So anyway...Spot decided this person was evil and not fair so wasn't interested in playing the game with them. Can't say I blame him one damn bit. Lynn I worked myself and she did very nice I thought....Young dogs do NOT work stock like a 10 year old Open dog. Sorry...they have to make mistakes and as long as they are not gripping or running the sheep into the ground, I let them figure some things out. I am not a mechanical trainer....I hate telling my dogs all they need to do, that is why I have the dogs I have...I want THEM to do it :) That is not to say I let dogs abuse or mistreat sheep...but for example if I have a dog that needs to get a bit more "on the bit" I will jazz up the dog and push the sheep around to GET that movement that is needed. If a dog won't grip then I start with the dog learning they can (on command) bust into the sheep so they know they CAN move it...
Needless to say later on that day I sorted out a small group of my sheep and put Spot on them...tada! Magic! He worked just fine for me :-)) Imagine that...??
In this person's defense...they work with loose eyed dogs...which I admit I haven't and have no interest in working. So maybe that's how it goes with those dogs. But not with a well bred Border Collie...sorry. They know what they need to do and just need some guidance...not total and complete domination. I have nothing against this person whatsoever, but I think there must be a better way to work with all dogs rather than that method...call me a softy...call me whatever. But pressure has a place in dog training...and more importantly than putting pressure ON is TAKING IT OFF. Constant pressure you either end up shutting the dog down OR creating a very hard headed dog.
And I missed it, missed starting a dog, missed the calm, quiet, all of it. Agility is great and all, but herding just feels so right to me, like an old pair of gloves, your favorite jeans etc. The people involved in herding are the salt of the earth and I miss that a bit. Not to say that agility people are not great...but there is something different about it. I can't put my finger on it...but it is something. It is a calmness, an amazing relationship between a dog and handler...so the dog trusts it's handler to run out hundreds of yards, blind to where the sheep are, and follow commands...in sinc, flawless communication....I love it.
When Zip got injured and I knew that my first dog, the one I had trained to Open, would not get to run Open due to injuries...I just stopped trialing...it broke my heart I guess. I wanted to have Zip as my first Open dog...and well, that wasn't going to happen. But that is done and over...and I realized how much I missed it.
I have been working Klink, Zip and Gator on stock, but not with the mind of trialing but just practical work I need them for on this place...and yesterday that all changed again :) I want to get back to trialing...I want to see my dogs do amazing things again...to watch them do what they are bred to do...I want those humbling failures that only working dogs on sheep can give you. That sense of "MAN I have so much to work on!!!"....I want those moments when a dog "gets it"...
And well...I don't get that with agility...I just don't. It is fun to train, it is fun to compete and do well...but it isn't the same. Something amazing in herding will (for me anyway) always beat something amazing in agility. It is just so damn hard :) The dog, the sheep, you, the terrain, the weather etc. There is nothing like it...
Plus, with Even and Lynn and also Spot nearby, we can work dogs together :) I don't give lessons to people as I feel one needs to be an Open handler to give lessons...but I figure I can help Donna with Spot a bit since he IS my boy :) We are off to south of the cities next week to work the pups with a friend....then we will start traveling more to get the babies on good stock. And when my ewes are good to go I will be fine to work them here for a bit....I am going to also keep back a few whethers and get my round pen up.
I am definetly not going to stop running dogs in agility...I do love it alot. But I am getting back into SDT's...I have really missed it :)
I am also signed up for a Kathy Knox clinic in July, as is Donna with Spot, Patty with Zing and I will bring my girls. It will be fun seeing everyone working :) It will also be good to see Kathy again and get a refresher course :) I haven't seen her since we bred Zip to Jake.
It will be nice seeing everyone again...I have really missed the people :)