Canen Molly 261520
DOB 14 October 2002
Sire Sadghyl Pip 193219 Dam Dot 240891
Breeder S Bell
Current clear cPRA test
DNA CEA/CH Normal
DNA TNS Normal
Hips 4:3 total 7
Carries the brown gene
Molly was owned by Natalie Holtappel but after showing rather too much interest in a neighbour's sheep, she joined the Corrie Dhu clan in October 2006.
From my experiences of Sadghyl Pip progeny (I have had three of his grandchildren and had a son in training) and from hearing about other dogs sired by him on sheep, I've always wanted to have a pup by him. Sadly he died before I could use him on any of my bitches. Therefore I was very happy to have the chance to have Molly, his daughter.
I tried Molly on sheep prior to her having a litter by Ghost. We also have her son, Quillan, by Ghost.
Molly has an excellent temperament and a happy go lucky nature. Nothing phases Molly and she is friends with everyone she meets. She would not make a guard dog - I have seen her first hand complete welcome strangers into the house when no one was in! Like the rest of my dogs, Molly is not sound sensitive. Molly is very good with other dogs, people and children.
Molly pregnant with her first litter with me. Pregnancy helped her training a lot as it slowed her down! Now she has finished rearing her pups she is back in training, see bottom of the page for her latest training diary.
Reforming a sheep chaser...
These pictures are the first I've taken of Molly on sheep. Bearing in mind this is only the second time she has legitimately been allowed to chase sheep, it's easy to see the tension in her. She is holding her head up and tail sticking out a bit.
To begin with she was inclined to never quite get to the balance point. I walked around with the sheep (they are fairly well dogged training sheep) trying to encourage her to balance. She was verbally reprimanded when she dived in at the sheep. Rather than settle at the balance point Molly was inclined to grip. This was worse off the right hand.
It didn't take her long to find the point of balance and stop diving in. The gripping is I think due to the pressure I am putting on her, she has been used to occasionally helping herself to sheep and not having work for a "boss".
Update 6 October 2006. I've had Molly for a few days now and she has been on sheep about 6 times so far. I am pleased with her progress at this point. She is trying to grip less and has lost a lot of the tension she was carrying. I am almost able to trust her to bring sheep to me without diving in and I am spending a lot of time walking around with her balancing the sheep to me. She goes fairly well on both hands but is inclined to grip off the right instead of walking into her sheep. I think as her confidence grows this will resolve itself. She seems to have plenty of power and I like her plain but effective working style. I expect her to become slightly more classy and stylish with more training but she will never be sticky. She has good natural balance. At four years of age it would be easy to think she is too old to bother training, however I feel she is going to be a useful work dog and there is something about her way of working I really like. I also think that due to her age, she will train very quickly.
Update 10 October 2006. Molly had some time off over the weekend as I was away trialing. Her first day back at work was a busy one for me as I was vaccinating and worming 500 lambs. Including gathering it took me and the other dogs about 7 hours to get the job done. Molly waited patiently on the bike until I had time to take her out. I thought she might be a bit excited but actually she was pretty good. I am still working on getting her to calmly balance sheep to me and stop her diving in and gripping. One problem I am having is that she has endless stamina and is very hard to tire out! I could do with some warm weather but since it's October in Scotland, there isn't much chance of that. Her stamina will be a bonus in the future anyway!
Update 12 October 2006. Today we've had quite a breakthrough. This was the first time I've had her out and she hasn't even tried to grip. In only ten days Molly has become a much calmer dog. She is no longer playing at chasing sheep, but is concentrating and working the sheep. She is much more focussed on the job at hand and this is shown in the photos below, which I took today. I can now call her off sheep and I have started to teach her to lie down, away from sheep.
Update 17 October 2006. Today I started making Molly lie down at sheep. She doesn't like this at all and it is our biggest battle yet. I am also widening her on the right, which she also doesn't like but is beginning to accept.
Update 31October 2006. Molly has had some time off training because I have been busy and also because we had got into a bit of a deadlock over her lying down at sheep. Molly would have rather quit her sheep than lie down when I told her. Giving her a bit of time off has made her think about it and today things changed. She lay down happily the first time I told her and every time after that. She worked really well on a large flock. Sometimes time off is better than battling on.
The photos below show a marked improvement in her attitude. Her head and tail are lower which is a sign she has stopped playing and is ready to be trained.
Update 25th July 07 After a break for maternity leave, Molly is now back in full time training. She has forgotten nothing in her time off and seems to actually have been pondering her training so far as she is better than she was when I stopped training her!
I think these pictures show the change in her. Her head and tail are down and relaxed.
Molly is now keeping the correct distance off her sheep with out me having to battle to keep her off, and she is walking onto them in a controlled and purposeful manner. She is now stopping nearly every time I tell her, including off the balance point and I've started to put her on her sides.