oldshep - November 25, 2010 08:14 AM (GMT)
For those that work sheep, when do you start to expect a stop at the back? Expectations seem quite wide e.g.
Handler one - won't let dog onto sheep until stop is secure
Handler two - put dog onto sheep and immediately start to put on a stop everytime it is at the back
Handler three - happy to let a young dog work a bit before too worried about the stop
(stop = immedinate clap down)
NB perhaps we can get a little more activity on this part of the Forum.
redborder - November 25, 2010 09:53 AM (GMT)
Fore me it depends on the dog. I have a dog which is rather sensitive and wouldn't grab or bite the sheep anyway, so I am not insisting on a stop, as it might put him off. On the other hand, I have on who is very, very full on, with him I have to insist on a stop immediately...
If the dog is very young I wouldn't insist on a stop, as I like to keep the dog interested :) (unless the dog is very "full on" already)
walliecollie - November 25, 2010 10:54 AM (GMT)
Interesting to see what the answers will be. I dont work sheep and although I understand what goes on I do not know how the training is done.
From some observations made, would the training not evolve around their natural Instinct to a point ?
Im thinking back many years to my first collie, who was farm bred with lines that worked sheep. We did not have her till 5mths, although she was ours she stayed on the farm until we moved into our farm cottage, so she had very little basic training let alone anything else. At the back of us was a field with young calves. She very often would 'escape' into this field and when we called to get her back she would run round the back and drop.
My current youngster, who has some ISDS lines, seems to be a natural herder. She does the run around the outside and stalks / crouches. This is usually around a group of dogs and she has not as yet met any farm animals. She also gets very worried if the group splits into two, she runs between the two groups
I appreciate that many other things would need to be taken into consideration that I am not aware of, but would these two (as example) be trained differently in a way that would encourage there natural ability / instincts.
That may explain why different people have different ideas, based on the breeding and natural traits of that lineage that those people use.
oldshep - November 25, 2010 01:15 PM (GMT)
Redborder, yes i share your views really. My own bitch is very full on although rarely grips but she hates stopping, whereas one of the other dogs that i help train will stop very quickly, but then another is full one whilst another will just drop when told.
WC - yes it does and the training has to be made to fit the dog i think as i don't believe that "one size fits all." Some dogs are more headstrong and some more timid and whilst the basics are similar the detail has to be specific. Some will have more natural ability than others and some will be loose eyed while another will be the opposite etc etc. A great part of the fascination of training and working sheep dogs I think. (and of course you also have the sheep!!!!!!!!!)
I know that there are at least two very experienced trainers and handlers on the Forum so I hope that they will contribute their thoughts.
michelle18 - November 25, 2010 05:21 PM (GMT)
This is a very interesting thread, as i have had no experience working the dogs with sheep.
Zak definitely possesses the natural herding instinct as when we had the ducks, chickens and rabbits he was very good at rounding them up and into their pen. We haven't actually trained him to do this so it was very fascinating to watch.
With all our dogs they do the usual rounding each other up, crouching, stalking and all have the collie stare.
Can't wait to read more on this :)
oldshep - November 29, 2010 03:52 PM (GMT)
My first experience of working with a working Border Collie (some 45 years ago) was on the very free range chicken farm owned by friends of my grandparents. The chickens were let out in the morning to amble around some pretty big fields and a wood and at night were rounded up by a Border Collie and a couple of doggy chums. The BC was excellent at rounding the chickens up and seeing them back in the sheds but I donít think that he had ever worked sheep. The dogs were also very good guard dogs against both two and four legged invaders.
Kirsty - January 26, 2011 02:41 PM (GMT)
I tend to train our young pups to lie down on command away from sheep, before they have even been to sheep.
When they see sheep for the first few times, I am not too interested in a stop (lie down) and actually quite like to see them stop on their feet. However, it is far better to keep the dog interested and so don't insist on a stop initially, unless it is a really keen youngster or one with a grip.
Our dogs are for work and not trials, and so I don't want to sicken them with too much schooling, but of course they must learn their stop. I have found over the last few years that plenty of work helps with a dog that doesn't want to stop.