Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rubber and Sheep

This afternoon Sarah and I made a quick trip to Okotoks to pick up the newly resurfaced agility equipment, and for a herding lesson. ;)

The equipment looks amazing. I can hardly wait to get it set up!! It is almost too pretty to use. lol.

The herding lesson was good, although challenging for my dog. There is still so much that we have to learn. It has been a pretty amazing journey so far- some days I feel like we know stuff, and other days not so much. lol.

Today we worked in Louanne's big field- practicing bigger outruns and some baby driving. I thought Brit handled herself pretty well in the big field- confident and willing. We've never had the much space really, so I was impressed that she listened that far away. lol. She was not so confident with the driving. It is so opposite of what we've taught her so far that she was very confused. She kept wanting to gather them- rather than move In a straight line. It will take lots of repetition to get it figured I'm sure.
Brit has always been tight at the top of her outruns- and today was no exception. So Louanne became the official stick thrower. In just three throws Brit got the idea... The stick never actually hit her, but it did startle her enough to get her to Move off the sheep a bit. Even I can see that with her being so close to the sheep she has less control, and less power.  She needs to be farther back to have control of the whole group. Sometimes running in on her is enough to get her to give, and other times not so much.  I do anticipate this being an issue forever, something we'll have to work on to maintain. I'm hoping that the stick throwing will transfer over to our next lesson so I won't have to look at my pouty border collie....

It was fun to take a break from the chutes and panels and pens and all that trial stuff. I like learning new things- I just wish there was a way to be more clear to my dog so she would understand better. Brit was definitely pouty after the stick and the pressure of driving- but she never quit. She seems to be recovering faster and able to work through more stress each time. I do wish that she didn't get stressed in the first place- it is obvious that her understanding of what we want is not quite there. She will get it I am sure, but I don't like seeing her upset. lol.

What does annoy me (still) is the simple stuff- the stuff she should know but still challenges us on. Like lying down. She will still take a few extra steps before stopping and sometimes refuses completely. If we choose to fight with her about it, it often will ruin the whole lesson. It's frustrating. I am going to work harder at home on both of those things.

Starting next week Sarah and I will have the opportunity to work on our own- I plan to work a lot on basics. Lots of stops and flank changes. Sometimes that extra few steps she takes ruins the drill or puts the sheep in the wrong spot. I think of we can get these solid it will improve our overall skill. I've got a little notebook of all the fun little drills that both Jenny and Louanne have shown me- I plan to put that notebook to good use!

The lesson ended with visiting with some newly born lambs. I think that lambs might be the cutest babies in the world- even cuter than puppies. Really. Look at him!!!!??? Is he not adorable? And Squishy? I really, really wanted to bring him home. lol. His momma is a jerk and rejected him so he thinks people means food and was very friendly. So Cute!!!
photo by Sarah (iphone).


onecollie said...

ok, I REALLY want that baby lamb!!!!! lets plan a road trip to kidnap him!!!!

andrea said...

Sounds like a really fun time was had by all. Except maybe Brit after the stick. :)

Nicki said...

SOOOO cute!