Archive for September, 2013

Pasture communing with the Triune this cool Sun. AM. Checking the fall calving cows. Pole dancing here is a few laps around a tree with Snorty Breeches. Break dancing is a ballet move across the ditches and breaks.
~ Tammy & the Cowdogs

Nothing can outrun or bluff them. I’ll position them away from a cow with a new calf so that I can get closer to inspect things. No one will move until I ask. NOTE – no e-collars necessary!

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Have you ever wondered how you ended up being right-handed or left-handed?  Few of us can remember back to how we made the choice of using our right or left hand as our dominant or preferred hand to use.  Have you ever had a young horse easily take to the right lead and just not want to do the left lead as easily?  Or if you are on the right lead and the horse decides to switch on its own to the left lead or vice versa?  Well, you will more than likely notice that cowdogs are the same way.  Some cowdogs will easily go left/counter-clockwise/away to me very easily and resist switching to go right/clockwise/come by.  Or the cowdog will easily go right/clockwise/come by and just not want to switch and go left/counter-clockwise/away to me.  The best thing you as a teacher can do is, “Be patient.”  Do not give the cowdog the “three strikes and you are gonna get it” treatment.  Always remember, if you begin to shout at your pup or cowdog you need to ask yourself, “Just how loud am I willing to make myself go?”  Shouting, swatting at, hitting, leaping, electrically stimulating your cowdog…those should all be left out of the training equation.  If you can, make yourself learn to be even keeled in your approach.  I work with a lot of emotionally, physically and mentally massaged dogs and it takes them a long time to acquire a level of comfort or trust when they have resisted being trained “in a certain way” or “by force”.  Just remember, when you were younger it sometimes took you awhile to catch on.  You might have been hard-headed, stubborn or an artist at working your parents to give you what you wanted.  Cowdogs can be the same.  Genetics can – and generally do – play a major role in your pup or cowdog’s learning abilities. Keep your training frustrations under control.  Your pup or cowdog will read you like a book and you may work against yourself by what your pup or cowdog is reading into the training situation.  Keep your sessions short in the beginning.  If you are not used to running your training equipment and your pup or cowdog when teaching directions then you need to keep the training session short for yourself too.  When frustration begins then you need to end the schooling session.  It will make for a more harmonious outcome for you, the pup or cowdog.  Work towards positive progress for both parties.

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