Flock/Mob Work

The response to the 500 metre rule has been awesome with many of you reporting a really positive response from your pups. I mentioned that, after you have mastered the 500 metre rule, move on to general flock/mob work. Here is a guide:

  1. Choose a larger mob, 40 to 50 animals is ideal.
  2. The livestock should be moving away from the yards so that they move freely.
  3. Position yourself behind the mob, zigzagging from eye to eye of the leaders.
  4. If possible, have an experienced dog with you. (on the bike or on a lead)
  5. As the stock are walking along allow the pup to be drawn up one side to the head. If they run, allow the pup to head them until they stop, then call him back along the same side he went up. If they just continue to walk along allow him to get to about 2/10 o’clock then call him back that same side.
  6. Repeat this exercise on the other side.
  7. Your pup, with the right genetics, will quickly learn to drove stock, at the walk, if they run on he will move forward into the retard section of the leader’s eye, but not directly in front of them. If they slow down or stop he will come back towards you into the drive section of the eye.
  8. When your pup has mastered the basics of this exercise, vary it a bit by leaving a couple behind so he looks for problems to solve. To finish the exercise move ahead of the mob  and allow your pup to balance it to you.
  9. This exercise is a good reinforcement of the call. Each call is followed by encouragement to work on the opposite wing.
  10. Other than the call your voice will only emit sounds of encouragement for your pup. Even if he is making mistakes, encourage with your voice, correct with your body position.

Good luck and post any questions in the comment box below.

One comment on “Flock/Mob Work

  1. […] When driving a mob/flock balance dictates that your dogs take up positions along the sides to maintain the desired speed and direction. Changes in that direction are effected by asking your dog/s to move ahead of the point of balance and to encroach further into the flight zone until the new direction is achieved and the dog moves back to the point of balance. Use the call and send commands to allow your dog to find this critical point. Flock/Mob Work […]

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