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Guest kimkathan

advice on how to "square" up flanks

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Guest kimkathan

Any advice on how to get a dog to "square"up its flanks? My 2yo, used to have nice square flanks when she was younger ( I think it was a mistake), now if I change directions she'll come in almost at a 45 degree angle and cut it short. If I lie her down first, she dosen't do it as badly as if I were to change directions on the fly, but it is still apparent that she's coming in too tight. She will pull herself out as she comes around to the heads of the stock and continue around. It appears as if she's cheating (she likes to make the stock move) She's doing the same thing on the "away" outrun as well (coming in too tight to make the stock move.)

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Guest kimkathan

After more thought, I think what I really want is for her is to be what many people called "natural", but in my mind, I would like her to be more relaxed. When changing directions, she's very pumped, and the same applies to the outrun, she just pulls herself out farther on the come by side.

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Guest Penny Tose

You asked a lot of questions at once as you realized.

 

Sometimes I think we all have the same dogs with the same faults distributed somewhat differently throughout.

 

I have been working on too pumped with my young dog, too. Someone gave me the following exercise, and it has been working well. I stand with the sheep. I flank dog around. I lie down dog. Then I give a little flank and down, little flank and down, and so on around. I grumble (I know some people never grumble at dogs) and question sanity/motivation ("Whatta ya doing?") until the dog becomes uncertain enough to move less quickly, then I continue on downing a tad less frequently and only when the dog starts to lope or gets up too fast. I use "come" and "way" to distinguish from "come-bye" and "away."

 

I couldn't believe how well the exercise worked, and I still get zippy when I want it.

 

I try to start each training session with this particular dog with the slow, mellow, and short flanks.

 

Penny

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Guest Penny Tose

Outruns: There are a lot of ways to work on outruns.

 

If you want to correct this slice, you should still be able to do so with most 2 year old dogs if you work very hard on the issue.

 

There are a lot of ways to work on it.

 

If your dog has only recently started to slice and is very, very keen, you can call the dog back to your side as the dog starts to slice. This corrects the problem by making more work for the dog until it gets the outrun right. Dogs figure out what you want quickly in this circumstance.

 

But don't overdo the above because you may make the dog hesitant to leave your side.

 

You can also clover leaf the dog out while flanking dog around the sheep.

 

Or you can put the dog on a stay, walk up halfway to the sheep however many hundreds of yards away they are, then send the dog and be in a position to control the shape of the top.

 

When you said "mistake," did you mean a mistake on your part to insist on being square or a mistake on the dog's part?

 

Penny

 

<small>[ April 26, 2005, 08:23 AM: Message edited by: Penny ]</small>

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Guest kimkathan

When I say mistake, I think that it was just a fluk in time for a week or so. As she discovered that she really LIKED moving the sheep, she'd start to bugger them up and try to cut corners to get at them faster and closer. Now when you say to call the dog back on the outrun when it gets too tight, would you give it a down first and then call it back, or just call it back on the move? I have noticed lately that she will take an out quite readily on the come-by side, but dosen't want to take it much at all on the away, or if she does, it's such a small distance give, but I'll take it and then ask again. This makes me think that she feels either uncomfortable with the away side or that for some reason the sheep are going to get away on that side. I have been working and working primarly on this side alot lately, but haven't seen much of a change in her over this. Also, in practicing with outruns, if I send her she always is tight at what would be 2:00, but if I down her and walk up to be just off sides with her and continue to send her, she'll widen out significantly on the other side. It seems that she feels that she'll lose the sheep, so she cuts in to cover them, thus rattling the sheep, but as long as I'm there she's OK

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