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My dog has a definite preference for going clockwise and can be stubborn about anitclockwise (I can't use "come bye" and "way to me" as come and away are agility terms for him. I use Gaelic words instead). How do your members deal with this? Does it gradually improve or is it set for life?

He's a big BC, 3 years old now. I live in the suburbs and do agility and walks to keep him exercised. This spring I took him for a herding test and he was interested. I was curious to see how he would react (he is a rescue, found aged 6 weeks and parents unknown). Also, it is likely he will live where there are sheep in Ireland in the future so I want some control over his reactions (or he' might get shot!). After some lessons, he is much calmer around sheep, interested and pretty biddable. Also, he his personality has changed for the better (much calmer, more confident, less likely to herd inappropriate things) even though he had only intermittent lessons. This is a relief to me as I thought he might pine, get moody or chase things after seeing the "holy grail".

Anyway, I'm interested in doing some more lessons with him now ('though hard to find from where I live in Westchester, NY) and would like your opinion(s) on the one-sidedness.


Catheirne, NY

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Almost all Border Collies are one sided. Denise Wall had a very interesting subject on the one-sidedness and it may be interrelated with their eye sights. Just like humans,our eye sights aren't measured exactly same.


You may have to set him up accordingly to get him cover his bad side.

Set up sheep,set yourself and send him on his bad side,if he hesitates block him with body language rather than telling or asking him. If he'll try to go around behind you,keep stepping backwards into his path. That would make him go on his bad side. One caution,he may try to fall short and face the sheep rather than go behind them. Get closer to the sheep and try again. You may even have to resort to hanging on to his collar and put him between sheep and fence on his bad side,once he does it,praise him like there's no tomorrow. Keep working him on his bad side by body language and praises only, until he gets it.


Good luck.



Inci Willard




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Have you noticed if he has this preference for sides in agility? I didn't even think about it for several years, but lately have realized that mine definitely is a "leftie." Turns are tighter when she's going to the left, discriminations are better to the left, and I think she prefers a left lead on turns. Interesting! It makes sense that this preference transfers to herding as well.



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