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I'm relativly new to herding, but my dog isn't. He's about two and was considered "fully trained" when he was a year old. Currenty he is worked mostly on goats, due to my line of work, but I've noticed this issue with both goats and sheep. Often with goats one will be far away from the herd and I'll send John out to get them back in, when they are particularly stuborn he will just chase after them ignoring down or any other command I give him. This isn't an issue when we're working in a closed feild but out in the open he'll chase them into kingdom come. How can I get him to disengage from the running animal. Also he grips and bites far to often than is nesicary. When I see him getting ready to grip or bite I'll say AH!or HEY! to make him think twice but I can't always catch him before he decides to use the sheep as dental floss. How can I get him to back off and use his eye more.

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I'm relativly new to herding, but my dog isn't. He's about two and was considered "fully trained" when he was a year old. Currenty he is worked mostly on goats, due to my line of work, but I've noticed this issue with both goats and sheep. Often with goats one will be far away from the herd and I'll send John out to get them back in, when they are particularly stuborn he will just chase after them ignoring down or any other command I give him. This isn't an issue when we're working in a closed feild but out in the open he'll chase them into kingdom come. How can I get him to disengage from the running animal. Also he grips and bites far to often than is nesicary. When I see him getting ready to grip or bite I'll say AH!or HEY! to make him think twice but I can't always catch him before he decides to use the sheep as dental floss. How can I get him to back off and use his eye more.

 

Hi there. Your problem with this dog is you don't have control of him. So the fix for this is to get control of him without taking his natural talent away. This must be done at a distance that you can control him and then move him out as he b ecomes more tractable. Your goal is to have a dog that you can put any place you want him to be so that you can get your work done in an efficient manner without harrassing the stock. The first thing that you must learn to control is the stop on the dog. If you can't stop the dog he will always be in the wrong place and work will not be enjoyable for you. So, you need to get out and pratice with this dog, stopping him on command on the fetch and while flanking and driving. Stop means stop right there and not 3 or 5 more steps. If the dog is fetching sheep to you use whatever command you use to stop your dog and run at thim with your hands up in the air telling him the command. Run right through the sheep if you need to. If he stops right away when you give the command then move him out a little further and go again until you can stop him anywhere even at 500 yards. Some dogs prefer to work on their feet and some will fight you when trying to get them to lie down. If they are the type that are uncomfortable while in the down position, and are not just fighting being told what to do, I wouldn't get too concerned about them lying down. It will come eventually. But they must stop when told. The gripping is not a big problem but you must deal with it when necessary. Usually if you learn to keep your dog back off the sheep where he can't grip this takes care of it, but YOU must decide where the dog should be in the initial stages. This is teaching the dog pace and to read his stock instead of him just going in and busting them because he knows that will move them. You have to be the boss and in control of the dog. The dog may have beeen considered trained when you got him but you need to be trained also and you need to bond and get to know your dog before you can become proficient as a handler. I also doubt if a yearling could be considered trained but could definitely be considered well started. In order for you to become proficient as a handler you and the dog need to practice and, if I understand correctly, you are in a position to do that pretty well every day. Is that right? This is going to take a while so get back to me with further questions as you spend time training the dog and yourself and we'll carry on from there. Good luck......Bob

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