Teaching a Dog to Guard the Gate

Posted February 14th, 2018 — Filed in Stockdogs

Question:   One thing that I wanted to quiz you on Bud told me he could teach a dog to watch an open gate in a day, I would like a few tips on this please.

Answer:   This is the way Bud inadvertently trained two different dogs to guard the gate.

In about 1960 we were working on a sheep ranch back in the hills in Northern California.  One day a timber cruiser stopped at the house looking for a line-marker.  Bud and he got to talking about dogs and we had a Border Collie pup Bud was pretty proud of.  Patsy was only about 8 months old but was already well on her way to being a very good dog.  The entrance to the sheep corrals was a narrow spot between two houses.  It was a very difficult place to put the sheep through.  There were about 50 sheep in sight so Bud sent Patsy to bring them in.  She had a little trouble getting them through the gate, but she really impressed our visitor and managed to do the job.  As soon as they went in the corral, Bud sent her to bring them out again.  He fooled around with her putting the sheep in and out of the corral while he talked to the timber cruiser.  A week or so later, we had to corral the sheep.  We had about 800 ewes with their lambs heading right for the gate when Patsy ran to the lead and turned them back.  After regrouping we got them going again and she did the same thing.  We finally had to put her on a leash in order for the other dogs to be able to corral the sheep.  By sending her too quickly to bring the sheep out of the corral when they went in, Bud accidently made her think he didn’t want them in the corral.

Fast forward to about 1970 . . . We had a young Border Collie that just didn’t have enough force for cattle so we gave him to a friend who ran sheep.  In about a week Tommy brought Moss back along with a trailer load of sheep and said “This is a great dog and I don’t want to ruin him.  Will you get him started on sheep for me?”  After a couple of weeks Bud could stand in one spot and direct Moss to put the sheep in any pen in the corral system.  He was hard-pressed to find anything to challenge him with so one day we opened the people door to the barn which led into the area where we kept the saddles and grain, etc.  It was pretty dark and full of stuff.  The sheep gave Moss a real work-out but he was able to put them all in.  Since we really didn’t want the sheep in there Bud quickly sent him around to bring them back out.  When he asked him to put them back in again, Moss would hold them right at the door, but would stop any that tried to enter the barn.  Remembering what caused Patsy’s problem Bud put a leash on Moss, helped him put the sheep in the barn, stopped for just a few seconds and said “Good boy” then sent him in to bring them back out.  All it took to make the correction was to let him know he was right to put the sheep in the barn…  Now, new project … we want you to bring them out of the barn.

People often think they want a really smart dog, but a dog that is a little slower is often a lot easier to handle.  If it takes 5 repetitions for a dog to “get it” chances you won’t make the same mistake 5 times in a row that is inadvertently teaching something you don’t want.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but I guess by now you can figure out how Bud would teach a dog to guard the gate.

Eunice

Proper Livestock and Livestock Marketing Schools in early 2018

Posted January 14th, 2018 — Filed in Calendar, Marketing, Stockmanship

Hand ‘n Hand Livestock Solutions will put on a Livestock Marketing and Proper Stockmanship School February 12-14 in Springfield, Missouri. Read more here:

handnhandlivestocksolutions.com/calendar/school-mo-feb-2018/

Next we will be near Gaviota, California for a Proper Stockmanship School March 1-3. Read more here:

handnhandlivestocksolutions.com/calendar/school-gaviota-ca-march-1-3-2018/

We are in the process of setting up more schools in 2018. Locations will probably include central Florida, western Nebraska, and SW Manitoba with others probably coming in later to fill in the gaps.

Let us know if you’d like us to bring a school to your area!

Wally Olson Marketing School

Posted December 24th, 2017 — Filed in Marketing

Wally has the following Marketing school scheduled.  Click on the date to view information about the school and the registration form.

Read more about Wally and his school on his website here: olsonranchllc.com

Bud’s Influence in Brazil

Posted November 21st, 2017 — Filed in Stockmanship, Testimonials

Recently I had an e-mail from Hellen Santos, a Brazilian journalist from Globo Television, the main TV network in Brazil. She was putting together a journalistic piece on a “Brazilian feedlot that had recently installed a Bud Box and had its team trained to incorporate Bud William´s technics on livestock handling” and asked if I would send her a video clip of Bud to include.

I had just sent a Stockmanship-Plus video to Denis Antonio, a MERCK employee in Brazil so I asked him about this. He was highly complementary of Globo Television and offered to send me a copy of the program when it aired. He not only sent me the link so I could view it, but he had his people translate and subtitle it in English. I think you will find it interesting.

 

Below is the same video using another video player in case your browser can’t view the first one.

Proper Stockmanship Training Saves Cattle from a Range Fire

Posted October 15th, 2017 — Filed in Stockmanship, Testimonials

A friend just forwarded this to me. . .

I just wanted to write you and let you know that I used LSLH [low stress livestock handling] for an application that you may never have thought about before.  On June 27th we had a lightening strike start our range land on fire.  The fire was moving fast but there was a paved road between the fire and the range ground where my cattle were so everyone thought they were safe.  Due to some crazy circumstances, the fire jumped the road and started roaring through where my cattle were.

I have to take one step back before I finish the story.  After I got back from the Republic workshop I hadn’t been crazy about how I had done, so I decided to double down my efforts.  I already handle my cattle a lot but at the workshop I identified some skills I was really lacking.  When I got back home I took my cattle somewhere every day and even if I just took them in a big loop, when I got them back home, I settled them.  By the way, when you start getting the hang of settling cattle, it feels pretty magical!  I have to admit, it still felt silly taking my cows “for a spin” but they seemed fine with it.

Fast forward back to the fire jumping the road:  I didn’t have time to saddle a horse, so I jumped on an ATV with my Border Collie and raced down the road to where the cows were.  First off, they were all within sight range of each other because I have been working with them to stay together. I don’t mean to anthropomorphize, but they seemed glad to see me, like “Oh good, she’s here to tell us what to do.”  I used the dog but I had good motion from the start, they mothered up, and went head to tail at a steady pace.  That good motion drew the few outliers in and they just fell into place.  They were quiet, there was no bawling, and they just moved calmly in the direction I asked them to.  In fact, the flames were coming so fast that I actually had to pick them up into a jog.  But even then, they just did a steady jog, no one ran.  I think about it so much, it seemed so amazing!  I took them two miles to an irrigated field where I placed and settled them.  The flames roared around the field (see picture) but they calmly stayed in the field.  I just want you to know that I feel like you (and Bud Williams) are the reason my cows are alive today.  It would have torn me up in so many ways if my cows had burned up–I can’t hardly stand thinking about it.  They were in 1,000 acres, so if they had been spread out I would have lost cattle. Also, if we hadn’t practiced going places beforehand I’m certain I wouldn’t have saved them all.  Thank you so much for what you do!!!!!  Gosh, I just can’t thank you enough!

Wally Olson Marketing Schools

Posted August 21st, 2017 — Filed in Marketing

Wally has the following Marketing schools scheduled.  Click on the date to view information about the school and the registration form.

Read more about Wally and his school on his website here: olsonranchllc.com

BEEF Magazine had a good article on marketing you might also be interested in: http://www.beefproducer.com/marketing/consider-no-depreciation-cow-calf-operation

Predatory Stress

Posted June 26th, 2017 — Filed in Stockmanship

I wrote this in answer to a post on Kit Pharo’s list, but thought it might be of interest to viewers of this site.
 At the risk of being the person with a hammer and looking at every problem as a nail . . .
          A great many handling and health problems in livestock stems from the fact that most of our livestock are prey animals and we are predators.  No matter how  slow or gentle or sneaky (dart guns) we are in moving or treating our animals, they continue to be stressed by that very fact.  Bud learned how to handle animals in such a way that they don’t consider us a predator.  He probably put more pressure on the animals he worked than most people, since he expected crisp, energetic movement from them, but his body language and angle of pressure was such that their instinctive reaction was to go the way he wanted them to go.
          Bud and I spent the first years of our married life working on large mountain ranches in n/w California.  It was unheard of to have a sick calf while it was on the cow.  No matter how badly the cattle were gathered and handled in the corral at spring roundup, when they were turned back out the cow was able to convince her calf that she could take care of things and there wasn’t anything more to worry about.  Now that most people never teach their cattle to drive and are moving them with feed, which necessitates getting the cows so psyched up that they are not in a normal state of mind, they are actually putting more stress on their calves instead of taking it off.
          I’m sure Bud irritated a lot of people when, addressing a specific problem, he told them to “Work with your animals and do what they tell you they need.  There is no way I can write you a recipe.”   Richard and Tina say “Drive your animals.”   They are absolutely right, and Bud eventually got around to saying that this is the first step, during the conversation.  I prefer to say “Take them for a walk”  since to me, this tends to put a person in the right mental attitude to do the animals some good, and this was what Bud would tell me he was going to do when I asked him where he was going.
          I don’t think most livestock feel comfortable anywhere in their pastures.  There are some places they feel less uncomfortable and that’s where they hang out.  On the big set-stocked ranches I mentioned, certain cows could always be found in certain areas.  As soon as we started working them better they stopped doing this.  When Bud put cattle in the corral, unless you drove them out, they would stay there, with the gates open until thirst or hunger caused them to leave.  Bud seemed to make them feel that this was the safest, most comfortable place they could be.  If you are interested, go to our website  www.stockmanship.com and click on the “Herding” button.  Especially read “My Two Cents Worth” posted July 12, 2009 for several incidents that make me believe this is true.

Livestock Marketing and Proper Stockmanship Schools Coming up in 2017

Posted June 12th, 2017 — Filed in Calendar

We now have four more Bud Williams Livestock Marketing and Proper Stockmanship schools confirmed for 2017!

Let us know if you have any questions about any of our schools or if you’d like us to bring a school to your area.

Best,
Tina and Richard of Hand ‘n Hand Livestock Solutions

New Farm Journal Wildfire Fund Will Double Your Donation

Posted April 24th, 2017 — Filed in Miscellaneous

Please join me in sending a donation for the ranchers who were impacted by the devastating wildfires last March.

Click on the link below to find out more about the New Farm Journal Fund which will double your donation.

http://www.agprofessional.com/news/industry/new-farm-journal-fund-doubles-your-donation-wildfire-recovery?

Eunice

Puppy Manners

Posted March 30th, 2017 — Filed in Stockdogs

Question:  The situation is that we have a 4 month old border collie puppy that we got 2 months ago. We also have an 8 year old lab cross family dog. The older dog is a companion animal and keeps the coyotes and bears away. That is what we hope for in the younger dog too, besides being our 10 year old son’s dog. The pup is totally keyed into the older dog and it is very difficult to take them on walks without constant pulling on the leash. If I take them separately, the pup stays tuned into me and it goes nicely. However, it’s not getting any better when I try to take them on a walk together.  The older dog can go on a leash, but is used to running along on loose voice commands. I realize that I may have to change her habits in order to walk them together.  Do you have any suggestions or ideas on what I need to be aimed at to help this young dog to be tuned into us, rather than the other dog?

Answer: I’d take your pup out on a long line with your older dog loose when you go on a walk.   A 20′ length of 1/4″ nylon cord works well.  You can probably drop your end and  let the pup drag it. Every so often call the pup to you.  Your pup needs to be solid on coming to you when you call it anyway and this is a great exercise for that.  At first you will reel him in fairly gently, with lots of praise when he gets to you. But soon, if he ignores you, jerk hard enough to up-end him, say COME, COME angrily as you roughly reel him in, with you backing up all the time.  When he gets to you change your tone to praise and tell him what a good boy he is.  Then say OK (or another release word) and let him have the length of the line again to wander and play with your other dog as you go for your walk.  Since your Lab will probably stay fairly close to you the pup won’t be at the end of the line and pulling even if you are holding on to the end.  Soon, the pup will stay tuned to you, even when he is interested in something else just in case you call him.

I’d also walk the puppy alone on leash and teach him not to pull.  I’m not into gimmick collars, harnesses, etc., just a regular flat collar.  Be sure it is tight enough that you can barely slip 2 fingers between dog and collar.  NEVER hold pressure with the leash on the pup’s collar, but tug and slack.  All dogs love to lay into pressure and pull, so never let them feel steady pressure to pull against.  I’ve had some dogs that were especially stubborn about this so I would carry a switch and tap them on the rear or back legs when they insisted on pulling.

Eunice

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