Thank You for Your Thoughts and Prayers

Posted November 29th, 2012 — Filed in Miscellaneous

I’m so proud of the many e-mails I’ve been getting, telling me what a difference Bud has made in their lives, even some from Universities! I was amazed at how fast the news traveled around the world. Bud died on Sunday, by Monday afternoon I’d received messages from Russia, Australia, Canada, South Africa and Germany as well as the many, many I’ve received from the US. These mean a lot to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Bud’s Gone . . . .

Posted November 25th, 2012 — Filed in Miscellaneous

Bud died today of pancreatic cancer.

Bud and I have had quite a ride.  Thanks to all of you for helping us make things better for the animals.

Where are the “Fourlegged Chainsaws”

Posted November 20th, 2012 — Filed in Stockdogs

Question: . . . . Seems as if you are answering a lot of questions about training Stockdogs and you seem to be very knowledgeable as to training techniques and different Cowdog-breeds, so I was hoping you could maybe shed some light on an issue that has been bugging me for several years now. Back in the day I held a job with a very large yearling outfit on the Laramie plains of Wy, of course all of us were always looking for the dog that could travel longer, gather better and get his point across to those obnoxious yearlings without tiring, so somebody gave me . . . . number, and told me he had some BorderCollie-Pitbull cross dogs that were just the ticket. So, I calls the guy and he happened to have some pups, I met him in Green River and he sure enough seem to be a real nice guy and had a lot of wild stories (more…)

New “Archive” List

Posted November 10th, 2012 — Filed in Miscellaneous

I’ve been struggling with a way to make it easier for people to read the first postings on the website without scrolling to the bottom of the page, click on “next page,” scrolling to the bottom again, etc., etc.  Since we have nearly 250 posts on the site it takes quite a while to get back to the first ones.

Tina (our daughter and Webmaster), set up an archive list to easily find postings for a certain month.  You will find this list below  “Contact Us” on the left side of the web page.

Pup is Over-Working (more)

Posted November 6th, 2012 — Filed in Stockdogs

Question: . . . . On the goat issue, I probably out thought myself and listened to one of my neighbors a bit to much. I was walking to get the calves to gather and bring back to the pen, I had let the dog out and he was just roaming around happy to be out. I went to put the calves back and forgot about him for the moment, he came into the area where the calves were and started chasing them, chased them all to me in about 60 seconds which I thought was good and I just kept my mouth shut. Two or three of the calves decided that they had had enough, and took out after Willy, the dog. They chased him out of the field we were in. So then I thought he seemed a little gun shy and one of the neighbors stopped by that trial works a lot of dogs, and is a big fan of Bud Williams stocksmanship. He mentioned that I should use goats or sheep to get him started. I have only let him work the goats three times. The first time he was a bit timid and afraid. Second time he was better and the third time they even tried to fight him a little and he was down right tough with them. I realize that I need to position myself better . . . .  and that he is not going to get it all right the first time. With that said, how should I start. 5 calves? One goat? What is the proper way to start a young pup?

Answer:   It is probably a mistake to listen to anything I say about how to work a dog as most of what I say will be the opposite of what the real dog trainers say to do.

How would I start a dog? I always started a dog where the dog would be working – with whatever number of animals that it would be working, from 20 to 500, and where the dog would be working them. Never did try to start the dog on 2 or 3 animals in a small pen, this doesn’t mean that is wrong, I just didn’t do it.

Try to understand this about working a dog on animals – you have to understand what the animals are doing, what the dog is doing and what you SHOULD be doing. When the pup brought the calves to you, if you had kept moving so the dog could keep bringing the calves or just stepped out and called the dog or pushed him around the calves the calves wouldn’t have chased him out of the field. Calves that aren’t dog broke will often chase a dog, that is why it is important that the calves keep moving or changing what is done so the calves don’t get a chance to THINK and realize the dog can be run off. The calves are bigger and stronger than the pup and given time they can soon learn to run off the pup.   It is possible to dog break calves without a dog and that will help keep the calves from chasing the dog when the dog is there. Sometimes we had to start a pup on 200 horned dog fighting cows in a pasture with 20,000 acres that only had a fence on one side. While this isn’t the best place to start a pup, that was what we had and had to have a working dog. I started my first sheep dog on several thousand acres with 800 head of sheep so wild they started running when they saw or even heard you. The dog had never seen a sheep and at that time I had never worked a dog on sheep and only a short time on cattle. When we first started using dogs we never had animals in small pastures close, had to start the pups on animals where they were and the number that was there. The reason for writing this is to say “use what you have and make it work.” The size of the area or number of animals is irrelevant it will always be what YOU DO THAT MATTERS.

One thing that made it easy for me was never talking to the neighbor or anyone else about what I was doing until it was possible to succeed and then they didn’t want to talk to me or if they did it was to ask me how it was possible to do these things.

Training a dog is about communication between you and the dog, it isn’t about how many or how few commands it is about what the dog understands about what you want or expect. This gets back to the fact that words or movement mean certain things and they must mean the same to the dog as to the person. What you want isn’t very important unless the dog wants the same thing.  The dog is facing the same thing with the animals they are working, the animals being worked must understand what the dog is saying. If the person, dog or animals being worked are confused there will be a problem. Just trying to make a dog do what you want will not work well unless you understand your job, the dog understands his job, and is able to have the animals understand.

A Message From a Student

Posted November 4th, 2012 — Filed in Testimonials

The family and I are in the Bryansk region of Russia working for Miratorg.  The area is close to the Belorussia and Ukraine borders.  It is part of the Black Soil bread basket of Europe.   The company is a Russian ag. company that is currently shipping thousands of head of cattle each month from Australia and US to restock the depleted beef cow herds.   We have over 56,000 hd on 18 ranches.  Last spring we AI bred over 42,000 hd in 30 days.  Miratorg has an English website with other information.   The facilities are built with a Bud Box to move cattle thru the chute.    Russians know what the Bud Box is and are doing a good job.   Miratorg is also building two new feedlots and a packing plant.    I can see the history of agriculture as I drive from village to village.  The old communist farms are barely standing. . . .

Pup is Over-Working

Posted November 4th, 2012 — Filed in Stockdogs


Question: . . . . was playing with our pup last night, we have three goats to let him mess with, he really wants to go get them and bring them to us but gets over excited and I am sure that we are doing something wrong. He pushes them our way but then wants to cut in front of them and circle them. Unless he is up close to us, if he is close we can push him and he stays 12 o’clock of us, and seems to do what is right. He seems to get to close to the goats and pushes them harder and harder. We know this is hard explaining, but nine times out of ten when you and Bud tell us something a light bulb goes on and we can figure out what we are doing wrong.

Answer:     There are times to play with the pup and times to work they must be separate. With the working dog they have a job to do that is difficult.  They must be serious and realize it isn’t playing. With a young dog  I would have never let them “mess” with 3 goats.  If for some reason I was going to use 3 goats I would be sure the dog was serious and knew it was work.

Everything you say about what the pup is doing is about what the pup should do. What isn’t being said is what you are doing. Our job is to move around so that what the dog is doing is right with very little correction (use position not commands) from the person. Our job is to create the situation where the pup can and will succeed not just expect the pup to do what we want just because we want it. All the pup needs is to know what is right and what isn’t right.  This can be done if the person moves to stop what isn’t right and allows what is right. At first what isn’t right doesn’t have to be completely stopped the pup just must know that it isn’t right until it learns not to do the wrong thing.   A young dog that will be any good will probably over-work and push stock too fast,  That’s why I tell people to be where they can walk and push the dog around the stock until the dog learns to slow down.  This is more difficult to do with 3 animals. What you do or don’t do and how you act will usually be what causes the dog to over-work.

Learning how to have a good working dog is difficult, learning how to give commands is easy but that doesn’t mean there will be a good working dog just one that knows commands.