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Doing things "right" this time...seeking advice !

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Hi Everyone

 

I am new to your forum...and have found lot's of good advice here. I know some of my questions have been covered in other posts...but I still have some questions regarding my own situation. I just got a new BC puppy (she will be the third working BC I have at this time). I spent a over a year deciding wether I should get a third dog...and have had to make some changes here at home to accomidate her...so far so good. Anyhow....my other two dogs are used daily for "ranch work' (cattle)...and I am very happy with them. However...I can see how I could have taken their training further...and have a better result today. My "training" with them only went as far as my own knowledge...and use of the resources (trainers) available to me at the time. THIS time...I am looking to take my dog further...and while it is a big goal...would love to be able to learn how things work at a trial...and get her to that level. That is where my questions come in (new dog is 14 weeks old):

 

I have read a lot of discussion about how much "obedience" training to do with my new dog. I do go to weekly obedience (or will...we have just been once)...the person running it has some familiarity with AKC herding...and owns cattle...but I am not sure in the long run she will direct me to where I want to be. It is nice for me as I live in a fairly "remote" area...and it is just 15 mins from home. What are your thoughts about going to something like this for general obedience ??

 

I have started my last dogs on calves after weaning (500-600 weights)....it has worked for me in the past...as I use the new dogs for doing daily tasks...in which the calves have a desire to do anyhow...eg...move the calves toward the feed trough....good idea...or not so much ???

 

My last question...is that I purchased her from a breeder that is about 10 hours away...she comes out of two dogs that are from a very reputable breeder in Alberta...and what I am wondering is: Is it "rude" or "unacceptable" to ask a breeder/trainer closer to home for training lesson's ...etc because I did not purchase the dog from them ? Can I just "phone up" a trainer and ask if they are willing to give me and my dog training ??

 

I guess we can all look back at our dogs....especailly our first ones and learn....see how would could have done things differently...I am just looking to set my self up with the RIGHT advice...and tools so that this dog has more oppourtunity to become a more "finished" dog. (and educate myself at the same time !) I would say that one of my "goals" with this dog is to ENJOY learning along side her...otherwise I would just send her to a trainer. BTW...she appears to be very sharp...and a quick learner...which has promted me to post to you all...as I am reminded that I need to be as "sharp" as she is. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks in advance !

 

Jen

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Welcome to the boards!!

 

This are just some of my thoughts... I wouldn't be in a hurry with your pup, I would be in a hurry to get myself to training. You have your other dogs, have you ever taken them to training/lessons? It is possible that they could achieve a level of work to get you started in trials in your area, which will allow you to learn along the way. Learning on the older dogs that have been taught your way of handling livestock can be a great aide in determing what adjustments you need to make.

 

As far as selecting a trainer, if you want to trial find someone that is trialling their dogs and go and see how they handle their dogs. They should be able to show you an ability to direct their dog into and out of specific situations from a distance with precision (when I say distance the handler may be 100's of feet from the dog while the dog puts the stock through it's paces without relying on the handler other then for direction). Can they stop their dog and send it a different way around the livestock with just two commands or whistle blows? Is it obvious that the dog is being directed by the handler but still making their own decisions about controlling the stock? Or does the dog seem to be working on his own with the handler hoping he does the right thing or is the dog constently being stopped and looking back to the handler, not a good thing? I only suggest this because there are trainers out there that are training and giving lessons that do not handle dogs at that level, they may trial but not at the level required to compete at USBCHA competition, and may have never trained a dog even close to that level. The right trainer will also be able to help you understand the obedience required for a trial dog and help to show you how to set a good foundation.

 

I guess if you go and watch the AKC trainer out on cattle can she handle her dog to the level I discribed above, if not, then she probably will not be a good pick, even for obedience.

 

Hope this helps, I'm sure other will chime in and give suggestions.

 

Deb

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Welcome, Jen! Alberta has some terrific breeders and trainers, and some top quality dogs.

 

It isn't rude to find a trainer close to home, even when you've purchased from a breeder further away. In fact, I'd ask the breeder's recommendations for someone closer to me. Anyone who feels that no one else can help by doing a good job with your and your dog, would make me wonder.

 

If you trust your breeder, check out his/her recommendations for training. And, yes, contact that person he/she recommends and see what you can set up for training.

 

Also consider good clinics to be another resource if they are found in your area, or sending your youngster/dog out to a good trainer to be started for you. All good alternatives.

 

Best wishes!

 

edited to add - Missed the AKC part. I would avoid an AKC-type trainer and go for someone who is accomplished in USBCHA/ISDS-type trialing as well as good quality stockdog work on the farm/ranch.

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Welcome to the boards! I'm just learning the ins and outs of working stock, so I can't help much on that front.

 

 

 

I guess if you go and watch the AKC trainer out on cattle can she handle her dog to the level I discribed above, if not, then she probably will not be a good pick, even for obedience.

 

Deb

 

 

This interests me Deb. I can understand the bit about not getting herding lessons, but why not obedience? I think it might have something to with not really having control at a distance with distractions and/or off lead? Or, if the dog is always looking back to make sure he's doing right, a lack of confidence on the dog's part that the trainer didn't help with/maybe made worse? I know I became a much better trainer when I started training completely without using the lead, starting in a small area and moving to a larger one and so on. So, for advanced obedience I can see not using a trainer who doesn't fit those qualifications you set forth. How about Basic? I can see some damage in the method of training, and more with the trainer not really understanding the breed and treating a bc more like, say, a golden or a lab. The other danger I see is becoming attached to your trainer who really isn't a good fit with where you want to go with your dog and is perhaps set in her ways or unwilling to learn more (we have so many of those types around here, I deem some of the things they do as abuse).

 

Is there another issue you see?

 

A bit of a side note real quick. I competed with Maverick in Rally-O at the UKC Premier this past June, just for something fun to do. There was a dog there going after his URO2. My understanding of obedience says the dog should be attentive to me no matter what's going on. Maverick and I were up for the second leg of his URO1 while an Ultimate Air Dog demonstration was going on 20 feet from the ring. Maverick, despite loving discs, ignored the show and we finished with a score of 90 because he pulled a little and stopped to scratch his ear. Either way, I was very proud of him. But this other dog, the one attempting his URO2, was way too distracted over Maverick chewing on his rope to pay attention to his owner. We were asked to leave the ring vacinity!:rolleyes: Sorry, but I think if you're going after a higher title, your dog should perform better than a dog at his first show! That's my rant for the day. ETA: We were a good 30 feet away from the ring and the Ultimate Air demonstration was over.

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This interests me Deb. I can understand the bit about not getting herding lessons, but why not obedience?

 

Well, in your post on the other thread you mentioned that you have made some adjustments as to how you are correcting and handling your new dog, how do those adjustments fit into a normal "Basic" obedience program as you have seen them. An example, you talked about your dog leaving the door way and you using your presence or body pressure to stop her, what would a person that trains in a conventional obedience program tell you to do?

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Oh yes...I see your point. It's also the reason why I don't go to any of their clubs despite being invited. Definately a different metallity and method that had some disasterous results with Kellie. After having Kayzie a month, she already behaves better than most of the dogs in their "advanced" course. And without the "training collars."

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Oh yes...I see your point. It's also the reason why I don't go to any of their clubs despite being invited. Definately a different metallity and method that had some disasterous results with Kellie. After having Kayzie a month, she already behaves better than most of the dogs in their "advanced" course. And without the "training collars."

 

 

Yes!!!

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Hi Everyone

 

I am new to your forum...and have found lot's of good advice here. I know some of my questions have been covered in other posts...but I still have some questions regarding my own situation. I just got a new BC puppy (she will be the third working BC I have at this time). I spent a over a year deciding wether I should get a third dog...and have had to make some changes here at home to accomidate her...so far so good. Anyhow....my other two dogs are used daily for "ranch work' (cattle)...and I am very happy with them. However...I can see how I could have taken their training further...and have a better result today. My "training" with them only went as far as my own knowledge...and use of the resources (trainers) available to me at the time. THIS time...I am looking to take my dog further...and while it is a big goal...would love to be able to learn how things work at a trial...and get her to that level. That is where my questions come in (new dog is 14 weeks old):

 

I have read a lot of discussion about how much "obedience" training to do with my new dog. I do go to weekly obedience (or will...we have just been once)...the person running it has some familiarity with AKC herding...and owns cattle...but I am not sure in the long run she will direct me to where I want to be. It is nice for me as I live in a fairly "remote" area...and it is just 15 mins from home. What are your thoughts about going to something like this for general obedience ??

 

I have started my last dogs on calves after weaning (500-600 weights)....it has worked for me in the past...as I use the new dogs for doing daily tasks...in which the calves have a desire to do anyhow...eg...move the calves toward the feed trough....good idea...or not so much ???

 

My last question...is that I purchased her from a breeder that is about 10 hours away...she comes out of two dogs that are from a very reputable breeder in Alberta...and what I am wondering is: Is it "rude" or "unacceptable" to ask a breeder/trainer closer to home for training lesson's ...etc because I did not purchase the dog from them ? Can I just "phone up" a trainer and ask if they are willing to give me and my dog training ??

 

I guess we can all look back at our dogs....especailly our first ones and learn....see how would could have done things differently...I am just looking to set my self up with the RIGHT advice...and tools so that this dog has more oppourtunity to become a more "finished" dog. (and educate myself at the same time !) I would say that one of my "goals" with this dog is to ENJOY learning along side her...otherwise I would just send her to a trainer. BTW...she appears to be very sharp...and a quick learner...which has promted me to post to you all...as I am reminded that I need to be as "sharp" as she is. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks in advance !

 

Jen

 

I see you are from Alberta and you will be missing a great opportunity by not joining the ASDA(Alberta Stopck Dog Association). Alberta has some of the top trainers and handlers in not only Canada but the U.S. also and I'm sure one of them is within driving distance for you. Their web site is www.albertastockdog.com and the president is Ken Price so get in contact with them and I'm sure you will be well received and get lots of info. Your pup is a little on the young side for any serious training as yet and I have found that formal obedience training under KC rules can be detrimental to stock dogs as it tends to tightern them up a little too much. On the other hand there is certainly nothing wrong with teaching the pup to be obedient and to have manners, lie down, stay, here, that'll do etc. They can learn all this stuff before starting on sheep or cattle. It would appear that you have a stock persons' background so half the job is already completed. Working sheep will be different than working cattle but you will catch on quickly once you understand the animal. Starting dogs on cattle is ok but I prefer to start them on sheep as they can move quicker and the dogs learn to balance much faster on them than they do cattle. It's easy enough to switch over the when the dog is started if you want to work both or just cattle. No problem going to any trainer you choose but be sure that you have done your homework as far as the trainer's qualifications are concerned. You will be able to get lots of advice through the ASDA on that, I'm sure. Welcome to "our world" and we all hope you will have as much fun as we do......Bob Stephens

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Thanks for all your replies. I would really agree that what I really need to be in a "hurry" about is getting myself to some training ! One of my other dogs is getting older (she is almost 9...though you'd never know to look at her)...and I have always felt kind of disappointed that I did not seek further training advice with her. I got a bit lucky with her...as she is super "tuned in" to what is going on...and has ALWAYS come back when called, really she will do anything you ask of her...it just sometimes she does not understand what it is you WANT ! She has always been quite agressive...and my biggest problems are getting her to slow down and not try and be everywhere at one time. In thinking about it...if I can find someone who would be willing to work with this dog...and myself, I think I would find it much easier to start with the puppy...and the puppy will probably have a better chance at things, as I will not be stricty "learning" on her so much.

 

I am shying away from the obedience training I have available to me...I just don't totally feel comfortable in their "classes" (even though both my older dogs went for years !!). For now I will work on the basics...teaching just some all round "good manners"...working on my recall and lie down, etc. Keeping it to the basics until I find a trainer who has some advice as to what else I should be working on.

 

Bob...I will definately be getting in touch with the Alberta Stock Dog Assoc....actually I know one of their directors...and will also seek their input as to finding the right person to get me started. Thanks for your input...I am going to wait and start my dog on sheep...and under the direction of someone who has started WAY more dogs than me successfully...no sense teaching her bad habits before she has had a chance to learn some good ones ! :rolleyes: There are a number of really great trainers within a reasonable distance from me...now I just need to find one of them who is willing to take on a "newbie" !

 

I am sure you will see more questions from me here !!

 

Thanks Again,

 

Jen

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