Be Scaredy of- Me, Dawg!
|Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 6:04pm PST |
|"Is this part of the trial timed? If so, won't a dog that goes to get a drink be penalized by the clock?"
Well, yes, the dog is penalized by having less time to get the work done. On the other hand, it's not looked down upon by the judges because the feeling is that a dog who knows enough to take care of itself & not get overheated is a dog with good sense.
"While I don't believe that dogs descended from wolves, the latest research is that they had a common ancestor. Stop feeding a dog and he'll become a predator/scavenger. So focusing on the "weakest link" comes natural to them."
Could the "not feeding" be the difference? These dogs know they're going to be fed and when they're with the cows they know it's to work, not hunt. They know they'll get fed in the evening after the work is done, so it's to their advantage to get busy. The folks that have been in this a while say the old timers will shoot a dog that gets "coyote" with a calf - they see that as a character flaw. Wonder if this type of hard core culling has diminished that instinctual predatory response?
"Even if it's secondary to the herding instinct, sometimes a prey animal will do something that shifts the dog's drive from herding to prey. So I wouldn't be surprised when it happens. Drives aren't pure and a dog can shift from one to another in a heartbeat. Of course, if you had "the perfect dog" it would never happen. lol"
With Catahoulas & cur dogs in general, they are headers, as I said before. They don't drive the cattle - they go stop the beasties that want to break from the herd & put them back where they are supposed to be. The person on horseback then calls the dogs back to behind the horse where they stay until another cow gets hinky & tries to take off. Frequently there is a "lead" dog - a dog in front of the cattle - that the cattle follow where they are supposed to go. Wonder if the rider/handler's control helps minimize the predator response as well - since the dogs are sent when needed, and called back to the horse once their job is done until needed again? Then again, there are some pretty great dogs that see a cow take off, and go on their own to bring it back to the herd....
"I get this but also realize that when the prey drive comes out (obviously a good herding dog will have very few of these moments) it's because the prey animal has done something to evoke it. It's beyond the dog's control. He sees a situation and he goes into prey drive. It's not something he thinks about. Many think that herding is another form of prey drive so it's not much of a leap from one to the other."
Sure, I get you on this. Do you think that the fact that Catahoulas/cur dogs in general are headers (i.e., they don't drive or push the cows) could make a difference?
"With such dogs, and in many other situations that make use of the dog's natural drives for the work, the Ecollar is not used to train the behavior, that's inherent in the dog due to genetics. Rather, there the Ecollar is used mostly as "brakes." To interrupt the dog from focusing on distracting stimuli."
Exactly - you can't really teach the things these dogs need to know - you can maximize their potential, but if they don't have it, you're not going to be able to create it.
"Earlier I wrote, "Where are you located?"
G2 wrote, "Texas - where else?"
You may be surprised to learn, some Texans are, that there is more than one state in the Union. Lol. I asked because I'd be interested in seeing your work. But that's a bit of a haul from Los Angeles, the land of fruits and nuts."
Edited by author Tue Dec 4, '12 6:20pm PST