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Sharing training exercises


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I'm always trying to dream up new training exercises for my dogs. When I work on flanking sometimes I do some short drills with a group of sheep on some hay. Pretty simplistic. I ask the dogs to flank in a circle around the sheep; a few flanks to the right and a few to the left. I make sure the dog is square off his stock. If not, I step into him or give a low growl to turn him out. I'd like them to turn away from the stock or at least not come in on the circle. When my females stop they have a tendancy take a few steps in on the stop before downing. This gives me the opportunity to put pressure on them as soon as they begin their stop, so they don't take steps into the circle (toward the sheep).


Another exercise I have been doing of late is working two sheep sorted away from the flock. Of course, the sheep are wondering why they have been isolated and very much want back with the group. This puts a lot of pressure on the dog. But, it most certainly keeps the dogs on their toes. Note: One sheep is pretty berserk by itself. Two is better. It makes for a great drivng exercise. Plus, the dog can't be asleep at the wheel. They have to be on top of their game. This is a great exercise for my one dog who has little toleration for pressure and will try to grip. They have also learned if the lose one sheep or both sheep running back to the flock that they need to flank wide in order to catch the eye of the lead sheep to be able to turn them back.


I'm just starting some "mind-set" for my youngster to think about shedding. I like to have two large groups of stock in a field (arena works too, but you probably will need hay to put both groups on). I ask her to work just the one group with other group about 100 ft away or more. She would like to put both groups together, but we work one group or the other for awhile before I let her combine the two groups. I like to make a huge hole...at least 100 ft or more to start calling the dog in and driving one group away from the other. This is great for the start of your look-back, too.


I'm pretty novice, but I have made it to the open division (and placed..whoo hoo). I do almost all of my own training at closeby ranhes. I'm just sharing a few exercises I work on from time to time. If you have some you'd like to share, I'd like to hear them. :0) I'm always looking for new things to do with my dogs to change stuff up and possibly learn from.


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