Close Work 2 – In and Out of the Yard

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In this follow-up to Close Work part one, Carew and Tess are each required to bring a small bunch of sheep into and out of the yard.

The task is more challenging for the pair than you'd expect because our dogs live in the yard, and they certainly make their presence felt when the sheep reach the gateway.

Andy gives a detailed explanation of what's happening as Carew and Tess both find the work quite difficult.


Shedding The Outrun 1 The Outrun 2

4 Replies to “Close Work 2 – In and Out of the Yard”

  1. Forgot to mention, if the sheep aren’t moving, should I try the tactics in “nice is not enough”?
    Thanks, Jane

  2. When I do close work with my 1 year old collie, she sometimes doesn’t want to flank and only does it a tiny bit at a time. She knows her sides in other situations though. I go it by getting her to bring the sheep to me. Is the problem because she doesn’t want to go off balance? The sheep are not normally hard to move but she had a job with them as they were being moved from a field with lots of grass, into the yard. She had to go close to get them to move, but then they kept splitting. I am hoping that with practice she will get better at moving the sheep because at times it’s quite difficult.

    1. Lots more flanking practice required, Jane. It’s not at all unusual for the dog to want to stay on balance, but you need to teach it that it must flank properly when you say. Use the training stick in the correct hand to reinforce your command. “Sending the Dog the Wrong Way” is a very useful exercise for getting the dog to flank in the direction you want, rather than the direction it’s instinct tells it to go in.
      The sheep will naturally prefer not to go into a yard, so you might struggle with them at first, but (as you suggest in your follow-up post) “Sometimes Nice is Not Enough” will help to improve your dog’s confidence with stubborn sheep.
      Once the sheep are happy to go into the yard (they learn that nothing bad happens to them in there) it’s a good idea to find (or create) a new enclosure to put them into, to give the dog practice with this.

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