1. Robin wants to know what you ideal number of dogs is?
I have six on the place right now and that is my absolute max. One of those is my youngest daughter's dog that we are keeping until she gets out of college (just got her, as my daughter has to move out of the place where she could keep a dog). One other dog is our Pyrenees, Sonya, and she is must have, as she is my "compound guard dog". She keeps the varmints away from the critters we keep around the house. We have two 20 acre traps, and we kid out there. Plus I have chickens, so Sonya's presence keeps foxes, coons, and possums away. Last year she killed 7 possums and 2 coons that came too close. Right now we have 60 head of nannies in the traps in the midst of kidding, so she keeps the bobcats, foxes, and coyotes away while the kids are young. When they can travel good and keep up with mom and the herd they will get turned back out in the pasture. So that's two dogs!! The other four are Border Collies, and that is my max for training/working. Tate has had a very busy spring helping move goats and sheep around and I couldn't do that job without him. He's good with the baby kids and listens so well and is "soft" with the nannies. The other 3 BCs are young and in training, but I'm looking forward to when they can "work" full time, too.
Sorry about the long dissertation on dog numbers, but I'm in a talkative mood! Here's a couple of pictures of the baby kids - just because I like pictures!!
2. Lora wants to know if you find your dogs are better or worse with time off from training?
Tate really does the best if we work at least 4 or 5 days a week, by work I mean on stock, taking commands, being what he was made to do! If he doesn't, he gets to "sky bugging". (and then I am not a happy camper). We don't always accomplish that, but that is my goal.
Liesl really needs to work every day, but only in small segments. She is an extremely strong dog, and has been slow to train. One thing that I want to start doing with her is taking her when I go horseback, and just put some conditioning miles on her. One of our mottos when training (we've trained ranch horses for years) is that every young horse needs lots of "wet saddle blankets". Liesl needs to get tired before she wants to settle into working sheep correctly.
Bess, I try to work on sheep 3 days a week. I love to do other things with her every day, and she thrives on the attention. She's okay with time off, though, as she learns quickly and never forgets.
One thing I try to do, is change up things in my training program, so the sessions build on each other, but I try to keep it fresh to keep all of us interested. So sometimes, if I'm not "into it mentally" we do take time off.
3. What is your favorite power tool? What power tool do you wish you had?
I have three favorites:
I like to build rustic furniture from salvaged lumber, and I can build anything with these three tools!
I wish I had a lathe. I think I would like to learn to do more detailed work.
4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian. No doubt, I thought that is what I would be. But, got to college and walked on the Varsity Women's Basketball Team and played for four years (Colorado State University). So changed my major (twice) and ended up having a degree in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Physical Education and Biology.
But, I've always lived on a ranch and had animals, so I've "doctored" critters all my life. Hubby calls me "Dr. Doniene"!!! LOL
5. How many of your friends are not dog people?
About half and half. Some of my best friends are people that I have met trialing - we think alike!!! LOL
But I have other friends that don't get it so I don't talk dogs with them! But I have many diverse interests and have people that I consider friends in those other activities. i.e. quilters, ranchers, church friends etc. But if someone will listen, I WILL TALK about my dogs!!!
That's me on the right "talking" to a willing listener!!
Really, she talked too as she has a young BC and we were sharing experiences!!