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Turning at the post

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I have a handler's post question -


My BC and I have done a few Nursery classes and a couple of Ranch runs and I need to help myself be better for the turn at the handler's post. I somehow manage to get the sheep way off line or zig zag a bunch before managing the line for the obstacle.


Even when I do manage to get the sheep to slow up to almost a stop in front of the handler's post, as I want them to come in relaxed, my exit to the drive line seem to be all over the place. I try and turn with the sheep so they are in full view to make the line to the drive obstacle. I try and watch the sheep and have my dog walk up to get that line started but things seem to be everything but a straight nice drive line. I'm not sure if I am missing something or just more time doing this will eventually work itself out.


Should I be looking at the drive obstacle quicker on the turn? I usually don't look up at the obstacle until the sheep's noses are pointed in that general direction.


Another question - when the sheep approach the handler's post - do they come right at it, or off to the side of it and then around the post?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry. I had been checking the Ask the Expert religiously but gave up over Christmas, when there were no questions.


Much of your trouble will be resolved by concentrating on the sheep. You might be watching your dog. Bring the sheep tight to the post ready for a turn. You should not need to look where the obstacle is, but have a good feel for where your turn has to settle before the trial begins. That will be one of the things you get organized in your mind, when you view the course.


If you concentrate purely, on the sheep, they will show you where you need to stop your dog to have them lined up for the drive panel. Stop your dog in that sweet spot. I like to say, "steady," meaning "hold this line in a sensible manner, now." Continue to concentrate on the sheep, as they move off in the direction of your panels and hold as firm a line as you can. If you keep from over flanking in any direction, your dog should be able to fall in behind and take them. If your dog has done sound drive training, it ought to be able to help you hold that line, once you have established where you are headed.


In your training, practise making the turns, without watching your dog. And be sure your dog understands how to hold a line, the refinements of the line.

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