Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Incredible...

Working dogs on sheep...I have been doing more of that, and I find myself settling back into that peaceful feeling. I don't want my cell phone with me, not many people...just want to hear the sheep, the whistles, the dogs...my idea of quiet.

I took Zip out this evening to work her, I know she will never get to Open due to her arthritic foot..but that is ok with me at this point. She can still work sheep and stay sound after a short session :) She didn't put one foot wrong, took every flank, fetch was lovely, didn't take all her downs, but that would be very abnormal for Zip anyway :) We did a bit of driving, cross driving and a shed. She came in, took the group I wanted and then drove them to the barn to pen...the smile on her face is brilliant :)

Anyone that says a border collie can live without working sheep hasn't ever seen one after working...content, peaceful, happy. I must be a border collie then, as I feel the same way...

I remember her as a young dog, I had people help me with a method that was mechanical and she did NOT care for it one bit. I had hardened my dog, made her ignore corrections, try to beat me...and then I went to a Knox clinic and all that changed. I ended up with a dog that trusts me, wants to work with me, and I never looked back...I am finding all that again :)

And there is something about the people, being in a situation where you are humbled CONSTANTLY makes for people with less egos, I think. Either your bad training, handling, naughty dog,the sheep outsmart you etc. You are never allowed to get too big of a head (ok most are not..yes there are always SOME). And if you do, some situation will take you down a notch :) I like that...maybe I am a glutton for punishment...not sure...

USBCHA trials do not change their rule to allow everyone to play...which I find very refreshing as many agility venues seem to be doing this. Anyone CAN run in USBCHA trials, any breed or whatever. But it is hard, it isn't a give away...there isn't a "Q" at stake, just going off the field, knowing you actually did it, ran the course...that is the glory of it all...

I was really reminded of that this weekend, everything I do, is related to learning how to train a stockdog. My understanding of dogs, how pressure affects them, correction, rewards, choices...everything. Starting Zip on stock was the biggest education in dogs I could have ever gotten. And it has shaped everything I do with my dogs today...funny how something so minor can have that huge of an impact. I have met so many great people, people that bent over backwards for me, not because I was paying them, but because they wanted to help. All of this came back to me this weekend...maybe I am tired from all the travel, maybe I am being wayyy too mushy, but it is an emotional switch for me. Border Collies working sheep changed everything for me...

We are planning on putting up a round pen sometime soon so I can really get to training Lynn a lot. I would love to be able to run her in PN next year (along with Klink) and I think that is very possible if I set my mind to it...I can't wait to start Even, she is a firecracker of a pup and it will be fun to get her going as well :)

Speaking of Even, she is doing great. Started Passive Range of Motion exercises today and she has great flexion and extension of her elbows. The right one that had the cartilage removed, is not quite as good as the left, however it is better than they said it would be :) She gets iced after each session and we are doing 3 sessions a day...she starts Adequan shots on Thursday and we will be adding a few new exercises next week :) She looks great, no limping that I can see!

I am going to be taking a break from a bit of technology I think...Facebook is the first step, and then weaning myself away from my Crackberry....yuck. Too time consuming and I would rather enjoy life than be tied to some gadget. I will still be updating on my blog, I do enjoy that :)


OH..and totally off topic...a picture of Zing from the Zip x Jake litter :) Taken by Steve Soberski...


4 comments:

Dianna said...

So glad you were able to get out with the sheep today. As someone who knows nothing about herding, it does seem exactly as you describe, relaxing and satisfying (though I'm sure in the training stages it's not always like that) Anytime I can see a dog do what they were MEANT to do, I enjoy it. I probably like it so much because I can see how much the dog loves it. I've watched some herding instinct testing and was amazed at apparent "lightbulb moments" dogs had when they suddenly knew exactly what to do. Glad you are planning more herding, I love the herding photos most of all!

Sare said...

Love this post! Couldn't be more timely.

AussomeDogs said...

Love this post, so on the money. Exactly how I feel too. After working sheep, nothing else seems important. I have to agree with your sentiment on training dogs, the stuff you learn about pressure, timing, commands... all of it, just enlightening (for me anyway). I had to give up on Facebook, I try, but I just can't keep up.

fulltiltbcs said...

I am taking a "Face Break" :-)) Working out VERY well :)

Herding is just so darn hard :) I love it :)