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It's elementary


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I have tried the steering wheel approach myself. It's useful for getting started, both on flanks and on whistles. (You can whistle the flanks as you steer along winding roads. And if you mess it up, blow yourself a "lie down!" flank and then blow the right one. I've found this was good practice for me when I inevitably mess up - instead of my brain freezing over the "what now???", I automatically blow "lie down" and then the correct flank, Sometimes).


The problem is that this works well if the sheep are between you and the dog. But if it's an inside flank (the dog is between you and the sheep), you really need the "clockwise" or "counterclockwise" part, and my brain freezes.


I've found Kristi's suggestion (watch lots of videos) the best. After a while you'll even start to pick up on common whistles (a lot of people have similar "lie down" and "walk up" whistles, though their flanks may be all over the map - still, you can start to figure them out). Dave's videos rock as a training tool!!!


And if you want to learn how handlers are communicating with their dogs, even if you're not up to whistling yet, you might want to get a DVD on whistles. I have enjoyed Kent Kuykendall's CD. It gave me whole new insights into the handler-dog communication.

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I've always done the same thing Julie does, at least I don't feel like I'm the only person that thinks this way. My brain just doesn't seem to work as well with clockwise/counterclockwise. I guess each person has to find what works for their style of learning.



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I guess I'm in the minority here because I think of it as right and left. Not my right and left, but the dog's right and left. This way my position doesn't matter. If I want the dog to go to its right, it's away to me. If I want the dog to go to its left, it's comebye. It doesn't matter whether the dog is fetching or driving or doing anything else because I am not in the picture--it's all about the direction I want the dog to go in relation to the sheep. I, too, will give wrong flanks on occasion, but it's not because I get confused on direction--it's generally just the result of a brain fart moment.



I am with you. Also because I use Icelandic terminology; here we simply use left ("vinstri") and right ("hægri") for flank commands.

I suck at it...And have had to apologize to my dog on more than one occasion for giving the wrong command (and far worse, scalding her for obeying it, then you feel guilty :unsure: ).

I need a lot of concentration keeping my lefts from my rights, and it´s an ongoing struggle. Trouble with stockwork is the split second decisions.

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Is there a meeting I could go to and say: "Hi, my name is Maja, and I mix up flank commands." :)


During tense moments it is really difficult sometimes for me. I don't mix them up as often as I stand and think "ok, so which bleeping flank is this one, quickly, think, think, oh forget it."

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