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    Hi Karen!
    I think you’re doing the right thing in terms of being cautious, as turning her head at this stage could get her too inclined to look away, and ultimately, become too wide. From what you’ve written I think I would focus on doing this, https://macraeway.com/academy/sheepdog-training/figure-8s-in-the-round-pen/, with you walking backwards. That way, when you turn the corner, she’ll need to flank to get to balance point, and it will encourage her to stop looking at the sheep naturally (by virtue of needing to flank). Additionally, it will get her on her sides. I wouldnt do anything to correct her shape on the outrun at this stage and Id do the exercise before trying an outrun (to see if that frees her up). Also, Id minimize her opportunities to stalk the sheep, meaning creep up on them without command. Absolutely happy to set up a virtual lesson and you can read about those here,https://macraeway.com/online-lessons-with-your-dog/, hope that helps. cheers,


    Hi Lindsey, Thank you for being part of our community!


    Thank you !


    Hi Karen, Training the young ones is so exciting, have fun and please let us know how it goes!


    Hi Helen!
    Here are 10 considerations we look at when considering a stand. Please let me know if you’d like me to expound on any of them. Hope you and dogs are well. cheers,

    Lie down versus stand, considerations:
    Dogs are more likely to cheat on a stand, this can be a problem and lead to your dog “blowing you off” at distance or at a sensitive situation at hand.

    its often more difficult to put a good lie down on a dog that’s been allowed to stand rather than vice versa

    Harder to put a dog that stands, on a stay command that works as well as a stay command on a dog lying down.

    If you have a lie down and your dog has a lot of eye, it can make him even more Sticky.
    This dog a good Candidate for a stand.

    A lie down can be disturbing at hand if the dog flops down hard.

    If your dog is willful or pushy, he sounds like a candidate for a lie down.

    Does your young dog dive past you every time you try to catch him?
    This is just enthusiasm, probably need a lie down but this is not necessarily an indicator of what will best suit in once he’s trained.

    Is your dog a team player?If yes, he would be a good candidate for a stand.

    Does your dog have a lot of eye?…..does he wait to move until the sheep do?, is he cautious or careful? Good candidate for a stand.

    10. Finally, consider the parents, their working style, if they were willful or easily handled, had a lot or a little eye, etc.

    Lindsey Williams

    Can we post videos here for everyone to watch? Or
    Just make arrangements with you?
    I am excited to drive the circle
    Exercise for driving.
    Thank you



    Hi Lindsey, Please set up video submission directly at macraesheepdogs@gmail.com .
    So glad you like the Circle! It’s one of our most versatile exercises, great for young dogs to understand the task of driving, be more comfortable working the sheep from behind, more solid on their flanks, Small flanks, Pace and for more advanced dogs, Shaping flanks, Smoothing flanks and Different speeds of flanks.
    It can also be great for Reducing eye. In the future we hope to set up video submission on protected forums (like ‘Training Scot’) in a similar format to our Zoom clinics and we’ll keep you posted on that. Have a great weekend!


    Thank you so much for offering this forum. I’m curious about the Macrae opinion on “putting dogs up” and not training for a period of time. I have often heard other trainers espouse this. Are there any disadvantages to this approach for a strong type of pup/dog that handles a correction well, with no sulking or loss of a keen approach? In the started dog video, I believe I recall that the Macrae method will typically start dogs between 8-18 months, and I think I recall Alisdair recommending training a strong, keen type of pup 3 times a day, and for less keen pups, less often. Is it better to train a very confident and strong pup earlier (around 8-10 months of age) before it is fully matured, or does waiting to train that kind of dog help or hinder progress? Of course, I am speaking within the context of training the pup with the Macrae way system. Hope that question made sense!


    Hi Scout! Neither of us have ever put a young up but it is interesting question in that we’ve certainly heard of that practice. I think it mostly occurs with trainers who put too much control or pressure too soon for dogs that aren’t ready or put their dogs in situations over their heads, diminishing their dogs keenness.

    We go the other way, getting he dogs to enjoy it as much as possible and increasing enthusiasm (too keen is more of a problem for us !) to your point, we may work a keen young dog 3 times a day in a shorter 5 min sessions versus a single 15 min session.
    When we’ve had dogs that we’d like to see become more keen, sometimes we change the working pattern for a week or 2. For example, we will work them for 3 days in row and then give them a break for 3 days in a row. This often makes the desire for getting back on sheep build up and the anticipation becomes the boost they need. We generally start our dog between 8-11 months old. I hope I answered what you were asking. If not, please let me know, cheers,

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