May Office Hours

Topics for 5/1 included:

  • How to best balance work and competition (depending on the dog) to make sure they are sharp enough but not stale?
  • When introducing young sheep/non-dog broke sheep to both an experienced dog and a novice dog, how would you go about it?
  • It was really really interesting and extremely useful getting the insights on comparative handling of Cheviots and Blackies, could Alasdair also comment on handling Scotch Mules and Texel Crosses and also Swales?
  • Patricia, in earlier office hours you spoke about different kinds of eye specifically dogs that look at sheep and can be slow walking up, those that boar into the  sheep and those that flanks excessively and those that hold their head up. Can you talk more about each type and if you or Alasdair have had dogs with these traits?
  • How to best mentally overcome what appears to be not the best of starts eg dog needing a whistle to bend out on outrun, or sheep bolting madly off-line before the dog has got there which is going to then need the packet smoothed back to the line?
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Haig : Nursery at the Bluegrass 123

In this video, I analyze my run with Haig in Nursery at the Bluegrass Classic. This trial offers 4 nurseries;  a great opportunity to get young dogs on the tricky terraced field and testing sheep.

Unfortunately, our first run wasn’t videoed; there was lots to discuss and critique, as it was a mess! . But as is so often the case with young dogs, Haig progressed quickly, he got a qualifying leg each of the other 3 runs, including a  win.

This was our 3 rd trial, we had 1 day in GA and  1 day in NC and then the Bluegrass. Because the filming is off to the side, it doesn’t give the opportunity to properly judge, but Alasdair filmed Haig at Tabletop SDT and I’ll ask him to judge that run and post it shortly. Haig qualified in 3 of the 4 nurseries there also (I walked off on the fetch with a running group in Nurs 2) including another win. Very pleased he’s starting to work at the trials as he does at home.

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Clinics and Lessons

Clinics & Lessons:      

Lessons are currently being offered at our farm in Abbeville, SC and cost is $180 per hour. Please email us for more information, macraesheepdogs@gmail.com

Online Virtual Lessons: 

 

Remote lessons are $100 for the first half hour, $85 for each subsequent half hour.

If you would like an evaluation of your dog and discussion of next steps in your training, please film the area you need help with/problem you are having, run a course, or video a typical working session.

We often review and critique trial runs as well. Trials runs should be shot as close to ‘on line’ as possible on a field where dog and sheep are both visible for 95% or more of the run.

The duration of the video is deducted from the lesson time (such that a 10 min video leaves 20 min for discussion in a 30 minute lesson). The video is watched prior to the call and should be approximately 5-10 minutes in length per dog (please do not exceed 15 minutes or video).

Also, please have the video available at the time of the call so that specific time stamps may be referenced.

Guidelines:

  • All videos must be made with camera or phone on a tripod to ensure quality.
  • Lessons are offered in 30 or 60 minute intervals and the length of the video is deducted from the discussion time, such that a 10 minute video, leaves 20 minutes for discussion in a 30 minute lesson.
  • If it’s your first lesson with us you may want to consider a 60 minute lesson to leave plenty of time for your questions.
  • Please have the video available at the time of the call so that specific time stamps may be referenced.
  • Please send the video via YouTube
  • We do offer lessons without videos for those wishing to discuss philosophy or concepts.  .
  • Please email us at macraesheepdogs@gmail.com to set up a time.

Dogs for sale

We believe matching the handler to the dog is one of the most important considerations when selling a dog.

Alasdair’s ability to identify and search out winning teams is unparalleled.

Because we believe matching the handler to the right dog is vital, we offer a one month trial on all dogs (except puppies) and if you would like a trial period, a contract must be signed in advance.

A trial gives the handler an opportunity to make certain the dog suits their work needs and style, fits into their household and kennel as well as satisfy any health exams they wish to perform. The terms of the trial are quite straight forward and are as follows:

The buyer has total responsibility for the dogs welfare and expenses from the point when he/she leaves our care. Dogs must be paid for in full prior to the trial start date with wire transfer, cash or cashier’s check.

If anything should happen to the dog from the moment he/she leaves our care to begin the trial period, the buyer is solely responsible, must pay for the dog in full, and will not be refunded any money. This includes, but not limited to any of the following prior to purchase:  injury, illness, changing the dogs whistles/commands, breeding the dog or action that has a detrimental impact on the physical or mental welfare of the dog.

All tests that are performed are at the expense of the buyer. If during testing, a preexisting condition is found, we must be notified and the responsibility is ours to determine the course of action and treatment. At any time during the 30 day trial period, the dog may be purchased or returned to us. We are more than happy to take the dog back for any reason and must be in the exact condition he/she left our care. We would much rather have him or her back than in the wrong situation. If you do wish to return the dog, it must be done promptly and at no expense or inconvenience to us.

The importance of the trial is paramount . It is not only to make certain that you have every opportunity to evaluate the dog and are excited about him or her but moreover, to make certain the dog is in the right home. It is only if you are absolutely certain the dog is a good and suitable partner, that we are certain the dog will have a happy life! 

Please e-mail  macraesheepdogs@gmail.com  to inquire about dogs for sale.

Office Hours 3/6/24

  • 3/6/24 Topics

  • How the relationship with your dog off sheep can impact your relationship on sheep, including, Can your trial dog live in the house; Spoiler: YES!
  • Numerous specific judging questions including, blind fetches, pulling back through drive gate, over commanding , Dq’s and many more
  • Should you widen a very tight outrun on a dog with a bit of eye?

 

 

Office Hours 1/31/24

Office Hours 1/31/24 Topics

  • A lot of your questions have been about what we work on with our own dogs and in this Office Hours we chat about what we do and why, how we determine our training objectives, how we alter our training for open dogs after the National until March as well as discuss the mental side of training. We also reference Academy videos demonstrating our practice.

**If you need help finding a video referenced here, other content, have video requests or office hour questions, please email us

Office Hours 12/12/23

  • 12/12/23 Topics:
  • Can you suggest exercises or a particular approach that will help me , help my dog to hold a pressure/put pressure on sheep (as we saw was so necessary at the National)
  • There is a tremendous difference between training and handling our dogs. Is there a better way to become a better handler?

  • I’m especially interested in how to read dogs and I read your article “if you listen, your dog will tell you”. Can you talk more about this?

  • Do you have training tips for a loose-eyed dog? Are there any exercises for increasing eye, or is that even desirable? What “tendencies” will a loose-eyed dog have compared to a strong-eyed dog?

  • I read where you helped correct a flat top by correcting the flank. How do you get your dog to turn their head out and give a good flank?…these question and more+ we gave away Free stuff, Merry Christmas everyone!!