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.