Back to the Kelpies - Gibson
So what’s in store for his training? Nothing too serious. What I now seek most of all in working dogs is a sense of calm and an ability to think. The reason I seek that is because I have created the opposite enough times and it hasn’t worked well for me. Cajun still has a bit of this lack of calm in him although we are starting to gel much better now.
So a sense of calm coupled with strong desire to work is what I hope to instil in pups or young dogs. I’ve learned this is not something that is trained with any formal method. Rather it is a way of being with animals. My dogs live with me, so opportunities for being this way happen on a daily basis, throughout daily living around the ranch. It’s is one of the many hidden merits of dogs. I would not be able to impress any sense of calm thinking without feeling it first myself. And the few, past, anxiety ridden dogs I have trained taught me to feel for it; to ask for a better way.
On the livestock end, I’ve taken Gibbs out onto sheep a few times. On big groups and small. Each time was very loose, informal and brief.
All I really wanted was a sense of what aspects he brings to the table. Gibbs isn’t ready for more. We are not under any tight timeline, nor do I have a schedule for starting him. It’s more about where the dog is at than it is about how old he is. It might be that we work a few minutes that first day and I’ll feel excited about starting into training and then the next day the pup isn’t in the same place. So I take that for what it’s worth. Part of the excuse for having a couple youngsters while I still have my experienced dogs is so that there is no self imposed timeline - no hurry. :)