Saturday, December 17, 2016


On a whim, I pulled a notebook off the shelf this morning, in which I had taken notes on a sheepdog training clinic and subsequent lessons, from ten years ago. It is so interesting to read back through my notes on the clinic and the dogs. The advice from the Welsh  clinician resonates so true today.  Even though  as a beginner, I didn't know  much about some of the things he was talking about (like shedding), I wrote them down anyway...and I am glad.  :)  It is also neat to re-live the memories of working a dog who is now gone (Bid) and remembering how Bid and I learned to increase our confidence and skills together early on.

"Your shed and pen start on the crossdrive"

"You learn more from a bad run than from a good run."

"Don't force and fall out"

Build the outrun so the lift is in the far end of the field, and you walk. This way the dog is going to the 'same store' every time - and knows where everything is 'on the shelf'

When training new skills, just because the dog does something on today's course does not mean he can do it the same on next week's course in a different situation. The first time the dog may respond and do the new skill on just one command; the next time it may take (for example) a stop and redirect in order to get it.

These were really good clinics and lessons, with the information delivered in a practical manner, and giving the dogs a real job to do. Good times! :)


Kathy said...

Oh you may learn more from a bad run than a good run, but a good run feels sooooo good! :-) I, too, have been going thru notes from clinics in the past and finding it to be a good reminder of things.

Here are a few gems that I have found. "Be proactive, not reactive." "You need the right distance to get the right pace." "If the dog is using its body to move the sheep, the sheep will never settle."

I have always liked this one, "If sheep are so stupid, then why does it take the smartest dog to work them?"

Here is one that I didn't even remember, but it was in my notes. "Dog training is like shearing a sheep. You need to go slow with long, slow strokes."

Billy said...

Those are great! You should write a guest blog post for me sometime! :-)