Saturday, January 14, 2012
Have I said how much I adore this dog? & a Herding Lesson
She is just such a bright dog- so smart, a thinker, a happy worker, and just fun. I really am completely smitten with her.
Obedience training this morning was really fun. I've been fixing my heeling with her for a while now, and finally we made some progress with the help of peanut butter and a spoon. I really messed her up by doing too much pivot/perch work and not enough straight lines when I first got her. So her idea of heeling is actually lagging, with her head twisted around like a psycho. Anyway- due to the power of the peanut butter (or salmon cream cheese!!) I think we will be okay. It is pretty well luring a good head position right now. She also did her first ever stand for exam today. I just taught her a stand/stay the other day. And in one short session we went from a sit for exam, to a stand for exam. And she's pretty solid. I don't think I will have to go back to a sit or anything. Once she gets something she gets it. I love that kind of learning! I also got some good ideas for some other "moving attention" games. I am looking forward to trying them out.
Herding this afternoon was great. I think it was the best yet actually. And of course I have no video/photographic evidence. lol. My video camera was dead..
Anyway we spent a fair amount of time on outruns, and gathers. That is still her weakest skill. Today we put a bit more pressure on her to give them more space at the top. She was a bit pouty about it, but didn't quit, and kept on working. You can really see her thinking, trying to figure out how to be right. It's very interesting. There was no real naughty moments, and we actually were getting nice flanks, without too much speed at the top.
We also worked on the holding exercise with the fence. She was fighting a bit, and not really happy to be working in so tight. Which is opposite of last time. So we just did a bit and moved back to gathers, and outruns. I am certainly understanding more about where I should be, and what I need to do to get the sheep where I want them. And most of all I am able to control my dog better. We still have a ton to learn, but I don't feel overhwhelmed by the dog, the sheep, etc.
All in all a very dog filled day. After herding I took the dogs for a walk- we are supposed to have winter tomorrow. So I figured we might aswell enjoy our strange spring like weather while it lasts!