The Value of a Good Dog

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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,226
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We used to have one on the farm called Ben, he wouldn't work for father (mostly cos he was a cantankerous old knacker) but worked well for mother.
At lambing time Ben was like a stand in diagnostic tool for the lambing ewe's a d often wouldnt walk past a ewe. When mother had a better look at the ewe there was something wrong that needed adressing.

There wasn't much that mother missed but if she did Ben kept her right.

Oh and Border Collie, obviously.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,653
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Florida
No link showing for me S M
Sorry. I linked a video off Facebook. It might not share here well (although I can see it and access it on here) I wish there was a YouTube video but there isn’t. The dog is working alone in an enclosed area with a rather hostile steer and a few less hostile ones.
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,176
462
Canada
Our border collie walks and looks at things just like that. She's really growing into herself now. Much more affable round the house than she has been. I just walk her miles and throw her a frisbee, and apart from sit and stay and come back here, I can't get her to do much. She just trots alongside and breaks off to investigate things as she sees fit. The kids, on the other hand, take her to gym classes and can get her to do handstands whilst balancing a Turbot on her nose and blowing the Star Wars theme on a harmonica. (It is actually pretty impressive to see)

But, the other day, I was out in the park and I noticed she was chasing one particular dog that all the others had been running around after. She brought that dog to me, and all the others followed. So, I got a little insight into sheepdog tactics. I was surrounded by easily fifteen dogs, and she just trotted round making sure that everything was as she thought it should be. Also, she saw off this pretty aggressive sort of Sitka/Husky cross thing. Burly bugger all full of itself and its right to everything. At first our girl just rolled over. But then I think she must have got the measure of him and she stared him down. Looked exactly like that cattle dog in Santaman's video did.
 

petrochemicals

Full Member
Jul 30, 2012
3,540
217
westmidlands
Its got its work cut out on its own really, not barking either, the cattle are a bit argumentative, but i suppose its just training it really. Get 2 or more of them and the cattle cannot watch both they usually cut and run, especially if the dogs give them a bit of a nip, slightly different to sheep dogs. Its accomplices are watching on obediently from the cable drums too.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,416
612
Lancashire
Is it true you rarely very dogs that are good at herding sheep and herding cattle? I've heard it said you never train a dog to be both that easily. I got that from part time farmers but they are friends with a highly respected breeder and trainer of sheep and cattle dogs (he once held the record for the highest price in auction for a sheepdog in the UK, it went to NZ in the end through international phone bid apparently). Might be true or not I'm curious.
 

Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
580
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UK
I have two collies. Both working from working stock. When the bitch was younger I did work her a bit on sheep, moving them from field to field for the farmer. She is a pocket rocket and in her youth was a good driver of sheep. Send her in amongst them and she'd bully the ram out no problem. I trained her in the basics but the instinct was deep in her and she knew how to handle them. Alas, the years have taken toll on the old girl. She's over 14 now (not sure of exact age, I took her off a heavy handed man when she was 'about 1 year old'). She's half blind, hard of hearing (or, being a collie just decided I'm not that important to listen to after all...) and her hips and muscle mass is wasting. But we keep her ticking, a good diet and gentle exercise. Every year since years ago we've said 'this'll be her last year' but she makes it through every time!

My other collie is a beast of a dog. 20kg of muscle and a bundle of energy. He's good with live stock but not good at greeting other dogs. My fault for not socialising him properly as a pup. But I can stop him on a sixpence at 200 yards and he's a joy to have about the house and out and about. His heel work is very very good so I entered him into competition at six months old and he won every class hands down. He's 5 now. I don't compete with him anymore because well..... I don't like the atmosphere at venues. But I do keep him ticking over doing control work. For his size he's very gentle with the kids. He's definitely the 'character' in the house!

I love collies. They're my favorite of all dogs.

Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,416
612
Lancashire
There's plenty if collies round here. Family dogs and not working. Very ball focused. No interest in other dogs at all in most. Seem naturally controllable to me. Fast indeed.

Watching my border terrier chase after one chasing after a ball often shows their speed and my terrier really isn't a slouch despite her size. Most large dogs she's a match but not collies.

Although she's got a good way at telling other dogs off and will not stand for being bossed around by any dog. Terrier trait I guess. Got a good ragging style too. Killed my son's monster feet slippers before he wore them. Shake until dead / stuffing coming out. Complete with the throwing into the air she catching trick.

Imho watching a dog bred for a specific task carry out three actions of that task instinctively is very satisfying.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,176
462
Canada
To the collie owners here ... do your dogs have 'the look'? That change in expression to complete focus that makes them look like they have been taken over by some alien intelligence. It is like an unblinking and anticipatory stare, suggesting oceanic patience .. but not aggressive or challenging. Head slightly down, and physically poised for rapid movement