Question: We really enjoyed that posting where you wrote about people willing to make their play a challenge but not their work. How true. Never thought of it that way. You told me to let my dogs be around the cattle a lot just to let them be used to them. This has worked very well. The dogs meander around while I’m feeding and calving and don’t cause much fuss and now when I move even quite young pairs there is little or no fighting the dogs. What fun. Occasionally a neighbor will see how well my dogs work ( for me) and call when they have a problem, and wonder if I can bring a dog and help. This is almost always a disaster. If all my dogs ever do is work well and help me that would be fine but I’m wondering about that particular situation. The neighbor wants help but wants it his way. No patience or understanding that we need to take some time. What should be my thinking about this? Is it realistic to think that a dog should be capable of moving in on strange unbroken cows and take control? Maybe this is part of ( no limit to better) and this is down the road for me. Just kind of wondering how to think about this. As for now I just tell people my dogs don’t really work on strange cattle.
Answer: There is working animals, then there is working animals with a dog, and then there is working animals with other people. They are all the same yet quite different as YOU need to change – as the dog can change very little and the other people will change very little if at all.
This has got to be your choice as each one of these things requires YOU to be willing to make changes that are not easy to make sometimes. Your thinking probably should be “Do I really want to do these things?” If you do, then do it otherwise stay with what you like.
Certain dogs can handle strange or new unbroken cows with very little problems, some dogs never will be able to. What this is really about is” are you willing to try – even if you may fail?” What would it hurt if you tried to use the dogs and they were not able to do the job, would that be the end of the world or just starting a new learning experience?
This is only about YOU, not the dogs or the other people. Always remember that they are only an excuse – or a chance for a new learning experience, nothing else.