Friday, August 14, 2009


Progress is a funny thing.  Some days it's so subtle you don't know it's there and some days it's like the most brilliant sunset filling the sky - impossible to miss.  My dog's are making progress.  Slowly but surely they are growing in their ability to work sheep.  In the drizzling rain (Finally!!) it became clear to me.  

Joe, while still fast, can circle both direction, change directions based on my body pressure, lie down, come off the sheep when I call him and is starting to understand how to trail the sheep.  He's also respectful of the leash and is my loving shadow.  This may not seem like much except when I got him he was crazed on the stock, had no understanding of how to work with a person, no control, and was continually strangling himself when on a leash.  He shows that he trusts me in his willingness to be with me.  I can see the dog he's going to turn into and it's exciting.

Reba, is learning her Come Bye and Away To Me commands, and is continuing to work on her outruns.  Plus my persistence away from the sheep on Obedience skills is paying off with her listening much more consistently.

Tess, is working on learning her whistles, (I'm lazy and generally revert back to voice - but no more - we have a whistle focus!), and continuing to work on her understanding of an outrun.  

I think some days I'm too close to see the progress we make but today was an "aha" moment.  All the dogs tried hard and listened well, which is all I can ask for.  After the sheep were put away we (Tessa, Reba, Joe, and Bella) went for a play in the field.  They were all so happy.  Me too!

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