Keep It Simple
If it's not obvious by now, I like helping new people. That's entirely geniune. I do have a business around it but I promise you that I could find far larger wealth in virtually anything else. There are several things that I see that reoccur with people starting out. Several of them I have already blogged about. One of my favourites is people wanting to add far too many commands. Now the only way to make a slough of commands work is by facilitating blind obedience. Which is fairly problematic. Basically with too many commands you communicate that you know better than the dog. You don't trust them to think for themselves. The opposite is to use your basic commands in a way that leaves room for some level of interpretation. The dog has to be able to understand the job in the context of the moment. Probably the best way of illustrating this is using square flanks. Square flanks are vital but they don't necessarily look the same. I've seen where there's people who try and put words to every kind of flank they want. Half flanks, shallow flanks, fast, slow and so on. But a dog should know what is required ahead of time. Like if you have stock breaking away and making a run for it, that dog will have to run hard and take a shallow enough flank to cut them off. Yet they can't be so shallow as to make the stock run harder. They should read that circumstance and respond correctly rather than rely on marching orders that you may be too slow to give. Another great example is shedding. Shedding is an ultimate test of trust and stock reading. The only way to train shedding is by showing the task and repeating it over and over. You will never be able to direct your way through it. The dog has to do the work and understand it. Dogs love to be trusted and they love to feel useful. Just as we do. And they're minds are good enough to do it. Don't over ride their potential because you can't let go of control.