The Jax Instinct Test Video

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by JoeLacy, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    My son and I had a conversation on the way about what we felt Jax would do once he saw the Sheep. We both agreed, it was either going to be nothing at all or very intense. We both thought nothing at all would happen. Jax is just too mild mannered….we thought.

    This is my first Instinct test and other than what I found on youtube, I had never seen one or knew what to expect. We all drove about an hour from the city to find some sheep and finally pulled up to her front door. She was an interesting character for sure, funny, personable with 200 acres and lots o’ Sheeps. :) I filled out some paperwork, we started the Herding Instinct test soon after. She made the comment that Jax was too clean to be a farm dog, but we would see and she started the tests.

    Test 1: She called this the Alpha test. She told me to walk out in the field and let Jax off the leash. I could say nothing but had to walk and turn back when she told me to do so. She said what she was looking if I had become the Alpha dog in the pack. She was looking for Jax to run in front out me, to scout out prey and then potentially bring it back to the Alpha dog (me) so the Alpha dog could eat first. She said herding instinct is all about pack hierarchy and Jax passed as you will see.

    Test 2. Introduction to Sheep: Did Jax show any interest in Sheep at all? This test was about gauging his reaction and interest in Sheep placed in a pen. I’m not sure Jax knew what to think about them at first, but that "instinct" kicked in and you see his high level of interest in that phase as well.

    Test 3: Jax off leash: Did he show any signs of running after the sheep or was he afraid of them? She told me to take him in on the long line and walk next to the fence. Once she gave the command, I should drop the leash and walk towards the sheep. Jax took off and chased them like a maniac until finally I gained control of him again. Jax passed.

    What is clear from this video, is that Jax has the instinct BIG time. What is also clear is I cannot control him on Sheep. You’ll see me trying in vain to step on that long line to stop him. Finally, I caught up to it, but I wasn’t really up to the task.

    Anyway, Jax had fun for sure, we all had fun watching, but frankly it wasn’t much fun for the sheep. There were some serious crashes we didn’t catch on the video where Jax had run them into the fence with a huge crash. Also, the video does not do the intensity justice when you are out there in the mayhem.

    It was AWESOME Fun-Fun and his reaction was totally unexpected. This is a fun thing to do with your dog for sure.

    This btw, was the most focused I’ve ever seen Jax. The normally CGC well mannered, laid back, slow moving, never get excited about much of anything Jax, really came alive.

    Will I take classes with Jax on herding? Probably not, but it was sure fun to watch.

    YouTube - Herding Intinct Test
     
  2. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    if you haven't read Jon Katz Orson you really should. Glad you saw jax's light within.

    Agreed on the sheep, no fun for them at all.


    Pretty darn awesome to watch. I wish I could see what Victor would do.:rofl1:
     
  3. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    I'm so glad you and Jax had fun!! Herding can be very addictive. :D Is he feeling proud of himself this morning?

    TBH though, if you decide to take lessons, I'm not sure I'd take lessons from her. There were a few things I really didn't like about how she tested him and if it had been my dog, I probably would've been gone long before the sheep were in the pen with the dog.
     
  4. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    Glad you both had fun and it was worth the trip! :)

    Funny thing smkie, I've never read that book, LOL, and you know, I have an ORSON and all :D
     
  5. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    Neat !!! He's beautiful !
     
  6. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    First, let me preface by saying I'm glad you had fun and he turned on.

    I don't understand the point of this? Your dog is in a field with sheep poo and no leash, no sheep. He's not going to 'look for prey', he's going to go roll in sheep poo! That's setting him up for failure, IMO. Plus, if he's never seen sheep before, how's he going to know to go look for them? I didn't see any sheep in the field.

    Alot of things rub me the wrong way about this trainer. It's completely out of control in the round pen with him and the sheep. No wonder there were some pretty nasty wrecks! The trainer itsn't doing one thing to restore order. Your dog is so confused, all he's trying to do is grip the sheep to bring them back to you. She should have noticed immediatly that the session was going down hill and quite and gotten a biggere group of dog broke sheep.

    I'll comment on the Jon Katz stuff later.
     
  7. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    ^Agreed!^ Or if not getting a bigger group of dog broke sheep, she should've stepped in and taken control and had you shadow her.

    I also didn't like the stuff where the sheep were in pens and the dog outside the pen meeting them. Built up a lot of frustration in Jax and completely pointless.
     
  8. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Yea not to burst your bubble, but I've never seen anyone do an "alpha" test or consider interest behind a fence part of a HIT. I'm also rather appalled to see this person allow your dog to harass sheep that way - whenever I've put one of my dogs on sheep we hold the line until we are *sure* the dog won't harass the livestock and when we do drop the line we are setting the dog up to learn balance and various handling skills, not just operate on their own.

    It always scares me to see stuff like this because it makes me question how this person sees her livestock - most people I know who raise sheep and work their dogs on them see sheep as something to be protected and used with an eye to their welfare, not as tools to teach dogs primarily and if they are just seen as tools, well there can be some major welfare concerns there.
     
  9. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    When Tyr did his instinct test, she did something similar to the walking around an empty pen stuff...but she was just looking to see if we had basic control without sheep, because if we didn't we'd never have control with sheep. That makes perfect sense to me. Looking for the dog to be bringing you dinner??? :rolleyes:

    When Tyr was tested it was the sheep following the trainer, me following the sheep, Tyr following me...Very calm and controlled. When Tyr finally turned on and was ready to work stock, the trainer and I stayed together ~ Tyr wanted to bring the sheep to me, the sheep were happy to go to the trainer, and by us standing next to each other it made it so much easier for all the animals.

    When Ares was tested, it was a lot more hectic - he works hard and fast and I couldn't keep up. The trainer kicked me out of the way and took charge. Ares was so focused on the sheep, it didn't matter that I was standing off by the fence. The trainer kept Ares under control and I watched.
     
  10. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    LOL, you guys always kill me with your reviews. I've seen some of the youtube vids worse than that. How was I supposed to know and who am to question her?

    I took the audio out, but my son made a comment when we were in the pen. He said he didn't think he had ever seen a real sheep before, my son is 27. We don't get to the country much.

    Most likely the closest Jax will ever come to a Sheep again might be a Lamb bone from World market or watch them on TV. People have this notion that because we live in Texas, we all have ranches, not so where Jax, Peyt and I live. :)

    We're not going for any World record Herding title here, it was just a fun day out with my dog and my son. It was just that and nothing more. We went to see this lady from a referral I got from another trainer. She was available yesterday and it was nice out and we went.

    I agree it could have been more controlled at the end. I was shocked at the intensity but it was what it was and I've told you everything noteworthy the lady told me.

    I'm not here to defend her, or care one way or the other, but she did say that if I decided to take lessons that it would be the last time Jax was off leash without control. We're not taking lessons so that didn't make the first post in this thread.

    As far as the alpha test, she told me that I would not understand what she was asking me to do, just do it and she would explain later. When she explained it to me she sounded convincing. I'm accustomed now to the trainers adding their own twists to the tests ( see Jax CGC) so this was nothing new. What-ever. She also said one of the first things we would learn in class is something called "Key" or "Keying" or something. No clue or care what that means.

    The alpha test was interesting in one respect. Jax had a field to wander in and sheep in sight, yet he stayed pretty close to me. Of course, he would not respond at all after he had gone over his threshold but that might have been as much my fault as anyone else.

    The lady told me to walk in, then walk around the fence. Like I said, she said drop the leash, maybe she meant drop the leash but hold on to the end. There was no loop in this long line, it was just a piece of ski rope. My son and I laughed later when I told him I think she covered it in lard. I could not hold his long line without a loop.

    So whatever happened it all ended fine. My son got to see a sheep, I got to see Jax go nuts and Jax now has an affinity for Wool. None of the sheep were worse for the wear although, I'm sure they were happy to see all of us City folk drive off into the sunset.

    It was also interesting to me that I could not call Jax off the sheep. He would not shut down. Jax is a dog I can call off ANYTHING, but it didn't work on the sheep.

    We came back to the city with just a memory and no future plans that include herding although if I could ever call him off sheep, that may be the ultimate in control. As we never encounter sheep, that's not a top priority for training.

    Jax has not been trying to corral Peyton and I. My son is coming over today and we're taking his Mal, Peyton and Jax to the DP, then coming home to grill steaks. The dogs will get steak bones not Lamb. We're back in the city where we belong.
     
  11. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    LOL. We don't expect you to have known or to have questioned her. We comment because we feel it's important for people to learn the good and the bad. And because we tend to be a very vocal and opinionated group. Those worse videos haven't been posted here for us to critique. ;)

    Ya know, there are lots of city folk who take herding lessons. <hint, hint> It's a great way to build a stronger relationship with a herding breed.
     
  12. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    LOL, glad I could give you guys a video to go "Shark Frenzy".

    Seriously, it was fun, but not convenient at all to me. It was however a bit more lively than Rally :). Honestly, I just think you must have the time and location to support herding and I just don't. As it's not a part of my lifesyle or business model and don't recognize it as a profit center, it falls off the radar pretty quickly. It was just a fun thing to do with my new dog.

    Just on a personal note. I thought of our smike at times and even told my son on the long car ride about smkie and Mary. My son got very quiet and I had a lump in my throat as I told her story. It dawned on me how lucky I really am to be where I am at that very moment. I have 2 outstanding healthy young dogs to enjoy and others are not so fortunate in spite of their very best efforts. Yes, I had a very good day, we all did.
     
  13. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    THat touches my heart. I am glad that you have two strong healthy dogs with lots of years ahead of you. (((HUGS)))
     
  14. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    My apologies. Next time I see a video with cringe worthy methods in it, I'll just say how sweet the video is. :)

    /end sarcasm.

    I have no thoughts of you knowing what is a good herding trainer is and what a bad herding trainer is. My post was simply to inform you that the trainer was letting things get way out of control for just an exposure. And that it probably wouldn't be very productive to pay this lady for lessons again. But you've already made it clear that you don't plan on doing herding again with Jax.

    I felt the need to explain my thoughts on the video because I already had PMs about how this video scared some people, that were interested in herding, because of how out of crontrol everyhthing was and they didn't want to put there dogs through that.
     
  15. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    LOL.... I was watching the video and had plans to PM you by the end. :)

    I also know nothing about sheep, I don't think I've ever seen one even driving past a field. But watching Jax chase them in the corral I saw panic on their faces, and the fact that it went on as long as it did in that video - or longer? - also makes me wonder about that trainer. Again, I've never been around sheep or herding trials or anything, but those methods raised red flags in my mind just for the health and welfare of those sheep.

    That said, I wouldn't presume to give you advice about which trainer to go to or what methods to use, because as far as I know, it's possible this could be the "right" way to do herding. But if that WAS the "right" way to do herding, I'd never do it... I couldn't tolerate that look of panic every class.

    That said, with as "alive" as Jax came when he was with the sheep, I can't believe you aren't even considering giving him that experience more often. If that's truely the happiest you've ever seen him..... well, I personally wouldn't mind driving a couple of hours once or twice a month to give him such happiness. JMO, though.
     
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Lizmo, maybe posting a good video of introducing a dog to sheep would be beneficial for concerned people.

    I've seen a few but I can't remember where I saw them on youtube...
     
  17. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Definitely, let me check around and see. :)
     
  18. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    This video is of very bad quality, but it shows what might go on during the first exposure. The trainer isn't right on the middle of it because it was going fine. After we stopped this session, he went back for a second exposure and the trainer was right in the middle of it changing his directions. You can see that since this isn't a small number of sheep, they aren't more apt to split up and they are very dog broke - dog broke or 'puppy sheep' should always be used when putting a dog or pup on stock for the first time.

    This is my Blaze at 4 months old.

    YouTube - Blaze on Sheep 2

    This is another good video showing how the trainer should be during the first exposure. You can see by about the middle of the session things were getting out of control and how the trainer reacted by making things more controled again.

    This is Blaze's brother.

    YouTube - JinxTheBorderCollie's Channel

    This is another good video of a prominant USBCHA trialer's pup's first exposure. Very calm and controled.

    YouTube - Bart (Border Collie) 12 weeks on sheep 03/22/2008

    For anyone who would like to watch and learn more about herding, I strongly suggest you check out these videos. The videos have the handler explaining everything that is going on during the video. GREAT watch and learning experience!

    Denise Wall training May - BC Boards
     
  19. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    The one of Bart was the one I was thinking of! I think that video is amazing especially for people wanting to see what raw talent the breed has.
     
  20. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Awesome, Lizmo, thanks!
     

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