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Donald McCaig

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About Donald McCaig

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    Geezer

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Highland County Virginia

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  1. Donald McCaig

    Focus, balls & OCD

    Dear Aspiring Sheepdoggers, Ms. Shelly writes, in part:" Our six month old is so focused on his black and white soccer balls and behaves exactly like they are sheep that he is herding." There are one or two slight differences between sheep and a soccer ball, viz: the ball is easier for the dog to read. Donald
  2. Donald McCaig

    Last attempt at the shepherd's whistle.

    Dear Smalahundur, "Donald" or "Mr. McCaig" suit. I wince at "Don". In my corner of rural southern Appalachia, if I work for you, I'm "Donald" and you're "Mr.". High status individuals are "Mr. Donald" or "Miss Anne". After a lifetime a few become "Uncle Donald". I'm not him but my wise wife is "Aunt Anne". When I was trialing I found it useful to sharpen my whistles by practicing when I was driving somewhere w/o a dog. Donald
  3. Donald McCaig

    Last attempt at the shepherd's whistle.

    Sorry sir, I try to be polite but it's all I can do to keep the Mr.s and Ms.s straight. Donald
  4. Donald McCaig

    Last attempt at the shepherd's whistle.

    Mr. Smalahundru's distinction is well-taken though "dialect" and "accent" blur where they meet. The lowland Scots I was just talking with in the beer tent become incomprehensible when local pals gossip. The sheepdog's whistle comprehension is mysterious. Because I am unable to accurately replicate a new dog's recorded whistles I change them over to mine. Some get it on the first or second try, others take weeks. I've seen Jack Knox work a young dog on whistles: flanks, stop, walk up, although that dog had never been previously trained to whistle commands. Donald
  5. Donald McCaig

    Last attempt at the shepherd's whistle.

    We all use several different dialects: home town, family, professional, special venue (aka: sheepdog trials). Every handler's whistles migrate. They change over time and handler and dog adapt. Once I bought a cool buffalo horn whistle to replace my Boring! 2$ plastic one and introduced it at a little trial. Gael executed an impeccable outrun, lift and fetch but when Gael began her drive she fell apart at my first whistle. Later, the judge asked, “What the hell happened to her? She hadn’t lost a point until your drive!” A friend had videotaped the fiasco and when I blew my new buffalo horn whistle, Gael stopped to stare at me and if a dog can knit her brows, Gael did: : “Are you speaking Portugese? Aramaic?” What I could say with plastic I could not say with buffalo horn. Wrong dialect. Donald
  6. Donald McCaig

    Last attempt at the shepherd's whistle.

    Finger whistles reach farther and allow subtler variations. I'm told. I can't finger whistle. The brass blasters are louder but taste foul in my mouth. Donald
  7. Donald McCaig

    Catching him in the act!

    Roxanne noted: "Wiston Cap won his first international supreme championship (sheepdog trial, not conformation) at less than 2 years old. An immature dog couldn't have done that. " Cap was the exception that tests the rule. Scottish Mantra: "A dog is ready for a (an open) sheepdog trial when it has as many years under it as legs." Donald
  8. Donald McCaig

    Dog Parks

    When traveling sometimes dog parks are the best choice for exercise. Seattle, Charlotte, Atlanta, New York City, San Fransisco. None were perfect, all exercised my dogs.That I'm a mean, dog protective SOB and look it has avoided trouble. Donald
  9. Donald McCaig

    Recently started herding lessons

    Nice pup. Too tight but proper distance will come. Didn’t understand the grass nibble. Donald
  10. Donald McCaig

    Shame and lies

    No. Although I have taken pups back, I can think of circumstances where I wouldn't. Some respected sheepdog breeders only reclaim talented, unruined pups. Donald McCaig
  11. Donald McCaig

    Grain free

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2018/08/29/grain-free-exotic-dog-food-linked-to-heart-disease/
  12. Donald McCaig

    Sheepdog Terroir

    The first time I worked range sheep at the Sonoma Wine Country trial I noticed some were raggedy-ass unsheared. Why? "We couldn't catch them." Predators, sure. Shepherds working off horseback not on foot. Never being handled in small groups.Youth. Donald
  13. Donald McCaig

    Dog running through splitting sheep

    There’s plenty of good Irish handlers. Find a trial at the isds website, attend, meet, learn. Donald
  14. Donald McCaig

    walking backward

    I've never had a good dog who'd abandon his sheep with a single "That'll do." Standard remedy for good-but-keen and part-trained alike is a hard down as the hander circles to the same side of the sheep as the dog. Keen dog won't happily down on the OR either. The dog who drops when he's almost off contact may not listen when worried of losing control. Donald
  15. Donald McCaig

    walking backward

    If you cannot recall off sheep you have no down and can’t use Derek’s method for widening the outrun. It’s hard to learn everything at once. Donald
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