Dog Will Stop the Sheep, But Won’t Drive

Posted January 29th, 2013 — Filed in Stockdogs

Question: . . . .I have read all of the info you have posted on the net. And I’m trying to use that to start the Collie (Sneak) she is about 12 months old.   The problem is she will not drive the sheep.

If they run she is right on to them, casting around the lead and blocking them up. As soon as they stop she stops.

I have confused her now by tring to get her to push them and I think I’m doing more damage than good.

The sheep are quite low energy and are last years lambs.

I think she wants to work she just does not know what I want her to do.

Answer:     I agree with you that she wants to work. One of the problems we often find with Border Collies is that they are very satisfied to just “hold” animals.

One of the ranches we worked on years ago had a little Border Collie that was left loose all the time. Queenie was a great little sheepdog, but not much help on cattle. I remember one time we were going out to gather cattle in one of the closer pastures and we didn’t notice that Queenie had followed us. We were calving some heifers and had lost a calf the previous night. Instead of taking the time to take Queenie back to the barn and tying her up, one of the cowboys “sent” her around the dead calf. We were gone at least 2 hours. When we got back with the cattle Queenie was still there, “holding” the dead calf. They called her off and we all went back to headquarters.

You have probably thought about working her on sheep that have more movement, or working her with another dog. If these things aren’t feasible, I’d try walking right into the middle of the sheep. If some split off, that’s great. She will probably go get them and put them back to the bunch, if not and you find yourself close to your dog you can “push” her around the flock. If, as you say you have read the material on our website, you should remember how important Bud thinks pushing your dog is and how to do it. Anything to get her “unstuck.” Above all, don’t say anything while you are doing this.