One Good Farmdog

…That's what owners of our old fashioned farm collie puppies say. We love the way our farm dogs think, work and nurture!

2016 – Keeper- Sold

Keeper is off to Montana! He’ll grow up to herd, and protect livestock on a homestead farm, compete in agility, 4H programs, and be a loving guardian angel to his new family.

Word from the owner –

Nov 28, 2016 – Hi Brina! Keeper finally made it Here!
Keeper has settled in just a few hours.  He has met the kids. My husband went with me to pick Keeper up and we are clicking.  When we got home though, Keeper really took to the girls and wanted to be Velcroed to them. I’ll watched for calming signals or any anxiety on Keeper‘s part but it seemed he was comfortable with kids. The other two boys gave Keeper space as we requested so we wouldn’t overwhelm him, but he still checked them out.  Keeper has also met Rose (our other dog) and the outdoor kitty.  He did fantastic with both introductions.  We arrived in the dark so we did not make it around the whole property, but he has accompanied us to the garage on the leash several times and been in our large fenced in area next to the house.  Keeper is so calm and settled.  I know he is getting use to us but wow.  I am use to the intensity of the border collie so I guess I was expecting more of that high excitement. He has just been systematically checking the main room in the house out and thinking. Boy the wheels turn.  I was worried about Keeper being wary of my husband after hearing how he was slow to warm up to the transporter, but Keeper is doing fine with him too.  Keeper has taken up a spot next to my husband’s feet and is sleeping right now.
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Dec 6, 2016 – Out and about on our walk.

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Dec 7, 2016 – Keeper and Rose are getting along much better. Rose wasn’t impressed with a new pup in the house,and would intimidate him. But that seems to have been resolved. Rose is a border collie/German short hair cross who has been terrific with the family, and bird hunting. She really took an interest in working cattle when she finally got around them.

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Dec 10, 2016 – 

I had a question concerning training a solid come.  We ( my husband and I) have been taking Keeper out on the property outside the fence on a long line since we got him.  We have been reinforcing a good recall with praise and occasional treats.  When on a long line, his behavior is great. He listens and pays attention.  When I take him out, its usually to take the chickens scraps or to the unattached garage to get things out of it.  I have let him offline a couple of times when on the way back to the house.  This is usually when I have treats and he knows it.  He will stay next to me the whole time happy to be out on a “mission”.  My husband does fine with him on a long line the couple times he’s had him out.  He seems like he’s doing okay with him but Keeper really doesn’t mind him yet ( we are working on that).
My struggles come when the situation is less than ideal.  I have been working on a “wait” at the door and the gate out into the open property.  Two days ago I was bringing in groceries and he bolted out of the gate disobeying the wait command which is not solid but he understands.  He then proceeded to head to the garage and ignore me and the “come” command. I finally headed inside (I don’t chase a dog) and he was like “oh so you weren’t going to the garage” and came back.  I was back outside at this point and saw him heading my direction, I got excited for him and backed up, clapping. He then came and was rewarded but ignored me for about 4 minutes before this and did his own thing.  Today we had 4 wheelers and snow plows moving snow in the parking lot and on the street next to us.  He was in the fence area barking at the vehicles and I called him to come inside.  He proceeded to ignore me again.  He has been fairly solid on his come inside the fence. I have been reluctant to let him off the long line because of this.  The elk and deer come close to the property and if scared go up the mountain into the wildlife area (forested wilderness).  I worry that if he takes off after them, he can head a long way off and not make it home. I also worry about him taking after the vehicles and getting hit.  The snowplows would have been moving slow enough to be enticing.
Keeper‘s mind works all the time.  I have been diligent about rewarding good behavior and he seems to be forming a bond with us but he is slow to obey.  He kind of reminds me of a teenager that is seeing what he can get away with. He’ll hear his name and command, and go back to whatever when off the line.  At first, I thought he just didn’t understand the command but it works 90% of the time. The long line is still very much needed to reinforce commands.  Do you have any thoughts on how his mind works? He is so different from a Border Collie which I expected.  How can I better work with him to get a solid recall especially when it counts with him in “guard” mode or “chase” mode (thankfully he has not had to been called off a deer or elk yet)? Am I expecting to much at this age or stage in the bonding process with us? I would love to hear your insights.  Things really are going well with him.  He is doing great with the kids and animals.  He is picking up on our life patterns and expectations. I suspect we need more time. It has barely been here 2 weeks. The goal is to get him to a point of more freedom as soon as I can. I want to be reinforcing good behaviors and not bad. We are enjoying Keeper and are glad to have him here.

My replyKeeper is at the age of testing his limits, and he does have English Shepherd in him which can be strong willed, but your case sounds nothing out of the normal, No fear!

Don’t lower your expectations, he must learn to uphold them at the standard you have set.
 I remember being frustrated at my dog Eva (Keeper‘s dam) when she was around 8 months old, because she 100% had heard the command to come, looked at me and then turned around to go her own way, sniffing an interesting trail. So I went after her, not running, since that would spark the idea that we were playing a game. I walked right up to her, grabbed her collar and told her that I didn’t approve of her behavior, and when I say come she must COME. With a little spank on the rump, I gave her the cold shoulder and put her in the garage for a good hour. I only came back when I was in a better mood to deal with her, (Some people believe that dogs, and especially puppies, have short term memory loss. I strongly believe that my dogs know exactly what I’m talking about, you can see it in their eyes, and actions.)  Now that I had calmed down, I came into the garage and gave the command to Come, Eva obeyed with a guilty face on, as I praised, she brightened up and we went on a walk together one of Eva’s Favorite rewards.

Dec 11, 2016 –  We have had several inches of snow which has made it harder to be outside. The chickens have not needed to be put in because they are staying in their coop to avoid the snow. Training has continued inside, however.  Keeper is pictured in a down-stay of about 15-20 seconds. He is a little wet because he just came in after playing with Rose in the falling snow. I didn’t think to take a picture earlier in the daylight. He came to us with a nice sit. Still working on a recall when he’s distracted outside. He loves to go out with us to do chores and go to the garage with me to get things out of the extra freezer. He also has a fascination with me folding laundry especially when matching socks. He has been finding the kids’ socks that they leave by the door occasionally when taking off their snow boots. He will now bring them to me to exchange them for a treat. I will let you know if he figures out how to do the laundry and match socks for us! haha!
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Dec 18, 2016 – With temperatures hovering around zero, Keeper and Rose are hard at work helping the kids combat cabin fever.
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Dec 28, 2016 – One thing that amazes me about Keeper is his calmness and ability to settle inside. After having Border collies that want to fetch or continue working well after the sun has set to the point of being obnoxious, having a dog settle down and be content as a foot warmer is quite enjoyable. Can “foot warmer” be an official task for a “Working farm dog”? LOL!
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Jan 7, 2017 – Today Keeper went to a dog training workshop and did very well with my son. Keeper settled in and started listening after 20 minutes. It was his first time in this building. Keeper handled the distractions of 8 other dogs and an audience of 20 people since the workshop was open to the public.
Rally starts in February and both boys are excited to get started this year!
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Jan 8, 2017 – Keeper update and question: My husband had to make a trip to visit someone in the hospital a hundred miles away and is on his way back on bad roads that are only getting worse. Keeper has been on edge tonight…wanting in and out of the house, making laps around the living room, barking at the train which hasn’t bothered him in a long time. I finally figured out that he’s picking up on my anxiousness and started to really watch him. When he would go out, he would go look toward the garage which is where my husband sometimes spends his evenings and then come back in. I don’t think it’s coincidence and I wonder if he put two and two together that husband missing=anxiety on my part. I told him that my husband will be back soon and now Keeper is sleeping at my feet. The other dog, Rose, has been oblivious. Does anyone else’s dog pick up on moods or get worried when one of it’s people are gone?

My reply –Oh yes! Collies are very tuned to our emotions and aren’t relaxed until we are. Also ES are all about rules, they are so focused on helping,  but to be a helper they have to focus on what the human wants, and Keeper knew you were missing someone. He’ll calm down, and when your husband returns he’ll affirm in his own mind seeing you relax and happy again, connects with your husband – the missing member of the pack- coming home.

Jan 28, 2017 – Keeper looks for his next command. They worked on reinforcing come, sit, down, and stay at today’s workshop.

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Feb 4, 2017 – Our dog workshop was canceled today due to winter storm so instead we played outside in a foot of fresh powder. Keeper was kept on a long line as a precaution because the snowplows are out in force. Keeper wants to protect us from the big slow moving monster that sprays snow everywhere. He did not mind the 4 wheeler pushing snow, though.
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Feb 13, 2017 – Started beginning rally today. (The boys with Rose on the left and Keeper in the middle foreground) They learned and practiced halt/sit, halt/down/walk around the dog, and heel position.

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Keeper is brave, and gentle. He is not on the top of the puppy ranks but he takes orders well. He would do well as a guard dog, he always is the first to jump up at an unfamiliar sound, and Keeper is quick to check it out.  Keeper has a desire to please, and wants to do his best for you. He’s Submissive to his master, yet fearless. He loves to track, and usually has his nose to the ground. He has great herding capabilities, and loves to be around the Chickens. Keeper is expected to grow up to be around 65-70lbs. He resembles his collie ancestors with his long coat, sloped muzzle, and loving eyes,  though some English shepherd shows through from his natural bob tail. He is a cuddle bug, and wants to be loved by everyone.

Keeper has had 5 DNA tests-  PRA-PRCD =A  CEA =B   MDR1 =A   DM =A  VWD1 =A

An “A” means top score not affected, or clear of the disease you were testing for.

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Week 4-

Ducks- Keeper had seen other puppies work with the ducks so he knew what to do. speedy Keeper did his best to round up the ducks, and hold them there, but every now and then one would slip out, he darts out after the loose duck and brings it back. looks at me to say “How did I do? do you like my work?” his tail goes wild as I praise him. “That will do Keeper, that will do!”

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Going to the Calf- I held Keeper while I pet Joey, (the calf) Keeper leaned over to smell joey’s back, his tiny tail wiggled so fast he squirmed for joy, he liked the smell of this new animal! I set him down he ran up to joey tail alert, and he must have said something that joey didn’t like because joey stomped his hoof, and swung his head, I moved Keeper out of the way before there was any trouble. soothing joey I put Keeper down further away with me from joey, Keeper has no fear, he went right back, but this time took a different approach, from behind with his head and tail streamline he darted for the calf’s legs. “Easy boy, good dog Keeper, come.” I call out, Keeper turns to me and then looks back at joey as if to say, “but I was doing my job, I’m not done yet.” “That will do Keeper, come.” I tell him. Keeper comes wiggling his tail, “did I do good?” he says to me, “Yes Keeper, you are brave. Good dog!”

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Pictures of Keeper-

at 19 weeks

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at 12 weeks

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At week 9

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at 4 weeks

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At week 3

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4 comments on “2016 – Keeper- Sold

  1. Kristina Bonine
    22/10/2016

    Trying to reach you.

    • brinabrink
      24/10/2016

      Email me, and we’ll see if I have the dog for you.
      Brina~

  2. Vickie Golab
    23/10/2016

    I am interested in Keeper. Is he still available? Thanks.

    • brinabrink
      24/10/2016

      Yes, he is still available, we can email, and see if he’s a good fit for you.
      Thank you for your time and interest.
      Brina~

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This entry was posted on 16/05/2016 by in 2016 Eva's Litter.
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