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Working with a dog inclined to drive


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#1 ejano

ejano

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

I'm still working on widening Robin's outruns. We have made some progress last fall and are at the point where we are practicing clock work - the dog is to respond to a flanking command without any body signals to push him along.

Robin is still very much inclined to slice in as he prefers to come straight on at the sheep, pick them up and steer them someplace, preferably into a corner where he can hold them. Once he has them in a corner, he will take flanking command, lift and fetch. We are working in a square half acre level paddock.

I am working up a list of exercises I can do to interrupt this natural inclination to drive and to widen his outrun. This spring we are going to be putting the sheep in a 15 acre pasture where he will find it very difficult to get them up against anything and I fear he will be steering them all over the field, searching in vain for a fence. Other than stopping him at quarter turns on the clock and redirecting him, what can I do?

He is four years old next month - our training has been intermittent for various reasons and we didn't really get serious about it until last fall. He is quite eager and does a good lift and fetch, has a good down and recall but he still bowls into the flock rather than widening around them. I've been encouraging him to do laps in the near field (about 7 acres - mostly flat) encouraging him each time to widen his laps and he's doubled his distance over the winter.

No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
---Louis Sabin - All about Dogs as Pets.

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Ladybug, Brodie, Robin


#2 ajm

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

Ejano
I can't help but be skeptical of your dog's "natural inclination to drive". If you feel you are making progress, OK. But it sounds as though he is being disobedient in the extreme. If your "laps" are helping you out, then carry on. Being a novice runner and your own critical reporter don't really go together.
Your bio information indicates your are from Pennsylvania. There is no shortage of knowledgeable dog runners in Pennsylvania. find one who will be an on site diagnostician and get your progress assessed. The experienced dog hand can give you a course of action with which to proceed.

#3 ejano

ejano

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

Ejano
I can't help but be skeptical of your dog's "natural inclination to drive". If you feel you are making progress, OK. But it sounds as though he is being disobedient in the extreme. If your "laps" are helping you out, then carry on. Being a novice runner and your own critical reporter don't really go together.
Your bio information indicates your are from Pennsylvania. There is no shortage of knowledgeable dog runners in Pennsylvania. find one who will be an on site diagnostician and get your progress assessed. The experienced dog hand can give you a course of action with which to proceed.


Hmmn...disobedience is a distinct possibility with this one - he's more than a bit strong minded - but I enjoy that in him. I do work with quite a good trainer here in Northeast PA - she's in Florida until April. We've talked about her coming to my place to see what we do at home with a view toward improving at home training sessions and working out some questions I have regarding handling the sheep. I hope it can happen this spring. I'd like to start him on sorting and it would be easier to do that with my flock, I think.

No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
---Louis Sabin - All about Dogs as Pets.

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Ladybug, Brodie, Robin




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