Everyone who knows me/reads this thing knows by now that Cedar and I have had a constant struggle (for MONTHS!) with working under pressure/in tight spaces/up against the fence. Well.... here's proof that she actually can do it!
Ever since I cracked down on being more assertive with her, she has been working SO much better for me. Today, she was (and, as a result, I also was) calm, thoughtful, and not frantic at all. Our whole lesson basically consisted of doing longer and longer outruns in the big arena (Dianne's field is still not cut yet, so we can't work out there), having her pick the sheep up against the fence at the top of the outrun. This was made more difficult (hah! as if it could be more difficult for Cedar than picking sheep up off the fence.... yeesh!) by the fact that there was another group of sheep on the opposite side of the fence. So in order to complete the exercise, Cedar had to go in between two groups of sheep and a fence. Not usually her strong suit. However, I was very pleasantly surprised with how well she did. She only gripped once, and it was my fault because of my crappy timing. But We got in some pretty big outruns and it seems like Cedar is trusting me more to help her out. I've been trying to set the bar higher for her, and not accepting anything less than what I ask, which pretty much means that I have to stop her on her outruns and kick her out a lot. But it seems to all be coming together... albeit very slowly :). But I was very proud of her today.
Moss also got a chance to work today, for Dianne. He did fantastic! Dianne worked on the same sort of stuff that she did last time.... getting him to respect the "bubble," fetching, and other stuff like that.
Waiting in the car for his turn :)
He really has a very natural feel for his sheep; it's amazing to watch.
I think he must be going through a growth spurt... look at those legs!
It really amazes me how much intelligence and maturity he shows, for such a young puppy. It's hard to keep taking things so slow with him, but I know it will be worth it in the end :)
Isn't he looking great? I just love this puppy. He has such a great temperament, too. Here's a photo of him playing tug with his best buddy, our friends' seven year-old son, Jaren:
Anyways... I can't believe I start grad school and teaching next month! Eeep! There are over 20 people signed up for my class.... I can't believe that many people are actually paying BSU to be taught by me. :-P
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1 week ago