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The way I start a dog on stock


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Now this may not work for everyone, and I am no great trainer, I have never even been to a trial, but my dogs will go get cattle in the pasture and put then in a pen or tr.and will push or bring cattle.

I don't see letting a pup learn bad habbits for me to have to break. The first time in the pen with my 8 mo old pups. I setle them down before I releace them. When I do release them I am prepared to push them out on their first outrun which is a very short one I make sure they go behind the stock and I keep moving them to the balance point. I never let my pups circle. It may look like it but I move to keep them on balance. I try not to make a full circle before I change directions. I don't even want them thinking about circling stock. I have seen dogs that go and bunch stock but won't bring them in. These dogs have been let circle. I have never had a dog to get to cattle and start circleing they go behind and bring them to me. I can send my 2 dogs out to find cattle and they may be a mile from me. But when they do it won't be long before they are back with me and with the cattle. On the first outing I also start the side comands, I do not force them but when I know they are going a certain direction I give the comand. I try and give every comand that is justified when they do it. It takes a little longer for them to pick up the comands this way but there is no pressure on the dog. When I know he is picking these comands then I will add a slight amt of pressure and gradually increase it till I have it prefected.I put a steady on my dogs before I ever put a down on one. This takes time too I have to catch them pacing the stock lots of time before they pick it up. but they will if you work them reg enough.I get a stop on them by body langage the first 50 times is a nitemare, but they do pick it up if you give the stop when you do get them to stop. Now I don't hollow whoa every breath I wate for them to stop then I say whoa good boy. If they down when they stop I say down some will some won't if they stop standing I say stand. The get ahead and get behind and the walkup are the easest for me. The ones I have trained have picked up these comands in less than 3 training sessions.The take hold comand seems to be the hardest for me. I will also let my pups get too close and split the goats. They soon learn if they stay back off them they don't have to work so hard bunching them back up. I will growl at them when they do to let them know I am not happy with what they did. I also set them up at the start where they have to go in close to the fence to force the stock out. I try not to let them come between me and the stock and if they do slip by me I just act like I didn't see it and set it up to be done right the next few times. One more thing I don't talk to my dogs when they are doing things right. I may say good boy if he does something exceptional. I do growl when they are not doing it right. I think too much prase is bad they get used to it and don't have to work for it. I come out of the pen on a good note and away for the pen I pet and prase him for just being my friend. These methods has worked well for me and hope they may help someone else. Also I never give a comand to a pup but once. If he goes clockwise when he first turns I say come by, Once then when he starts his turn counterclock wise I give the away to me comand once. only on the first movement of the turn. I make sure I have control to the turn before I give the comand timing is important here don't give a comand unless he is starting to make the turn.

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