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I had this discussion with Aled during a lesson and am curious if there is a difference here (North America) vs the UK and other locations. Many of the topics we covered were handling for trials and how to prevent the loss of points.


My question was, if there are no marked/collared sheep, who decides which is the correct group for the dog to turn on?


I've been taught that the answer is to have the dog turn to the heads. However, according to some people, this is not always the case.


Aled said it is often a matter of opinion and during our lessons sometimes recommended I ask the dog to take the group that was walking away from the dog.


What I really need is for Aled to come with me to every trial and continue whispering commands in my ear. :rolleyes:

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To further confuse matters, out West at least it seems to be up to the judge which sheep you take. ;) Most judges seem to want people to take the sheep on the head, but if they are all facing the dog or otherwise not volunteering to have heads or tails, then I guess it's just a matter of picking what looks best.

If you find a way to carry Aled as an ear bug, let me know! :P

~ Gloria

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Yeah, he could make a fortune doing that. You wear special glasses with an internet connection so he can see what you see and an ear piece so you can hear him. Remote sheep herding.

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Here in the east it's generally dictated by the judge as well. If the sheep are particularly difficult to shed, then the judge may say to take any two (or one or whatever number). I believe that one main reason to take sheep "on the heads" is because that is the technique that will best showcase a dog's ability to separate and *hold* sheep. If you call a dog in on butts that are running away, then the dog doesn't really have to show any ability to keep sheep from rejoining (because the sheep have already voluntarily left).


Granted, there are certainly situations where as soon as you call the dog in, the sheep turn and heads become butts, but in that situation the dog is still causing them to turn, which isn't the same as coming in behind sheep that are already running off, IMO.



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