Owned by Renee, Rhode Island USA
"I took Dawson home for Christmas with my family. Dawson was excellent. It was nice to sit in a room full of people with my puppy laying peacefully at my feet. Everyone he meets loves him...and he loves everyone. I love him! I will tell you one thing and this is the truth. I normally don't feel a bond or a strong love for a dog until he is closer to a year old. I have NEVER been so attached to a puppy so young as I am to Dawson.
"I love him so much and I am so thankful that I found the Canaan Dogs before Dawson. If the opposite had happened I probably wouldn't have gotten Canaan Dogs. This kelpie is the dog I have been looking for since I started in dogs. He is everything I want in the "perfect" dog for me. Thank you so much for him!"
We started a Puppy Agility class that is running for 4 weeks and he is so great! We have had one class so far and I only need to show him the obstacle once and he masters it. He did the tunnel, the A-frame, and jumped through the tire all on the first time in the first class. While at the training center last night all I have to do is walk by the obstacle and he does it! He is really amazing. He also is the only puppy in his class that can work off-leash the whole time.
Sept 2003 - "Dawson is great! I can't believe he is turning 3 next week. He is still my best buddy. I love snuggling with him.."
"Dawson DOES seem to understand more complex sentences and voice intonation better than one word commands. Training is constant but we do have 1 or 2 short formal sessions a day. It is funny because the description you wrote that I just read about how Kelpie's learn, is exactly what I have been seeing. He is not very motivated by food but seems to respond to vocal tones (positive and negative).
Dec 31st 2000
"Prior to my leaving on vacation, Stephen had explained the "Forced Down" to me. I began using it immediately and the results I have had are amazing." (Everyone thinks I am mean for not letting him do what he wants but too bad for them! They are also amazed at what a calm, well-behaved puppy I have.)
"I took Dawson home for Christmas with my family. Dawson was excellent. He had already experienced the Down/stay at my house a few times and I found it incredibly useful during hectic family visits. It was nice to sit in a room full of people with my puppy laying peacefully at my feet. He easily holds 30+ minute long downstays...and usually he simply falls asleep. I have also found it useful for when I *know* he has to go pee soon but I can't get out of the house right at the minute. :o) I can now leave the room for a minute or so and he stays where he was put. I have also noticed that he now chooses to lay by my feet on his own more often. I also noticed that he will "drop" on his own when he sees me coming and senses (correctly) I am going to put him DOWN anyway.
I see progress somewhat in his responsiveness to my requests. He is starting to pay attention a little more. I made some mistakes with my first dog (to be expected, I suppose) and have learned with each subsequent dog. My biggest mistake with my first dog(s) was saying a command multiple times with increasing volume...I am sure many novice owners do this. In any case, I do NOT want to make this mistake with Dawson. He is intelligent and has his hearing so there is no reason to say a command more than once in a normal tone of voice. I have also noticed that he is good at the "hot and cold" game and I can guide his actions somewhat with this. (EH! vs. "Good Boy"). For example, I take him to a puppy socialization class on Friday evenings. He had played for a good 30 minutes and I said his name in a normal tone of voice. He ignored me and I went over, took him back to where I was originally standing, and put him in a down. Puppies running all around him and he held is down. I let him stay there for about 5 minutes. Then I praised him, released him and waited a few minues. I said his name again. He ignored me. I repeated the above. The third time I said his name in the midst of play he looked at me. (I said quietly, Good) Then he looked away (EH!). You could see him contemplate his options. He then trotted over to me like a good boy. (TONS OF PRAISE).
I also used it when he was acting unsure and fearful. I have a friend that owns wolfdogs. He was intimidated by the size of the one we let in to play with him. Running, barking, tail tucked, hackles up....We put both dogs in a forced down and let Dawson adjust to her presence. Then I released him and they were playing together within a minute.
.... He is really a joy over all. Everyone he meets loves him...and he loves everyone. He has really adjusted well within my pack and plays well with my 5 month old bitch, Elena. He is very cute when he greets me....runs around me, play bows, and barking. I love him!
3rd Jan 2001
I have used your ideas for teaching COME with kibble before a meal. He is catching on quickly and I am slowly softening my voice to a whisper. I am impressed with how quickly this is coming along...
I think all in all things are going great. I will tell you one thing and this is the truth. I normally don't feel a bond or a strong love for a dog until he is closer to a year old. I have NEVER been so attached to a puppy so young as I am to Dawson. He is so sweet, so good, and so obviously attached to me. I am really impressed with him. I am so happy that I have him. :o)
" Dawson is great! We are finishing up Basic Obedience class right now and he has done very well! We were loudest and most obnoxious in the class (HA HA). This was not a bad thing, but in order to keep his attention on me I had to be more fun than everyone else in the room ... I have never approached obedience class like this before and I am really glad I did! He loved it!
He heels beautifully with all his attention focused on me. He is great at sit and down and does both very quickly. He is pretty good at stays (better at down than sit stay). Around the house and for walks he is getting MUCH better at listening to me. When I used the forced down (as Stephen described) I would release him from it with the word "Break". I have now found that I can use "Break" for virtually anything. To him it means stop whatever it is your doing and pay attention to my next request. "Let's Go" means stop what you are doing and come with me.
" You told me I would have to teach him formally to retrieve..Well THAT was easy! I did have to "formally" teach him to hold something in his mouth which I did by putting the ball/frisbee in his mouth and praising him enthusiastically until he dropped it. When he dropped it all praise stopped.
Within 3 times he was beside himself trying to hold the object, and since his recall has been pretty good, the retrieve was VERY easy to teach! He will chase and catch a rolling frisbee and has occasionally caught one from the air. I have taught him to jump onto my back. If I lean over and tell him "Dawson Up and Hold" he will jump up onto my back and lie down and stay there until I tell him "Off." I have also taugh him to jump into my arms for me to catch and also to jump over my back
" We finished basic obedience and he was excellent in it. We started a Puppy Agility class that is running for 4 weeks and he is so great! We have had one class so far and I only need to show him the obstacle once and he masters it. He did the tunnel, the A-frame, and jumped through the tire all on the first time in the first class. While at the training center last night all I have to do is walk by the obstacle and he does it! He is really amazing. He also is the only puppy in his class that can work off-leash the whole time. He stays right with me when we are working and gets annoyed if another puppy gets in his face while he is concentrating on what we are doing".
" Now that he retrieves like a pro, we will be going to parks to practice frisbee. He will catch it on a roll and return it. He is alsy starting to catch it from the air. He is such a great dog."
" Thank you so much for him!"
"I love him so much and I am so thankful that I found the Canaan Dogs before Dawson. If the opposite had happened I probably wouldn't have gotten Canaan Dogs. This kelpie is the dog I have been looking for since I started in dogs. He is everything I want in the "perfect" dog for me."
Our little mate Dawson got the opportunity to work sheep under the guidance of a Border Collie trainer in the USA. From the reports of Renee he loved it.
It didn't take long though for them to respond to him and it was so incredible to watch the lightbulb go on in him. There was a definite moment where he realized that he was the one moving them...his whole face lit up and he started working with much more enthusiasm. I actually started to well up with tears, it was so beautiful to watch my little baby do this...and so well. :-)
He was very focused on me and incredibly responsive. She told me to hold my hand up to keep him from circling and head him the other way....shockingly, he did it. Tell him to lie down and stay, he did it. He continued work when I told him and didn't resist the "Let's Go" we've been working on when work is done. He came with me. Of course, when he responded well he was allowed to have the sheep again as a reward.
"It's really fun to work with him like this. I can already see a difference in him and his relationship with me. "
"The trainer was impressed with him. She thinks if I like it
I should train him to compete against BC's in predominantly BC
competitions. He was very calm and steady and didn't rile up the
sheep. (Unlike the Canaan Dog we brought in right after Dawson...just
to see what he would do). She teaches one other handler/kelpie team
and seemed to be really impressed with Dawson over what she has seen
for the American bred kelpies. He instinctively knows what to do and
does it calmly and without making the sheep nervous."
We received this very nice note from Carol Champion in the USA who is a stockdog trainer. Renee decided to take Noonbarra Dawson to her for a bit of sheep work.
I had a woman named Renee here today for her first lesson with Dawson, an 8 month old she bought from you.
He is an impressive guy with tremendous balance, pace, nice distance around the sheep-he settles sheep. He's still young but has tremendous potential. I hope Renee can keep coming here or somewhere to keep him going!
Carol Campion firstname.lastname@example.org