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

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Look Ma! No line! (almost)

I tried Champ out on a long line about 3-4 times with my sheep and the dogged sheep at the ranch.  But, he would pull continuously.  He listened a bit on the dogged sheep and hardly at all on my flighty sheep (uh duh). Main thing I was worried about was my neck.  My spine has several herniated discs, lumbar and cervical, from being a bedside nurse.  I felt like he was rearranging the discs in my neck each time he lunged at the stock.

Okay then...it has been some 4 years since I have started a pup.  Champ seems to be saying...."It's my turn now....finally!"  Look at his boney little ass.  He eats two meals a day, but he runs it off.  I wish I was only half as fit! His head looks just like Kilt in this photo.  But, he is broader in the forehead and muzzle like Buzz.

Lots of times when you have a dog on leash they are more aggressive in nature. You take them off the leash and they mellow out, having to think for themselves.  I figured it was worth a try.  I'm glad I did.
Champ knows he is not to move from that gate until I am in the arena and tell him it's okay to get up.  Yes, obedience goes out the gate when you put your pup on stock.  BUT.....I'm glad he is on his third class, because somewhere in the back of his brain he knows what everything means.  If he lies down and I ask him to stand, he gets up on his feet.

I had Yoko pick out 3 of the biggest goats at the ranch and put them in a large rectangular pen.  I brought Champ out into the pen.  Lo and behold, he was a totally different dog without me holding onto the end of his long line.  Sure, he tried a cheap shot or two, but he had  nice bubble, was sensitive to my pressure, good balance, and took to both directions easily.
A little later, I put some sheep out in the pen.  He was just as nice on the sheep.  At one point, he left the stock and ran over to his mother who was on a cable tied to the fence.  He had this HUGE grin on his face and I could tell what he was saying.  "Did you see me Mom, did ya, did ya?"  Then he went right back to working.   I could tell that Kilt was none too impressed.  After all, she went through this with her daughter, Yoko.  She knows it just means LESS time for her to work.

"Look ma, I stopped!"

If anything he was a little too wide.  I thought he would prefer the come bye side since he has a trench in my backyard from running to the left on the come bye side for months and months.  Another big surprise...he actually seemed to prefer his mother's side going to the right, the away side.  No rhyme nor reason.
Champ is my 4th border Collie that I have started.  I tried Jet on sheep at 10 mos. and all he wanted to do was chase.  At 14 mos. I put him back on stock and he was all business.  Kilt has been all business since 6 mos. of age.  Yoko was chasey until almost a year or more.  By chasey, I mean tail up, diving in on the stock...stupid stuff. 
Second time out on goats and sheep, Champ was a bit stronger.  I had him drag a 6 foot leash.  He was difficult for me to catch.  About the only way I could catch him was to put the stock in a corner. If he finally stopped I gave a small amount of praise and let him scoop them out of the corner.  He had no trouble scooping them off the fence.  Some dogs race behind the sheep on the fence fearful of the stock.  Not Champ.  He appeared quite confident to me.  When one of the old test sheep turned and faced him, he came right in a gave him a nip on the nose. Oh yea.  He's going to be like his Momma in that respect and I like that. I don't like to teach a nose bite.  I like to have it there purely by genetics. :0)  I like a dog who has that confidence. 

"Whoo hoo...she says scoop them off the fence.  No problemas."

Today they were setting the ranch up for an AHBA trial and an AKC trial this weekend.  I entered the AHBA trial in the field with my other dogs.  But, I took advantage of Joe and his helpers setting up the panels by letting Champ follow them around, get in their way, etc.  I want him comfortable with the workers, loud noises, and just generally, "hanging out."

Hanging out with Joe and the workers.

Champ is 9 1/2 mos.  He is still immature, but came onto his stock with his tail down and thinking.  He is going to be fun to train.  I  will take him out a few times each week until November.  Then, he will go to Suzy's for 4-6 weeks.  I hope she will have fun with him.  We have been preparing him by keeping him in an outside kennel during the day by himself and also, at night.  Actually, his kennel at Suzy's will be larger than the one he has here with us.  We don't want him to have 'culture shock.' :0)The only worry I have for him is that he is used to running "miles" every day.  This pup is all about muscle and stamina.

This gene did NOT come from his mother.  LOL  I can blame Buzz for Champ thinking he is Romeo!
Yoko will miss her playmate.  But, maybe the scars on her face from rough housing with Champ will have time to heal.  I'm sure his mother won't miss him.  He likes to terrorize her and she puts up with it.  I'm sure Wayne will miss him.  Me, too.  But, I will be looking forward to seeing what he will learn with Suzy. I hope she has fun with him.  I think he minds quite well.  He rides fabulously in the truck or trailer, plus, he likes people and other dogs. He hasn't met any kitties yet.  I  know Suzy has cats. Plus, while there he will get to meet several different types of sheep.
My plan is to take him back for Christmas and work him in the desert with possibly going back to Suzy's in March for another round of training.  It all depends on how he settles in as a kennel dog while he is with her. :0)


Karen said...

Luna has the same bony ass, just more hair to cover it.
Champ is going to be a great dog.

I'm hoping you are going to blog about your cruise:)

gvmama said...

While I was in Klamath my husband took off ALL of my pictures off the computer INCLUDING my cruise pics. Since I have some great ones I want to share, I will have to find out how to put them back on! Thanks for asking. :0)