Monday, August 2, 2010

no need to fuss

I live with three dogs, and I am happy to report in relative peace. It is rare that teeth are shown or barks ring out. I have the mix of ages and breeds in the house to thank for that. Siberian huskies (especially older ones) are not interested in pointless barking or high stress. Jazz and Annie spend their day sleeping, chewing, playing with stuffed toys and going on walks. They do not care for volume, hollering, or messing around. If a point has to come across it does—swiftly and with teeth—with minimal growling. Gibson learned quickly that barking in circles was useless and unwanted and now he rarely makes a sound indoors. This is rare for collies, to be quiet. And since his main role models are large, calm dogs he too is carrying himseld high and still. When we go out to bookstores or the market people tell he he's so well behaved and calm for a herding dog. I smile. I know it's partly because we train everyday, but mostly because he's being raised by kind, quiet, dogs and shepherd with a book in her hands. No need to fuss.

23 Comments:

Blogger twistie said...

I love it! Kids and dogs are able to be taught to be well behaved by showing them how it's done and expecting it from them. Great job Jenna!

August 2, 2010 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I enjoy your blog, Jenna, but it's not at all rare for collies to be quiet. All of mine, including my own five-month-old pup, are quiet, as are the countless collies I know. Well-bred collies like your Riggs pup are not the crazed, hyper animals border collies seem to have a reputation for being...

August 2, 2010 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Sense of Home said...

Sounds like wonderful dogs to have!

-Brenda

August 2, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

hey laura,

compared to siberians, collies are wicked loud because my sibes never ever bark. At sheepdog trials around here the dogs never stop barking at people and other dogs (though never sheep) and when i lived in sandgate the collies down the road never stopped barking either!!

it all depends on how they are trained and raised i suppose. i am sure there are many quiet herding dogs out there. i just haven't met any yet!

August 2, 2010 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jenna, there are barking dogs at the trials you go to? I have to say, I've never seen that. Perhaps you've just been very unlucky!

August 2, 2010 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

no, not on the field! but in people's cars, at their campers, walking on leads at other dogs. lots of barking!

August 2, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I love the wisdom of older dogs. I have learned so much watching my older dog train my puppy. Sounds like you have some good helpers in your home.

August 2, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Your experience has simply been very different from mine.

August 2, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

it's not a big deal or anything

August 2, 2010 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Adorable dogs! I love it when older dogs help in the training of the younger ones. Teaching the "No bark" command was challenging with my rotties, but it was well worth it. Great job!

August 2, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Love huskies. My sis had one and used to hug him and bury my head in his neck. He was so easy going.

August 2, 2010 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger MollyKnits said...

My collie rarely barks. If he does, I know I need to see what is going on! I think it has something to do with the fact that collies not only heard, but they watch flocks and warn shepherds. I know I need to be there if my collie is barking. He is a mutt, but he is as calm and wonderful as he can be. I love my collie to bits. Hate is fur though.

The Jack Russell on the other hand is deaf as a post and barks for no reason at all. It is very startling at 3am.

August 2, 2010 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger E said...

Good mentors of all kinds are key!

I wish I could teach my German Shepherd dog to bark. At least when someone (new) shows up.

August 2, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

That shows how far you can get with good rolemodels.

August 2, 2010 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

I know you are speaking of dogs, here, but I watch my cats do that as well. Our young rowdy Jacob is getting a training on what it is to be a good indoor cat by my 14 year old polydactyl, Two-Tone, and 3 year old sweet Patsy. I love watching the changes he's gone through. This post made me tear up a bit.

August 2, 2010 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Sissy said...

Couldn't leave comment at appropriater post so, putting it here.

Cats cost? Where is this happening? People everywhere I know are happy to give you kittens. I am really surprised; $20.

August 2, 2010 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

We too have raised and lived with border collies and I agree Jenna, most of them are "barky". They bark at a leaf falling, at other dogs, at bike riders, etc. but the minute they go to work-they're as serious and quiet as can be. Glad Gibson is getting trained by the vetrans!

August 2, 2010 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

It's funny how young dogs tend to emulate older dogs. When we rescued our terrier chihuahua mix, she hardly ever barked at other animals, or people for that matter. But after living with our older high strung mystery mutt, she barks at everything under the sun! You're so lucky that Jazz and Annie are good dogs and taught Gibson to be well mannered!

August 2, 2010 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Getting out... said...

You probably already got the early word from Mother Earth but just in case, you should check out the article this month on raising sheep. Pretty interesting and informative. Really enjoyed your post on the cooler weather you had for a moment. We have been having 107 degree days lately and it was a breath of fresh air reminder to read of the cool days to come.

August 2, 2010 at 7:05 PM  
Blogger tyofa said...

Beautiful dogs!

August 2, 2010 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

There's a lot to be said for letting an older dog (or two) help with the training. Rufus picked up a lot from Tank, and compared to her, he was a breeze to train. I trained Tank to bark only when someone was messing with the house; otherwise barking was not allowed. I could let her out in the backyard for some quality outside time, and although the whole neighborhood was ahowl, she'd never join. Rufus never did, either. Sophie, however, was another story. That ten pound poodle that I got from Florida Poodle Rescue was the most vocal dog I've ever known. I could not shut her up. Could not. The only way to settle her down at night was to crate her. You know what though? I miss all my dogs. Give them all a butt scratching for me.

August 2, 2010 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

This post makes me sad that I don't live in the country on a farm where my Aussie Shepherds can distinguish which things to bark at. We live on a busy street (although it feels like "country", it is sadly still suburbia) and we constantly have people, dogs, runners, bikers passing in front of our home. Which, both dogs tend to bark/growl at. Mostly the dogs though. They both go crazy when someone actually comes to our house- and the "No Bark" command is unfortunately nearly impossible to teach to a neurotic herding dog. Well, mine anyways. It's like she can't even help herself.... :( But alas- our girl is our talker and we have (sorta) learned to live with it.

August 4, 2010 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

I think you don't give yourself enough credit. Your collie probably doesn't bark 'cause you are keeping a calm environment and at the same time giving your pup lots of stimulation and socialization. Border collies usually bark when they are bored (and they are easily bored). Siberians bark when they are excited. I just visited a Siberian Iditarod kennel and they never said a word when we drove up and got out of the truck(just like our kennel of border collies) but the minute their musher came outside and they knew they were going for a run they lost their minds.

August 4, 2010 at 3:27 PM  

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