Ahead of time

  One of the biggest problems novices have is lack of timing. What is timing … it’s seeing something ABOUT to happen AND giving the command in enough time that the dog can respond. Most novices see something “after the fact” then try to give the dog a command … which of course, never works as…

Drive on

We are working with a dog that is a natural outrunner – she has a nice “pear shape” one – not to wide nor tight. Checking the sheep as she goes and will “give or take” ground if she feels the need. Her flanks are also clean and correct. She’s easy to handle and wants…

You are the key

Ever watch a group of Border Collies “at play”. They usually “key” off one dog and react to whatever that particular dog is doing. If the “key” dog goes from a high energy play mode to a more relaxing one … the rest of the pack will follow suit. If that dog decides to go lay down…

Reactionary

I have a really nice dog I’m working that has an issue of reacting without thinking … which can get him (and me :@) in a lot of trouble. He’s not a hard dog nor one that has no desire to please – His “problem” is he just wants to “go” so the second he…

“Way wide”

I’m working a dog that flanks too wide on one side. It’s not his outruns only his flank and only on one side. So, I’m trying to teach him the difference between a wide flank and a tighter one. Until he understands there is more than one way to flank … I won’t be able…

Breaking the bubble

I’m working with a dog now that will not push through the bubble. When you are loading stock into a trailer you need enough push and flank to keep the stock going forward. If a dog flanks off and gives too much ground,  the stock start going sideways and it stops the forward movement. Sometimes,…

Shoulder out

FLANKING AGAIN Part of refining flanks is to teach a dog to flank and then stop with his shoulder pointed away from the sheep. This will allow the sheep to feel less pressure than if a dog flanks and then turns in towards them. I won’t do this with all dogs (especially dogs that tend…

Wired

What causes tension in a dog? Tension can come from either the dog, the sheep, the handler or a combination of all the above. Some dogs just work with a lot of tension. In some cases … it’s “in the genes” and you can trace some lines to this trait. That’s not to say its…