When teaching a dog to outrun and gather sheep, body position helps control
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Improve the dog’s outrun
A good outrun is usually pear-shaped.
In a farm situation, the outrun is often much wider.
An example of an excellent outrun.
This outrun is not wide enough.
Ways to widen the dog’s outrun.
Keep the dog in place, and then walk towards the sheep to widen the outrun.
The sheep are moving off, so there’s hardly time to set the dog up.
The outrun looks good at first, but it’s not, this is why the outrun went wrong.
Pear-shaped outrun – Animation.
A dog running straight at sheep – Animation.
The dog casts out, but too tight – Animation.
The dog starts well but crosses-over – Animation.
Distance between dog, sheep and handler is critical.
Find the correct position to stand to get the best outrun from your dog.
Good example of how a dog should flank around sheep.
Walking backwards with the dog bringing the sheep along nicely.
A gruff shout and then pointing the stick at the dog works well!
Standing close to the sheep, and farther from the dog.
Setting the trainee sheepdog up, for a longer outrun.
The dog will usually stay in place if you keep your eyes on it.
When you turn your back on the dog it may creep forward.
A gruff shout and then pointing the stick at Carew stops her.
Setting the dog up to go ‘clockwise‘
‘Whooshing’ the stick to is a good way to send the dog out wider.
What do you think of Eve’s outrun?
About a year later – watch Carew’s big outrun at Dean Farm.
Position yourself, the dog and the sheep for better control
PART 2. Andy demonstrates how positioning yourself, your dog and the sheep, in relation to each other, is the key to success when you’re working on lengthening or widening your dog’s outrun.
To prove the method works we see Carew at an early stage in her career – when she’d “cross over” at the prospect of even quite a short outrun – and, just a few months later, tackling a 500 metre outrun for the first time.