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gvmama

Releasing the pressure

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Sorry Bob, it's me again :0) Great seeing you at the finals. I have a new development here with my youngster, Yoko (20 mos). I took her to a new ranch today to work sheep. Surprise. She is developing eye. This in turn is helping her with her driving. She is really liking to drive now. But, what is new to me, is her stickiness on her stock. She had this attitude of "I've got them and I can't let them go." She has a nice pace, but she was difficult to flank on the fetch and sometimes on the drive won't flank. I know, I know...here I was complaining about her not driving. Now she's driving and I'm complaining about her not readily releasing the pressure.

At her usual ranch where I work her, she is easier to flank. Maybe it was the new sheep? Thankfully, I will be getting 8 sheep this week and now that it is fall I can trailer out to the desert. Her stickiness was more so in the arena than in the field today. I think it had something to do with the pressures of the exhaust, etc.

I really like this little dog and will make a commitment to get her out as much as possible to other ranches/sheep this fall/winter. Exercises/comments for dogs that lock on and don't want to flank?

Suzanne

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Sorry Bob, it's me again :0) Great seeing you at the finals. I have a new development here with my youngster, Yoko (20 mos). I took her to a new ranch today to work sheep. Surprise. She is developing eye. This in turn is helping her with her driving. She is really liking to drive now. But, what is new to me, is her stickiness on her stock. She had this attitude of "I've got them and I can't let them go." She has a nice pace, but she was difficult to flank on the fetch and sometimes on the drive won't flank. I know, I know...here I was complaining about her not driving. Now she's driving and I'm complaining about her not readily releasing the pressure.

At her usual ranch where I work her, she is easier to flank. Maybe it was the new sheep? Thankfully, I will be getting 8 sheep this week and now that it is fall I can trailer out to the desert. Her stickiness was more so in the arena than in the field today. I think it had something to do with the pressures of the exhaust, etc.

I really like this little dog and will make a commitment to get her out as much as possible to other ranches/sheep this fall/winter. Exercises/comments for dogs that lock on and don't want to flank?

Suzanne

 

Hi Suzanne. Yes, good seeing you at the finals too. You have a dog there that is going to be a good one but you need to have a little more control of her. Notice I didn't say "on her" but "of her". Thisw means that you must be able to flank her right around in front of the sheep on the fetch and drive them back where they came from. You will know that you have control of her when you can do that. This is not the development of eye but a desire to control which is really good. The problem that occurs with these type of dogs is that they don't want to let go of control and therefore you must break that focus and make them do as they are told. On tough sheep (wild or unbroke)she wioll not want to let go because a) she doesn't know what they will do if she does let go of the pressure and b)she thinks she knows better than you what to do with them. A very good exercise to accomplish the dog accepting being taken off pressure and giving up control is to send her on a gather and, when she is part way on her fetch, givce her a great big flank to get her around in front of the sheep and push them back to where you picked them up on the lift. If she doesn't take the flank when given, get going up the field until you are close enough that she will obey you and make her take the flank and push them back. Do this a few times during your practices but don't do it excessively as you don't want her anticipating that you are going to give her a flank all the time. You want to leave that nice, natural, gather in her but know that you can move her any way you want to at the same time. Don't set anything up, just surprise her all the time with this command. She must be listening all the time. If she is really focused on holding the pressure, try calling her name before you give the command. This will usually get her attention and get her focused on you and then go on from there. She will be a good one once you have hold of her. .....Bob

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