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Old 11-15-2009, 08:06 AM
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Default The Jax Instinct Test Video

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 manneredÖ.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 oí 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. Iím 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. Youíll see me trying in vain to step on that long line to stop him. Finally, I caught up to it, but I wasnít really up to the task.

Anyway, Jax had fun for sure, we all had fun watching, but frankly it wasnít much fun for the sheep. There were some serious crashes we didnít 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 Iíve 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
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:16 AM
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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.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:22 AM
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I'm so glad you and Jax had fun!! Herding can be very addictive. 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.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:30 AM
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Glad you both had fun and it was worth the trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smkie View Post
if you haven't read Jon Katz Orson you really should. Glad you saw jax's light within.
Funny thing smkie, I've never read that book, LOL, and you know, I have an ORSON and all
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:09 AM
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Neat !!! He's beautiful !
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:31 AM
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First, let me preface by saying I'm glad you had fun and he turned on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeLacy View Post
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.
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.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizmo View Post
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.
^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.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:37 AM
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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.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:50 AM
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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???

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.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:29 AM
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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.
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