Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!

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One of the best ways to get a dog to give the sheep space when it's flanking is to use a technique we call "sending the dog the wrong way".

Once you can achieve this, you and your dog are well on the way to producing quality work - but it's not easy.

As with so many other aspects of sheepdog training, once you understand why the dog is reluctant to go "the wrong way" it becomes much easier to train it to do just that, and the dog's flanks will widen out.

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8 Replies to “Sending the Dog the Wrong Way!”

  1. Extremely useful tutorials! is there potential for an interactive video game, where the player has to manoeuver sheep around a course / obstacles of some kind, gaining or losing points for controlling the dog, with variations of type of dog & sheep behaviour, & unexpected sheep or dog behaviour? I’m not usually a video game player, but your diagram videos are really helpful. Just thought it might help to speed handler reactions & reduce command mistakes & avoid panic in ‘real-life’ situations, especially for folk like me who have little access to sheep. And maybe reduce hassle for the real sheep!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Gill. It’s good to know you find the tutorials useful. An interactive video game would be useful and entertaining, but I don’t have much idea how to go about creating one!

  2. Hi Andy, very good tutorial. My young dog is doing really well but I don’t seem to be able to flank him once he is on the point of balance. Once I, or the sheep move, then he is very happy to flank (even the wrong way). Is this something that will come with experience or I there something that I can do to help him? Thanks Andrew

    1. Hello Andy,
      Thanks for your kind comment. If the dog doesn’t want to flank when it’s on the other side of the sheep, it’s balancing instinct is obviously strong and you need to free it up a little by walking through the sheep to make it go (using the stick to block it and make sure it goes the right way). Soon the dog will get the idea! I suggest you watch the tutorial on this page – and also the one about Sticky Dogs (for the time being, it may help if you keep the dog moving, rather than allowing it to settle).

  3. Dear Andy nice tutorial. Thx for it. But what we can do if the dog is always behind the sheep to close. If i am in front, do your technik with send him wrong he isn’t close at me or at the side of the sheep, he always coming to close behind them. You have no chance to be there.
    Best regards Patrick

    1. Hello Patrick,
      Thank you for your kind comments about the tutorial.
      If the dog will not stay back, you need to follow the advice in the “Backwards is the way forward” tutorial – walk through the sheep, block the dog and MAKE it stop.
      The dog must understand that the lesson will go no further unless it does as it’s told.
      If the dog is very determined, I will make it go back – further back than it was when I first told it to stop. This teaches the dog that it will get no reward (working the sheep) unless it does as you tell it.
      I hope this helps. Best wishes, Andy.

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