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I liked the shedding article in Int'l SheepDog News, Vol 10, No. 4, a problem solving approach written by Sue Main.


Numerous diagrams, and helpful photos. Readers submitted various shedding questions, which she answered listing a number of ways to correct each problem. Includes a section on tips gleaned from ISDS rulebook.


Main answered inquiries on such topics as: 1) Why maintaining dog and handler separation from sheep solves multiple difficulties, 2) Handling varying sheep formations, and 3) Preventing dog from immediately fetching sheep back together once they are split.


Author apparently does not advocate using the shed as opportunity to train "look-back", contrary to method taught in many books and CD's. Main says to gather the group you have shed back to the others, rather than vice versa. Teaching an inexperienced dog to look-back at this point, she believes, encourages unwanted gathers.


Main warns to not push dog off sheep in a chastising way, as dog may become confused when he/she is asked to come through. She says, get proper "casts" from the beginning.


"Training-type sheep" may seek "sanctuary" around handler, tending to face handler with heads down grazing. One solution author offers is to have dog fetch sheep, keeping about 20 yds separation behind. As sheep approach, the handler walks "briskly" toward stock (not into them) in order to get sheep to turn to side or turn around, trying to open gap, and allowing dog to catch their eye. Dog then can be called through. Of course, she advises to not stand in gap, thereby blocking dog.


Recommend the shedding article. The issue is a good one, having the usual interviews of and stories about top handlers and dogs. -- TEC

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