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Old 10-01-2011, 05:59 PM   #1
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Cool Sheepies! Take 2!

Collie Club of Minnesota had a gathering at a local herding training school (North for me, quite a ways). Ion's breeder invited me to bring him along as the club would certify him as Herding Instinct passed, and she was running his sisters. I had done this before with him, but not quite the same way. This time it was ME uhhh,... running him. Yeah, I had a little of an idea what I was doing. Trust me, he passed, I probably didn't as a shepherd but ehhh it was all about him! The moment I let go of his collar he SHOT across the pen for the sheep.

His style was broken down by these remarks; Style: gathering, Approach: runs close, Eye: loose, Wearing: shows wearing, Bark: works silently, Temperament: a little distracted, Interest: some interest, Power: sufficient for stock, Responsiveness: responsive to guidance/control, Grouping of Stock: singles out individuals/splits, Balancing Stock With Handler: some adjustment.

It was interesting when she used the rake to get him to back off a bit and I could see him thinking... it was like a bulb went on and he realized this wasn't just about darting after them like a loony, there was moving in specific directions and ways. When he walked away a lot of it was to figure out what I desired. Of course, I had trouble showing him what I desired. But as she explained afterwards, he was interested in what I wanted him to do, just unclear.

Lots of Collies, lots of chuckles, and lots of fun!

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Old 10-01-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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Congrats Draco and Ion! He looked great. I just can not even imagine what he's going to be like in a year from now. He is one special pup.

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Old 10-01-2011, 08:12 PM   #3
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He sure took a liking to that darker sheep in the beginning.... OR he had a hate on for him...too funny!

The other two sheep had the right idea though...just stay out of his line of vision and let the other one take the heat!!

A little bit more practice and he'd be running them like the best of them!!

I have to admit that I never tried any of that with MacKenzie...the only animals he was really exposed to was cows and he figured a safe place to stand was behind me....

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Old 10-01-2011, 08:34 PM   #4
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LOL Kenzie'sMom! I am right there with you. Casey is just an old man collie and would probably just watch them run around the ring. Harley, Mr. fear factor Collie, would probably be trying to climb into my lap.

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Old 10-02-2011, 01:28 PM   #5
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Some of the Collies yesterday did more or less tune the sheep out and not care a whole lot. A good deal did like Ion where they shot 'hot' towards them with a little too much interest, they needed to settle into it with more control. Apparently that is common, and a good thing. It's much easier to tone them down then it is get them interested if they couldn't care less.

Wish that the place I had gone was closer, as I would love to work both Ion and Ash up in herding for fun. Unfortunately, it's over 2 hours drive 1 way. For now I'll just be keeping my ear open for somewhere I might be able to train.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:39 PM   #6
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Draco, that distance sure does make for a really long day. I was laughing at Kenzie'sMom's post. Ion really was after that one darker sheep. Thanks again for posting the video!

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Old 10-02-2011, 03:29 PM   #7
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Yes he was... the funniest part was so was his sister! She ALSO selected the colored sheep. We had a little good-hearted chuckle over 'segregating' dogs.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:39 AM   #8
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Wow - so lovely to see him working sheep now Draco (is there anything Ion can't do?)

His close up style is very different to how i've seen collies work sheep before, interesting to see the different styles and ways of working. There are some european lines of working rough collie that I love to see in videos and I have a not-so-secret yearning for one - it's a pleasure to see dogs doing what they were bred for.

Simba herds us when she is excited, but I don't think Sheep are part of her repertoire!
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:05 AM   #9
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You've probably seen more 'trained' Collies working. This was just a herding instinct where we more or less watched to see what he would naturally without much guidance (clearly very little guidance as I had no clue what I was doing out there). With practice he would likely be settling into the later part of the video where he started to actually work the sheep from a close to 6 to 12 position with me. The fact that he was deducing that part rather quickly is a remarkable sign! He has a clear idea of what 'pressure' does, I'm sure his agility foundations have a touch to do with that.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:33 PM   #10
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Fun stuff!! I haven't had Asher HIT tested yet, but will do it at some point. He has strong herding instincts, and his line, though shelties, have a strong eye. That's unusual for a collie or sheltie type as they are mostly loose eyed.

I bet you had fun! Lots of peope really love herding.
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