Herding Training - Part 4
Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:22 PM
The glimpse of self control and trainer respect we saw last time was all gone down the drain. He acted like a roudy teenager, blantly ignoring what Cathy was telling him to do. To the point that, when asked to stop circling the sheep at breakneck speed and lay down, he turned around and purpusely looked up to the sky, marked a fence in protest, pooped (!) and went to the other side of the pen pretending to sniff other sheep across a fence. All while glancing to see if the "mean lady" has disapeared now and he can go back to sheep.
"Lay down? Ya talking to me?! Ohh, 'scuse me, thought you're telling that sheep to lay down, it kindda looks tired, poor thing... "
As a consequence, he had a "Come to Jesus" meeting with Cathy (ha, she doesn't know he's a Jewish dog ) in which things were clarly layed out for him, such as he doesn't get to pull such BS with her, and he gets to listen to her, work for her when she wants him to, and not try to get away on his good looks (all these were actually explained to him by Cathy in a deep voice, all while he was sitting in front of her, looking in her eyes and wagging his tail ). After this wake up call he suddently remembered all the commands and was discovering how well he can listen to Cathy. Amazing, isn't it?!
He started with 5 sheep, the most he's had so far, but due to his extreme reactivness to any movement, he got downgraded to two. You HAD to see the look of shock, frustration and humiliation on his face when he saw 3 of his 5 sheep being sent to a diferent pen. "What, I only get 2? And look at them, they're the ugliest of all ! "
We're going back next week, when I hope to see some progress.
It started calmly ... first time in the pen after 1.5 months. Good boy, lay down, wait, great job.....
And the very next second:
We can call this "The Road Runner"
Hmmm... btw, have there been documented cases of 2 year old dogs mentally maturing over, say, the span of a week?! Coz that's my only hope now!
Posted 01 December 2007 - 10:04 PM
learning to work stock is two steps forward, one step back. It's so not a linear progression for these dogs, unfortunately...ask Cathy about Taz and Zat someday...
Next time, your Jewish dog may surprise you!
Poetry in motion with Sophie, Taz, Meg, Ike, and puppy Gus!
And Craig waiting at the bridge.
See profiles of many top competitors from the 2011 National Sheepdog Finals in Carbondale, Colorado
Posted 01 December 2007 - 10:14 PM
Cathy said it best: At this age (2 ), every day, I get to have a new dog. He is different every day. Yesterday it was his "I hate authority, I will spray paint everything in sight, I am young, strong and I know better than anyone " day...
Posted 01 December 2007 - 10:49 PM
FWIW, my older BC did not turn into an adult until about 3.5 yrs...and now, at 5, she's so serious that I encourage any trace of foolishness in her. On the other hand, my youngster is just 2.5 and I'm quite happy to let him continue to be a goofball as he slowly makes his way towards his adult personality. Knowing (more or less) where we're going makes it much easier to enjoy the ride with him. So yeah, enjoy the "different dog every day" stage, because I suspect it will actually end...though probably not this week.
Also, I expect Ouzo sees sheep as "entertainment" in somewhat the same way you do. If he grew up in a working setting it would probably be different, but he didn't. With time (i.e. once he figures out that he's asked to be serious every time you visit sheep), I would think he'd get it figured out. We're at about the same point in lessons as you are (with our lessons spaced even farther apart in time than you, since we actually have to get in an airplane and fly to get to any sheep), with much the same results to date.
BTW you should consider yourself lucky you haven't been in there with your boy and his sheep! The guy I've been going to gave me one shot working his open dog and then sent me and Biko in together. Ack! I learned at least two things:
1. You're supposed to have the sheep between you and the dog (your photo #2 is what it looked like a lot for me, and that's not what it's supposed to look like).
2. Being able to get your dog to down is highly overrated. I mean, it's useful, but since that's the only thing I knew how to get my dog to do, I ended up trying crazy things like putting the dog in a down and then trying to get on the other side of the sheep myself while the dog just waited...and waited...and waited. "Ahem," said my instructor after a while, "the dog is supposed to be the one working the sheep, and for that she needs to be allowed to move."
Not by accident, there are no photos to illustrate my struggles But I wanted to thank you for switching wherever your photos are hosted. For a while I couldn't see any Ouzo photos because they were apparently blocked by a local firewall, but now I can get my Ouzo fix again, hooray.
Posted 01 December 2007 - 11:02 PM
You're right, it's from Cathy he will learn to take this seriously, not from me.
You have to fly to get to sheep? WOW, I'll just shut up about my 1 hr drive that I've been whinning about!
These are sheep that are very dog broke and they're constantly seeking refuge behind the trainer. That's when they're not flying.... Someone else has commented on that photo, a guy who has sheep and BCs in England and you're both right. And these were most of the better pics. I have TONS of shots where the sheep and the dog are well positioned: dog, sheep, trainer. Too bad there's a B&W speeding bullet circling them without a purpose. By the time Cathy slows him down and gets him to lay down, the sheep quickly get behind her.
About the hosting site, these are from flickr, with the exception of the third and second before last. I still put stuff on photobucket, which is what appears to have been acting up for you... sorry Glad you can see these!
Posted 02 December 2007 - 07:08 AM
As for Ouzo- he is still very new at this, and it takes much patience grasshopper. I know that 'cause I just figured it out after a year. Dogs progress at their own time lines. Oh, the pooping thing- Lucy went through that too- instead of down, she would poop. I consider it major progress that she doesn't poop anymore- see? patience....
Clearly, I am no expert in these matters- just been doing this a short time, but at least, I hope I can comment on the elimination thing right?
Posted 02 December 2007 - 10:29 AM
Posted 02 December 2007 - 11:49 AM
Walkies (aka "Taking a Constitutional")
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Posted 03 December 2007 - 08:34 AM
The pictures are great! Thanks for the updates and keep 'em coming.
(when I get a new camera, I hope I can finally post some shots of our lessons)
Lilly, Jack, Alex , Will & Slider
Posted 03 December 2007 - 01:02 PM
Holly still has her i am going to be a difficult dog today days. She is almost 2yrs old. She can be such a good obedient girl but sometimes can be in her not so good teenage mode!!.
Holly & Zac
Posted 03 December 2007 - 04:05 PM
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