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I'm not in her world


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Hi everyone,


I'm not new here, just usually a lurker, and I changed my displayed name. Used to be OCDBC which was chosen by my daughter as a joke, but it's just not true!!


Anyway, just a little history. I started Daphne on sheep at about 2 years old, finances etc changed, and we went on sheep hiatus for over 3 years. About two months ago we started training on sheep again and have been working on building her confidence. Daphne has pretty nice flanks, good balance, and good stock sense. (so I'm told) The last two - three weeks her confidence has blossomed. Yesterday I was able to send her through a gate, to gather the sheep, and bring them back through the gate, the longest outrun she's ever done. Not once did turn back to me and check in.


Here's the problem, since she's swimming in confidence now, I can't down her unless I'm almost on top of her, can't slow her down, and she brings those sheep at rocket speed!! Our trainer remarked that when I'm trying to down her that she's not even reacting, not even a flick of the ear, in other words, I'm not even in her world. He suggested that I work on obedience with her in between lessons.


Away from sheep Daphne is very attentive, will drop on command, and listens to every word that comes out of my mouth. She is very soft and will grovel if I even look at her wrong. Around sheep, well like I said before, I'm just not in her world.


Does anyone have suggestions of what I can do with her away from sheep that will hopefully transfer someday and get her to listen while around the woolies?? Thanks in advance.

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I've had this problem on and off with a few of my dogs and what it comes down to is they did/do not believe me. What I ended up doing to solve their lack of compliance was consistency. They get one down command (verbal or whistle) which if not taken is followed up by my going to them and enforcing the command. Now to be totally honest I'm not 100% consistent following this advice; when I am they are very good at stopping when told, when I get lazy they can become less compliant. It's a lot of work constantly running to them to enforce the stop; but it's worth the effort. The number of times I have to enforce the stop varies with the dog, the situation, etc.; eventually my dogs get the message and stop on command.


BTW: another way I've heard this situation described is you haven't gotten mad enough yet (i.e. they do not believe you really mean it). However, I learned the hard way that while dogs may accept gruff corrections, they feel your continued anger and this causes other problems. So make the correction and then move on (in terms of your emotions).


I?m no expert, but this is what I have found works for me and my dogs.



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Of course it is very hard to know what is going on and give decent advice without actually seeing the dog, as your trainer is able. Not to mention the fact that I am not really qualified to dispense advice.


But I'm with Mark.


In particular, I think that the problem needs to be cured while on stock, since that is the situation you have, and that is where the dog has to do the learning. Obedience training off of stock is good, but only goes so far. Training the dog so that all things are understood in relation to the livestock is always best, IMHO. And a lie down on the fetch doesn't really teach the dog pace (at least by itself). If the dog obeys it just bails you out of a mess, but the dog doesn't realize it was wrong - relative to the stock.


Anyway, this may not be appropriate for your dog, but - like Mark - if *I* had a dog that was confident, and otherwise feeling the stock ok, but was blasting them to me on the fetch I don't think I would even give a command (the dog should be pacing itself on its own). Maybe I would make a negative noise ("Heeeey".). I would then run through the stock in a dramatic fashion, get that dog to turn off of the stock a bit and maybe scold it as well. Then try again as if nothing bad happened.


What I would do next would depend upon how that turns out.


And, of course, since I am not sending this advice from my camper at the National Finals, you can easily assess my expertise.



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Thanks for the advice, and even though it's over the internet :rolleyes: I think you've hit the nail on the head. I do have a hard time getting mad at her, her progress in many other areas just amazes me at times and I'm generally very pleased with my little dog! My trainer has told me that the down command is only to be given one time, but I'm not the Border Collie, it takes me longer to learn!!


And Charlie, the real reason you're not at National Finals is that you'd rather remain mysterious and elusive!!

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