It's funny how things work out. Last night I worked Diva, Reba, Ryder and Tessa. (Tessa just for some fun for her.) As I watched Diva zip around the sheep I seemed to just know what needed to be done. My timing was on. It seems all the mistakes I've made with Reba will be for Diva's benefit. They certainly have similar styles of work.
Another thing that never fails to amaze me is how the sheep seem to sense differences between the dogs. They hopped right to it when Diva was working, were slower and more relaxed with Reba, and challenged Ryder. Diva walks up the the flock like she owns it. Reba has more eye and is a bit softer and stickier so they are slower to move off her. And Ryder, my darling little fellow, lacks confidence. He began barking at the faced up sheep. You could see he was intimidated. Once I helped him get the sheep moving he was wonderful. He has such natural balance and rate. But, I will sit him out for another month or so before trying him again. I want him to be more mature and confident when I start training him. Diva was such a serious little worker, she will be getting more. I'll watch her carefully, and keep sessions short and fun. Unless she tells me she's not ready to work, she'll be entering the training program.
It's funny how the dogs are the same and different all at the same time. Tonight I have someone coming to work sheep, so hopefully I'll get some good working shots, or even a video or two.