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Darci,

Now that others have started participating

 

Yes, isnt it great!

 

I hope you're getting a better sense of how folks feel

 

very much so, and such logical explanations.

 

So you see, even Bev Lambert doesn't expect perfection when she steps out in the lower classes with her dogs

 

But not once, did she mention bringing a young dog in even to a novice course on a leash. Sorry, anal as ever. But, in the start of this thread, that was what ....if I remember right, ( I may have to go back and look ) I think I was talking about. The training that I did when teaching a young dog to enter the field properly, with me, so that it did not need to be leashed. Though in retrospect, after reading some of the posts from folks that had thier dogs take off on them, to be competing at the levels that they were when this happened, I hardly doubt they had dogs that they didnt have a good handle on, so yea, I think that lead or no lead, will be less of an issue for me when training. If I was to put all that work and sweat in, to get to particapate in such trials, drive all that way, go to the expence, all the things you need to do to "get there", not just the traveling and money part, but the work to get a dog to that level, and have to walk away with a DQ just cause I thought that I looked bad having a dog on a lead going to the post... well, Im sure at this point, Id rather be safe than sorry. Though it wont make me stop striving for that, it does help me to realize, that as you say, "S*** happens, no matter how prepared you try to be. This was a good reality check for me.

 

 

Darci,

I'm not picking on you--honest

 

No worries, I know your not, I appreciate the exchange of seasoned knowledge and information from all that particapate. I am a thirsty sponge.

 

I've seen Alasdair go to the post with his dog on a leash. A flexi, at that. I doubt the judges on those occasions took anything off for it. Nor should they for anyone else

 

 

Honestly, I did not know if that could happen, ( a loss of points, conciously or unconciously) I was more worried about the impression it gave to the judge., and if it may effect the way they looked at a particular handler, giving them the impression that if they couldnt even walk to the post with out the dog on a lead?? I think that from what Ive read, to some degree, it does, ( make certin impressions) but that it shouldnt and doesnt effect they way they judge a run. .... A flexi!! Stupendous!! :rolleyes:

 

 

I hope these comments help you to see that there's nothing wrong with going to the post and having things go wrong (that is, you go expecting they'll go right, but they don't always). It's how you respond to fix the things that go wrong that will tell on you as a handler more than the picture you present walking out to the post,

 

 

Yes, they have, and I will be dredging them back up to re-read from time to time when I start to get the feeling that I shouldnt take my dog to the post becuase they arent perfect. ( or a close facsimile there of)

 

My understanding of the rules and guidelines is a run doesn't start until the handler sets the dog up for the outrun. If that's the case, then judges shouldn't deduct points, directly or indirectly, for walking to the post with the dog on a leash, training aid or not.

 

This begs the question whether the run should start as the handler and dog approach the post. If trialing is supposed to approximate work, isn't the dog attempting to gather the stock before being asked a fault that should be judged.

 

This could be cause for a whole nother thread Tony. ....Im in!

 

 

Id personally like to thank everyone that has given of thier knowledge and input, especially Julie, for her patience, and great insight. Just a quick bit of history on my part, I moved here almost 2 yrs ago. (3000 miles from home) I left a lot of friends in the stockdog comminity back there, and a great stockdog club, that I was relitivly active in, (as much as time and miles would allow) as well as a trainer I worked with quite reguarly, that I admired, (oh lets cut the crap, I was terrified of him, but he was good and I liked him ) At any rate, the first year here, I didnt do much with my dogs, even though I brought 21 head of sheep out here with me, (had them shipped, and no, you dont want to know the cost) but I had a very difficult time meeting folks in the stockdog community around here, ( didnt know where to start looking)so started to go it alone with my dogs. I could get so far with them, and then Id see that we were getting in trouble, and I was confusing my good little dogs, so again I stopped doing much with them. Such a loss and heartache for both me and my dogs, as I truely enjoyed the work, the training, the sheep, the dogs and the acomplishments I saw us gain over time. Prior to starting to want to learn to train for trial, my dogs had only basic commands, and training for basic sheep work that Id needed thier help with. Though at times, you may think me a bit of a turd, I'd like for you all to know, that I truely do appreciate this board, and all its particapants. I realize that its a lot of paper training, and that nothing can take the place of the real work, and a good professional trainer, but more importantly for me, it is a place I can come to, where there are folks like me, that have a commonality, and because of that, its begining to feel a little more like home...... Im not sure why at this moment, I felt such a need to tell you all that, ( could be the wine) but I think it probaby has a lot to do with my gratitude, ( and the wine) for this board, and the community that it houses. And,..... I tend to get a little sentimentle around this time of year. I know, I know, your all thinking......and the Oscar goes to...... I just felt Id learned so much about you all from your posts, that it might be time I gave a little insight about myself. Darci

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My understanding of the rules and guidelines is a run doesn't start until the handler sets the dog up for the outrun. If that's the case, then judges shouldn't deduct points, directly or indirectly, for walking to the post with the dog on a leash, training aid or not.

 

I agree that the judge shouldn't deduct points (and that the UK judge Lani referred to is wrong to do it). But the training device rule really is different from the judging rules, and is more like the rules pertaining to cussing out a judge, interfering with the livestock, or something like that. It is Section 8P, and reads as follows:

 

A contestant shall not
enter the trial field
at any time with any kind of training device. The trial management, representative, or judge must disqualify a contestant if he
enters the trial field
with any such equipment, and all entry fees and/or premiums pertaining to said contestant shall be forfeited. Such devices include, but are not limited to, electronic collars, dummy or weighted collars, a leash or rope that is not detached before the dog is sent, or any device used to distract or cause pain to a dog while it is working. The judge has the right to inspect the dog for any violation to this rule.

[emphasis added]

 

So one could be DQed under this rule for just stepping onto the field with some training devices (i.e., the ones the rule is really aimed at), although not with a leash, so long as it is detached before the run.

 

This begs the question whether the run should start as the handler and dog approach the post. If trialing is supposed to approximate work, isn't the dog attempting to gather the stock before being asked a fault that should be judged?

 

I would say no. Suppose the dog zooms around the stock when moving them toward the exhaust after the run is completed -- should points come off? Suppose he grips at that point -- should he be DQed? IMO, no. Those are certainly faults as regards work, and don't reflect well on the dog, but they are not a fault that should be judged, because they are not occurring during the run, and the run is what is judged.

 

ETA: On second thought, I'm not sure I understand the question you're raising here. If you're saying that the judge should presume that the dog is being taken to the post on a lead because it would otherwise try to gather the stock before being asked, and takes points off based on that presumption, then my above response stands. If you're asking whether the dog taking off before it's asked should be pointed, I would say no also, except that (1) if it occurs before the handler reaches the immediate area of the post, it should be pointed just as it would if the handler sent early, and (2) if as a result the handler calls the dog back after the dog has gone a substantial distance, that maneuver should be pointed as it would had the handler sent the dog. Otherwise, the run starts when the dog leaves the handler, and the judge shouldn't concern himself with whether the handler asked the dog to go or not.

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Otherwise, the run starts when the dog leaves the handler, and the judge shouldn't concern himself with whether the handler asked the dog to go or not.

Eileen,

Do you mean that if the dog leaves before the handler sends it that the judge should take points? Just trying to clarify, as at the last trial I was at the post and the sheep weren't quite set yet (still walking to set out, though close to the spot), and I made a movement that my dog apparently took as an indication that she should go. I responded instantly (to stop her and call her back, and I'm pretty sure the judge didn't hit me for that), before she had gone maybe a yard or two max, but now I wonder in those cases, which would be the greater mistake from the judge's viewpoint, sending the dog early (whether intentional or not) or calling the dog back once it has decided to go (intentional or not)? I understand that the judge shouldn't have to guess as to whether sending was intentional, since I know there are folks who have done the 'accidental send" as a means to widen a dog at the start, so what I'm really asking is which is worse, sending early or calling back to send when ready?

 

(To clarify, I don't like to send a dog early because invariably when that happens the sheep do something crazy at the top--like try to bolt or whatever; that is, they don't settle. I don't wait endlessly for the sheep to settle; I don't stand there until the set out person is beaming hateful thoughts at me for taking too long, but since I've always understood that once you send your dog you've "accepted" that set, I generally try to wait to send until the sheep are somewhat settled in the vicinity of the set out area. So that would be my reason for calling the dog back, even though realistically the sheep should get to the set out spot and be settled by the time my dog gets there, even if sent early. But if it makes more sense to go ahead and let the dog go if it takes off without actual (as opposed to perceived) permission, then perhaps it would make more sense just to let the dog go at that point.)

 

P.S. Although this post was addressed to Eileen, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on my question.

 

J.

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When judging, I'm much more bothered by a handler that has to constantly nag the dog to keep it from taking off on the way to the post; I'd rather see the dog on leash! And Jim is right about excessive command; if we are supposed to be evaluating the dog's ability to control sheep, taking direction from the handler should not be the only thing we are measuring.

 

About setting up the dog at the post; a wise shepherd from over the pond once pointed out that the dog should be set up depending on the location and distance of the sheep, not by some arbitrary number of steps, yards, crook length, etc. If the outrun is 1/2 mile or so, give your dog a fighting chance by setting it up to succeed---and that might be 15 or 20 feet from you at the post.

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so what I'm really asking is which is worse, sending early or calling back to send when ready?

 

I think the answer is "it depends".

 

I don't mind if someone sends their dog when they're still a couple of steps behind the post. If they're 10-15 feet away and send, i'd hit it.

 

I don't mind if the handler fiddles with their dog a bit setting them up at the post as long as it's not excessive. I wouldn't hit it for points though, since the added hold time at the top is probably going to bite them in the butt anyway. Not to mention what all that fiddling around does to the dog's mind.

 

If the dog tries to take off *before being sent* and only goes a short distance (couple of yards or so), I wouldn't hit for calling the dog back. It's pretty obvious when this happens. (and i like to see a keen dog wanting to get to sheep :rolleyes: )

 

If the dog gets a head of steam up and the handler calls them back then I'd hit that. It could be used to an advantage. Zac pulled this on me once or twice when i first started running him and i just had to let him go on since it was my fault for not being on top of it - didn't happen again after i trained for it. I've seen judges actually DQ a team for this kind of call back.

 

Just some random thoughts....

 

ETA: I bet you guys wish i'd get busy at work again and shut up. :D

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Eileen,

Do you mean that if the dog leaves before the handler sends it that the judge should take points?

 

No, except in the two cases I mentioned, and only in extreme cases then (i.e., if the dog leaves well before the handler reaches the post, or has gone a good distance before the handler calls him back. In the case you describe, I don't think the judge should take points either way -- not for "sending" before the sheep are settled, because the only downside to that is that you assume the risk that they might NOT settle, and not for calling back as soon as you see the dog taking off, because I'd consider that just a little blip before the run really started, and again you are assuming the risk of the dog being confused or put off by being called back. But if you let the dog go for a while and then call him back I think it should be really hit, because otherwise you'd have the advantage of seeing how the outrun was beginning to shape up and get a little do-over. But that's not the situation you're describing, where the instant you see the dog starting off you call him back, and he's only gotten a few yards. I don't think the judge should take anything off for that.

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ETA: I bet you guys wish i'd get busy at work again and shut up. :rolleyes:

I think it's great all the participation we've had in this discussion, so thanks to you and everyone else who has taken the time to add to this thread. That's what makes it a useful learning experience for everyone!

 

J.

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Suppose the dog zooms around the stock when moving them toward the exhaust after the run is completed -- should points come off? Suppose he grips at that point -- should he be DQed

 

A judge can deduct points after the course is completed, if the dog messes up while exausting the sheep? Is the run not over until the dog has exausted the sheep? Or is only the course completed but until sheep have been exaused, you are still subject to judging?

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I ahve judged a couple of times, and run a few more. My understanding was always that the run starts with the send, and ends with the timer going off, or the last phase of the run being completed. Dogs messing about off lead are irritating, but as Robin says, they usually get in trouble on their own. We usually joke about losing all your exhaust points, since sometimes we mess up exhausting the next run, and make a hash of it. Should this count against your run... I don't think so.

 

Last year, at Edgeworth, Julie Hill DQ'd my run after she called the shed, which was the last element of the run. The score was high enough to have finished second, but I got the ice cream cone instead. A friend was scribing at the time, and she questioned it, and Julie stood by her call. Needless to say I was steamed, but she was the judge, and we paid for her opinion that day. What happened was... I got the shed, Julie called it, and then the ewe decided to jump over my dog to get to the exhaust. I could not prevent Scott from trying to keep the shed, and Julie changed my numbers for letters. I am pretty sure he make contact with the ewe in the air, but I really don't remember him hanging on. Never the less, we got DQ'd. Even Flo didn't believe it. Lesson to learn... everyone has an opinion, and the judges from across the pond don't necessarily read our 'rulebook'. What I took away from it was to think long and hard about running when she judges again. Did I train my dog differently??? no, because at home I would have been really mad if my dog had just allowed the ewe to escape without trying to hold her. I decided our opinions differ and to leave it at that. As Daddy used to say.... Life ain't always fair.

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Last year, at Edgeworth, Julie Hill DQ'd my run after she called the shed, which was the last element of the run...A friend was scribing at the time, and she questioned it, and Julie stood by her call.

 

I noticed that one prominent UK judge that I was scribing for would call the shed quite quickly, but didn't consider that element of the run over until the dog had regrouped the sheep. Therefore, although the shed may have been called, any number of points (or a DQ) could have been taken after the call. The call meant that the shed was made but not that that segment of the run was over, in this judge's estimation. This occured when the shed was last or next-to-last in the run. One or more competitors were quite surprised that their shed was called but they lost most or all of their points, but the loss sometimes took place after the call.

 

Maybe that explains what happened to you and your dog. Whether that is considered the "right" way to judge in the UK or over here, according to the guidelines, is beyond me.

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I have benefitted from the expertise and experience of many UK judges over the years, and the ones I respect are all looking for similar things: a dog that takes control of the sheep (as opposed to a dog that just follows them); good communication between handler and dog (ie dog generally does what it's told without a lot of fuss), and respect for the sheep on the part of dog and handler.

 

This last part has led some to DQ handlers after the run is supposedly over, because although time or phase has been completed, the sheep are still on the planet and in the care of the dog and 'shepherd'. I saw a handler DQ'ed for angrily siccing his dog on 'recalcitrant' sheep on the way to the exhaust pen, by none other than Julie Hill (then Simpson). I thought it was a brave call at the time; now I think it should be obligatory.

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I noticed that one prominent UK judge that I was scribing for would call the shed quite quickly, but didn't consider that element of the run over until the dog had regrouped the sheep.

 

Ahh... but the regather in my instance would have been impossible. The above holds true if you then need to go to the pen. At Edgeworth, the shed was last, after the pen, the shedding ring was about 30 yards from an open gate to the exhaust alley. You shed your single, then called the dog off, and the sheep raced off into exhaust alley, through the open gate, with no need for a person to go stand there. I was in the ring, and the unshed sheep had already escaped into the exhaust area, the shed one had been stopped, shed called, and as I relaxed, about to call off the dog, she jumped over the dog to go catch up to the ewes rapidly getting out of site. I probably caused the ewe to attempt the escape by 'relaxing'. As I said above, everyone is entitled to their opinion on any given day. We paid for her opinion, but I don't think I would have called that as a DQ if I had been the judge. There was nothing cheap about Scott's actions that day. When he was in the air, I called him off, and I'm pretty sure that he came off for me.

 

I saw a handler DQ'ed for angrily siccing his dog on 'recalcitrant' sheep on the way to the exhaust pen, by none other than Julie Hill (then Simpson). I thought it was a brave call at the time; now I think it should be obligatory.

Unsportsmanship behavior, anywhere on the trial field whether it is directed at the dog, judge, sheep or spectators, is grounds for disqualification.

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I think that what Amy is recounting is a DQ for unsportsmanlike conduct, not the judge continuing to score after a run is completed. I also think that Marilyn got rooked. I've seen many situations where a cheap shot occurred after the run was over (not what Marilyn describes, which is anything but a cheap shot), and the judge ignored it because, well, the run was over. Happened to me once and as I passed the judge's stand he grinned and said, "Timing is everything in life."

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I see what you are saying, Marilyn, and I would tend to agree with you (and Eileen) in that case.

 

As for "timing is everything" - after my releasing the penned sheep in a Novice run and because I was not prepared an in control of my dog, Celt dove and came closer to gripping than I have ever seen him. Just the dive was enough to disappoint me tremendously and my happiness in a good run was ruined.

 

Friends tried to reassure me by saying that it was "after the run was over and so it didn't count" but I didn't agree. It wasn't appropriate and bad work is bad work, whether it's being scored or not. It sounds like Scott's work was good work and very appropriate, and just bad luck that the judge chose to DQ him.

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As for "timing is everything" - after my releasing the penned sheep in a Novice run and because I was not prepared an in control of my dog, Celt dove and came closer to gripping than I have ever seen him. Just the dive was enough to disappoint me tremendously and my happiness in a good run was ruined.

 

Now see, that's where you should just take the novice classes for what they are - a checkup on your dog and training. You had a good run *and* got a free lesson in something you needed to go home and work on. Be happy for both.

 

I ran 3 of the puppies off of Spottie in the PN class, and darned if everyone of the 3 didn't take off on me after penning and not only follow the sheep *to* the exhaust, but right up into it where they gathered them out and brought them back to me. Now, i was happy they didn't want to lose their sheep, but it sure was a lesson i had to take home and work on! Seriously, Zac did it at Edgeworth for pete's sake - talk about embarassed. :rolleyes: And to bring this thread full circle, guess what i did the next couple of times i ran those dogs and wasn't confident i had it fixed? I put them on leash before they could take off and regather the sheep on the way to the exhaust! :D

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Yep, the incident I recounted was definitely unsportsmanlike conduct/abuse, but there were several at the trial who didn't think the judge had the 'right' to DQ the handler because the run was already over. I think things have changed quite a bit since that time.

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Since I'm showing my "old tricks" I'll tell you what Cliff Steelman taught me. Put a leash around your waist and attach it to your dog, a 6 footer...... the dog has plenty of room to run around you and go crazy. You swing your crook gently from left to right as you walk -it'll bop them gently in the nose, so they don't like it, but it won't hurt them. Try that for awhile. Pretty soon your dog will be going behind you without a leash going to the post looking like s/he's ready to go, yet in control. I wouldn't do this if you are also into obedience or RallyO, but just if you are into sheep herding. It looks wonderful on the trial field, is pretty easy to teach and you look like a pro. Put your dog on a down stay and YES you are allowed to tilt them in the direction on which you want them to go. Handy Hints

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Okay, it idoes look cool for the dog to be behind you on the walk out to the post. :rolleyes: That was how Ralph walked to the post. (I kind of bet though he didn't achieve his results the same way you do.) I personally would rather my dog be watching up field for his/her sheep, totally concentrating on them, and what is going on up there at the top. If I need a leash, I'll use it. I used to use a leash on Scott in open because he never wanted to go come-by. I decided in my foolish past to try and force the issue. He crossed my toes one too many times, and I gave up that particular battle. Surprisingly, he never messed up a double lift if come by was the first way to go. Go figure. I guess he was smarter than I was. Either that, or my body english was very different from a normal run. If I used a leash on him the past couple of years, it was to relax him, and keep him closer to me. He tended to start going very square on his outrun as the season progressed, and I wanted to avoid that. Still, I never prevented him from looking for sheep.

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People bring their dog to the post on leash for a reason. People set up their dog for an outrun wide for a reason. Or set up their dog in front of them for a specific reason, or many other alterations of the same. Experienced hands notice these variations, and then watch the run to discover what faults in the dog or in it's training, that the handler is attempting to cover up. Facinating drama! And that is only the first phase of work. Watching the how the dog is handled at the lift is quite revealing as well. Every run is a culmination of the particular traits in a dog, how it was trained, and how the handler has accomodated to it.

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Okay, it idoes look cool for the dog to be behind you on the walk out to the post. :rolleyes: That was how Ralph walked to the post. (I kind of bet though he didn't achieve his results the same way you do.) I personally would rather my dog be watching up field for his/her sheep, totally concentrating on them, and what is going on up there at the top.

Okay, my reason for not wanting the dog behind me is much more mundane than Marilyn's (and I agree with her reasoning): I can't stand it if I can't see my da*n dog! The one I have who was trained to walk behind (not by me) will switch sides so that if I look over my right shoulder, she's moved over to the left and vice versa, with the result that I never know for sure where she is. Incidentally she's the only dog I have that I can never be sure has looked down the field and seen her sheep. I don't mind a dog ranging out a bit in front of me (as I said before) and I don't think it looks bad--it looks to me like the dog is eager and ready to work and is looking for its sheep, all good things as far as I'm concerned. ETA: I should add that I do teach youngsters not to go *barreling* ahead of me to the gate when we work at home, and I usually employ a leash for this lesson, but that's not the same as a dog running out to the post a bit ahead of the handler, as long as said dog doesn't take it into its head to start the outrun without being asked (which is pretty much what the training about going to the gate is about)....

 

Wendy makes a very good point too. If you see me at the post with Twist, you'll notice I set her pretty much directly in front and facing straight forward. Why? Because she's a naturally wide outrunner, and I do everything I can to "rein it in" from the start, though ultimately it usually doesn't make any difference--she's going to kick wide (although sometimes she likes to surprise me with a pear-shaped outrun!). This is an example of both a training fault and accomodating the dog's natural tendency--a training fault because as a novice handler I didn't realize I'd be sorry for that wideness in time and so did nothing to correct it early on, and an accomodation because I know she's wide and so set her up to try and mitigate that. You might also notice that I'll send her to the side (assuming the draw at the top isn't a big issue) that will best prevent her from going too wide, so it's fortunate for me that she runs out equally well to either side. With the pups, who don't tend to be wide (unlike their mom), but could easily be pushed out too wide if I'm careless, you can bet I learned my lesson and will a) make sure I don't inadvertently push them out (not the case with Twist, she was wide from the start) and b ) teach them a call in so that if they start to go wide for any reason, I can call them back in. So at least I can say I'm (trying to) learn from past mistakes! :D

 

J.

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People bring their dog to the post on leash for a reason. People set up their dog for an outrun wide for a reason. Or set up their dog in front of them for a specific reason, or many other alterations of the same. Experienced hands notice these variations, and then watch the run to discover what faults in the dog or in it's training, that the handler is attempting to cover up. Facinating drama! And that is only the first phase of work. Watching the how the dog is handled at the lift is quite revealing as well. Every run is a culmination of the particular traits in a dog, how it was trained, and how the handler has accomodated to it.

 

Good points and well said! It seems like almost every question that comes up would have an answer that starts with "it depends on the dog/situation, etc.". It's only experience that teaches us the nuances of dogs and trialing. It's what i find so fascinating - just about the time you think you know it all, something new opens up to you and you realize there's more to learn.

 

Anyway, regarding teaching a dog a firm heel - a mentor of mine was very cautious about teaching this too early as it can make a dog reluctant to walk in front of you to start a drive when first learning it. Food for thought.

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If you see me at the post with Twist, you'll notice I set her pretty much directly in front and facing straight forward. Why? Because she's a naturally wide outrunner, and I do everything I can to "rein it in" from the start, though ultimately it usually doesn't make any difference--she's going to kick wide (although sometimes she likes to surprise me with a pear-shaped outrun!). This is an example of both a training fault and accomodating the dog's natural tendency--a training fault because as a novice handler I didn't realize I'd be sorry for that wideness in time and so did nothing to correct it early on, and an accomodation because I know she's wide and so set her up to try and mitigate that. You might also notice that I'll send her to the side (assuming the draw at the top isn't a big issue) that will best prevent her from going too wide, so it's fortunate for me that she runs out equally well to either side. With the pups, who don't tend to be wide (unlike their mom), but could easily be pushed out too wide if I'm careless, you can bet I learned my lesson and will a) make sure I don't inadvertently push them out (not the case with Twist, she was wide from the start) and b ) teach them a call in so that if they start to go wide for any reason, I can call them back in. So at least I can say I'm (trying to) learn from past mistakes! :rolleyes:

 

This is a topic near and dear to me right now. [Warning: this is a weird post because I've lifted some of it directly from my training blog.] Taz is a lot like his uncle Ben and his grandsire, Gel: powerful, fast, not too much eye, and a natural feel or his sheep. I continue to worry that he won't live up to anywhere near his potential with my clumsy handling. His biggest flaw (and it's a biggie) is that he is a bit too pressure-sensitive. I said something to an open handler friend of mine (who is also Ben's owner) about hoping my next dog had a natural outrun, and she said that she thinks Taz, like Ben, actually has a natural outrun. I was surprised to hear this and asked her if she forgot that we were talking about my run-straight-up-the-middle boy. She laughed and said Ben used to be the same way. Unlike Craig, who feels his sheep so well everywhere except during his outrun, Taz has shown that when he is working well, he instinctively understands just where he needs to be to calmly and efficiently approach the sheep. The problem is that Taz has practiced working incorrectly for so long, he may not realize what it feels like to do it right. I agree, he hasn't had a lot of practice doing correct work at the top. In fact, my friend said once the top of his outrun is fixed, she thinks he'll progress quite quickly. But she warned that I need to be careful when teaching him where he needs to be at the top, as her Ben (who is now almost six) is already running too wide. I'm working on widening Taz at the top right now (by having someone hold the sheep and I am standing halfway between the sheep and where the dog is set up and sending him from there, and then being ready to redirect as necessary as he approaches the sheep) and it seems to be working. I am obviously thrilled. But after reading Julie's post, I am thinking that though it seems completely unnecessary now, perhaps I need to teach Taz a call in. How would I go about that? Since I've been working to widen him, would calling him in have any adverse effects on his new-found wider work?

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I don't want to get too far off topic here but -

 

Wendy V said -

Watching the how the dog is handled at the lift is quite revealing as well.

 

Can ya all expound on that? Give some examples? The good, the bad, the clever, the smart, the dumb? :rolleyes:

 

Ditto on the thanks to everyone for this very enlightening and educational thread!

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