Saturday, July 6, 2013

How The Mighty Fall

All week I've been working the dogs twice a day.  I drive out in the morning and give them a hefty work while the grass is still wet with dew and the temperatures are cooler.  Then I drive back out in the evening and give them a lighter work.  While I was babysitting the farm I noticed an ewe with pink eye.  When my parents came back dad and I sorted her out.  In addition we vaccinated and sheared some of the woolies.  Ryder helped us pen.  My dad was astounded.  He kept saying what a nice dog he was.  The only road block was when dad grabbed the paddle.  Ryder heard it and buggered off of context.  It was really hard to get him to work when dad put any pressure on the sheep.  It was quite clear the dog was scared.  No paddle equaled a wonderful working partner.  I think my strategy will be to have dad rattle the paddle and feed Ryder Treats until he sees he won't be hurt.

Yesterday both dogs gave me a smoking awesome work in the morning.  Such a good work that when I got home I began looking to see if there were any trials nearby that would be around end of July.  I pondered driving to New Dayton (about a 5.5 hour drive).  Then my evening work stank.  Ryder stank up the house.  He was so determined that he knew what he was doing he turned deaf.  I became pissed off - which is never good.  Ryder realized I was ticked at him and began to slow down and worked way  out of context.  I had to take a deep breath.  Called him to me.  We stood there for a few minutes while I stroked his head and ears.  I need to leave my thoughts off the field and focus on what is.  He's a young dog with limited training.  One day at a time. is my new moto.

Right now he's about 50-60% on his flanks, doing a controlled drive, an outrun of about 2 power pole lengths (sorry distance is NOT my thing).  My goal is to get him 110% on his flanks.  Stretching everything else out won't be hard because he's quite an honest dog with a natural outrun.  I need to work on an easy command because he moves the sheep down the field at a pretty good trot.

Diva has been a superstar.  She's outrunning as cleanly and as far as Ryder now.  She has a lot of eye so I'm working on keeping her on her feet and moving.  She's showing me she wants to work for me which is so wonderful.  I'm able to walk off the field with her off leash.  This is a huge growth.

Dogs are funny.  The moment you start thinking you know what to expect, they change things up on you.  Keeps a girl humble.

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