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Old 05-24-2014, 01:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Try a plastic leaf rake.
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Old 05-24-2014, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That was the first tool we tried on day one. It works okay to reinforce body language if I hold it against me, but at longer distances he completely ignores it. My trainer said the only other dog she's ever met who cares so little about herding direction sticks and poles is her own IPO-trained GSD. He only moved off objects thrown at the ground when she was training him.

I don't have any problem proceeding as I have been already. He's making very good progress and pays attention to me and responds really well to body language. It's just really frustrating having no reach to provide direction.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Since we use the same trainer, I can PM you and tell you what worked for Zefra....
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I used a cattle paddle- it looks like a long plastic oar and has a rattle in it. I don't really use anything now
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Old 05-24-2014, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elisabeth_00117 View Post
Since we use the same trainer, I can PM you and tell you what worked for Zefra....
That would be great

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Originally Posted by Stosh View Post
I used a cattle paddle- it looks like a long plastic oar and has a rattle in it. I don't really use anything now
Tried that too. He is a stubborn boy
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