Ann over at Suntrip Samoyeds & 2 Border Collies asked some questions on her blog. Her questions are for handlers who trial, who work home flocks, who work commercial flocks.
Ann wants to know:
What is your perfect dog?
Ann wants to know:
What is your perfect dog?
- Do you like a dog that is really on the muscle?
I think I am with the crowd here when I say I HATE THAT EXPRESSION. If I were to say Brynn was "on the muscle" to me it means she is in charge and not listening to a damn thing I say, scream, blow, spit, flail or sputter. Not unlike my teenage son.
- Do you like a dog that needs a steady stream of whistles?
I have no idea. The only experience I have with a dog on whistles is Brynn. She listens to only half of the whistles I blow, mostly because she is "on the muscle' and flipping me the proverbial middle claw.
- Are you a maximal or minimal whistler?
Maximal dysfunctional. Minimally understood.
- Do you like a natural dog that feels the sheep and just needs a little direction here and there?
That would be my dream. Actually Brynn has fantastic feel and the older she gets, and more experience we have together the better it is getting. I just hope one day I will stop undermining her feel.
- Do you like a dog that prefers certain type of sheep?
Nope, I want my dog to be able to rate her sheep regardless of type and manage them adequately. - which is why I am so thankful to have a wide variety of sheep to work. We have sheep ranging from very light to down right cantankerous, my dogs should be able to handle them all. I enjoy mixing them up and creating different combinations which effects the flight zone/sheep bubble. It makes the dogs think and helps me figure things out too.
- Do you like a dog that wants to partner up and be a really good team player?
Brynn partners up with me all the time, it is me that drops the ball in that relationship. Every time I step through the gate with Brynn she is partnering with me - I project my emotions, on any given day onto her and it all goes to hell. She is consistent, I am the weak link.
- Do you like a dog that really knows what s/he wants and you, as a handler really has to manage?
I think that type of dog would overwhelm me at this stage in learning. Unfortunately that describes Beth pretty well. She wants what she wants...and if I want something contrary to her desires, she quits, or just bites the shit out of the sheep, runs them into fences then hides under the car.
- Do you want push?
Yep, plenty. I would rather have push that I can pull back, than not have enough when it is required. Brynn has push, Beth has none. If I have Beth move the sheep out of the night pasture she does not have the strength required to keep moving them down the alley when they decide to turn around and go back the other way...unfortunately I get trampled, or my feet tangled in the electric fence which results in screaming, swearing and Beth once again hiding under the car.
- Do you want a good listener?
I have always wanted a good listener. But my husband is a typical man, born deaf to anything uttered by a female. My children have congenital maternal listening defects. Ideally at least my dog should listen to me, or there is no purpose in living.
- Do you want try? (Not tri.)
Brynn is all try. Beth is try when she feels like it, then hides under the car. Try is much better than no try.
- Do you like a dog who gets the job done, no matter the sheep, but it’s a big job to get that dog listening?
I would prefer that type of dog over one who is a petulant brat that hides under the car when you so much as say her name loudly.
- Do you want it all?
I only want to be able to fit into my skinny jeans one day. That is my dream.
- How does your style as a handler select the style of dog you like?
I dont know yet. My handling is dominated by advanced schizophrenic bi-postal directional disorder. The only real experience I have is with Brynn, Beth and Bonnie (who was not destined to work anything other than the food bowl). Bea is just beginning. Bea is full of try, soft dog who wants nothing more than to please, a correction will go far with her - as opposed to Brynn who will take a correction, think about it then decide if she needed to listen to me or not. Beth, well lets just say I am not happy with Beth right now - she had a reason to hide under the car and I have the bruises & residual electrical burns to show for it.