Home' Smart Farmer : June 2011 Contents AST month we discussed the importance
of learning to use a whistle, getting your
pup to recall with a whistle, using the
hard tone (for discipline), the soft tone (for
reward) and the verbal reward.
At this stage we should have a pup who
acknowledges you as the leader and comes to
you with a whistle. You are now up to the
stage where you need to introduce your pup to
stock. I'm sure you will agree that going out in
the paddock and letting your pup chase after
sheep borders on stupidity, and will achieve
nothing. So, at this stage you need some addi-
tional information and you need to do some
preparation. But don't worry, you can keep
enjoying your walks and whistles.
Keys for training
THESE are control, position and consistency.
You need to be in control of your pup or he
is not going to learn anything. You need to be
in the right position to teach certain skills. If
you are out of position, the dog won't learn the
skill - more about that later. And you need to
be absolutely consistent in what you do or else
the dog gets confused. To him it looks as if you
are changing your mind.
YOU will need to have about six quiet sheep
and a round yard.
The sheep need to be what is commonly
referred to as 'dog broken'. Quiet sheep, you
ask? How do you get quiet sheep when this is
the first dog you've trained and you don't have
another dog to work the sheep? You can do it
go into t
oats in it
well as fe
while you rattle your tin. You will even be able
to feed them out of your hand. Now you have
WHY a round yard, you ask? Well, it doesn't
have any corners and avoids having to get
sheep out of awkward positions that your
young dog simply can't handle at this stage.
The yard should be the right size which is
not too big, or you lose control and get out of
position, and not too small, or you don't give
your little dog room to move. My round yard
is about 12 metres across.
The most important thing is that the round
yard needs to be dog-proof.
No dog should be able to escape from it
under any circumstances. It is a training venue
and it will teach the dog that he can't leave
when it pleases him, and you will take him to
training, and away from training.
Just imagine if you didn't get this critical
stage right. You could effectively train a dog to
jump a fence (and hurt himself) or teach him
to be able to leave at any time it suits him.
I have seen many dogs over the years that
just leave their leader in the middle of a pad-
dock when they feel like it. Remember who
the leader is -- it's you.
You are now ready to introduce your pup to
stock but befor
need to be men-
aken a young
to five years
een in a play-
A couple of
is in awe. He
do with the
ngle gym, the
eam and have
to try every-
h the equip-
A young dog learning to work in the round yard.
What is the worst thing a parent can do? If
he races in they start saying things like,
"Careful on the slippery dip, don't swing too
high, don't fall off the jungle gym". What is the
The child loses all sense of fun and wants to
leave. Or, in the case of the tentative child, the
parents try and force them to participate
before they are mentally prepared.
Well, this little four or five month pup is
going to react in exactly the same manner
because, for all intents and purposes, he is that
little child being exposed to the playground
for the very first time.
So please remember this example and be
prepared to let your little pup play and have
fun - I'll teach you how and when to put con-
trol on later. Force them to do something and
you will kill their working instinct.
Equally, if you repeatedly block them from
having fun, they'll give up and you will also
kill their working instinct.
In short, we are going to let them play and,
in playing, their working dog instinct will get
stronger and stronger.
There is a lot of psychology in this critical
stage of the working dog. Get it right and
you'll have a wonderful dog. Get it wrong and
you could ruin the dog - forever. In other
words, you could 'take-the-dog-out-of-the-
Next month: Bringing out the instinct
• Need to know more?
training is fun as well as an
with BEN PAGE,
Pages Working Dog Centre
Prepare your dog
for stock training
High quality dog food at an affordable price.
Australia's best value dog food.
Excellent for conditioning dogs that
struggle to maintain weight.
Very palatable and nutritious.
Ideal for all dogs including puppies.
Will impart an attractive sheen to
your dogs coat.
Softens and nourishes dry and
the dog s natural
course gives you a system to develop all-rounders or 'utility' dogs -- dogs that
can work in the paddock and the yards. Covers leadership rules, dogs' signals,
recall, stop, side commands, basic thru to advanced skills.
www.workingdogcentre.com 08 8667 5484
"If you want to learn to save
money and stress on yourself,
Ben's natural and systematic
methods show you how"
"I wish I'd met you 40 years
Full notes, limited places. If you don't have a dog then ring us.
Working Dog Handling & Training Course
2nd & 3rd July - McLaren Vale. Indoor venue.
Links Archive May 2011 July 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page