I'm really bad at actually posting on the same day that I work my dogs :-P
I went out Tuesday to Dianne's to work Cedar and Moss. Cedar is in heat, so she was kind of a dingbat. The sheep had run back to the pens before we even got to the field, so our first task was to collect them and bring them out to the field to work. Cedar has had problems with this in the past; there's a lot of pressure and she has to make decisions in very tight places. To top it off, in order to get in the correct position, I have to flank her around a pretty big pond with a hill in front of it. This freaks her out because she loses sight of me for a few seconds, so tends to stop short and come back to me instead of finishing the flank and getting behind the sheep.
Thankfully, I was able to work with her that time around the pens without getting too frustrated :). It took us a few minutes, but we eventually managed to get the sheep out to the pasture to work. She was a little insecure and clingy on the drive, but I attribute that to being in heat because she's been doing really well with driving in the past few months. I changed things up a bit and started working immediately on inside flanks; having her drive in different patterns (and to varying, precise locations) around the field. She did pretty well with inside flanks, I think she's starting to get used to what I'm asking. It's so cool to see her doing things that I thought she would never be able to do :).
I worked Moss also. I made a point to only use my whistle with him on Tuesday... it was simultaneously harder and easier than expected :-P. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it, although my tones are slightly different than Dianne's so I think Moss has a hard time figuring out what I want a lot of the time. Most of the time he guesses right, though, LOL. I'm pretty solid on the away, walk up, and that'll do whistles. I'm not so good at come bye. I'll get it eventually, though.
Moss did pretty well. He definitely thinks that he knows more about this than me, which is true. Unfortunately, he doesn't always take my commands. I worked a lot on getting him to be really precise in his driving, and did a lot of driving to locations we hadn't gone to before (different areas of the field). I think it was good for both of us; we've gotten a bit lazy about just working the little mini "course" that Dianne has set up (two sets of drive "panels" :-P). His outruns were good, too, as always. I only walked up about ten feet or so this time, and it didn't even phase him. He's such a natural. We also worked on getting some more finesse at the lift; while most of the time he naturally has a very good, intelligent lift, Dianne still wants me to have the ability to stop him at the top and whatnot. So we worked a bit on that, and getting him backed off. By the end he was very respectful and doing just what I asked. He's such a nice young dog. He turned 15 months old yesterday :)
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