I realized now, after morning chores, how ambitious my thinking was by training not one but two cattle dogs at the same time! Definitely some young dog antics going on! I have been working with Bullet for about six weeks now consistently. She has graduated off the leash to heeling. She stays pretty close and is really starting to know her job. She does a better job handling the cows than she does the horses. She wants to treat them the same, and I am teaching her that’s just not how we do it here. We must be quiet and courteous around the horses. She does pretty good for the most part, but still hunts heels when I’m not watching her all the time. She obeys with a stern call off when I catch her though. Otherwise I am very pleased with her. She tries so hard, and is always seeking my affection. She would work purely for the love scratches!
Blitz is definitely more pup than adult! He is on lead training. Which to me means learning basic commands sit, stay, down, come to, come by, etc. He will not graduate to off lead like Bullet until he has mastered these skills. So basically he is tethered to me, learning. I am confident within six months he will move on to off leash training. Bullet is a year older than Blitz and seemed to move along much quicker than he is so far. But I chalk that up to age difference and, quite frankly I don’t think much was expected of Blitz in his earlier life. Blitz is very interested in the horses, but has so far respected them. I guess he hasn’t had much of a choice being on lead though!
We start out by having a good run. I can’t expect a dog to pay attention well when they have been sleeping in the kennel all night and have energy to burn off!
They are fun to watch. They chase, run, tumble, and then coming running at break neck speeds back to me. They just want a few pats and then they are off again on swift legs.
Then we gather grain and feed the cows. The dogs are supposed to keep the cows back away from the feed bunks while I pour grain. Bullet is doing a great job with this! Blitz just watches, but he is learning from her.
Then we go gather the grain for the horses and feed and water them. With the horses I want the dogs to be much quieter and more watchful. I don’t want them holding stock off like they do the cows. I put Bullet by the gate in a down stay and only call her out if the horses get to squabbling nearby about grain. Then She gets thier attention and moves the situation so it isn’t by me. All it would take to kill a person would be a flying hoof making contact in the right spot. So with the horses I want a calmer attitude from the dogs. Bullet is starting to get this, but I know its hard for her to switch gears from being dominant with the cows, to a softer dominance with the horses. But she’s getting it! Blitz goes in with me and watches. I can tell he is taking notes and he really watches the horses.
After horse chores I let them have another good run followed up by lots of pets and love scratches. Training two young dogs at once is a challenge, but I feel confident about them both. I love them both like family, and can’t imagine the HK Bar without them.
Until next time!