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Driving; not fetching


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A few weeks ago I worked my young Aussie Chula on my friend's knee knocker sheep. She was wanting to only drive and not fetch. How can I get her to bring them to me instead of driving them away? We were in a round pen. Do you think working her out in the open at home would help? She is very biddable and not a wild child like her dad. My sheep at home are very flighty and will easily run from a dog.

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Hi there ~


I think the deafening silence is due to the fact most folks here don't have Aussies, only BCs. ;) But since I've got one of the one and three of t' other, I figured I'd pitch in my ten cents.


I'm just starting my 11 month old Aussie girl, and straight lines are pretty much her favorite thing. Only she's not driving, she's just mixing things up! So, here's my thought on your Chula. At this point, I would try again with the round corral. That's not something I like with my BCs, but for an Aussie that doesn't have a natural flanking instinct, I would like a round pen because then you can encourage the dog to go around the sheep, by moving and encouraging her to move in counter-balance around the sheep. If you keep moving, following her shoulder and keep the sheep between you and her as she goes, you should be able to prevent her taking the sheep away from you. By doing this, and switching her flanks from Go-Bye to Away every few circles, you can perhaps build her willingness to flank naturally. (This works better with the knee-knocker sheep, as the flighty ones would encourage/enable her to push them off you into a drive.)


Not sure this made any sense, but ... I can see it plain as day in my head! ;)

Cheers ~



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  • 1 month later...

I think a lot of dogs prefer having more room. My Aussie, Ash, needed smaller spaces in the beginning as she loved to dive and grab, but once we got past that, she does far better work outside. It's a lot less pressure without fences right there, and frees them to move where they need to go. I personally like to get a young dog (Aussie or BC!) outside as soon as I safely can. :)


Best of luck!


~ Gloria

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