I have been droning on and on about the importance of the dog really knowing “right” vs “left” and the distance they should be from the sheep. Now I am adding “Squaring”. What are square flanks? Why important?
The flank is not always a circle. It is a left or right turn THE DOG MAKES in order to reposition self to advance on the sheep. When told to “go by” (left) the dog should turn into his left shoulder and go that way. When told to stop, he should stay at the distance from the sheep and not take three steps toward them. Same w/ the “Awee” (right) turn. Everytime the dog takes those fateful steps toward sheep, they move in reaction AWAY from the dog. Alas, there goes a straight line and the scoring points. Nearly 100% of the time when I am asked why the sheep are not going straight, it is the flank that caused the problem. When we square the dog, the sheep go straighter and the line of course is achieved.
This is all going to be so much easier to illustrate WHEN I GET THE CAMERA GOING! Yes, I purchased a very nice video camera and will be using it to upload the examples of all I describe. Some of us do better SEEING than reading.