A Border Collie's Mistress' Place for News and Musings

Travels, Trials and Tribulations

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dog Day-Fido's

Today I went to Fido's for a little practice.  Chris and I swapped some out runs.  It was pretty much the only thing I had in mind to work on anyhow.

There were some yearling ewes int he holding area in Trillium.  I always forget how much I love that field.  There are quite a few terrain challenges.  Depending on where you set the sheep the dog can go on a completely blind to a partially blind out run. Today the sheep were very awesome.  They didn't want to play with us too much.  The dog didn't have to work too hard to move them, but they did have to work to fetch them.  Hurray, we really needed this practice.  They wanted to go everywhere but towards the hander.

Some of the things I worked on are the same things we worked on last time.

I really pushed him back and tried not to let him come in until he was at 1200.  We did pretty well here, he's beginning to get the feel of it.  He's waffling a bit on the lift.  He's getting them moving just fine now, but seems to not take firm control right away.  The first few steps are towards me, but then as the drift towards the draw he just falls in behind them and I really have to give him what I feel are too many commands.  This too shall change I'm sure :)

The other part of this is getting him to really holds the come bye side if that's where the pressure is.  Today Z did really well at this.  I was beginning to get him to flank around far enough to turn the sheep side ways and march them on a cross drive for a bit, nearer to the beginning of the fetch.  That is the beginning of being able to out them back on line more effectively.

On the whole he listened very well today. Z was still not as forward as I am used to.  On most of the out runs he went out fast and with determination, so I guess the rest is ok for now.  I guess maybe he's forward enough, but not so pushy pushy that I am always on him to slow down like I was with Mick.  He switches gears just fine I can move him on if I have to, but I guess really he's just a no hurry kind of guy.

I need to work on shedding again.  That maybe what our work date is all about.

I'm also starting to keep a closer record of his fitness and work outs.  I think this will improve his work over all.  He's pretty fit at the moment, but I am going to begin biking him more.  More speed over longer distance.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This is just quick

Bottom line we made it to KY in one piece!  Hurray, am I ever glad to be out of the car.  Pretty much have a down day today to figure out the lay of the land.  We will go over to the trial site and have a look around as well as get a few things we left home with out. 

On our way out here we stop outside of Sturgis,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Work on the Island

On Sunday I met Jorgen up on Whidbey Is.  His puppy Bender is getting big and oh so cute.  Bender seems to me a very mellow independent kind of guy.  He came when he was called and wants some pets, but then he was wandering off to explore fairly quickly.

Z and I had an off day, we really didn't feel like we where stringing it all together.  I really want to blame the week of sudden and ridiculous heat for wilting our ability to think and act.  Yesterday was the first day of "reasonable" weather mid 60's heavy fog/light rain for the first bit of the morning.  It was fairly humid too.  Alright, enough whining.

First we practiced outruns.  Jorgen was nice enough to hold the sheep.  We placed them so the draw was directly behind the sheep and they didn't really want to be lifted or fetched easily.  I really pushed him to get back and not cut in the little bit that he has been.  I made him go around to 1200 every time on both sides.  The sheep were cooperative and set pretty darn nicely.  Z was starting to get it with less and less help from me.  we stretched the distance out and changed the draw.  It became very hard from him not to cut in once the draws were off to the side and not behind the sheep, even though the sheep were still setting very nicely.  He kept listening and trying to do what I was asking him at the top.  It is on its way to smoothing out.

We also worked a bit more on holding the pressure on the come bye side down the fetch.  He still wants to give instead of turn their heads.  I'v been calling him in, so he is not getting as far out.  He's not really turning them until they are nearly to me.  Once they are turned  we cross drive them for a bit and then finish the fetch.  This too is coming together.

On our second session we worked the Maltese cross.  I focused on square flanks on both sides and being able to calmly move him one step at a time.  He loves this kind of work.  It took us forever to put them through the first side, I was really working the training aspect.  The second side, we had a bobble at the mouth, but they went more expediently, but with a bit less finesse.

We did some driving which went ok.  Z gets to a certain distance and he kind of takes over and stops listening some.  We fought a little bit on that front.  We worked on some shedding, but he kept getting hung up on the leaving set instead of coming through and holding the set I wanted.  We finally muddled through and once he came through he was excited to do it again.

Over all though our work was sloppy.  I felt like we weren't very connected to each other.  He wasn't snappy about taking his cues nor was he as forward as usual.  It seemed like he kept trying to slip into following the sheep rather than working the sheep on some of our driving.

Whiny Dog + Naggy Handler = Poor Work

Poor Work = Naggy Handler = Whiny Dog

Not sure which equation defines the situation yesterday the best.  I could put any of these variables in any order her and it would make sense.

Feels very chicken and the egg, which is the really the cause and which is effect?