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Guest Eileen Stein

overflanking on the fetch

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Guest Eileen Stein

One problem that seems pretty common with young dogs early in their training is overflanking on fetches -- at least that's true of the ones I've started. Sometimes they overflank to one "preferred" side, and sometimes they just zig-zag back and forth too far, but in either case they are coming around past the point where they're applying forward pressure to the sheep, which tends to either push the sheep offline or even stop them. What do you think are the best methods to deal with this?

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Guest tucknjill

Ok I am not the gifted linguist here, but some random thoughts on that and in no particular order I am afraid...

 

First off, for me, I have several corrections in place that all mean certain things (from the very get go in training a dog)...I know that sounds pretty elementary but in my training, I am continually struggling to sharpen up what everything MEANS...I am not as good as I would like yet, but for instance if I say "LISTEN!!!" or "LISTEN TO ME!!!" and sound like the excorcist, it means turn your head and you better flank wider and adopt a more serious attitude (at the begining of training, later it is used to widen the outrun) Also "ACHT!" means quit flanking and walk in on that line, also it usually means slow yer butt down. That particular correction starts from the very first days of training (depending on the dog) and can range from a very soft verbal command accompanied by me stepping in to block the flank and then releasing pressure and walking backwards when they are on the point of pressure that I want. Harder dogs would get me walking into the arc they are taking and would get a snap of the whip or the stick smacked pretty hard on the ground. Anyway, that said, I make darn sure they know what response I want to different corrections and they are all pretty specific. As that applies to the fetch, I take that basic lesson and just gradually lenthen it out and under different pressure situations...making sure they know to hold both sides equally as well...I do lots of silent fetches in my training, (though my friends would laugh at that saying they have never heard me be silent while training a dog! :rolleyes: ) just using the in place correction if they dont hold the line properly or are overflanking...at a distance when I am doing my fetches with young dogs, I will step from side to side and make sure they correct balance, up to great distances of even say eventually 200 yards or more and they are expected to balance on my movements, the same being true for the end of the fetch and the begining of the drive...any subtle shift of weight and turn of the shoulder should mean something and I find that with the good dogs, it does...anyway, just the more I play with all this I am understanding how very subtle and distinct all the commands should be and about pressures we can put on dogs...just subtle changes in posture etc...the more I pay attention to the reaction of the dogs the more impressed I am with how in tune some of them can be and how specifically your body pressure works...anyway, I know I am not explaining that part well, but it is really interesting to me and something I am fooling with with my young dog who is such a hot head.

 

See sorry, verbal tangent..if you can pick it out, that is my answer to what I do for the fetch... :D

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Guest Eileen Stein

Thank you, Sam! That was packed with information, and really helpful.

 

One question for clarification -- and you can definitely wait til you get back on Monday to answer it: When you say "just using the in place correction if they dont hold the line properly," do you mean the "ACHT!" correction?

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Guest tucknjill

Yes or whatever you prefer to use...the key is to be consistant in what your corrections mean.

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