Slides off Pressure on the Drivedriving
Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:46 AM
What I am trying is taking a position off to the side of her and walking in parallel calling her in when I see the sheeps heads start to turn. My biggest issue is that I do not see the sheep turning until they are more than 45deg away from where they were going. I flank her, we over correct and the whole thing turns into a zig zag mess.
Assuming that I can train myself to see the sheep turning in time to give her direction/correction, what can I do to help her stay in position and walk into the pressure?
Posted 22 November 2017 - 08:35 PM
I would suggest a couple things. One, train your eye to really see when the sheep first begin to turn their heads. Imprint on your mind's eye what a sheep's head looks like in profile so that you can quicker see when the sheep first begin to turn their heads. Sometimes it's a matter of training our eyes and brains to see what we are looking for.
Two, keep the drives short. Drive a few yards, stop. Drive a few yards, stop. And perhaps rather than calling her in on a flank, just pat your leg and say "Here here" to simply make her kind of lean in your direction. But shorter drives will help you build longer drives over time.
Three, don't be too worried if you can't hold a long drive line at first. It's okay to just drive a short line, stop, then pick up a new line and stop. In other words, drive in a series of zig-zags if it works better and only focus on keeping each individual leg of the drive straight. This may help you take pressure off your dog by giving too many commands. She may have trouble staying in position if there is a lot of flanking and commanding going on.
So, try shorter drives and don't worry if they don't add up to one long, perfect drive. The longer straight lines will come with time.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera
Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:16 PM
Someone should send me alerts to there being questions on this list. I look for a while and nothing and then I stop looking.
I, of course, am unfamiliar with the precedents to your driving. I see a lot of dog starting that is left and right, breaking through the sheep, with new dynamics for what is balance, between dog and hand all the time--rather than letting the dog settle in behind and learn to make a good line while in the infantile stages of gathering. Once dogs get the hang of holding a line in a gather, not much of a stretch is involved, in doing it while driving, These early gathers require a hand to check a dog when it swings left or right and fall in behind the sheep. Intelligent dogs in the hands of perceptive trainers, learn to hold those lines, They can equally learn to do it in a drive. No wondering where we are headed with something--the dogs see, with the help of the hand.
If you believe that you have these gathering principals down pat, you can move on to your driving with confidence. If you are having trouble keeping your dog behind, walk on one side, dog behind, sheep at right angles to you, fence on the other. The fence will keep your sheep on the straight and narrow with you on the other side. The dog will get the hang of holding a line, in what amounts to a breach of its perception of balance. The dog can accept it.
It could be that your dog lacks the gas to take the sheep, whether its away from you or towards you. Judging that would be up to you or a supervising clinician. Perhaps you are confident of the dog's power, in which case, the driving should be no problem.
You claim to be late in demanding a stop, which escalates a zig zag fest. Handlers who become good, must discipline themselves to see sheep turning, before they turn. Stop your dog before you think it needs to be stopped. Same with the other direction. Purify your concentration on your sheep. Your dog will reward you by seeing your logic, joining you on the job.
These training sessions are anything but haphazard. The concentration involved comes as a surprise, as trainers become better. No little slips. Don't make your dog wonder where you are headed with your sheep.
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