Maja Posted December 3, 2011 Report Share Posted December 3, 2011 I have talked to a number of people about my question and I received some very good advice, but I wanted to ask my questions here to consolidate the information. So first about my dog. Bonnie is 2 years old, of rather humble breeding, but very dedicated to her task of working sheep and even more so to making me happy with her. She learns, in my estimation, very fast and by the age of less than 18 months she had very good stop, good flanks, very good drive and a decent 100yrd outrun. However, when not at home, these fine qualities would, with the exception of the drive, vanish. After a clinic with Derek Scrimgeour, I regained a very good stop also away from home (so we had a stop and a drive, but lousy flanks and a slice-in at the end of outrun). At home she still did much, much better. Thanks to good people I became aware that part of the problem with the outrun was that it had never occurred to me to practice with a set out until we went to our first trial-qualifying test where Bonnie saw for the first time a set out team. So I am trying to practice away from home as much as possible and with a set tout team. The problem with the flanks remained a problem all the away until a week before our last trial this season, just when she turned two. That week we went to our friend's - new place new sheep new everything, sheep very tough to handle by any standards. Bonnie had a good drive good stop and tight flanks and a sliced-in end of outruns. Our last trial (fourth in the last 6 months and in her life,) was treated by me simply as practice. At the trial though, without me pressing, Bonnie widened out suddenly from the word go, and I had to pretty much invent a pull-in in a couple of situations. But the outrun was still a problem, she started out well and then sliced in. I enclose the video with the outrun at the trial, and then there an outrun at home. The outrun at the trial is only 100 yards, and the outrun at home is at least 160 yards. So my questions are these: I sort of half expect that something will click in Bonnie's brain, as it did with the stop and the flanks, and that one day "voila!" there will the the proper outruns away from home as they are at home. Am I silly expect this? The flanks were pretty dramatic because only a week earlier she was way too tight, and then a week later wham! very wide. So I've been thinking that my original thought that Bonnie simply had to transfer the at-home knowledge to away-from-home knowledge was right. And that trying to widen her at home was not a good idea. So I think, the same should apply to outruns at home - I should not try to widen her out at the top at home. Only when we are away, and she slices in at the top I should stop her and redirect (I tried to do that at the trial, but I can't whistle yet and I don't think she heard me - it was awful windy there). Do you agree? And another question: at home I can't practice with a set out most of the time. Will it be somehow damaging if from time to time I put the sheep in a pen and practice just the outrun? The last question: the trial I included the video of was a big surprise because Bonnie won it. Her end of outrun was very bad, but it was the best of all the dogs there (five). And she was the youngest dog. So my question is could this have something to do with the fact the set out person stood right with the sheep? I realize of course that the dog has to be able to lift sheep well even if the set out person decides to perform a hula dance, and that the sheep most likely necessitated her position, but I want to know this to understand the situation. Thank you for helping people like me. Maja Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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