Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
(Jess)

I am meeting a trainer

Recommended Posts

I am meeting a herding trainer very soon. She is literally 5 minutes away so I will be estatic if she is a good trainer. I am going to meet her dogs/livestock, and see some of her dogs work sheep. I am wondering what questions I need to ask her, to determine if she is indeed a good trainer? And what should I look for in her handling abilities when she works her dogs? I am new to this, so I'm not sure what to look for. So, a basic out line of what I should ask/look for would be great. Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahh! I am excited for you! My trainer is also my breeder! (although 1 more week till the pups are born!!). I dont really have any advice because, as you can probably tell, Im as new as you are to this! I will be going to my first non-fair herding trial at my trainers dad's (which is where my dog will eventually be worked on sheep, about 3 miles away!!) Sorry, this isnt helpful, but I just wanted to wish you the best of luck and I hope everything works out!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't help either, but glad to hear you're going! Be sure to tell us all the details. Will you bring your pup? Would be interesting to know if she has any interest in them. I bet she does.

 

Do me a favor, will ya? Ask your trainer how one would go about testing their dog on sheep. I'd like to expose Boyden to some sheep and see what he does before we decide to get sheep of our own.

 

Do I just find someone with sheep, call them up, and ask them? Pay them? I just don't have a clue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Megan, yes it is exciting! I just got off the phone with the trainer. I am going out Thursday with my pup so they can meet, and then she's going to let me watch her dogs work sheep out in the fields. Two of her working dogs are related to my pup, same grandparents. She has been trialing for a few years now too.. I can't wait to find out more about her, and go out Thurs. :rolleyes: :D I'm definatly bringing my camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miztiki,

You need to find someone with experience to expose your dog to sheep. When dogs are started on sheep, the sheep that are used are very "dog broke." It's very important that the dog's first time on sheep be in a controlled setting.

Renee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha, ha, Mark, sounds like there's a story there?

 

I don't have dog broke sheep anywhere on my farm here, so I have to be super careful about my pup. But I forgot to be careful last weekend at Steve's - oops. Fortunately those WERE nice relatively dog broke sheep. :rolleyes: Let's just say we now know Ann is quite keen and she WILL bring me sheep. Her recall sucks, however. :D

 

Who me? Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth!

 

AnnButter.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha, ha, Mark, sounds like there's a story there?

 

No real story, just being a little flirty with my wife while I'm here at work and she's at home.

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I forgot to answer Jessica's question. You've got it pretty much covered at this stage. If you don't like how her dogs work or how she handles them, or it seems the stock are unduly harrassed, don't mess with it even though she's close. Mark's suggestion is good (contact the Texas stockdog folks) and definitely read Renee's advice over and over.

 

It's really best to just wait till a pup has all the equipment it needs to interact properly with the stock, to do it, and then make SURE the stock will be appropriate to the pup's level of experience. But that's not to say you can't hang out and get some experience around sheep in the meantime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by KillerH:

Ask her to work her dogs with No voice commands and see what happens.

That will tell you a great deal about her as a trainer.

That's a good one. Sometimes, at clinics or lessons I've attended, the first thing that gets done to diagnose a dog is to put the sheep a few hundred yards out (or whatever, depending upon the level of training) and ask for a silent gather. That shines the spotlight on the dog's basic training in a hurry.

 

On the other hand, during a first encounter with an expert, I can imagine one may be reticent to be asking for the expert to jump through any hoops. But if the opportunity arises....

 

charlie torre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, Mark. The problem, of course, is that if you are just getting started you have no good way of deciding if what you see is correct.

 

My first mentor turned out to be singularly incompetent, in retrospect. Good lord, the bad stuff we did together still makes me shiver. Took me the better part of a year to figure this out, too. I got straightened out by going to a clinic (Hub Holmes - thank you Hub!!!!!). A clinic may be the safest way to get started. Though I know of some horror stories in that realm, as well.

 

charlie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand, during a first encounter with an expert, I can imagine one may be reticent to be asking for the expert to jump through any hoops. But if the opportunity arises....

 

charlie torre [/QB]

 

That wouldn't bother me in the least to have someone ask me to work my dogs like that or to ask anyone else I was going to give money to either.

 

Just the answer alone might tell you ALL you need to know.

"Sure why not"--- good sign

"Well I have my dogs trained alot higher than that"----- RUN

"Who are you to analyze my methods and skills"-- RUN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny y'all should mention work without commands. I went to a co-worker's farm to show them how useful dogs could be to help them with their goats and one of the things I showed them was how you could work a dog with no commands.... They wouldn't have thought to ask that, but it seemed a logical thing to show them.

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Rebecca. She is already a member of the TX sheep dog assoc.

 

I don't expect anything out of my puppy really, other than a fun time. The trainer says she has some very gentle sheep my pup can meet, but I don't plan on her doing much of anything with them besides looking :rolleyes: But I will get to see her dogs work out in the fields, so that will be great to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Pipedream Farm:

Miztiki,

You need to find someone with experience to expose your dog to sheep. When dogs are started on sheep, the sheep that are used are very "dog broke." It's very important that the dog's first time on sheep be in a controlled setting.

Renee

Renee, what do you consider controlled? I ask, so that my pup isn't put into a situation that she shouldn't be in. She is 12 wks old right now. The sheep the trainer introduces to puppies, is very broke and quiet. So what is a reasonable amount of exposure to sheep at this age? I don't expect her to be interested in herding them really, I just want her meeting with them to be positive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope Renee doesn't mind me jumping in here. Not to mention she might not agree.

 

But, if it were my dog, I would not bring it anywhere near stock at age 12 weeks. So many things can go wrong - both physically and mentally - and I don't see that the dog benefits one bit from such an experience. If the trainer suggests some dog-stock interaction at that age, I would say that's one strike against her/him. Of course, you have no reason to believe my advice is sound, but there it is.

 

charlie torre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KillerH,

Just the answer alone might tell you ALL you need to know.

"Sure why not"--- good sign

"Well I have my dogs trained alot higher than that"----- RUN

"Who are you to analyze my methods and skills"-- RUN

I am falling off my chair - I just want you to know I had to go get my inhaler I was laughing so hard. I wish so much I had known this when I was looking for someone in the beginning. I had the same experience as Charlie. The guy I went to when I was just starting out, would have given me the second answer for sure.

 

I remember the thing that got me going to Steve after that was watching him move sheep from one paddock to another in totally unfenced areas, without even looking at his dog much less giving him or her any commands. And he'd do it with his "trainee" dogs, too, as much as possible. I've seen him stop and hold a twenty minute conversation on the way to moving sheep somewhere, with Hap standing there holding the sheep to him on the golf cart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Becca- didn't mean to make you sick

 

And leave the pup at home--- theres enough for you to learn just listening and watching.

The pup will benefit NOTHING from being there

And it will be distracting you from getting all you can out of the experience.

 

If you like her-- volunteer to do some grunt work over the summer- just for the chance to be around to absorb all you can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'd wait for my pup to meet sheep until I WAS interested in her "herding them". I agree with Charlie, there's so much potential that it will turn into a bad experience rather than a good one that it's not worth what you think she might get out of it.

 

My pup is twenty weeks and just accidentally had her first meeting with sheep - I caught her before she did much because it's not time yet. She's almost ready but not quite for a formal exposure in a super controlled environment. Someone very smart :rolleyes: once told me there are three sources of pressure on a dog - the handler, the environment, and the stock. If you sense any awkwardness in any of these, the first time out, it's probably going to be tough on your pup. She can feel things way before you do.

 

My pup has seen ducks a couple times, which was sort of fun but again, I minimized that experience and took away her access completely when she got really keen about it (at about two and a half months old!). A really experienced trainer with ducks would greatly reduce the risk of teaching her something bad or giving her a bad experience, but it's smart I think to keep it short and avoid any pressure.

 

There's no hurry - I'd just hang out and get to know the trainer and offer to help with sheep or farm chores. Let your pup grow up - I know it's hard (it feels like I've been waiting YEARS for Ann to grow up!) - but it will be worth it not to risk hurting her chances to have fun later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...