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kelpiegirl

Cross drive pressures/inside flanks

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Hi Bob

 

Was working my girl recently. The layout of the field is: picture a sqare. The north is the top of the hill, the south the bottom. At the North East side, there is pressure in the form of a run in shed. So, I was working my girl, and noticed that she handled the cross drive toward the west (away from pressure), but she would let the sheep drift up the hill (toward the pressure) as we headed east. Part of me thinks she does this, because honestly, she would prefer they head toward me :rolleyes: So, I have to give her a fair amount of inside flanks. What I noticed is that when she was far enough from me, that she straightened things out on her own pretty well. What are you suggestions to keeping things educational, but not naggy?

 

Thanks so much!!!

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Hi Bob

 

Was working my girl recently. The layout of the field is: picture a sqare. The north is the top of the hill, the south the bottom. At the North East side, there is pressure in the form of a run in shed. So, I was working my girl, and noticed that she handled the cross drive toward the west (away from pressure), but she would let the sheep drift up the hill (toward the pressure) as we headed east. Part of me thinks she does this, because honestly, she would prefer they head toward me :rolleyes: So, I have to give her a fair amount of inside flanks. What I noticed is that when she was far enough from me, that she straightened things out on her own pretty well. What are you suggestions to keeping things educational, but not naggy?

 

Thanks so much!!!

 

Ok, I take it you are standing at the north end of the field and the run in shed is to your left on the east side of the field. She is handling the cross drive west quite nicely because there is no draw and the sheep are actually going straight on their own. No reason for them to go any other way unless she makes them. Coming back to the east side is a LOT different. There is a draw to the shed and they consider themselves safe in there so that is where they want to go. You will always have to use inside flanks in this situation as you want the dog to push them straight across the field. The dog will not know this unless you tell her. This is very good practice and you will be teaching her to hold line at the same time. Get her where you need her to be to hold the line and then give her a "walk up". You want her to stay out on the pressure and just keep to the sheep where she needs to be to keep them going straight across the field. If she goes to go back in behind the sheep instead of out on pressure, flank her back to pressure and tell her walk up until she gets it that she is supposed to stay out there on the pressure and keep the sheep moving straight across the field. The reason she is straightening things out on her own when she is further away from you is because the draw to the shed is not as great as when she is close to you and the sheep don't need quite as much pressure on them to go straight. Don't just drive across the field; drive the full length and corner to corner and wherever you can get different pressures so she gets to read them all. Don't always drive in a straight line either, mix it up, curves, angles etc. so she knows how to do everything including taking her commands right all the time. Giving commands to the dog is not being naggy as you put it. Giving unnecessary commands is naggy. You weren't doing this. You were giving necessary commands and that is good. Your expectation should be that you will leave the dog to do what is the right thing to do but if she doesn't do it right you need to intervene. That is training. Dogs do not understand what a line is until they are taught what a line is. Some are real "line dogs" who catch on quickly and are inclined to drive or fetch in straight lines than some others, but all of them can be taught over a period of time with good methods to drive and fetch straight holding pressure all the time. When your girl is well trained you will have the confidence in her that you can put her anywhere you want if you need to but she will also have the confidence in you that she will work on her own and be right most of the time. This is the relationship you are looking for and you will be a very happy camper when you reach it. Keep up the good work....Bob

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Bob:

Thanks SOOO much! A light bulb has gone on in my dusty brain. I will try this walk up, this should work very well. She loves her walk ups, and she likes to guard pressure a bit, this should be just the trick. I am excited to try it!

 

Ok, I take it you are standing at the north end of the field and the run in shed is to your left on the east side of the field. She is handling the cross drive west quite nicely because there is no draw and the sheep are actually going straight on their own. No reason for them to go any other way unless she makes them. Coming back to the east side is a LOT different. There is a draw to the shed and they consider themselves safe in there so that is where they want to go. You will always have to use inside flanks in this situation as you want the dog to push them straight across the field. The dog will not know this unless you tell her. This is very good practice and you will be teaching her to hold line at the same time. Get her where you need her to be to hold the line and then give her a "walk up". You want her to stay out on the pressure and just keep to the sheep where she needs to be to keep them going straight across the field. If she goes to go back in behind the sheep instead of out on pressure, flank her back to pressure and tell her walk up until she gets it that she is supposed to stay out there on the pressure and keep the sheep moving straight across the field. The reason she is straightening things out on her own when she is further away from you is because the draw to the shed is not as great as when she is close to you and the sheep don't need quite as much pressure on them to go straight. Don't just drive across the field; drive the full length and corner to corner and wherever you can get different pressures so she gets to read them all. Don't always drive in a straight line either, mix it up, curves, angles etc. so she knows how to do everything including taking her commands right all the time. Giving commands to the dog is not being naggy as you put it. Giving unnecessary commands is naggy. You weren't doing this. You were giving necessary commands and that is good. Your expectation should be that you will leave the dog to do what is the right thing to do but if she doesn't do it right you need to intervene. That is training. Dogs do not understand what a line is until they are taught what a line is. Some are real "line dogs" who catch on quickly and are inclined to drive or fetch in straight lines than some others, but all of them can be taught over a period of time with good methods to drive and fetch straight holding pressure all the time. When your girl is well trained you will have the confidence in her that you can put her anywhere you want if you need to but she will also have the confidence in you that she will work on her own and be right most of the time. This is the relationship you are looking for and you will be a very happy camper when you reach it. Keep up the good work....Bob

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Hi Bob

 

Update here. I worked my girl on that tougher direction for the first time since that day, and she covered the pressure without me needing to tell her. She just planted herself on that pressure point to keep them straight. Wow. I wonder if she reads the boards? Anyway, just wanted to update you with the good news. We aren't fully there yet at long distances, but she's coming on nicely.

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