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bc soul sista

Driving and other stuff

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Hello AJM!!

 

I am having some issues with driving...I bought this young trained dog after his last nursery year was up..so he is trained but not polished? Not ready for open at that time..

 

I've had him about a year now? I'm a novice and bought him as my second dog hoping to take training/handling to the next level and beyond the novice/novice course :)

 

I'm using whistles on him but I am new to it, although been practicing for about 6-8 months...I'm having a difficult time getting consistent tones but will keep working on that part...

 

Having most difficulty driving...he seems to lack confidence, looks at me some..is difficult to stop at times and VERY slow to get up and slow to drive the sheep....it's difficult to flank him at a turn..and then difficult to keep him from going to there heads and not bring them back to me...so..basicly he's hard to get going at times and hard to stop..

 

Things I've been doing to try and fix things...LOTS of parallel driving...with me at a trot, just encouraging him on with my walk up whistle...i'll give a little flank to change directions slightly..I'll change my position..and we'll keep going until a change it a little again...

 

We are ok with this, mostly....When we move to a square at tight quarters...we can do it pretty well...I keep sessions short...and full of energy..or try to..

 

Anything with distance beyond this and it seems to go to ish....

 

I've also been just trying to SSSHHUUSSH him up..jump a little to get him going...anything..when he completes a flank on a drive he will sometimes lie down and not want to get up...I always try to get him up immediatly...by shushing him..or putting a bit of pressure on..but it seems to be a consistent problem..

 

I'm getting better at reading my sheep, and understanding where he wants to be to cover..I'm trying to live up to my responisbility by helping him not "loose" his sheep when driving...but I need help with how to help him and us be more succesful as a driving team

 

Any advice for how to build distance and confidence for the drive?

 

BTW...he's deaf in one ear..not sure how much of this is the problem

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Hello BC Soul sista.

 

I've had him about a year now? I'm a novice and bought him as my second dog hoping to take training/handling to the next level and beyond the novice/novice course

 

 

 

Always a good idea for novice hand to get a trained dog. Trained dogs can make handler's out of people

 

 

 

 

I'm using whistles on him but I am new to it, although been practicing for about 6-8 months...I'm having a difficult time getting consistent tones but will keep working on that part...

 

 

 

Good to keep working on it. pick some tunes and learn to play them on your whistle.

 

 

Having most difficulty driving...he seems to lack confidence, looks at me some..is difficult to stop at times and VERY slow to get up and slow to drive the sheep....it's difficult to flank him at a turn..and then difficult to keep him from going to there heads and not bring them back to me...so..basicly he's hard to get going at times and hard to stop..

 

 

The description here raises questions about the sort of sheep with which you train. If they are excessively doggy, they might help to lock him up. You may find that if you take him away, onto freer, wilder sheep, that something gets going in his mind that wants to keep up with them and meet the challenge of having them under control . Working a bigger mob can help with dogs locked up. Dogs have to move on higher numbers or be unsuccessful. So address your training circumstances. Training on five sour faced katahdins just doesn't cut it.

 

 

 

Things I've been doing to try and fix things...LOTS of parallel driving...with me at a trot, just encouraging him on with my walk up whistle...i'll give a little flank to change directions slightly..I'll change my position..and we'll keep going until a change it a little again...

 

We are ok with this, mostly....When we move to a square at tight quarters...we can do it pretty well...I keep sessions short...and full of energy..or try to..

 

Anything with distance beyond this and it seems to go to ish....

 

 

All these things that you describe yourself doing are good ways to tackle your troubles. Which leads me to suspect the quality of your sheep for training. Over emphasizing the nature of your training sheep is hard to do. Dogs who always running on dog dead sheep, never have to finish off their flanks properly to get a good turn, or never learn to skillfully manage their stock.

 

One other word of caution. Do not repeatedly shhh him up, without that he does it. You are teaching him to tolerate repeat commands that he ignores. You should only use the commands when you are in a position to make sure he responds favourably. Kinda like calling a dog over and over again, when you know he is unlikely to come--you are teaching him to not come when he is called.

 

I don't know what sort of impact deaf in one ear would be. If he hears well with one, he should be OK.

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Thanks for the reply AJM!!

 

The sheep we usually work are pretty good, great mix between light but not TO light or dogged...If anything, I find it's easier for him to work heavier sheep as he seems to have something to push against...we have more issues when we work lighter sheep...as he can feel the draw and feel they might "get away"?? So when I need him to flank a little to turn them in a different direction he seems reluctant to want to release them a bit?? Or he wants to go all the way to the head to keep them under control...then I have to "argue" with him by flanking him BACK over to the spot I need him to be to move the sheep where I want them to go...and he seems to not want to walk up then...can't deal with the pressure? Or maybe I'm possibly putting to much pressure on him?

 

I'm trying to get better about understanding where HE wants to be in relation to where the sheep want to go and the draw...so I can help him...but sometimes I need him to just go where I tell him because I have a bigger understanding of what we are trying to accomplish!!

 

I work on alot of "freeing up" exercises in smaller areas, where we work on taking flanks immediatly, and switching flanks on the fly, stopping, wlaking up flanking...stopping..then going again...off balance flanks....this all usually goes really well in smaller/arena type area...move to more open area...doesn't seem to transfer over...

 

 

Any exercises you could recommend??

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