Question: I have a question for you. I have been reading some of the past correspondence with you and Bud. One of the things Bud said about the dogs was they needed to work the stock and not the motion. What exactly does that mean? It would seem, at least to some degree they are working the motion. Can you help me understand?
Bud answered that question on September 6, 2009
Getting dogs to pick up animals that are standing still starts at the very first. When starting with a young dog people like to get them excited, thinking that will get the dog working sooner. They get stock to moving and the dog goes to stop the movement. This is fine except that may cause the dog to only work something that is moving. When a dog is working movement instead of working animals it will often leave or not go get animals that are standing still. That is why I say to push the dog to things. That way, if they only work movement you can get between the movement and the dog and push the dog to standing animals. This will teach the dog to see and know to work standing animals. Of course to do this, the dog should have been pushed to things or it will not know what you want. If it had learned to be pushed to things you wouldn’t be having this problem. In fact this answers your next question.
The reason the dog goes right at the middle of the cattle is that the dog must get something moving before it understands what to do. Animals that are standing mean nothing to the dog. The dog is only working movement and until he learns to work animals instead of just movement that is all it can do. After things get moving then the dog understands and everything is fine. A young dog should learn to work animals not movement. Let them have a little time and a chance to think and they will be fine. A dog that works animals will work standing, walking, or running animals. The dogs that works movement have a lot of trouble with animals that are just standing, they usually just leave them.