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  • in reply to: Crossovers #4066

    Completely agree cross overs can have many causes, including lack of scope, lack of training, over training, complacency from the handler, over confidence from the handler, excitability and lots of other reasons.

    The recommendation would be dependent on the cause but the biggest piece of advice I could give is, help your dog sooner rather than later!

    It sounds simple and obvious but very often, you see handlers wait too long, often hoping their dogs will sort it themselves, even when they are clearly on the wrong trajectory.

    Even if we have a very experienced and reliable outrunning dog, we would still watch our dog from the moment we approach the post all the way through the completion of the outrun.

    If our dog appears tight, at any point, we’ll give him a bend to improve the trajectory, sooner rather later.
    This will result in a point loss of at least 2, if we bend our dog on the fly (more if we need to stop our dog before we bend him). Yet, this is still far fewer points lost than a possible -19 with a crossover.

    Also, we prefer to lose the points here and ensure a better outrun, which sets us up to retain all of our points on the lift and the first part of the fetch. We don’t reflect on the fact that we have lost X number of points, but rather, we focus on the top end and do our best to retain the remaining points.
    This is in contrast to those who let their dogs be tight on the outrun (often just hoping the dog will correct himself) and risk him only crossing and/or being too tight on the outrun and losing points there, but because the outrun is wrong, the lift is wrong (lose points there) and because the lift is wrong the first part of the fetch is wrong (also lose points there). You can read more about this in , The Mental Aspect of Trialing

    The way we teach bends is very intuitive, and helps our dogs to understand the reason we’re giving input on the outrun is because the sheep are in a different place than where our dog thinks they are! We’ll be releasing more on this soon.

    in reply to: 3 Easy Steps to Film your dog when working on your own #4063

    Hi Lindsey,
    Great to hear you and Doc are doing well! My first recommendation would be to watch on The Academy, The Secret to Inside Flanks Figure 8’s are a fantastic way to get dogs on their sides as long as yours is not too flanky naturally and you dont do it in excess.

    In the early stages we actually weave around the cones as seen here, Figure 8’s

    As our dogs advance, we do the exercise with 3 cones, 2 for the figure 8’s themselves, and a 3rd cone for us to stand, about 10 yards away (such that our dog is working in front of us).
    We extend that distance we stand away from our dog incrementally and when our dogs are fully trained we do the figure 8’s at 200-300 yards away. Here’s a super short clip of figure 8’s with Nite w me standing at 200 yards away.

    For a young dog the progression is first we walk backwards around the cones, then we stand still in the center then we stand away approx 10 yards away from the cones for the 8’s, then we stand 15 yards away, you can adjust it for you and Doc. The Circle-A versatile and excellent driving exercise is also great for flanks, be sure to use verbal when you’re getting your dog on his sides.

    If you’d like a Course, Starting Dogs details how we teach we flanks with 9 dogs (we get our dogs 90% or greater on their sides before we start driving in earnest) and The Drive discusses when and how we start driving with 7 dogs.

    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #4044

    Hi Lindsey, Please set up video submission directly at .
    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!

    in reply to: 3 Easy Steps to Film your dog when working on your own #4034

    Thanks Lindsey! Film review is such a great tool for self development, to assess what you’re really good at and where you need to strive to make improvements; we encourage all levels to use it. Have a great weekend!

    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #4019

    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.

    in reply to: FAQs #4014

    Can I ask you questions about Academy content?

    We try to answer all general questions and are happy to help! Feel free to create a new topic or click HERE on the Forum.

    Additionally, we’ve created a short tutorial to show you how to access your favorite content, HERE
    If you’re looking for specific content, we’ll try to direct you towards it on the site or create a video or article to help with your topic of interest!

    We take the responsibility of advising handlers with their dogs very seriously, as helping dogs and handlers is our priority! To that end, we only can only advise about your specific dog when we can see him or her and we have a visual as a basis for one on one discussion. Details for virtual lessons if you’d like to set one up, can be found here,


    Without video if you ask a question based on a description of what your dog is doing, the question is formulated based on your interpretation, and further subject to our interpretation of your account. If you or we are incorrect, the recommendation will not be accurate.
    For example, if your dog had a great deal of eye and we (and you) did not know this, and it was not evident from your assessment, and we then advised that you stopped your dog more frequently that advice may actually exacerbate the eye in your dog, making for a greater problem! Yet for the dog without a great deal of eye it might be very sound advice. This applies not just to eye but to all different types of problems and different types of dogs. Dogs that are very flanky require a different approach than the line dog, the excitable dog versus the cautious dog, the confident dog compared to the dog that needs confidence built, etc. Additionally, many words have different meaning to different people. The definition is vast for: forward, square flanks, straight lines, tight turns, feel, power, honest attempt and the list continues.

    You can see the concern in providing advice without absolutely seeing the dog, the situation and having that as a point of reference in a one on one discussion. If we have a video we can reference, we can absolutely set up a lesson!

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Patricia.
    in reply to: FAQs #4012

    What type of internet connection do I need to watch?

    The Academy videos are in High Definition to enhance your training experience and make every nuance easily visible. You can access them with a consistent speed of at 7 mbps or greater. Our Courses can be viewed at 4 mpbs or greater. Satellite services can be inconsistent, providing a high speed, i.e. 8 mpbs, one minute and dropping to 2 mpbs the next. You can check to determine your speed and a reliable test for your connection can be found here,

    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3991

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

    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3988

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

    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3987

    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,, 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,, hope that helps. cheers,

    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3982

    Hi Geri, you’re post came through perfectly, thanks! Just write here if you have any questions or comments. Im working on “training Scot, Part 1”, should have that out soon 🙂

    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3980

    Hi Victoria, Absolutely, the forum link is live and questions are welcome, thanks for asking!

    In terms of shaping flanks, how we maintain the proper arc with a trained dog can be found in Squaring Flanks here,

    With dogs learning to drive, we only employ a gentle opening of the flanks as we don’t want to risk opening them too quickly (lest their natural width kicks in and it makes them too wide).
    By using The Circle,, it allows us to gently suggest how to maintain the arc if our dog is slicing, as we are in a position to always help our dogs. We simply step forward from the center cone towards our dog, to help and return to the center cone as soon as our dogs opens up. We don’t shape flanks until 16 months or so, once our dogs have come with their natural width, but we do discourage slicing.If your dog is further forward you can use the same method in “Squaring Flanks” for the circle exercise, if you’re shaping flanks in earnest. It’s important to follow the same premise as The Triangle, only opening flanks in the direction of the outside of the Circle.

    For young dogs just starting in the round pen, we are not too fussed about being tight, however, if they are slicing you can see how we address that with several different types of dogs in the Course, Starting Dogs.Please let me know if you meant something different with your question, cheers,

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Patricia.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Patricia.
    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3979

    Hello! The Link can be found on the main Academy page, here,

    The link itself is,


    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3962

    Hi Helen, Thanks for writing! This forum is actually not live yet, but we wanted to give Platinum members a sneak peak of what’s to come :-). While I couldn’t speak to your individual dog without seeing her, a stand can be especially useful for dogs with a lot of eye as lying your dog down frequently can exacerbate eye. We always teach a lie down first and then transfer to a stand (as opposed to training the stand first). Some dogs with eye are more suited to working on pace, such that you don’t need to stop your dog as often. 2 questions we ask we assessing if a stand is needed is : 1. will it help prevent exacerbating my dogs ‘eye’ 2. is my dog enough of a team player and cool headed enough to accept a reliable stand. Some dogs, because of their excitability, how they’ve been trained, etc. will take many extra steps on a stand command, minimizing it’s effectiveness. It really depends on the individual dog as to when we introduce a stand and I’ll put together an article that expounds on this a bit including pros and cons. I’ll follow up with as soon as that’s available and when we’re live on the forum!….cheers,

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Patricia.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Patricia.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Patricia.
    in reply to: Welcome to the MacRae Way! #3941

    Thank you Tyler for being part of our community!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 33 total)