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Smokjbc

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Hi,

 

One of my dogs, a 5 year old, suddenly doesn't want to go away. I mean, really, really will not take that flank without alot of pleading/head banging.

 

She has always been a stylish dog but not sticky, very free with her flanks. Away has always been the lesser of the two sides with her but not an issue until the last two weeks.

 

What I THINK happened is that we were working on shedding a few weeks ago and she kept coming in too soon and I got after her for it. Which was probably not the right thing to do. I have also been putting a little more pressure on her to work wider- she naturally was a wide running dog, so for years I left her flanks alone but recently she's had a few slicing episodes that I've corrected by running at her and making her get out. What has happened since then is that if I send her on an outrun- whether it is 50 or 200 yards and the sheep want to go to her right, she will let them drift and refuses to take that flank. If I move closer and put pressure on her to move to the away side, she will turn almost completely away from the sheep and then do a sulky little "walking" away like I'm torturing her :rolleyes:

 

What I did the last training session was first take her into a smaller area where she couldn't turn tail and put more pressure on her to go to that side. Well.. needless to say, she just got worse. She did fine if I just turned and let her fetch sheep and zig zagged left to right without a command. She was better on one side, when the sheep had a draw that she had to get in front of them to stop but stopped just short of balance and lied down. The only way I was able to get a decent away flank out of her in the smaller area was to do an easy shed, did not correct her for coming in too soon (she didn't) and then asking her to look back and away to get the other sheep. After that I let her watch other dogs work, brought her back in and just did balancing work and left her alone- she was fine. If I give her an inside flank, she will take the away side until she gets to the point where the sheep would come back towards me.

 

Should I make this a "non-issue" for awhile until she feels I'm not out to get her about it or should I concentrate on this problem and continually ask her to go to that side?

 

edited to add:

I edited this to add.... after a few days of practice without insisting on that flank, she had a good work and while the problem is still there, its on it's way out I think. Also, I did consider there could be a physical reason for it, but I do not think that is the case. She did a GREAT save for us yesterday when a younger dog lost its sheep (and they almost went home but instead ended up on top of a hill where the only way down was extremely steep. ) and during that work, she was spot on and took direction very well.

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Hi,

 

One of my dogs, a 5 year old, suddenly doesn't want to go away. I mean, really, really will not take that flank without alot of pleading/head banging.

 

She has always been a stylish dog but not sticky, very free with her flanks. Away has always been the lesser of the two sides with her but not an issue until the last two weeks.

 

What I THINK happened is that we were working on shedding a few weeks ago and she kept coming in too soon and I got after her for it. Which was probably not the right thing to do. I have also been putting a little more pressure on her to work wider- she naturally was a wide running dog, so for years I left her flanks alone but recently she's had a few slicing episodes that I've corrected by running at her and making her get out. What has happened since then is that if I send her on an outrun- whether it is 50 or 200 yards and the sheep want to go to her right, she will let them drift and refuses to take that flank. If I move closer and put pressure on her to move to the away side, she will turn almost completely away from the sheep and then do a sulky little "walking" away like I'm torturing her :rolleyes:

 

What I did the last training session was first take her into a smaller area where she couldn't turn tail and put more pressure on her to go to that side. Well.. needless to say, she just got worse. She did fine if I just turned and let her fetch sheep and zig zagged left to right without a command. She was better on one side, when the sheep had a draw that she had to get in front of them to stop but stopped just short of balance and lied down. The only way I was able to get a decent away flank out of her in the smaller area was to do an easy shed, did not correct her for coming in too soon (she didn't) and then asking her to look back and away to get the other sheep. After that I let her watch other dogs work, brought her back in and just did balancing work and left her alone- she was fine. If I give her an inside flank, she will take the away side until she gets to the point where the sheep would come back towards me.

 

Should I make this a "non-issue" for awhile until she feels I'm not out to get her about it or should I concentrate on this problem and continually ask her to go to that side?

 

edited to add:

I edited this to add.... after a few days of practice without insisting on that flank, she had a good work and while the problem is still there, its on it's way out I think. Also, I did consider there could be a physical reason for it, but I do not think that is the case. She did a GREAT save for us yesterday when a younger dog lost its sheep (and they almost went home but instead ended up on top of a hill where the only way down was extremely steep. ) and during that work, she was spot on and took direction very well.

 

 

Glad to hear things are getting better.

I would definately not make an issue of this! You might give her a break from training for a while. When you start back, your problem will hopefully be forgotten.

Try to never be negative or give corrections when your dog is coming in on a shed. If she's coming in too soon, stay in contact with her, by continuously asking her to lie down or stand until you are ready for her to come in. Be sure that your body language is the same every time you set up a shed. Do something, such as drop your arm and/or say the same words, such as "in here" when you want her to come in. You never want your dog to think you don't want her to shed.

When working on squaring flanks, pushing your dog out isn't the best way. You don't want her to go into orbit or loose contact with the sheep. Plus, she won't understand what you want. Try walking with your dog behind the sheep and you out to the side, at a distance, but close enough that you can ask her to flank behind you. Ask for a short flank, while at the same time, using body language to get the flank square(hold out your arm or a training stick). There is no need to be aggressive or angry about it. When she has gone far enough to change the direction of the sheep, turn her in with a "there" or if she won't turn in, stop her and then walk her up again. You can work in this way until she understands that you want her short flanks to be square.

Good luck.

 

Jeanne

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