Hello everybody :)

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11 years 3 months ago #26678 by Motherduck
Hi Well where to start, I'm not actually a lifestyler as such, I am a herd manager on a small farm. But I am always looking for more ways to learn things. I love my job and my cows. I am also about to pick up my first working dog pup in acouple of weeks so would love to chat to others who have trained/ worked with dogs. :D

Everyday you wake up is a great day [:)]

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11 years 3 months ago #370235 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello everybody :)
Hi Motherduck, welcome.

If you've not had a working dog before, what has made you decide to get one? I've had several conversations lately about dogs and stock and people's assumptions about the need for dogs for mustering purposes. I've also met some extremely quiet herds of cattle where dogs aren't ever used, which has made me give even more thought to why people choose to have them with cattle.

Cow discussions are my favourite!

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11 years 3 months ago #370276 by Motherduck
Replied by Motherduck on topic Hello everybody :)
hi Ruth

Well to tell you the truth, he is more for compainship while I'm working rather than exclusively a working dog. He will help to get the cows in of course but it's more for me than the cows. As I spend long hours working by myself around the farm, plus he will be able to play/ knock around with the kids. We already have a dog on farm to help with the cows and he is wonderful with them, nice and gentle. Cows are calm and not rushed at all so it seems to be a win win situation. I don't believe in rushing cows or pushing them hard, the kinder you treat them the better they are. I am slowly getting them used to cuddles lol.

There is a big move away from using dogs on Dairy cows but I believe that if they are trained properly than it is not a problem. As long as the dogs can move the cows without stress :)

Everyday you wake up is a great day [:)]

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11 years 3 months ago #370357 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello everybody :)
To deal with cattle, a dog is better if he is "strong" as in quite savage with the stock. I trained my dog. He is quite good with sheep but a bit too strong as he moves too fast and nips a bit hard when he wants to hurry them up.
He is quite good with the goats, but prefers to muster sheep.
He knows how to keep out of the way of donkeys front feet stomping, back legs kicking, and biting, as donkeys do when they are defending themselves. So with me calling the donkeys and him standing behind them he does a great job. But he prefers to muster sheep.
With the cattle, they are not scared enough of him to move away from him. They tend to chase after him, and he usually runs the wrong way. It can be a bit fearsome if they chase after him and he comes to shelter behind me.
So if I have more than one animal type in the paddock, and I tell him to round something up, it can be difficult for me to persuade him to muster the animals that he likes least.

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11 years 3 months ago #370398 by Motherduck
Replied by Motherduck on topic Hello everybody :)
From what I can see with the girls working with Wags there is only two who aren't afraid to give him a bit of hell lol the rest know the ropes and just move on nicely. 33 (old girl) and 95 (Honey) always walk at the back so I move them myself lol no sheep on farm so will have to take him down to the neighbours to have a look.

I hear that donkeys are good at keeping the bulls behaving too, true? or old wives tale?

Everyday you wake up is a great day [:)]

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11 years 3 months ago #370475 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Hello everybody :)
True but very definitely not recommended, because
1. It has to be a Jack.
2. It has to be vicious, so caring for it's hooves could be a big problem.
3. They keep the bulls in order by biting and kicking them.
4. The bulls need good pasture, the donkey needs poor pasture or it will put on enough weight to be dangerous to it's health, especially it's feet. A vicious donkey with sore feet is a big veterinary bill.

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11 years 3 months ago #370487 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Hello everybody :)
Hi and welcome i've been dairy farming many years, to tired or is that retired now LOL have had and still do have working dog on here. First my reason for dog Jude is I have never liked using bike/quad for getting cows in a lot do now so don't have dogs. A good dog can go get cows and bring them up at a nice easy walk, one I had would go get them in the morning while I had my cuppa and set up the shed same in afternoon but biggest thing is as you say they go everywhere with you, if you work on your own and are cought out talking to yourself you can say you were disscusing it with your shadow/dog lol

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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11 years 3 months ago #370508 by Ronney
Replied by Ronney on topic Hello everybody :)

Ruth;361870 wrote: If you've not had a working dog before, what has made you decide to get one? I've had several conversations lately about dogs and stock and people's assumptions about the need for dogs for mustering purposes. I've also met some extremely quiet herds of cattle where dogs aren't ever used, which has made me give even more thought to why people choose to have them with cattle.


Because Ruth, your talking from your own perspective, not anybody elses. I may not need a dog but I sure as hell would be doing three times as much leg work without them - and that is why those of us that own working dogs have them. When I go to get the cows in the morning and nothing wants to move, it's easier to send the dog in than me stomping around the paddock getting them going. I get the first one moving, go on the to second and the first one stops. Not with a dog she won't. I haven't got nothing to do and all day to do it in so a dog certainly speeds things up without causing heart attacks in all the cows and sheep.

So welcome MD :) Get your pup, train it well, and he will be your right hand and companion for many a long year. Sod's post is so true. I go down and set the shed up and while I'm doing that my dog goes and brings the cows in. They arrive at the same time I turn the machine on. And yes, if your caught out nattering to yourself, you were just having a quiet conversation with the dog :D . They really are very good, they don't argue and agree with everything you say - especially if there's a bit of milk in a margarine container.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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11 years 3 months ago #370513 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello everybody :)

Ronney;362203 wrote: Because Ruth, your talking from your own perspective, not anybody elses. I may not need a dog but I sure as hell would be doing three times as much leg work without them - and that is why those of us that own working dogs have them. When I go to get the cows in the morning and nothing wants to move, it's easier to send the dog in than me stomping around the paddock getting them going. I get the first one moving, go on the to second and the first one stops. Not with a dog she won't. I haven't got nothing to do and all day to do it in so a dog certainly speeds things up without causing heart attacks in all the cows and sheep.

So welcome MD :) Get your pup, train it well, and he will be your right hand and companion for many a long year. Sod's post is so true. I go down and set the shed up and while I'm doing that my dog goes and brings the cows in. They arrive at the same time I turn the machine on. And yes, if your caught out nattering to yourself, you were just having a quiet conversation with the dog :D . They really are very good, they don't argue and agree with everything you say - especially if there's a bit of milk in a margarine container.

Cheers,
Ronnie

Of course I write from my own perspective and the question interests me. An assumption has been made by a number of people who have contacted me recently, about the necessity of dogs with stock. They are not always necessary. Sometimes people don't consider the alternative, which may suit them too.

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11 years 3 months ago #370520 by Motherduck
Replied by Motherduck on topic Hello everybody :)
Thanks Guys :)

I'm looking forward to having a dog to talk to lol trees and grass just aren't the same. I have worked on farms with no dogs and with dogs and I much prefer a well trained dog over using the quad to move the girls. This herd is so easy to move whereas the last herd was terrible, you would end up running around in circles trying to get them to move. Helps that I've now got 200 as apposed to the 750 at the last place lmao. Added bonus is you save heaps in gas especially at the price of it now

Everyday you wake up is a great day [:)]

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11 years 3 months ago #370521 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Hello everybody :)
Tread carefully-dogs and farms again!
Must just add my 2 cents worth though. I have a dog and cows-but Grace the Labrador is no working dog, even though she accompanies me everywhere on the farm!

My cows will usually come to the gate when called (beef cows, bulls and calves) and move quietly off to the next paddock. My dog snuffles around on her own agenda-usually just where I want the cows to move to.
Most of the time they ignore each other, or she will take a sudden lunge in the direction I don't want them to go and bark-but just sometimes she can send them the right way if some are being tardy!

What I do like about having a dog around (apart from something to talk to!) is that when things get a bit excitable-like two bulls stopping to play head to head-she will interevene and bark and scare them off. One day that might just come in useful if I need her to chase off a dangerous situation-so I don't discourage that behaviour!

After 35 years of being around cows I'm not planning a 'dangerous situation!" but if I should fall and not be able to move out of the way, or get in a mob of boys who are more intent on each other than the puny human-I consider to be able to call in the dog as a diversion might be helpful! ;-)

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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11 years 3 months ago #370525 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hello everybody :)
Should I ever be in that unfortunate position, Sue, I hope Stephan can work out how to post the news. [;)]

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11 years 3 months ago #370536 by stephclark
Replied by stephclark on topic Hello everybody :)
I agree sue.. my dog is about as much use as damp cheese when moving the cows.. but they are facinated by his spiky white self and chase him.. so i open the gate, call the dog, the cows chase him thru.. job done!..
he knows ' get out of it ' and will head for the nearest fence and duck under..
sadly, if anything happened to me.. he would just look on trying to figure out what game we are playing
but good company out and about.. cant imagine working down the back without constantly having to rescue the balls cocks or throw pine cones :)

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11 years 3 months ago #370543 by BlueSkyBee
Replied by BlueSkyBee on topic Hello everybody :)
Hi Motherduck, welcome :)

When I was young, our whole family were regularly utilised at the neighbours as 'sheep dogs' pretty tiring stuff, seeking the stock out over 100 acres of rugged bush country, but sure kept us fit!! And the reward of homebaked ginger bread and fresh lemonades off the trees always kept us coming back time after time.... ;)

I hope your pup turns out to be the perfect companion, and is useful as well at times.... :)


To dig in one’s own earth, with one’s own spade, does life hold anything better? –Beverly Nichols


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11 years 3 months ago #370552 by Motherduck
Replied by Motherduck on topic Hello everybody :)
I figure if he's no good on the cows then he can at least keep the kids under control :D might train him on being a SOS as well lol. If I can train him to run to the farmers house on command, then if I get into trouble he can get help lol but as they say dreams are free

Everyday you wake up is a great day [:)]

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