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kelpiegirl

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Hi Bob

My Kelpie enjoys shedding, almost too much. She has no issues coming in, and she will hold off the single for as long as I ask. Her trouble is releasing. She will release if I walk off, toward the other group, and send her, and it's getting better, but my real question, is in farm work. When I have her bring me the sheep, and I get one sheep to doctor, she is just keyed up and wants to "help" which is NOT helping, if you know what I mean. I need her to just stay back and relax and let me work. Sometimes she is fine, but when things get a bit cooky- like when you have to keep catching one ewe, and she's just not interested, the dog just wants to get in there. Any suggestions to get this dog to lay off, or, should we just practice more? To her defense, this is all new to her, but yesterday, when done, I had a bear of a time getting her listen to me when I said that'll do- she wants to hold that sheep. Maybe a line? Thanks for any suggestions.

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Hi Bob

My Kelpie enjoys shedding, almost too much. She has no issues coming in, and she will hold off the single for as long as I ask. Her trouble is releasing. She will release if I walk off, toward the other group, and send her, and it's getting better, but my real question, is in farm work. When I have her bring me the sheep, and I get one sheep to doctor, she is just keyed up and wants to "help" which is NOT helping, if you know what I mean. I need her to just stay back and relax and let me work. Sometimes she is fine, but when things get a bit cooky- like when you have to keep catching one ewe, and she's just not interested, the dog just wants to get in there. Any suggestions to get this dog to lay off, or, should we just practice more? To her defense, this is all new to her, but yesterday, when done, I had a bear of a time getting her listen to me when I said that'll do- she wants to hold that sheep. Maybe a line? Thanks for any suggestions.

 

Sometimes we get what we wish for and, hopefully, you don't. This is just a matter of patience and control. Your dog is very eager and keen and, believe me, that attitude is invaluable and very much desired, although very hard on the patience at times. You will have to sacrifice some time with your chores and sheep duties during your work to show her what you want, including doing as she's told. She is getting hard to handle while you're working with the sheep because she loves it and the excitement of it is causing her to get completely focused on what she sees as helping and she is not listening well. Control, control, control. You need to make her stay where she is put while you work on the sheep. To do this you may need to get physical if she is at the vibrating stage. If she will listen to you, lie her down, tell her to "stay there" and push your hand at her, or even your whole self if necessary. Walk back to your sheep and continue what you were doing and keep a close eye on her. As soon as she breaks her "stay there", you need to go back and correct her firmly. If voice is not getting it done you go to the next stage of correction which, of course, is physical. A good shaking by the collar is usually sufficient but I don't mean to quell your temper. This is to show the dog that she has done wrong so you are just going to give her a good shake for a second and release and lie her down and tell here "stay there" again. I don't think you are at the stage that you need to use tools like a line yet and, you need to be a little more patient with yourself and the dog. Remember, this is training. Your dog hasn't done much of this so don't expect that she will fully understand what is going on the first or second time. Good control of the dog will make most situations doable and easier and get the job done properly. Without this control, things will be much more confused and out of sorts and not enjoyable. Take the time to show her what you want and make her do as she's told. This is just as true with real work as it is in trialling. A good stop and stay will bode you well in the future.........Take care and enjoy the training phase. It is very rewarding to both you and your dog.........Bob

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Thanks Bob. I had her fetch me the sheep from the back forty and settled them at the fence line. I watched the sheep's ears/attitude, for cues, and sure enough at one point she was up and pushing. I then just calmly walked out to her and walked her back off the sheep with just my pressure. She was much calmer and stayed put. Sheep were most appreciative, so was I. Seems the more upset I get, the more it all goes assunder!

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Thanks Bob. I had her fetch me the sheep from the back forty and settled them at the fence line. I watched the sheep's ears/attitude, for cues, and sure enough at one point she was up and pushing. I then just calmly walked out to her and walked her back off the sheep with just my pressure. She was much calmer and stayed put. Sheep were most appreciative, so was I. Seems the more upset I get, the more it all goes assunder!

 

That's usually the way it is. You'll find that after a while of doing chores often enough and making sure that you are showing her what you want and understanding that chores are just another really good form of training that everything will come together and the time spent making sure she's doing things right during the chores will be well worth it. Bob

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Bob:

Small update here. I trimmed feet yesterday, and had Lucy gather the ladies to my fence. As I selected, and calmly flipped each ewe, she stayed where I asked her, and was well behaved. Well, except for the one ewe who fought a lot- she wanted to "help". I was able to calmly get her back and there she stayed, and happily stayed there until I said "that'll do" and we left the field. Thanks for your vote of confidence and reminding me that it practice makes perfect.

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Bob:

Small update here. I trimmed feet yesterday, and had Lucy gather the ladies to my fence. As I selected, and calmly flipped each ewe, she stayed where I asked her, and was well behaved. Well, except for the one ewe who fought a lot- she wanted to "help". I was able to calmly get her back and there she stayed, and happily stayed there until I said "that'll do" and we left the field. Thanks for your vote of confidence and reminding me that it practice makes perfect.

 

You're very welcome. Keep up the good work! Bob

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