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high noon or not


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So, I thought this would be a good topic- should one require a dog to go to 12:00 on the lift, regardless of what the sheep are doing? My sense of a sensible lift, is one in which the dog comes deep enough first, and then sizes up the sheep- are they all facing west? Does it look like they are going to bolt? If that is the case, the dog would take steps to stay off, but cover. I could be way wrong. When I work Lucy, I notice that the sheep's heads are what she notices more than anything. If the sheep are facing me, then it is 12:00, but if they look to head off laterally, that does effect things, in that she may first move off in that direction, and then as the sheep think better of bolting, she moves back to noon. I think I am probably explaining this all wrong, but - I haven't had much coffee yet... :rolleyes:

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99% of what my dog do is work on the farm, and it's usually catching/gathering sheep. I don't want to train the natural outrun/lift out of them, even if it hurts me in trials (like I'd ever be up there with 2 points between me and the top five anyway). I do, however (and I think this is a different issue), want the dog to take direction once up there - ie, take an off-balance flank and drive them somewhere rather than fetch directly to my feet.

 

In other words, I wouldn't want to mess with the default behavior, but I want the same dog to be willing to take commands that don't make sense. I'm willing to take hits in trialing to get that combination for general working, which I've found very useful.

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I agree with Becca. The dog should read the pressure and stop in the appropriate place to lift the sheep straight to the handler. I believe the dog should be able to do this without handler input. But the dog also should be obedient should the handler wish it to do something that requires it to be off-balance, like the start of a dogleg fetch.

 

J.

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