It was so nice to meet you and your family! We had a great time [at the clinic] and we learned so much. Brooke and I have already been practicing things we can do at home when we are not around any stock. I really believe the basics you taught us are so important and the more practice, the better! We’ll keep at it…. with your instruction and our persistence I know we can help our dogs and us to do better with the cattle! Talk to you soon!
Subject: My biggest thanks from Finland!
I wanted to send you this mail as I want to say how thankful I am about your last summers herding training. I was joining to the training in Sinikka’s farm with my Border Collie ‘Nero’ whom I thought was supersensitive and soft. I had lots of problems with him not to be motivated to his work with the sheep and this behavior applied other activities as well, like to agility, obedience etc.
You really opened my eyes during the training and I first time understood what this dog is doing with me (Mr. Needy as you said) so I continued the pressure training and forced this dog to work for me with the techniques I learnt from you. I have now done like you advised since the summer and forced the dog to work for me with all the tasks I give him and not so that he chooses what to do like he previously have done.
Finally today we were attending to our first agility competition ever and right away gained clear result and became second in our class! I am so happy about this as I really thought I should let go with this dog. With the herding I already made that decision, as I thought there might be too much work but with the agility I thought I could still try something and it was worth it.
This now have also learnt me a lot about the fact that if you want to have a working dog you should not treat it like a pet, as I can see immediately that the motivation for the work is going down if I treat this dog too ‘nicely’, or even thank it too eagerly after a good work. So thank you once again and all the best in the future!
Thanks, Mirja Leinikka & Border collie Nero from Finland
Testimony from Chris & Steve in S. Carolina
Owner of ‘Gusto,’ BTM from Dance’s 09 Litter
Wow!! The Dance and Mo kids are 5 months today. How time sure does fly. Linda and Doreen you have bred some wonderful pups. What a joy this pup has been. He makes me laugh everyday with something new. The confidence, drive, athleticism and the pure love of life is a joy. I love watching the wheels turn in his head when he sees or is learning something new. His favorite thing right now is to watch the birds and butterflies. He also loves to herd Alex. When they play together they will stalk one another- so funny. Thanks again for this great litter.
Chris, Ollie, Alex and Gusto
A first for Striker!
Well today I was in charge of a shedding duck demo at a large (1000) dog conformation show. I have eight Indian runner Khaki Campbell crosses on loan. This was not something I was keen on, but got four friends together, one has an ACD, one has a Sheltie and one has a Border collie, so we had a good cross section of dogs.
When I went on Wednesday to get the lay of the land, I almost threw in the towel! Our ring was thirty by forty! And it was “rung” by stanchions and chains, no walls or fencing! Then to top it off it was surrounded by ” meet the breed” booths, so we had great Danes, poodles, vizslas, whippets, spitz, and about ten other breeds all around the ring. There was about six feet between the chains and the booths. This six feet was where the onlookers stood.
So, I was the announcer, and I figured if it all goes to hell in a hand basket I will just cancel. We started off with four ducks in the far corner, and the Sheltie, who is a lovely worker started us off and no problem! The ACD was on a line and I explained some training exercises that the owner was doing. The Border collie was a bit pushy, but kept them in. He is young and had only seen ducks the week prior….Then I put Striker in….I was hesitant let me tell you… dogs, wheel chairs, strollers everywhere. Anyway away we went. Linda I bet you can guess what he did….when he felt he was pushing too tight on the ducks, he self corrected, jumped the chain, worked his way through the crowd, he wove his way through a standard poodle and a staffie, behind a huge wheel chair, through a bunch of young kids sitting on the ground, always checking in on his ducks, and I did not say a word. As he came to balance in the crowd he jumped back over the chain, and balanced the ducks to me, they were at one end I was at the other. He was awesome! I called him off and he came right to me, jumped straight up in the air, gave me a big kiss and sat at my feet! The crowd loved him, he was hilarious and for a minute I thought he was going to go sign autographs! He is never that good! What a ham! There was tons of noise, people in really bad outfits!, :)! Dogs everywhere, and it never phased him once. We are back at it tomorrow.
The other thing I was proud of, is my friend was holding onto him and Billie at the side of the ring while I was announcing, and she said he was just vibrating, but when I took him and set him to work he just settled in. Two years ago he would have blown, even a year ago he would have been amped. Sorry for the long brag, I was just so pleased with him, he really handled himself well.
HOLY MOLY! I have a completely different dog. (and I guess he has a completely different owner) I would have never in a million years dreamed he would be this different after one lesson. Got all the gear at Petco yesterday. Now I don’t have to worry I’m going to lose him every time I take him out to pee!
Carolyn Poulter, 2014