Push turns to shove

With “western” ewes a pup needs to learn to push on. With these “type” of sheep “slow + eye” tends to draw the sheep back on the dog – turning fetches and drives into lifts every 10 feet. So, a young dog needs to learn to put pressure on and keep that steady pressure around the entire…

Pupdates

  I was going to update the pups with a video instead of writing about them.  A number of people emailed and asked if they could visually see the difference between them … and I have trying for the last 2 weeks. It’s difficult enough to video the trained ones while trying to work them…

It’s not how they start

BUT how they finish that counts. I’ve always worried about pups that start out doing every thing with “precision” – my concern “stems” from if they are “this good” at a year – will there be enough “engine” by the time they are 4? I’ve seen a lot of really good young ones that started with…

Self control is a two way street

All the while I’m training I’m trying to incorporate the dog’s ability to control himself instead of leaning on me as the only controlling force. To me this is starting point for “teamwork”. These dogs have exceptional abilities so I always try to “harvest” each and every aspect of it. Of course, some have more…

Looking under the hood

I have a few young dogs that are just starting and thought I would comment on what I’m looking at/for when I work them at this young stage. All I’m looking for is a glimmering of “things to come”. I’m not expecting a pup to work like trained dog … but I am looking for the…

Eye see

I was recently emailed and asked if I had written any articles on “eye”.  I said I had referred to it in a number of articles but never really written one exclusively about the difference in eye and how I work dogs to “fit” their eye. It got me thinking why I hadn’t done an article on…

Communication blueprint

It takes a time, effort and a connection to develop a full communication system with your dog (notice I did not say “command” system). It doesn’t start out that way. When you first start training the dog’s vocabulary is limited thereby putting limits as to what you can expect out of him. The more training…

Don’t outdrive your headlights!

OH NO … downs again. When novices first start out they tend to use the down just because they don’t know what else to do. So, I tell them don’t use down as a crutch … have a specific reason before you lie your dog down. So, as they advance they do start trying to…

Outruns

  I’ve had a few students that are having outrun issues so thought I would “touch” on that. When you are working on an outrun be prepared to do a lot of walking (or running if you are of that “age group” :@). The minute a dog LOOKS in on an outrun – prepare yourself…

“Speaking in foreign tongues”

As one of my students often states “never in my life have I’ve ever worked so hard to be so mediocre” :@). Training working dogs is difficult … no doubt about it. Especially for novices trying to understand dogs, sheep and how they interact. So, what is IT that makes training Border Collies so complex?…