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Getting the dog to back off the sheep


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Nick is a rather pushy dog. He works close & fast. With time, age, and miles he is getting much better about not sending the sheep flying past me- I think he's really just learning to read pressure better. He's 3.5 yrs old & has been on sheep from the very beginning. I really noticed today when we were out that he would push the heavy ewes, but stayed far back from the flighty lambs, and controlled his speed himself.


At one point, the ewes & lambs (and 2 rams) were all together- about 40 sheep total. (I had a lapse in judgement on sheep behaviour. Of course the lambs weren't going to stay at the bottom of the field while I ran the ewes across the top... duh!) So we ended up sorting out everyone- pulled the rams out. Nick was brining the whole flock along & he was pushing, pushing, pushing. Sheep kept blasting past me & all over the place. When he would not respond to my "steady", "get back!", "take time" commands, I finally walked right through the sheep (they split) and pushed him back with MY pressure (just by walking toward him- no physical pressure). It seemed to work- he stayed back after that & kept the sheep balanced. It was almost like he was conufsed- stay back from lambs, but push ewes... all together = what do I do?!? It was like when I pushed him back he figured out how to make it work. Was that the right thing to do?



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That's what I do- I should have done it more way earlier- but I do it now, and it is the ONLY thing that wakes her up to not being so pushy.


If you're having trouble with a pushy dog I was taught to revert back to basics and start building an artificial bubble around your sheep.


As the dog is walking up you keep an eye on him and when he gets to where the sheep start to get flighty you lie him down.


With enough practice the dog starts to respect that boundary and will back off a bit on the sheep.

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