Stark's herding journal - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Stark's herding journal

*I thought I would record Stark's and I journey into the world of herding for everyone to see. I will post updates, video's, photo's and information gained after each lesson (the good and the bad). I think this could be a really valuable thread for those interested or just starting out themselves.*

June 19, 2011

Stark earns his herding instinct certificate (HIC) at Woolagon Farms in Ontario.



Our first scheduled lesson is set for July 10th if the weather holds up. We will not be training weekly due to my schedule but we will hopefully get a few lessons in each month.

I truly believe this is what Stark will excel at and enjoy the most. We will continue to train in other venues for now as well.

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 05:38 PM
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I used to train 4 days a month (Thursday thru Sunday). You can still learn a lot that way.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 05:45 PM
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Nice video!
I really like how your trainer worked with Stark; she seems very experienced.

Owned by Nini and McKinley.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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I am very excited to start! We both caught the bug at the HIC and I am very excited about starting lessons.

The two trainers there are VERY EXPERIENCED and they both have many titles on their dogs (they have Belgians).

Here is their website - take a look at their dogs.
My Website

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 10:31 PM
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We train twice a week and really the trainer recommended three. But Stosh is rather immature for an 18 mo old and twice seems to suit him for now. If I could, I would go everyday...it's so much fun!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stosh View Post
We train twice a week and really the trainer recommended three. But Stosh is rather immature for an 18 mo old and twice seems to suit him for now. If I could, I would go everyday...it's so much fun!
I really wish we could go weekly (or even more) but with my schedule it is just not realistic.

Maybe once I start working a regular full time job with standard hours, but right now I work full time hours at a part time job with my schedule being all over the place.

So, for now, we will try to go a few times per month and then work up from there in the future.

How are you guys doing? Any video's? Information you can pass down?

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 11:28 PM
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We have started recording some lessons, I'll have to figure out how to post them into this format. For now try to get a fast and consistent 'down'. My biggest challenge was getting Stosh, who's a very enthusiastic herder, to listen to me from a distance and do what I asked even though he was thinking he knew better. Which truthfully he does, but he and Stark have to learn that they will get to work the sheep but do it our way, not theirs. I thought it was so cool just to watch him that I was just standing there with my mouth open instead of giving him the commands I needed to give him. Honestly, I'm the one with the biggest learning curve and he's waiting for me to catch up. In between lessons, I put him on a long lead, get a cattle paddle and lunge him in both directions and have him down often. Another thing I practice on a long lead is walking in one direction, an changing at right angles with him following. I use the command 'with me' and it's not a heel but an awareness that he has to work with me but not next to me and that I'm always in his mind- he's not getting to run with the sheep on his own. Even though he's very talented and driven he has to do it my way and that's his reward. It's just so bloody fun but it does take a lot of time to get the feel for what you're doing and how Stark works. One thing that helped me tremendously was when my trainer let me work one of her dogs- she has border collies- and it made a world of difference. And I've also been in the pen with the sheep by myself to see how they move and react so I know where to put Stosh. I'm telling you it's a whole new world and very addictive! Have fun!!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 11:55 PM
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Whew-that video makes me feel so much better about taking my dogs to get herding evaluated.

My younger male looks A LOT like your guy too!

I really like how the trainer kept the dog from being too riled up
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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We are headed for our first official lesson on Sunday. I am really excited to see Stark in a bigger pen with more sheep. The only thing I am worried about is ME having to be in the pen working the sheep and the dog... lol.

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-08-2011, 03:14 AM
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I wish there was something like this near me... I think Lucy would LOVE to give sheep herding a shot. She loves to herd everything and definitely has a natural instinct for it.

I look forward to updates in this thread. I'll probably be jealous watching the videos though.

Good luck to both of you guys!
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