I had been getting so discouraged with him. He still won’t do a lie down when on sheep. We’ve done weeks/months of drills. I’ve run at him waving my arms, I’ve yelled, I’ve thrown things, I’ve spoken quietly, I even put him back on a long line. Wouldn’t you know, on a line, he’s perfect. We just couldn’t seem to get past this roadblock.
Lately I’ve been trying to keep my voice calm. Today I decided it just wasn’t enough so I made a boogie bag. It’s just a grain bag tied onto a stick that can be slapped for a little extra oomph. (I tried using a lunge whip but that just excited him so that he ran faster and closer to the sheep.) The boogie bag seemed to be just enough to get his attention.
Today he started to stay off the sheep better and lying down better. He still does every thing at full speed but I saw some signs of slowing down (and not because he was tired. That just doesn’t happen.) At one point, I realized that the sheep were not running – they were walking!