Home' Smart Farmer : February 2012 Contents February 2012
N December, I left you with
arguably the most important bit
of homework: teaching a tone to
your dog to get an instant 'stop'.
By now, it should be perfect and
we need to let your dog know that
whenever you say the tone 'Stooop',
it stops. Always.
Remember that you need to say it
softly. Don't shout. Don't shorten it.
You taught this tone away from all
distractions and definitely away
Now comes the time to let your
dog know that it must also stop
when it is working stock.
So, what do you think is going to
happen when you take it back into
the round yard and let it balance
and work stock with you?
The dog will be concentrating
completely on what it does best -
working sheep - and everything will
be blocked, nothing you say will
This is the time you raise your
voice and scream and yell louder
and louder until it hears the word
That is why you can hear the local
farmer and bad dog handlers from
three or four paddocks away. And it
is also why
do the same,
think they have
to do it that way.
I will just
digress a bit here
and tell you a
Working Dog Training Schools, I did
the normal thing and asked every-
one what they wished to achieve
during the next two days.
One young farmer explained to
me that he had got himself a new
pup from a different bloke, instead
of the fellow who normally supplied
He went on to explain that the fel-
low who normally supplied his dad
was his next door neighbour and
had good dogs, but they were all
born partially deaf and he did not
want to be shouting at his new pup
like his dad.
I blew my nose (to hide my smile)
and said nothing.
At the end of the school, he
approached me and told me he was
embarrassed. He now realised it was
not deaf dogs, but rather his father
who did not know any other way of
doing it. I replied that his biggest
problem was yet to come: stopping
his father from shouting at his new
ensure that you
do not end up
being one of the
shouters? It's all
in the position.
If you have been
Series, you will recall that in June
2011 I gave you the Keys for
Training and one of those was to be
in the right position when you are
teaching a new skill.
The right position ensures that
you have control of the situation.
The right position for teaching a
new skill is to be 'off balance'.
Off balance is when the sheep are
behind you and the dog is in front of
you. It looks like this: sheep-you-
It is the opposite to your 'on bal-
ance' work where it looks like this:
you-sheep-dog (he is behind the
Manoeuvre your dog around with
your rake until it is right in front of
you and the sheep are behind.
Then say its name (to grab the
dog's attention), raise the rake up
high above your head with the black
prongs acting like a big black hand,
then say softly 'Andy, stooop'.
What is going to happen next?
It will probably want to ignore
you and its eyes will be fixed on his
It will try to duck either left or
right and get back to working his
sheep. That's natural, but you must
quickly (and I mean quickly) zig or
zag and keep repeatedly saying qui-
etly 'Andy stooop'.
Keep at it.
Do not let it get around you or
you have lost. Keep zigging and zag-
ging until it just stands still and
looks at you. Keep saying softly
You may have to slowly lower the
rake down towards its head, just as
you did when you were teaching it
away from stock.
Eventually, it will adopt the clap
As soon as he does, one second
after it has clapped (no longer),
move rapidly either right or left and
allow it to go straight around onto
its balance work. Give the dog 30
seconds or so and then repeat the
This time, it will be a bit easier -
and so on.
Here are some don'ts:
At this stage of the dog's training
do not hold it down in the stop
position for any longer than a sec-
If you hold it any longer, the dog
will view it as a punishment and
resent you stopping it.
Make it like a game.
Secondly, once you have it in the
'off balance' position and you tell it
to stop, it MUST STOP. Don't let
him escape around you without
clapping. If you do, he will see it as
a game and always try to get around
you instead of clapping down.
Do not exceed three minutes. You
should know that rule by now.
Next Month, Using Balance, Off
Balance and Quarter Stops.
• Need to know more?
Stopping the stock not
as easy as it may sound
The right position ensures that you have control of the situation.
Teach new skill in 'off balance'
The dog must stop
Make it a game, not punishment
with BEN PAGE,
Working Dog Centre
At this stage of the dog's
training do not hold it
down in the stop position
for any longer than a
ONCE again hot, dry summers have
diminished daily nutrient intake by
grazing livestock from general pastures.
But most nutrients are more accessi-
ble to grazing stock during this period
because of the greater use of mineral
and trace element supplements and,
along with the addition of a non- pro-
tein nitrogen source, such as urea, the
consumption of dry feed is usually ele-
Most farmers try to utilise cereal or
legume stubbles as part of a specific
grazing strategy and a finely tuned par-
asite control measure.
We do, however, often over-rely on
stubbles as a quality feed source. They
are only as good as the grain residue
accessible to the animal.
Once the grain portion of the stubble
has been consumed, the nutrients of
the remaining standing feed are usually
So most farmers head to their agri-
cultural supplier for a mineral lick or
Often these types of supplements can
aid the animal's consumption of stand-
ing dry feed, but they are only a part of
Food is vital! Once the grain portion
of the stubble has been consumed, it
needs to be replaced.
The animal requires known amounts
of energy and protein, which are often
missing at this stage of stubble con-
sumption: mineral licks with urea do a
great job and can help with growth,
wool quantity and quality in sheep.
The stock still require daily supple-
mental energy and protein. While ener-
gy is usually the first or leading nutrient
to vanish in hot, dry weather, it is also
the most complicated and expensive to
Placing a self-feeder with a grain
supplement in the stubble paddock at
the right time - just as the grain disap-
pears from the stubble is always a good
time - ensures energy and protein
There is always a significant price dif-
ference between good and average
There is a clear advantage in keeping
sheep in score 3-4 condition.
A cereal and legume blend is always
a good idea, particularly when using
But if stocks of available grains are
low, then a single cereal or legume will
Remember, supplying a grain supple-
ment to grazing livestock does not
mean the animal will eat more stubble.
This is the area where urea-based prod-
ucts come into play.
Vaccinations for clostridia, such as
pulpy kidney, need to be carried out
before livestock enters high-quality
stubbles because as nutrition climbs so
does the advent of pulpy kidney. You
need to remember that vaccinations do
not work instantly.
Ten to 14 days before entry to fresh
stubbles is a good time to vaccinate,
drench and B12 all stock.
Allowing the animal access to a qual-
ity mineral and trace element supple-
ment that contains some urea and an
all-weather formula is a sound invest-
• Need to know more?
Ross Waller 0427186 943.
All-weather formula sound investment to maintain 3-4 score condition
with ROSS WALLER,
Livestock production consultant
Hay, Oaten, lucerne, pollard
Small Animals ( Ducks Guinea Pigs Chickens Rabbits) Trailer hire, Gas, Pool supplies
ANGLE VALE SEED & FODDER
Lot 207 Angle Vale Road, Angle Vale
Ph: 08 8284 9313 Mob: 0438 828 020 www.anglevaleseedandfodder.com
Dog Food & Supplies
Cattle & Horse Feed
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