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How to Train Young Dogs Naturally for Stock work - Discipline

  • A growling warning at the moment of disobedience (or rough work) is generally most effective.
  • Try holding your dog by the scruff of its neck and push it on to its side on the ground while growling some more.
  • Punishment with a stick usually only creates more problems. In particular the dog may become nervous about being near you and lose confidence.
  • Careful use of an electric collar effectively achieves correction of bad habits or disobedience without harming your dog’s confidence.
  • I prefer not to use my electric collar except to deal with a particular bad habit such as biting stock unnecessarily or barking around vehicles.
  • I always speak firmly to a dog when calling it up to be disciplined, rather than coaxing enticingly then deceiving it.
  • Any discipline measures must immediately follow the offence or they will be counter-productive.
  • Your young dog will probably become over confident and disobedient at times.
  • For the next few months there is no easy solution here, which is a good reason why shepherds prefer only one energetic youngster in their team at a time.
  • Give your dog more responsibility, and gradually tighten your control as it learns to cope with this extension of its capabilities.
  • Try not to shout and get upset when mistakes occur.
  • Usually the dog has misunderstood the commands, or made a bad decision.
  • If your dog persists in ignoring your instruction, make sure that it hasn’t made a better decision than yours!
  • Be flexible and prepared to alter your instructions.
  • If you are determined to have your way, quietly and firmly insist that it obeys you.
  • Remember always to be fair to your dog and maintain its self-confidence.
  • Then it will retain the natural eagerness to please, which is a very special canine trait.
  • Take 'time out' if the training is not going well. And remind yourself to be patient and not become despondent when progress is slow.
  • Based on my years of experience, these training techniques will result in a confident and resourceful dog capable of good natural stock work.