Posted 21 May 2003 - 06:47 PM
Posted 22 May 2003 - 03:11 AM
You will get some info here but I would go to http://www.kensmuir.com/forums/ message board. These folks broke off this board so they could discuss more in the way of herding so they might actually be more helpful.
I also have an acd not for herding though. They are stubborn beasts but I love her to death.
Posted 22 May 2003 - 12:03 PM
>You will get some info here but I would go to http://www.kensmuir.com/forums/ message board. These folks broke off this board so they could discuss more in the way of herding so they might actually be more helpful.<
I've thought a lot about whether to respond or let this go and I've decided I can't let it go but I'll try to be as diplomatic as I can. Kim, I think a lot of people who chose to stay exclusively with this forum take exception to being described as less helpful than those in the one you mention. Since many of the real stockdog people left or never posted here because they didn't want to put up with the attitudes of some of those formally on this list, it may take some time for herding talk to build back up again. I think useful herding topics are, and will continue to be, discussed here.
Posted 22 May 2003 - 12:22 PM
Posted 22 May 2003 - 03:27 PM
Posted 22 May 2003 - 03:51 PM
I was not saying that this board would not answer his questions, I was only suggesting that he would be able to get additional answers on the other board.
This is one of the reasons I do not post very often...no matter what anyone says, someone tries to start a stupid war and takes things posted out of context instead of the way they were meant.
Posted 22 May 2003 - 04:01 PM
Welcome to the border collie boards! do you just herd cows? What kinda cows? I am just learning to herd for the first time with my young border collie, Nell.
I grew up in Idaho surrounded by white face red and black herefords and some charlois. Most of the time I only ran into the big herds of sheep when I was rattling around the back roads with my dad in search of some wild creature for him to shoot at.
I tell you the sheep are a lot harder to move than the cattle I have moved in the past. Sheep are like steelies on a flat hard surfact that is tipping at various angles. They roll wicked fast and at all sorts of unlikely (at least to my uneducated eye) angles.
Posted 22 May 2003 - 04:37 PM
As far as talking you into a border collie because your acds are too hardheaded. I've got some pretty hardhearded border collies so they can certainly be that way too. Your acds may be the best for what you do. What are your main uses for a dog - do you mainly drive stock, need dogs to bring them in, work chutes, have the same stock or change out a lot, have great numbers, and over how much and what type of land? I've heard from many cattle people who aren't committed to one breed or the other say that a good border collie is the best cattle dog you can have. But the key is what is a good dog in your situation?
I have sheep. I've only worked cattle some over the years and never any that have been previously dogbroke. I occasionally help neighbors and friends around here who don't have working dogs so I only have experience with local types of unbroke beef cattle. However, I do hang around with cattle people sometimes. One thing I would caution you about - there are some pretty macho people out there, border collie people included, who don't think a dog is doing a good job unless it's always chewing up the cattle. If it looks like they're more into how much the dog is biting than if the cattle are going where they're supposed to be going, I'd look elsewhere.
Posted 22 May 2003 - 04:47 PM
Posted 22 May 2003 - 05:12 PM
Just to mention,I didn't mean that cattle are easy to move when they are being ornery. In everyday situations though the cattle I have known seem to be more willing to go in a gate or out of one and so on. They tend to walk across a field in a straight line. Sheep on the move seem to me to be a whole different deal.
In cooperation with a good handler, these border collies can do truly remarkable things with livestock. You have to be careful not to hurt or scare them by asking too much of them too early. My sense is that its best too train them with someone who knows their ways so that you avoid some of the pitfalls and get the most out of them.
Oh that's a nice story about your little female. She sounds like a great dog. You two are lucky to have found each other.
Posted 22 May 2003 - 11:42 PM
I have an ACD and some Border Collies. I keep 25 to 30 ewes and use the dogs to help me move the sheep. I started with the ACD and the aquired the Border Collies. When I get done here I'm going to take 20 ewes and their lambs half a mile down the road to their daytime pasture. I do this every morning and evening. I'll use my trained Border Collie, Ladd ,this morning because I can pretty much just walk along behind everybody drinking coffee and he'll take care of business without much input from me. If I were to use the ACD I could get the job done but I would have to pay a lot more attention and tell the dog where to be and when to be there a lot more.
Both these dogs work cattle well. The Border Collie has just as much bite but uses it to better advantage. I tend to think of the ACD as the enforcer.
Hope this helps.
Clear Crossing Farm
Posted 23 May 2003 - 04:40 AM
Posted 23 May 2003 - 06:31 PM
Posted 24 May 2003 - 01:17 AM
Outside, she stays close and doesn't wander away from me though, whereas most of the dogs I have known would go off in search of scent, ground squirrels etc.
Posted 24 May 2003 - 04:21 AM
As far as being hard headed it varies from dog to dog. I think the most biddable dogs I have are pups that I bred that were very well socialized between birth and 8 weeks. I have other dogs bred by trainers with a different philosphy on handling pups that require much harsher corrections than the ones I raised myself.
Clear Crossing Farm
Posted 28 May 2003 - 09:49 AM
Border Collies can be great cattle dogs if they have the right breeding behind them. Its very important that the dog you get comes from parents that are very strong workers- that don't have any back down to them but who are also trainable so you can have success with your first dog. Talk to ALOT of people about your specific needs and seriously consider taking lessons from a professional before you attempt to work cows. If you get a pup, consider you will need to wait 10 months to a year before starting that pup on cattle, sometimes longer. You want that pup to have a good start, one thing that is a difference between ACDs and Border Collies is that ACDs have a much higher pain/fear tolerance (not always a good thing)- the first time a ACD gets kicked, its alot more likely to stick to it than many Border Collies. That doesn't mean that Border Collies are not good cow dogs, in fact I think they are the best cow dogs - but you will need to take care that the experience your young Border Collie has is a good one. Your group of heifers- heifers are my favorite cows to work- they are the most reasonable animals- they don't have calves, they aren't stupid like calves or dull/obstinate like bulls. Do not work young dogs on cows with calves- that is a bad deal. What you should do now is find someone who is a good hand with dogs and cows- ask them to dog break your group of heifers and then have them periodically come back and "remind" the cows they are dog broke so that when you get your pup well started on sheep, it can make a smooth transition to cows without risking loosing that critical confidence building period. Also, if the timing is right, a group of weaner calves that have been worked by a good dog are not as reliable as heifers but less likely to hurt a dog. Right now, I have a keen pup I'm hoping will compete in sheep and cow dog trials- I'm limited on cows to work, but right now I have worked in a steer (will be adding more) to my sheep herd- he's a docile, cooperative animal and just stays with his sheep. In a few months, I can start my pup on "cows" by introducing her to this sheep imposter . I will be assured that the cow will not pick a fight with her because my older dogs have properly educated him, and she can have a win-win situation and positive experience with her first cow dog work.
Posted 28 May 2003 - 08:42 PM
This story was shared here quite awhile back, I think it offers insight into Border Collies on cattle. I hope Rod doesn't mind me sharing it with you. I guess if all the old posts were available, you could probably find it anyway...
I've enjoyed reading these boards for the last couple of weeks. Lots of good information and discussion. If some of you would like to take a break from the "wars", I'd like to tell you a little story about a real BC.
This past monday I went out to an old rancher who had donated his herd of cattle to "our" ranch. Our ranch is a private nonprofit juvenile treatment facility where I am the cattle and horse program manager. The cattle had not been "worked" since 1994 and I wanted to tag and vaccinate them before we loaded them up. About 80 pairs and a dozen or so yearling steers were locked up in a five acre pen when we got there. My assistant Mike and I stepped into the pen and the cattle scatered. My little B&W collie was 20 feet ahead of us, looking over her shoulder at me, begging me to send her. Although I knew better, I said, "Bring 'em, Lady". (Bill, I still need to read that book I bought last weekend, now that I have a good dog I feel like I ought to be standing out there like Moses with a staff and issuing "real" stockdog commands.)
Now these cattle had never been worked by a dog before. It was kaos. (Hi, Kaos) Lady was streaking around the left side and calves were running aimlessly around, some of the steers were curiously following lady and several mother cows were out to do her bodily harm. Reaching the far end of the pen, Lady gathered several calves and started them our way. The first obstacle she encountered was a couple of steers trotting towards her, necks outstreached, trying to get a good smell of the strange creature in their midst. No problem, a couple of nips to a couple of snouts and they went packing. Just behind them was the COW. A big black bally with an attitude was out to kill this scrawny little predator. Lady danced in front of her a couple of times and with the rest of the herd running away the cow turned and left. Of course Lady heeled her as she was turning which didn't help her attitude.
Well Lady had them coming our way- at a dead run. Mike and I started into a fools dance- flapping our arms and yelling at the top of our lungs in an effort to keep from getting run over. The herd thundered by us and were turned by the fence and ran back the way they had come. Lady ran to the front of the herd and dissapeared. She must have got them turned because Mike and I were soon forced to resume our dance. As the herd left for the far end again I turned to Mile and said, "You would think we'd have enough sense to get out of the damn way." The third time the herd circled the pen we were hugging the north fence, far enough away from the action that we didn't have to do our dance.
This time when they turned on the fence Lady was there in the lead cows face. The cow turned back into the herd, the rest of the cattle followed in a little circle, and Lady had them penned in the corner.
Now of course the gate couldn't be in the corner where it would be easy, it was in the middle of a hundred yard line of fence. Mike and I walked down to Lady and started the cattle down the fence line. Because I was a little worried about Lady being excited by all the commotion of the past few minutes, I tied a 40 ft. check cord on to her collar and sent her with the cattle to keep them on the fence. With Lady's help, the cattle found the gate and were in a 1 acre pen accross the road from a set of working corrals. All were in the little pen except one dumb calf that missed the gate. Lady gathered him up and moved him back to the gate. He kept sticking his head through the fence trying to get to the rest of the cows so Lady heeled him. He let out a bawl for momma- and momma was the black bally cow- still on the fight. Lady danced in front of her again, the calf found the gate and momma followed him through and Lady heeled her again. It still didn't improve the old heifer's attitude.
We had to string a couple of wire gates accross the road to get the cattle to the corrals. Lady gathered the little pen and we had all the cows in the corral. A half dozen calves were dragging up the rear, pushed on one of the wire gates on the road and knocked it down. They sprinted down the road and Lady went after them, turned them nicely and headed them back our way. They ran right into the corral. All except the dumb calf. He didn't want to cross the wire gate laying on the road. Lady "helped" him. He bawled for momma again and momma responed, again. This time she was serious. Mike saw her comming out of the corral and tried to shut the gate on her. She hit the gate at a full charge, knocking the gate open and Mike to the ground. She was after Lady. Lady crossed over the gate on the road and snagged the end of the cord on the wire. In 1.5 milliseconds Lady was wound up in the wire and the cow was on her. Lady got in a half dozen good bites to the nose which served to infuriate the crazy cow even more. At one point the cow was on her knees trying to "waller" Lady around. Lady was only able to drag the fence a foot or two in each direction to get a little room to fight the cow. She stayed right in there and never backed down. I pulled out my knife and tried to cut Lady loose. When I got in front of the cow, her attention shifted from Lady to me. "Oh crap," I said out loud. (Well I didn't really say that but it was something with a similar meaning.) The cow lifted her bleeding head up and out of Lady's reach and stepped towards me. I thought I was in real trouble. Just then Lady front footed her and held on! The cow turned drug Lady and the fence past me, Lady let go and the cow ran back into the corral. I cut Lady loose from the fence and had to chase her around to catch her to check her out for injuries. She didn't have a scratch on her. Smart, quick, gritty, loyal. Think many AKC dogs have her qualities?
Lady, I owe you one!
Posted 29 May 2003 - 01:10 AM
Thanks for re-posting that story pqirdog! That sort of post is a rarity around here these days.
Posted 07 June 2003 - 05:17 AM
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