Monday, October 25, 2010

warming fire in the man cave

This is the second day in a row for Kate to spend the whole day on the back of my quad, doing chores in the rain. Yesterday, road drainage, dam inspection, and cattle feeding. Today, some of the same, plus helping change tires on our grader. Both days, rain most of the time. Last night she slept outside. Tonight she has a bed by the fire. The difference? Yesterday I wore a rainsuit and came home warm and dry, looked at her fur coat and figured she was too. Today I wore cotton and was soaked to my socks all afternoon. If I'm cold, she's cold... sounds like us as young parents... Anyway, she likes her "mud box". mark


  1. Yep, "I'm cold so put your sweater on." I'm glad you relented.

    Looks nice and cozy.


  2. Cute bed, but she wants a blankey and her mommy.

  3. Perhaps on the "blankey"... and definitely on the "mommy", but she was WAY to wet and muddy for either when she first came in from the cold. And as soon as she was dry and warm she wanted back outside on her usual double-stacked bed.mark

  4. Mark, looks like with a little whistle work you might have a great Stock Dog.

  5. That is exactly why we built a double insulated doghouse with a porch. Rick would have those muddy mutts in our house too! They stay warm and dry in their very nice quarters and they are not in my house - everyone is happy.

  6. Jon, tell me more about the whistlework. Our cows are VERY good at defending their calves from coyotes and dogs... Kate has lots of drive, and some "grip", but I haven't started her because even the smallest miscue on her part causes a large reaction from the herd. And because we can currently get the cows to follow us with alfalfa as bait. mark

  7. Good Cattle Dogs get good Cattle Dogs.

    It only takes 6 different Whistle Calls* to have a dog do amazing things in the field. Remember these Calls are the ones you make up for your dog. Just don't use your Pony call around the dog. (Long story that Pony call)

    If you can train your pup to drop to the ground with a certain whistle,then half the chore is done.

    This will allow you trail your dog behind the Drive. If she gets too close, drop her. Let her know the distance you want. When she gets too close, DROP WHISTLE. Soon she will learn the Trail Distance.

    The reason I say WHISTLE is that when you are working stock on horseback (or Quad) the dog can catch your WHISTLE cleaner than a hand signal.

    I will not declare that Hand Signals are Taboo (in fact you want to train with both), just that around Big Stock the whistle is best because you can stop or direct the dog when you are out of her line of sight.

    Despite what some Brilliant Dog Trainers will tell you that a dog can learn about 10 commands, I the GRAND DUMMY can tell you that once you get a dog learning that number caps out at about 70. A Great Stock Dog will have a bag of tricks that that often average over 30.

    The first and most IMPORTANT command is DROP.

    Second is UP from DROP but don't move.

    Third is GET OUT COME TO ME. More Stock gets hurt by a dog that just will not give up. When this happens, find the dog a new home even if you have to pay somebody in the next State to take it. Trust me.

    Once you have your Dog doing these 3 commands 100% of the time, then call you Local Ag Agent and find out if any one around is working dogs. Heck you might have a local friend in the Cattle Trade that would allow you and your 3 COMMAND DOG to work with their dogs so your dog can learn from the Pros (the dogs, not the Dogs Trainer/Owner).

    Training any Dog is a lot of work and when training always remember love is the best reward. Once you get thinking and talking dog, soon you will just be able to say to your dog "lets bring them up to the Barn" and the two of you will never utter sound till the work is done. So trust your dog, she knows you are not as dumb as a box of rocks and there is great hope for you as you speak a little dog.

    *WHISTLE CALL..Lips-Tongue-Teeth and Lungs. No Store Bought stuff here.

  8. Really cute! I'd say that dog is living a charmed life. Love it!

    Jon, you're a smart cookie. Very interesting stuff!


We love to hear what you have to say. Keep your comments coming! Thanks.