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The go-back

Sue Whiteman

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Ok, I'm still puzzled about the look/go back. I have watched tapes, read books, gone out and tried to figure out how to do it. (we don't have personal trainers in France...) and I need your help, guys!!

Derek S. trains his dogs to look back doing a turn EITHER direction from the path made by the sheep.He then downs the dog and gives it a flank command. At least that's what I saw on the video. He doesn't seem to make an issue of which way the dog looks back.

However soon after, in the part about the advanced go-back, he flanks the dog to one side of the separated sheep first and insists the dog look outward from their path. This is what I want to do.

My question is, if the dog has been taught to look back in either direction, how do you get him to look back to the OUTSIDE? Do you work from the sheep's heads, from the dog's side behind the sheep? And should I use this flank first/look to the outside in the initial stages of teaching a look-back to avoid confusion at the advanced go-back stage?




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Sue, I won't be much help as for as a trial trainer but on the look back I start my dogs in the round pen or where ever I am working. Most of the time on young dogs I use 3 to 5 dog broke sheep. I wate for my chance to give the look back which is when one or two sheep seperate, Naturally the pup is going with the faster escape artists. I either down him or get between and say look back to the flock. It is a lot easer to bring the flock to the one than it is the one to the flock. It takes a time or two but they like to go back and get sheep. And when they get them together I down the pup and prase him. I am sure that once the look back is comprehended by the dog all that is left is improving it and streching it out to where you want it. This is how I start it which is kinda simple because sheep will split once in a while for sure if the dog gets too close.

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