What is your Opinion?
Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:21 AM
Starting work should be as smooth as possible. Dogs should be provided with an opportunity to be successful and understand how that feels. Sounds like the sheep you are training on are failing in that regard. Get your dogs some light ones, until they get the hang of it Letting sheep get the better of a youngster teaches them defeat before they ever get going. Practice makes perfect for good things and bad things. Your job as a trainer is to ensure that bad things do not happen, so that your dog gets no practice at them.
After your dog has a good grasp of left, right and stopping, on very free sheep, you can then try to re-introduce him to the heavies. Confidently managing the easy sheep will give your dog a decent understanding of how to handle more difficult ones. Your job here will be to inspire him to do better than his best. Always be quick to assist if a hint of aggression comes forth in the sheep. Be patient. Yelling and demoralizing your dog has no place here, Encourage him. Never put a young dog in an untenable position. Organize something that will make things easy for him. For instance, don't give the young dog the dirty job of getting sheep out of a place they are loath to leave. Ensure the route you chose is one the sheep will like.
Plan carefully for your sessions to go well. Work only small groups. A bigger group of heavy sheep and more easily get a youngster stymied. Fall back to four or five.
If you have a very competent older dog who can help. Let it help, occasionally.
For routine jobs, be guarded about shutting down grips in a youngster. We are often so neurotic about grips in trials that we stop dogs from doing it, even when it's reasonable. Young ones need to know that gripping is possible when normal measures don't make it. Otherwise, you train a dog permanently uncertain about the extra step, when that is the last thing you want.
Showing fear when young does not have to always to be problem. Some do not have as much native gas as others. But one of the most enjoyable dogs, is the one that gives you everything it's got and then digs a little deeper. If your training brings out that sort of generous effort, a dog with ordinary power can be a behemoth.
Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:28 PM
Poetry in motion with Sophie, Taz, Meg, Ike, and puppy Gus!
And Craig waiting at the bridge.
See profiles of many top competitors from the 2011 National Sheepdog Finals in Carbondale, Colorado
Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:37 PM
^^^ What she said!
Fantastic post, Amanda! Thanks!
Celt, Megan, and Dan
"When the chips are down, watch where you step."
"The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything." - author unknown
Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:04 PM
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