Often a farmer just wants a dog to drive or push from behind. This is a good skill to have in a dog as often you may need a dog at the tail of a mob.
The problem is when do you teach a dog to drive? Often the case is the person with the young pup will call the dog “in behind” every time the dog leaves the tail. The problem with this is that a “heading dog” will work opposite of the mob to the handler, therefore it ‘s instinct is willing it to get to the other side of the mob.
Here lies the problem, every time the young dog is called back or behind the dog losses some of its instinct / drive / will or desire to get to the head. Before long the dog won’t leave the vehicle / handler or tail of the mob.
This is all well until the dog is asked to cast out around stock. The dog after being taught or reprimanded to come behind won’t leave the handler, in my view you only have half a dog.
So when do you teach a dog to drive?
Driving should be taught only once you dog is mature and you can cast the dog confidently. You should be able to move your dog clockwise and anti clockwise while on the tail, which is the same for casting.
Once the dog has been taught to drive don’t over do it, as this will slowly have the same effect as with the young pup ( no desire to head). Allow the dog to use both of its skills, heading and driving.
Another point when driving stock is to make sure the dog or dogs when moving across the tail they go around / behind the vehicle, bike or horse. This means you have control and can make sure a dog doesn’t over work weak or young stock. Also you can distance yourself from the mob which takes the pressure off the stock, as the dogs have to travel a greater distance when moving across to the other side of the mob.
As your dogs mature you can place dogs on either side of the mob, up the sides and even in the lead.
If you have or are given a dog that is happy to drive stock but won’t leave your side to head or cast around stock you may have to go back to basics. This may be putting a few sheep in a small yard, using a plastic garden rake or poly bag to move the dog away from you. If the dog shows signs of chasing or going around the sheep let it be, slowly the dog will get used to working stock away from the handler and you will have a more useful dog.
Boanong Cara is showing her natural ability to sit / lay or otherwise known as clap. Cara has never been taught to sit at the point of balance, it is something that she did on her own accord when shown stock early on in life. Some handlers believe that dogs that clap aren’t as good as a dog that will ‘stop or stay’ while standing, because dogs can react quicker while standing.
This photo was taken while handling cows with calves at foot. Cara generally gets to the point were she needs to be and then may clap, this may occur when an animal confronts her. When this happens she will wait until the animal has moved off of her pressure or she may need to use some force to make the beast respond.
Beaumaris Kelpies recently sponsored our local netball netball team with training tops for their pre-season.
The girls looked fantastic and we are looking forward to a few wins this season!
We also sponsor the Padthaway Football Club who are currently in the top four and are loooking forward to a finals berth!
GO THE LIONS!
***** Boanong Duke x Beaumaris Jess (Coutta x Gemma) started pups will be available mid June/July. Born 10/2/2012 Male and female black/tan. *****
***** Gemma (Karrawarra Rove/Sherwood Marg) is expecting pups end of May. Joined to Duke (Boanong Buster x Karrawarra Ding IV). Price $600 plus GST. $150 deposit. *****
Hi all! Sorry we have been off-line for a while due to technological issues. We look forward to updating you all with our latest news and more informative blogs in the not so distant future!
Thanks for your continuing support.
Dave and Kirilie
Today I had an interesting discussion about a dog’s age and it’s maturity with a friend. He told me about a theory that was passed on to him. This is a general theory as there is always exemptions but I think it is very pratical to keep in mind.
A 1 year old dog is like a 12 year old in human terms, then a 2 year old dog is similar to a 24 year old human. For every year after that add on 4 years eg a 3 year old dog is 28.
I think this is a good theory to keep in mind when you have a young dog, as it put things in perspective why it is important to take training gradually and not to expect a young dog to have the maturity / stamina of a much older dog.
I personally don’t give a dog under 12 months a big work load, generally short sessions of work of say 5 / 10 minutes then a rest. This may be taking stock through a gate or yarding up. As the dog matures / gains confidence and experience this is increased.
It’s a lot better to have a dog that is keen than a dog that has lost it’s interest because it has been pushed too hard too early.
A common myth within the cattle industry is that dogs shouldn’t be used on cattle or that dogs are only used upon (wild) cattle.
This problem has come about through people using “thug”/biting/rough dogs that don’t give relief when stock move away from them. By not giving relief stock become confused or upset and agitated. Before too long they become harder to handle.
At Beaumaris Kelpies we aim to breed a dog that has strength to educate/work cattle but it must also use it’s intelligence to know when to give relief. This has a calming effect upon the mob which are therefore easier to handle and are willing to stay as a mob.
A dog should be able to control it’s stock by using it’s eye to gain dominance (controlling the mind) while keeping the stock calm while having good movement or flow.
A dog with no eye may use excessive bark and movement which will stir stock up. On the other side a dog with too much eye (sticky eye) may look impressive but it’s ability to shift stubborn stock can leave it wanting at times. I try to aim at Beaumaris Kelpies to breed dogs that show eye on a few stock while little eye when working larger mobs.
It is so important that a dog has sound temperament which allows it to be a cool type in all situations.
This makes a dog easy to handle whether at work, training or while tied up.
At Beaumaris Kelpies temperament is crucial in the selection process when considering joinings.
On the 11th of January we had the pleasure of hosting James Dudley (and his nephew Jhi) from Boanong Kelpies at Deniliquin.
It was a fantastic opportunity for Dave to share ideas with James and gain knowledge from his years of experience.
We hope James will visit us again and a trip to Boanong Kelpies is on Dave’s wish list!