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Debbie Meier

Great vs. Aggressive Presence

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You say that, when he was younger he could move sheep from a distance which is telling me that he used to have pretty great presence and possibly even somewhat aggressive presence.

 

The quote above from the other thread brought some questions to mind. How do you identify the difference between a dog with great presence vs. that with aggressive presence. And what do you do to bring those dogs along once you have identified it? My thought is that a dog with aggressive presence would tend to fly in and go to taking sheep down if you brought them inside the flight zone, either by pushing or pulling so you would not want to bring them into to much pressure until they understood that they did not need to be aggressive with the sheep as a rule, or that there is a place for it, just not now. I could also see handlers mistaking them as one in the same and treating both traits the same. Sorry to not be real specific, I guess I'm looking for some more thoughts and insight.

 

Deb

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The quote above from the other thread brought some questions to mind. How do you identify the difference between a dog with great presence vs. that with aggressive presence. And what do you do to bring those dogs along once you have identified it? My thought is that a dog with aggressive presence would tend to fly in and go to taking sheep down if you brought them inside the flight zone, either by pushing or pulling so you would not want to bring them into to much pressure until they understood that they did not need to be aggressive with the sheep as a rule, or that there is a place for it, just not now. I could also see handlers mistaking them as one in the same and treating both traits the same. Sorry to not be real specific, I guess I'm looking for some more thoughts and insight.

 

Deb

 

As the one with the dog (I think) the difference in whether his presence is 'great' or 'aggressive' depends upon how he uses it (look up the definition of 'charisma' sometime). Your question really helps my question. Since sheep alert to my dog at such a great distance, it has been very difficult to figure a way for him to use this - except when he is totally out of my sight behind some hills and somehow gets sheep that I considered long gone. I'm beginning to understand the difficulty a little more now. In a scenario where he is far enough off sheep to not disturb them he is Waaaaaaay beyon my capacity to interact with him. ie he will circle at a great distance, but won't stop, he will only stop when he gets in too close and then the sheep won't stop. AaaaaYYyyyyy. And then away we go again to gather..... My dog is not truly aggressive. He doesn't even really grip sheep let alone take them down, but he will blast into them and that's dangerous enough.

 

Nancy

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As the one with the dog (I think) the difference in whether his presence is 'great' or 'aggressive' depends upon how he uses it (look up the definition of 'charisma' sometime). Your question really helps my question. Since sheep alert to my dog at such a great distance, it has been very difficult to figure a way for him to use this - except when he is totally out of my sight behind some hills and somehow gets sheep that I considered long gone. I'm beginning to understand the difficulty a little more now. In a scenario where he is far enough off sheep to not disturb them he is Waaaaaaay beyon my capacity to interact with him. ie he will circle at a great distance, but won't stop, he will only stop when he gets in too close and then the sheep won't stop. AaaaaYYyyyyy. And then away we go again to gather..... My dog is not truly aggressive. He doesn't even really grip sheep let alone take them down, but he will blast into them and that's dangerous enough.

 

Nancy

 

 

Hi again. I'll try and answer both questions at the same time here as they are both related. A dog with aggressive presence does not necessarily move sheep by rushing in and gripping them etc. A dog with aggressive presence is able to move sheep from a great distance because he scares them. On the other hand a dog with the same amount of presence but is not aggressive will be able to approach sheep in a different manner without scaring them. We call this dog soft, not weak, but soft with his stock. He moves them with the carrot, not with the stick. He can move them with confidence and firmness if needed but prefers to approach his sheep in a firm, assertive, smooth manner which says to them, " ok girls, let's go, time to move", instead of "get going or else" as the aggressive dog would do. There is a big difference between the aggressively strong dog and the fear motivated dog who goes in and slashes and grabs. This is not aggression motivated by strength. It is aggression motivated by fear and it will show up in dogs very early and you will find that the sheep or cattle will readily "read" this fear and quite quickly understand that if they stand to this dog he/she will power out and not be able to move them. Not what we want. Now with your dog Nancy, we need to get a lot more control on this dog so we can teach him how to move sheep. Since he does have an aggressive presence (and that is not a bad thing as he does have presence) we need to be able to walk him in on his sheep slowly and methodically teaching him to be firm but kind to his stock. To do this you must be able to stop the dog. It is your responsibility, as a trainer, to teach the dog to stop properly. So, from this day on, your dog is not allowed to take one pace more after he has been told to stop. With aggressive dogs, I like them to stop both on their belly and on their feet, so it would be wise right now to get him on his belly and later on teach him to stand. The reason for this is that he has less presence on his belly than on his feet and we have to soften things up here in order to manage the sheep properly. Listen very closely as I want to emphasize emphatically that this dog has to stop NOW!!!! If you tell him to stop and he takes 4 more steps he is in the wrong place and so are the sheep. Get after him by going toward him in an assertive manner ( a little anger helps also in these cases, but don't stay angry) When you get to him chastise him in your own way and make sure he's ashamed of what he has done by not obeying you and take him back where you told him to lie down, tell him "LIE DOWN" in a firm sharp voice and go back to where you were and complete your gather making sure you use enough firmness in your voice to ensure that he lies down when told right now! Don't lower your expectations of the dog lying down every time it is told. This is the most important command in the book for the owner of this type of dog. If you can't stop him, you can't run him! It's not going to happen overnight but it will happen if you want it to. If the dog needs a little more firmness to get the required results, when you get out to him, pick him up by the collar, chastising him, take him back where you told him to lie down and again "LIE DOWN"! in your firmest voice and carry on with your training. If you are diligent with this you will have your dog stopping in about 3 or 4 days. If you let him get away without stopping every time you will have a long road to hoe. Once you get the stop on this dog, things will be much more pleasant and you can carry on with training your dog to change his manner in his approach to his stock. Get the stop first and then we'll go on with the rest. Until you have the stop nothing else will change. You must be the master. This doesn't mean you have to be a tyrant. It just means that you have to be in charge. If you find yourself yelling at the dog a lot to get your point across, don't worry about. You'll be able to stop yelling when the dog does as he's told. On the other hand, don't keep yelling at him over and over and do nothing about it. If he's not on his belly after the first or second command you better going out to him as fast as possible so he knows you will back up your commands. They catch on pretty quick to those folks who just keep talking and don't enforce their commands. Try this and let's see where we can go from there. sincerely........Bob

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Hi again. I'll try and answer both questions at the same time here as they are both related. A dog with aggressive presence does not necessarily move sheep by rushing in and gripping them etc. A dog with aggressive presence is able to move sheep from a great distance because he scares them. On the other hand a dog with the same amount of presence but is not aggressive will be able to approach sheep in a different manner without scaring them. We call this dog soft, not weak, but soft with his stock. He moves them with the carrot, not with the stick. He can move them with confidence and firmness if needed but prefers to approach his sheep in a firm, assertive, smooth manner which says to them, " ok girls, let's go, time to move", instead of "get going or else" as the aggressive dog would do. There is a big difference between the aggressively strong dog and the fear motivated dog who goes in and slashes and grabs. This is not aggression motivated by strength. It is aggression motivated by fear and it will show up in dogs very early and you will find that the sheep or cattle will readily "read" this fear and quite quickly understand that if they stand to this dog he/she will power out and not be able to move them. Not what we want. Now with your dog Nancy, we need to get a lot more control on this dog so we can teach him how to move sheep. Since he does have an aggressive presence (and that is not a bad thing as he does have presence) we need to be able to walk him in on his sheep slowly and methodically teaching him to be firm but kind to his stock. To do this you must be able to stop the dog. It is your responsibility, as a trainer, to teach the dog to stop properly. So, from this day on, your dog is not allowed to take one pace more after he has been told to stop. With aggressive dogs, I like them to stop both on their belly and on their feet, so it would be wise right now to get him on his belly and later on teach him to stand. The reason for this is that he has less presence on his belly than on his feet and we have to soften things up here in order to manage the sheep properly. Listen very closely as I want to emphasize emphatically that this dog has to stop NOW!!!! If you tell him to stop and he takes 4 more steps he is in the wrong place and so are the sheep. Get after him by going toward him in an assertive manner ( a little anger helps also in these cases, but don't stay angry) When you get to him chastise him in your own way and make sure he's ashamed of what he has done by not obeying you and take him back where you told him to lie down, tell him "LIE DOWN" in a firm sharp voice and go back to where you were and complete your gather making sure you use enough firmness in your voice to ensure that he lies down when told right now! Don't lower your expectations of the dog lying down every time it is told. This is the most important command in the book for the owner of this type of dog. If you can't stop him, you can't run him! It's not going to happen overnight but it will happen if you want it to. If the dog needs a little more firmness to get the required results, when you get out to him, pick him up by the collar, chastising him, take him back where you told him to lie down and again "LIE DOWN"! in your firmest voice and carry on with your training. If you are diligent with this you will have your dog stopping in about 3 or 4 days. If you let him get away without stopping every time you will have a long road to hoe. Once you get the stop on this dog, things will be much more pleasant and you can carry on with training your dog to change his manner in his approach to his stock. Get the stop first and then we'll go on with the rest. Until you have the stop nothing else will change. You must be the master. This doesn't mean you have to be a tyrant. It just means that you have to be in charge. If you find yourself yelling at the dog a lot to get your point across, don't worry about. You'll be able to stop yelling when the dog does as he's told. On the other hand, don't keep yelling at him over and over and do nothing about it. If he's not on his belly after the first or second command you better going out to him as fast as possible so he knows you will back up your commands. They catch on pretty quick to those folks who just keep talking and don't enforce their commands. Try this and let's see where we can go from there. sincerely........Bob

 

great answer bob

 

bill virginia

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