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#201 Shetlander

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 06:20 PM

Originally posted by Dixie_Girl:
It can do NOTHING without the handler telling it at each and every obstacle....

I think if Jackson flunks out of herding, I will set up an agility course on my property and teach him to run it with just whistle commands,,,,,,,,then take him to agility trials,,,,I will stand at the start and just use my whistles to guide him on the course........LOL won't that be a trip! :rolleyes: But I bet it would be possible,,,,,,,,,hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Possibly, though it wouldn't be a very good looking or most likely it would be a nonqualifying run. People have done this kind of thing for fun though not using whistles, even without Border Collies. Of course, it would involve having trained total independent obstacle performance in your dogs and confident, accurate distance work.

And actually plenty of dogs get out on the course and decide they know just exactly what to do, with or without the handler's telling them. You can see that at any show and I witnessed it countless times at a match today.

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#202 Shetlander

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 06:26 PM

Originally posted by Zip and Ace:
In response to agility vs. herding---I had a friend once tell me:

"Put my dog in a field with sheep and he will work them....put him in an agility field and he will pee on the equipment."

I think that sums it all up very well

Forgive me, but as an agility person who doesn't herd, what exactly is it summing up?

Liz

#203 Dixie_Girl

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 06:28 PM

It sums up that his dog is a herding dog, nothing more, nothing less, and that is what he is used for.
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#204 Shetlander

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 06:47 PM

Originally posted by Dixie_Girl:
It sums up that his dog is a herding dog, nothing more, nothing less, and that is what he is used for.

Wow. I must be dense or maybe just really tired. I'm still not getting the point of the story. I thought what we did with our BC's was ok with folks on these Boards so long as we didn't breed BC's for anything but proven working ability as decided by someone (not a performance person)who truly understands what that means. What does a dog untrained in agility that pees on equipment (and it doesn't take a herding genius to do that, believe me) have to do with this discussion?

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#205 Dixie_Girl

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 07:06 PM

Hey Liz, I was just deciphering what I figured he meant,,,,,but I think it was just one of those things,,,,,,I see absolutely nothing wrong with using a BC for what ever the dog can do...and as you said as long as they are not put in the breeding pool. I mean, jeeze, if Jackson fails at herding, I ain't gonna go out and shoot him! I will find something he is good at! AND I will not breed him,,,,,,so it's cool....I think it's just someone doing a little tongue in cheek,,,,,,,like when I said I would train Jackson to run an agility course with me standing there using whistles for instruction :rolleyes:
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Holly-She did the best she could, RIP
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#206 Eileen Stein

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 07:18 PM

Liz, I think he was emphasizing that the basic knowledge of what to do with livestock is (must be) inbred in a good border collie, whereas the basic knowledge of what to do with agility equipment is totally not inbred -- it all comes from training.

I have heard top obedience trainers say that they are such good trainers -- or their training methods are so good -- that they can take any dog and make it a winner. I don't know if top agility people say that also, but I do think there's a tendency in dogsport people generally to discount what we say about the complexity and indispensibility of good breeding in a working dog, just because it's not as big a factor in dog sports. So what Dixie_Girl's friend said is a good way to make that point.

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#207 Dixie_Girl

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 07:24 PM

Thank you Eileen,,,,,you said it much better than I did! :cool:
Jackson-My boy
Skip-The delinquent
Cheyenne-My baby girl, RIP
Holly-She did the best she could, RIP
Sammy-Cat, extraordinaire, RIP

#208 AK dog doc

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 10:36 PM

That's how I took it too. As an example, Finn - who I've freely admitted is not a top herding prospect - knew immediately upon sight of his first cow (as a pup) that he should crouch and stare, and the first time at sheep much the same (although a lot more forward movement on the sheep.) This is from an average herding dog, not even a top one, and without any training.

His first time on an agility course (set up in a friend's yard), he didn't pee on the equipment - but he DID pee on the friend's Aussie. :rolleyes: :D The point being he had no inborn response to the agility equipment, while he DID have one to stock. A more gifted herding dog would have that much more.
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#209 Tassie

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 10:42 PM

Maybe this example will help with the difference between agility and stock work. My little Barbie bitch and I have had the chance to learn from a sheepdog trainer who has plenty of real (and 'real'/made up) sheep work. One day, Kirra and I went to get a mob of 60 or so stud ewes and their ram to move them to eat some long grass down in a non-favoured part of their paddock. I saw the sheep disappearing around a corner and out of sight up a hill behind me, before I could set my L-plate girl up for a gather. She was out of my sight - I thought just poking around rabbiting - and didn't answer my call. As I was looking for her (and getting angrier at her blowing me off), I heard sheep coming round the top of the hill some 70 or 80 yards away. Thinking my girl was still rabbiting, I was wondering what was making the sheep do that (duh!) until I realised that my little dog had gone after them, had trouble getting round them - those girls can motor - but eventually got them under control and brought them back to me. And that was all without any direction from me, since I had no idea what was going on, and she couldn't see me - and wouldn't have heard me either. To say I was thrilled is an understatement. My little girl had shown that there was at least a bit of real working dog left in her.

She is quite a talented little agility dog, but there is no way she could even begin to run a course without directions from me or whoever was handling her, much less if she was out of sight and hearing from the handler.

All that said - would she be breedworthy if she wasn't neutered - hell no! While I'm proud of what she can do with stock, I've seen what real working bred Border Collies do - chalk and cheese.
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#210 bobh

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 03:31 AM

Liz,
In other words if your dog ever did sheep than he?she would Know that any other activity was just to Pee on.
And aussies may not be BCs but some help many stock people around the farm or ranch.
If any dog ever peed on my aussie girl that would be that dogs last pee..
I love my Bcs but i would not let them pee on anything just because I thought My view was the best view.
After reading this thread i am beging to feel That The herding people do not want to protect the integrety of the BC 1 Yes they want to say that They are the only ones that should breed thm because they are the only ones that can tell what deseves to be bred. But when it is sugested thst something tangable be done thy say nothing or well we ca not do this or that.
I know a couple of agility people that have bred their Bc and what the do first is check out the sier hips elbows x-rayed eyes checked any history of genetic DX, any OCd, Temperment and bidibility Among other things. Prior to breeding the dogs they find holmnes for these dogs. They would not just bred thier bitch with any dog .
I hope something is done to preserve the Bc but If those that say they know the dog the best can not agree as to how to find away to do it it will not happen
Rosanne D. count on me to take one of your dogs pup since I know you will do all the reserch and health checks . and that you will do all you can do to protect the breed,And we will dual reg.
And would not let them go piss on another activity or dogjust because you though that activity or breed of dog was useless.
Bobh

#211 Rosanne

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 03:47 AM

You guys are a rough and dedicated bunch.

One thing I have noticed is that I am still getting bashed for registering/competing in AKC agility. This has nothing to do with the way my dogs are bred, and I would not ever breed my male to a pretty-foo-foo dog. Nor would I breed to a sport collie, as most of those have some strange backgrounds, and strangely enough - agility people are breeding for color and emotional attachment - merles abound and dogs with not-so-great health histories and unhealthy close relatives are being bred.

If working breeders stop selling to agility people, this sport collie nonsense will only get worse.

You keep saying that I will not be able to understand the different manners that BC's work stock and not be able to make a good match for my dogs if I breed them, but you also don't have all the info, and are not giving me credit. I plan to work them as much as my time allows (as I have said, I am not going to quit a sport where I am already a national-level handler and gunning for internatonal), AND I have attended a few Open trials, and I certainly would love to attend more and learn all about the dogs. Please, tell me.

When I did 'start' Drifter briefly (going only on my minimal instruction with my first dog), I DID in fact notice that he has much less eye and intensity than my first bitch. She can hold the sheep very easily from a distance, and has more trouble getting in close. Drifter did not seem to have as much, as he was circling much closer to the sheep. I did get him circling both ways properly and he was eager to go and fetch them in the field. (I didn't let him) However, he was young and distractable, and might have more intensity now.

Believe it or not, there are different kinds of fast agility dogs as well. I believe that learning to understand the strengths and weaknesses on stock will actually HELP me understand how their little minds work on the agility course.

Also, yes, some dogs ARE more natural at agility than others. No, they won't run out in the back yard and do it by themselves, but some seem to take direction better than others, and some are more athletic, some less prone to bouts of silliness, some so serious it prevents them from being their fastest, etc.


(as to where my small female comes from, that is really a rude way to bash me. Yes she is from a high-volume breeder. That is why of my two dogs she is the more likely to go under the knife and get spayed. Her parents do work on the farm some, and I would like to give her a try before I decide. I bought her because she was a left-over puppy who was a 'fireball' and she just had that 'look' in her eyes that got me. Emtional? yes, but I love her and she's a riot to live with.)
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#212 Rosanne

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 03:54 AM

By the way, No, I would never promise I could take any dog and win agility it. It takes a special dog as well as a special hander and trainer. Those three elements come together sort of rarely and that's where that zillionth of a percentage or whatever somebody said comes in.


another thing I doubt you guys realize is that the body language used when training/trialing a sheepdog is often similar to that of top agility handlers.

My dogs transitioned easily to simple circling because when I stepped into their path to turn them this was very similar to a front cross in agility, and they are trained/handled so that they know to never cross behind my back or in front of my line (unless they are coming back facing me). This made circling/changing directions VERY easy or both me and my dogs to pick up on since it mimics basic agility body language as well. maybe this is also part of why BCs do so well in agility?
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#213 Loretta

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 04:26 AM

To those who did not understand my quote about peeing on agility equipment. Eileen described it perfectly---a Border Collie instinctively knows how to herd sheep, but they do not know how to do agility.

I am not "peeing" on other activities, for goodness sake my dogs run agility! Geesh. But I understand that agility is purely training and teamwork. It is not instinct.

If you can show me a 6 month old Border Collie puppy that can go "instinctively" do a set of Weave poles or an a-frame like my 6 month olds who have never seen sheep go out there and fetch them to me like a grown dog--THEN I might change my mind.

I think part of the problem and why we are losing this special trait is because people do not realize how AMAZING it is. They don't take the time to find out.

#214 Rosanne

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 04:29 AM

Borders collies are amazing.

I understand you.

There are, however, natural jumpers in agility - some dogs need extensive jumpwork to figure it all out, and some dogs just fly over everything as if they are born to it and hardly ever touch a rail. (i've had both kinds)
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#215 Pipedream Farm

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 04:31 AM

I have heard a rule of thumb. It takes about 5 years of training/experience for a dog to become competitive in Open and it takes about 10 years for a handler to get there. Do you have 10 years to dedicate to herding to gain that experience to understand herding well enough to make the right breeding decisions? Having stock sense (i.e. having already worked with livestock or horses) takes you up higher on the learning curve; without that experience there's a long path ahead. In agility it doesn't take long for the handler to learn the equipment, so you can teach the dog about the equipment. In herding you'll need to learn livestock in order to help your dog learn livestock; you put them in situations to learn correcting (at the right moment) them when they give incorrect reactions and allowing them to work when they are correct.

To me it sounds like you?re underestimating how long it will take you to learn the requisite knowledge (herding instincts and stock sense) to make the right breeding decisions. I?ve been at it for about 10 years (with no previous livestock experience) and am just now starting to feel like I get it.

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#216 Loretta

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 04:51 AM

Rosanne,

I was just pointing out that you did just what you were claiming not to do. You are supporting those breeders that mass produce sport border collies.

As to if the parents work on the farm? Have you seen the parents work? Or did this breeder just tell you this and you believed them? Round pen work does not count as that is not "working around the farm".

And with as many dogs as this breeder has and all the litters, how much time realistically do you feel that this person has to work their dogs?

That is all I was meaning to say.

#217 Loretta

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 04:56 AM

<<>>

I have had both kinds as well, spent a lot of time working one of my dogs on jumping---but when I hear people talking about breeding a dog because they are a "natural jumper", sorry but it makes my stomach turn :rolleyes: And I hear it all the time.

And I am not saying you would do this, just saying it happens :D

#218 Jodi

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 04:57 AM

another thing I doubt you guys realize is that the body language used when training/trialing a sheepdog is often similar to that of top agility handlers.

A common misconception. The body language used in the very beginning stages of herding might be similar in that you use your body to push your dog out, but it becomes very different later in training.

My dogs transitioned easily to simple circling because when I stepped into their path to turn them this was very similar to a front cross in agility, and they are trained/handled so that they know to never cross behind my back or in front of my line (unless they are coming back facing me). This made circling/changing directions VERY easy or both me and my dogs to pick up on since it mimics basic agility body language as well. maybe this is also part of why BCs do so well in agility?

Be careful with this line of thinking. For example, I was always told by my former "trainer" to make sure my dog never crossed between me and the sheep (which is what I think you're talking about ...). When it came time to do inside flanks, I had a hard time getting him to flank all the way around to where he needed to come between me and the sheep. If you don't have inside flanks, you won't be able to control a crossdrive.

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#219 Rosanne

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 05:16 AM

I believe we have reached an impasse regarding my conversation, thus, I will not be posting in this topic anymore.
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#220 Eileen Stein

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 06:35 AM

bobh:

<< Rosanne D. count on me to take one of your dogs pup since I know you will do all the reserch and health checks . and that you will do all you can do to protect the breed,And we will dual reg. >>

Feeling as you do about the ABCA, why on earth would you register your pup with that registry? Why not just register with the AKC, the good-guy registry? Please.

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