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Hello-

 

My coming two year old female has been a nice dog to bring along so far but I've got one issue that I'm on the fence about messing with. When she gets to the top of her outrun, she likes to come in real loose- I was told by my trainer (who I REALLY believe in, but is 6 hours away from me!) that I ought not to stop her at this point, as long as she turns in correctly or when I ask her too. But... sometimes she does a few small flanks likes she either unsure of where to come into them or possibly to move them (although she is general a pushy/strong bitch so far- will drive right into them and is not afraid). These are fairly light sheep so I think it's the former.

 

So far I'm just giving a verbal correction when she does those little flanks to get her to use her eye more and it seems to be helping. At her age- is it best just to continue letting her feel the sheep on her own or should I start a more "formal" stop and approach from her? She goes fairly deep but she isn't always using her eye on her lift, unless she gets resistance, it's just kinda trotting in there and away we go :rolleyes:!.

 

Also- once she lifts the sheep, she sometimes likes to slip into their eye on the come-by side. I try to catch it and slow her down before she does it, but if she has gone too far, should I flank her back to the correct position or ?

 

If there is a strong draw to the other side, she'll cover it, but with no particular draw she wants to come around to their heads on that side. She is the lower end of medium eye, she's doing well with her driving and the eye comes out a lot more then, but I think now that she has a good start driving, I will really go back to more outwork with her. This feels like the kind of thing that can really bite me in the butt later on if I don't get it right now :D!

 

 

Thanks!

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Hello-

 

My coming two year old female has been a nice dog to bring along so far but I've got one issue that I'm on the fence about messing with. When she gets to the top of her outrun, she likes to come in real loose- I was told by my trainer (who I REALLY believe in, but is 6 hours away from me!) that I ought not to stop her at this point, as long as she turns in correctly or when I ask her too. But... sometimes she does a few small flanks likes she either unsure of where to come into them or possibly to move them (although she is general a pushy/strong bitch so far- will drive right into them and is not afraid). These are fairly light sheep so I think it's the former.

 

So far I'm just giving a verbal correction when she does those little flanks to get her to use her eye more and it seems to be helping. At her age- is it best just to continue letting her feel the sheep on her own or should I start a more "formal" stop and approach from her? She goes fairly deep but she isn't always using her eye on her lift, unless she gets resistance, it's just kinda trotting in there and away we go :rolleyes:!.

 

Also- once she lifts the sheep, she sometimes likes to slip into their eye on the come-by side. I try to catch it and slow her down before she does it, but if she has gone too far, should I flank her back to the correct position or ?

 

If there is a strong draw to the other side, she'll cover it, but with no particular draw she wants to come around to their heads on that side. She is the lower end of medium eye, she's doing well with her driving and the eye comes out a lot more then, but I think now that she has a good start driving, I will really go back to more outwork with her. This feels like the kind of thing that can really bite me in the butt later on if I don't get it right now :D!

Thanks!

 

 

Hi there. YOur trainer is right IMO by saying not to stop her at this point. As long as she is lifting with gentle presence and able to get the sheep moving with confidence and she uses her balance to start them toward you that is what you want. It may be that she is not quite sure where to be on the sheep to get them straight to you and that is why she is doing the short flanks. One thing you can do to find out if it is lack of confidence causing these flanks or not is to move yourself (which moves the balance point) to see if she moves off to the change in balance point. Run to a different position on the field and see if she changes her balance point (pressure point) to get the sheep to you. If she does, you can be sure that she needs to do these little flanks. If not, then you need to do more of this so she will become a natural lifter and fetcher and hold the sheep on a line to you. Do not give any flanks or commands when doing this. You may need to give her some ssshhh's to let her know you have changed positions. If you need to give any commands the only one would be a "walk up". Let her determine where she needs to be to get the sheep to you. Be patient with this and encouraging. Remember you are training, not correcting. You don't want to have to tell a dog where to be and how to do a proper lift and fetch when on the trial field or working a flock. The better she knows how to start her run, the better the run she will have. Correct her with body movements, not commands when training the lift. Do this at a distance that is workable, in other words start short and work out to greater distances. Every dog has it's own way of lifting and they are better left as natural as possible with some fine tuning by you to make it as good as possible. If you need to slow her down on the lift a soft long "lie down" or "stand there" or "steady" if you have it yet is ok. You are not affecting balance by doing this just pace.

 

"She goes fairly deep but she isn't always using her eye on her lift, unless she gets resistance, it's just kinda trotting in there and away we go :D!."

 

This a sign of a fairly loose eyed dog and, in a way, you are right when you say she isn't using her eye. Because she doesn't have much eye. This kind of approach on sheep, in my experience, works very well, even on light sheep. This is because the dog has the confidence that the sheep will move and the sheep are not getting "eyed" to the point of fear and they are comfortable moving off as the dog has a nice soft presence. I said "soft" not "weak". Quite often this kind of dog, when young, will move sheep a little too fast at the start and have to correct himself or be corrected for that and that is reason for the nice soft drawn out "lie down" or however you slow your dog down. Try not using a harsh "lie down" as you want everything to remain nice and smooth like flowing water.

 

"Also- once she lifts the sheep, she sometimes likes to slip into their eye on the come-by side. I try to catch it and slow her down before she does it, but if she has gone too far, should I flank her back to the correct position or ?"

 

No, no flanks here either. Just slow her down so she is back behind the sheep, but first, make sure she doesn't need to be there. The sheep may be telling her that she needs to come up and flank them to keep them on line. Have a little patience and be ready to slow her down if needed but just watch for a second or two to see if she is still bringing them straight and, if so, leave her alone. If not, slow her down and go ahead and move around yourself to keep her aware of where you are so she will bring them straight to you.

 

" If there is a strong draw to the other side, she'll cover it, but with no particular draw she wants to come around to their heads on that side. She is the lower end of medium eye, she's doing well with her driving and the eye comes out a lot more then, but I think now that she has a good start driving, I will really go back to more outwork with her. This feels like the kind of thing that can really bite me in the butt later on if I don't get it right now :D!"

 

Once again, make sure that she doesn't have to be at their heads by giving her just enough time to tell if she's right or wrong. If she's right, of course, you don't have to do much but, if wrong, then the same thing would prevail. Just slow her down and control her pace. This could also be happening because her sheep are not moving fast enough for her and she is getting ahead or vice, versa; the sheep are getting away and she feels like she is not in control anymore and is trying to stop them. If that's the case you may have to be a little more forceful with your slow down and use a little more voice to get the required effect. You want to always mix your training sessions up so your dog is never drilled in anything. Work as many different phases of work as you can in a short training session and if one of the phases is not coming along too well, spend a little more time on that but don't overdo it. It becomes like a dog writing on a chalk board, " I will not do this bad thing" a thousand times and I don't think that ever worked too well with me and I don't see how it would work with most dogs. Keep it interesting and exciting and you'll have a much happier dog and handler and don't forget, your dog must do as she's told each and every time, no matter what! Be in control but not controlling!............Bob

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Thank you very much for your post- it really gave me better insight on what is going on. I think I have been too commanding up at the lift and because of the heat, we have done alot of at hand work this summer but not enough outruns so I think she's not sure what to do when I'm not constantly barking at her :rolleyes:.

 

Thanks again!

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