Thanks for visiting my blog. It's rather flattering to have someone read your minds meanderings. I hope it's entertaining and sometimes educational.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


    Just got home from the 2nd trip to pick up hay.  Kathy and I went to get 2 round bales with a trailer that can only hold one. We knew that before we started, but we started at 4:30 and just got home for good at 9 and still have not unloaded the 2nd  1100 lb bale.  It's 1st cuttiing but  it will do until the farmer gets his 2nd cutting. It rolls right off the trailer just as smooth as silk .. And hopefully doesn't slam thru the fence.    LOL

Friday, June 24, 2011


   I was working Dare in the arena today with about 16 sheep , mostly working on Driving , but it's set up with an AKC open pen on the far side.  I had him drive them up past it and I told him to pen them and I'll be darned but he did it. And it was obvious that he was tucking them all in there. Thanks Bob..   I was way on the other side of the field. Now if he just learn to pen with me standing  there LOL.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Working 2 dogs at once

   Sometimes it's just easier to give in and not fight with them.  I wanted to use Dually to sort some sheep but Dare would not stay  outside the fence so I used both of them. I flanked them both and then when I wanted to put them out a gate, one wanted to hold (Dare) and one wanted to push so Dare got a rock  can thrown at him and it connected with his head.  He gave in and went where I asked him to.  I didn't think  much more about it, but later this afternoon when I took him out to sort the sheep back to their original pens, he actually stopped and sat every time I asked him to Stop.  That was unprecedented and the only thing I can attribute it to is the can in the head.   Silly dog.  But what a hard head.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


 Just finished training with a student. We worked on outruns for her dog and my dog.  Dare has a "fear" of another dog holding sheep for him or he just gets confused when the sheep don't move as he starts his outrun. At least they both need the same things although for different reasons.

  Dare started his big beautiful outrun and then he saw the dog and the sheep standing still and slowwweddd waaaay down, but he continued and he really had to lift because the sheep were not just coming running.   It was really neat to watch although I wasn't close enough to see what was going on.   However once he got them off the other dog then he had a little trouble getting them to me because they wanted to go back to the other handler and dog.He was too close and they cut back over the top of him and he had trouble covering.   It was really interesting and fun and we are going to do it again next week.


I was thinking about this as I was trying to fall asleep last night so I am trying to recreate the feeling today. I was remembering Bob Vest work the puppies.  He was silent(never said a word nada nothing) and the people  watching were practically holding their breath because it was so awe inspiring.  No extra movements on Bob's  part and no fast or jerky movements. Everything was slow or barely moving. The pups got slow and calm and thoughtful.  If they were in the wrong place Bob either stepped into them or moved aside or just lifted his stick. It was so minute sometimes that you could easily have missed it.  He was working my young pup once and the pup was pushing a little so Bob bided his time till he could get the correction he wanted. I was right there and I  heard the correction but it happened so quickly that I am still not sure where he bopped him. Still nothing was said and the dog continued to work but a little more thoughtfully.
    So here is the AHA  .... And it's not like I haven't thought of it or heard it before but last night it became crystal clear.  STOP MAKING SOUNDS!  All it does is take the dogs attention off of the job at hand when all the dog wants to do is to keep working. No more aghhh or yelling or Hey or any of that at least with my young dog.  Keep the personal stuff out of the dog training. It's not personal and you make it personal when you interject your emotional noise.
  I still don't feel that I have said what I felt last night, but I am trying to get this across to a student who wants to praise her highly driven BC all the time. He doesn't need it and he doesn't want it and it interferes with his working ability , but she seems to need it.  We all often need tape on our mouths. The dogs would all be better off.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I have been taking my 2 boys to obedience lessons and they are loving it.  We are learning the Dawn Jecs Choose to Heel.  Sort of a bastardized version of it, but still better than the jerk and yank method that I used on poor Molly(my UD Lab).
    It's incredible to me how fast they learn things.  We worked on awareness of the hind end today by having Dually stand on a box.  I thought that would take the whole lesson but he put one foot on it and I clicked and he got it.  ONCE  only once and he got it.   Amazing.   We worked Dare on throwing a distraction while I was heeling and he got it after 3 throws.  You weren't going to catch him looking at no stinking toy.  And they are happy doing it.  Of course no corrections but still I remember drilling and drilling and drilling.  Poor Molly.
   Fronts are coming along too and I think the stand for exam will be my hardest, but I like how we are doing that  a  lot.  Starting in a sit with me in front, I feed him while the instructor touches him. They don't look at her because I have food.  We have also done kind of a watch and while he is looking at me he gets clicked but if he looks at her , he gets nothing.  I have always had a problem with the stand so I really like this positive method.   It's a fun little semi private lesson that I am trading herding lessons for .  works for me!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thrilling moment

  I was sorting lambs from ewes this morning with Dare and I had put all the ewes in a pen but a lamb had snuck in there too.  I had to take them out of that pen into the next and sort out the lamb.  I was in the pen I wanted them in and about to send Dare on a away to me to get them.  One Ewe walked up to him at the gate and was going to go thru in spite of the fact that he was standing there. In the past , he would have grabbed them too late and they would get by him.  This time he timed it perfectly, she stepped forward and he nailed her and let go and stood there. For me it was justs perfect and I was thrilled with it.  He also nailed her close to the head which he never bites so we are making progress.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Dually has been bad from the get go about blowing into pressure. I have been working him and putting him back in the pressure for 3 yrs without seeing much progress. The last 2 weeks I decided to do something different.  I am not saying anything when he blows into the pressure because that has made him bounce off and flip away.  It was getting bad.
I have been using rock bottles for a year on Dare with great success so I decided it was time to use them on Dually.  I have been using them for 2 weeks now and I am seeing improvements.  Today I walked him up on 3 sheep in a corner and he didn't blow up.  He even called off of them and he did and out off of them and never blew up.  It was a miracle.  His duckwork has improved immensely this week too.  I am very very pleased and hopeful.