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#1 Smalahundur

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 07:08 AM

If you lived on a farm, with a flock of sheep (say a hundred ewes), and had in this context as much place (fields) available as you liked, and wanted to train your own stockdogs, how would you set up your ideal trainig facilities?

Btw, this not a hypothetical question B)


"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#2 gcv-border

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 10:00 AM

Following - even though I do not have limitless fields. ;-)


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#3 Maja

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 12:19 PM

A round pen, so that you can use it to start a dog and then to go back to work on specific problems. I have one that is 30 m across and it could be a bit bigger.  Then add a small pen 3mx3m somewhere in the field. And last  but not least, if you're not close to home a roof over your head to have  break, to keep your other dogs, and to rest is very nice. 



#4 juliepoudrier

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 05:07 PM

A round pen, a smallish field for transitioning from the round pen, and the rest wide open. A shelter of some sort, and either a chute, stall, or small pen (or combination thereof) for ease of catching/treating sheep (and of course a dog can learn a lot pushing sheep through a chute or holding them in the corner of a small pen while you do what you need to do with the sheep). I'd leave as much wide open as I could to be able to practice large gathers, blind gathers and the like. I'd probably use portable fencing (electronet) if I wanted to mob or rotational graze just so I could leave the open spaces....

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#5 dsmbc

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 07:02 AM

agree with what was said so far, though if I had limitless money I would also put up a building with indoor training space for working in the winter.

#6 Smalahundur

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 09:50 AM

Ah, limitless money was sadly not part of the question, and endless time as I am experiencing at the moment neither...

"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#7 Maja

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 11:13 AM

Since the main training area is  more than 300yds from the house, I bought an old camping trailer this spring since climate in Poland is not of the most clement type.  I fixed it up inside the best I could choosing my motto for the project: "Recycle".  Since I used to do patch-working I had lost of fabric and I know all the second-hand stores in the area that are worth knowing :)

 

13178020_10207293626916805_9100729291906

 

12985575_10207144887238406_4710756808185

 

12916343_10207061779120755_3944273426121



#8 Maja

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 11:23 AM

Of course this is a patchworker's version of a trailer, I just wanted to suggest a trailer (ok, and show off a little ;)



#9 Smalahundur

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 01:35 PM

Haha, that is very cute Maja, reminds me of the tiny Knauss trailer my parents had, about the same size (the moment my sister and I left home and didn´t go on vacation with them anymore they bought one twice as long, strange that).

Btw if you think polish weather is "not the most clement type" you really should try the icelandic :D .


"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#10 Sue R

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 01:51 PM

:)
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#11 Maja

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 01:27 AM

Btw if you think polish weather is "not the most clement type" you really should try the icelandic :D .

 

No, thanks :lol: , I am past being into extreme experiences.  :lol: 

 

Actually I had started out very modestly by buying a canvas pavilion, but it was all torn to heck by a local tornado that officially was not a tornado, since officially we don't tornadoes.  Big problem since it was in the spring and left me out in the open for the whole season and I can't be out in the sun.  Now, I sewed the remaining walls together and made an awning for the trailer out of them - for people on one side and for dogs' crates on the other.  

 

And inside on the little stove one cam make coffee or tea :D



#12 Smalahundur

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 04:19 AM

It looks very cosy.

"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#13 Alchemist

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 01:50 PM

I'm going to be a bit contrarian, and suggest a rectangular pen instead of a round pen. The handler who I've been training with has a 12 x 24' pen (made of some gates) that she uses to start puppies. She likes it better than starting puppies in a round pen specifically because they *have* to learn to pull sheep out of corners. (It also works to teach them to hold sheep in corners). It's not a large pen; there's not a lot of room to move once you have three ewes, a dog, and a handler in it. She works pups in it until they're calm enough at close quarters that they stop diving in to grip out of nerves. I've seen it work very well in starting quite a few young dogs. It also doubles to hold sheep not being worked at the moment. Gate is in line with her main pasture, so it's also easy to work dogs (and sheep) on gate sorting.

 

It's right next to a covered area (in fact, the cover extends over the rectangular pen) so that you can shelter from hot sun or sudden downpours (which also help keep the rectangular pen from getting sodden). The covered area functions also for hay storage.

 

She also has an intermediate size pasture (maybe a quarter or half an acre?) she uses, but probably not as often as either the small rectangular pen or her larger main training field.



#14 Smalahundur

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 02:38 PM

I have heard this logic before Alchemist. Good news is I will build a largish pen like that in any case, I need one in front of the sheep stables. Wth the right fencing it should also double as a training pen for the horses, ah, multifunctonality.
That is to say once we worked down to it going through our scary long list of things to get around to before winters hits...If you never want to get bored again, buy a farm....

"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#15 Maja

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 01:14 AM

I have a round pen and I do wish I had a corner somewhere. But I don't wish I had a square pen :) . Just a round pen with a corner option, which I am going to install soon, I hope.  For small flocks, like we have,  corners can be the death of training. 



#16 Smalahundur

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 10:35 AM

I know it is kinda reversing the argument, but the corners of a rectangular pen are easily managed by temporarily putting hurdles in them for instance.

Also in my (admittedly not very huge) experience a dog that is ready for stock work training, and is not capable of handling corners pretty quick is rather likely to not make the cut anyway.


"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#17 Maja

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 12:16 PM

To the first sentence: Yes, absolutely :) .  It's just that you get the most surface out of a given length of fence if it is a circle. So the cheapest fence is  a circle.  But I don't have any strong feeling either way.

 

Handling corners is one of the first things I guide a pup to do once we start training.  I tend to think of training area more in terms of various dogs coming to train, which probably you're not planning, or am I wrong? 

 

If you have a bunch of complete beginner dogs all in one day, the sheep learn very fast that this and the next dog do not know how to take them out of a corner and then it becomes a problem.  When sheep work regularly with good dogs, it is hardly ever a problem of course. 



#18 Alchemist

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 12:55 PM

I quite like having corners myself. I will often work with my young dog in corners, either corners of the pasture or corners of a night pen. He's very, very fond of holding sheep in a corner, or on a fence. (Once during a trial the sheep bolted to the fence, and he decided to just hold them there rather than fetch them to me. That run ended pretty quickly). It's been good for him to understand that yes, there ARE times when I *want* you to hold the sheep in a corner - but there are also times when I want you to peel them out of one. And you need to LISTEN and figure out which case this is! His grandfather was much the same way, I hear, and his owner used to regularly do some corner work before each trial.

 

I've got an awkward corner in my barn, adjacent to the aisleway where I pack sheep if I'm checking for parasites or vaccinating them. I've found it's more expedient to "round" this awkward corner off with some lambing panels. That way I actually end up with two holding areas for packing sheep, and no one is tempted to try to hide in the awkward corner. Works for me, and a whole lot cheaper than a fancy sheep handling system.



#19 Smalahundur

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 04:43 PM

I just ordered a fancy sheep handling system, that is to say a sheep sorting corridor with gates on each end. Talked to a lot of people here who bought one, unanimously "worth every penny ( krona actually).
Let you know if I agree, would be nice if I could pick it up before next Monday; first group of lambs goes to the slaughterhouse then.

"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#20 Maja

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 01:41 AM

I just ordered a fancy sheep handling system, that is to say a sheep sorting corridor with gates on each end. Talked to a lot of people here who bought one, unanimously "worth every penny ( krona actually).
 

 

 

Lucky bum! :)




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