerate. My now ex-husband couldn't work her at all because he was just too heavy handed and had no patience with her so she'd just shut down with him. But I could work her, though I was careful not to overface her because if she got herself in a bind with difficult livestock she'd take much of my trying to help her in the heat of the moment as correction and not do too well with it.

 

I had another dog who when she was young was sensitive to pressure and correction, but as she became more sure of herself she was able to deal with pressure and corrections just fine. Once she had the confidence and realized a correction wasn't the end of the world, she worked very well.

 

All dogs are different, so Taliah may always be a dog who never responds well to pressure and you may just have to be aware of that and accommodate it. But it's also possible that as she gains confidence and builds trust with you that she'll be able to handle more pressure and corrections. Just take it easy with her and go at her pace as the two of you learn to work together and you'll find that balance point that allows the two of you to work together as a team.

 

Hoping things go well and that you'll keep us updated on your progress.

Yep shes really just a sensitive little girl but today I kept my eyes on the sheep and not her as much and just telling her to watch em and patting them and walking through them and by the end of the day she was being super confident and working like a natural. I also did not carry a crook and just acted as laid back as possible and gave her full control. Iam going to practice this sunday in a similiar mannerand see if I cannot duplicate results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realized today while practicing on rented sheep, that the issue more so then being pressure sensitive was that at the time of making the original post she didnt fully understand what I mean by watch her sheep and I really didnt do a good job of teaching her flanks, sensitive? Yes. But more then that I had made mistakes and stacked training on her faster then she was learning it.

 

So we went back to zero and did a good amount of me walking around and touching the sheep and telling her to watch them, while naming flanks when she was doing them just quietly here and there. Then after it became apparent that she was making the connection I stopped gave her a break went back in, told her to " watch sheep" which focused her then gave her a go bye and she zipped around and brought them back.

 

Way better then the pitter pattering she was displaying. End rant.

Share this post


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...