I've not used the toe grips, but have heard of others using them with success. One thing to remember is that with or without the toe grips, you still have to keep the nails trimmed, the shorter the better. Many breeds, mine included, grow quite a bit of hair between the pads of their feet. Keeping it trimmed flush with the footpads will also help with slipping on tile and vinyl.
An overweight dog is going to have more problems as it ages with staying on its feet.
Finally, the slipping in a senior dog may be a symptom of IVDD, DM, or a variety of other unpleasant realities of aging pets. Been there, it's horrible.
If you want to see crazy sheep try working Cheviots or Barbados.
We have worked both, and crosses of both with other breeds. Never really had any problems except for a few Barbs that tried to fly. The facility where we train has a Kathadin flock that varies from year-to-year...this year's was not very good, and at the end of the spring trial season saw a lot of them going to market!
I have a good friend with a small flock of Barb/Dorper crosses that are pretty nice to work.
The sheep that have caused me the most pain were a set of St Croix...big idiots.
We don't condemn our breed of sheep based upon the crazy/undesirable behavior of some sheep; we look at that the family line (nature/genetics) and how it was handled (nurture).
Crazy sheep? You don't happen to have Kathadins, do you? ;)
In following this thread, I only have one thing to add. I've been training dogs for a little over 30 years now, and I've got a pretty good read these days for which dogs might possibly be dangerous. My first clue? The owner.
Like so many products, it's so important to follow the directions on the package. Hopefully you get yours before the noise really starts..we will start hearing fireworks tonight, unfortunately.
The idea behind the Thundershirt is that the feeling of being "hugged" is comforting and calming. BUT....the dog needs a chance to associate the feeling with the shirt and other happy things. Put it on for a few minutes at a time, a few days in a row, when there is nothing around to create anxiery. If you wait till the fireworks start and then cram a dog into a tight-fitting jacket, you have just taught him to associate the jacket with the scary noises.
There are a lot on the market.
On the economy end, there's this one
The Snoozer line costs a bit more, but are very versatile, and well made. They have everything from open bicycle basket carriers, to convertible backpack-to-rolling luggage type carriers.
Single-coated breeds (poodles, yorkies, wheaten terriers, etc) can be shaved with no ill effects. When you shave a double-coated dog, you are doing much more harm than good. The answer is to keep the dense undercoat combed out. Yes, it is time consuming. It's part of the "cost of doing business" of owning a double-coated dog, though.
Why you should not shave a double-coated dog.
I can definitely relate to being put off by the paddle. Young Diva is very sensitive, she is intimidated by even a crook and will wander away from the stock and sniff when it comes out. Pretty much all I can use with her is a little 3-foot sorting stick. Luckily she doesn't generally come in to close or hot, so I don't normally have to put much pressure on her. We have recently started working with call ducks, though, where she really does want to pounce in and make herself some duck soup sometimes :o
Buddy, OTOH, is sometimes completely oblivious to the paddle, flag, crook-with-a-shaker-bottle, thrown crook, etc. He's a very strong-willed little dog. I guess you have to be if you are 26 lbs and you were bred to move 400lb cattle.
Very good! Certainly the makings of a good working dog.
Funny, just as I was starting to wonder why you weren't using a rattle-paddle, you picked one up!
It's nice that you can leave the long-line dragging and the dog can still work. That doesn't work on corgis ;)
Congratulations! Sounds like you dominated the event!
Not much herding going on here...triple digit temps have made it almost impossible to get out and work. I did do an AHBA trial recently, running Buddy on goats, which was great fun. A friend was hosting it at her property and I went to support the event and also to help out. I ended up setting stock. Of course, since Buddy was entered, I couldn't use him, so I had to do it with an un-entered Aussie. It was quite an experience, working with a relatively green dog (whose owner was brand-new to herding - which is why I was acting as handler) for the first time, and needing to keep the stock calm and settled. It was odd that a dog nearly twice Buddy's size didn't have half his power on the stock. It was OK for the sheep, but I really found myself wishing for my corgi back to move the goats!
I don't see anything to indicate cattle dog or auusie. The dog in the photo is overweight, that is contributing the the "square" look of those breeds.
Beagle, possibly. Probably some sort of medium-sized terrier in the mix, too.