Spot the training differences – competition result

Border collie sheepdog

At last we can announce the winner of our "Spot the differences" training competition

Border collie sheepdogs queueing for the stile
Oh? And what's going on here then?

To keep our sanity we had to make ourselves judge what's actually presented in the training chapter from Still Off Duty.

Many people included many excellent suggestions and it may seem churlish to ignore them, but we had to limit the judging to what we can see demonstrated (or not) in the video.

Some people included less hair, or a certain natural lightening of Andy's remaining hair, and while they're both entirely correct they don't constitute deliberate changes in technique. (In fact, given a choice, Andy would probably go back to his original hair even if he did everything else quite differently.)

Border collie sheepdogs queueing for the stile
Stile victim - a badly-timed shutter freezes poor Meg's ears in a spin!

There was a bit of wrangling I must admit, but essentially the points we were looking for were: a controlled start; setting up the dog before letting it loose; fewer sheep; always using the training stick; using the stick in the 'correct' hand; more positive communication; much less shouting; never turning our back on a trainee dog; using a long "lie down" command rather than the sharp "Stand!"; and more movement from the handler.

Our winner is Jolande Leinenbach from Denmark, whose accurate and succinct observations impressed us both. Well done to Jolande (I'll be in touch shortly) and very many thanks to everyone else who took part, and have given us so much to think about.


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