Went out to Dianne's again today for a lesson. Katy, Jodi, and Rhonda were also there working. The wind was freaking COLD so we spent most of our time (while we weren't working, anyway) huddled inside Jodi's truck.
Cedar was good. I really like what I've seen out of her these past few lessons. Today we got in some really nice outruns and one glorious 40 foot stretch of driving! Driving is really interesting, and I think she likes it. She's getting more comfortable coming into the pressure the more we work on it. She's doing pretty well with lengthening her outrun, has an excellent call off, and is slowing down and the top of her outrun after some really well-timed corrections on my part. Finally, I must be doing something right.
I guess it's the good lessons that make the bad ones worth it. I really like doing different stuff with her, too. Even though I don't know what I'm doing most (okay, pretty much ALL) of the time!
She is also backing off much better and rating herself on the fetch which I am really pleased about. And we are moving towards an actually reliable "lie down!" Guess all my stick chucking has paid off :) The past couple lessons her frantic wearing up close behind the sheep has pretty much stopped which I am SO happy about. That is freakin' annoying. She is balancing herself much better and taking my corrections without getting stressed and shutting down.
She better the first time we worked, but she wasn't bad the second time, either. I need to work on more control-type stuff with her though, especially in the beginning when she is really keyed up and excited.
I brought my whistle out since I'd been practicing with it lately. At Dianne's suggestion, I took it out the second time I worked Cedar. She wanted me to start get her conditioned to a "lie down" whistle. So I decided to give it a try, and I don't know what happened, but...
The noise that came out of that damned thing was some strangled mutant version of the command I was going for, totally off key and LOUD. So freakish, in fact, that it scared the sheep and made them run off .... scared Cedar and made her jump back like 5 feet with her hackles up... and then she chased and split. I was too busy laughing and trying not to freeze to death to really get mad at her for that. To her credit, she did put things back together.
But I didn't try the whistle again. Something about the cold air I guess?
It's a good excuse, anyways :)
P.S. I saw the puppies again today. They are getting so HUGE! They are all very healthy, their coats are shiny, and they are really active. Here's a picture of my boy:
And another, taken by Jodi Darling... thanks Jodi!
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