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Too wide an outrun

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Yoko is coming 3 yrs. Last year her outruns were beautiful. They were wide with a nice kickout at the 3/4 mark and coming in deep behind her sheep. I remember you at Whidbey asking me, "Does she always run that wide and deep?" My answer was, "Yes." Maybe you knew something I didn't. :0)

I only work in the desert during the winter. It has been some 9 mos. since I have hauled the sheep to the desert. Yikes! Yoko is way too wide this year for my liking. Infact, deeper than I want her to be, too. I try NOT to interfere with her, but now I think I need to do something.

I tried letting her walk up straight in front of me 8-10 steps before asking her on her outrun. I thought it might narrow her up a bit at the start. Nope. I tried tentatively giving her a few "Here, heres," which made her hesitate a little, and look confused. It truthfully didn't affect her outrun. So, now I am trying to work small outruns at 100 yds. and try to build to longer. This bitch can outrun a mile if you asked her to; she loves to RUN. Thankfully, she's an excellent "spotter."

I am traveling a long distance to a well respected judge and trainer tomorrow for a lesson. I'm not afraid to ask for help. But, since I value your input, please give me some hints on how to help her understand, without wrecking what she naturally can do very well.

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Hi Suzanne. With a bitch like this, I usually try to "form" the outrun. She is probably a naturally wide outrunner and you need to control that. Some of these types of dogs will get so wide they disappear at times and lose their sheep, they get so far away from them on the outrun. You can do this by giving an opposite flank and then the correct flank again as she goes out on her outrun just to get her going right and the way you want her. You have done the right thing by placing her in front of you before you send her. However, giving the "here, here" may just confuse her. Try sending her on her outrun from in front of you. Give the away to me or come bye and as she goes out give her the opposite flank until you have her where you want her. Then give a very quiet proper flank to get her back on the right direction. I'll try to explain that a little clearer. Sending to the right - give her the "away to me". Then as she starts to go too wide, give her a "come bye" until you have her on the line you want her travel and then a very sedate "away to me" again and keep doing this until she has reached 3 o'clock and then watch to see that she does not push out too wide as she starts her approach to the sheep. If she does, continue with the same thing until you have her where you want her. The main thing you really have to concentrate on is how she goes at the start of her outrun. Don't let this get too wide as it is the stage of the outrun that will determine how wide she's going to go. She should start out at approximately a 30/45 degree angle and no more than that. You are right to go back to 100 yards to start this but I don't think you will need to stay there long. You are shaping the outrun so you need to be sure you don't allow her to go too wide from now on. Don't worry about her getting merchanical, this won't hurt her at all and it shouldn't take too long to fix. If you make her do it right all the time for a while now she will do it that way pretty well forever once she's go it. Keep in touch and let me know how it's going......Bob

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