The point of balance is important to understand, when a sheep or cattle dog is working livestock. It’s position is not always straightforward.
Subtitles: French*, Spanish* or English, click CC on viewer (*translation errors).
A sequence showing dogs demonstrating simple balance skills.
Many things seem confusing when you begin training sheepdogs.
Trainee sheepdog Tony on balance.
The dog’s ancient hunting instinct is to encircle the prey.
Examples of balance when the dog’s not directly behind the sheep.
Positioning the dog on balance.
Sheep and cattle dog trainers often refer to the importance of “the point of balance” but what exactly is it, and where can we find one?
When we first start training, we want the dog to be on the opposite side of the stock from ourselves. As training advances however, the dog becomes able to carry out more complex tasks. From this moment on, directly behind the stock is not always the ideal place for the dog to maintain control.
In this short tutorial, we discover what exactly the “point of balance” means to the working sheep or cattle dog handler, and just how much it affects the sheepdog’s work. Additionally, we learn why balance is not always where we might expect it to be!