W.A.I.T (Work as I train)
Is a program of fully training a pup at work while attending to the daily jobs on a farm. It does require that the handler can properly and safely restrain the pup in the work place when it would otherwise be at risk of injury or death. The pup must have the genetic potential to control livestock naturally as there are very few vocalisations from the handler other than a call and words of encouragement. Screaming and words like Argh are banned. A rapport between handler and pup must have been developed in the camp before training begins. (eyes are a camera, group feeding etc.)
The WAIT program is successful because doing real jobs tends to take some of the handlers attention away from the pup allowing it to solve problems on its own and to allow its inherent genetic makeup to be expressed. Also, while doing real work the handler tends to vary the exercises by necessity and work the pup down so he learns to pace himself. Just remember it is a pup so match the job to its physical and mental capabilities.
Trust the genetics.
A common error amongst pup trainers: after they have done intensive research into the genetics of their new pup, seen at least the parents working and perhaps a couple of the grandparents as well, they begin teaching a down or stop.
I would never teach any sort of down command to any useful kelpie as it is a command for dogs selected so much for taking command that they have lost their “touch” with livestock. Good dogs stay on the edge of the livestock’s flight-zone and from there they move up into the block section of the eye of a mob to steady it, or drop back into the drive to create movement. It is a wonderful thing to watch a clever dog breaking wide and then coming in close to the lead and trotting against the direction of a mob/flock to increase its speed. Any sort of stop at this point of training only frustrates a dog tracking along that flight-zone and it will react unfavourably. Trust the genetics. Teach a stop later on so you can allow livestock to enter a paddock controlled by a waiting dog.
All of these natural traits develop exponentially when you ask your dogs to help you drive livestock rather than just balance them to you, just trust the genetics.