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gvmama

90 degree flanks

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Hi Bob. Me again.

I have been having great success hauling my 8 sheep to the desert to work on my days off. I have been driving both the pup and the open dog for miles and have stretched my open dog's outrun up to 700 yds. I have been working on blind outruns and gaining the trust of my dogs to flank them and go for sheep even though they can't see them.

 

The majority of my points are lost on the drive. So, I'm making this my priority. I even bought a couple of panels to take to the desert with me (as soon as my hubby finds a way to weld them on to the stock trailer).

 

Both my girls (nursery and open) slice 90 degree turns. It doesn't look very good going around the panels or going around the post. I have been driving in a huge square out in the desert (like 1/8 X 1/8 mile X1/8 mile X1/8 mile.) At each turn I need a 90 degree flank. The flanks start out right and then they tend to slice it coming in to close to their sheep. If the younster does this she will "bite" strange sheep. Niether like to "give up" their sheep when driving. The pup is better than her mother. I think I know a bit more now in the training department.

 

Sometimes my open dog (who is very tense) will rush in around the post with tail in air. I need to make them understand that they need to be further off their stock on thess turns. Help?

 

Suzanne

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Hi Bob. Me again.

I have been having great success hauling my 8 sheep to the desert to work on my days off. I have been driving both the pup and the open dog for miles and have stretched my open dog's outrun up to 700 yds. I have been working on blind outruns and gaining the trust of my dogs to flank them and go for sheep even though they can't see them.

 

The majority of my points are lost on the drive. So, I'm making this my priority. I even bought a couple of panels to take to the desert with me (as soon as my hubby finds a way to weld them on to the stock trailer).

 

Both my girls (nursery and open) slice 90 degree turns. It doesn't look very good going around the panels or going around the post. I have been driving in a huge square out in the desert (like 1/8 X 1/8 mile X1/8 mile X1/8 mile.) At each turn I need a 90 degree flank. The flanks start out right and then they tend to slice it coming in to close to their sheep. If the younster does this she will "bite" strange sheep. Niether like to "give up" their sheep when driving. The pup is better than her mother. I think I know a bit more now in the training department.

 

Sometimes my open dog (who is very tense) will rush in around the post with tail in air. I need to make them understand that they need to be further off their stock on thess turns. Help?

 

Suzanne

 

 

Hi Suzanne. Good to hear you're getting out to the desert and having lots of fun working your dogs. Flank slicing is an incorrect flank and must never be tolerated. When the dog starts on his flank square and then starts to come in too close you need to give him a correction; AGGHHH or "get out of that" or whatever as soon as you see him/her coming in and off square. Then flank again in a very firm tone of voice so that he knows he's not supposed to cheat or get on the muscle. The dog knows what a square flank is and is just "popping in" to have some fun and create some problems for you. Now, if you are concerned that the dog does not know how to do a square flank, then you need to teach him what a square flank is. You need to move the whole exercise in to a closer area so that you will have better control and then as things get better move back out. Back to the basics we go. You between the sheep and the dog and you will do all kinds of flanks, short, long, slow, fast, quick etc. Don't do it for too long as I don't like to see a dog drilled but what you will do every time, and I mean every time he cuts in you will correct him in what ever manner you use, go at him and push him out. He must start off square and remain at the same distance the total length of the flank until you either stop him or walk him up. When you have him flanking well in close start your driving again, position yourself on either side, and every time you give him a flank call his name, "bob here" and flank him. He will have his head pointed in the right direction to start the flank and if he starts to cut in again, same thing, name and here and flank. Be firm and consistent as a square flank is a must in every aspect of the trial, not just shedding and penning. You have started working at big distances and sometimes we get so caught up in being able to do things at that distance that we tend to let a few things go that we shouldn't. When you start to have problems at a distance, get in closer and fix it and then move out again and make him do it right. Don't test him 'till you're pretty sure he can do it right either. As far as your older dog slicing and gripping on the turns at the post or otherwise, this is, yes, sometimes tension, but at other times you are giving her an opportunity to give the sheep a little "boost" to get their respect. Lots of dogs like to do this just to remind the sheep that they are in charge and "don't you forget it". You are the handler and don't put up with it. This is another place that a correction is needed and very quick stop so you can let her reflect on what she is doing. You really do need to get on her case when this happens as it is just straight disobedience and not necessary at all. When coming to the post there are certain types of sheep that you don't really want to try and get them too close to you, especially those that have not seen man or dog much. Try and read the sheep just to see how close to you they are comfortable and don't try and get them any closer. Sometimes the dog can rattle them also so it is necessary to read the sheep as to just how close your dog needs to be to get them around the post in an orderly fashion. Bobby Henderson once told Nancy when she was running in the Canadian Finals that she would have been much better to have an organized mess than lose the sheep trying to be perfect. At times that is true and you need to be able to judge when these times are occurring. If I haven't covered everything or you have other questions get back to me and we'll figure it out.......Good luck and have fun.......Bob

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