Monday, November 13, 2017

Trial Recap

Before I forget. :) We did an AHBA this weekend in TN. Really nice farm, good people, and nice stock.

Both of my dogs were entered, and Reese was just coming off a 5 day Larry Painter clinic, so my goals were to work our skills, make my dogs be right, and do some good stock work, even if that meant stepping in and helping my dog, or "forgetting" and element of the course, and essentially not Q'ing.

I'll do Zen first since he had fewer runs. I just entered him in ranch dog, because that kind of stuff is better for him. He thinks courses are dumb. First day we had a crazy set out. It took what seemed like 5 minutes for the stock handler to get the group out and settled, then as soon as Zen made a move they shot off for the back corner. So I left my post and stepped in to help. In B field I knew he wasn't going to be correct if I let him handle that on his own from 300' away. After that we got through everything with some minimal difficulty. He was much more "up" than I needed him, but was able to walk instead of trot the whole time. The sheep really had his number, they'd eye him up hen he got in close to pen or sort, and he's not good with direct pressure, but he made good decisions and not once did he grip. No Q due to me leaving the post on the outrun.

Day two the ranch course was much better. Still had 50% too much dog, but again, he walked, he drove, we sorted, and he pulled out a Q in level 3 with an 83.

Reese had a great weekend and I had some very proud moments for myself out there. I am 50% of the team, and I feel like I was finally relaxed enough at a trial to MOVE where I needed to be, and think about how I was affecting the stock.

Even though Reese was in level 1 I had her drive stock whenever possible. So I didn't fetch through any obstacles in the Arena courses. I did fetch some in ranch dog, when it was the most logical thing, but through most obstacles I had her driving sheep. We did Course 3 in arena, sheep and cattle. Not one time did she break her sit until  sent her (YAY). A lof of it is a blur, so I'll do a highlight recap.

In arena all stock went through all obstacles, no skims. Our drives weren't perfectly straight, but she did drive, and when I made corrections, she took her flanks and theres. Freestanding pen was done on both stock with minimal issue. I think once on sheep and once on cows we had to make a second attempt. Her stop did deteriorate some, but I was able to get on her and make it happen, and maybe only a few times did I let it slip (stops are super important). I made a mental note to use the word less on Sunday, and just give here a "there" to check up and be allowed to adjust and control stock. Her gathers were nice, with her going all the way around, even between fence and cattle without physical pressure from me. On the first day, the cows were against the fence near the repen and she would flank to the heels, but wasn't staying in the pocket to push them into the repen gate, so I made a good decision to let go of the gate, leave it open, and walk back and support my dog to show her she could push at that point. The second day, she did it with no help.

Ranch dog both days was at the end, and the outrun in the big field I knew would be tough on her. She was nice and wide, maybe cut in a little at the top, but sheep lifted and came the right direction. I sent her with the set out dog still on the field. They were working to push sheep out and I'd signaled to the stock handler twice that I was sending my dog, she wasn't calling her dog back, so I just sent Reese, who ignored the dog and scooped up the sheep, so issue. So that was a bit above her paygrade, but she handled it fine, ten we moved sheep into a smaller arena and through a few panels to the back corner (all driving). At the pen the sheep did not want to go in and I was supposed to sort off 2 and keep 3. Well Reese did some good work there, she go in a little close, but took her out, I used some inside flanks to try to shuffle sheep around and maybe get a willing participant to move to the front, but no luck, so I opened the gate a little wider, and let Reese push them all in and called our run. She had done some great work up to that point, and I didn't want to keep pushing until she failed.

The second day, the ranch course was a little more Reese friendly, and we got 95% of the way through. A couple times on moving through gates she'd taken the correct flank, but then came in short to funnel sheep through, which, is practical, but not what I asked. I expect a nice, square flank, until the dog is told otherwise. So at the last gate, she did the short flank again, so I didn't let sheep run through, I closed the gate, and asked her to flank all the way around twice, which she did. Then the third time, I opened the gate to let sheep through as she'd flanked nicely and all the way to the fence, and her brain kind of had a melt down, so she gripped. And we were thank you'ed. :) (appropriately) Which was no big deal, I corrected her for gripping, asked her to stop, she stopped, then, all is good, we left the field. SO proud of the baby dog.

A personal favorite moment was when we had sheep in the freestanding pen and I sent her around to the back to push them out and they turned to face her, she bounced out of the pressure a little, but I flanked her again and told her "there". She stood, sheep stared, she reached under the fence and did a very appropriate bite, sheep moved, and she walked forward to keep them moving. Her arena scores were consistently mid-70's (maximum 90 for level 1), and she finished both her level one titles this weekend on sheep and cows in the arena.

Again, proud of myself for those moments where I made good training choices, and asked her to do things over, or be right. Also the moments where I thought "move, and show her/them where to go" or "you're blocking your stock", that's BIG for me, normally I can't think. The decisions I made to call the run after a success, or enforce a skill I know is there, all of those were big steps forward for me.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Recall/Circle Work/Mat Work Videos

Training video from the last couple of weeks. Most of these were taken on different days/different sessions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reese's First Workshop

   I guess I've been busy letting my puppy be a puppy. She's 10 months old now, and I look around at some other dogs her age and they know tunnels, and wrap jumps, lots of flatwork. Reese and I are just taking our time. She has lots of skills, and for a while, shaping games were a little frustrating to her, so we didn't do those. We did other things. I think her foundations for herding are excellent, she's really got the drive for it now, where months ago I felt she was a little "blah" on sheep, never turned off, just not super super gung ho. I think by our next Larry Painter clinic (in Feb) she'll really be ready to learn the next steps and she'll be resilient enough to take some pressure, so I'll be able to push her out some more and build on what we've done so far.

   I signed Reese up for a Recall Workshop in the Dallas area the day after Thanksgiving. I was just hoping for a fun experience and some fun games to bring home and play with, along with what we really need, working in front of other dogs/people. When I work dogs at home, its usually low distraction. It's just me, and the dog. Maybe I'll have the other dogs in the general area, or on a stay waiting their turn, but Reese is used to that now. I was super pleased with her at this workshop. I wasn't sure if she'd play in that exciting environment, but she was game! She tugged and played, and fetched each and every time I asked/offered. She waited in line for her turn with barking, lunging dogs and just kind of chilled out with me. This girl has a fabulous off-switch, and that came programmed in. All I did was reinforce it. Someone had a small mat outside the ring and she saw it, went right to it and just layed down while we waited our turn. Treats fall from the sky when you're relaxed, she knows this.

   Reese even did side by side restrained recalls (she's actually never done a restrained recall before this workshop). I really thought the dog running next to her would distract her, but she came right in to the toy I had and never took a second look at the other dog.

   I was kind of wishing I'd brought Gus, I'm again toying with trying to get him ready for agility. I've been working some foundations with Reese (circle work/circling an upright object, personal play, food play, toy play), and so I've been doing these with Gus too, and he seems game to play. So I'll just see where it leads.

   Video from the workshop. All I brought was my phone, and I didn't know anyone well enough to ask for video, but they have a camera on delay, so you can watch your runs after you're finished, so I snapped a little video from that. This was a hide and seek game, where the instructor took the dog away while the handler goes to hide, then they let the dog loose into the arena. This game told me a lot about our relationship and I fully thought my puppy wouldn't look for me, but she did! She liked this game, so I'm going to start doing this some at home. Sorry for the quality, its a video of a video.

Friday, November 4, 2016

October Update

Reese had her first official conformation shows in October, all small shows with just a few points available. Our main goal was to have fun and keep all 4 feet on the floor. I'd say Reese had a pretty good first month! She was shown 5 times and took winners bitch 3 out of 5 times. So she's up to 3 single points towards her championship.

The plan is to show in my local area on weekends that don't have either a herding trial or agility trial, so our conformation shows will be limited for a while. She's still a baby and I like to let my dogs grow up some before I really try to finish them in conformation.

Reese has her very first workshop/seminar coming up. The day after Thanksgiving we will go for a few hour workshop on recalls, hoping to solidify our skills with some fun drills and distractions.

Zen has a UKI trial coming up where our goal is to push for speed and have FUN. We are doing an online class currently. More on that later.

Both dogs will be doing a 3 day herding clinic in December which I am super excited about.

Anyway, those are the main updates that I've missed, so here are a few videos from the past few weeks.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Zen Skills and Drills

Taking a fun 6 week online course where we get a course to set up and then multiple options. So I set the course then move the numbers around for each different option. We get our new courses on Monday, then have all week to work through the options.

Here is Week 1 option A

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Quick Update

Yet again, I've been quite busy and haven't had much time to update. Life goes on, and training and trialing are still happening. I've hardly been home, except to go to work during the week. :)

With fall weather on it's way, I've been doing more herding. YAY! We have two upcoming herding clinics this winter/early spring and after that I hope to have Zen ready to trial. Reese may not be far behind him, but I'm not rushing anything. We all have a lot to learn. She has a bit more advantage than Zen ever has because I have more experience under my belt, so she doesn't have to be the experimental dog. Zen doesn't mind though, he's game for anything. <3 p="">

Reese is still in her Foundation Fun class, and doing well, I haven't had much time to film, or edit video, but FUN is being had.

Her first official conformation show in this weekend. A small local show. She definitely needs time to mature, but we will show in the puppy classes and just have a good time. If we take a point or two, yay, if not, we will still have fun. I don't get in a rush to finish dogs anyway.

October is FULL of trials and shows, so hopefully I'll update more frequently. Always check my YouTube channel, I uploaded video from a couple of the last agility trials. I don't usually get much video.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Herding Video

Video of both dogs from 8-24-16

Zen, driving, walking, flanks.

Reese, round pen, off balance flanks, moving flanks, "there", stop, walk. Yes, halfway in I was using the wrong words for flanks, but I caught myself. :)