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Thursday, September 01 2011

     Since Trace just passed his first birthday, his breeder called for an update, so here it is for him and the rest of Trace's fans:

     Trace has grown into a delightful young dog. Most of the time he is quite biddable EXCEPT when he's with livestock, then he goes off into "the zone" and you have to crack him on the head to get his attention. He tends to get sticky and wants to head off the stock to stop their movement, and refuse to call off. Because this resulted in lots of head cracking, I decided to put him up until he matured some more. I worked him on sheep early in the summer and when given a larger number of sheep and more room to work, I noted that he was relaxing and settling down some. Then the brutal summer heat came.

     The drought brought gigantic cracks in the ground which endangered livestock and dogs, so I decided to quit working Trace until it cooled off and the rains came again to fill the cracks. It simply wasn't worth a broken leg on sheep or dogs.

     From what I've seen thus far, Trace likes to go to the head. This is a nice complement to Lily, who likes to heel. 

     He also is bolder in his fetching and is willing to go much farther than Lily to pick up the sheep.  I haven't worked him on cattle at all yet.  Because of the drought, we sold all our calf crop from this year. When the rains return and he is biddable on sheep, then we'll pick up some calves for him to start.

     His people skills are excellent, and he is very friendly with strangers. He gets along well within our pack, but he is a resource guarder, putting a great deal of unnecessary energy into guarding food and humans. It isn't a major problem though. Overall, Trace has been an excellent addition to the farm and I expect that when he matures, he will probably be a more skilled herding dog than my Lily. He just has to learn there is no "I" in the word "teamwork."

     His littermate, Ruby, was quick to jump into the game and is already a big help on the farm. That may well be the difference between boys and girls, as I recall, we discussed how the boys tend to mature slower than the girls. Trace is very keen to work, so I don't doubt that with a little maturity, he'll get with the program too.


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 12:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
If I could read dog minds.....In the bottom picture of your post...... Mom! Could I have some iced goat milk? Please!
Posted by Eric on 09/03/2011 - 04:05 PM
Living the dream, girl. My little pup is 7 months old. She was so tiny when we came to pick up the 4 sheep in May; now she is twice the size, and has an engine that won't quit. I recognize those pretty green eyes that Trace has - Que Sigue has the same look. Let's GO! Oh my gosh. What have I done? I'm either too old for this, or she's going to keep me young. I'll let you know which when I figure it out.
Posted by Sue on 09/05/2011 - 12:26 PM
Actually Lily wants the milk. Trace wants to swing from the goat's ears!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 09/06/2011 - 11:44 AM

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