Herding post....so all agility folks might want to tune out now :)
In response to my post "Doubt"...Jodi from Knotty Pine Ranch Blog, emailed me a link to some videos that Denise Wall did of her dog May off the Border Collie Boards. Click HERE for the link.
I stayed up until late in the night, watching the videos, absolutely loving all the info I was getting :) My mind didn't stop all night going over and over those videos...
It gave me some great ideas to work on with Lynn until I am able to either get her to the KK clinic or get some lessons set up (again, any ideas on people you would recommend..I am willing to drive up to 12 hours to get a lesson, figure I can drive, take a lesson in the evening...spend the night, lesson in the am and then head out)...so please...PM me or comment on this blog!!!
Lynn reminds me of Denise's May..quite a bit actually. So it was so great to see her use the dogs natural instinct and talent to get things accomplished. Loved it :)
So today I was getting dogs out to work them, Zip on driving, cleaning up her flanks (which are NOT what I always want, especially at the pen and shed)...Klink, shedding, and cleaning up flanks, and whistles. And Lynn...see what she has, which is never how I have approached a dog before...but why not try something different :)
Zip did well...she was, as expected tight on her flanks at hand...she gets pretty worked up with me + sheep together :) We work on it. Then did a good amount of driving, working with her holding the line, listening, pacing etc. Ended with a nice, long, silent fetch. She was working well, pacing, listening...at 7 she has figured out going like a bat out of hell isn't always the best idea :)
Klink was next...working whistles with her. Klink tends to not always listen to the command I am giving her, just taking whatever flank she feels is needed. When I am working on the farm, she gets away with that, as chores are pretty routine, but I need her to be more polished for trialing in the spring...so I need her to listen, and give to me if I ask. Yesterday she was fighting me quite a bit on this in the beginning, until she realized, if I asked her for a hard flank, one she didn't want to give me...if she DID give me that flank, I would then let her go back into her comfort zone...she picked this up quickly and today I didn't notice any issues with her taking the whistles I gave her...she was freeing up, becoming more accepting and relaxing into it. Then, I got out the lambs for her to see if she was getting shedding. She has had some tension in the past with shedding, #1 because I am not the worlds best shedding person...hello, I learned from reading a book....ugh...and #2 well....see #1 :) But she has been coming into the hole, and turning into the pack I ask her to very well lately. So I thought, why not see what she will do with lambs? They are faster, more reactive and harder to shed (or maybe just mine are...not sure!)...I was VERY pleased with her, clean flanks, didn't push in on the lambs until I asked her to come in. She was a bit distracted with all the fast movement and wanted to catch the other lambs leaving, but she did well, got 2 sheds in fact with her. And then did a nice look back and regathered and did a nice silent fetch...she is really getting her pace and is looking really nice with just a bit of polishing...that'll do Klink :) I feel really confident she will be more than ready for Pro-Novice this spring as long as we can get work in.
Now Lynn...I just came out to the field to see what she would do. She walked out towards the sheep, I asked her to walk up, so she ended up doing some nice driving for several hundred feet, me parallel to her...and I just wanted to see what she would do. Then they were getting a bit too far away from her and she started to flank to gather them. I just let her, she bent out and picked them up, not PERFECTLY, but she did bend, pushed them too me at a nice pace, not slow, not scary. So I decided to leave them and send her on a longer outrun...one that she hasn't done...again just see what she would do. First outrun on her good side she left good, came in a bit, then slowed up...and then bent out :) Landed a bit tight, but not anything horrible....brought them to me. Her worse side she was a bit more tight, but left and was running harder and more confident this time...did this a few more times, just seeing what she is doing, how she is thinking...did a little walking around the field, letting her cover and work on her own...getting a feel for her sheep and what she had to do, she honestly did great. I even asked her up on the fetch on one of her gathers and WOW did she push into those sheep! LMAO! She sure does have her mother's motor in there, but some of her fathers sense...gotta love it. A little bit of driving ended it...good girl...I think I just might have some ideas for the little girl.
I am letting her get away with more than I did with my other dogs (I might regret this later...not sure)...she will be naughty at first, when doing something new, but I think it is just her way of working things out in her mind. She definitely has great feel, and wants to be good to her sheep, she never once today broke anyone off. At one point the sheep broke down the field to go to the barn and she took off (as she should, I would have been a bit disappointed if she didn't)...and I thought, if I call her back....nope...just see....shut your mouth...Lynn hauled ass down that field, and got them. She didn't grip out, she didn't chase one off, she caught them (sure she was tight...but that's OK!), turned all of them and settled into the pressure point (which was tough as they REALLY wanted to go to the barn) and brought them to me very nicely...
I might just get her figured out...still want help though :) There might be a light at the end of the tunnel...
OH! And Even got to TROT today...like actually NOT WALKING....HUGE... :)