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Is she in the right or wrong position


Debbie Meier
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Sorry to repost this, I put this post in the photo gallery last night not thinking clearly.

 

Anyway, there are pictures from the trial on Sunday (arena trial), I can't decide if what Riley is doing is totally out of position or not. Thought maybe it would start a good discussion and help me too.

 

I finally was able to get Riley working half way right, well, right enough to use her to help fill a trial this past weekend. Wayne ran her, thinking that he would be lucky to get her around the course, well they won the novice class. Anyway, here are three pictures that I took, I keep looking at them and can't decide if she is wrong or right. The sheep tended to try to break for the draw, which would have been on the far right of the shots. Some of the dogs had a tough time lifting, if the dog showed any hesitation they would stand off refusing to move. Riley is holding the sheep up perpendicular to the draw attempting to get them turned back down the pen. The dogs that stopped in the draw ended up having the sheep split and escape. Jake gave more ground and was able to get them stopped, turned around and then on course, but he is faster then her and the sand was really deep.

 

Any thoughts?

 

BTW, I've not seen many shots where the dog is running parellel or even yielding a bit while eyeing up. It's like she is lock eyed on the run.

 

Note: each shot was from a different time, they are not a sequence.

 

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Without being able to see the line the sheep are supposed to be on, it's hard to say, but if she brought the sheep straight down the "field" on line (assuming these photos were taken on the fetch), then she was right. The same would apply on a drive--if the sheep stay on line, then the dog was right. It looks to me like she's working far forward to help prevent the sheep from taking off (more so than they are already doing). As long as she's not crossing the course or ringing the sheep, then all that matters is what the sheep are doing.

 

J.

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Thanks Julie.

 

As far as lines, I don't know that Riley was trying to hold a line as much as trying to get the sheep to stop trying to escape and get them back facing where they needed to go, about 45 degrees to their right.

 

Fun sheep :rolleyes: ...they either were trying to make breaks or refusing to move and there was not enough space for the dog to keep them undercontrol with contact through the entire course. The dog had to let them go and then pick them back up again. Not complaining about the stock, just makes me wonder if the dogs could be making more adjustments in these situations.

 

Deb

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Thanks Julie.

 

As far as lines, I don't know that Riley was trying to hold a line as much as trying to get the sheep to stop trying to escape and get them back facing where they needed to go, about 45 degrees to their right.

 

Fun sheep :rolleyes: ...they either were trying to make breaks or refusing to move and there was not enough space for the dog to keep them undercontrol with contact through the entire course. The dog had to let them go and then pick them back up again. Not complaining about the stock, just makes me wonder if the dogs could be making more adjustments in these situations.

 

Deb

 

W/o seeing draws etc, it is difficult to say accurately. I would say in #1 & #2 she was trying to hold a straight line while controling the leader (I think I know this course) and in #3 she had gone too far and turned the leader.

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Without being able to see the line the sheep are supposed to be on, it's hard to say, but if she brought the sheep straight down the "field" on line (assuming these photos were taken on the fetch), then she was right. The same would apply on a drive--if the sheep stay on line, then the dog was right. It looks to me like she's working far forward to help prevent the sheep from taking off (more so than they are already doing). As long as she's not crossing the course or ringing the sheep, then all that matters is what the sheep are doing.

 

J.

 

What Julie said.

 

If the sheep were going in the right place then the dog was right even if it did not look like the classic position to the handler.

 

I learned this lesson (well a bit anyway) the hard way in my first ever Pro - Novice run at Sonoma this year. On the fetch the sheep wanted to pull to their right and most of the way down my Maggie was staying a bit off to the right side of the sheep holdingg them from escaping and largely keeping them on line. It did not look right to my inexperienced eye because she was not directly behind the sheep. So I tried to get her to adjust to directly behind. The moment she hesitated it released the pressure on the sheep and they escaped to the right like they had been trying to. My dog was right and I was wrong.

 

You can see it clearly on the video from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat accompanying this story http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20090...ICLES/903209917 - sorry I could not figure out how to link directly to video. Maggie is the sable faced dog with the bushy white tail. By chance we were one of the runs placed on the video. She is the first dog shown on an outrun on the video - I am in blue jeans and a yellow shirt.

 

You can see on her fetch Maggie is staying off to the right of the sheep and as long as she stays in that position the sheep are coming fairly straight. Right before the video of her ends you can see her hesitate a bit in response to one of my misguided commands trying to get her behind the sheep. (You will see me lift my crook - you can't hear the command) As soon as she hesitates the sheep take off on her and escape. Fortunately for my ego the tape cuts off at that point so the whole world does not get to see me lose the sheep. But it illustrates the point fairly well I think that what matters is the line the sheep are on and not whether the dog is artificially where we think they should be. Maggie was properly reading the pressure and I misguided her.

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Running in circles around the sheep

 

The dog shouldn't be passing between the sheep and the obstacle you're aiming for. So if the dog is fetching to you, the dog shouldn't run in front of the sheep and stop them. Or if you're driving, the dog shouldn't run in front of the sheep to head them and stop them from going where you want them to. It's called "crossing the course". Running actual complete circles around the sheep is the more extreme version of it.

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The dog shouldn't be passing between the sheep and the obstacle you're aiming for. So if the dog is fetching to you, the dog shouldn't run in front of the sheep and stop them. Or if you're driving, the dog shouldn't run in front of the sheep to head them and stop them from going where you want them to. It's called "crossing the course". Running actual complete circles around the sheep is the more extreme version of it.

 

You are correct and what you describe is what I refer to as "crossing the course". "Running rings" around the sheep struck me as a description of the extreme version and thus my "running circles around the sheep" answer.

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Sorry to repost this, I put this post in the photo gallery last night not thinking clearly.

 

Anyway, there are pictures from the trial on Sunday (arena trial), I can't decide if what Riley is doing is totally out of position or not. Thought maybe it would start a good discussion and help me too.

 

I finally was able to get Riley working half way right, well, right enough to use her to help fill a trial this past weekend. Wayne ran her, thinking that he would be lucky to get her around the course, well they won the novice class. Anyway, here are three pictures that I took, I keep looking at them and can't decide if she is wrong or right. The sheep tended to try to break for the draw, which would have been on the far right of the shots. Some of the dogs had a tough time lifting, if the dog showed any hesitation they would stand off refusing to move. Riley is holding the sheep up perpendicular to the draw attempting to get them turned back down the pen. The dogs that stopped in the draw ended up having the sheep split and escape. Jake gave more ground and was able to get them stopped, turned around and then on course, but he is faster then her and the sand was really deep.

 

Any thoughts?

 

BTW, I've not seen many shots where the dog is running parellel or even yielding a bit while eyeing up. It's like she is lock eyed on the run.

 

Note: each shot was from a different time, they are not a sequence.

 

There is a bit of a sequence here. Shot # 2 is the start of the fetch and # 1 is just a little further on the fetch. Same sheep in same position and dog is right holding the line. Don't know about shot # 3 as the dog is now a little forward and starting to turn the front sheep. If that is what was desired then the dog is right. If not then the dog got on a little bit of a power trip and got on the muscle and forgot about line and was having a real good time in control of the sheep. Maybe you could enlighten us on the # 3 shot as to where you were on the course at that time. My suggestion here would be to have started with a more gentle lift, concentrating on control of the sheep a little more in order to get nice straight lines and tight turns. This is what wins all trials including arena trials. Arena trials are not about speed; they are all about control and timing in order to get as straight and tight as possible. Bob Stephens

 

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If not then the dog got on a little bit of a power trip and got on the muscle and forgot about line and was having a real good time in control of the sheep.

 

I could see that happening..she likes to control sheep to a fault by refusing to consider where we want the sheep.

 

Ok, this was not the fetch, Riley was able to get a clean lift and the sheep went down the arena, problem is they went more on their own, Wayne just flanked her a touch to correct the line to the drive panel as the sheep wanted to go to the fence, it was after they went through the first drive panel that was only about 6 foot off the fence that the sheep doubled back and then broke for the draw.

 

I think Wayne was a little late in flanking Riley over to counter, the next obstacle would have been to the right sorta a cross drive to the fence, the sheep broke before he could set Riley on line and I think Riley over flanked a touch leaking to balance actually amplifying the break, the combination would have made it impossible for Wayne to flank her back off balance but then she would have gone to the position she is in in the third shot trying to get them back undercontrol. The sheep were not used to being driven and controlled by the dog, the dogs that planted the sheep to the fence were able to stop them from escaping but would also stop them since the arena had rounded corners, the dogs that either tried to balance them on their own ended up working real hard to try to teach the sheep to move off the dog and go away from the draw and the dogs that could not balance them lost them back to the draw totally. Vicky tried to control them but with 6 inches of sand could not cover enough ground to hold them up against the draw, compounded with so much back ground noise that the dogs could not hear if you wanted to help them.

 

The third picture was actually taken before the second and first, the third after the drive panel with Riley in between Wayne and the sheep with Wayne's back to the draw and then the second and first when the sheep were trying to break from the pen, this time with the sheep past the pen, Wayne at it and Riley between the draw and the sheep.

 

I really was not looking at it from a line or crossing over direction, I was looking at it from a control aspect in the moment, is she in the right place to try to control vs. the dogs that released into a big flank kicked way out and cold stopped the sheep. My thought is that she should have released pressure more, but the sheep tended to take what ever ground was given.

 

One positive, she didn't get sucked in chasing, but I think I would have liked to see her be just a touch more forward and released to maintain her working advantage in an effort to slow them rather then just trying to steer them. Thought is, get them under control first then tell them where you want them to go, but that could be my control freak nature kicking in.

 

Deb

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The dog shouldn't be passing between the sheep and the obstacle you're aiming for. So if the dog is fetching to you, the dog shouldn't run in front of the sheep and stop them. Or if you're driving, the dog shouldn't run in front of the sheep to head them and stop them from going where you want them to. It's called "crossing the course". Running actual complete circles around the sheep is the more extreme version of it.

 

Thanks y'all.

 

B.

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