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.
That Time of Year
4 months ago