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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
You hoo! Dog Day again. All of the dogs love this day of agility, sheepdog herding and swimming. What a great day to be one of our dogs. I had a few errands to run before I showed up at Sandy's house for 'everything dog'.
Arriving at Sandy's house, Tam is always excited, and has been a goal of mine to try to keep her calm. Decker is starting to pick up on Tam's excitement and is getting excited some too. I had forgotten my leashes and so was scrambling for spare leashes in the truck. I found two. If I had dug further, I would have found another one. Two it is, and I put Tam and Kate on one and Decker on the other. You think that having a dog supply store, that I would have plenty of leashes, but in due time, I will.
I have given Decker a new collar. When I got him, he had a choke collar around his neck with a tag. I don't like keeping choke (training) collars on my dogs unless I am working them. There have been too many stories about dogs getting hung by these collars and I don't want to take the chance. I would never forgive myself if something terrible happened. None the less, it took me a couple of weeks of getting to know Decker to feel comfortable about taking the choke collar off. I wasn't sure how he would respond to a buckle collar, if he would even feel it as we went on our walks. He does fine with the new collar and it sure makes less noise. No more clanging of metal to metal, every time Decker moved. In sheepdog herding, the general rule is not to have your dog make noise with their collar. This noise could possibly scare the sheep. We want to be cognizant of this especially at a sheepdog herding trial. Herding sheep is hard enough by itself, than to have extra excited sheep to handle.
His new collar is a green tartan plaid buckle collar, one inch wide. It sure looks nice on him and goes with his coloring. A few years ago, I had purchased two of those collars for the girls. We were going to a Scottish Games sheepdog trial and I wanted them to wear Scottish plaid collars at the trial. I have had those collars now for over three years and they still look brand new. Now, I am proud to be selling the same brand collars on my sheepdog herding website, and I know that they are a quality US made product, because I have personally tested it! Decker wore his new collar to Sandy's house for dog day.
Decker was happy to be there,and after settling everybody down, I asked my dog friends if they would feed him some treats. He started accepting a pet or two, and seemed more comfortable around everyone.
When we went over to the other side of the property to work sheep, Decker started whining while I was out in the field working Kate and Tam. A friend from Visalia (about 2+ hours away) had come over to join us too. She is a dog trainer and doesn't put up with much flack from dogs either. Several times I had yelled at Decker to shut up, and was getting tired of it, and soon was going to have to quit the sheepdog herding with the girls out in the field,and run over to him and make him shut up; my friend said that she would correct him. That was good for me. He needed correction, and needed it from another person, and needed it instantly, not waiting for me to come in from the field. I had a water bottle with me and noticed earlier that he responded to it for a correction. My friend picked up on that, grabbed the bottle and brandished it every time he started crying. It worked! And for the rest of the sheep herding time, Decker watched quietly.
Decker also got to work sheep himself. Someone asked me what his breeding was, because he seems to have a lot of instinct. I told them that that is what I saw in him too. And that I was hopeful that once trained, I could place him on a ranch where he could work and get lots of stimulation. That is just what working dogs need; jobs.
After sheepdog herding, the dogs all went swimming in Sandy's pool. The girls absolutely love it, and now so does Decker. He jumped in numerous times from the side of the pool with no hesitation. He is also starting to retrieve the balls in the pool.
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