On Monday, Cedar did her first inside flank.
......It may or may not have been an accident on my part :D
I know that I should have written this post earlier in the week (say, Monday afternoon?) but with all the holiday-family craziness--not to mention a hellacious amount of grading--I didn't get to it until now.
So anyways.... I went out to Dianne's on Monday. Katie was there working Pat, and Jody R was there as well working Circle. It was really nice to see everyone, as I haven't been able to go out much lately. I worked Cedar once, and Moss twice (well, Dianne worked him once, and I took him out the second time). They both were awesome!
Since Cedar hadn't been worked in a week and a half, it took me awhile to get her settled down and thinking. We did a lot of work on keeping her backed off and wide, working on her outruns and pace on the fetch. Her outruns are REALLY coming along; she is beginning to go wider on her own (i.e. I don't have to correct her as much), and I've started to send her with me not so close to the sheep. So far, she's doing well with that. I wish I could just let the past go and trust her, though... I am always on the defensive with her, and that is not exactly the right--or most constructive--place to be. It's one thing to realize you're doing something, but a whole 'nother thing to actually change it when the pressure is on :).
I really, really wish I had my own sheep and a place to work my dogs every day!!! Blah!
Towards the end of the first work, we worked on driving. Again, I was working really hard at getting Cedar to loosen up and relax. I corrected her every time she moved faster than a slow, relaxed walk. She will do this thing where she is walking slowly, but really stiff and tense, so I corrected her for doing that, too. We've kind of lost our "lie down" in recent weeks, so I worked on that, too. She was driving really well (I was having her drive the sheep in a square around me) so I decided to try something different/brave/whatever. She was on my left, driving the sheep away from me. I walked behind her to the other side, and then gave her an quiet "away" command with her in front of me. Lo and behold, she took it, and went wide and soft in a beautiful inside flank! I had her drive the sheep a little closer to home and then quit.
I consider that a victory :D ... she's finally getting it!
Dianne worked Moss for me the first time; I was interested to see how he was doing with his training. He is AMAZING!!! I just love this dog, everything just comes so naturally for him. Dianne is having him do some pretty advanced stuff; his driving is awesome, and she is starting him on inside flanks already. He just turned 11 months old.
After a break, Dianne let me work him :). The sheep had ran back to the pens, so we had to pick them up off the fence and drive them out to the pasture. After a few naughty moments (he forgot what "stay" meant.... and let his excitement get the better of him), we were able to get the job done. He drove the sheep from the pens to halfway across the pasture, which is at least 500 yards or so, without incident. It seems like he is learning how to hold a line, too; I didn't have to correct or flank him much to keep the sheep going straight. That was pretty cool. We did a few outruns and then drove the rest of the time. He kept his head the whole time, and listened very well. I certainly miss having him at home, but obviously he's doing great at Dianne's. There's a possibility that we might compete in Novice/Novice at the December Sleddin' and Sheddin' trial... I'm not sure yet, though.
AND THEN WHAT HAPPENED - I've probably mentioned this, but in case you do something with your life other than obsess over my Zoebird, here's the background: She's four. She spent...
4 days ago