Saturday, June 6, 2009

Herding Lesson

We returned Linda's DVD on All Breed Herding - The Next Steps to her. The DVD was great in that it showed several breeds of dogs working very calmly around the sheep. I have a better idea of what I need to do to help Grace be calmer.

Linda is great teacher. She is really trying to think outside the border collie box with Grace. (HINT: WE NEED THAT!). We tried a few different approaches on Saturday morning. Both Linda and I saw some incremental improvement in how Grace was interacting with the sheep.

Linda later checked with Shelly on how to get Grace "out". Shelly suggested we put Grace in a really small pen crammed full of big sheep. Shelly says after a few 30 minutes sessions in there.. Grace will want to be "out". There is a possibility of doing the packed pen exercise at either Shelly's or Roberta's. I told that I can't let Grace scatter the sheep and chase them... we need to work on zen attitudes and calmly walking while playing her new game... GOT SHEEP?

I picked up more homework from Linda. A easy to follow spiral bound manual on beginning herding. There are lots of pictures of aussies in the book so the authors should have some solid ideas. One idea to teach the direction commands Come By (clockwise) and Away To Me (counterclockwise)is to have the dog chase water from a water hose you hold and spray in a circle. I know Grace would love this game; however, I not sure the neighbors would. But I think we should give it a try one evening.