Stage I - Working inside approx. 75 ft. diameter fenced circle with 3 to 5 sheep OR in an open field with a larger group of sheep.
FIRST- Allow dog to work without any commands or
directions so handler can assess the dogs natural ability before
introducing the formal direction commands:
b. BACK - pushing dog back from stock onto its balance point.
Dog should circle in either direction (using BACK command)
and fix its balance point.
c. DOWN - dog should come to a complete halt or lie down.
d. THAT'LL DO - Dog should come freely off stock (recall).
Stage II - Working dog with 5 or more sheep. Dog is to learn the following:
Short outrun (approximately 20 yds.)
Stop behind sheep (well back)
Lift (slow, easy, yet powerful)
Fetch (fetching sheep from point of lift to handler)
Stage III - Dog is to learn to do the following:
COME BYE - clockwise direction around sheep
AWAY TO ME - counter clockwise direction around sheep
WALK UP - teach dog to move stock at an easy pace
THERE - dog should stop and stand in position, keeping control
Driving - teach dog to follow stock away from handler
Stage IV - Dog is to learn to do the following:
Long pear-shaped outrun
Steady, even lift
Pen - putting stock inside an 8' x 8' pen
Shed- dividing or separating stock using dog.
Stock Dog Training
Outrun - The dog leaves your feet, either to your left or right, in a pear-shaped course to throw himself out around the stock without getting too close so as not to disturb them.
Lift - At the end of the outrun, the act of starting the stock on the fetch. The way your dog approaches should be a slow easy pace, testing your dogs power and balance.
Fetch - Bring the stock to the handler.
Drive - Move the stock away from the handler at a slow even pace.
Balance Point - The position of the dog at which he has control of the stock.