Thursday, February 5, 2009

Descent into Obsession

I think I am riding the slippery slope from hobby herder to obsessed herder. Yes, I have succumbed to the magical pairing of handler and dog. I wake up at night muttering "away", "go-by". I don't count sheep - rather I see them dashing through the field being trailed by little black dog.

Since Bonnie is still to young to train seriously I have been laying awake at night plotting ways to steal Beth from John. Perhaps getting rid of him entirely - so I can have her all to myself. Maybe that is going to far. I wonder if I would get Beth in a divorce? Hmmm...that is a possibility. On second thought, I wouldn't be able to afford the cost of the classes without his income. *sigh* That means I need to encourage him to work MORE overtime! Yeeehaaa! That'll do it!

Given this obsession I am heading down to Fido's Farm for more practice this afternoon and tomorrow. We won't be able to go Saturday, since we have a fantastic class through PNW Border Collie Rescue we are attending at Packworks

I finally got the video put together of me working with Beth last week. As you can see we are still beginning but things are starting to come together. She is much further ahead than me and we are working on our communcation. We had a few wobbly moments but in general they turned out okay. I would love to hear what you think of it...and any suggestions on things I may be missing or need to focus on.

And finally, just for Sheepkelpie over at I Love Lucy & Friends I put together a video of one of my first lessons with Chris Soderstrom and her Kelpie Rosie from December. (Due to the snow storms we were in the arena working).



sheepkelpie said...

Good work! Those sheep are annoying in that they take off way early when you send Beth. If you can get some one to hold the sheep for you, that would be good. Also, when she forgets a sheep- the look back is good, but make sure she is in neutral, before you ask. That is, down her- she will probably notice that some sheep are not with the group, and as she does, then give her the look back.

Don't do too many outruns- only a few, and turn the clock as you go. Also, sometimes, when you are setting up for an outrun, instead of sending her, ask her for a walk up, and you walk up to the sheep with her. It is a really good exercise for the dogs to keep them fresh, and also for the sheep.
Thanks SOO much for the Rosie video! She looks like a very sweet trusty dog. Do you know what her breeding is?

BCxFour said...

Yes, those sheep are annoying - they are better than the other group I have been working who are REALLY dog broke and stick to your side like glue.

I am new to the 'look back' command and Beth is still learning it. The time I said 'look back' in the video was actually my screw up. I think she cut the flank in and came straight into the sheep, then they split into the corner. That was when she layed down and looked at me in confusion. I think I should have been a little more on top of what was happening at that point. *Sigh* I am still learning I guess. I will work on making sure she is down before I give her the next command - I tend to forget that - then start firing off commands and she plops on the ground and looks at me like she wishes my head would explode. LOL

What do you mean about "turn the clock as you go"? The video shows most of the outruns from working her over several hours (with breaks) I edited out the times we just worked on sheep sandwich, and circling etc. I will try the walk up/walking with her tomorrow.

I will also ask Chris about Rosie and what her breeding is. I dont think it is anything spectacular. She got Rosie as a young very FAT dog (at least 15 lbs overweight). Rosie is now 10 and earning her retirement. Rosie thinks I hung the moon because I sneak her treats all the time. LOL

Raising Addie said...

WOW you guys are good! It looks like a lot of work.

That looks like a lot of fun!

Lots of Luv & Kisses
Addie & Lucie

An English Shepherd said...

nice videos. well done. looks like very hard work :-)

The FOUR Musketeers said...

Welcome to the DWB !
You will get to know lots of nice friends here !
Do link us up alright (:

Lots of Loves ,
Four Musketeers

karensbrae said...

What fantastic videos. Keep up the hard work.


Life With Dogs said...

It's easy for that BC obsessive quality to rub off on owners. They want us to be busy too :)