We have been going to the creek a lot the last couple of weeks and we have discovered that Rose LOVES the water. She has also inherited her mother’s obsession with retrieving. A dog that loves to retrieve and swim is made for Dock Dogs! A little searching on the internet found a club in southern Oregon, not far from our house.
Jumping off a dock into water is a little different than jumping from a bank, so we weren’t sure what to expect.
It didn’t take her long to figure it out!
She didn’t act like a novice for long! We all took turns throwing the bumper for her and quickly realized that getting the dog to jump off the dock is the easy part. To maximize the length of the jump, you need to throw it in a swooping arc up – not too close and not too far.
She is a great swimmer and was quick to bring the bumper back to us…
and then begged us to throw it again.
He had so much fun with his dog!
She may be small, but she makes a big splash!
This morning we loaded a few dogs in the car and headed up I5 to visit our good friend, Lora. It was time for Rose to visit some other sheep and I was looking for some guidance on the best way to start her. I also think it is good for my son to work with someone other than his mom with his dog 🙂 It helps that he adores Lora!
and the beauty…
that is herding!
It was so funny listening to my son while Lora was working with Rose – ‘Lora is the best trainer’ and ‘Look at how fabulous Rose is’ and ‘We should come here every week’ and ‘I can’t believe how good she is doing’. He cracks me up!
After Rose, Gypsy had a go.
Gypsy is a daughter of Nell, my second favorite border collie, right behind my Katie girl.
Here is Nell telling the Cheviots to ‘move’ 🙂
Before we left, Nell brought the sheep up to the barn so I could see the new ram – Sam. He is mostly Blueface and is from Tammy’s farm.
In fact, we visited him when he was a baby. He has grown up a lot!
A good morning with good friends!
but sometimes you have to be flexible!
My son has wanted his ‘own’ dog for awhile now. The intensity has increased over the last month or so. Every day it was a different breed – Saint Bernard, Husky, Border Collie, Lab, Corgi, Boxer, Whippet, Dalmation, etc. One morning he brought his dog book to me and asked if I could show him what breeds he could have inside 😉
Mind you, we have 4 dogs and he could choose any of them to walk and play with – but he didn’t feel like they were ‘his’.
We didn’t go looking for a dog for him, she came looking for him.
She is a 6 month old border collie that he has named Rose. She has been here for 2 1/2 weeks and has settled in nicely. She is from a litter that my brother’s dog, Flip had in December. She was odd man out and definitely needed a little boy to dote on her.
She has the sweetest temperament and a very gentle soul.
They make a great team.
She is very eager to please and has the cutest little body wiggle.
They love snuggling on the couch together and playing outside. She can be found running after him while he is riding his bike or relaxing close to him while he is playing in the sandbox.
While doing sheep chores tonight, she just laid down by the gate and waited until we were done.
We have gone on several walks and she is so good on the leash, she stays right with him.
He has been very responsible with her and we are very happy that we said ‘yes’.
We had a great weekend – warm weather was abundant and it was starting to feel like Spring – and everytime I turned around, it seemed like I was seeing geese!!!
Kate and I made our usual rounds at the college. Here she is looking across the track at some geese. She has this job figured out!!!
What a great job this is! I love listening to the geese and seeing them in flight.
The geese have called this field ‘home’ for quite awhile and are reluctant to leave…
some more than others.
Most of them are paired up and are either sitting on nests or getting ready to…
and some have already hatched out their babies! I attended a lure coursing practice on Sunday and there were two pairs of geese with goslings.
Our little pond has a pair of geese that fly in and spend most of the day here. I would love to know where they go at night.
They are beautiful birds!
I started herding with my Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Darby, a little over 8 years ago and have been teaching lessons off and on for almost 5 years. My son has been watching for almost that long. He started watching from his stroller while eating Cheerios and now he enjoys taking lessons of his own.
Kate is very willing to be his lesson dog!
These boys are the ‘herding’ sheep. They have been trained to work nicely for the beginning dogs.
My son loves that they follow him around 🙂
I didn’t realize how much he has learned by watching for so many years until he was working Kate last week. He was flawless with the directional commands. The directional commands are ‘come by’ (clockwise) and ‘away’ (counter clockwise). They are the most challenging thing to learn when you start herding. He is hooked and has already asked if Kate can be ‘his’ dog 🙂
This is Apache and she has been coming for lessons for a couple months.
I love how she works…
she is mindful in her work and very respectful to her sheep.
She is beautiful to watch!
One of my pet peeves when it comes to herding is when people see the sheep as a tool or piece of equipment. My goal when I go out to move our sheep is to do it with the least amount of pressure. I don’t want them to be run around and I certainly don’t want to cause them stress.
I like this definition from Wikipedia – Herding is the act of bringing individual animals together into a group, maintaining the group and moving the group from place to place—or any combination of those.
It really rubs me the wrong way when someone calls and asks if they can come chase my sheep with their dog. Chasing is NOT herding and is NOT allowed here.
My search for chasing came up with hounds chasing animals for the hunter and dogs chasing small prey animals.
Herding dogs must exhibit the stalking and chasing aspects of prey drive, but should have a strong inhibiton to prevent them from wounding stock.
So, let’s have fun and go HERDING 🙂
My border collie, Kate, is a girl with a lot of skills.
She is often serious…
and an all around good girl.
She has a lot of jobs here on the farm,
from moving the big boys…
to the little guys…
She knows when to use the power that she posseses and when to turn the other way…
She has a tremendous work ethic and never quits.
I was recently contacted by a local college to provide goose hazing services with my border collie. I knew I had the dog for the job, but there was a lot of other questions to find answers for. Thanks to a good friend, the internet, and some really nice people – I have my answers and a new job for Kate.
So, you may ask – what is goose hazing and why does a college need that done?
The goose dog stalks the geese using their ‘eye’. This unsettles the geese because it looks very similar to how a predator moves and hunts. The geese perceive this as a genuine threat and therefore are encouraged to move on to a safer location. Frequent visits are made and the geese soon learn their only option is to move on.
The hazing technique is humane to the geese and the dogs work quietly and unobtrusively. This means no pesticides, no environmental issues, and no loss of enjoyment of the land or facility by the public or paying patron.
The athletic fields at the college are COVERED in goose poop! I definitely wouldn’t want to be a soccer player sliding across the ground – YUCK!
Here is Kate in her new work attire…
The orange vest is to help us look official 🙂 There are a lot of people at the college and we wanted to help them understand that it isn’t a loose dog running after the geese. I think it makes Kate feel important!
We are visiting the college at random times and when we arrived this morning there was just one pair of geese, but while I was getting Kate out of the car a big flock flew in.
As with everything else, she figured the job out very quickly…
and had the geese flying off in a couple of minutes.
I can’t wait to see where this leads us in the coming year.
What an awesome job!
Status update – still no lambs…
So, I’ll write a post about the best helpers ever!
Kate and my son make an awesome team!
Most of the time I can just open a gate or two and have the sheep go where I want them.
Moving through a pasture of lush green grass, can be a little difficult though.
Time to call in the first part of the team.
I love this dog! She has so much power, but knows when to use it and she is so gentle with my very pregnant ewes.
She has tremendous work ethic and wouldn’t leave a sheep behind, but I have to remind her to get the llama 🙂 Here she is after I told her to ‘look back’.
She obediently heads back to get him, unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of respect for her. I know from experience that he will finally move for her, but sometimes it is better to call for back-up…
there, that got him moving!
Kate’s got his back just in case he needs it.
I would be remiss to not mention Magoo in my list of helpers. He often makes catching the sheep a little more difficult than it should be, but I am very grateful that his watchful gaze is always watching over the flock.
When Deuce first arrived, Kate was very put out. She was down right sullen for almost a week and was acting so wierd that I was afraid she was sick or something. Luckily she snapped out of it and the sillyness began…
Can you see the smile on Kate’s face? We have been going for a daily walk out in the pasture – Kate and Deuce running circles, my son on his bike, and I actually walk 🙂
Kate is amazingly tolerant of her puppy antics.
They could run, jump, wrestle, and play all day long.
I think Deuce has been spending a little too much time with her though…
I don’t think I have ever seen a Lab with ‘eye’. ‘Eye’ is the term used for the Border Collie stare.
Deuce is growing up fast…
and is quite the retriever. She blasts into the water and dives for the object if it sinks.
I’m glad they have become friends!
We usually go for a bike ride or a walk at the park several times during the week, but today we went to the dam. It isn’t a very long walk, so we took all the dogs. We usually take Kate and Paisley, but Darby is limited on how far he can walk so he stays home most of the time. He is a little heavy to be carrying back to the car – been there done that 🙂
He loves the dogs!
He started off walking Darby, but Darby is kind of a mama’s boy and doesn’t like to run with Theron.
He quickly traded me for Kate and they were off.
There were quite a few rowing teams out on the water today. We both thought it was really funny when they rowed by singing ‘You’ve got that lovin’ feelin’.
The Willamette river is so pretty in this area.
I love this picture – happy, happy, happy!
We found a little trail that went down to the water and Darby decided the whole trip was worth it.
I’m not sure what she was trying to do, but she would have gotten a big surprise had she jumped over the barrier – it was very DEEP!
It was a great walk and I think we will add this into our walking rotation. On the way back Darby tried talking me into carrying him, but he was a muddy mess, so we just took it slow. Poor guy isn’t a youngster anymore.