A Clockwork Orange? by Ann Witte

OK! OK! So the High In Trial DUCK Trophy once was L’Orange Sauce! What we need to discuss is the length of time to work at a lesson. Although any real stockdog may put in a full day’s work, lessons tend to quickly frustrate the “weekend warrior.”

Two shorter lessons with rest in between are often far more effective than one long session. If your Beardie starts out too wild, and will not settle down within a few minutes, take him away from the sheep, making it very clear that you will not tolerate his foolishness. If your Beardie is working well, listening, and learning, only practice for fifteen to twenty minutes at the most. In either case, put him up for “rest” and “review” for about twenty minutes, then go back to the stock for a second session.

If the dog has been silly, he is likely to be far more willing to cooperate the second time; if he was good the first time, the second round is the ideal time to add a new element to the lesson.

You and your Beardie will progress faster in your training if you will avoid over-taxing yourself and your dog. –Ann

© 1997 by Ann Witte. Reprinted with permission from the author.

This article originally appeared in “Bagpipes”, the Bearded Collie Club of America’s monthly newsletter. Reprinted with permission of the author.