English Shepherd Tracker Training

Black and Tan English Shepherd

Since at least as early as the nineteenth century, hunters in Appalachia, the Ohio River Valley, and the South were using Old-fashioned black and tan English shepherds to tree small game, bay larger game, track wounded game, and catch wild boar hogs. As life in America has urbanized and some would say become emasculated, our … Read more

Vixen’s Litter Day 28 – Teeter Board

Black and Tan English Shepherd

As part of my puppy enrichment process, the litter is safely exposed to uneven and unusual surfaces.  Today, these 28-day-olds were introduced to the teeter board.  This piece of equipment is part of a set sold by M.A.D. Agility. In a few days, we’ll begin to use this board for marker training. Click an image … Read more

Vixen’s Litter Day 21 – Sounds from the Farm

Black and Tan English Shepherd

Vixen’s Old-fashioned Black and Tan English Shepherd puppies began to spend daytime hours outside yesterday.  That was a big step, so we didn’t throw much more than that at them. Today, when we went back outside, we started exposing them to the rural sounds of the farm.  At first, these sounds are introduced from a … Read more

Liberty Puts the Goats Away

Black and Tan English Shepherd

Liberty is my 10.5 month old English Shepherd male. In this video clip, he helps me put the goats back after they’ve spent the early morning ruminating on orchard grass. Liberty has self-control, a strong presence but a soft touch when working my livestock. When he’s not working stock, Liberty enjoys ball fetch, disc catch, … Read more

Protocol-based Dog Care

Black and Tan English Shepherd

In the practice of Protocol-based Dog Care, dog activities get organized into repeatable processes. From each process, re-usable protocols get identified to meet an individual dog or a group of dogs specific requirements. Single Dog Protocols Single Dog Protocols include activities such as: Meals Exercise Medication Training Work Weigh-In Vet Visit Other Activities Group Protocols … Read more

Liberty Accelerates

Black and Tan English Shepherd

If I had to use one word to describe Liberty[1]Biographical and Husbandry Details for Natchez Trace Liberty these past few weeks, it would have to be “acceleration”. If you had asked me in mid-May who my number one goat dog was, I would have said Sugar[2]Biographical and Husbandry Details for Natchez Trace Famous Shoes. And … Read more

Training for a Truck Ramp

Black and Tan English Shepherd

Liberty started training on the ramp at about 7 weeks old. We started with the ramp flat on the ground. We raised the angle up slowly. We got used to the sound of the diesel engine. During the whole process, we used marker training to reinforce behavior. Now at about 11 weeks, he enters and … Read more

Willie Rocks the Tunnel

Black and Tan English Shepherd

Through the course of our puppy enrichment program, we used Mad Agility’s puppy agility equipment, including the puppy barrel (mini tunnel). Here’s Willie (Josie x Rusty Fall 2020) confidently shooting a full size tunnel like a pro. Willie’s mom tells me there was no practice at all. He just knocked it out. Willie is in … Read more

Manding 501: Increase the Difficulty Level

Black and Tan English Shepherd

Focus and attention are core precepts of my manageable companion dog philosophy. That’s why I’m obsessed with manding. Once your dog or pup has manding down to a science, you’re probably getting asked for a lot of treats. That’s great. But according to Purina Senior Nutritionist Jan Dempsey, 90 percent of daily calories should come … Read more

Invisible Treat Pouch

I don’t believe in a visible treat pouch. With some dogs, I’ve seen the pouch become a distraction. For awhile I tried hanging the pouch from my belt on the back of my pants, but I found that location to be inaccessible. So instead, I carry treats in a sandwich bag in my pocket. I’ll … Read more

Focus and Attention Training

When stone cold Hawkeye was a pup, he was hard to convince.  We had problems with focus and distraction.  Hawkeye forced me to raise my game and learn training techniques to overcome the issue.  Since then, I’ve proofed these techniques on several dogs and found them to be effective at forming a well-focused, less distractable … Read more