Tuesday, September 13, 2011

after-work herding practice/chaos


Blogger drey1116 said...

I see some good progress!

September 13, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Yay Gibson!! Oh, and YAY Jenna!! ;) I think Gibson is going to do really well for you as a working sheepdog; he's got a lot of natural talent there, and he's listening to you. Good job!

September 13, 2011 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

He does listen, but he needs to learn to run AROUND sheep, not at them. Here he was working around them, tail down, it was okay. But then you saw him break and chase with his tail in the air, sheep panicked, lambs flew...oy.

we will get there!

Jasper is harder, a lot harder. three days of training with ground driving in a row and I almost threw in the towel...

September 13, 2011 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
For such a young dog, Jasper listens to you very well. I don't really know much about Border Collies, but with the Irish Wolfhound, it can take awhile for the "brain fairy" to show up. You know once she has visited as the dog seems a lot calmer and really begins to "get it".

As for working with Jasper-don't give up. I have SO been there with my horse and have asked my trainer on more than one occasion:
"Are you SURE he wouldn't be better off somewhere else?" Usually, progress is made soon after this crisis and it really is worth it. I'm working on first level Parelli with my horse and use the hand signals to get my horse to come to me-HOWEVER-it took him 6 months to be willing to come to me. Hang in there! It takes time and can take a little longer for horses such as ours who have been through "stuff" before they came our way.
Lisa in Maine

September 13, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Oh yes... I can SO relate on the horse training! Just keep at it. :) I once had to train a Thoroughbred mare who WOULD NOT go in a straight line. She was always walking sideways, trying to go back to the barn, or spooking. It took three months of solid work with her, but at the end, she was a pleasure horse for some young girls. :)

You'll get to where you want. :) It's just gonna' take time...

September 13, 2011 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Jasper doesn't stand still, ever. At a whoa he's backing up or trying to turn, with no pressure on the reins. He has a properly fitted driving bit, and has done this for years with the amish...but with me it's all "his way or the highway"

So frustrating

September 13, 2011 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Yep, yep, yep. Been there. Personally, I think that's one of the worst habits a horse can have. The mare I mentioned did that too (she did every bad habit under the sun except buck); I think I just had to keep on doing ground work with her until the lightbulb came on, and she realized what I wanted.

But still, the here and now is always tough. Hopefully you, or someone else nearby, will be able to figure something out soon!

September 13, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Well, first of all, I think Joseph and Gibson both think Joseph is actually a dog. :)

As for Jasper, reward him every time he stops his feet, even if it's just for a micro-second. Tell him quietly, "good boy" and give him an affectionate scratch in his favorite spot. You'll need to watch him closely, so you catch it the instant before it happens, but he's a smart little guy and very tuned in to you, so he'll pick it up quickly.

September 13, 2011 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Good dog! To these untrained eyes, he looks like he's doing great.

I got to watch some sheep dog trials this summer at the Highland Games near here. It was both fascinating and extremely impressive.

You're both doing so well, Jenna!

September 13, 2011 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

good work! There is really good progress there!

September 13, 2011 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

Can't help you much with Jasper...

But Gibson is very familiar. Young border collie, wise sheep. Hard to pull them off the fence in their home situation. If I were there I would encourage Gibson, go with him, to take them nicely off the fence. I'm sure you have had this done in sheepdog lessons. If he has a "better" side then do that one first. Then give him somewhere to go with them - give it a purpose. Walk with them fetching in the longest line you can make in your corral. You want a flank to get around them, not a walk-up...he's nice and quiet, and don't worry about the 'chaos' - dont' take all that out of him as you will need it later. I know easy for me to say. Get some more lessons with a good trainer with Gibson if you can and have the trainer show you how to take sheep off the rail. Joseph may never seem like a real sheep to Gibson. Is joseph a bottle lamb? Remember Gibson is really young. I am working with a 2 1/2 yr old male, nearly three...and he's still going thru "phases". Suddenly the "taking off the rail" has become an issue after over a year of doing it just fine. Arghghgh! Good luck! he's a really nice dog!!! ;-)

September 13, 2011 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Have you tried working with Jasper with just a bridle and lines? How about halter and lead line? If so, does he behave the same way or will he stand still in one or both of these situations? Was he just a cart pony or did he pull with chains before you got him?

September 13, 2011 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

Lookin' good!!! I'm impressed! (not that I now the first thing about herding… ) :)

September 14, 2011 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Very neat!

September 14, 2011 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Joseph and Gibson remind me of the silver fox and black and white cat, my neighbor had, that would sit side by side together on his roof.

I know nothing about herding, but am very impressed at how well Gibson listens to commands. Wish my girls(dogs) listened to me that well.

September 14, 2011 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger BCxFour said...

Jenna, are you working with a trainer? Gibson is a very nice young dog. Billy had some great suggestions. I had to laugh when I heard you say "no panic" right after your voice went to panic mode on the video. Sounded just like me! Remember, walk up means walk in a straight line to the sheep. If you want a flank, then stand between him and the sheep so he will kick out around. A few times in the video you are giving him a walk up, yet your bubble is projecting pressure and keeping him from moving into the sheep at a straight line, if you move back a few steps he will straighten out, but if you move closer to the line between him and the sheep it will kick him out so he flanks around them. I don't know if that makes sense..hope so! Looking good!


September 14, 2011 at 2:04 AM  
Blogger redbird said...

Love the idea that Jo and Gibson hang out. I agree...looking good/making progress.

All I know about standing still and horses is tension release as a reward when complying and repositioning to the position you want immediately if the horse moves...did this with halter horses and teaching horses to halt with dropped reins, but I’ve never worked with a horse of Jasper's purpose and am not sure it’s the same.

This sheep herding thing does look kinda fun!

September 14, 2011 at 2:23 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thanks for all the tips, Gibson and I do have a pair of instructors, great great teachers. I'll mind that walk up command note, we should start with come by and away.

September 14, 2011 at 6:44 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

CJ: I don't know anything about Jasper's history. He was an auction pony bought by a trader and sold to me.

September 14, 2011 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

Is it their natural instinct to herd? Then with practice they really get it? Goodness Jenna, you wear a lot of hats...well!

September 14, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Good boy Gibs! I wonder if he gets along so well with Joseph because Joseph is black and he doesn't think he is a real sheep. And so Joseph isn't intimidated by him.

September 14, 2011 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

When commented "has done this for years with the amish" I thought you knew a bit about what he was used to pulling.

Does he do the same for Brett - what does Brett think?

September 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Andi said...

Border collies amaze me. He'll get it. In time. :)

September 14, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Christee said...

That was great! I have an Australian Shepherd that was trained a little bit but needs A LOT more training (she just turned 1). I have only 2 goats, which is what she was trained with, but she doesn't want to herd them. She would rather herd the chickens. Ha ha ha
Here in New Mexico there isn't a ton of classes or groups that teach working dogs. There is a bunch up in Northern NM, which is about 3 hours away, but not here in Southern.

Do any of you guys have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

September 14, 2011 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

that was great!

i dont know about training for herding, but, in training regular dogs, and training working dogs not to work (very hard), it is all in the voice you use. they ALWAYS go to the tone, timber and undercurance of your voice more than the words you say. if you sound stressed they will act stressed, even if you are telling them to calm down. and believe me, it is harder to control your own voice than it is to get a dog to do what you want.

your are doing great by the way. compared to the videos at the beginning and now, wow!

September 14, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger crashdown said...

Please listen hard to both Billy and BCx4. Right now, you're asking Gibson to do some impossible things. Ask him to flank around his sheep--don't ask him to walk straight at them all of the time (or even most of the time). Sort out Joseph before your work sessions, because having him there will stress and confuse Gibson. Most of all, let the sheep flow--Gibson needs to move quickly and cover, not stand there while sheep are in a corner. He needs space, and they need more space to act like sheep.

September 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger bree said...

I see real potential and progress in Gibson. As far as Joseph goes, well I think he and Gib have a different relationship that won't involve herding.

Great video.

September 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger bree said...

It could be that Jasper feels about you the same way Joseph feels about Gibson. I think it's love :)

September 14, 2011 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

From my perspective as a dog person, Gibson has incredible potential to be tapped into as he ages. I do hear you making a major mistake. You give the command and if Gibson doesn't comply you repeat it and then start saying come on, cluck cluck. Now the command has become walk up, walk up, walk, come on Gibson, cluck cluck and then praise. You are defeating yourself everytime you go this root and it will all have to be fixed.
As far as Jasper goes, he may have been at auction for all the reasons you are finding him frustrating. Seek professional help to be sure the issues can be fixed and if so how to do it.

September 15, 2011 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

That should have been route not root. I knew it looked funny but sounded right. Oh, what has happened to my spelling?

September 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

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