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dulcilama

Moved: New here..New Dog

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Hi all...new around here. My first purebred BC arrives next week. She is just three and was trained here in Wales from ten months to two and a half but is considered unsuited to trial work as she is a bit timid.

 

No matter, her breeding's good and we have our own sheep and some land including a hill valley.

 

But, how long is it going to take her to learn to respond to my commmands. She is supposed to respond to whistle - will it matter if my whistle sounds different to her?

 

Also due to her new shepherd leaving her behind when she left in December, she hasn't worked sheep since (tho' they have 700 for her to watch!), so how much will she remember and how much back to basics will I need to do before I loose her on my undogged sheep?

 

On good authority she IS a powerful dog with a good eye - just leery of strangers.

 

Thanks!

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My rule, learned from a good friend - eliminate as many sources of pressure as possible until you learn her and she learns you. That means, easy field, as easy sheep as possible (it's really good to go to a trainer with lots of training experience and a good setup). If you must use your own sheep, set it up so they can't bully the dog or get away. Don't send her 400 yards at first, start closer. Do some basics: fetching and wearing with no commands, driving down a fenceline, holding them at the fence. If she is having trouble moving the sheep, reduce the number , but not less than four or five.

 

Introduce the whistles at this point while doing really obvious stuff - right turns while wearing, stops at the fenceline or in the corner.

 

Increase the difficulty of what she's doing slowly and if there's a problem, go back a step and review. Also contact your seller if it's something serious.

 

I wouldn't change her whistles at this time, but you can do it later fairly easily. Or you CAN start fresh, but you have to pretend she doesn't know any whistles at all (ie, you'll be teaching them from scratch).

 

Dogs DO have to adjust to "your version" of whistles and even voice commands, so give her plenty of opportunity to get used to you. They are smart and adaptable for a reason. :rolleyes:

 

We just purchased a new trained dog and my husband is learning to whistle, and also has to learn the commands, and incidentally has never handled a dog at this level before. Talk about a learning curve! He's doing well though and so is the dog.

 

Good luck with your new dog!

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