I've found the key! For us anyway. I'd had so much trouble working my
ducks with my dog - they aren't dog broke & they are more scared of me than
her. I keep thinking that since I'm the only one who feeds & cares for them
that they'll get used to me - even come to me for handouts. Not so. After
almost 7 months, I don't think it's going to happen.
Anyway - last night it was so dark (clouds) and I went into the coop for the
usual evening chores. They escaped out into the dark. Seems like they
can't see well in the dark. They hate darkness. So, I told Hidi to go
'away to me'. We'd been working 'come by' too much lately. She started
come by and I said uh-uh (which stops her cold) and called her back then
restarted with another away to me command.
She went the correct direction and peeled them off the fence. There were
enough lights from neighboring houses that I could see them & Hidi. And
Hidi sees better than any of us in the dark. They stayed in a tight bunch
and were much slower - no flapping, no out & out scatter & run, etc. They
headed for the middle of the yard & she did the most beautiful out run I've
seen from her, stopped them, turned 'em back to me & went to the balance
point & moved them towards me!!!!!! Another dog could have made a wider
outrun - but not a smoother one - or prettier one. And she was reading them
& rating herself wonderfully.
I clicked her & was actually jumping up & down & praising her loudly by this
time. ha! I could have pushed things & tried for a complete fetch - or
even a drive to the coop. But I didn't care that my reaction blew the rest.
I had to stop everything & express my praise to her for an excellent job!
In fact, we ended right there. The ducks saw the light from the coop (only
about 20 feet away) and headed for it & we just followed up the rear.
I think the reason they turned in towards me so well & didn't give her
trouble was that I was standing perfectly still & they couldn't see me in
the dark - or didn't know I was human. We are going to try this again & see
if it goes as well. Just might start working at night. Ha. Really make
the neighbors scratch their heads. hee hee
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