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Everything posted by denice

  1. Coat and ear set makes NO DIFFERENCE to personality. Its like saying people with red hair are smarter. I will add to Liz's post and say behaviors have a "training"/raising component along with genetics. Look for parents who's personality and disposition suit you and get a pup from that cross.
  2. SARE - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
  3. Wish you could see stockdogs in action? Ever wonder if a stockdog would be a good addition to your operation? Do you have a dog but wish you could communicate better and accomplish chores easier? Need someone to not only train the dog but train you as well…This is your opportunity The Success with Stockdogs workshops will include demonstrations of dogs helping with chores – watching gates, gathering stock, moving stock off of feed bunks, loading trailers…There will be demonstrations of the training process using young dogs that are just beginning on stock to fully trained dogs used daily. Discussion will help you see where the dogs are right and wrong so you can spot where your dogs need help. Then we will demonstrate techniques to correct the places that are wrong. Lastly those of you with dogs can choose to work with the clinician and your dog learning new skills and improving your skill set. COST - 70.00 daily fee to work dogs with the clinician and 30.00 for auditing SARE is covering the majority of costs. DATES - Three Day Workshop held NOV 14, 15, 16, 2017 tentative spring dates April 6, 7, 8 2018 LOCATION - Switzerland CO Indiana More info Denice Rackley at www.clearfieldstockdogs.com Clearfield Stockdogs facebook page/ Success with Stockdogs group page [email protected] These workshops are specifically designed to help producers learn about stockdogs - if you sell working dogs to farmers/ranchers or know of those who would benefit from this opportunity please inform them.
  4. I will relate my recent experience briefly, if you would like details you can contact me. Sold a bc pup to a middle aged couple. Had dogs in the past, this would be their first bc, wanted an active dog to go places do things with, kids grown off to college...fenced yard, worked from home...Picked a middle of the litter quiet pup that was confident for them. Picked her up at 8 wks old in mid Feb. Heard from them in mid April, pup was growling at them and would not let them have a bone she was chewing on. Come to find out when I called there were other issues - pulling on a leash, barking at strangers, possessive of food and toys. The usual puppy stuff that if you nip it in the bud first time it doesn't develop into more. I had the parents, had litter mates, no issues. I chalked it up to allowing the pup to get away with lots of little things that lead to this point. Told them she was acting as if she was equal to the people treating them as if they were litter mates and just being a bossy girl that needed more structure and to understand her role in the family ect. Said bring her down and I will work with her and you, easy to fix. Had a stockdog clinic coming up perfect since lots of people and dogs she did not know. They said they would work on it and understood they had been letting her get away with behaviors trying to appease her rather than correct the wrong stuff. Heard from them a year later ready to give me back the dog. Tried group obedience classes was asked not to return because dog was lounging and barking at people and dogs. Tried animal behaviorist, drugs, bite their vet, couldn't kennel her or have anyone watch her because she was so bad. Fine bring her back. They decided to try one more time, leave her with me for 10 days while on vaccine. Great. Dog came for boot camp. I had 10 days to teach her a whole new set of skills or she was going to loose her home. they show up, she is ok but looking at me like she was going to put me to the test, I expected that. On a leash owner walks her around the yard with me walking with them. She growls letting me know she wanted me gone, sorry not leaving. She didn't know what to think then, always worked in the past. Owner would take her home, cross to the side of the street...she always got her way. Owner 'corrected' with a lie down - not a correction at all in her eyes since she continually repeated the action. . He went to the car so I was walking her, she was doing fine still trying to get a read on me. He walked up to us and she lounged and snarled at me while I was holding the leash. Told me two things - his presence gave her permission to be a jerk and she could be nice when he was not around. I had a bath towel in my hand for her crate, I flipped that in between us, leash corrected and verbally corrected Hard. Totally unacceptable behavior and I was going to let her know that crap does not fly here. She thought I was going to come unglued, she backed up so I advanced continuing to scold, she backed up more and turned her head away. She gave- telling me she understood her error and said she was sorry. That is what I wanted. She understood she was wrong, I was not going to put up with that and she said she was sorry GIVING ME RESPECT. Dogs have to give you trust and respect, you can not take it or make them give it. In the 10 days she was here never repeated that behavior, even when he picked her up. We worked on leash manners, going in and out of a crate when asked, laying quietly in the house, even took her on two outings. Never lounged at anyone, even a crowed vet office narrow hallway, did grumble once which I corrected. No drugs, no treats, I just let her know what is expected of her and corrected the behaviors I did not want. She needed someone she could not scare, or buffalo. Someone who had clear rules and structure and could explain it clearly to her. I meant what I said and said what I meant. I really believe when dogs tend to be a bit timid, fearful, fear aggressive... if we step up confidently like LIFE is not a big deal they see and feel that. They relax because we take that leadership role. When we are careful, cautious it makes them worry. They feel us worried and must think 'gosh what has them worried now I am really concerned' If you have never been whitewater rafting would you feel better with someone who says - Now be very careful, watch so step, go slow - walking slow, watching all around, nervously OR Hey you will love this, here are a few things we will do, I will be right here if you need anything, ok lets go, walks out there gets in the raft like he owns the world?? If we are worried about what the dog will do with people walking up we almost ensure the dog will react because we are worried. The dog feels those emotions. Ever notice nervous uptight people have nervous dogs? Confident people tend to have quiet confident dogs. If your dog has you worried it is totally understandable but you need to find someone who is kind, consistent and confident to work with him. Are they ever going to be a super confident dog that does not worry, probably not but they learn by example that most things in life are no big deal.
  5. Exclusively was the wrong word maybe, I meant that using bottle lambs for a period may influence her feel, cast ect since they tend to be less reactive. I would mix it up - bottle lambs one day, different sheep another. Yes mixing the group will create a 'new different group' that may indeed split but at the correct stage of training this experience is good as well. My sheep are do not tend to be flighty being NCC, but mixing dog broke lambs and non broke lambs and some bottle lambs can make the group more stable or more reactive depending on the mix. I keep katahdins around simply for another experience for the dogs. Mixing different breeds/ dispositions in a small space that a young dog can succeed I feel is a good thing. So the group of sheep worked is not exclusively one type/ disposition. I find a few lighter sheep in the group lighten up the whole group, more heavy sheep slow the group down. Obviously it will not teach your young dog good lessons if she / he can not be successful. Only you know your dog, your sheep, your situation so you have to do what works best. With my young dogs I know what areas they excel and where there are more challenges so I try to work on the things that are challenging early. Exposing them to ways to deal with challenges then they more accept them and do not worry. For example the grandfather to the pups is uncomfortable in tight places with sheep. I expose all the pups early to working in a small space with appropriate stock then later it becomes easier for them. They say "OH I remember this, we did it before, no problem" My criteria for the sheep and space we work in is that the pup is able to be successful if they are thinking and working appropriately. If not I need to adjust. I want a continual increase in confidence. Doesn't mean they don't do things inappropriate or that I don't correct I do. That is how they learn but I want them to be successful
  6. You might try a couple bottle lambs with other lambs and see how the group reacts then. Might meet in the middle - calm the flighty sheep, add more feel to the group of bottle lambs. I am not saying not use them but I would not use them exclusively.
  7. The problem with really dogged sheep and bottle lambs is that their behavior does not Show the dog when they make a mistake.THey do not have flight zones and FEEL like 'real' livestock so the dogs don't learn how their movement and pressure effect sheep. They can slice flanks, work close ect with no ill effect. I see no problem using them some if only to show them different sheep are different but I believe FEEL is Huge and want my dog to develop that asap.
  8. I do not worry about the number. Are the dogs fit? Do they have a waist line when you look down on them? They should be an hourglass shape. Can you easily feel muscle and ribs or do you feel fat under the skin? Learn what an active in shape dogs feel like then feed and adjust activity to achieve that
  9. Aggression and possessiveness I feel are very different. If you think about a litter of puppies they grumble, growl, snarl, snap at other pups in the litter when someone has toy, food ect. This is no different to him. He wants to keep what he has. I simply do not allow that behavior. What is mine is mine and what is yours is mine. I would give a voice correction and take it. If needed I would put a leash on him move him away from food/toy then take it. With toys I hold them, look at them give them back let the dog have them a minute then ask for the toy again. Take it do the same. Food I start when they are little picking up their bowl giving it back. It is simply correcting his attitude/ possessiveness and showing him he can have things when he asks for them and lets you have them. IF you fix it now it will not be an issue but remember to "take' his things occasionally and give them back.
  10. To detect parasites in the stool at a regular visit the parasites have to be shedding eggs that then are seen with a microscope. Most pups have round worms since they pass in utero from mom to pups. Most breeder will deworm pups routinely. Coccidia is also rather common in some areas of the country. It is not all that hard to detect if you are looking for it when checking for parasites. Giardia is different, they are not looking for eggs so most typical clinics will not be able to detect that, takes a different test and different meds. Simple deworming does not treat for either giardia or coccidia. All the parasites can be picked up again by the pup from his stool, walking through it licking his fur, licking his butt ect so you need to be diligent about cleaning things up. If he is positive for giardia I would rinse off paws and butt at least once a day as an added precaution. It can be tough to get rid of. Some parasites can be picked up by people so you want to make sure you are picking up stools and washing hands ect I tend to treat pups for the common parasites with symptoms even if samples are not showing eggs, if nothing else it rules out parasites as a cause. I would consult you vet I find most bags of food recommend amounts that would over feed dogs, I would put a measured amount in his bowl and see what he is actually eating in one sitting. Then feed him twice a day.
  11. I know of a couple who both run with their young bc, on trails mostly. She competes. I know they run 8 / 9 miles at times. Beth says Tuff is the best trainer ever, she never gets a day off lol. I probably can find her email if you are interested in speaking with her. She is a great gal
  12. I would think you would want as much air flow as possible so would not cover inside. Might find socks with 'traction' in the sleepwear section. Might be able to use double stick tape strips, carpet type tape or ask vet for elasakon (SP?) I do not think boots will stay on well, all the ones I have seen are short. Outside I put a large thick plastic bag on her foot. Many vets will cut empty iv fluid bag because they are very tough.
  13. Does she come all the to you, every time when you call her without toys? Good things need to happen when she does so she makes the choice to do the right thing. I would begin with a recall then move on to ball. Roll a short distance to her, get her interested and excited by the movement of the ball and then back up making it fun for her to bring toys to you. Clap laugh... Most dogs go through a stage where they would like you to chase them for the toy in their mouth since that is what they do with each other. Make it more fun to bring it to you.
  14. I really like Derek Scrimgeour's book and his older videos. The book is simple and has great diagrams that make it easy to understand. I personally did not enjoy the most recent video, I think the others would be more helpful for a novice anyway. There are clinics held - either 2 or 3 days usually that will get you started. Jack and Kathy Knox hold several in that general area. I know they do some around Omaha, WY, CO, SD and their place in Bulter, MO. Clinics are good since you learn working your dog and learn watching other dogs at various stages in their training. I believe there is usually a Patrick Shannahan clinic in SD as well. The goats I have worked were more similar to cattle in that you sometimes had to apply individual pressure to them since they do not flock like sheep but herd more like cattle. Learning to use a dog well is a long journey. It will happen in one clinic or even in multiple clinics. There are many pieces to figure out with three- you , dog, stock- moving parts all changing and affecting each other.
  15. I really find taking young dogs walks through the pasture before their instincts really kick in gets them started learning lots of good things for later. They learn to be calm and stay withing sight of you and come off stock when called - all will serve them and you well when working on stock begins. You will enjoy the articles http://onpasture.com/special-collections/whit-hibbards-good-stockmanship-series/
  16. Wriggs I am adding another post here in the hope that you are still active on this site. I do some freelance writing for a couple magazines. I am researching low stress livestock handling and reading several articles written by Whit Hibbard, who was a student of Bud Williams. These articles are on line published in ON Pasture which is a holistic farming/livestock all on line newsletter. The articles specifically talk about cattle handling but very much apply to livestock in general. They also apply to working Border Collies. You will see the connection as you read through easily applying the same principles to the training of dogs. Hope you enjoy the articles
  17. I think every country /region that uses herding dogs and has developed that breed has done so to suit their particular livestock and work needed. I would think researching the original intent for the breed and reading how the dog was used will give you information on why they do the things they do. Didn't look a whole lot differnt than other driving dogs I have seen. Most do not have the eye for balance so they pushing stock is lots different for them than dogs with eye. most of the driving breeds do not have much of a gather and can work close to stock because they are loose eyed. The barking and other things help them move stock again because they do not intimidate them with a predatory stalking movement. Upright Border Collies can work rather close to stock as well. Most of the farm type dogs were jack of all trades, again depends on the area where they were bred and what traits have been selected for over the years. I find the history of breeds of dogs interesting. Sure explains many tendencies found in breeds
  18. I believe there are good things possible in puppy classes - socialization and interacting with other puppies, leash manners, focus, coming to you with distractions ect. I also think you could get them headed down a path that would not do them much good if you trained in a way that rewarded simple actions over thoughtful actions. Raising pups to make choices, think for themselves, I believe transfer to stock work I think having freedom to make mistakes, be corrected then rewarded ( not necessarily with treats) sets a pup up for success in life and in stock work. Some classes are taught without allowing for mistakes and correction. I think there are lots of things you can do with a pup between the time it is 8 weeks old and the time it starts working stock. Teaching sit, lie down ect leash manners, going places and seeing new things ect. I walk my pups through the pastures with sheep grazing before their instinct kick in which for some seem to happen at 4 months. They get accustomed to walking near me, coming when asked, able to go explore - they start watching sheep and may even follow them a bit but learn to call off. I think those first few months are about exposure to all the things that are 'normal' I believe all things need to build their confidence and your relationship. I feel knowing what a correction is and how to process that is a great skill to learn young and makes stock work that much easier. Respect and trust in each other are the foundation for a good stock working relationship. I would want to observe a class before signing up.
  19. How old is she? Honestly I would have another vet or radiologist look at xrays. I have rather serious things misdiagnosed. Not saying that is the case but it sure does happen. I just read an article about a guy who makes braces for dog joints in NE. Might be something to check out if indeed she has an unstable joint
  20. There could be many things going on to cause him to look at you. I find most often it is from concern. Could be he is uncomfortable with the distance from you, could be he uses your position to clue him on flanks and is not certain without that, could be being off balance worries him... I would step back and move into a smaller space or start again in a smaller space to rule potential problems. Get his stops and off balance flanks comfortable without you "helping', moving, patting your leg ect. Do it in a manner that training is enjoyable. Many folks train like they want it in a trial - they ask for straight lines and slow pace to soon. YOU have to get the dog enjoying himself, wanting to work understanding the commands first THEN slower and straighter. When dogs are keen and wanting to work then you can correct. If you correct while they are concerned often that causes more concern. Dont worry about lines or speed, allow him to go faster without harm to sheep. Get his stops and flanks and off balance then try straight. He is telling you he is not comfortable/ does not understand when he looks at you so dont make him tell you that. Be there to encourage him and shorten it up, small pieces, little off balance flanks ect. Get him keen and happily working then stretch it out. SSHHH or other sounds will work, dont worry about perfection now. Use your sheep more, faster lighter sheep may be needed. One thing I have done is fade in and out of view when my young dogs are learning to drive. So sheep in front dog behind at a nice distance from sheep and me off to the side quite a bit between sheep and dog. So three points to a lopsided triangle. We all walk forward, then I walk slower let the dog push sheep forward so I am to the side a few step back. If I see the dog starting to be concerned I walk faster drift back into view. That way the dog does not look back for me. As he gains confidence I drift farther out of sight, and further to the side. I also work from both sides of the dog. I can start driving in a square around me then lengthen it and remove myself from the picture slowly. IF you are more to the side it seems to gives them confidence and not teach them to look back wondering where you are. Some dogs I use a long line to help them flank and drive because that allows me to Help Without correction. I do not want to Need to correct a dog when learning to drive because it seems they translate that into I am not supposed to be in front taking sheep away. You need to keep moving and staying on the hip of the sheep so he does not turn things into a fetch when you ask for a flank till he gets comfortable with small flanks and walk ups. Hopefully you can picture that, if I need to explain it differently let me know.
  21. I believe as we begin the journey with working border collies - regardless of ranching or trialing - we see the big picture of a dog using its instincts and talent to get the "work' done. The first trial I saw was inspiring and still today watching a dog do its job well giving 150% is inspiring 17 years later. The work is different, the dogs are different, we handlers are different. It is seeing a good dog excel at the task at hand that is thrilling for me to watch. I personally find immense joy going out to the pasture with a dog beside me and knowing we can get the job done whatever we may find. When I watch pups begin to discover their talents and show their strengths and look to me to help them when unsure that is the makings of a partnership like no other. When crap happens and my dog saves the day simply because he knows his job and is allowed to use all that intelligence and instinct that will never get old. To see it we have to be quiet and watch, those moments are awesome. Yes I can pick some dogs apart - he is to tight, to wide, to slow...but is that the dog or us. Did we cause that, did we train that? People are quick to blame the dog when in fact with a different handler the dog would be different. I feel the goal should be to improve our dogs. Yes that means different things to different people which will create different strengths and challenges in the dogs. That is fine with me because each handler is different, each farm and ranch are different. What I need in a dog is different than Tea. It is not this dog is better, it is this dog may suit me and my work. I believe when it comes down to health issues the working bc community as a whole needs to more open discussing potential problems - deafness, hip and should problems, eye defects ect. so we can all make better informed choices. Where work is concerned there will always be a wide variety, heck people don't even agree on flanks and outruns much less what is 'strong dog'. We need to use our dogs to the best of our ability and help them - train - when we see areas where they can improve. To many make excuses or change what they do or the breed of sheep to suit the dog. Not every dog is cut out for the work we have, we need to accept that and always strive to improve ourselves and the breed. If you are finding dogs not excelling in the area you need them to excel then search for folks using their dogs in a similar fashion that you do/need. No different from horses, guardian dogs or livestock.
  22. I am sure with many herding dogs it is movement that sparks interest. What do you when when a pup is first starting training on sheep - get the sheep to move so then the dogs move. I have a pup who is very interested in insects right now. She is 12 weeks old and I noticed her new fascination with flys the other day. If you have an object - rake, broom ect and are moving it all the better. Makes it twice as interesting. Same thing with wheelbarrows and ATVs, bikes...I would think the drill would be about noise more than anything and the pup might be concerned, scared so by acting tough and barking he is hoping it goes away. Pretty common way Border Collies deal with things they are worried about. I remove them, put then in a crate ect if I need to in order to keep everyone safe. If I am able I might tie them close so they can figure out how to relax, nothing is going to hurt them and it is not going away. I can talk to them while I am working keeping an eye on things. I think often we remove them and they do not learn as much as they could. Broom, rake that is safe I will just correct the behaviors I do not not want. If they are barking and jumping on it they would get a verbal AH and I would continue. If they needed more than a small verbal correction to stop and think I would figure out what to do to stop the behavior. Maybe I would need to go to them or stronger verbal correction ect. I want pups to learn there are things that move that they do not chase or play with. I start small and we go up from there. Once I can verbally correct for a broom maybe when I am using the wheelbarrow they go after the tires, I correct that. I would rather they find out that biting tires is not a good idea with getting bumped into by the small thing that than a car, If you correct the little things as pups now, allowing them to think and make the choice they are learning. Most will transfer this lesson to bigger things like the ATV or tractor. I purposefully gets pups used to an ATV and staying out of the way of that - I can correct behaviors that are dangerous since I can see all sides and where the dog is. Never have to deal with interest in cars because they learned objects with tires are to be avoided We are not going to be with our dog watching it every second so I try to have them learn things that will keep them safe, happy, healthy and build our relationship along the way. I believe teaching them obedience and things like place is great but that requires me there and me thinking. I want them to be thinking, using their minds making good choices since I will need that once we are working sheep together. All I will have when they are 200 yds away is a verbal correction so the ground work starts at the house and yard as pups.
  23. Young dogs are always so much fun. There are few things better than seeing that instinct come forth, the light in their eyes that says HEY I am a Border Collie. They do have a way of throwing our plans out the window If we knew the outcome it would not be so enticing One thing you might consider that has made a world of difference for me and my dogs - I do not keep them out of the pasture when young. We now go for walks in the pasture while sheep graze. They are taught young to come when called and sheep become a slight distraction while they are young before their instincts fully kick in. Our walks through the pasture set the tone for when we do start working. They learn they are supposed to leave sheep and come back to me. If I need to I do a few sessions on a leash or long line once they are thinking more about sheep. A friend suggested this to me years ago. I think it helps skip that silly puppy chase sheep ignore being called stage that is common in pups. I feel our training is set on a good foundation once they understand I want them to walk through the pasture with me and coming to me does not mean they can not go have fun just chasing sheep is not acceptable. Correcting those curious 5 or 10 initial steps early when I call for them is lots easier than later when they are intent on going to sheep
  24. I believe some dogs get 'mentally hot'. Either they get anxious or just keyed up or intense. I have found if i make an effort to relax they do also to some degree. My dogs are really physically fit, no one is carrying extra weight but humid days are still tougher. I find individual dogs vary quite a bit. I am not sure there is a difference in trial dogs vs farm /ranch dogs but disposition is genetic. I also find some dogs dislike 'training' and do much better if I am able to simply do chores with them paying attention to points we need to work on. I take a couple minutes then and there to work on that one thing and we go on to the next chore. I am not sure why it is some dogs do so much better with on the job training than training sessions. I wonder if it is me, do I approach them differently and put out a different vibe? I bet that is part of it. Going chores with a young dog I expect imperfection, we just do it again and they are better the second time. With training I go out wanting it right so my approach is different.
  25. When dogs shake they normally shake from their nose to their tail. The shake travels down the entire body. When dogs have something bothering them and they shake it stops at the point of being uncomfortable/painful. Often that will clue you in to location. Sounds like a pulled muscle to me if he is able to stretch it out and feel better but I have had dog with kidney trouble that arched his back, although that lasted longer than your dog. If I thought it was his back I might request xrays. If I thought it was not I would try a animal massage person or chiropractor possibly. Both should be able to feel if muscles are tight and give him some relief
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