They say you ruin your first sheepdog . . .
This is Dot, a daughter of Derek Scrimgeour’s Ben. Dot was my first sheepdog back in 2002.
They say you ruin your first sheepdog, and there’s certainly some truth in that. I was much too hard on Dot right from the beginning because I knew nothing about sheepdog training and I’d been told that unless you had a perfect stop on a dog it would never be any good. Since then, I’ve discovered for myself that this is not necessarily so.
These days I prefer to get the dog working reasonably well around the sheep and build its confidence. Then, if the stop hasn’t already developed the way I want it to (and it’s surprising how often the stop comes naturally during training) I’ll apply more pressure to the dog to stop quickly when required.
Dot was a headstrong young dog, but I was so determined to stop her quickly that I believe I damaged her confidence. If I were given an opportunity to train Dot from the beginning again now, things would be very different.
One of the things I really liked about Dot was her driving. She was a natural driving dog, and eventually I sold her to someone in Idaho, USA as a cattle driving dog. I sometimes wonder whether she’s still alive and if so, what she’s doing now.
EDIT: October 2021 – of course Dot will be long gone now but I’d love the opportunity to train her again!
WATCH THIS TRAILER!
Watch Pearl and our other dogs in action on this preview of our first DVD Border Collie Sheepdogs – Off Duty! (You’ll love it.) The DVD is available from our Online DVD Store. The price includes shipping worldwide – and we automatically ship the correct format for your country. More info.