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flanking on drive

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1. on a drive how do you teach square flanking?



I've been taught that it's well to get the flanks "square" as possible before you start driving. My youngest, Gael, tends to be kind of slicey on her flanks, so we spent a lot of time, early on, just flanking her around the sheep until her shape became nice. This was in all situations from fetching to little outruns.


When Gael started doing little drives, Suzy Applegate had me lie her down after each short drive, then step out to Gael's side a few yards, where I called her to flank around behind me and on out to balance and gather her sheep again. This encouraged Gael to go in that nice, wide movement behind her sheep, as well as encouraging a nice shape on her little gather.


Later, I would set Gael up so she drove the sheep a couple dozen yards ahead of me, where I laid her down behind them, between me and the sheep. Then I called her towards me a couple steps and gave her a flank command to gather her sheep. By calling her briefly towards me, it encouraged her to bend away from the sheep before taking the flank, thus squaring her up and curbing the urge to slice in. Short drive-away, lie down, come-and-flank and bring the sheep to me. I didn't ask her to stop at any off-balance position until she became comfortable with the idea of flanking around the sheep while in front of me.


That's one method. I know the more savvy folks here will have other and probably better methods. :)


And it's entirely possible nothing I've written makes sense, without a lot of circles and arrows. :P

Cheers ~



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1. on a drive how do you teach square flanking?


Gloria's reply pretty well hits it on the head except for the fact that I would never allow a young dog to gather while I am teaching it to drive. In my opinion this is counter productive and would just confuse the young dog and he would keep on trying to gather and not understand the principal of driving which is to take the sheep away from you. The rest of it is fine and works well with calling the dog's name, giving the flank while you are to one side or the other behind the dog. Calling the dog's name gets his head facing the right way and then giving the fglank gets him going on a nice square flank because he is facing the right waqy when you send him. Timing is very important also as you must give the flank the second he looks the way you want him to go or looks at you. Bob

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