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How much eye is too much

Guest mjplant

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Guest mjplant

Hi Amanda,

My pup is 10 months old and showing incredible enthusiasim for work, I stopped drilling her as you suggested and now her only training is around sheep.

I am gettiig a good stop on her she is taking flanks, etc.

I read the post about a slow lift and have a question.

A number of handlers enquire after my pup and the big question appears to be: Is she showing more eye.

Currently when I work her she is walking in towards her sheep, nice and slowly when called, to do so, she adopts a typical B/C pose, stays on her feet with one paw off the ground in a limp wristed manner.....

she seems to me she has some eye and is using it.

I am aware that this will continue to develope as she matures, she is only 10 months old so still a baby.

This question as to whether she is developing more eye is somewhat perplexing to me.

I know it is difficult to answer without actually seeing the dog concerned, so maybe I am answering my own question:

Is the amount of eye a personal thing on the part of the trainer?, ie what looks good and what dosen't as I am aware each person has their own preference.

Does a dog only use and develope eye as it feels necessary to control and move stock?

Should I be worrying about eye at this stage, or simply leave her to develope this and work it out as she grows into her role?

I am aware that a a B/C with too much eye can be hard to move, sticky, claps eyeing the sheep and crawling slowly on their belly which is a downside to timed trials.

I want my pup to develope a natural style and currently moves freely balancing her sheep nicely and stops when called upon to do so,

I am also unconcerned about trying to control her every movement as I believe she either has it or dosen't and she seems to have it.

I am wary of adopting any exercises to develope eye incase this bites me in the proverbial and I end up with a dog so intent on eyeing sheep it won't move, becomes hard to move or developes to slow a lift.

what are your opinions on this topic,

Should exercises be conducted to develope and encourage eye if a young dog appears to show little eye, or leave it to the dog to work out rfor itself during exdposure to sheep and rely on it's natural, inbred instinct and breeding.




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Guest Amanda

Sorry I have been slow here.

So many questions in one post.

When a dog gets locked up or inflexible because of eye, it is encumbering. It becomes impossible to precisely direct sheep, anywhere, with a dog that will not freely move. So it isn’t exactly a personal thing. It's and across the board requirement. Too much eye, would be more than with which you can cope.

Dogs come with eye and it becomes more intense, usually as they get older.

I would not worry about it since you already have the dog. Have a go at it and if its eye is overwhelmingly problematic for you, get rid of her. I do not know of any exercises that will develop eye, outside of being careless with their management and leaving loose to watch stock all day.

When you train, always try to develop the sort of dog you want. If somewhere in that process the dog you want does not materialize (including developing too much eye) and you think you have given it every opportunity, let it please some one else. Such dogs can please undemanding farmers and goose jobs. But they have no real place in aspiring trial careers.


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Guest mjplant

Thanks Amanda,

I won't worry about it,

She is showing more eye than I realised, after watching her closely again yesterday while she wasn't walking in closer to move the sheep after being called in, I realised this.....

I let her be just to see what she would do and she moved ever so slowly closer to the sheep, half a slow step or two, stopped on her own accord and while I simply observed she handed out a lesson to me.

She was fixing her gaze on a lead sheep or if this wasn't looking at her, another animal and after about 10 to 15 seconds this sheep and others that were looking at her became noticably nervous and took a few steps away then started to move freely with her continuing to cover them.

I noticed if I stood too close, the sheep would not move too freely so I resolved this by increasing my distance which got things moving along nicely.

I am getting a good stop on her now and can now walk away some 200 yards, call her in and she is moving the sheep up the paddock to me, when she does this I let her be so long as they come straight to me which most times they do.

Your site is excellent, I am picking up a lot of tips, do's and don'ts and good sound advice that I can apply to my training as well as my dogs Your advice is much appreciated

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