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Older green dog-lots of potential, but a tough cookie


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#1 coyotecreek

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:49 AM

I dont know when he will stop being considered "green" either.. :)

 

He successfuly completed some time with the trainer just recently, who had good things to say about him. I have used him on my place in the past..for both sheep and cattle. This dog lives to work...but is quite single minded when he thinks "he" is right.

 

I have afew problems and while there are some things I know I can do to work thru them, a large part is making sure I am right so he can be "right"...its amazing how if I change, I can set him up for success or have utter chaos.

 

He works my flock of sheep beautifuly..he is calm and does his job..hes always worked abit "tight", so we have been -reiterating the balance point..I am under the impression that he must have chaos to have control, so is purposely working close to push the sheep in front so he gets to head and "restore order"...my trainer's sheep are scared of him..I mean, like really scared. My flock is not..they respect him, but are not scared like my trainers sheep are. I have this fear that when we evetually get to a trial, he will be "to much" energy for the stock there..are my sheep really dumb or really smart or what? LOL

 

When he gets tired or gets mad, he grips..and I have, on select occassion, encouraged him to be mean. He was abt apprehensive to take on a nasty ewe or a pissed off ram, so I did encourage him to help him gain confidence. He doesnt always grip, but its consistently when hes really tired (so we avoid working when hes pooped) and Ive gotten on him when he grips out of vengence. Now..again..my stock at home, he will grip when needed. Most recently my one trouble ewe, while gathering for spring vacc's decided she was having no part of it. she ran over the dog 2 times in his attempts to bring her in..she was not respecting him. He did have to nip her to get her to turn..Ive seen him do this with cattle who do not heed either..he basicly headed her...and then all was right in the world.

 

Could it be ME? could he be picking up on my knowing its not my stock out there and thus is making a pressure cooker?

 

I saw moments of brilliance and I am getting a better feel for working him. The time with my trainer did alot of good..and we are continueing training at home. I got him at two and hes now 5..I know the older start is working against him. If he can be useful on my place (which he is about there) and we can compete in afew AHBA and then USBHA novice classes before he dies, Ill be tickled..and then I can get a pup and hopefully avoid this stubbourn streak.

 

Have you had a dog like this? how did it turn out? How did you, as a handler, deal with any of the energy you are conveying onto the dog? (as I know I am). He is a control "freak", as I stated above.


"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, til the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
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#2 Eileen Stein

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:57 AM

Coyotecreek, remember this is the "Ask an Expert" forum, and only Amanda is allowed to answer. :)  If you are looking for more general discussion, please post in the "Training Discussion" forum.  Thanks.


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#3 coyotecreek

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:01 PM

Thanks Eileen...I would like to see what Amanda says..then perhaps I will post in the general area as well? Ill ammend my post. thanks again.


"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, til the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
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#4 ajm

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:28 AM

Not all dog partnerships are made in heaven.  However, we are largely programed  by our pet culture to keep dogs forever, instead of letting some move on, that don’t suit us.   While I keep my collies in as pet like circumstances as anyone, I do not accept dogs with whom I do not get along easily.    The importance of this concept for the novice handler should be multiplied many fold, because such handlers rarely have the timing or the discipline to handle difficult dogs.  I am not a dog pro.  I always think when I see an impossible dog to train, that there is the sort of dog some one would send me to train—one incredibly willful and single minded, like you describe.  It keeps me at my day job.

 

I have not had a dog like the one you are describing.  I have been lucky in my breed, having ones that are easily trained and pretty easy to work.  I never want to have to start my day duking out with a combative dog.  If I think a dog is being willfully disobedient, I will be severe, but it had better only be occasionally or that dog and I will have to part company.  When I am consulted about them, I always tell the hand to move such a dog on, if they really want to make headway as a sheep dog handler.  Such dogs hold you back.  You are so busy settling chaos and fights, that you never get to the heart of the sheepdog handling which would lie in its finesse. 

 

Perhaps more importantly, think of the sort of handler you want to be.  Most of us and there are lots of exceptions, don’t want to be tough on dogs each day.  What is the point?  It is possible to be a benevolent kind of trainer and handler but you have to have the right dog. 

 

You do not speak of how old your dog is.  One assumes he is three or four with the history you present.  In the same breath, you say you hope to compete in novice, before he dies which must be six or seven years away.  That is a long time to invest your time in a hard head.  Get your easy handling pup now and get it going.  Better still, acquire a easily handled trained Border Collie, and learn to run it.  Think about parting ways with the rough one



#5 coyotecreek

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:58 PM

Thanks for the reply. I can definantly understand your points..but I think mabey I made him seem worse then he is. His age (5) and willful streak make him a challenge. he was also an older shelter pull...he is exceptionaly useful on our place for daily workings and needs..its away from home when the issues occur.

 

Thanks again for the input.


"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, til the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
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