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

Travels, Trials and Tribulations

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vashon Sheepdog Classic

This trial was fabulous.  Next year I'm going both days.  Thank you Maggi McClure http://www.mightymutt.com/ for reviving this trial.  Thank you Patrick Shannahan for judging http://www.patrickshannahan.com/ . The terrain was difficult with multiple rolling hills and swales.  The dog lost sight for large chunks of the outrun on either side.  The lift and fetch were visible as was the drive away.  The cross drive was blind for the first 1/3 of it, due to a large hill. The sheep were challenging but very doable.  Thank you Eric Harlow of Harlow Hills West Coast http://www.harlowshillswestcoast.com/ for these fun sheep.  They didn't move very well for some dogs and other dogs picked a fight with them.  Confidence and patients were the qualities that made the successful dogs of the day.

I sent Z right and had to blow him out 3 times.  He kept coming down into the swales looking for sheep.  I thought he spotted the sheep before he left my feet, but apparently not.  He had a good lift, not one sheep though about not moving for him.  He was a little on the muscle for the first 1/3rd or so.  I got him back under control and things started to look pretty as we made the panel.  The post turn was wider then I'd like, but the sheep kept on moving.  Z chugged them right up the drive away line and did a nice turn.  He kept them on line until the last bit of the blind spot where he started to fetch them.  I had to work hard to convince him to put them back on line.  we made both drive panels.  I knew I was in good shape as he hustled them to the shedding ring.  We got the shed, he turned on  the wrong group for a split second.  I got him turned on the right group and he held them.  We had 4+ minutes to pen and it just didn't happen for us.  Mostly my lack of reading these sheep too well that day.  Grr on me.  Our score was a 63 and we were in 9th place after 30 dogs had run.  I left before it was over so I have no idea how we ended up.  I know the things I need to work on.

I need to be a better me during the whole run.  I have to get more work on sheep that don't want to pen.  I have to boost my dog's confidence on the cross drive so he is more comfortable holding that line with my help.  I need to look at my shedding.  I think he is turning on the sheep that are trying to escape, this is magnified in a trial situation.  Since he rarely does this in practice.  The sheep we practice on don't run away after being shed.

Video of the run



  1. "I think he is turning on the sheep that are trying to escape, this is magnified in a trial situation. Since he rarely does this in practice. The sheep we practice on don't run away after being shed."

    Plus, "you" are more comfortable at home. :0)
    GREAT job.

  2. I encountered more of this shedding issue on my recent jaunt to SD. When both groups are trying to leave it is very hard to turn on one group.

    I have so much to learn.