MaggieDog Posted December 13, 2004 Report Share Posted December 13, 2004 Reading thru some of the posts here has brought up some questions. For those who haven't seen my other posts, my BC Maggie was just started on sheep a few weeks ago and has had 3 lessons so far. We're working with an all breed AKC trainer, but will most likely be switching to a handler who runs BCs in non AKC trials. So far Maggie has a pretty good fetch and is just starting on baby outruns. She can flank decently from either direction, though she prefers going to her left. She is still pretty barky and does grip when she first gets onto the field, but we're working on that. I saw a few flickers of eye at our last lesson. Its funny to see her work compared to the shelties who are also working with our current trainer - she's just slightly behind a dog that's been training for about 2 *years*!! Now I understand why instinct and breeding for working rather than show is soooo important; the dog that's been training for so long had almost no instinct when they started and had to spend several months just playing with sheep to get anything to work with. I'd love to eventually trial Maggie, but even if I don't I still want to teach her the best I can. Here are my questions: I've heard about whistles; when should I start thinking about using one? My current trainer only uses verbal commands/directions, but I'm finding it hard to use and prefer a clearer, faster cue. If you use whistles to direct your dog, does it have to be using an actual whistle you put in your mouth or can it just be a normal whistle (w/o an extra piece of equipment, just your lips)? Right now Maggie's release to sheep is a two tone whistle and that's working so much better than using another word. How do you get your dogs to work out from the stock? Maggie likes being up close and personal and thus puts too much pressure on the sheep and I end up getting stepped on. Right now I use a rake to control her movements w/ an occasional toss near her to tell her to back off, but it seems to be too much of a correction as she is very tuned into me and very soft I think. Any books to suggest? I'd like to get some good background info on herding training and some details of the actual process to supplement my weekly lessons. Thanks. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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