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ten puppies chasing after a flock of sheep, baying like a pack of hounds going in for the kill. I got after them as quick as I could, shouted most every expletive known to man - and some that I invented. One puppy would get a hold of a sheep, quickly followed by a few other puppies. The sheep would go down with two or three puppies pulling viciously at its wool. I would get to the stricken sheep as quickly as I could. I would grab a puppy by the scruff of the neck in each hand, give them a few shakes, and toss them off the sheep. As soon as the puppy hit the ground it would get up and go after another sheep. As I was rescuing one sheep, another would be going down. Soon my lungs were burning and my legs felt like I had just run a sub four-minute mile. I was quickly coming to the end of my tether, when suddenly the puppies stopped chasing the sheep and headed back to the kennels. It was as if they decided, "we have had our fun and you seem to be getting quite annoyed with us so we will go home now."

On the next day, several rolls of chain link fence arrived at the kennels and the large pen was reinforced with it. I remember the puppies getting after the sheep once more. How on earth I allowed this I can't remember, but if those puppies got sight of sheep they were pretty determined to get after them.

Waiting to go out with a shooting party.

David heard what had happened. The next time I saw him he chuckled and said; "Now you know what I went through when I had to catch your crazy puppies."

I was surprised to see that all of the sheep survived their traumatic experience - albeit minus a few chunks of wool. The sheep stayed well clear of the kennels. The shooting season was about to start in full flow so I wasn't going to have much time to spend on the young puppies. From November to February I would be out with shooting parties often six days a week, all day, until after dark if we were duck flighting and sometimes before dawn if there was a morning flight. I thought this was just as well as it would be a good time to let the puppies settle down from their fun and games with sheep. At some time I was going to have to change their attitude towards sheep. One could not go shooting on Anglesey without working amongst sheep. I never had any problems before and dreaded to think what problems this situation was going to cause.

As this occurred nearly 25 years ago, I don't remember how long I waited before trying to do something about the sheep chasing. I expect it was a couple of months. In the meantime, I was doing a bit of basic obedience training, walking on a lead, etc. with the puppies. Henry Prince, one of the regular beaters, said he had heard a dog could be stopped from chasing sheep by putting it in a small pen with a very large ram. I didn't think this was very suitable for promising young Saighton puppies. What I did was to take each puppy, one at a time, into the pasture on a lead. I walked up to the sheep. When the puppy saw the sheep its ears would pick up. As we got nearer, the puppy would lunge for the sheep. As soon as the puppy went for the sheep, I would give the lead a sharp snap and simultaneously give a stern "no". The sheep would run off. I would walk the puppy up to the sheep again and begin the process again. After two or three snaps of the lead, the puppy would show no interest in chasing sheep. None of the puppies ever chased sheep again, except Scud. It was not long before I was going to ship him to Janet, when, in a moment of complete madness, he took off after a flock of sheep. This was after taking no notice of them for nearly a year. It caught me completely by surprise. That was the one and only time any of the pups ever thought of chasing sheep after one quick session on the lead.

"If you time the command to be given at the same fraction of a second that the jolt from the snap of the lead reaches the dog's neck, the dog will take notice of the command very quickly indeed."

I was amazed at how quickly the sheep chasing stopped. In fact, the next problem I had was; if I were working one of the puppies in a field that contained sheep, they would stop working completely if they saw sheep. I could not get them to cast off again until they were well way from the sheep. Eventually they learned to ignore the sheep all together.

I always remember Delmar Smith saying during his dog-training seminar, "A dog will learn a conditioned response

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