Hank was amazing today. He was nice and soft on his out work, he is beginning to kick out when checking his sheep rather than slice in. He is now hitching up as he comes around the top and is actually lifting the sheep instead of just scaring them. he finds the blance and I can leave him be.I can stop him at the top if I need to, but I leave him be as long as things are reasonable. He brings them right down the line at a brisk trot sometimes canter, but usually treats them kindly. He's about 80% on his flanks with no physical cue just verbal, started throwing out the whistles for all the cues. Hank has the lie down whistle, he'll hitch up on the first part so I have the makingings of a steady. I've been working a little on the driving. He is going to very easy to teach to drive as this is actually what he really wants to do rather than gather. I wont spent too much time with it right now as I want him to get really more interested in gathering. I have been admonishing him more frequently for blasting through the sheep and bitting. I'm also able to talk him out of it more and more, I can see it coming and usually saying his name sternly changes his thoughts. It mostly just puppy rashness and it is his resposne to mounting pressure so 50% of the time I keep him out of trouble entirely and 50% I let him think about making trouble and see how it goes. We have worked a lot with picking the sheep up off the fence and keeping his cool through the whole movement. He is much calmer going between the sheep and the fence. We will probably work on corners soon too as picking up off the fence and going into corners are the biggest flash points. He is almost ready for the learning to let the sheep escape and it is not the end of the world lesson. I need to feel better about our breaking system first.
I train Border Collies to work livestock. One of my pet hobbies is training my parrot. This blog will focus on my experiences with my animals and the dogs I have in for training.
Contact me at libbythebc(at)yahoo(dot)com