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Observing Herding Trials Question????


Joe Anne
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I have recently read in the BC magazine, that unless you plan on participating in herding classes or trials, it may be best not to let your dog "see", sheep, because it could change his/her personality.

I have a 7 mo. old BC, who came from working parents, ( he is the grandson of Ettrick Bob, the 1995 Finals Champion, if anyone is familiar with him), and is showing very strong herding traits. I am not yet decided if we will take classes and compete in trials. If we did it would be for fun not real serious. After reading the article, I am wondering if it is an ok thing to take him, when I can, to watch trials??

JoeAnne, Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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Hey, our pups are distant cousins. My little girl goes back to Ettrick lines too, through Jack's earlier dogs rather than Bob. There was a brother of your pup's parent at the clinic last weekend.

 

Lots of dogs at the clinic only see sheep when Jack comes to town twice a year or so. I've never heard any complaints and oddly the dogs pick up right where they leave off each time. I joked this time that I was selling all my sheep and letting my dogs watch TV!

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I have dogs who are primarily pets, and they also get to sheep a few days a month. Sometimes they're lucky and we get to go work a dog trial for a weekend. Sometimes they're REAL lucky and we get to go work a 4 day dog trial. They come home and go back to being pets. If sheep showed up at home, they'd be different at home, but I doubt they'd be changed dogs. I can't say for sure because they have seen and had sheep to work, but the change, if any, is not a negative one. I get compliments on how good they are from pet people, and my best two pen dogs have a kid "following" at work, wanting to play with them while they're stuck there with their parents.

If anything, they are not the best STOCK dogs they could have been if they lived some other life. No doubt about that. But they are happy dogs. One of them is an Ettrick dog. I doubt you'll mess up your pup by attending trials. Worst thing that could happen is that you end up like me. (or some of the rest of us). (WINK WINK< NOD NOD;)

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Joe Anne et al.

 

You should definitely go to trials -- but for **you**, not the dog. You should go to start meeting people, observing how handlers handle, seeing dogs, getting familiar with how trials are run, and networking. Offer to scribe for the judges -- it can be a real education and you'll start to feel part of the party.

 

Don't feel uncomfortable -- these are the absolutely nicest people and, tho I've only been trialling for a couple of years, I think I can count some of them (including some of those posting to this board -- you know who you are) as my friends. They have been incredibly welcoming, sharing of wisdom and insight, and supportive. Plus, they tend to be a hoot at the handlers dinners :rolleyes: [[alright, I feel like an idiot -- how do I get those instant gremlins in the message for real?]]

 

Anyway, back to the post -- People will tell you about teachers, offer to have you come work with them. I can't say enough. Yeah, I take my pup who isn't trialling yet out of the car/RV to watch sometimes, but mostly it's for me. I don't think the dogs really get much benefit from watching (tho it's kinda nice to see a young pup focus in on sheep from your lap).

 

And, watch the very novice runs as well as the open runs. You'll see all the eloquence and all the screw-ups, so you won't feel so reluctant to get out there yourself. And you'll see how much everyone is rooting for the new handler and dog who walk on the field for the very first time. Welcome aboard!!

 

Go to the NEBCA and VBCA websites to find the trials.

 

Pat

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Instant Graemlins:

 

When you get into the "Post" form, look below the dark blue line under the "Add Reply" and "Preview Post" buttons. To the far, uh, Patrick says it's the left, you'll see the icons. Just click on the one you want as you type. If you decide you want to insert one, you'll have to click and then move it where you want it. This is a "feature", I'm sure. :rolleyes:

 

Visiting Open trials should be a requirement for all Border Collie owners, at least one per year, like the Muslim hajj (I hope Muslims will excuse the convenient analogy). It helps so much to see the dogs in the context that actually produced the breed.

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Pat, what is the NEBCA and VBCA? and what is the actual web address?

Prosperia... I am constantly looking for trials, if you know of any please let me know, and I will do the same. I would love to meet someone from the boards.

I'm even more sorry I missed the Jack Knox clinic, I was looking forward to meeting you Rebecca, hubby and dogs :rolleyes: Wow, guess we are sorta related, by our dogs!!! LOL !! some of my boy's relatives were there! I never thought I would actually meet anyone else who had a doggy who came from Ettrick Bob! How cool, guess it is a small world after all. My daughter has Phoenix's sister from the same litter also, my beautiful granddog girl, Amica.

Hey does anyone know where I may obtain a video of the 1995 trials, I would love to see Phoenix's granddad in the trial finals.

There is a clinic in Havre de Grace, Maryland in May, is anyone going to that? I would love to go just to observe.

Later... JoeAnne Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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Rebecca I would love to see a picture of your girl that goes back to Ettrick lines. I don't know how to get Phoenix and Amica's pictures on a web page. I have followed the directions I have seen posted, but I am not very computer saavy.I could email you a picture directly if you would like. Either way I would love to see your girls pictures, either posted or you could just email them to me.

JoeAnne Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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I'll stick a recent one in the gallery. Her sire's grandmother on one side and her dam's great-grandma are the same, Ettrick Bonnie Bell (Robin French had a nice male out of her also). Bell is herself a grandaughter of Jack's Ettrick Hope and Kathy's Scott, and a daughter of Jack's Dryden Joe son, Moss.

 

My Ann seems to have picked up Bell's lack of white, as you'll see, though that also comes from her line to Wilson's Roy.

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Nancy, do you know off hand if I would be able to go and just observe? I would probably go to May 18th & 19th clinic (hopefully both days, if I can find a place that will allow my puppy to stay overnight).

JoeAnne Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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I am going to the highland occasional coming up next weekend. I'll probably only go one day, just depends on which day is the prettiest.

I also plan on going to Breezy Hill, May 7&8.

But I just realized that somehow the directions got deleted out of my inbox. So If anybody knows how to get there from Richmond, I would much appreciate some assistance :rolleyes: .

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JoeAnne,

You can go and observe, there is a fee.

 

"Spectators are invited at $25 per day per person and invited to join us at the pot luck lunches. (please bring a dish)"

 

Observing at a clinic is a good way to get started, and also cheaper The hotels listed with the clinic are all dog friendly. I will email you the clinic form privately.

 

Nancy O

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Robin, I did check out the web page and saw your Ben. I know your are a proud Mom...as well you should be, he is a very handsome dog. I tried to watch the video clips but my computer won't do it.

The Knox's sure turn out some beautiful dogs...I am glad I have one. My boy Phoenix amazes me everyday. I am soooo anxious to get one of ya'll to see him and see what you think about his herding ability. I am such a beginner, but, I can just see him working sheep... he has the "eye" and the heart for it! I almost feel like I would be betraying him not to take herding classes, it is sooo in his blood and background.

Anyway, we will see.... he is only 7 months, so I guess I have plenty of time..

Thanks everyone for all the good info... I am getting really excited now!!!

JoeAnne Mirra, Sitka, Phoenix and crew

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