Sticky Dogs (too much eye)

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"Too much eye" is nothing more than a confidence problem

Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Sticky Dogs

"That dog's got too much eye!" You'll sometimes hear this when a sheepdog, invariably a Border collie, appears mesmerised by the sheep, and reluctant to move. But is 'eye' something you're stuck with? The "Sticky Dogs!" tutorial demonstrates that you don't have to live with this start-stop style. Andy works with Mab in an assertive, but kind, and encouraging way, with the emphasis always on keeping the dog moving as much as possible.

14 comments

  1. good morning i have a 8mth old bitch who is very sticky i have trouble flanking her when shes in front when shes walking on. she likes to drive them and can flank her at the back of me. shes tight on the sheep and quite slow. the stick or whip doesnt bother her. so cant get her off them. she will balance them all day long so taught her stand so keep her moving . outrun is coming on nicely. i have took her off them for a week now she has gone really sticky. your vids have taught me so much. so hoping you could help please ha thanks hayley

    1. First, let me make it very clear that eight months of age is very early to expect the dog to be doing all you ask of it. My overall impression of your comments and questions are that you are trying to move on too fast, and not teaching the basics properly, first.

      [I have trouble flanking her when shes in front when shes walking on. she likes to drive them and can flank her at the back of me].
      This is perfectly normal for a dog which is learning to drive. If you have taught the dog to flank around both you and the sheep in the early stages of her training, that is what she will want to do when you begin to teach her to drive (if that is what you are doing).

      [shes tight on the sheep and quite slow].
      If she’s tight on the sheep, you need to teach her to keep back off them during her basic training. Driving is definitely not a part of basic training, so until you can control the dog properly, go back to basics.

      In what situation is she quite slow?

      [the stick or whip doesnt bother her. so cant get her off them].
      The dog hasn’t completed its basic training yet. Get her under control before moving on to outruns and driving.

      [she will balance them all day long so taught her stand so keep her moving].
      I don’t know what you mean by ‘taught her to stand (ie. stop?) to keep her moving’. It doesn’t make sense to me (sorry).

      By ‘hold them all day long’ I think you mean she’ll hold the sheep in place (on her terms, not yours). If that’s the case, then it’s back to basics again. Watch “Sticky Dogs” again, and take note of how I walk around with the dog bringing the sheep up to me. That’s how to keep the dog moving.

      [i have took her off them for a week now she has gone really sticky].
      The dog learns nothing when it’s in its pen – and little or nothing about sheep work when it’s away from sheep, but in your case, it’s probably a good idea to give the dog a short break while you learn how to train it.
      If she’s getting increasingly sticky it means you are confusing the dog and it’s losing confidence rather than gaining it. Again, go back to basics and build your dog’s confidence back up.

      I strongly suggest you watch ALL of the early tutorials in the default order they appear (Recommended Viewing Order). That will give you a proper understanding of how to train your dog.

      There’s nothing wrong with your dog, she just needs proper guidance.

  2. my 9 months old border collie is very much like mab, she like to hold on to the sheep,out runs are good i use the walk on, thats also good,thats just what i needed to show my nellie keep her moveing. many thanks

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