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Outrun question

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I'll keep this short. How do you go about getting distance at the top without the dog getting too wide? Thanks. Suzanne


Hi there. If your dog runs extremely wide then you need to set him up a little ahead of you when sending him. This is just the start. Now we get into some form of control to bring him in and, if needed, widen him out. If setting him a little ahead of you before you send him fixes the problem then you don't need to go to shaping the outrun. How wide is the dog on the outrun and how deep is he going? Just to talk about what an outrun should look like, the dog should leave the handler at about a 30 to 45 degree angle and go out at that angle until he reaches a point opposite the sheep at 3 or 9 o'clock at which time he should start to turn in keeping the same distance from the sheep as when he started to turn in. When he reaches the point of balance or pressure he should then start to approach the sheep in a quiet controlled manner in order to turn the sheep toward the handler. Ok, if the dog has gone too wide he will end up way too far behind the sheep and have a long haul in getting to the sheep to lift them. To correct this you must change the angle that the dog runs out in order to have him come in at the right distance behind the sheep. To teach the dog this you may have to redirect him on his outrun for a while to get him in the right zone to arrive behind the sheep at the right distance. So, you must be able to bring the dog in on his outrun by giving a reverse flank to get him back on the proper line (angle) for the outrun. If too tight of course the opposite. When he gets to the right line for the outrun, then give him the same flank you gave him to start the outrun but shorter so he doesn't go too wide again and then let him continue on his outrun. Because he is not too wide he should wind up at the right distance behind the sheep. This is a good thing to practice anyway as it gives you the confidence the dog will take a redirect and you will find out if he will or not and start to work on redirecting him. Now you need to be aware that you must only do this in order to shape the outrun and give the dog a chance to do it right before commanding. Try the set forward to start with and then if that doesn't get it done start to show the dog how you want him to run out by using the redirect strategy. You are not making him mechanical, merely changing a bad habit of running too wide or too narrow. Too wide is usually a lot harder to deal with than too narrow so stay diligent if that is the problem. Get back and let me know how it's coming as there are a few other things you can do if these don't work. Not an overnight fix either.........Bob

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