Brit has a few main problems.
She slices in on her outruns
She doesn't stop when I ask her to
So we worked on outruns. A lot. We went back to me in between her and the sheep and me putting a ton of pressure on her at the top if she didn't bend out. I even threw my stick a time or two. Not at her really, but at the point where she was cutting in. She didn't even pout about it! The second she started cutting in I'd stop her, and either move up to her, or restart completely. It worked really well and we were able to go back to starting with her at my side. Although this morning when we worked she was slicing in again....thankfully the baby outrun we need for the trial I think she can manage.
We did lots of baby stuff- round, and round, this flank, that flank, stop, walk up, stop some more. Big circles, little circles. Her downs are a trillon times better than what they were, and after this weekend they are even better. We also did some fence work and we can do the whole fence line pretty well now. I know where my dog needs to be, and she takes her flanks well enough that I can put her there.
Right there. Means right there come in to the sheep. And I think she is starting to get it. Just using there wasn't hard enough. Right There is easier to say in a gruff sort of way. And Right can easily sound like a correction (Hey!). We did this just by moving around the arena and anytime she was at balance I'd use it, and then I started using it when she was just off balance. That's where we are now. I am sure it will take some time before it is solid. I was thinking I could train it with the fenceline stuff but will check before I do that.
What my dog is getting really good at
Taking Flanks. She is pretty good, and I've been testing her to be sure it's not just me, or my body language. I can stand behind or beside her now, and only have to help a little bit.
Outruns. Well, minus the cutting in part. lol. She did some pretty great outruns in the big field to gather the sheep up initially. She is pretty confident these days!
Setting Pace. If I give her a steady, or easy she will settle and doesn't rush the sheep as much anymore.
The dreaded Y chute. I think I get it now. We all know that the handler is always the weakest link. Louanne gave me some great advice. Don't Overthink it. Let the dog do the work. lol
Only a few more weeks before our trial. I hope to get to Louannes for some actual lessons between now and then. Working on your own is good, except your working on your own. lol. And Uh, what if I'm teaching my dog bad things...
I arrived at the farm later in the evening on Friday so didn't work except to put the Sheep in the pasture. Saturday morning we were up early and I managed five training sessions spread throughout the day! Two in the morning, two in the afternoon, and one in the evening. In between all that I read some books, and played with the dogs, oh, and took some photos. Sunday morning I packed up, and then spent the morning training with Sarah and Gyp, and visiting with Jo, Roo, and Aislyn. It was a good day!
The animals at AltaPete were happy to have me for the weekend- I kept the Gaurdian dogs busy and out of trouble, hung out with the chickens, and cuddled with the house cat(s). I left Alaska and Togo with two HUGE bones that should entertain them for a few days until I go out again.
|Togo, who has Stilts for legs...
|Hi Chickens!!! (they like to be talked to)
|Poe and Vito had many standoffs. Usually Poe would get pissed off enough to chase Vito away.
|Alaska- who was the most happy to have me for a few days. She loves to snuggle! (and steal things. She stole my sweater, some mittens, and almost my boot!)
After some drama with my vehicle (I thought it was really broken, turns out that you really do need a man to boost a car. lol) I got home around dinner time. The dogs are all pooped out, which is awesome. And best of all- tomorrow is a holiday! A whole extra day to do what I want! Woohoo!