Welcome to Sheepballs
The Rules of Sheepballs
Collies do not want to CHASE, the want to catch to prevent the ball, or sheep escaping.
They play a great role as goal keeper, and boundary guardian.
Balls always live below eye level of the dog. No leaping or flying sheep
When the ball is yours, the dog should not steal. Place your foot on the ball to stop this happening. If they stay out the ball will come to them.
Going round, or flanking sideways is about moving into position to catch the ball. Teach them how to do this, do not trick them into being in the wrong spot.
Sheepballs should be soft, easy to kick. You will need at least two, three is even better. Only use these balls for sheepballs, they should be locked away out of sight unless you initiate the game.
Collies are not retrievers. Their job is done when the ball is stopped. Begin a new game will ball #2.
Looking at the ball you intend to kick, all the time. As a predator your dog will know the point of your focus (it is tempting to watch the dog, but they are not the sheep). If you are walking down the street and focus on the dog/ car/ runner/bike coming towards you, so will the dog.
When they respond as we expect, reward. This will grow quickly, if they are not learning we shall need to examine what they are struggling with.
Teach the dog to swop between balls by changing your complete focus and activity to the other ball. This Ball Not That Ball is a skill to switch from one thing to another. Changing focus for extremely strongly focussed dogs is an essential skill. We cannot expect them to not chase traffic if they have not learned to switch between sheepballs.