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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Decker has always, when released, taken off after the sheep, wherever they might be. Then he runs up and down the fence line, with an anxious mind.
Lately, I have been grazing the sheep in my neighbor's pasture. Realizing that my methods of stopping him from taking off after the sheep have been futile, I decided to get much firmer with him. A few days ago, right after he took off heading for the sheep, I yelled at him not to go, and he defied me. I then took off and chased him. Boy, was he shocked to see me and he read my body language too, that told him that he was doing something that I (the pack leader) didn't want him to do. He got a firmer correction and drug back to where I was when I told him not to go. Then he was released and the correction was over and I no longer held any anger toward him.
This procedure of dragging the dogs back to where I was, when I told them a command, has been used for years in other disciplines, notably obedience. I have used this method for most of my dogs, and thought that if I made my point clear to him, he might understand what I am demanding he do or not do. Now the dragging part of this exercise is often not pretty, but very effective. I make it a point of taking the dog's front feet off of the ground on the way back to the "spot". Not liking this exercise in the least, the dogs often learn right away to do what they are told.
The next day, Decker did the same thing and I repeated the same exercise with him. I do talk to them as they are being brought back to the "spot", so the intensity of the correction is somewhat an increased. This second time of having to chase him while he was terrorizing the sheep, and being of an anxious mind, I got the feeling that he might have understood me. At least that is what I was hoping for.
Well today, he didn't take off toward the sheep. He hung around the girls and me. This is my thinking on this subject; my Border collies probably have more instinct for herding, yet they can pull off and do not run the fences at the sheep. And if that is the case, then Decker with a little less instinct should be able to do the same.
I have made him responsible for his actions, period. There are consequences for poor decisions, and that is the way it is! Aussies may be a stubborn breed; but I have the ability to reason, and can be more stubborn than him.
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