2+2=5

This is why I don’t judge trials … math and I are mortal enemies. OK, I can add but I sure wouldn’t be considered a linear or left brain person. However, one of the advantages of being mostly right-brained is you tend to be creative. I’ve found this comes in extremely handy for training dogs because…

The communication puzzle

WHY? I’ve been asked why do I emphasize communicating with a dog instead of just “making” the dog obey. Sure, you can train a dog to work livestock by controlling every move he makes but why would you want to? You end up with a mechanical dog that although he is able to do what he’s…

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…

Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove has an army of helpers and it shows. Everything is very well run and comes across as effortless (which anyone that has ever put on a trial knows is NEVER the case). Good sheep, great course and perfect weather added to the enjoyment this year. The first day they ran over 100 dogs for PN/Nursery/Novice…

Penning

(Click on picture to enlarge) Last week in class we were working on penning and I happen to remember some pictures taken for the ABCN magazine (15-20 years ago at the Buellton, Ca trial) we used as a visual to go with a penning article.   I thought I would re-use them … hoping to help my visual/nonverbal students :@) …

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…

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…

“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,…

What shape are you in?

Shaping the flanks … Just what do trainers mean when they say that. It will be hard for a novice to recognize an incorrect flank if they can’t visualize what a correct flank looks like. The first thing to remember is shape means more than just distance from the sheep.  Why … because different sheep will need…