This sheepdog business can get really complex, depending upon the dog. I was so spoiled with Jet, I must admit. But, even Jet had his minor glitches we had to work through.
I lost my 'stop' with Champ. Where did it go and why did it go, those are the questions. And, the answers are varied and MANY!
You aren't tough enough with him.
Change your down whistle.
Go to voice.
Blow louder whistles.
Blow softer whistles.
He doesn't seem to understand you.
He is blowing you off.
Remind me to get another prescription for Motrin.....LOL Those above phrases cost me lots of $$$$.
Personally, I think we need miles and different sheep. That requires dedication and lots of money. I'm still not sure why his down went out the window. He had one, but it did come and go. I just got away with it since he is so biddable about everything else he is doing.
He does understand what I am saying. He can hear a pin drop. He does know his down whistle. He just isn't taking it right now. The nice thing about Champ is that he will work for most everyone and he isn't sulky about being corrected. He always seems to look surprised when someone is correcting him. He looks at them, 'like really?' He is quite pleased with himself.
So, I am trying to work on the shape of his flanks more. He tends to be "close." He likes to work his stock in the bubble, not out of the bubble. He does it in such a way, that pretty soon I don't notice how he has become too close. When he is too close, his hearing usually goes out the window. Then he is in his "own" zone.
I neutered him. Champ would have me and himself in a frenzy before going to the post with his chattering, sniffing, and peeing. As soon as I got close to the post, he became all business, but he wasn't fun getting there. I will tell you this. It has been 2 months since he was neutered and his off field manners improved 110%. His on field listening, not so much yet.
The on-going saga of trying to figure out your sheepdog. It's complex, no doubt. But, we will keep plugging at it. Going to a training trial this Monday. I may need to put him in some local PN classes as a noncompete to see if I can get a handle on him. I've got a nice dog. I know that much. We just are a bit out of kilter at the moment.