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Hello Amanda,


I posted this over in the training section also, hoping to get some help with my dog. Have already given some advice and I will more than likely be traveling to seek out a good clinician...but in the mean time I would love your input as well!!! Here's my gig...


"Need some advice here..


Bought this dog about 9 months ago, was a fairly succesful nursery dog, 3 years old.


He seems to almost have TO MUCH eye when I want him to flank, he really lacks flexibility on his flanks and that's what cost us the most in trials. If we driving the sheep it is VERY difficult to flank him all the way to turn them, same problem on the fetch. He will not come off his sheep to give me a bigger flank.


Yet sometimes he appears to be TO MUCH off his sheep..at the top of his outrun he will often times lie down(with out me asking) and just stick there..letting his sheep go where ever..not making contact. It will take all my urging to get him up and going. I am trying to not stop him at the top now but give him a steady..or a check, he will often times lie down and stick anyway!!!


Also...when driving, even though he seems to have lack of flexibility when driving and fetching..he will, like I said, loose contact with his sheep and often looks back at me....which RRREEAALLLYYY bugs me..


SO...two issues here I'm not quite sure which is more important to approach or how to go about it...is this a confidence thing?? I've let him "take the reins" a little bit more to try and build his conficence..but then is almost completely unwilling to be flexible AT ALL!!!


Any advice would be great..."

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When you say the dog is three years old, you make me nervous on your behalf. He has been schooled, if he competed in the Nursery program. One assumes he has been taught to do things you are asking, but he is not doing those things. His age would say his behaviour is entrenched, well practised. Maybe not.

You are right to get yourself under the watchful eye of a good coach. Proceed in that direction.

Meanwhile, one thing that will do no harm and might help, is to bring all your work closer in. No big fancy outruns. No long dramatic drives. Such things appear to be too hard for him right now. Stay in eye shot. Never be in a position where your dog has to look back to see you, " which RRREEAALLLYYY bugs" you. Walk at right angles to your dog, always available to him in his peripheral vision. The maintaining of straight lines in training patterns, is beginning to sound like a hobby horse for me. But do it. Hobby horse notwithstanding. I say to do it, because you describe a dog who lacks understanding about what you are doing and where you are headed with a job. That is a best case scenario. So you go back to basics. Drive in well defined triangles with sharp, distinct, demanding lines and concise turns into the next new line. You hope a light will go off in his head. "So this is what she wants!" and in his case, he also says, "I can do that". Create a culture of that dog doing what you want. And do not make it so difficult, that doing what you want is impossible. Make it easy.

Consult with a trainer, who can see your dog in action and identify what is transpiring.

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