Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pleasantly Suprised

In our lesson today, Dianne had us working a lot on a big hole in our training: working in tight spaces. Since we have to be able to pen/re-pen the sheep for the ASCA trial next month (in a pen that she can't go around the outside of), it is definitely something we need to work on more.

Our first work of the day was out in the field, doing the usual stuff.... outruns and driving. I got some nice rectangles on both sides and she took my commands decently well. I only had to give her a few what for's before she settled down and went to work. She did a decently long outrun from my feet, too, which was cool. I was curious to see what she would do if I sent her from my feet from more than 30 feet away :).

After that, I let Cedar take a break and watched Andrea (who Katy bought her farm from) work her Aussie on cows. Cows scare the crap out of me! They are just too big :-X Her dog worked well, very calm and slow.

When Andrea's lesson was finished, I got Cedar out of the car and we went over to the pens. After re-penning the sheep we had worked earlier (they had come in from the field and were waiting out front lol), Dianne had me walk up to the enclosure, lay Cedar down, and go inside. Then, I told Cedar to come by and, of course, she freaked out about the pressure and got nervous. I kept my voice and mannerisms calm and slow, and gradually got her to go around behind them enough to make the sheep go out of the pen. It wasn't pretty, but it worked :). Then, Dianne had me send Cedar to get the sheep and re-pen them. The first couple times we tried this Cedar got all hung up on the pressure and I had to take her by the collar and show her firmly and quietly that she could in fact go into tight spaces.

The good thing about Cedar is that once you show her something a couple times, she realizes that she can do it. By our next work, she was (relatively) calm and collected and especially good at going nice and wide to re-pen the sheep... and on her "bad" side to boot! I was really happy with how well she did, considering how I figured she would act under all that pressure. I think we totally will be ready for the ASCA trial next month.... especially since we have over a month to work on the stuff we're not so ready for. I'm excited!


Chasing The Dog said...

:) aren't those good lessons... well, good? I've done many a collar walk around the edge of a pen to scrape the sheep out.

JoeC said...

I am glad that Cedar is coming along, she seems to be shaping up for her trial in May.

SprinklerBandit said...

Lewis would be an awesome cowdog. He thinks he's big enough, and I'm pretty sure he could convince them, too.