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Liz P

too focused on one sheep/goat

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I've got a 4 year old who likes to focus on the lead animal. He has always been this way. Work and training have helped him see the big picture, but at times his bad habit still gets him in trouble. Last week he was in a trailer with some goats and one was being fresh, so he kept taking his eyes off the others. Another doe took advantage and knocked him down. It didn't bother him, but he popped up and went back to glaring at the original trouble maker doe.

 

Are the specific training methods for getting a dog to keep checking all the animals within a herd/flock?

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I've got a 4 year old who likes to focus on the lead animal. He has always been this way. Work and training have helped him see the big picture, but at times his bad habit still gets him in trouble. Last week he was in a trailer with some goats and one was being fresh, so he kept taking his eyes off the others. Another doe took advantage and knocked him down. It didn't bother him, but he popped up and went back to glaring at the original trouble maker doe.

 

Are the specific training methods for getting a dog to keep checking all the animals within a herd/flock?

 

The best advice I can give you in this situation is to flank the dog off the leader or antagonist that he is eyeing so that you break the focus on that animal. It won't be easy. You should also let him know that that is not what you want right now by correcting him if he doesn't take the flank. I take it he is quite a strong dog and likes to do this quite often and it is really time consuming when that happens. Now, it isn't always the dog's fault. Sometimes that ewe or doe just won't let up and turn which is what he wants her to do. To get on with your work, when in this situation, it is proper to get him up on her and even grip the face if necessary. You can't keep fooling around in this situation and a good face bite will usually turn the ugly one. Remember, you're working goats and they can be quite different to sheep and the dog must maintain authority over them at all times. When in close quarters like a trailer full of goats, it is necessary that you help the dog to maintain that authority as much as possible and, if you see a doe that is going to attack, put the dog on her and I'm sure that this action will prevent him getting hit. Team work will prevail. Sounds like you have a good one there and there's always something that comes up to force us back to the drawing board. Bob

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