Friday, November 11, 2011

Notes from the Scott Glenn Clinic

A couple of weeks ago I took a leap and signed up for Scott Glen's all levels clinic held at Fido's Farm. 

I had a wonderful time.  Working in front of people in a clinic situation has been difficult for me in the past, but I felt confident and ready to learn. 

I had been worrying about the problems that have manifested on the fetch and trying to fix it.  The solution I had been applying was not working, in fact it was making it worse.  The fetch had fallen apart (going to the heads) the drive was a disaster (no confidence, getting stuck then barreling into the sheep, going to heads) etc. 

Scott spotted my timing issue and we spent the weekend trying things from his perspective.  It was bloody brilliant!  At one point I think I even smacked Scott on the arm and said "WOW, did you SEE THAT?"  Then started hopping up and down. 

Below are the notes from the clinic (more for me than anyone else).

  • If you don't want to go backward, you will never go forward
  • Two types of people, those who have made mistakes and those that havent yet. 
  • Take the sheep away from the dog to increase her interest in working them. 
  • Keep her out of the fight/flight zone - it will make her 'come-up' a little stronger
  • If she doesn't stop at the greatest distance from the sheep and enters the flight/fight zone she won't get stronger.  Stop her first, so the sheep don't.  
  • Frustration with her failure to stop separates the team. The conflict divides the team. 
  • Do not let Brynn in the circle, she needs to stop, not take 10 more steps
  • If you do not think she will stop, or are unable to enforce the stop (distance) don't blow the stop, give her a steady whistle (pick your battles). 
  • Make her want the sheep, dont let her take them when she isn't thinking. 
  • Stop means STOP - then wait a couple of beats and walk her up.  If she looks like she is liking it (especially when you are walking with her) shut up and let her go... keep her out of the fight/flight zone, so the sheep do not stop her.  
  • If she is entering the f/f bubble and the sheep are stopping her she is not building confidence - the opposite happens. 
  • If they flank out, you need to be able to get them to come back in. 
  • If you want something other than come-up...ask.  
  • You want them to think about coming up, it is easier to say "lie down' than 'come up'.  
  • Reinforce 'lie down' at the pen to keep the down, rather than urging a up - you want the dog to know it can make the next move, rather than ask for permission. 
  • When they get far away, reach out and touch them with a whistle (there, steady) for comfort.
  • When Brynn is going, let her go, blow ONLY steady's, not downs.  Let her motor, gain confidence & power. 
  • Brynn needs to be comfortable looking at butts, not heads, walk with her, use steady whistle, do not let her go to the heads. Lots of miles ahead.
  • Let her come out of the walk-up strong, don't get after her for getting up. 
  • Get after her for the down immediately, because if you wait you are going after her for walking up - which will backfire - because you are actually getting after her for what you want (the come-up).  
  • Don't aim for anything while driving, let her go so she can feel and begin to cover and hold lines. 
  • Good practice for dog that is going to heads, put sheep through gate and then stop the dog when they bolt and run.  Repeat. 
  • Never let them unwind a flank.
  • Fix it on the fetch it will help the drive.
  • Being to close increases anxiety, back them off, enable thought.
  • If they are going fast it is harder for them to pay attention to how they got there.
Since the clinic I have changed several things, the change in Brynn is remarkable.  I LOVE the steady whistle.

Time & Miles - we are moving forward.  :)


Anonymous said...

Scott is awesome!

Monique said...

Scott is awesome. Love the "don't aim for anything." Very true.