Stockdog Savvy – A Way of Life
Dogs are how I met my husband. He came to Boulder
to buy an Australian Shepherd and got a wife too!
In the language of a small child that meant “Pokeydo,” which became the nickname for Poco, the little black tri Aussie my husband had bought. My daughter’s introduction to dogs came through a beautiful, sweet natured Border collie she named “Dally Dog” and an Aussie pup we christened, “Teddy Bear.” Teddy Bear soon became “Badger Bear” for his grumpy temperament.
My daughter is older now and she has a new pup. Her name is “Jesse, the yodeling cowdog.” Jesse is a ranch bred pup. She’s fast, super smart and a strong header (has the instinct to go to the head and turn back livestock). She could easily become a fist full of reins if it weren’t for a firm, but kind hand.
We brought Jess home when she was six weeks old. Six weeks is an ideal time to start training a pup. At that time a pup’s mind is open and ready to learn. It is amazing what you can teach a pup in a few minutes with a tidbit of food. During her seventh week she learned to “Lie down,” “Back out,” “Sit” “Sit pretty,” “Sneaky snake,” “Stand,” and “Stay there.” The “Lie down” (an absolute stop), “Stand,” “Stay there” and the “Back out” will come in handy when she starts working stock.
See Training the Ranch Dog – Early Handling:
See also Starting a Dog on Cows – Part 1: