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dogThe Initial Steps
  • Make a friend of your pup.
  • Encourage your family and other people to pet and handle it.
  • Teach it good manners and to stand, sit down and come when called.
  • Also it must learn to walk quietly beside or behind you on a stock lead.
  • A short lead will be needed during these early lessons.
  • It will pay to have this with you during the next few months with your pup.
  • In the event that it refuses to obey when called to you, put a lasso loop around the pup’s neck and give a small tug while repeating the call-in command.
  • Never be violent or unfair.
  • Don’t throw stones - a handful of dirt or gravel landed near the dog will do, along with a growl.
  • Be consistent, firm, even-tempered and persistent.
  • The pup should be accustomed to being stroked or checked by a stick, but not afraid of it.
  • Limit these basic lessons to ten minutes or less.
  • Encourage your pup to learn to climb through fences while it is still small, as this may save a future stifle joint injury.
  • Take the pup around with you wherever possible but watch that it does not get into mischief (eg with fowls, domestic animals or vehicles).
  • It should already be familiar among quiet stock around its home environment, and learning to be trustworthy while it is loose.
  • Discourage the pup from becoming excited around motorbikes and other machinery.
  • Establish that barking at or on vehicles , and around kennels, won’t be tolerated.
  • Observe bad habits as they appear, and show your displeasure smartly.
  • Remember to balance this by giving praise when your pup pleases you.
  • I don’t isolate a pup from other dogs or distractions during training.
  • My view is that it should learn to recognise its name and my instructions to it despite other activities going on round about.
  • Teach the command “NO”! This is an excellent guide to the pup.
  • Abuse of any kind creates anxiety and will lead to confusion and further mistakes.
  • I use warning growls or on the other hand praise to help achieve the desired results.
  • Give your commands with authority and expect to be obeyed.
  • Establish yourself in your pup’s mind as pack leader.
  • You will notice that it is responding mostly to the tone of your voice or whistle.
  • Modulate these so they are clear and distinct.
  • Variations of pitch and sharpness will denote the degree of urgency required.
  • If a young dog takes off during stock work, let it go for a while and observe how it is working and how much command will be required to control it.
  • See that the dog returns when you call. Put it on a lead and give it a sharp tug if you are ignored.
  • Don’t be angry with it when it does come back.
  • It has been bred to work stock and a warm pat will lead to a more confident and obedient young dog. 
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