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Sticky dog with gripping problem


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#1 bc_n_ewe

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 04:47 PM

Hello,
This is my first time posting here. I scrolled through the past posts to see if this question was already addressed but my situation is a bit more complicated. I am a novice dog handler/trainer. I have a 2 yr old BC male (Clyde) that I am having problems getting started properly. I began in a small pasture on about 10 head of hair sheep. He has too much eye and zones me out, plus he grips with the intent to take down a sheep. This first exposure resulted in me doctoring some deep wounds on two ewes. I put him up for several months not knowing what to do with him. I did use him on line to move some cattle in the trailer because he will heel them hard. I would like to get him going so I have recently started again. I am trying three tame goats in the round pen with him on a line and me guarding my goats with a rake. Since he has so much eye and is in a small area, plus dragging a line he is essentially creeping at a snails pace in circles around the goats. He will change directions but at a very slow walk. I keep trying to encourage a bit more speed but must be careful as he thinks that he needs to dive in to bite. I also have a sister of his that also has too much eye and as soon as I got her out of the round pen in the yard she began to free up and is learning balance. I'm sure he could learn his balance and move along faster outside the pen but I am afraid he will try to grab a goat if I am not right there guarding them. I am wondering if I really need to train him on some calves. I would have to wait till next spring when I have the chance to get some bucket calves. Any suggestions? thank-you,
Heidi

#2 RMSBORDERCOLLIES

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 11:53 AM

Hello,
This is my first time posting here. I scrolled through the past posts to see if this question was already addressed but my situation is a bit more complicated. I am a novice dog handler/trainer. I have a 2 yr old BC male (Clyde) that I am having problems getting started properly. I began in a small pasture on about 10 head of hair sheep. He has too much eye and zones me out, plus he grips with the intent to take down a sheep. This first exposure resulted in me doctoring some deep wounds on two ewes. I put him up for several months not knowing what to do with him. I did use him on line to move some cattle in the trailer because he will heel them hard. I would like to get him going so I have recently started again. I am trying three tame goats in the round pen with him on a line and me guarding my goats with a rake. Since he has so much eye and is in a small area, plus dragging a line he is essentially creeping at a snails pace in circles around the goats. He will change directions but at a very slow walk. I keep trying to encourage a bit more speed but must be careful as he thinks that he needs to dive in to bite. I also have a sister of his that also has too much eye and as soon as I got her out of the round pen in the yard she began to free up and is learning balance. I'm sure he could learn his balance and move along faster outside the pen but I am afraid he will try to grab a goat if I am not right there guarding them. I am wondering if I really need to train him on some calves. I would have to wait till next spring when I have the chance to get some bucket calves. Any suggestions? thank-you,
Heidi


My first suggestion is #1: Get a good stop on the dog before going any further. You establish the stop off stock to start with and then move to stock with a long line on the dog. Walk the dog up on the stock, tell him "lie down" and give a good jerk and release on the line to make him stop. Jerk and release as hard as necessary to accomplish the stop. Gradually move the dog out further away from you until you reach the end of the 125 foot long line and then you need to take the long line off and start close again without the line. Same thing again: move the dog out as he becomes more controllable until you have a consistent stop on the dog. Don't bother doing any other kind of work with the dog off line until you have the stop established. Everything on line from now until you are able to be confident that the dog will stop when you tell him. Get out of the round pen and on to a small field at least 1/2 acre and let the dog find his balance and where he needs to be on his sheep in order to move them properly. This is not going to happen overnight. It's going to take a while one step at a time. I would also recommend that you use more sheep, up to ten, if possible. It keeps the sheep more settled and makes things easier for the dog at the same time. Goats have a tendency to be a little harder to move and will fight more than sheep. The more broke the sheep are right now, the better. Work the dog on line in a small field until you are sure he will answer your commands, go to balance, and lift the sheep nicely. Try this for a while and get back to me when you have a good stop on the dog and he is under control and we'll carry on further with your training........Bob

#3 bc_n_ewe

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 10:53 AM

My first suggestion is #1: Get a good stop on the dog before going any further. You establish the stop off stock to start with and then move to stock with a long line on the dog. Walk the dog up on the stock, tell him "lie down" and give a good jerk and release on the line to make him stop. Jerk and release as hard as necessary to accomplish the stop. Gradually move the dog out further away from you until you reach the end of the 125 foot long line and then you need to take the long line off and start close again without the line. Same thing again: move the dog out as he becomes more controllable until you have a consistent stop on the dog. Don't bother doing any other kind of work with the dog off line until you have the stop established. Everything on line from now until you are able to be confident that the dog will stop when you tell him. Get out of the round pen and on to a small field at least 1/2 acre and let the dog find his balance and where he needs to be on his sheep in order to move them properly. This is not going to happen overnight. It's going to take a while one step at a time. I would also recommend that you use more sheep, up to ten, if possible. It keeps the sheep more settled and makes things easier for the dog at the same time. Goats have a tendency to be a little harder to move and will fight more than sheep. The more broke the sheep are right now, the better. Work the dog on line in a small field until you are sure he will answer your commands, go to balance, and lift the sheep nicely. Try this for a while and get back to me when you have a good stop on the dog and he is under control and we'll carry on further with your training........Bob




Thank-you very much! I'll get right on it. Oh, also...when he is on a line/leash he also goes at a snails pace away from stock. He has a pretty good down, but in slow motion. He seems like he really isn't comfortable with being on line. He will run or slink down in one spot when he sees me coming with one. He acts like me putting him on a line is some form of punishment. As a pup he fought the leash quite a bit, and being on a farm he is not put on one very often. Do you think having him drag it everyday while he is excersizing would help? And just some everyday walks down the road so that he understands the leash can be pleasant? Also, I have never tied him because of it, would teaching him to tie help in any way? thanks again, Heidi

#4 RMSBORDERCOLLIES

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 12:13 PM

Thank-you very much! I'll get right on it. Oh, also...when he is on a line/leash he also goes at a snails pace away from stock. He has a pretty good down, but in slow motion. He seems like he really isn't comfortable with being on line. He will run or slink down in one spot when he sees me coming with one. He acts like me putting him on a line is some form of punishment. As a pup he fought the leash quite a bit, and being on a farm he is not put on one very often. Do you think having him drag it everyday while he is excersizing would help? And just some everyday walks down the road so that he understands the leash can be pleasant? Also, I have never tied him because of it, would teaching him to tie help in any way? thanks again, Heidi


The reason I suggested the line is to get the good stop. If you can get it without the line, that will work. It would appear that he has a fear of the line and it would also appear that he is a bit sulky and somewhat manipulative. Just, for now, when you take him for a walk, snap just a short leash on him and let him drag it. Let him have some fun without too many commands while the leash is on and get him used to dragging it. Don't bother tying him up on it as this can create it's own problems. When you take him to sheep let him drag the short leash when you first go to the sheep and then put the long line on. If you don't need it to get the dog to stop, don't use it. They can be a pain especially when they get caught up on weeds and stuff. Remember though, you do need to get that good stop before you can go any further with this dog. Bob



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