Sunday, March 7, 2010

Grace Earns her PT Title

This weekend was the LCCOC herding trial and test. It was held at Shelley Spotswood's farm in Folsom. Saturday we were there for the entire day - Course B sheep, Course A sheep, Course A ducks, PT, HT, and a herding instinct certification. I'm trying to work with the livestock more so I have a better feel for their behavior. I worked penning the Course B sheep with help from a pickup dog. There were lots of nice runs on the sheep in both courses. I'm anxious to let Grace try Course A even with her small outruns. At the started level the handler can walk through the cross-drive gate.

Mike and I had duck wrangled at the Deep South trial last fall for the duck classes. Robbie asked if we would wrangle ducks again on Saturday. I now have three duck wrangling trial legs and have earned my junior duck wrangler title. Linda doesn't "do" ducks so I'm not sure that Grace will ever "do" ducks.

On our way back to the car on Saturday following the trial, a guinea hen was walking outside the Course A pen. Grace was totally fixated on the guinea hen. Based on this I think she would be interested in the ducks... but I'm not sure how politely she was herd the ducks.

Grace was the 5th PT dog both days. There had been a few obvious failures before it was our turn on Saturday. The PT and HT titles are tests - meaning pass/fail criteria - not judged for a score. I was very concerned that we get the sheep gathered up somewhat calmly at the beginning of our test so the sheep would come to me and then I would keep up with the sheep as we dashed around the course. Both days my strategy worked.... Grace qualified both days earning her PT title on Saturday and a 3rd additional support leg on Sunday.

What this means is that next weekend is the tracking trial and I'm on deck as the secretary/trial chair.