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pushing out a yound dog


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I have a wonderful little pup who's coming along nicely. I own her brother (different litter) who's my main partner. He has no problems with running wide and sometimes I wish he would feel the sheep better and not give so much distance on his outruns. I really think I caused this issue when I was just starting him.


I think I was way to mechanical with him. I remember trying to push him out on his flanks when he was a youngster. I also remember that it didn't work. What worked for him is moving to AR with big spaces and him learning to get off pressure because the work I was asking for called for him to be way off. He was feeling his sheep when he learned to give so much ground.

Now...with Dew, she's coming along way easier because I think I've learned to use the sheep more than my mouth for training. I was working her this morning and found myself wanting to push her out a bit on her flanks. But before I started training this morning I took her to look for sheep out in the woods. I was on a 4 wheeler going up a road. She spotted the sheep way before I did and I watched her head way off into the woods, it was then I noticed sheep up ahead a ways on the road. By the time I got to them she had come in behind them and was quietly moving them towards me. So in that situation I think she was properly giving the distance we needed.

Question is when working her in a training situation she's tighter. Not bad, but tighter than I think is right.

Should I just let her keep learning to read pressure and setting up situations that will make her feel like she needs to be off the sheep more or should I try pushing her off with body pressure too?


She is about 1 1/2 years old and a slow maturing wee one. I still see lots of puppy come out when she gets in over her head but each time out on stock it diminishes a bit more.




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I'll ask this question first. When she is flanking tighter than you think that she should, is she upsetting the sheep?? Or are the sheep remaining calm?? If the sheep are calm and either not running to you or moving too much, then she is probably correct.




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I was thinking about that right after I posted this. Yes the sheep are remaining calm but today these were also ewes with older lambs so they're were in no hurry to move. I usually use what I get, she's far enough along that I don't think I need to pick a certain type sheep for her. I figure she's got to work what she gets. Now is the time that I guess I need to start picking certain sheep for her. I’ll set up just the wethers which are a bit more flighty and see what she does.

It has been interesting to watch her work these old girls. They will challenge a dog in a heart beat if they think they can. She meets their challenge head on. Might not be as pretty as it could be, but she's refining herself each time we go out there. I now see her go in if they decide to challenge, then back off a bit giving them a chance to change their thinking.


Isn't it amazing to watch a nice pup learn to use what they've got!

Thanks for your thoughts.



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