Two “peas” Two “pods”

  I’m working two young dogs and even though they are half-brothers — They couldn’t be more different if they tried. Both are talented and totally enjoyable to work but so very different – in personality and working style. I have to remind myself to change my method and attitude with each of them. If…

Habit?

No not like the nuns wear — although those are black and white :@) Most of my students seem to understand the concept that every dog is different but most don’t seem to correlate (even after acknowledging the differences in their dogs) they need to learn to incorporate solutions that include the dog, the problem,…

It’s not how they start

BUT how they finish that counts. I’ve always worried about pups that start out doing every thing with “precision” – my concern “stems” from if they are “this good” at a year – will there be enough “engine” by the time they are 4? I’ve seen a lot of really good young ones that started with…

The only thing that’s “black and white” in training – is the dog.

There are a numerous issues that come up regularly through out the years of giving lessons – I will focus on a couple I’ve been running into lately. The first is trying to make Novices understand training occurs even if they aren’t working sheep. For some reason they think that *training* only applies when they are *on* stock…

Self control is a two way street

All the while I’m training I’m trying to incorporate the dog’s ability to control himself instead of leaning on me as the only controlling force. To me this is starting point for “teamwork”. These dogs have exceptional abilities so I always try to “harvest” each and every aspect of it. Of course, some have more…

Why, why and why?

It’s “that” time of year where I spend more time mowing fields than actually working dogs. In some way it’s good as it gives the dogs a physical break and gives me some “mental time” working out issues I’m having with them. Although often I wonder if I “over think” things but to me figuring out the…

Looking under the hood

I have a few young dogs that are just starting and thought I would comment on what I’m looking at/for when I work them at this young stage. All I’m looking for is a glimmering of “things to come”. I’m not expecting a pup to work like trained dog … but I am looking for the…

Eye see

I was recently emailed and asked if I had written any articles on “eye”.  I said I had referred to it in a number of articles but never really written one exclusively about the difference in eye and how I work dogs to “fit” their eye. It got me thinking why I hadn’t done an article on…

The communication puzzle

WHY? I’ve been asked why do I emphasize communicating with a dog instead of just “making” the dog obey. Sure, you can train a dog to work livestock by controlling every move he makes but why would you want to? You end up with a mechanical dog that although he is able to do what he’s…

Communication blueprint

It takes a time, effort and a connection to develop a full communication system with your dog (notice I did not say “command” system). It doesn’t start out that way. When you first start training the dog’s vocabulary is limited thereby putting limits as to what you can expect out of him. The more training…