Picking the minds of open handlers

I have a few Open-level handlers that I occasionally bounce ideas off (via e-mail).  They usually give me good food for thought.  I recently wrote one about Cian’s reluctance to lie down.  She said if I made it clear to the dog that I wanted him to lie down, that he would.  She said it was my fault that he was not lying down.


I forwarded the e-mail to a friend of mine who has a dog sired by Cian’s sire and she said that her dog refuses to lie down as well.  That she is loath to put the amount of pressure she has to on her dog in order to make her lie down.  I got the same feeling from Cian: that I could chase him around the World in an effort to make him lie down, but he still wouldn’t.


Both Cian and her dog are from imported dogs: dogs bred to work in the hills.  If you send a dog out to pick up sheep that are miles away, do you necessarily need a lie down?  Or do you rely on the dog to know how to read stock so that they back off or push, as needed.  They naturally have a good feel for their stock.

Both Cian and her dog are bringing sheep back on the fetch like freight trains.  Her dog runs stock up over her; Cian does not.  When the stock get to me, he stops.

I have made it clear to him that he does not come out of his crate, kennel or the house until I release him.  He’s also learned not to crowd me in the mud room in his frantic attempt to get out (to run).  This dog loves to run.  He’s not quite as manic about it as he was when I first got him though.  I can now stand three to four feet away from the door of the crate and he waits until I release him.  Sometimes he breaks, in which case, he gets put back in the crate to try again.  He’s learning …

Last night when I got home one of the goats had his head stuck in one of the cattle panels that go around my garden.  I sent Gel in first to see if the goat would get its head out if Gel came in.  He didn’t so I had to go in to get him out.  Cian started to do laps around the ElectroNet.  I corrected him for doing that and he stopped.  Good boy.  I didn’t work them last night, just took them for a run on the ATV.

They started cutting the back fields yesterday.  Not the field I rent, but the one adjoining it.  Yea!  Wally is coming out tonight with Kessie so we’ll go out there with his truck, the dogs and my ATV and work dogs until it gets dark.  I haven’t stretched Gel out in a big out run in a long time so it will be cool to see it.  Then I’ll get everything ready to go to Red Creek tomorrow.  It will be an early morning.  I’ll pick Wally up at 5 AM so we’ll get there in time for the handlers meeting.

It’s 7:00 AM and only 45 degrees. B-r-r-r-r-r-r, but better than sweating, I suppose.