a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Too wide an outrun

I asked and I received lots of information about Yoko's wide outrunning.  Numero uno, I forgot that I used one chirp of my recall whistle last year to bring her in.  How could I forget that?  Oh well, at least I remembered it now.  The BC expert gave me some advice on the Border Collie boards.  He likes to give an opposite flank as the dog starts going too wide in order to bring them more to the center line and follow it with a quiet, correct flank. A Washington blogger offered me some advice.  She suggested having the dog walk up almost half the outrun before sending her.  Making her pattern to a keyhole effect.  I know of another handler that uses a silent dog whistle to narrow up his outruns.  Pretty clever if it works.  Very clever since the judge can't hear it.  My husband who doesn't trial sheepdogs suggested running her in a narrow field for awhile where she couldn't blow out too wide.

I have been asking Yoko to walk up a few steps before me to see if she will narrow up at the beginning.  No suck luck yet.   My dogs stand fairly straight forward while they are looking for their sheep.  I send them as soon as I feel they have spotted them.  I don't lie them down or make them lie laterally to me.  I try to keep things as natural as I can.  I'm going to try the one chirp of my recall as a call in whistle and see how she reacts to that.  I will experiment with some of the above to various extents.  And, hopefully, I won't screw up what comes so naturally to her.  I'm not going to devote a lot of time to this.  Yoko can fetch.  What we need is lots of work on her drive.  I'll try to keep my attention focused on driving.  Sometimes the best way to screw something up is to make a big deal out of it and I don't want to do that!

So when we go to the desert we will start driving sheep.  I need the exercise anyway!  I will walk with her or just behind her and drive half a mile this way and half a mile that way.  It should benefit both of us.  Then, I will let her do a fetch as a reward for driving.  She just loves to RUN.  And, she looks so serious about it.  I have to laugh.  She is the oddest little dog.  I'm the one who says I'm not sure if she has much sheepdog talent, but since I'm the one having fun working with her, we will continue on.   Go Yoko :0)

Addendum:   We had a great work today. I used my husbands suggestion and a call-in whistle at the start of her run.  I used a narrow fenced field today.  I used a chirp of my recall whistle to straighten her more at the start of her outrun.  It worked like a charm. She hesitated, came in, but never stopped running.  We'll see how she does in the open fields of Zamora on Monday.  I really enjoy running Yoko, because she has a great attitude.  This will be her 3rd Pro-Novice trial. I'm looking forward to running her at Dunnigan Hills.  :0)


Erin O said...

Interesting to see what you are up to and how it is working.

I'm trying to fix the problems I see, but not 100% just yet. It is like sculpting marble. If you take off too much you can't glue it back on :) I'm not talking about letting the dog misbehave or not listen. I'm taking more about things like the out run, learning to hold a line and so on. Stuff that takes some time maturity and experience on the dog's end to really understand how to do it right. I've notice some stuff I was worried about 3 months ago has pretty much fixed itself. Much to my relief ;)

Karen said...

Good luck, and funny picture:)

gvmama said...

"Stuff that takes some time maturity and experience on the dog's end to really understand how to do it right. I've notice some stuff I was worried about 3 months ago has pretty much fixed itself."

BBBbbingo Erin. I agree with you 100%.