Power, push, presence, courage

Let’s “throw in” heart also. The never-ending discussion. What is power … is it different from courage? Push? What is presence? Does it take courage to have presence. I wrote an article 20 some years ago about power but I still can’t answer the question. I do know – I’ve had one dog (out of…

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…

Why, why and why?

It’s “that” time of year where I spend more time mowing fields than actually working dogs. In some way it’s good as it gives the dogs a physical break and gives me some “mental time” working out issues I’m having with them. Although often I wonder if I “over think” things but to me figuring out the…

Flanking again

What is the difference between a natural flank and a mechanical flank. Do you really need a mechanical flank. What happens if you only have natural flanks? A lot of students seem to get stumped with flanks and then get frustrated – thinking if they can’t even “grasp” something as basic as flanks how will…

Lamb flanks

This is the time of year I have sold off my ram lambs but have kept a group of  20 or so – 6 month old ewe lambs to work. Making work “new and fresh” for both the dogs and I. It’s a great lesson (for both of us) how to work sheep that have no leader and “not” a clue which…

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…

“In’s and outs” of inside Flanks.

Inside flanks are “touchy” and hard to get correct for many beginners. You want them just wide enough they don’t push sheep forward but not so wide they are out of contact. This exercise is ALL about angles and it’s difficult to do (and almost impossible to put “on paper”). General “rule”: Think of a…