Sunday, May 06, 2012

And the Sun came out....

Today was 100x's better than yesterday. The sun was out, the snow melted, and it was almost TShirt weather! What a difference!

We ran three courses today- and on each course I learned something new. The first course we ran Brit did awesome. Of course I have no video of that one! We had some trouble on the Fetch- I need to just shut up and let her balance herself. When I redid that part at the end and said nothing it was completely better- in a straight line even!

The second course was okay- but we had some big trouble at the Y. We are going to work on that set up a lot. There wasn't much room so Brit had to be very calm and stop when I asked. When I finally reset it up from fence we got it. Louanne had to point it out to me though- so I really hope that I will start to recognize those sorts of things on my own. The rest of the course was pretty good. I really need to get her "there" solid before the trial as I could have used it a lot today! I have this run on video and will post it later.

The third course was pretty great. Brit was calm and quiet, which meant that the Sheep were calm and quiet. She also took almost every flank, and I felt like I knew what I was doing. If the video is done uploading by the time I am done this post I'll stick it in. We still have lots of little kinks to work out, but I think that we are getting close! And we still have more than a month of training so I am not too worried!

She is more and more confident, and looked like a real border collie. I am just so proud of her! She worked really well for me this weekend- even in the blizzard. All the training is really paying off. I am very lucky to have such great instructors- without them we would not be where we are that's for sure!!!

Things I learned this weekend:
  • My dog is awesome. :) 
  • I need to know the difference of when to shut up and let her work (on the fetch) and when to be more assertive (at the Y)
  • Don't leave the handlers post after the settle until the dog has brought them all the way to you. 
  • Use my walk thru to think about all the options- which way to send the dog, what to do if...etc. etc. 
  •  I need to trust my dog a bit more and stop looking at her so much. In the video of our last run you can hear Louanne yelling that at me on the first fence panel. lol.
  • I need to work on the Take Pen a bit more. Brit is a little nervous in there after a little incident with a cranky sheep. Her last run she wouldn't lie down when I asked and I could see she wasn't happy to be in there. That is where the sniffing at the beginning of our run came from...
  • Ask the judge questions- where exactly is the settle, what do you do if the sheep drift off, and listen to others ask questions too! 
  • And of course watch my sheep. Where are they looking? Are they calm or antsy? Brit is a fast mover, and not only that but she is very abrupt in her motion which can spook them sometimes. I need to be watching for that in case I need to push her out more to keep them a bit more settled.

 I had my camera out quite a bit so here are just a few of my favorites from the day today!

Bear, the Guardian dog at Phantomridge. Bear is a Sarplanninac. He is very big, and smushy.

Hunter, a GSD from Shadowbar Shepherds. He did awesome- and went from seeing sheep for the first time to doing almost a full tested run!

Gus- who is owned by Phantomridge.

Daisy Mae- one of three Cardigans at the clinic.

Wizard- who is a cool dude for sure

Nothin' but Butts

and baby Gus again. He was very spoiled and well socialised today. He learned about fetching (a ball) and tugging, and jumping up, and mooching for food, oh and pulling on leash. Sarah knows how to teach all those good things... :)


onecollie said...

that was way cool :)

Nath said...

I suddendly run into your blog, just wanted to say hi :) You have so beautiful dogs, Vito is such a cutie! It's so fun to read about dogs's life in other countries too! I keep a blog about my mini schnauzer, we live in Finland :)

Jenilee said...

Big girl Brit:)

Jenny Glen said...

Looks good! The stop looks much better!

Judy said...

Awesome to watch! Brit is doing great