Saturday, February 27, 2010

Raising littermates...what GREAT insight...

I never realized just how much insight keeping littermates would give me. NO I don't think it is a great idea, it has been a pain in the A$$. But to see how they turn out as far as working style and how they train up in both herding and agility...it is really neat to see them grow up.

Grow UP?? Who said we have to grow up!?!?

Ain't possible man...I am 11.5" tall...not gonna happen...ever...

PHYSICALLY speaking, Even takes after her dam's side and Lynn takes after her sire's side. And it is very interesting to see, in THIS case anyway, that they are following for the most part, what parents they resemble physically. Obviously as far as working, we are just getting into that part.

Even, from what I have seen of her first 13.5 months alive, definitely takes after her mother...in just about every, single, way. Temperament (Type A), the way she learns things, etc. She was "on" from the time she was a baby and has never looked back :) What you see is what you get...no secrets here :)
Lynn seems to be falling, not directly with her sire, but she IS following almost footprint by footprint in her sister (7/8 sister really) Klink. Which has been a very fascinating experience to see. Klink was later maturing, same with Lynn. Klink was the perfect puppy, same with Lynn. And now another facet has happened. Turning ON.

If you have never had the pleasure of seeing a border collie turn onto stock for the first time, you have missed out, and I HIGHLY suggest you put it on your bucket list :) It is an amazing experience, that with every dog I have, always takes my breath away. You will know it when you see it and the dog DOES change...they realize what they are meant to do...and they just do it. The day I don't appreciate this is the day I need to not own a Border Collie.

Normally I will put my pups on stock about once a month when they are old enough to cover the sheep. This #1 gives me a chance to see that light bulb turn on and #2 shows me the maturity level of the pup. Which is very important to me so I can figure out the best way to raise them. I never realized how important that was until this week.

Being that the pups were "coming of age" during the LOVELY Minnesota winter, with 2 feet of snow on the ground and horrid temperatures...this was missing with the girls experience. So, I tried to use just plain training (agility, tricks, life skills) to gauge the girls and their maturity levels. And really...I think how they are on stock is a MUCH better way to see this...from personal experience anyway.Lynn was not turned ON...she was tugging, and playing agility, but she did not have that NEED that Border Collies have, that OCD. She did her job, and was a good little girl, but...she wasn't giving me 100%...Until this week. After having another go on sheep this week, I saw a COMPLETELY different dog in Lynn. She was SUPER KEEN, didn't give a crap about ANY corrections and with each day after this she has gotten more and more intense. And she doesn't care...about ANYTHING...other than working. Any work will do.

This is EXACTLY like Klink--one day she was the perfect pup, demo dog in fact in classes, stayed in a down stay while other dogs ran and was PICTURE PERFECT...the next day I had a screaming, uncontrollable mess...and Lynn is acting just like Klink did, she is overwhelmed, overstimulated and not able to think. Case in point today, we worked agility...she barked, spun and was so eager to work she couldn't think straight.

With Klink, all our foundation work that we did as a young dog went out the window for awhile. Klink didn't know how to deal with all the drive that she suddenly had and it took awhile for me to get her to where she was able to deal with it. And I saw all of this on stock with Klink as well...and of course in agility (if anyone saw her early years....YEAH :)...but stockwork helped her work through this stage. I am sure Lynn would have turned on earlier also, if I had put her on sheep sometime this winter...oh well. And that is where we are Lynn...I have a 13.5 month old dog that has to learn to deal with being keen...and I am loving this :)

So...we will be going back to Foundation work, sits, downs, stays, impulse control. Working on teaching her how to do all her training she ONCE knew...in this new level of drive she now has. I did it with Klink...so we will move forward from there. It was very surprising seeing this new Lynn...very different from her entire existence so far. Klink was the same way...DRASTIC change when she turned on. It is so amazing to see how these dogs develop... HAHA Lynn!! You're riding the short bus!!!

On other notes...we have lambs coming :) In about 2 weeks they should start lambing :) I LOVE lambing...I LOVE lambs and I love working the dogs on ewes and lambs :) I am sure Klink and Zip will be rusty when I need them at first, but they will pick it back up quickly.

Zip is ready...bring on the sheep!

I can handle lambing without ANY of those dogs...Even Steven, the only one you need. Got it?
You're not taking me seriously are you?
Totally random picture of Gator...just because he is perty :)

We are looking at adding a few new ewes to the flock this next year...looking for a hardy breed, NO hair sheep (they don't sell worth anything up here)...would like some purebred Cheviots maybe...but we will see.
Hey...human...HINT HINT...SHEEP
Zip "They THINK they know what they are doing...whatever."
Spring is closing in, soon there will be GREEN grass (do I remember what that looks like!?!?) and baby lambs playing, lots of stockwork, outdoor agility, and and and...
Yeah whatever...do you not SEE the 2+ feet of snow EVERYWHERE??
Yeah...seriously, I haven't put four feet on the ground since OCTOBER...
It's hard to look noble when your A$$ is tucked up under you because your freezing to death...
Lets say positive thoughts for spring...and a few positive thoughts for me to make strides with NEW SPAZ Lynn :) Ahh....life is good :)

3 comments:

Sare said...

You and Lynn will be fine. You know what to do and you'll do it. I must admit I can't wait for your lambs either. Love lamb pictures....(hint, hint).

Debra Kay said...

You are living one of my dreams (well several) but raising siblings has been one for awhile now. I have two half siblings (Moon and Molly) 6 months apart, and Solo is a nephew and 7/8 sibling of another friends dog-but not the same not the same not the same as having siblings in the same house.

As it turned out, Moon and Molly each are carbon copies of their Moms. Moon was born keen and is suffering burn out at the moment-Molly just turned on at around a year.

There is nothing like a border collie that suddenly locks in on something-shivers.

achieve1dream said...

Yay Lynn!!!!

Oh and I'm on kid watch so I know how you feel. We have six pregnant does and they are getting soooo close.