Saturday, February 6, 2010

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I know Even and Lynn are sisters :) I helped bring them into the world---rubbing them with my hands to try to get them to scream when Zip had her c-section and I KNOW they both are spawns of satan (aka Zip)...I can attest to that and so will Andy...

Both are very outgoing with people, great in new places and don't really care about much as far as novel things in life. They are both very drivey and a lot of fun to train :) Their zest for life is contagious!
And yet these two puppies are VERY different to train :)
I have to mentally change gears between the two of them and it can be difficult at times. So much I make a point to never train them back to back! I always put a dog (or in my case--4) in between them. It lets me change into a different frame of mind.

Even is in the process of having an "off switch" installed :) Her mother Zip had to have that same off switch installed and I am finding Even is needing the same kind of training.

Lynn has an AWESOME off switch :) She is like Klink---who is a TOTAL SLOTH when not working. No I am not kidding. Klink is the LAZIEST border collie ever, when not working :) She is always sleeping, laying around and just RELAXIN'...granted she can go from zero to 100 in a nanosecond...but when she is OFF, she is, like, dead to the world...same with Lynn...it ROCKS :)

I can't have dogs without off switches...Zip, Gator and Even have had installations. Klink, Lynn, Crackers, and Ace came with them :)

Lynn is the kind of dog that if you train something, you better train it right the first time. As she is going to perform it PERFECTLY...and well, if you train it half-assed? Well she will perform it PERFECTLY...half-assed :) You cannot be a lumper with Lynn...she needs things in little doses or she will get analysis paralysis at all the info you are throwing at her. She has forced me to really see the "smallest change/slightest try"...and to just relax and not over analyze myself. When she is understanding what is asked of her--THEN the speed comes...she is a very honest little dog. Reminds me of my Gator boy in that regard--completely honest...well MOST of the time (I like a LITTLE naughty now and then!). I adore her and she is the dog that is always by my side :) Now that she is happy with the running dogwalk...I am starting to get some biting and some over-stimulation issues...Overdrive :) I'll take it!

And then there is Even---Even DOES...yep. She is the queen of DOES. She lumps things together, misses the entire point and runs through the steps like a loose freight train. Yet, the dog can generalize ANYTHING. Got it mom. But you have to get through the SPAZ to get things accomplished :) Patience, and being VERY SPECIFIC on what I want. The ability to laugh and react fast enough is handy...and I know once I teach her something...she will not do it honestly, but will be adding her own "additions" to all behaviors :) I will have to keep her honest.

Even is JUST like her mother...and Lynn is well...I guess more like sister Klink. But not completely. She doesn't have Klink's HUGE MOUTH :) She is more like an older version of Zip...that old soul type.

So who do I like more...people ask that ALL THE TIME. I know it sounds corney...but I really enjoy them both so very much.

A friend asked me to do a video of some of the things I am doing with the girls...just jumping stuff and a bit of table work. Both girls growth plates are closed so I have begun working jumping with Lynn and she is doing higher jumps very well :) She is VERY efficient and has a great ability so far :) Even is still doing handling on the ground and I hope we can raise some after her massage appointment tomorrow :)

Lynn works best if I mark good things with the clicker...if I try too much physical tugging or interaction (I like to rough my dogs around when I tug with them...playfully of course!)...she will get over the top and get bitey and herdy...so we are working on QUIET and calm...and I am slowly interseeding my loudness and intensity...very much like Klink was starting out :)

Even doesn't care what I do, as long as the TOY IS THERE :) She likes being roughed up and tugs great, the higher she gets in drive level...the more focused she gets...very much like Zip

As far as on stock...they are VERY similar in their working style and lack of caring about correction (hehe)...so it will be interesting this spring when the ewes are done lambing...if they are still similar :)

I wondered about keeping littermates...but I am so grateful for it. I get the best of both worlds :)

5 comments:

Debra Kay said...

You have described my Moon and Molly. They are half siblings, six months apart, and couldn't be more different if they'd be breed a world apart from each other.

Moon is OCD-he doesn't like repetition, but hey, he'll repeat repeat repeat repeat......If he gets it, he gets it. Don't train it for weeks at a time-go back-he's got it still. First time. Every time. He is a machine.

Molly, in part because I believe her brother is so fast-appears slow in contrast. It takes her longer to get there-we have to work up to it-and when she finally does get it she's very pleased with herself. Brother Moon is has already zoomed to the next task, no time to be pleased...emotion? No time for that.

Nephew Solo is a clown. He will do whatever you ask, but he's going to do it with a big goofy grin on his face. If he accidently gets serious, he will stop mid task and laugh at his own serious self.

I love my dogs.

Nancy said...

Loretta,
The girls both look fantastic in both their dogwalk performance and their jumps. One of the coolest thing about this video is that you can see the great connection you have with both girls even though they both work very differently. I personally love working different types of dogs. It makes us much better trainers and as you know the best instructor out there is our own dogs.

fulltiltbcs said...

Debra Kay--definetly Moon and Molly sound like my girls! :)

Thanks Nancy...it is fun figuring them out and it is challenging from a training standpoint. They are teaching me a lot :)

Sare said...

What do you do to encourage the off switch when they don't come with one?

fulltiltbcs said...

Here you go Sarah! I wrote about this awhile back :)

http://fulltiltbordercollies.blogspot.com/2009/04/off-switchesdo-you-want-one.html