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TaliahtheBC

Pushing out that sensitive one.

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So an update and another question for the masses this morning!:

 

I realized that my dog had not fully grasped the concept of me telling her to watch her sheep and I had not understood the importance of her knowing it, so we went all the way back to zero and I just walked around telling her to watch her sheep and walked away from her and them ( in a safe way) I did this enough times that when we would walk up to the fence she was already looking for them.

 

After doing this I noticed a huge increase in her speed and when I would release her to watch her sheep I would name flanks as she took them just by redirecting her with my body, and this seemed to work..

 

My conclusion is that while she is sensitive to pressure I had made a training error and let it go unnoticed for too long, my question is how would one go about pushing a more sensitive dog off stock?

 

post-18976-0-22760200-1465395181_thumb.jpg I love posting the day before training, I get such wonderful feed back from y'all!

 

 

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IMHO, I would not be using a command to tell her to watch sheep. She should do that on her own. There are ways to accomplish this. Using a verbal cue for something she should do naturally can set you up for failure in the future. You can't always be telling your dog what to do. There will be situations in which your dog must act and think on it's own. If it relies on commands for everything, it will fail.

 

One method that works well is to take the sheep away if the dog takes its eyes off the sheep. IOW, if the dog looks away, you chase the sheep away from the dog so they lose their sheep. This is easiest to do in a hilly field so the sheep completely disappear from sight.

 

It also helps to say nothing to the dog if the dog is looking at you, but praise if they look at the sheep and keep working without needing a command.

 

Two questions.

 

Does your dog really need to be pushed off stock? Some dogs can flank closer than others without affecting the stock.

 

Is your dog really soft? Some dogs are excellent at playing their owners.

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She definitely needs to widen out and for sure she is sensitive to pressure, She had this timidness and worry of getting in trouble which is why I went back to basics to speed up her flanks and I was just using watch sheep as a release command.

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A couple thoughts. One, I would not ask her to watch 'em as that's apt to be a command that draws her in, because it sounds exciting. Try shushing her on, instead.

And walking away is just what I'd do - if my dog is not covering correctly or finding balance well, I'll set up a situation where I walk fetching the sheep in figure-8s and other random patterns that involve lots of turns. The dog soon learns to speed up and cover because if they don't, the sheep miss the turns and get away. By making long, looping 8s and abrupt turns, the dog has to stay sharp and really feel their sheep to keep them with you.

Two, how do you know she's working too close? I'm not picking an argument, here, I'm asking because I've seen people who swear their dog is too close ... but the sheep are fine with it. It's only the person who's uncomfortable with the dog's proximity. So if the sheep are okay, the dog is okay. But if she's shoving sheep over or past you, then yes, she's too close.

Which brings me to three: if she's too close, doing those fetching exercises with lots of turns will help her stay off her sheep, because she has to bend off to keep the sheep with you. Buzzing the corners and skimming the flanks will again cause her to lose her sheep because they'll spurt away from you.

Does any of this help?

~ Gloria

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i dont understand the "watch sheep" command as a release? what are you releasing her from? what do you want her to do?

 

I have a recall on my young dogs - honestly that is it. All the flanks and even stops are due to body language. I dont use names for flanks till later because I want the dogs learning how to work sheep not learning commands. I just keep moving and turning and helping the dog keep the sheep between us call off then send with ssss or sshhh and correct with ah or hey. If she pushes sheep past you back up and let her bring them back. If she is not paying attention and the sheep leave let them go and make her regather. Let her figure out the consequences of her actions from the sheep. But that means there has to be sheep that are honest and act like real sheep and not sheep that just wait on the dog. If you are working on 'tame' sheep then they are teaching her and you the wrong things.

 

Dont turning herding into obedience. Allow the dog time to figure things out on her own with help not commands. If she learns how sheep move and how her movement effects sheep she will have it. If you tell her every step she will relie on being told. Let it be her responsibility. If she is from working lines she knows more about sheep than you do let her use it.

 

My young dogs are doing chores, driving and inside flanks, penning before they really know their flanks or more than a stop and walk up. The commands are easy once the dog learns about sheep.

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i dont understand the "watch sheep" command as a release? what are you releasing her from? what do you want her to do?

 

I have a recall on my young dogs - honestly that is it. All the flanks and even stops are due to body language. I dont use names for flanks till later because I want the dogs learning how to work sheep not learning commands. I just keep moving and turning and helping the dog keep the sheep between us call off then send with ssss or sshhh and correct with ah or hey. If she pushes sheep past you back up and let her bring them back. If she is not paying attention and the sheep leave let them go and make her regather. Let her figure out the consequences of her actions from the sheep. But that means there has to be sheep that are honest and act like real sheep and not sheep that just wait on the dog. If you are working on 'tame' sheep then they are teaching her and you the wrong things.

 

Dont turning herding into obedience. Allow the dog time to figure things out on her own with help not commands. If she learns how sheep move and how her movement effects sheep she will have it. If you tell her every step she will relie on being told. Let it be her responsibility. If she is from working lines she knows more about sheep than you do let her use it.

 

My young dogs are doing chores, driving and inside flanks, penning before they really know their flanks or more than a stop and walk up. The commands are easy once the dog learns about sheep.

This has all been rather useful information, will update after todays lesson.

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