It's the world's most beautiful day outside! Oh my gosh... so nice out. 60 degrees and sunny. It was the perfect day to go work dogs! I went out to Dianne's at noon, and worked Cedar and Moss. Jody R, Jaenne, and Katy were also there. We had a great time. Everyone's dogs worked really well.
I started using my whistle with Moss today, and it went pretty well. Considering my general lack of tone control, Moss seemed to know what I was asking him for the most part. I still need to practice off-stock a bit, though... just to get more consistent. But I really do like using a whistle as opposed to yelling all the time :). We did a lot of driving/cross driving, and working on inside flanks and precision today. His outruns are coming along nicely, too. He is developing a lot of feel and I don't have to say a whole lot to him most of the time... just let him know where I want him to take the sheep. He's such a good boy.
I hadn't worked Cedar on stock in over a month, so I wasn't expecting much when I took her out to the field. She listened well on the walk out, though, which gave me hope that we'd have a good run. I started off by having her do an outrun on the "away" side and fetch the sheep to me. I had to stop and kick her out a few times, but I think she got the message because she listened to my "get back" commands really well for the rest of the time. Then we drove the sheep to the other end of the field and did a "come bye" outrun. She was pretty good. We did some more driving after that, and then I got brave (or just forgot that I wasn't working Moss, LOL) and asked her for an inside "come bye" flank. She did it! I was so impressed. After that success, I spent the rest of the time working on inside flanks with her. She was awesome!!! She listened to me, kept her head, and didn't dive in when the pressure got too much. I think I'm getting better at handling her through tough spots, though, which helps. Dianne says I've gotten a lot calmer with Cedar since I started working Moss. I also have a lot higher expectations of her since I realized what she "could" be doing :D Cedar has really matured a lot mentally in the last six months, and seems a lot more capable of handling the pressures of stock work. I'd like to think that I've played some part in her progress :). I am planning on doing a couple arena trials with her this year... and maybe a USBCHA Novice trial or two, along with agility trials (when she's ready). I think we're going to have a lot of fun this summer.
Well, I have thirty student papers to grade before tomorrow (ugh)... ciao!
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