Thursday, March 01, 2012

Herding Lesson

Like an addict, I can't stay away. lol. I am convinced that the more I can get my dog on sheep the worse the addiction is- but at the same time she is getting better and better each time. Her Lie Downs were a non issue this time- sometimes a little creepy- but better than before! Brit was a super star and did really great overall I think. She continues to impress me. lol. She looks like she knows what she is doing and I'm still fumbling around. On the plus side I didn't forget my flanks, and I was able to watch my sheep, and the dog, and still walk backwards and think. lol. 

We started just with working on our Come Bye side- that flank is more pear shaped vs. a C like it is supposed to be. She really struggles to understand that we want her to move farther away before turning to the sheep.  On the Way side she is beautiful- head snap and gone. It's interesting that it is such a struggle to get the exact same behaviour on the opposite side. We did have progress though, I need to remember to point my stick at her head and don't give her the flank until she's already turned. In effect the verbal flank cue is a reward for doing it right. If she is wrong she has to stop and do it again. We did this for most of the lesson. When she would get it we would reward her with a few of the other side. 

The lesson ended with more fence work. She was a pro, and it was smooth and fast. She is taking flanks better (at Louannes she even took multiple flanks!) but she still is a bit too fast sometimes. 

And finally!!! Photos! Sarah and I went together so the photos are courtesy of her. Thanks Sarah!!! 

Next time I will video. I have a tripod I got for Christmas that I haven't really used yet. I think it would cover the whole arena. I am a very visual learner so I think it would be helpful to watch. 

Starting in May we will be able to go out and practice by ourselves. Which is exciting and terrifying at the same time. lol. Maybe Jenny will leave us a dog that knows what he's doing. lol. 

 This is Alaska's (the guardian dog) handiwork. She is a menace. lol. In all fairness I forgot to get Timbits for her and Togo so it's really my own fault. I thought that the pink stuffed toy would suffice as a bribe for safe passage. ;)


BCxFour said...

It is too late to warn you about the addiction huh? It is a VERY Slippery slope filled with more joy, learning and satisfaction than I have ever experienced in my life. It will only get better as you are fully assimilated into sheep and working dogs. This addiction is freaking awesome!

Ashley said...

Brit looks great out there. I wish I was out there too!!!!