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

Travels, Trials and Tribulations

Monday, December 13, 2010

More on Driving

I have been chipping away at the heap that is our driving.  I took an unplanned lesson today.  So happens I was in the right place at the right time and there was a cancellation.

Still doing a lot of walking as per the prescription of my last lesson and things are coming along really well. Z's staying back and actually feeling his sheep better.   We are also making MUCH better 90 degree turns.  The cross drive is shaping up better.  I really attribute it to the a walking, I can really be there to enforce keeping the sheep's side turned towards me and not letting him slip and turn them away or try to fetch.  More work to be done here though, to lessen the tension and get him more comfortable.  We'll keep on trucking in this vein.

One thing that was brought to my attention while taking my fortunate lesson was my dog is not walk up strait  EVERYTIME he walks up.  I didn't realize that Z was even cheating me on this. Ok honestly, I knew somewhere deep down in my dark insides, but I didn't realize it was the root of  one of my issues.  Mostly he walks up dead on but sometimes when I say walk up he moves to the side and forward.  Z really only needs to move forward.  I have some good exercises to cure this problem.  What I couldn't sort out was he knew to turn in when I said there, but he wasn't taking responsibility for the line after he turned in.  I really had to keep placing him where I need him to be instead of setting him and letting him go.  So now I am teaching him the "there" means turn in and hold that line.  I'm actually fixing this on the fetch since he is very keen to move forward.  Really excited to see how this plays out and quickly he gets it.

I also got some stunning help on my shed.  I have been having an issue with Z really watching the lead sheep and wanting to grab those instead of letting them go.  I now have a new twist on my shedding at least for awhile.  Actually I think this will clear up much faster than what we have going on with our driving.  He will get it much quicker as he is very keen to shed. We will stop practicing look backs while shedding first and foremost.

I must assimilate all the new information.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Hibernation

I'm pretty much planning to take it easy for the next month or so as far as trialling.  The plan is to focus on the training issues that need worked on.

For the most part I will be looking at Z's driving and we will drive and drive and drive some more.  With that I plan to walk a lot to get the power steering and gears installed. I'm trying to get much more smoothness instead of the stop start we have been having lately.  Also I am working on opening up his inside flanks a little bit more.  As alway still working on keeping him back and getting him relaxed behind the sheep.  He really likes to goose the bubble and has a hard time letting them go a tiny bit to use the draw to our advantage.  I'll be setting up situations to work on this.

The next thing I will work on a little is smoothing out the shedding.  He almost understands this well.  So I plan to solidify it a bit more and start asking him in more difficult situations.  I will probably not work too hard on this right now as driving seems to be more pressing.

I'll make an attempt to work on his look back too.  We did few sessions on this in the late summer and he's got the basic idea.  He's turning back and taking off in the direction I want, but sometimes it takes a little work to get him to let go of the first group.

I'll be heading out in Dec. for a trial in Idaho, but after that probably not trial again until the end of Feb.  With any luck I'll be able to keep Z reasonably fit and we wont be too behind the ball when we start shaping up to go to North Dakota in June.  Hopefully we get into the trial! Take a look here.http://www.slashj.com/