Saturday we needed to get out of the house and get our minds off things. The sweltering temperatures have fallen back down to reasonable Pacific Northwest standards and we were able to enjoy a comfortable, albeit drizzly morning at Fido's.
First up - Bonnie. We have been working on building Bonnie's enthusiasm for the sheep. I think it has been successful. Bonnie knew when we were getting close to Fido's and started yipping, whining and pacing. Pulling into the barn yard I thought she was going to explode from sheer joy. When we unloaded the dogs she was yanking on her leash to get down to the sheep. It was like walking a cat on a rope...
Enthusiasm - not a problem!
Bonnie is working in a bigger field now with spicier sheep (Puppy sheep BE GONE! Poof!). She starts in a flurry but settles down into a nice steady pace.
She has been keeping a nice distance and learning how to hold back a bit.
The darting in and slicing to grip has subsided. Now we can see her thinking and considering her options.
She isn't hesitating to go between the sheep and fence & is consistently coming into balance.
She is making good choices and is learning how to feel her sheep.
She needs time to continue building confidence & that will come with exposure and practice.
Bonnie is taking lie downs well and listening like she should. She is still pushing the sheep a bit too hard at times but is figuring out that I will lie her down when she is running them past me.
Chris, our instructor was very pleased with Bonnie. I am so proud of her.
Now for Beth. Wow, what can I say? She is working beautifully. Saturday we had some challenges with the horrible sheep we got. A bunch of stupid 2 yr old culled ewes. Every time I sent Beth on an outrun she would make it to either 3 or 9 and the damn sheep started to run right at me.
I chose to stop working any distance & concentrated on close up work & driving.
Beth is challenging me on her lie downs again. So we did "stop, drop and go" over and over again until she got it through her head she needed to lie down the FIRST time I said it instead of the 3rd or 4th. I think she panics in the tall grass and when she lies down she loses sight of her sheep - regardless she needs to drop when I say it, tall grass or not. *sigh* Does this challenging ever stop?
Once I was getting a nice lie down on her we started working on driving again. Getting the sheep to go in a straight line... is freaking HARD
Beth loves driving. !
Confidence isn't an issue & she is moving futher and further ahead without looking back at me constantly for guidance.
I think she is terrific.
Last but not least BRYNN!
I couldn't help myself. It has been a month since Brynn's last teaser on sheep. This time...we put a drag line on her so I could catch her.
Brynn has a bit of an attitude with the sheep, she also has a VERY strong eye and is showing signs of getting stuck. I won't be putting her back on sheep again for a while because I don't want this stickiness ingrained.
Brynn has oodles of confidence. From the minute she sees the sheep her tail is down. It is serious work to her already.
One sheep today was giving her the business. See her standing off to the side in this next picture?
She wasn't going to move. So started the stare down. Brynn stares at her, she stares at Brynn.
Brynn says "Oh no you didn't....You didn't just stamp your foot at me... Stupid woolie"
"You stare at me, I stare at you...but I will get CLOSER and CLOSER to you while I stare...uhoh...I am stuck in the stare....what now???"
"HA HA FOOLED YA! MOVE IT!"
"I AM GONNA BITE YOUR BUTT!"
"You go where I say!"