a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm a Nag

I'm sure my husband would attest to that.  LOL  I think we all have a little "nag" in us.  Herbert showed me by standing behind me pretending my shoulders were the reins.  I would tell Kilt multiple requests to take time, lie down, etc.  He would just give a tug on my shoulders each time.  This is where the Black and White comes into play that caused a bit of controversy on Facebook. :0)  ie  When I say "take time," it should absolutely mean that.  I shouldn't have to continue to say it over and over again.  Eh?  I'm sure we are all at fault a bit on that account.  It doesn't mean if a sheep bolts that the dog can't move on his own to prevent the escape.
How many "lie downs" can you give a dog?  If he hasn't lied down by the 2nd time you say it, you can best believe your correction is not hard enough.  He is in the GREY zone and most likely crossing into the black.  I went to a Bobby Dalziel clinic when i first started working BCs and he spent almost the whole clinic working on lie downs. :0) 
If the horse is running away with you, you don't just give a few jerks on the reins; you need to do some something a bit more black and white, like lean back and turn his head into your knee.  He needs to get the message.  He needs to stop before you both get hurt.
Someone mentioned they didn't want their dog to become a robot when working with them.  I don't think I have to worry too much about that.  My BCs are too well bred for work.  They usually will take care of things when I am wrong and they are right.  That is NOT what I am talking about.
Champ is learning about Black and White right now.  When I say "Come" it doesn't mean to dawdle around, sniff a few bushes and think about coming.  It means COME right now.  It also doesn't mean 'catch me if you can.'  Lil Bugger!  I'm making it REAL Black and White to him.  When I say COME and he goes the other way, I HUNT him down without saying another word.  If he turns towards me and starts to come, I back up and reward him.  If he doesn't, it is fair game for me to give him a correction (one he will think about) when I catch up to him.  'Come' and 'kennel' have kind of flown out the window at almost 6 mos. of age.  He thinks he is pretty cute.  NOT!  'Come' could be a life-saver for him, so there is no GREY area.
Dogs need crystal clear/black and white.  It doesn't mean that the dog is a robot.  All of our BCs are very capable of working independently. That's all.


Kathy said...

A trainer once told me that you need to put the mechanics on the dog without making it mechanical.

I do agree so much with what you're saying here and what you said on Facebook.


DeltaBluez Tess said...

grat post

Anonymous said...

I like this post. In my head I often go back to Scott Glenn’s many quotes about this

“You don’t have to lay your dog down, but if you ask for it you better get it”

gvmama said...

Scott has some real gems...love his dry sense of humor.
Champ is driven to work...has eyes for all of the other dogs. Hoping he will have eyes for me. Too soon to tell.

Canines 'N Ewe said...

I didn't think it was controversy on facebook, I thought it was a nice discussion..

gvmama said...

Good :0)