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#61 Maja

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 11:29 AM

One of the littermates to my oldest bitch was allowed to circle ad nasium...for 2 years, because the instructor said she would eventually find her balance...outstanding agility dog but I think it really disappointed her owner that she didnt do well in herding.

Well I certainly don't intend to do anything of the sort nor ever did :rolleyes: . She has some puppy license right now as I have been trying to explain. Like she had some very early when up to a certain point I never ever rebuked her, just silently made her do what she had to, and then came the time to teach her recall, and I did it the way V. Holland suggests and was consistent with it and she had better recall at the age of 4 months than my 11 year old bitch who is my very first dog.

In the mean time my two country bumpkins went to a national show and Bonnie got "Best Puppy" while Daisy got excellent and came second in Junior bitches . In case you are wondering why I am bothering with shows for working dogs: in Poland it's the only way it makes sense. There is only KC that really counts as a place with purebred dogs, and they require 3 shows to get a breeding license.

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#62 Denise Mcleod

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 04:30 AM

So all those things are taught dry with no sheep?
How do they know what to take a hold of?


I second the idea of trainign some stuff the dog can do with out needing sheep . I am much more confortable kniwing that I can get this dog to stop no matter what and come away from teh sheep n matter whaty and I trained it all on a ball.


First I taught him to lie down instantly (voice and whistle) then I taught him to lie down mid chase of his ball, then I taught him to come away from his ball on a that'l do command (when he arrived I threw another ball in the oppositied direction as a reward). Then I taught him to walk on, stop and lie down all walking tward his ball both away from me and toward me.

Now that he is training with sheep and doing pretty well, I find his stop is getting less reliable as he gets more and more exciting and confident with the sheep, so I am upping his stop training away from sheep. Im confident it will come back again.

The thing hs is worst at is working away from his sheep - he alwasy wasnts to come in too close, so now I am teaching him to "go out" from a ball on the floor - only when he drifts off the ball, is he allowed in to the circle to get his ball.

Hope that made sense - kinda hard to explain, in words.

Anyway. good luck with your dog and hope you have as much joy and fun as we are having. Denise x

#63 Denise Wall

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 10:33 AM

I second the idea of trainign some stuff the dog can do with out needing sheep .

snip

The thing hs is worst at is working away from his sheep - he alwasy wasnts to come in too close, so now I am teaching him to "go out" from a ball on the floor - only when he drifts off the ball, is he allowed in to the circle to get his ball.


The thing about dry training (off stock training of commands) is IMO commands should be learned (felt) in the context of the situation and the stock being worked at that time. Distances and attitudes of both stock and dog are dynamic because it's an interaction between live animals. The effectiveness of a "get back" distance for example is related to the flight zone of the specific stock at that time in a specific situation. What is the flight zone of a ball - a non living object?
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#64 Maja

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 01:34 AM

With my highly limited experience I feel that it is worth while to teach commands off-stock that run counter to the instinct, that is recall - the dog does not want to be with me when we are with the stock. When on stock the dog (at least my dog) of course "forgets" about it anyhow, but she still understands the command, which would be rather difficult to explain to her on stock. I teach lie down off stock, but my previous dog had a real good natural clap so I taught her down on stock naming i as she did it herself. It seems the fastest way. With Bonnie I taught her lie down off stock but its was entirely by (I don't know what you call it in English properly) catching her at doing it anyhow and just giving it a name. After a while she caught on. It was very easy. Then on stock, if she ever does lie down of her own I give her the command to reinforce the idea.

Now I have a question concerning recall- Bonne has got excellent recall off stock. With livestock she comes but she brings the sheep with her every time :rolleyes:. She doesn't come to me, but if I tell her to lie down she obeys, and I can go over to her and put the leash on her and we can walk away. I do it more than once in every session so that she knows that leash doesn't mean end of herding. How do you suggest I proceed from here? When she is unable to to move the sheep e.g. they are in a small enclosure and she sees the through the fence, she comes immediately.

Since this is a video thread here is Bonnie's recall off livestock with distractions, age 5 months:
http://www.youtube.c.../20/U1GANFNKbU4
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#65 Sue R

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:40 AM

Now I have a question concerning recall- Bonne has got excellent recall of stock. With stock she comes but she brings the sheep with her :rolleyes:. She doesn't come to me, but if I tell her to lie down she obeys,a nd I can come and put the leash on her and we can walk away. i do it more than once in every session so that she knows that leash doesn't mean end of herding. How do you suggest I proceed from here?

maja

One clinician I respect would do it this way - the dog has brought the sheep towards you, the sheep have settled, and you have had her lay down (since she is at the balance point, this is relatively easy for her). Repeating "lie down" if necessary in a soft voice, walk past the sheep and by the dog, telling her "That'll do, here" as you walk by her so that she is walking with you away from the sheep. To call her off when the sheep are between the two of you is not an easy way to teach the recall off stock.
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#66 Maja

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:14 AM

Sue,

Thank you :rolleyes: . I always make sure that there are no sheep between us and that the sheep are still - otherwise it would be pretty hopeless at this stage. The recall used to be easier when she was unable to move sheep on her own -without me near the sheep. I could walk past the sheep and past her and call her off, and she'd come. If she didn't come but tried to work sheep I would call her every time she was between me and the sheep, and then she would come. But now she can bring the sheep every time, so she seems to be saying "ok, I am coming, I'm coming, and I am bringing the sheep too." Maybe I just have to be patient?

maja

#67 Sue R

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:22 AM

Are you making corrections when she does this, using your voice and/or body to let her know that's not what you want and blocking her from doing it? Getting between her and the sheep and taking her off (if she lies down and you put a leash on her to take her off initially, don't scold at all once she's laid down for you)?
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#68 juliepoudrier

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:04 AM

Maja, I do like Sue describes: I get the pup to stop and then I walk through the sheep (by going through the sheep I can walk straight toward the pup, which helps the pup to hold the stop, whereas if I circled around the sheep, the pup should circle in the opposite direction to go to balance, which I don't want when I'm trying to call the pup off) and toward the pup, repeating the lie down in a calm voice. Because I am now between the dog and the sheep I can control access to the sheep, so even if the pup gets up and tries to go around the sheep again, I am right there and can block the youngster from getting to the sheep (I'm closer to the sheep so can circle as the dog circles, keeping myself between the dog and the sheep and so preventing the pup from actually working). I repeat the lie down command and then when the pup stops, walk up to the pup and ask it to come with me. I walk a little way away and then will turn and let the pup to do a small outrun to go gather the sheep again, so that it doesn't think that every time I stop it and call it off the "fun" is over. You can see this technique in action in the videos that were posted of Ranger.

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#69 bcnewe2

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 08:13 AM

I use what Julie describs too and sometimes I've found that if I"m really fighting the dog (she keeps trying to balance the sheep to me so keeps moving around me) I'll squat down between the sheep and the dog and call her to me right there. They are more likely to come to me since coming to me is moving towards sheep also.
But I try to get away from that quickly cause it's sorta like tricking the dog to come to you. So again like Julie describes, sometimes we go right back to working so the dog doesn't think the fun is always over when I say that'll do or call the dog to me.
When working on getting Dew off sheep we kinda got in the habit of calling her off and resending her on little outruns, it became a habit for Dew so then we had another issue to work on. But we did get through it quickly.

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#70 Maja

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:36 AM

"I'll squat down between the sheep and the dog and call her to me right there. They are more likely to come to me since coming to me is moving towards sheep also."
That sounds very interesting. I don't think I'd have trouble going in that direction, and maybe she would get into the habit of coming this way and then I could call her off the other way.


Kristen, Julie and Sue,
I think I do all the things you are describing, since I was taught that with my previous dog, and she has an excellent recall. So -
1. I calm the sheep down,
2. tell Bonnie to lie down,
3. she does
4. go through the sheep to her,
5. she still lies down.
Now I can put a leash on her and we can walk away.

But if I walk past her, away from the sheep and away from her and then call her, she gets up to come and then some force (I wonder what? :rolleyes: ) makes her go round the sheep and bring them to me. I will try to video what it looks like on Thursday, maybe I am missing something.

Maja.

#71 Sue R

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 09:45 AM

I don't see you are missing anything, at least not in understanding the suggestions you have been given. She is a very young dog, just entering adolescence (if I recall, about six months old?), and it is very natural for her to want those sheep and to bring them to you. The difference is that with the steps you have outlined, you would be putting yourself as well as Bonnie in a position to use your body pressure as well as voice to block her and then to gently remove her when you want to call her off - instead of giving her the open option to ignore you and listen to her instincts (that are shouting for her to go get those sheep).

She seems keen and eager to gather for you - both good attributes, I would think!
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#72 bcnewe2

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 10:10 AM

Yes I agree with Sue. I can still see Dew think about going back to sheep after I have called her off. I like to see them eger for work. TO have a young dog come right off sheep would make me wonder. It's just a work in progress for Bonnie. Being the tender age that she is, I consider it just fine that she is still trying to figure out a way to get to sheep.

So maybe only take a step away from her and sheep, if she comes, tomorrow take 2 steps. If not, maybe tomorrow no steps and then try 1 step again. Small victories at a time!

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#73 Maja

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 09:16 AM

Kristen and Sue,
Thank you. I agree :rolleyes: . Will keep you posted about the progress. I also had one idea about slowing her dow and will show you tomorrow if it works or if it doesn't :D
maja

#74 Sheepskin_border_collies

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 10:22 AM

The thing about dry training (off stock training of commands) is IMO commands should be learned (felt) in the context of the situation and the stock being worked at that time. Distances and attitudes of both stock and dog are dynamic because it's an interaction between live animals. The effectiveness of a "get back" distance for example is related to the flight zone of the specific stock at that time in a specific situation. What is the flight zone of a ball - a non living object?



For me, I feel that what you are talking about here is another step in itself, but at the same time a good dog would not have to be "taught" how to respond to a moving Object.. thats where their natural instinct comes in there to want to herd anything..living or non living. Is it not, what these dogs are suppost to do, is herd what the handler wants? I see a working dog as a dog that works with its handler as a team, at lisening to what the handler is saying and obeying those commands and taking the sheep where the handler wants by using these commands. I see each command, come by away to me down on out, as the same as sit, dance pretty, stay, each one is something is something said and the dog does what that word mean. So if the dog knows each command on its own then I see it having a easier time with putting it all together on something live. :D Cause you can work harder and make sure they understand it...with out the "distraction" of moving stock. The dog should be smart enough to put those two things together. Which of course most are...no matter how they are trained :D Then on the other hand, once the dog knows all this, and then I put him/her on stock, then i "help" them understand how to use what he/she already knows on the stock.

I deffently understand your point though, which with my dry training is a little different than stated above...with my "training stick" I do make it "come alive" I move the piece of rubber as if it "was alive" which i think makes it a little better than just something standing there like a ball not moving really. Just an example of what ya said..with the on out....you say it depends on the situation on how far they should go out...Well with my commands it is the strenth and stretching of the word that makes them either go out quick and short or far out and slow...I decide right where I want my dog..all by the tone of my vioce....like if i say OOOONNNN OUT!! then they go out fast and far....then if I just say Onn out...then they go out just a ways to let the stock seddle down....which in turn this comes with experience as well....

It is really hard to explain in words...which is why I wish I could get my videos to work..but couldnt even get them on photobucket...going to have to just take some more in a different format :rolleyes:
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#75 jdarling

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:04 AM

What happens if you take your dog out to a field, but neither you or the dog can see the sheep? When you send your dog out, and your dog still doesn't see them, will the dog continue to look for the sheep, or assume that it's dry training time and look to you for the ball or whatever you're training with?

I know that I, personally, am careful not to even use the same commands off stock that I use on stock because if I say, "away to me" ... I want my dog to know there are sheep out there that I want brought back and for the dog to not stop looking until they find it -- whether or not they can see it.

#76 Denise Wall

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:24 AM

Cause you can work harder and make sure they understand it...with out the "distraction" of moving stock. The dog should be smart enough to put those two things together. Which of course most are...no matter how they are trained :rolleyes: Then on the other hand, once the dog knows all this, and then I put him/her on stock, then i "help" them understand how to use what he/she already knows on the stock.


I don't consider stock a distraction when you're trying to teach a dog to work stock. To me this above sounds like nothing more than obedience on stock rather than a dog being taught how to work stock. It's not a matter of how "smart" they are or how much of a team player they are to be able to transfer a sterile command to stock. It's a matter of associating a new command with an interaction with another live animal. Why not take the most direct path?

How many dogs would you say you've trained to an advanced level? I'll be very interested to see your videos.
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#77 stockdogranch

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 12:08 PM

with my "training stick" I do make it "come alive" I move the piece of rubber as if it "was alive" which i think makes it a little better than just something standing there like a ball not moving really.

The issue I have with this is that the training stick/piece of rubber, etc. does NOT have its own agenda the way livestock do. The livestock and the dog are constantly reading each others' energy; that's how the dog knows how big the "bubble" is, and that's how the stock know how much "presence" the dog has. They are each giving off "pressure," if you will, to each other. The dog's pressure on the stock should meet and be just slightly more than that of the stock--that's how this whole thing works--and the dog gets the stock to move in the desired direction.

Now, certainly, you can train a dog the proper "moves"--I can train a dog so that I can place it where *I* think it needs to be in relation to the stock, i.e., which flank to take, and how wide or close *I* think it should be, etc. And I read stock pretty well, but it seems to me that the dog has a better shot at reading the stock "properly," since, 1) the dog is generally much closer to the stock than I am, and 2) reading other animals' energy is the way the dog communicates; it is not the primary mode of communication with humans. There are many of us who much prefer a dog who can think on its own, read the stock, and adjust its distance to the stock (and thus the pressure it puts on the stock) accordingly. If/when you are dry training a dog to work stock, you are completely eliminating the most fundamental aspect of dog/stock work (that which the whole enterprise is built upon)--the relationship between the dog and the stock. So, once the dog learns the "moves," then it has to try to apply that to dealing with the stock and their energy. But by then you already have what many of us wold call a "mechanical dog." Why not just let the dog learn both together, hence Denise's "direct path"?
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#78 Laurae

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 01:11 PM

Doesn't sound like you've done much trialing at advanced levels. I don't want to assume anything about the types of trials you've competed in, but dry-training techniques may only be suited to working with very dog-broke sheep on very small courses.

Laurae - Hey, Nothing big...just local runs that farmers put together...and Think I went to one in dequeen, been to one in Heber Springs too I think.


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#79 bcnewe2

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 04:30 PM

I know that I, personally, am careful not to even use the same commands off stock that I use on stock because if I say, "away to me" ... I want my dog to know there are sheep out there that I want brought back and for the dog to not stop looking until they find it -- whether or not they can see it.


I totally agree with that Jodi. I once sent Mick on a comeby but was trying to flank him around the chickens, we had just started "working" chickens here and to Mick, chickens have always been invisible. So he goes off on his comby and I lose him. I looked for a while cause I wasn't really thinking anything but put the darn chickens up.
I found him down at the sheep pen waiting at the gate to complete his flank. So I agree it is a direction we do related to sheep. Not a direction relating to anything else (besides other livestock...even chickens much to Micks dismay). I can say any sheep work related command, both Dew and Mick will look for sheep to complete the command.
Mick will now flank around chickens but before he takes off I always see him glance off towards the sheep area.

we were at a freind's farm, she sent her dog off on a blind outrun to gather sheep out of their own field, the sheep weren't anywhere near where friend was sending her dog. Dog finally showed back up mcuh later and looked very miffed at being "tricked" when there was no sheep to be found.
Same with me, I sent Mick blindly where I was told sheep were to be found. I watched Mick take the command then head for a gate that he could skrit under because he thought i must have meant farther out cause the sheep weren't where I told him they were. I called him in and found other sheep to make it up but he wasn't happy either. It's like a trust issue has been shaken.

Dry training sounds like the ultimate in mechanical work.

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#80 Sue R

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 05:01 PM

I agree with those that advocate not using "on stock" commands when off stock (other than, of course, lie down and recall).

Sometimes I send Celt to check and see if there are any cattle in a part of the pasture that I can't see without a hike - for that, to avoid saying "look" when there might not be stock, I say "find". He knows what that means. If he spots the stock and is still in sight of me, he will lie down facing the stock (I didn't teach this, it's something he's offered). If he goes and does not find stock, he comes back to me. If he goes and finds stock out of my sight, he'll come back with them, or will run back to where he can see me and I know he's spotted them and I can send him.

Before Megan lost her hearing, she was my #1 dog for finding new, hidden calves in long grass or brushy spots. I'd tell her to "find" and she'd go searching. When she found a calf, rather like a bird dog, she would "point" to it with her nose. At that point, if I felt the calf was in a safe place, I'd call her off with a "good girl". If I wanted her to rouse the calf and move it my way (back into the pasture, as they would often be off in a neighboring field), I'd have her get it up and let her fetch it (as well as a new calf can be fetched - they are pretty clueless).

I find our "find" command to be very useful but definitely different from "look" or "look back" which means I know there are stock out there, for sure.
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