Herding Pics

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by kassidybc, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Chloe and I haven't been herding in a while, as the snow has prevented it, but I was just looking through our photos and thought you guys might enjoy seeing some cute "action shots"! image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Those are some great action shots, Kassidy. She looks like she really means business.
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  3. running_dog Honored Member

    She looks like she is having a wonderful time doing what border collies do best :).

    Watching sheepdogs and how they are handled is fascinating. The best trials I've been to are at Threlkeld (in the English Lake District) the field is so big that some of the dogs that are used to a more enclosed landscape struggle to find the sheep! One of the competitors I met last year also did agility and trick training with one of her dogs :cool:.

    Here's about half of the trial field at Threlkeld, the other gate for the cross drive is way off the left edge of the picture, it is a real challenge especially as the sheep can be total thugs - sometimes they'll jump straight out the back of the pen!
    Threlkeld Sheepdog Trial.JPG
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  4. kassidybc Experienced Member

    That is a huge field! I've been to trials with big fields, but never that big! Hopefully we will be competing somewhere like that some day! :) We just started taking herding lessons late last summer, then had to stop when the snow came, so we have only been training for a few months. So obviously we aren't quite ready for competition, but we are hoping to be soon! I'm so excited for this snow to melt so we can start taking lessons again!
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  5. running_dog Honored Member

    It must be amazing to learn how to do herding with your dog, I'm sure it can only get better and better the more that you learn, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your photos (and videos hopefully) as you get back into it.

    If you ever get to compete at a place with a field like Threlkeld's you MUST be able to communicate by whistle. Some of the dogs just lost contact with their handlers and it is really sad to see them confused. One took off after a piebald pony which had a sheep sized white patch on it's rump :eek:. Another decided to herd the sheep in the next field. They weren't beginners either - and one of the top competitors had to send his dog on a right handed outrun because the dog was distracted by the startlingly white farm building on the left (not on the photo). It is utterly fascinating to watch - especially from a dog training point of view.

    One of the most stunning rounds I ever saw was by a dog that went into the field leashed, normally that means the dog isn't very controlled. This one kept it's eyes mostly on it's handler right until he released it and when he did I figured out why. The handler had it on a piece of cord through the dog's collar so he just released the end and it slipped free when he gave his release cue. The dog couldn't cue off him bending down to unclip it so it really paid attention to him and that set it up for a startlingly responsive round.
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  6. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Yes, it definitely is so much fun to learn to herd with her! Although it's definitely a challenge, especially if you want to train positive reinforcement (which I of course do!). It's hard, because the biggest reinforcement is letting them herd the sheep! So you have to be able to control that, which can be difficult.

    I was so amazed when we took her for her instinct test. She had never seen sheep before, so I didn't expect much, but holy cow! As soon as she laid eyes on those sheep, she was off!! :) I have her first time seeing sheep (her instinct test) on video, I could post it if you want.

    We are going to start working on whistles this spring, but we need to get her verbal cues solid first. I'll be sure to post more pictures and videos when we start training again!

    Isn't it hilarious the things dogs notice? Like you were saying with the white barn, and the horse with a white sheep sized blob on it! The other day at rally class we were practicing left about turns, and another dog there was doing fine, but then the instructor wrote on the ground with chalk to help us, and when they went to do the left about turn again, the dog freaked out about the chalk on the ground! It took so much convincing to finally get him to accept the chalk! :)
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  7. running_dog Honored Member

    I'd love to see Chloe's instinct test if it isn't too much trouble for you to post it.

    I know what you mean about the biggest reinforcement being to herd sheep - I find the same sort of thing with Zac except he is all about chasing deer. And it is so hard to teach them that we set the terms of them doing what they love best. That was what was so fascinating about the handler who used slip cord to release the dog. I wasn't expecting you to be using a whistle yet, I was just hoping that you were planning to :) and you are :cool:.

    It is funny what dogs notice - things like the fear of chalk are almost incomprehensible to us but it is the mark of a good handler to realise what the dog is noticing - the handler who chose the left handed outrun when his dog kept glancing at the white building knew it wasn't as good a route but it would keep his dog looking at the right thing and because he noticed what his dog was noticing he fared much better than the handler who didn't notice that from a dog's eye view the horse's rump looked like a sheep and the real sheep were invisible :rolleyes:.
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  8. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Here is a quick video of Chloe's instinct test. We definitely weren't very graceful, but at least she showed instinct! I had a heck of a time trying to keep up with the instructor, I kept almost getting knocked down by the sheep! :p
  9. running_dog Honored Member

    Lots of instinct :cool:

    You look like you got the harder part of the experience - you look like you're trying to do a merged kind of elephant trick jump rope with some sheep thrown in. I'm sure I'd have ended up flat on my face!
    Ripleygirl, brodys_mom and kassidybc like this.
  10. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Great pics! It is brill that you are doing herding with Chloe!
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