With every dog you learn so much. Each dog, like each individual person, is so different. You can understand why professional sheep dog handlers are so good. They have learned about so many different behaviors with many, many different dogs.
It's mind boggling how different my 4 Border Collies are from each other. Yes, there are many similarities, but each is their own "dog." This brings to me to Champ. He is like his mother in some respects, but he is going to be a tough nut for me to crack. I'm thinking at times that I might have bred too much 'work' into this litter.
He is so 'motion activated.' Plus, I don't think he has any feeling in his neck. It's like it belongs on a pitbull's body. Honest, I have never seen a 6 month old pup as strong and solid with lean muscle like Champ. His attention span is miniscule at best, only because he is motion activated. Champ might be the poster Border Collie pup for ADD.
I'm always up for a challenge. Though, I wish at my age I had settled on a Jet-like dog that looks adoringly into your eyes and asks, "What ever you would like, I'd like to do it for you." LOL Ain't happening with Champ. He's a firecracker!
Now, he is right on track for a list of certain behaviors that I ask all of my dogs to do: sit, stand, down, spin right, spin left, back, speak, fetch, hold an article. He is still slooooow about getting a solid recall. His recall isn't with the exuberance that I would like to see. His fetching a dumbbell is at neck breaking speed. But, I'm obviously not as much fun as a dumbbell.
I took Champ and Yoko to the park yesterday. That is an hour round trip for me on my days off from work. But, I need to expose him to playgrounds and kids. We live rural and he gets no people exposure until we leave home. Well, he got over exposed today. Poor baby. The YMCA was at the park and they were doing Simple Simon close to where I was working my dogs. Well Simple Simon kept telling a large group of little kids to run and scream like maniacs directly towards my dogs. Yo didn't mind, but Champ about had heart failure. Click/treat, click/treat, click/treat. Champ had enough of trying to be desensitized, so we went to another park where he could at least settle his brain and do a bit of thinking :0)
Champ is a pretty happy boy around people and dogs as long as he desn't feel threatened. If he feels he is being threatened by kids running at him or a dog showing him teeth, he isn't going to be a shrinking violet. That's for sure. I expect in a few months, this will wear off with more work and more neurons synapsing.
These pups are requiring lots of work. I am having to think up new training patterns for Champ. He isn't all that excited about the clicker nor the treats, for that fact. It's all about the 'motion.' Now, I am doing more "toy" work. He'd rather have a toy than food anyway. Today is our 2nd obedience class. We will do the class from afar. We are not going to heel/sit, heel/sit. I can work on his social skills and manners working him on the behaviors he knows. Hopefully, he will have a better evening. Wish us luck :0)
P.S. Champ is kenneled away from the sheep, so he doesn't stare at them. On occasion, I take him to the barn and tie him to the door while I clean. He keeps an eye on every sheep. A bomb could go off and he isn't going to take his eyes off the sheep. I'm still hoping I will be part of the picture when he matures and is put on sheep. He still has too much going on in his brain (I think) to put him on sheep. I'm sticking with 11 mos. as a good age to start him. That gives me another 5 months of ground training!