Sunday, February 7, 2010

Performance Dog Lesson at Linda's

Well, it is lambing season and Linda is down to 3 sheep for herding lessons - 2 lambs from last year and a ram. The other sheep are either with a new lamb or so pregnant they can barely move. Grace worked the sheep and then we gave the three sheep a break since they worked for each lesson Linda gave this past week. While the sheep rested we worked Grace on the agility equipment - lots of good ideas on steering control for her. Next we moved onto obedience stand for exams. Finally we went back to the sheep.

Linda really worked Grace on staying off the sheep and getting "out" to the edges of the pen. Grace walked on a long line that Linda managed. I walked with the sheep ahead of Grace and Linda. It Grace got too close or cut a corner to dive into the sheep - Linda corrected Grace. Grace was doing great by the end of the lesson. This training approach was the minimum amount of extra movement around Grace - no herding wand, riding crop, rattle paddle, or whip flag moving at Grace. Grace fussed at Linda several times about the line being tangled or Linda cramping Grace's herding style but when it was over Grace was quick to make up to Linda as soon as Linda unhooked the line from Grace's collar.

Grace is now downing at a distance behind the sheep so hopefully that will help with sheep speed and crowd control for the upcoming herding trial.