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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Christian is now 4 1/2 months old. She fits right in with the two other Border collies and us two humans, just like she has always belonged here. She has learned to sit, lay down, and come when called. She is not a 100% on these commands, but a puppy is really not expected to be. When she makes a mistake and ignores me, she gets a correction, and therefore reminded that she is not in charge, I am.
She is now potty trained. She still has never come to me to ask to let her out to go, but is able to hold it all night. She sleeps in an open crate, though she would like to be on the bed with us, one dog is enough with a queen bed. If we ever get a king bed, then she can sleep on it if she wants to.
I have started "playing" with her on sheep. I am extremely careful with her though, picking out just the right sheep for her success. I try not to put much pressure on her both physically and mentally, as she is still a puppy.
There is a lot of opinion about working puppies on sheep. Some say to wait until they are one year old, because their growth plates are now fused and no real damage can occur in that respect. Additionally, a year-old dog can take the pressure of being corrected much better than a younger one. These important reasons should be taken into consideration when working a pup. Some also say that early learning on sheep, does not get them ahead of others that were started later in life. I have no way of telling if this is true or not, or if it really depends upon the dog or the situation.
Chris has lots of sheep drive, but when "playing" with her earlier, I noticed that she was not ready for working yet. She would split up the group and stand looking around as if to say "now what?"
Two days ago I tried her again in she sheep pasture. As usual, I was critical of the sheep that I chose for her to "play" with. As she circled around and around, they got away several times. I just made noises of encouragement, not words, to keep her going. After a minute or two, you could see that instinct was starting to kick in, and she was keeping them together better and better. I kept checking her tail, as an important sign to me what was going on in her mind. Her tail was down in working position the entire time that she was with the sheep. Her tail was never in the "up position", a non-working position.
She has also now started eating more than the adult Border collies. She eats as much for dinner as they do, and she also eats breakfast, which I have recently increased. Teenagers will eat you out of house and home, if you are not careful.
She also now walks on a leash, even in back of stock, without pulling much. A nice accomplishment for her.
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