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Sheep

Discussion in 'Gundogs & Gundog Training' started by corrine3, May 4, 2010.


  1. corrine3

    corrine3 PetForums VIP

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    We have a problem with sheep. Glen's training is going well and he has been on a long line for about 6 weeks and his recall has improved a lot. Well tonight the OH took him out for training with a fellow gun dog owner and Glen was doing really well so he says I think u should let him off. Well OH let him off and he flushed a pheasant. Then he looked over at where the pheasant went and saw sheep!! Well he ran after them, did eventually come back. How can we prevent this? Its gonna end up getting him shot if we dont sort it out.
     
  2. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    Any way you can try to find a nice farmer who will let you practise?! If not I would say just keep him on a long line near livestock, its a bit too risky really...

    Rupert would be just the same, but where we walk there is no livestock usually, but if there was I would keep him on a lead/long line just like I would if it was a field of horses.

    Whilst my boy is good on a lunge line, he will behave superbly but as soon as its taken off he is a complete git. He's not stupid, he knows darn well when he has one on, whether I am holding it or letting it trail, and he knows once its off, I can't stop him. He doesn't know he's being bad as such, he just knows I can't stop him so he's like, what the heck, lets gooooooooooooooo :D silly woofer :rolleyes:

    Its tricky, I would just try and practise over and over again at getting a reliable recall and see how you go, Rupert is slightly better with age but he just doesn't understand he mustn't chase :nonod:

    Another question for anyone else who reads this, how do you teach a dog it is wrong to chase and they MUST NOT do it (unless its a retriever on command)?
     
    lucylastic likes this.
  3. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    Oscar has a "sheep" thing going on. There was a local sheepdog demo and i had a chat with the guy and he let me do some de sensitising. He realised it was actually fear aggression (he does the same with Swans).

    Trouble is they need exposure to deal with it so you need to find someone happy to let you work with their sheep at getting him used to them, just making him sit/stay at a distance he doesn't have a problem with then gradually move closer.

    I am sure this works because Oscar hardly bothers the swans now (unless they hiss at him then OMG :eek: he is off on one) but generally he is OK and i am sure that's just because we see them every day and he has learnt to ignore them :)
     
  4. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    The whole point of his gun dog training is that his recall will be instant, therefore letting him off the long before his recall is fully instilled is going to cause these problems, now by jumping the gun (excuse the pun!) and letting the dog off too early your hubby has caused a new issue!! Removing the chase instinct and thrill he felt running those sheep is going to take some doing. Definately no more off lead work until this is sorted out as you rightly said because it will end in tears if not.

    Most gun dog trainers will have contacts with sheep farmers who are happy to allow training in their fields amoungst the sheep, it's a case of flooding the dogs with so many sheep who don't care and don't run that they get bored of the sheep situation and find the thrill of working much more interesting.
     
  5. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Can I just suggest, whenever you're walking him, and he's allowed off lead time, you always do *something* with him, so that he learns it's fun to be round you. Perhaps get something like a rabbit ball and keep it only for off lead walks, and choose where you walk him off lead very carefully. Try to restrict it to places where he's unlikely to flush game, or there is much game scent around, and definitely nothing that will incite him to chase. The majority of your initial recall training should be done where he can't be distracted and learn to ignore you.

    I walk both mine past sheep fields at the moment, with lambs in, and they were initially very interested when the sheep were put back in the field. I never take any chances, and pop them both on lead when we reach gates where we can see the sheep easily through them, as both of my two would easily clear the wall, they never have chased sheep, but who's to say what would happen if the situation arose where they could? There have been times when I've been walking past, and a large lamb has had it's head stuck through the gate inquisitively, so it's definitely worth being cautious if you are not sure or know that your dog would investigate.

    I have trained with Tau in a field where sheep were roaming around, although slightly worried initially (it was a group session and quite a few other people and dogs there as well), because I have a good *bond* with her, where she enjoys doing training and having fun with me, she didn't give them a second glance.
     
  6. corrine3

    corrine3 PetForums VIP

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    I think a lot of our training problems are because he's very head strong and as you say he does think other things are more interesting. A while back he just became totally disinterested in dummies and tennis balls so we just stopped, now slowly introducing them again in a fun way but his nose takes over. He's 9months so i dunno if thats something to do with it. We are trying and he's mostly on a long line just now and only off line where he can be trusted or should i say where there are less distractions. We will keep persevering and hope we make a break through. Appreciate your help :) and taken on board everything thats been said.
     
  7. RAINYBOW

    RAINYBOW PetForums VIP

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    As a fellow cocker owner i know exactly what you mean. Oscar is 18 months now and his recall is still patchy. My fault as i let him have too much freedom too soon being inexperienced with this breed.

    When he is tracking forget it, he comes back when he is done which has been anything up to an hour :eek: (i know where he is but just can't get at him). His recall on a beach or by the river is pretty much perfect though and most of the walk in the woods (if it is just me and him) is solid but he just gets a whiff and he is gone sometimes especially when i am distracted by the kids :rolleyes:

    I am teaching him an offlead "close" command now, very slowly over time, ONLY using it when i know he won't fail and it is his 2nd most solid command, i am just hoping as i becomes 2nd nature and he calms down i can use it more and more to keep him closer to me :rolleyes:
     
  8. WoodyGSP

    WoodyGSP PetForums Senior

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    Just wondered how you're getting on with the sheep problem now?

    The huge field where I used to walk Woody has sheep in now, and as I wasn't sure what his reaction would be I started walking him elsewhere until they're moved again. My MIL has a small field which they let a local sheep farmer use for grazing. So when the sheep arrived this season she asked him if he minded us letting Woody in. He didn't mind at all. Its a small flock of 6 or 7 and he said if he kept chasing them to let him know and he'd get a ram in!
    Woody was hesitant at first, then chased them. We told him off and he now ignores them:thumbup: I'm still not sure about going to the big field though as there's a lot of sheep and a lot of room to take chase.
     
  9. corrine3

    corrine3 PetForums VIP

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    funny you should mention the sheep thing, we had a positive experience a few days ago. We were out our usual walk and it goes past a field which is usually empty, well that day it had sheep in it! I spotted them first and then Gavin blew whistle for Glen to come back but that spooked sheep and they started to run, Glen then saw them, he was about a metre away from the field fence and stood looking at them then us then them then us, we're going crazy shouting in high pitched voices desperately hoping he'd do the right thing. Well he did :D he came back to us, so we fussed him like mad but had to put on his lead. Fair enough there was a fence but he could have easily jumped it or found a gap, i'm not saying he'll never chase sheep again given the chance, its really up to us to stay vigilant when out walking. We have Milly now so Glen will not be going out shooting.
     
  10. ozrex

    ozrex PetForums VIP

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    Watch it with the ram idea, it's a SHOCKER.

    Suspect the farmer has never seen a ram up against a dog which is intent on serious harm. It might scare an inquisitive/playful dog but it will loose against a powerful dog intent on killing.

    If a ram is used to "sort out" a dog it needs to be in a pen with the dog so it's flight instinct is over-ruled and it fights. If it flees the dog, the dog will kill it.

    My dog killed three rams in an open paddock and seriously hurt two more.
     
  11. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    THere are a lot of old wives tales about dogs and sheep.

    Putting a dog in a pen with a ram or ornery sheep will generally do one thing.

    Confirm to the dog that sheep are extremely dangerous and INCREASE its desire to rid the world of them.

    No dog should be off lead amongst sheep (or other livestock) unless it has been proofed against them and then only when absolutely necessary. (unless it is working them of course)

    Even if dogs are safe with sheep in a field, do not take it for granted that this will cover moorland sheep etc. They smell different and move in different ways and one popping up whilst out on a walk constitutes sudden environmental contrast (SEC) and can trigger a chase response.

    In addition not all dogs view sheep in the same way, some are just chasers but some will kill, and thus advice has to be tailored to the individual dog in question.

    For more information see here.

    Angela Stockdale, Dog Aggression Specialist - Living with Livestock: dogs with stock problems

    As well as Angela various other people conduct livestock training sessions.

    Including Sue Harper

    Dog Training Events - Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK

    Your dog is at risk of being shot if found at large with livestock.
     
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