a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Desert dwellers

How nice to have company this morning in the desert. Mike Burks and Sport joined me (without) the chick mobile. :0) It was a balmy 60 degrees outside. We practiced "blind" outruns and "hill" work. Of course, So. Calif. style....rattlesnake gaitors and a snub nose 38 in a fanny pack. The dogs for the most part are used to working flat ground. The hills add a different factor to things.

The blind outruns were way too fun. It took a few failed attempts to get the dogs to listen when they couldn't see their sheep. We are going to have to do this way more often. Asking a dog for flanks when there are no sheep in sight takes some "trust." As with anything else, it all boils down to consistency in training.

It was nice to be able to show Mike how well Kilt can flank and listen out in the wide open spaces. She feels the need to take over when we are trialing. She downright embarrasses me at trials. I love her push. I love a zillion things about her, except for the fact that she hasn't partnered with me on the trial field. We are going to go for some lessons to see if that will help.

There was a raven that kept following Kilt and the sheep. It kept flying in front of the sheep while she was driving. This same bird along with a few of it's friends bothered Kilt and the sheep the last time we went to the desert to practice. The raven didn't bother anyone but Kilt. Go figure? In fact, the last time it tried to swoop down on her head. I'm not sure what they are protecting. Wierd.

Plus, we got the giggles over the Border Collie "swaggers." Both Kilt and Sport on their initial walk-up "swagger"(for lack of a better term to call it) They lift their hind legs high and almost cross over in the rear versus single tracking while stalking their sheep in slow motion. We tried to film it. It's pretty hilarious and was quite entertaining. Border Collies are just so strange. :0)

Jet helps out with fetching, driving, and holding sheep for the other dogs in order to get his exercise. We asked him to go one step further today. We sat back in our chairs listening to the "stillness" of the desert while I let the sheep have half a flake and some water in a big red bucket. When we were through practicing I asked Jet to go out and fetch the red bucket. Of course, he wanted to fetch the sheep, but with some urging, he went and brought the red bucket back to the trailer. That Jet....he's a good dog. In fact, he's the BEST in my book.

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