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  • Writer's picturekier scott

Never Lose

Before someone gets all annoyed by my title, let me explain. I’m not talking about the trial circuit or some kind of Charlie Sheen motto for life. What I’m talking about is specific to your dog. Let me paint a picture for you. Your dog is moving a set of sheep around when one turns around and starts stomping at your dog and begins the classic stock dog stand off. Now hopefully your dog dominates the situation and either through force of presence or by physical encouragement, moves the sheep back in line. The alternative is the dog doesn’t dominate and lets the sheep walk all over him. One scenario I would describe as an obvious win and the other would be a loss. Not to be too philosophical but your dog is always in this sort of fight when it comes to stock handling and the expectation is that they never lose. The truth is that losing is a terrible habit and you have to do whatever it takes to guarantee that they win those moments. As a dog gets more confidence you’ll have to do less. But if that means you go chase the sheep off, do it. If it means that you let them bite the sheep, do it. If that dog never loses then it doesn’t know it can. At the end of the day we have these dogs and spend time training them to accomplish the task of moving stock. Hopefully that is done quietly and effectively but it has to be done period. If they don’t move stock, why have them? But don’t blame the dog for being a loser if you never let them win.

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