Having Tanner as a wee pup and working him now has been a treat, and so different than BlackJack it causes me to wonder how they are brothers. Then again the two of them started out very differently their first time on sheep too.
BlackJack went right to doing something with the sheep, and ended up in the middle of the little group before he got around them. Tanner was hesitant and not really ready to start. A ewe read him right away and gave him a bit of trouble.
Today Tanner is well ahead of BlackJack in how he handles himself and thus the stock. He shows a lot more eye as well. Jack is all guts but no finesse. He’ll come along but he is going to be a longer term project.
When I put pups on the ground with sheep the first few times, I do very little to influence what goes on. I’m there to keep them as safe as I can but otherwise want to see them present what they have, I want to see their natural instinct. Most will cause motion to start, some will hold sheep on a fence and control motion, some will charge up the middle, some will look the other way or tip toe around. Any and all starts are available with puppies. When they turn on, it can look like chaos has ensued. There are no commands early in the game as there is no need.
|showing stalking behavior as wee pup|
As we progress in training I put the commands to what the pup is doing as they’re doing the action. So they learn the commands from me, over time, and through repetition. There are many ways to teach though and others will have their tried and true methods as well. For me I like it be pretty straightforward and non - complex. Life is full of enough complexities as it is.
|file photo, coming around on livestock|