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bill virginia

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Is this the first exposure to any livestock or just on goats? It it were the dogs first exposure to any livestock I would be happy just to

get the dog to circle in both directions the first time. Once the dog is circling you can get it stop when it is opposite you and back up a few

feet then let the dog get up and bring the stock to you. The instinct to balance should then kick in. I'm not the expert some of these poeple

on this board are, I would just be happy if the dog showed interest in the stock without being uncontrollable. All my dogs took a few exposures

to have the balancing kick in. If he already balances on sheep or cattle but not of goats I wouldn't know what to tell you. Perhaps someone

more knowledgable will comment?

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My experience with goats is that a small group of goats don't necessarily have A balance point like sheep because most goats don't flock like sheep. That said I have also worked some pretty dog broke goats that stick together rather well. In general goats are more independent and it seems need a bit of a different approach. It is hard to say without seeing the dog and the goats. If I were helping a dog learn balance I would start with a group of sheep which were pretty broke and wanted to stay together and would move off the dog easily then do lots of walking. As the dog figured things out then you add other challenges. I also have seen dogs that simply do not like to work goats but enjoy and do well with sheep and others that love goats.



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Hi Bill ~


I'll echo what's already been said. One, depending on the goats, they don't always offer the dog a chance to find balance point. Goats are so independent that they often tend to end up facing in different directions, bolting out of the group to run, turning to stare at the dog, etc. Unless the goats are thoroughly dog-broke and cooperative, I am *very leery of using goats with a green dog. They just tend to be problematical and even confrontational, not the best thing for a young dog who's still trying to figure out what to do with his instincts.


Two, if the goats are quiet and flock together, don't face or try to squirt away from the dog, I'd say the dog's handler should just work on the basics. Work on getting the dog's flanks nice, getting his shape right, teaching him to stop and walk up quietly, etc. If he still hasn't learned to find balance after a couple months, then one can just use the stop to show him where to be. I wouldn't worry about it, this early in the game. Not every dog finds a good sense of balance right away.

Cheers ~



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