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Old 10-29-2013, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Directional commands

Has anyone taught directional changes away from the stock?

How did you go about doing this?

I was teaching Zefra "go bye" and have been using pylons, shaped in an arch to the left. I place her toy at the end of the arch, opposite the side I am on, then sit her front of me. Once she looks at me I send her in that direction using my arm and giving the command. In time, I will take away the arm movements and only use my hips and body movements to cue her on top of the verbal command. I do this without the aid of a staff at the moment (we do use a rake in the pen with stock though which is why I think she understands directional changes in the pen but not so much out at this point).

I thought I would have sort of an advantage since she does have a pretty good blind search, but I feel like she is sorta confused and just going through the motions and not really understanding what I am asking (just going in the direction I point) because she sometimes goes through the pylons (on the inside of the arch of pylons) to get to the toy.

Will ask my trainer at our next lesson this week but was curious how others train this away from the stock, or if you only work directional changes with the stock present?

She seems to understand better when the stock is around but really she is being guided with body cues, and the rake and of course has the stock to move around.

Any good links or videos would be helpful as well. Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't know if it would work for herding, but all my dogs learn the standard "direction and control" for USAR. I am sure it could be modified for sheep work. Left, right, go back. Of course they are then asked to jump on a target, but that could be easily modified.


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Old 10-29-2013, 10:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi,
I've only ever seen it done with stock on hand. 6 head of ewes in a round pen on a long check chord is what my uncle starts his collie pups on. Stable controlled environment that is bog enough to get the dog on an out and small enough to correct a missed direction change. IMO The only problem with sending your dog at a toy or something is they think their goal is to get it, which might teach a bad habit of going in for a grip when it's not needed. Unless of course you are outing them before they get to close

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Old 10-29-2013, 11:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys.

I think I will wait on doing this until our lesson, and see what my instructor has to say. I think it would be best (in my opinion) to do this with stock present, I just know my dog and think that it would be best, but again I am new to herding.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I never trained Leyna or Levi the directional commands away from the stock and I don't plan on it with Paisley.


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Old 10-30-2013, 12:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, I have heard some do and was thinking it may work since Zefra already has a "go out" command for her retrieves and send out and the blind searches but am thinking it's best to do this with the stock. It seems to be working that way anyways. I was just curious if others do it this way or not since I have seen both done.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've only trained the directional commands with stock. We started in a round pen and as he moved the sheep in one direction I just kept saying go bye or away. It didn't take long for him to figure out which way was which.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That is what I am doing with Zefra. A few friends of mine are using pylons. I video taped a session with a friend and his dog on my facebook if you go take a look. It is actually pretty cool.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I trained my dogs to run only on the grass by hand movement. I noticed it was difficult for them to understand - the direction you show with your hand. It simply doesn't remind them an "arrow" like it is for us. Support it with your bodily movement in the same direction for a couple of steps to make it more clear for your dog.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have worked on directionals outside of herding lessons. I'll work around a bunch of corners. Dog is in a sit/down/stand, toss treat around corner, and give command (come by or away). I'll also use it during fetch games. Dog stays in a down, I throw ball, wait for it to stop, send dog, down, call back, send again, and as she hunts I will give directional commands.
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