Welcome to The OBay Shelties blog! Our blog is an honest diary of our life with our dogs along with news from Obay shelties around the world.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Herding 101

Today we attended a herding instinct day. It was very convenient; only 10 minutes from our house! I think the sheep were a cross of Sussex and Southdowns sheep.

Hex was a good girl and as usual gave it her all! I wouldn't say she was a brilliant herding dog; but for her first time on sheep I was pleased. The only other times she has seen sheep have been when we walk thru fields of sheep and she must not chase them. She showed some interest and certainly was not scared. We will never be able to continue with herding here in England but it was enough for me to see what I think she could be capable of. As for me, it felt weird to be out there with sheep again and I forgot how much backwards walking there was!

Luckily we had good weather; chilly but not cold. It was good to see all the other dogs giving it a try. The star of the day was Mac and her border collie Jess. 5 year old Jess has never seen sheep before and went in like a pro. I have never personally seen an older dog go in for the first time and respond like she did. She immediately went into her border collie crouch and used her eye to move the sheep around. She did not circle; she did not act silly. She stayed off the sheep and moved them straight to her owner. She lay down when told! She even balanced perfectly when the sheep got on the fence. Everything was calm and controlled. Just a perfect herding dog even with no previous experience for either her or her owner. Such a pretty sight to see. It gave me chills.

Also Karen and the other Jessie and Lian and sheltie Saturn did really nicely.

As for the other OBay shelties there.....well lets say Chi and Todd have LOVELY handler focus. hahahaha 'Nuff said! Somehow I don't think their videos will be making any blogs anytime soon! On the positive side; no one fell down!

Here is Hex's video. It is kind of long and probably boring to most of you. So don't feel obligated to watch. I figure it will only be interesting to Johanna! ;-) Hex is now lying fast asleep at my feet. She has had a busy few days and I want to keep up a more intense schedule with her until the week of Crufts. Then we will just keep her chilled out for the few day before Crufts.


Lian said...

Sexy Hexy was definitely a star!! She did the shelties very proud!! I enjoyed my day with Saturn, he still full of energy at the end of the training but I felt all dizzy!!

Nanna Holt Kjær (Shetla) said...

Look like nice biddable sheep you got there. Good testing sheep.

How have you been taught to do testing? Would love to gather more information.

Here's how I have been taught to start with shelties who are already showing instinct:

1. Get away from heads yourself (either around or through sheep). Dog will round them off and turn them.
2. The second the dog starts turning them, you back up some steps and the dog keeps sheep with you.
3. Repeat 1 before dog gets bored with just holding sheep to you.

Finish by backing into a corner so dog feels sheep are under control when finishing session.

If you are ever in Denmark, you would be most welcome to visit and we can have a good natter. My sheep are not quite as well-behaved though.

Hudsondoglets said...

Good performance from Hex (and Saturn) but you're right, the stars were Jess and Mac. I'm still not speaking to her, maybe by the end of the week I'll perhaps say "hi" or some small gesture. I will certainly not be engaging with her at training on Tuesday evening, that's too soon.

Paula said...

Think I'd have to do intensive clicker work before taking Tom as he would just sniff out and eat all the sheep poo :)

Little Hex looks like she knew what to do.

Mary-Anne & the US cousins said...

she did very well! Had to laugh when she stopped for a 'snack' around the 2 minute mark ...

Anonymous said...

Very cute! Love the little sheltie "bop" as compared to the BC slink! Hex has nice distance off those sheep as compared to her US friend Smudge the "pushy pants" border collie. Weekly lessons and she's STILL up their butts!

Oh, and little Luna (the BC pupster) wants to know if Hex likes sheep poop as much as she does!!!!

Ann Marie