Sunday, November 25, 2012

The pups get a turn

Both the pups got sheep time today. Junebug turned 6 months today, Rango will be 5 months in a couple of days, so I thought it was time to give them individual, supervised time.
I was happy with what both did. Worked on circling, attempting to go both directions, controlling the heads.
Junebug really did not want to circle the  away direction. She was happy to get around, bring them from around the tree, and by the end, was putting me in the picture.
Rango is more into it, however very grippy. He really did some nice work, getting around and fetching them toward me. He also was adding me to the equation.
May not do anything for another month... Both need more maturity.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving fun

Home this weekend, so I have worked the dogs! Always a good thing. Yesterday morning, during chores, I asked Tommy to drive the sheep further out in the back pasture. For whatever reason, he could not understand what I wanted. (something he finds difficult, but has done before) Kinda frustrating, when walk up, Go bye, and away seem to mean nothing to your dog.  Fortunately we did end on a good note, after I walked out to help him. Maybe the couple of weeks with minimal work, maybe Lizzy just starting to come in heat, don't know why or what the problem was, just know his brain was MIA.
Fortunately, this morning at Mel's he did a nice job both driving and with most of his outruns. We worked in the HTD field, and he was much better about taking his flanks (and not coming back to me on the "away" flank.) Got some good distance and nice responses to the flanks.
Continued working both Dari and Rio on fetching and driving. Yesterday sorted the work group and moved the boys with Dari. Both Rio and Dari had to get the extra ewes out of the neighbors harvested bean field. Was grateful that both went there and got all the sheep without me having to go help them!
The group they worked at Mel's were a challenge as the sheep did not want to settle or stick together. It was a group that were (except for the bottle lamb) easier to drive than fetch. We mainly worked on getting out, and watching heads, not stopping short. Lots of short turns, zig zagging around. Driving went ok also.
So, when I did chores tonight, I took 6 month old Bug to help. A good thing for the young dogs. I need to give both Bug and Rango some sheep time tomorrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My friend Mel hosted one of her biannual Larry Painter herding clinics, and I participated. It's always  helpful to get feedback on what you are doing, both right and wrong. I like Larry, as he works with the people and dogs at the level they are at, understanding their goals and needs. He tries to figure out ways to help and improve all of his students. He also modifies and improves his teaching/training
I split a spot between Dari and Tommy. Tommy worked in the HTD field. Mainly on driving, some on outruns/fetching. Larry had a good suggestion to help with the "away" flank (in addition to discouraging Tommy from running  back to me). His suggestion was to give him a "there" when he started to pull off too far. Even though he may not have flanked far enough to correct the direction the sheep were headed, it would bring him back in contact. And  by the end, he was doing better with the away flanks! We also did a couple of very wide outruns.
Dari, the brat, worked in the arena, some fetching, some driving. She really needs to soften her body, as the stock would calm down. We worked a little on fetching the stock off the fence also. She is just so darn quick, but I really do like working her.
The pups came along for socialization