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Marilyn T

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About Marilyn T

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Michigan
  1. Marilyn T

    Whistles beyond the basics

    I thought I had nice whistles until I spent a week at a Kent clinic. We spent the whole week refining my sounds and the use of them. I have a single note flank for small movements, a two note flank for bigger, and three notes to 'circle the sheep - go big' flank. Each direction has its own variations, and they do NOT start with similar sounds. I have a slow walk up, and a medium, and a hurry,hurry one. I have a stop (with a tail) and a slow down (without the tail,) and use verbal 'take time' at the start of the drive to remind them about pace. I have a peep that means there. I have a recall / that will do. I throw walk ups in with flanks if my dog wants to go wide and I want it to stay tight. I can skip a there by putting in a walk up during a slow flank, and all my dogs turn on the sheep at that point. I do have a look back that is totally different than any other whistle. I practice in the car still, like Donald, to make sure I still have pure sounds. Mostly, I use variations of the whole flank whistle to mean what I need, and the dogs interpret it quite well. I try and let the sheep teach the dog what I need, and pair it with a whistle that soon they associate with the task. Good luck Robin. You are only limited by your imagination. Just take care to not confuse your dog with too many variations too soon.
  2. Marilyn T

    Packed pen work

    Update: I have had Lola in the big field maybe 4 times and it is much better than the round pen. She is a speed demon to get to balance, but slams to a stop then. Not trying a walk up yet... still trying to get her to relax. Has not busted into sheep (15) out in the field since it is a pain in the A** to her to regather when she wants them grouped. It seems to be the answer. Thanks Bob I'll let you know how she comes along. Marilyn
  3. Marilyn T

    Packed pen work

    My understanding of a packed pen, is to stuff a stall full of sheep, and go in with the young dog. They learn to move near the sheep, weaving their way betweent he sheep and the wall and lose their 'fear' of the sheep. YOu pack it full so the sheep can't back up and ram the pup, and the pup can't get a tornado going inside the small area. I don't know anything more, but have hear that it can really work, if you know what you are doing, or be a disaster if you don't. I agree that the round pen has been bringing out the wolf in her, and have just yesterday, on advice from another friend that knows the breeding better than me, put her on a larger group of sheep, out in a corner of the field. Since she is trying to head them to try and keep them together, the bigger group is way too much work for her to be silly... and the sheep are teaching her to behave. I want to re-read your post a couple more times, and digest your information. However, I'm going off to Kingston tomorrow, so will have to wait to try anything for a week or so. I will get back to you then. Thanks.. see ya. Marilyn
  4. Hey Bob... long time no see. What experience have you had using the 'packed pen' for young dogs. I have a year old bitch, that is fast and furious... your kinda pup! Anyway, she is in the round pen still. Stops dead on balance, and wants to control heads, so is constantly flanking to cover the heads. When I ask her to walk up to the sheep, she rushes in and dives and bites. I think basically it is insecurity of how to handle sheep. I have blocked, and yelled so far... to keep from getting run over first, and to protect the sheep. I also have moved her over a couple of feet, and backed up, and gone through the sequence of 'way to me/ or come bye; lie down; (Me backing up), there now; walk up; DOWN,' and over again. That works for a couple of seconds. I am thinking the packed pen will help her, but am not 100% sure how to use it. Can you help? Marilyn Terpstra
  5. Marilyn T

    Lark vs. the Velociraptor

    Now that you are down to one, kill off the second, scatter only a few feathers around, feed the carcass to the dogs, and mention that you haven't seen him lately, and saw the neighbors dogs close by once or twice. No actual blaming the disappearance on a specific instance so no chance of retribution from the roommate. Claim the now dead rooster was starting to range further and further. Problem solved! Or.. borrow Robins pups and let them disembowl him as a group effort. I would suggest Ranger, but he has to learn to leave your other chickens alone, where-as Moon and Tug don't . "OOPS... so sorry, but the damn chicken happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time!"
  6. Marilyn T

    coyote-wolf

    Regarding the 'brush wolf' that Christine took a picture of.... A knowlegable shepherd/trialer told us the following. They have DNA tested all kinds of predators that have been shot in that section of Ontario. Some are wolf by dna, some are coyote by dna, and then there are those that have both wolf and coyote dna. Those with the combined dna are labeled 'brush wolves'. She said that the one in the picture was very long legged, and was probably of the 'brush wolf' variety. Of course, since it wasn't killed, there was no dna testing done :>)
  7. Marilyn T

    Managing the clappy dog

    Have you taught her to drive sheep towards pressure? I usually start driving with the dog between pressure and the sheep. Then I do like Carol says, drive across pressure. But don't forget to drive sheep towards pressure too. Lots of dogs panic when they are 'following' running sheep. It is a skill that also needs to be taught. At my place (it is long and narrow) I drive the sheep to the back of the field, flank the dog around and leave the way back to the barn free. I can always count on some of the old ewes to run off towards the barn. I simply keep the young dog behind them at that point, but try and keep within reasonable contact.( I have an ATV that I am on so I can keep up ;>). ) A clappy dog will have a really hard time with it, but they learn it is okay to not always be on pressure. Once they lose their panic, they usually relax and free up. Also, Like somebody said, (Lana I think) the dog needs to be a bit more worred about you than the pressure of the sheep. My old dog used to clap up on cats. I used that to break his concentration. He would clap on a cat, and I would says something to him. No response. I would then take a baseball hat and smack him on the butt, and say the equivelent of 'Hey buddy... I'm speaking to YOU' Amazingly, his 'hearing' improved greatly and he could be broken from the stare much easier. Carried over to sheep. Good luck. Larkie is a fine little girl. Shame to let this mess her up. Marilyn
  8. Marilyn T

    A Questrion of collars.

    Thanks Lenajo for the update on Halties and Gentle leaders. It makes sense. I haven't taught in about 5 years now, and they were all the rage back then. Never did use them personally, but as I said, it made walking a 90 pound lab puppy possible for some people.
  9. Marilyn T

    A Questrion of collars.

    I taught puppy classes at the local obedience (competition and household) club for 10 years. I tried to stay away from recommending either choke or prong collars for the puppies because they have no idea about corrections when they first start. A buckle collar is much more forgiving for a bad handler, or a puppy that jerks on the leash to go exploring. Actually, a gentle leader, or haltie is even better. I would recommend a prong collar, and fit it to the puppy, in the case of a 90 pound 6 month old lab puppy with an 80 pound 60-70 year old handler. (why these two always seem to pair up is beyond me, but invariably they come together). I would rather teach someone how to use this than hear that the puppy dragged the handler into traffic, or the handler fell and broke a leg or hip while walking the puppy. (BTW this DID happen one year to one of my students). Although I own choke collars, I never even used them to train any of my dogs, even up to Utility. I do like them to attach to lamb legs as an aid to pulling out a large lamb when needed! Personally, like Julie, I only use field collars with the center ring on all my dogs. Of course, they are rarely attached to a leash so it usually is a means of identification for my dogs incase of mishap.
  10. Marilyn T

    Have you heard of Dogwood Farm Herding?

    Mike is right... save your money for now, or go and observe some clinics. Your pup is too young to do much except see sheep from the outside of the fence unless you put her into experienced hands. You won't see 'championship designations' on an ABCA pedigree. If you list the parents and grandparents (including owners) from the pedigree, many of us might have seen some of the dogs, and be able to get a feel for what you have. Being an ABCA registered dog by no means insures that the dog was bred to work sheep. Simply saying that the dog is out of Missy by Roy (for example) will be no help, but if it goes back to Pulfer's Dan, (for example) that means something. BTW, welcome to our obsessions.
  11. Marilyn T

    Working Wands

    The graphite ones are very nice, but will break too. I have a friend that uses them and they are ALMOST as nice as my english leg crook that is my favorite for trialing. I use electronet fence posts at home, or if the weather sucks and is really muddy at a trial. I would have taken the yellow ones... easier to find in the snow! the fiberglass ones are very helpful if you need to poke a sheep to move it along the chute.
  12. Marilyn T

    "Track dog"

    If you go to Jimmy Walker's website in Texas he describes how to train the dogs, etc. http://www.jimmywalkerbordercollies.com/Running%20Dogs.htm Not rocket science but apparently there is a big market for track dogs to fit sheep. They basically build a fenced in 'race track, and the dogs are trained to push sheep around and around the track. I think all you need is a walk up and a whoa.
  13. However much it was, it wouldn't be enough to make me wear the cape and yellow tights!
  14. Marilyn T

    Meet the pups!

    Who's the daddy??? Always curious about who people choose to breed to, and why. Fill us in Anna.
  15. Marilyn T

    Portable Food For Trials

    Weber makes a little 'go everywhere gas grill' that is quite compact, cools off fast, and is awesome to cook on. (Pop for the Weber...rather than the cheap imitation.... it is well worth the extra money in how it cooks, and how long it will last). I trialed for years out of a conversion van, and it slid in right under the bed in the van. For coffee, use a french press. I like the metal ones (less breakable) and you can get one serving or 5 serving presses. Shop at Amazon or Starbucks. The little water heaters are multi use, (you can heat up water to wash with, or boil water for ramen noodles) where the coffee makers are only one use items. Take celery and peanut butter, great protein and quite portable. Also, as others have suggested, the canned chicken, or deviled ham spread is great. Pop a can open, spread on bread, and you have a sandwich. With the grill, you can run to a grocery store, and get something to grill mid way through the trial,and still get a great meal for lots cheaper than going out to eat. Once I got a bit used to it, I could make a grilled cheese on the Weber.
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