What do you guys make of this?
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Thread: What do you guys make of this?

  1. #1
    Paddysmom's Avatar
    Paddysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultWhat do you guys make of this?

    When I do retrieves with Seamus and Flynn, my border collie has this really annoying habit of sometimes latching onto Seamus' backside as I throw the retrieve. Doesn't bother Seamus; he's alert and ready to make his mark. Seamus willl catch or chase after the throw every time and kind of shake Rusty (the B/C) off like a piece of tissue stuck to your shoe. He's that focused on the task of retrieving. As he flies back to me, Flynn is always running by his side.

    But if Flynn makes the retrieve while Rusty is latched onto Seamus, Flynn will start in toward me and then, when he realizes Seamus is, um, otherwise detained, he'll go back to him... "Come on, mate!"

    Flynn will NOT complete the retrieve until Seamus is ready to run in with him.

    I, of course, assign human attributes to this behaviour. Comrades. Together through thick and thin. Always by your side. Teamwork.

    But in the dog world? Is it pack behaviour? They are after the same "prey". Flynn won't return with the "prey" until he knows Seamus is coming in with him. I think if it were the other way around (border collie latching onto Flynn instead of Seamus) Seamus wouldn't hesitate to complete the retrieve. And Shea is my gentleman!

    Thoughts? Education on this type of thing?


    Seamus and Flynn

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    I dunno, Nance. I think maybe Flynn might look to Seamus for guidance. Or maybe it's just the ritual they have.....I wish they could talk and tell us what is on their minds.

  4. #3
    Tundra Aries Guest

    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoezoe
    I dunno, Nance. I think maybe Flynn might look to Seamus for guidance. Or maybe it's just the ritual they have.....I wish they could talk and tell us what is on their minds.
    Nance, I think Sandy maybe right, not sure though, I too wish we could talk to them.

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    labby's Avatar
    labby is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    I think Sandy nailed it. Seamus is the leader and Flynn looks to him for guidance.



    Laura





  7. #5
    RangerMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    Interesting though, isn't it?

    Blackie and Ranger ...............................Reggie: 1996-2010 "Fly Reggie Fly"

  8. #6
    georgie's Avatar
    georgie is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    I sure don't know why...but it is a nice ritual.

  9. #7
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    I think the retrieving drive (like other traits) varies considerably among Labs so that when something is thrown, for some, retrieving it is the highest priority in the world -- nothing else matters but to get to it quickly and bring it back.

    For other Labs, other considerations can be important -- attitude about competition, tradition, social and distracting factors, etc. And it can change over time.

    For example, when Puff was maybe 1-3 years old, at our weekly LabFests whenever someone threw a Training Dummy for the Labs to fetch, Puff being always the fastest, was off to grab it and then performed her twirling dances to resist the efforts of others to take it away from her on her way back.

    But she's 6+ years now and for the last several years, her interest in competing to be the first get to the TD and bring it back has declined. Now she'll now longer even go after it whenever there are others also competing. (By contrast, my Bess would always have been the first there and the only one to bring it back -- that's the difference between Labs.)

    So I think it's some combination of training & tradition (what he's used to and prefers), socialization & collaboration factors, and the fierceness of that inner drive to retrieve.

    You could ask similar questions about Rusty. His behavior is a variation of the herding behavior of Border Collies. Why latch only onto Seamus's rump and not Flynn's? In both cases, we have an instinct or drive (retrieving, herding) that is partial. If you wanted to do extra training, I'm fairly sure Rusty could be trained to latch on to Flynn's rump and Flynn could be trained to retrieve whether Seamus was beside him or not. (If it was really worth it............ ;D)
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    Quote Originally Posted by labby
    I think Sandy nailed it. Seamus is the leader and Flynn looks to him for guidance.
    Yep I agree with that assessment too.

  11. #9
    mitziandjudysmom's Avatar
    mitziandjudysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    Here's my interpretation: I think Rusty wants in on the fun. He (Rusty is a guy , right?) does this to Seamus and not Flynn because he can get away with it with Seamus and not Flynn.
    [Whenever I play with M&J or when they play with each other, Duke and Bruno come running and jump on them wanting in on the fun. The two ruffians spoil the girls' game.]

    Flynn waiting for Seamus to complete the retrieve really seems like comradery yet Seamus doesn't wait for Flynn. It may be that Seamus is the leader, the established one in the family, and Flynn follows his lead. Or is it just a difference in personality; Flynn, the happy-go-lucky Rogue wants the fun of being with his big bro.
    I see similar behavior from Bruno and sometimes from Judy: When I am about to go outside with them, or when I'm about to feed them, I say " Let's go out, where's Duke? " or " It's dinner time, where's Mitzi?"
    Bruno runs through the house to find and alert the absent one so they don't miss out on the fun or meal.
    Mitzi and Duke don't do this. Duke is not a leader, but Mitzi is. Judy is alpha in her own mind, yet she does the comradery thing. Judy, and more so, Bruno have the fun-loving happy-go-lucky personality like Flynn. Is that what's related to the sense of comradery? Mitzi is more like Seamus- serious and more attached to me.
    I too wish they could talk.

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: What do you guys make of this?

    Rusty "herds" Seamus in the same way he would sheep. Border Collies know which sheep are the dominant sheep, who will follow who. If he doesn't control the lead sheep then he may as well lay down on the front porch and go to sleep. He isn't worried about Flynn because he is not the alpha dog in your pack. I would suggest training them separately. This way Flynn would become a little more independent of Seamus and think for himself.

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