Bonnie and Sheep
Posted 01 September 2010 - 01:21 AM
Thank you for replying. But that's why I wanted to explain, because he most natural thing is to project one's own situation unto another country, as it has been in this topic with the availability of sheep for instance. Recently in Poland people have started to import BC from sound European stock, although they still have to face the shows in Poland if they want to breed them. For males it is more difficult because they must obtain three 'excellents' (a female can get away with very good). Which is an additional difficulty - in most other countries in Europe it is enough to get 'good' in conformation for breeding, or even (as is the case in France I believe) just breed pedigree to pedigree without show conformation. A similar situation is in the Czech Republic, where ISDS and FCI seem to cooperate quite well, and herding there flourishes.
Posted 02 September 2010 - 02:25 PM
In the video, we are doing:
- a little of figure eights,
- teeny-weeny outruns,
- a little wearing,
- actual fetching (I am not sure I am using the right term - Bonnie and the sheep are one place, I am in another and she brings them to me
- coming to me from the balance position.
Bonnie does not know the directions yet - come bye or away. I was told to wait with it until I get a good distance on her, so I am doing it, but finding it a little cumbersome sometimes. I've tried to start on driving but didn't succeed. It goes better on the larger pasture, and the last couple of times we practiced in the training area to get started on the teeny-weeny outruns (if one may call them that at this stage). Also in the training area I allow her a smaller distance provided she goes straight and the sheep are calm. Also later, each time I set her in a position in the direction I want her to go.
There is the original audio, but mostly you can hear strong wind (Earl here? ) , so the best is mute.
So FWIW :
Posted 02 September 2010 - 08:36 PM
Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:08 AM
Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:09 AM
Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:32 AM
Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:19 AM
I am probably not explaining this correctly. Then again, maybe this is one of the many reasons why I suck at all of this. Perhaps a truckload of salt is appropriate here.
Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:11 AM
Posted 04 September 2010 - 07:53 AM
How often do you take lessons? And what is your trainer's philosophy on preventing wrongs v. correcting them?
Posted 04 September 2010 - 09:03 AM
Cameroonians are very light, but Bonnie so far had trouble with other sheep only once (they didn't' want to come out of the pen because the had been hassled by previous dogs and even the assisting dog had trouble taking them out).
(That, sometimes, is more trouble than it's worth if you have a dog that doesn't have a lot of power and has trouble lifting heavy sheep, but that's a conversation for a different day.)
It's not as though she never does anything wrong , I have only recently got a reliable lie down on her. But I do understand what you mean. It is yet another balance in herding (stock work seems to me to be based on a multitude of dynamic balances between contrary oppositions) that I can't seem to be able to achieve.
If you never give Bonnie the opportunity to be wrong and are always preventing something "bad" from happening, neither one of you will know how to fix it when it does go wrong.
Ay, there is the rub. Last time I had lessons 1-5 August (it was a clinic) , next time I will go Sept 15th and then Oct 12th. That's the best I can do now. At home our practice varies depending on various things like lambing pouring rain, and it's between 15-25 min. a day every day to 15-25 one a week.
How often do you take lessons?
She is . That's why she is now allowed to practice with pregnant ewes and little lambs. Earlier, she didn't have a good enough stop, but now I can lie her down even in the middle of havoc.
Bonnie doesn't look like she packs a whole lot of power, and seems pretty harmless to the sheep.
He is much more towards making sure the dogs succeeds. But of course simple answers are usually too simple. At the camp, there was a very nice dog that did everything that the handler told her to. And the instructor told the handler: she is doing everything for you, she must also do things for the sheep. That's from a guy that usually says "she is working only for the sheep, she must start working for you." So he is very much depending on what dog the handler is working with, and at what stage the dog is.
And what is your trainer's philosophy on preventing wrongs v. correcting them?
For Bonnie it seems very important to move forward, when she is doing easy things she becomes restless. When its' too difficult she becomes frustrated. Another balance.
Thank you for your input . I will try some things tomorrow and include all the mishaps in the next video .
Posted 05 September 2010 - 09:35 AM
With much less correction Bonnie weaves a lot more, but some of it is justified by the way the flock tends to spread out. But there are very clear moments where she figures out how to get the job done without weaving. Also a couple of times I make mistakes either by setting her wrong for the outrun, or by placing myself wrong.
At the very end, when we walk away and I mean to end the session, she actually looked back with that look in her eye "Gee, boss we forgot about the sheep". And off she went. In those situations even a Mighty Holler does not stop her, so I usually don't try. She brought them nice and clean all pleased with herself "Here they are, boss!" So I let her take them out of the training area an partly towards the home and called her off the sheep again. This time successfully. I do it without the leash anymore.
And sorry for the wiggles of the camera in the beginning, later instead of me the fence post is the cameraman (camerapost?) and it is more steady
Any input will be of course appreciated.
Posted 05 September 2010 - 12:45 PM
Posted 05 September 2010 - 01:19 PM
The Polish KC is the only one that organizes trials in Poland. Competitions used to be quite a vibrant area of activity, although there were not many people involved. Now there are more people working their dogs, but the KC herding subcommittee is suffering form some paralysis and there were no competitions this year at all. But that does not stop people from trailing - they go to the Czech Republic or Slovakia, since the Czech people as usual are years ahead of us and much better organized. So a person with a working dog just has to go further.
The system for trailing now is that a dog has to pass a Herding Working Test, and form there they go to trials, class I, II, and III, which is the highest.
Here are fragments from a trial in Poland in 2008, class I - the lowest. There are Polish, Czech, and Austrian people there, and the judge is Austrian. The dogs are from different backgrounds ISDS, FCI and mix.
Posted 07 September 2010 - 05:50 AM
There are at present 22 dogs eligible to work in trials. There of them are already retired, so there are 19 dogs in all of Poland that can potentially participate. In reality the number is much smaller. The number is doubled since the introduction of the HWT, which is easier to pass than the previous trial qualification test.
Posted 07 September 2010 - 07:47 AM
Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:21 AM
The Polish Kennel Club. The judge was Marion Fuchs. If a judge is not FCI, but ISDS (though some judges in Europe have dual registration as a judge) then there has to be an FCI judge present as well.
So on the link you sent a couple of posts ago for the trial there in Poland, who sanctions a trial like that?
As I said earlier the entrants were from Poland, Czech Republic and Austria. For class I - 12 entrants. For class II - 4 entrants. There were no Class III entrants.
And just to give us an idea ... how many entries would be at a trial like that?
In order to participate in a trial the dog has to pass the Herding Working Test:
Is there a website that shows what the eligibility requirements are for dogs to work at trials?
Yes, there is one here:
Is there a list somewhere of the dogs that are eligible?
However, Besi Miveko, Aris s Cesalki, and Frankie Akumulator are retired.
To begin with, Poland used to have lots of sheep, but as a result of some economic collapses here and there in the seventies, the sheep industry is almost nonexistent. The presence of border collies in Poland is not something with a long history. I think the breed appeared in Poland in the 90ties. The first dog that started trialling was Aris z Cesalky in 2003. Of course he trialled in the Czech republic, not in Poland. The first Polish competition was in 2004. We bought our fist BC because we had sheep, but I think we were one of very few people who did it in this order then. Now, if someone wants to do herding as a sport, well, it's a an expensive sport.
In your opinion, why is there such a low number of dogs that re eligible? Is it because the requirements are too hard? A low number of dogs overall? Population? Too expensive to own property and livestock?
I don't think the exam is difficult. But most border collies came into Poland as sort of urban dogs. It is slowly changing though, and more and more people import working lines dogs and more people mate border collies that work. There is more and more tendency, I think, to consider that a well-bred border collie should be a working border collie, and that those dogs will show in areas unrelated to herding will show the most promise. I remember I was once once approached by people who wanted to make sure their puppy will be from working parents, because they wanted "the smart border collie". On the other hand the working border collies are often considered to be much more difficult and require a much more experienced handler. So not many BC are used for stock handling as their primary purpose in life (as opposite to sheep being used to be handled by dogs as their primary purpose of existence).
The HWT, I think is not difficult considering the requirements that are for class I trial. It's a good introductory test, with the exception that it contains elements of cross-drive which do not appear until class II.
So considering the conditions for raising sheep, the number and type of BCs present in Poland, I think there are quite a few dogs with a working status. This is so, because some people just want to get the HWT and do not intend to go any further, because they want this for their show achievements. On the other hand there a few rising stars with dogs bought from working lines, so I think at the HWT the competition will be easier, but at the trial level it will be tougher. Also I must mention here the issue of handlers - the most experienced handler in Poland has been doing it for about 11 years only.
Only 10 acres, and it's in three pieces.
By the way, how much land do you own?
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