January 2002


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Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>
Linda Rorem <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 22 Jan 2002 01:46:36 EST
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Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>
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Hazelanne's comments certainly accord with my experience.  Before I got into
herding, I put a UD on a strong-minded Sheltie and a CDX on a Collie (she was
#3 ranked Collie in obedience the year I showed her).  I've also worked with
Shepherds. It was interesting working with their individual tendencies.  The
Collie would accept firmness that was fair, and high expectations. but *not*
nagging or drill.   (Fortunately I'm too lazy myself to drill much.)  And she
liked to know you were just thrilled to death with what she had done,
although she wouldn't beg you for that approval.  I taught her retrieve by
starting with taping one of those pencil-shaped rawhide chew sticks to the
crossbar of her dumbell.  Both she and the Sheltie could also "trade" with me
-- if they would bring me the dumbell, leash, bowl whatever I asked for, they
would get a treat.  (I tend to take my socks off when I'm sitting at a table
or desk so they were handy for retrieving socks!)  The Sheltie didn't mind
drill but wouldn't allow you to nag him -- he expected respect, and if he
didn't think he was getting it, he would just take his bat and ball and go
home.  Not intimidated, just would stop.  Many Shelties, though, if they are
confused or uncertain, will freeze up rather than do the "wrong" thing.
These tendencies show up in herding training as well.  The average Sheltie is
more like the average Border Collie in that sensitive, very biddable nature,
it is just that the working drive in a Border Collie can be so high they'll
put up with just about anything to get to herd, whereas the Shelties can be
more easily inhibited.  But with herding, too, the Collies I worked with
don't like anything like drill.  They like practical chores and being allowed
to get on with the job without a lot of direction of the type that BC's will
put up with.

Linda R.
Pacifica, C