Alternative herding poles?
I've been taking my dog for herding lessons for some time now. He's improving at a phenomenal rate, but directing him for training is challenging because he refuses to move off almost every tool I've tried. My trainer and I went through the usual poles, poles with bottles filled with rocks, rakes, etc. They might as well not exist as far as he's concerned. He moves off body language pretty well, but it's hard to get him to work at a proper distance with this alone since you have no reach with the livestock.
Last night we tried using a lunge whip with the rope part tied off (basically just a long flexible pole) and whacking the ground like you would with a long pole. It make a bit more of a racket and he pays more attention to it than anything else so far, but it's still nowhere close to ideal. He's doing better every week and learning to keep some distance, but I'd love to know if anyone else had a similar experience and had some advice or suggestions to offer.