Driving (3 of 3)

Keep the dog on a straight line, when training it to drive sheep or cattle.

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Photo of a dog looking confused when it's being taught to keep on line during training

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Video Highlights

Keep the dog on line during training

How a seemingly inappropriate command can have an appropriate result!
If the dog you’re teaching to drive has gone off-line, normal flank commands rarely work.
If you keep allowing the dog to bring the sheep back to you, it won’t learn to drive.
Showing a handler using body position to get the dog back onto line. ANIMATION.
It’s impractical to use body position if the dog’s gone very wide. ANIMATION.
Demonstration of sheep being driven in a fairly straight line.
As long as the dog isn’t too far off-line, stop it, then give it a recall command.
Using ‘That’ll do’ this way, is a kind of ‘cheat card’ and distracts the dog from a stressful situation.
The dog goes off-line, and is given a recall command. ANIMATION.
The dog then comes part-way back onto line. ANIMATION.
The handler then crosses the imaginary line between dog and sheep. ANIMATION.
The dog comes back onto line. ANIMATION.
Converting the ‘That’ll Do’ command, to a flank command. ANIMATION.
If the dog won’t go in front, try keeping the dog in place and moving yourself back.
Crossing over the line, to keep the dog walking straight on the sheep.
As the dog’s confidence grows it begins to work in front of the handler – starting to drive!
As with blocking and hand signals, we must phase-out ‘cheat’ commands.
Some good reasons to phase-out ‘that’ll-do’ when you teach a dog to drive.
Watch Driving 1 and 2 for more.

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Unashamed deception!

PART 3. Calling the dog back onto line when it’s determined to hook the sheep back to you can be difficult and frustrating. As it drives the sheep away from the handler, the trainee dog is often so keen to get ahead of them and bring them back that it will ignore conventional flanking commands. In this tutorial, Andy uses what might be deemed an inappropriate command to call the dog back onto line, and keep the sheep moving in the right direction.

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