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#1 Crawford Dogs

Crawford Dogs

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 02:42 PM

My 16 month old Border Collie is a completely natural worker except for one annoying trait. He goes to the head quite a bit and we have been trying to teach him to wear behind the stock in an alley. He's pretty determined not to wear because he feels that he needs to be at the head. So, of course, when we have him wearing in a larger area he runs to the head. I use my stick to put pressure on him but of course, he'll try to go wider to get around me so he can reach the head (he'll even do this with experienced trainers). When you finally get him to go back to the rear as soon as he hits his balance point on the rear of the stock he turns (on a dime!) and goes back to the head! Argh! His breeder/trainer is going to have us work with him on a long line and one person behind to correct him when he tries to ignore the handler (i.e. go out wider to get to the heads) and help him understand that he should actually wear the sheep. He's out of two strong headers so I guess this was to be expected. Has anyone had this issue and what did you find helpful (beyond beating your head against the wall)?

#2 ajm

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 01:23 PM

You say your dog is a completely natural worker, which would imply that he is trained with ease. He should stop when asked before driving is undertaken. If he runs to their head, he is not stopping in time, you are not asking him to stop in time, or you are overstepping his tolerance for what seems acceptable, and he is bucking. Don't ask for long drives from a young dog until they can accept driving in principal. Make sure your young dog stops when asked, no matter where no matter what, in routine training, not driving. After all these explorations have been satisfied, examine your own timing. A dog reaching the head when asked to drive, is failing to stop one way or the other. Maybe it is you, who is failing to stop him at the right time, keeping him behind his sheep.

#3 Crawford Dogs

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 05:40 PM

I'm not asking him to drive, I'm asking him to wear the stock behind me. I was at a herding fun day last weekend and was told that he's going to the heads when even one sheep has its head past me and is going to 12 o'clock to turn the ewes heads. Once the ewes turn their heads he returns to wearing behind the sheep. If I'm having him wear against a fence his racing to the heads is made quite a bit worse.

#4 ajm

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 02:44 PM

   Wearing, driving, the problem is the same.  Your dog is not stopping behind the sheep, or wherever you ask him to stop.  If you stop him in a timely fashion, he will not get to their heads.  Either you are tardy with the stop, or you are not asking him to stop at all, which would be your mistakes, or the dog is blowing through your stop and ignoring it, which would be a dog error.  I am not watching you.  What is it you think this problem could be, if one of the above three options fails to apply?  You plainly have an idea.
 
Bobby Henderson and I were watching someone try a youngster one time.   The trainer was letting the dog rush around the sheep without ever asking it to stop in a sensible place, just flying around on its own.  Bobby said, “Without that you get them to stop somewhere, you can’t teach them anything.”  How true.   Stopping your dog behind the sheep prevents him from heading them.



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