I love this dog. A Lot. She tries hard, and is eager to please. Always willing to try again. She has lots of great traits- working aside, she is sweet, snuggly, happy, and the best cuddler. But she certainly has her struggles. Part of being a Border Collie is having quirks I guess! lol
Yesterday at the Scenthurdle Tournament she was bang on- fast, accurate, and full of zip. Until she randomly stopped using her brain. lol. Dropping her dumbbell, running circles around the box, and just looking sort of confused about the whole thing. She is very sensitive so I just called her back when that happened, or tried to help her. We made quite the mess at the box a few times. lol.
It was a succesful day for her though- and she had a great time. She is VERY eager to race and actually pulls at the start. I think she would like to race first, or second, but her scenting is not reliable enough for that yet. I am going to go back and work on just the scenting for a bit I think, and see if I can work on bringing up the consistency.
Today at the Arena trial Brit had her worst kind of sheep. Heavy, and Argumentative. They did not want to go. And weren't afraid to express that. Brit tried SO hard for me though. I am proud of her. I knew the sheep were tough- because lots of the open/nursery dogs had trouble too. So I went with the plan of keeping her on her feet so that the sheep wouldn't settle. It was a good plan. But this time the trouble started before the drive- around the post they were stuck to me and wouldn't push off. But I got Brit beside me and encouraged her up step by step. We got them moved, but then had trouble all the way up the arena. I couldn't get her to hold a line, I think in part because they were so heavy? I don't really know for sure. But then when we finally got them to the top they refused to move. So I went up to help her. I watched the video on my friends phone- and it was actually worse than I originally thought. She was majorly avoiding- and wouldn't even look at them. From the post I thought she was- at the very least she was taking my flanks- but in between sniffing, and looking for help from the people at the pens. lol. So I am extra glad I went up to help her before she got physically chased off. It's hard to know when to call it, when to help. I've called her off too soon before, but this time I am sure I made the right choice.
I am proud of how far we have come, but it seems that everytime the sheep are hard it's two steps back. I think that for the next arena trial I am going to drop her back down to Novice so the drive is shorter. Because that is where there are troubles- now a few times in a row. I really don't want this to become a trend. It is hard to predict what type of sheep we will have. Even when it's the same sheep we always use. Sometimes it's no problem! But I think to be safe I better back up a bit until I can get the confidence up again.
We will just continue to putter around- I know that we can get over this, I just need to figure out a way. I am looking forward to a herding camp I signed up for in the summer. And I think maybe when Scott isn't so busy I'll get another lesson for her. If she would bite them it would be very helpful!