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Guest mchurcher

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Guest mchurcher

Amanda, my dog for various reasons wasn't introduced to shedding until almost 5 yrs of age. He will be 6 next month.

I have gone through all the introductory steps with him which included having two sets of sheep in pens and calling Dan between them. We worked up through the various steps over time. The shedding practice we did was only part of a lesson. We worked on a lead-up shedding activity for a short time and then did some other things for the rest of the session.

I have 10 somewhat dogged sheep made up of 4 Scotties and 6 Katahdins. When using the "entire flock" there seemed to be a natural split between the Scotties and K's which he would come through. I used the technique of crossing in front of my dog so he would come in behind me. Over time it was working quite well .... he would come behind me when I stopped cutting in front of him.

When reducing the number of sheep to 4 and attempting to call Dan through a large opening, more often than not he stands there looking confused. He dislikes giving up pressure and he may not want to come through because the others may get away????

When this happens, I go back to the flock of 10 so he will be successful.

Would it be easier on him to use flightier sheep? In a couple of months, once the lambs are taken to market, I will have the opportunity to use undogged Suffolks but have been told there will be the possibility of them running over my dog and causing him to lose confidence.

Could it be he is too old for him to become a successful shedder or that this is another weakness that can't be fully corrected?


Is there a technique, no matter how ugly, to use where I can do most of the work in the shedding ring. What can I do? At this point, I don't care how many pts I get for the shed, I just need a shed so I can move on to the pen.


I am frustrated as I want to move on in Open but am out of luck if we can't shed and in our club there is no other class in which to compete. I am very attached to this dog and would not think of moving him on and getting another one.




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Guest Amanda

This is a job that will be easier with different sheep. Heavily dogged sheep get cagey. A number as low as ten, dogged all the time, get cagier. With a dog already reluctant, the shedding job can get demoralizing.


There is no ugly way to get him going. Unless you think of patience, thoughtfulness, and perserverence as ugly. Shedding is the most critical place for willingness, of all the dog work you can do. You can coax, but you can never force. Take time. Don’t try it on your doggy sheep any more. Use the new ones. Let him get the hang of it and learn to like it. You are describing a dog that has already lost confidence, so don’t worry about the suffolks. If you can get better sheep, do it.

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