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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ollie and I went to a herding seminar today which basically consisted of instincts tests(which he's already had but I decided to do it again just because)and lessons for everyone who signed up. I have to say that I'm really proud of my boy today! We were the last ones to arrive and when we got there my stomach kind of dropped because there were A LOT of dogs and Ollie's been having some adolescent fear barking reactivity issues with dogs since he hit puberty but not ONE peep out of him.

I was actually a little worried at first because he was the quietest dog there, all the other dogs would go nuts watching the other dogs in the pen with the sheep but Ollie so was cool, calm and collected that I thought he'd lost interest. That was until it was our turn in the corral and it was as if a light had been switched and bam straight into work mode he went.

For my lesson I was in the pen without the instructor(they believe in teaching their students how to work their own dogs) but she and another instructor familiar with GSD's gave me directions on the sideline. Well I can say I had no idea how physical a job learning how to herd is, I was literally running pretty much the whole time in 80+ temperatures.... I was not prepared for this LOL but my husband told me I had a giant smile plastered on my face the entire time anyways.

At the end she told me Ollie is a very smart puppy who responds VERY well to the stick(which is important)... Some of the other dogs had to be whacked on the nose but with Ollie all I had to do was slap the ground and say a loud 'AHH' to get him to stop what he was doing. He and an Aussie there were the only dogs to run in wide circles around the sheep which I guess is important(no idea, still learning) and he kept them together. I learned the very basics of moving the sheep and getting Ollie to change directions.

All in all it was a great day and I could not be prouder of Ollie's good behavior and think he did fantastic for an 8 month old puppy. The instructor also told me he'd be ready to start trialing VERY soon *gulp*. I just hope I can keep up and don't let him down.

Unfortunately I didn't get any video or many pictures because I was too busy and had my hands full working with him, I will post what I do have later!

One thing I noticed from his last instinct test(posted below) is that he showed SO much more confidence, he did not show any fear of the sheep at all this time. Which is something I was worried about.

 

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Good job! Isn't it great when that light bulb comes on and they just seem to get it.
 

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Great!!! It is always so gratifying when they have fun at training!

Good luck in the future!

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you! He definitely had fun, when the lesson was over and it was time to collect him well let's just say he gave me the giant doggy middle finger and didn't want to stop running in circles around myself and the sheep. Definitely an area we need work on! :)
 

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Yay!

And don't worry - I always felt that I was hindering Leyna and Levi's advancement, especially at the beginning. But, that is the cool part - you both get to learn together!

Seeing your posts is making me excited to get back into it, hopefully in a few months!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes! It definitely felt as if Ollie knew what he was doing already and I was doing my best to keep up. He is an independent little thinker though so I know that getting him to listen to me(especially given what can I offer him that is higher value than a sheep!) is probably going to be a struggle for us but he is so young yet, we will get there.

Rich was telling me how people are often surprised how much work 'they' have to do too in herding and he was definitely right! Listening to what the instructor was telling me(and Rich is very soft spoken), keep the sheep moving and try to control Ollie who is WAY faster then I am(I did grab the longest stick knowing this lol) it was a lot to do all at once! But it is very fun and rewarding, I'm surprised not many people here do it.

Do you live down here part time, will you be coming back to this place if you start herding again?
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Yes! It definitely felt as if Ollie knew what he was doing already and I was doing my best to keep up. He is an independent little thinker though so I know that getting him to listen to me(especially given what can I offer him that is higher value than a sheep!) is probably going to be a struggle for us but he is so young yet, we will get there.

Rich was telling me how people are often surprised how much work 'they' have to do too in herding and he was definitely right! Listening to what the instructor was telling me(and Rich is very soft spoken), keep the sheep moving and try to control Ollie who is WAY faster then I am(I did grab the longest stick knowing this lol) it was a lot to do all at once! But it is very fun and rewarding, I'm surprised not many people here do it.

Do you live down here part time, will you be coming back to this place if you start herding again?
Don't forget - the sheep have a mind of their own at times!!

Actually, I haven't updated my profile since I am not often on this forum. I was in Chula Vista full time for about 10 years, then I was part time up North and down South and now I live in Northern California (Lake Tahoe). I do hope to get down there for a trial or two though when my pup is old enough. I haven't been back down there in ages and miss my friends!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ah yes, that too lol... There were a few times the sheep wouldn't cooperate with me and went in a other direction and Ollie took off after them leaving me running behind trying to catch up. But HEY at least I didn't slip and fall mid run twice like the guy in green in one of the pictures did and he was a marine! :D

I'm thinking about going to the Scottish Highland games next month, did you ever go?

And possibly I'll see you at a trial sometime! If you see a big black dog pulling a short girl around that would be ME. :)
 

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I did not get a chance to go to the Highland Games when I was down there, but I believe Terry goes. I think they are more border collie trials, but I could be wrong.

My pup doesn't arrive for another couple of weeks, so it will be a bit before I get to trial again.

Here are a couple of good links on herding info:
The Way Herding Dogs Work (but the whole site is pretty good)
and for terms:
Working Aussie Source Stockdog Library: Herding Glossary

I have looked at the first site before and only briefly looked at the second one but it seems to give some good basics on that page.
 

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The best time I've ever had with Stosh was the first time we went herding. Our trainer also had me work with Stosh from the first moment and when that herding switch flipped in him it was the coolest thing to see and be part of. We're still herding two years later and we have the best time. Glad you enjoyed it!
 
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