Stopping on outrun with a set out person
Posted 25 August 2003 - 01:49 PM
I'm writing about my 18 month old pup Zac. He has alot of eye. He tends to run wide, and at home without a setout person, he'll do about a 100-150 yard outrun to the left and will be wide enough and deep, he is slightly tighter on his right hand outrun, but I haven't pushed him out on this side, thinking as he matures (his is immature) he will widen on his own.
The problem has been when I have introduced a set out person either at home or when I have started to take him to other places. He is stopping short on his outrun and balancing to the holdout person. I know this is not uncommon
Not having had a wide running dog before (and this being only my second dog I've trained from a pup), I'm not sure how to correct this.
Things I have tried:
1. If I try putting myself between the dog and the sheep and send him on his outrun, he runs reallllly wide.
2. If I send him from my feet (I set him up slightly in front and to the side of me and step back and give him his flank command, otherwise he will turn out at a 90 degree angle and run wide), I have problems getting him to get around the sheep, stops around 10 o'clock and appears to be balancing to the hold out person. If I walk up the field toward the sheep until I am level with him and flank him, he will go around the sheep, but may stop another time before he gets to balance.
3. Yesterday I tried giving him his flank command all the way around, which seemed to prevent him from stopping, but then he didn't stop on balance on his own. He did stop when I gave him his stop whistle.
So not sure what to do and I don't want to cause more problems.
Any suggestions would be appreciated, let me know if you need other information.
PS this is the pup I had at a clinic at your place.
Posted 25 August 2003 - 11:13 PM
This is an unusually talented one you have there!! He looked great in May. I bet he's even better yet!
The way I do this and the way I have my students do it is in steps. The most important thing is to keep contact with the dog.
I start by sending the dog on very short outruns—ones that are so short the dog has no reason to lose contact with you. I then slowly lengthen the outrun as the dog shows he is doing OK with picking up off a holdout person closer up.
You need to stop the dog behind the sheep and manage his contact so to help him get the sheep going forward off the person. If you do it in "one fell swoop", there is a vicious cycle that can occur and it is hard for the dog to understand what you want. If the sheep are "clingy" to the hold out person, there are a couple of possibilities that occur. The usual one is that the dog is tentative because there is a person there so is slow or doesn't walk up. The sheep stall out. He walks up and the sheep don't move. Most young dogs default to this is to flank or circle because they have no where else to go. This in turn kind of locks the sheep to the person. This in turn makes it easier to keep them to that person. It is kind of an "any port ina a storm" scenario.
Keep in mind that it is not that often at a trial that the person is right on top of the sheep. Often when we ask friends to help they do stand right with the sheep. Try to have the person holding be off to the side for a start so that they are not in the midst of the sheep. That will help.
So send your dog on a close OR with someone holding sheep. Have them standing off to the side a bit. I would send the dog to the side they are standing on first. (Then it is easier for the dog to go past because they see the person before they make contact with the sheep.)
If they slow up or have a problem, stop them and flank them again til they hit balance. Stop the dog at balance. Ask the dog to walk up til the sheep just start to move. Lie the dog down so the sheep have a chance to move forward without the dog coming behind. The reason for this is to keep the dog from panicing and flanking and holding them to the person. Then once the sheep have moved forward a bit, ask the dog up so the sheep come forward more. Then lie him down again. By then the sheep should have cleared the holdout person. Then you can have your dog walk up take over the fetch in your usual fashion.
So do it in increments. Break it down and once he is succesful enough times, he should get the picture and you will see him getting more confident. But remember to do it all close up so it is "no fail" in the beginning.
Before you lengthen it out, have the person stand in all sorts of positions in relation to the sheep. Get successful ORs with all these positions and then move the OR 25 yards farther back. Then another 25 yards.
By doing it this way, you won't make him wider. You just make everything easier.
If he comes up on the side drawn in by the holdout person, just flank him on to balance. Just don't let him fetch until he is all the way behind the sheep. Don't worry. He'll get it!!
You can also wear the sheep around a person in the field as well.
I have heard some people suggest using a scarecrow. Its worth trying.
To my way of thinking, the most important thing is the contact with the dog. Help him make his contact to lift the sheep until he understands he can get the sheep to move.
If you teach it in steps, you will have a method of helping him he understands. If he has trouble at a trial, you can repeat any of these steps and he will know what is next.
Let me know how it works.
Posted 26 August 2003 - 06:18 AM
When I've had someone holding sheep out I've only done about a 25 yard outrun.
"If they slow up or have a problem, stop them and flank them again till they hit balance"
With his eye, should I stop him or just before the point where I know he is going to stop, give him another flank command? I'm afraid of encouraging him to stop on his outrun.
"Help him make his contact to lift the sheep until he understands he can get the sheep to move."
He doesn't have problems lifting the sheep off the person, in fact once he stops and starts to walk up, it's as if the person isn't there at all. Even if the sheep are really sticking to the holdout person, he will just keep on walking up in a direct line right past the person, no weaving back and forth, I guess since he has so much eye, he can get them to move with his eye rather than with movement.
Without a holdout person I've started doing occasional off balance flanks on the fetch, which he will take, I've been worried that with his eye, that he will be very sticky and not willing to take the off balance flanks.
"You can also wear the sheep around a person in the field as well."
Have done this also, and he doesn't seem to mind them being out there, even when there were several people out. He does seem to have problems with say a large bale of hay or a clump of trees(things he can't see the sheep around) so I do work him around this type of obstacle also. He originally had problems with any obstacle like a telephone pole, but seems to have worked through that problem.
"I have heard some people suggest using a scarecrow"
I've thought of this but haven't gotten around to making one yet! Though, now that my husband is feeling better, I may be able to get him to stand out in the field.
Thanks for the information, I'll let you know how things go.
Have a great trip
Posted 27 August 2003 - 03:40 PM
I would send him and treat it like you would any dog coming up short. As he leaves, follow him in the same direction he is going. You want it that the balance point gets farther on past.
I would try dealing with it by stopping him or by shushing him on farther or by flanking him on farther. See what works best. You don't want a correction here because he gets wider. So see what works best.
I don't think stopping him a few times will affect his OR permanently. It might be good for you to stop him so he can see you have moved.
Once you get him on around, or I should say, once you see him going on around, get back to where you were originally. Otherwise he never gets to the correct balance point.
He will get it. They get confused by the new person there. It may be he wants to shift them a bit from the side. Make it that he doesn't get to bring the sheep unless he goes on around.
You also may want to set this pattern up without someone standing there so he knows what to expect! Sometimes it elps them understand what you are asking.
Also, try starting his OR from the point he usually comes in flat at. Then give him the command and maybe a "shush" from there to balance. Do it first without someone and then with someone. You will be showing him how to do the top of his OR only, without and then with someone there. Once he gets that correct, start sending him from greater distances away from the sheep–as thuogh it is a very long wide OR.
Then when he does a full one, he will have the parts already understood.
Does that make sense?
Let me know how it goes.
Posted 27 August 2003 - 08:59 PM
Carol wrote: "Also, try starting his OR from the point he usually comes in flat at."
Carol, are you saying, if he comes in normally at 10 o'clock, to set him up at 10, handler at 6 and sheep at 12, and then send him around to the 12 o'clock position, always making sure that if I have to follow him around, that I return to the 12/6 original position?
Carol wrote: "start sending him from greater distances away from the sheep–as though it is a very long wide OR."
Not sure what you are saying, do you mean that when I set him up at the 10 o'clock position that I should move him further outwards from the 12/6 center line, so instead of being 20 yards from the center line, that I make it 30 yards and then 40 yards and keep setting him up furhter outwards?
Posted 27 August 2003 - 10:34 PM
You understand the positioning correctly. Start his OR where the problem begins. Break it down into parts and then put it back together after you have shown him what you want in the problem area.
Works like a charm for me. See how it does for you!!
Remember, this is a new thing for him, so it may take him a bit to get on with it.
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