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Should I change it or leave him alone


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#1 Debbie Meier

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:55 AM

Hi Bob, hope all is going well.

I have a "should I step up and change him" or "should I leave it alone type of question".

We run alot of arena trials in our area, our own place has a lot of alleys, pens, nooks and cranies that a dog has to navigate, there are places where as if the dog kicks out too big they will find themselves stopped by a fence so Jake has to make a lot of adjustments to keep sheep calm and under control by easing around them as opposed to building distance away from them. It's not an unusual situation where as Jake has to go up an alley turn and go down another before arriving to a pen where he can get around the stock, when I initially send him I tell him the flank I expect him to take when he makes contact, so he just goes off and waits to execute the flank when he enters the pen.

I've run into a little problem when we go to judged arena trials, I get tagged on my outrun a few points due to Jake running direct and then kicking out around the stock vs. running out as big as he can from the beginning. I've been thinking about just stopping him and making him run out big, when it came to me what he was doing. He's clearing the obstacles before he takes his flank so that he maintains contact and does not get trapped by an obstacle along the fence, or rather he is trying to maintain an uninhibited visual contact. I've have noticed that if he can see around an obstacle he will go around it but if he can't he treats it as a barrier all the way to the fence.

I hope I'm explaining this in a fashion that makes sense, when your standing at the handlers post and have a pen in front of you to your left and a y-chute in front of you to your right and ask for a Come-bye, Jake will go off to your left but stays on the right side of the pen, as soon as he clears the pen he kicks onto the proper path. He does the same on the Away to me, moves off to your right but will stay on the left side of the chute until he clears and then kicks out to the right. By doing this he is maintaining full visual contact on the sheep, I guess he is treating the two obstacles as funnel and the arena prevents us from getting enough distance to allow him to see around them.

Here is my question, should I just leave it alone and take the point deductions or should I retrain him and make him go around the obstacles. I'm not seeing the problem in open fields. I hate to call it a problem, I guess it's more of an issue that dings me at a trial but really is necessity when working in places where there is no guaranty that you can get there by going around.

Thanks in advance.

Deb
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http://leaningtreebcs.blogspot.com/

"Every poor one you continue to work with equates to a good one that you never get the opportunity to own"- M. Christopher

#2 RMSBORDERCOLLIES

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 03:01 PM

Hi Bob, hope all is going well.

I have a "should I step up and change him" or "should I leave it alone type of question".

We run alot of arena trials in our area, our own place has a lot of alleys, pens, nooks and cranies that a dog has to navigate, there are places where as if the dog kicks out too big they will find themselves stopped by a fence so Jake has to make a lot of adjustments to keep sheep calm and under control by easing around them as opposed to building distance away from them. It's not an unusual situation where as Jake has to go up an alley turn and go down another before arriving to a pen where he can get around the stock, when I initially send him I tell him the flank I expect him to take when he makes contact, so he just goes off and waits to execute the flank when he enters the pen.

I've run into a little problem when we go to judged arena trials, I get tagged on my outrun a few points due to Jake running direct and then kicking out around the stock vs. running out as big as he can from the beginning. I've been thinking about just stopping him and making him run out big, when it came to me what he was doing. He's clearing the obstacles before he takes his flank so that he maintains contact and does not get trapped by an obstacle along the fence, or rather he is trying to maintain an uninhibited visual contact. I've have noticed that if he can see around an obstacle he will go around it but if he can't he treats it as a barrier all the way to the fence.

I hope I'm explaining this in a fashion that makes sense, when your standing at the handlers post and have a pen in front of you to your left and a y-chute in front of you to your right and ask for a Come-bye, Jake will go off to your left but stays on the right side of the pen, as soon as he clears the pen he kicks onto the proper path. He does the same on the Away to me, moves off to your right but will stay on the left side of the chute until he clears and then kicks out to the right. By doing this he is maintaining full visual contact on the sheep, I guess he is treating the two obstacles as funnel and the arena prevents us from getting enough distance to allow him to see around them.

Here is my question, should I just leave it alone and take the point deductions or should I retrain him and make him go around the obstacles. I'm not seeing the problem in open fields. I hate to call it a problem, I guess it's more of an issue that dings me at a trial but really is necessity when working in places where there is no guaranty that you can get there by going around.

Thanks in advance.

Deb



Hi Deb. First of all, I need to know if the dog is going straight towards the sheep and then bending or is he just going to the inside of the pen and chute and then bending out. If he is just staying inside the two obstacles and then bending, (which appears to be what he is doing)I wouldn`t fool around with it but I would certainly be asking why the points are being taken when the dog is doing a proper outrun. For the dog to be going behind the pen and chute I would think that would be going too square at the bottom of the outrun and I would probably take points for that if I were judging. You don`t want the dog going at right angles to you when he leaves on the outrun. You want him going at 30 to 45 degrees and no more. He must stay on that path until reaching 3 or 9 o`clock and then make his arch onto the sheep staying at the same distance while coming around behind the sheep. If he goes square at the bottom, that is a waste of time and energy and not efficient so points will be lost. You say you run in judged arena trials which we don`t have up here so the outrun isn`t ever judged in our arena trials. Are your judges competent or just anyone that`s around to do it. It`s important that you don`t change something that`s right just for the sake of a couple of points if they, in fact, shouldn`t be coming off. If it`s not there in a field trial, it`s not there period. It sounds to me like your Judge has something in mind for the way he wants to see the dogs do the outrun in a small arena and it may not be the right thing to be doing. I don`t think I would be changing anything right now until you talk to the person judging and ask the question, after the trial is over, what it is he would like to see. We don`t want to get to the point that we are training our dogs to run under specific judges (as if that could be done!) as we would certainly be in a quandry most of the time as most judges tend to have some minor discrepencies when it comes to what they look for in a run. Do what you think is the right way for you and accept what you get at the trial.........Good luck......Bob

#3 Debbie Meier

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 11:24 PM

First of all, I need to know if the dog is going straight towards the sheep and then bending or is he just going to the inside of the pen and chute and then bending out.


He is not going straight toward the sheep, he is going to the inside of the pen and then bending out once he clears the pen. In this specific case, if I was to point at the corner of the pen closest to the sheep he would go a little more direct then that angle, as soon as he clears the pen (or whatever obstacle) he bends. Where he goes to after that depends on the sheep and the arena, if the sheep are nervous he may bend out and intersect the fence earlier then if the sheep are quiet. Often times our sheep are set too close to the back fence to allow the dog to take the perfect path, in that case Jake down shifts and eases around to the top.

I'll leave him alone, the points are not that important to me, I guess I was questioning as to whether or not he was really right or if all the work we do in small areas was causing us problems.

Thanks for taking the time to answer.

Deb
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http://leaningtreebcs.blogspot.com/

"Every poor one you continue to work with equates to a good one that you never get the opportunity to own"- M. Christopher



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