Monday, April 6, 2009

Wonderful Weekend - Part 3 - Bonnie

As many of you know, I have been struggling with Bonnie over her little attitude problem. She can be sweet, loving and adorable however she has a bratty, snarky, mouthy attitude to rival any teenage delinquent.

One time we were going to let Bonnie approach sheep and she started this lunging. She would hit the end of the long line lunging at the sheep and flail about like a feral cat on a rope. She had no respect for the sheep or most importantly for me.

Bonnie needed to approach the sheep with the right attitude and respect for me - then she would earn her sheep.

Thus embarked Mission Obedience 101. Sit before going through the gate, wait until mom gets through the gate, then only when Bonnie has been invited may she proceed through same gate....etc. I enrolled Bonnie in beginning pet dog obedience and advanced obedience at Dog's World - where she passed wonderfully. She has a lovely heel & loose leash walk.

The last two weeks we have been working on a long line, walking about the pen. Following the sheep reading their behavior & letting Bonnie increase her confidence around them. She has learned she can move them without lunging and being crazy. She is still very much a pup, but this has been wonderful for increasing her confidence and control around the sheep.

We have had some moments of attitude & puppy behavior. "MOM, come on this is SO Boooorrrriiinnnngggggg, let go of the leash so I can eat them please?"

Slowly she learned a little bit of self control

You can almost see her epiphany "I can move them with my eye".

Bonnie has realized she has control over the sheep, but not me.

Finally - he planets aligned.

Saturday we took off the long line. I am happy to report that she did amazingly well.

She is watching me and responding nicely to pressure from the flag. She doesn't quite understand what the flag means yet, but she seems to get it most of the time.

She is giving me a nice respectful distance

The best thing....she is giving me lie downs! I cannot believe it! She will actually drop and lie down in the same pen with sheep!

The video below is last few minutes of the session (she was getting tired and much slower). I was impressed she remained so focused with the pens around us full of people. Remember this is the dog that was afraid of her own shadow and would fly off barking at a mere hiccup.

I am not going to work with Bonnie again until the Patrick Shannahan/Diane Deal Puppy clinic in Boise on May 3rd & 4Th. We are at the point that I need Patrick's direction and I do not want to do anything to screw her up from this point forward.

I am so proud of her!


sheepkelpie said...

Excellent! I didn't know she was only 10 months! She seems like she will now progress fast. One thing I do when we are working on boring things, like wearing, is pull a little wool on one of the sheep, so it will make a dart forward, or out, so the dog has to cover. Thereby, making things interesting... they never know when they might have to cover. I am jealous of you and your access to that facility!

Raising Addie said...

Good Job Bonnie!

Your whole pack is sooo very lucky!!!

We need some sheep around here.

Lot of Luv & Kisses
Addie and Lucie

karensbrae said...

Well done. I am really enjoying watching how things are coming along. Thanks for shareing it all with us.

Monique said...

Congrats on all your progress. Your hard work and commitment are paying off!

An English Shepherd said...

Great post & video :-)

Dughallmor Beagles said...

....and so you should be...and of yourself, she's amazing.....we Beagles are in awe!
Happy Easter slobbers xx