"Since most our winter work is in the open desert, that doesn't present much pressure. The arena and the obstacles present a whole new ballpark of pressures."
Famous last blog words on Jan. 25th before 3 days of arena trialing. Ya Sure You Betcha...the arena presented a TON of new pressures for Yo and so did some of the sheep. The Ranch trial went fine and she did a really nice job. I think it didn't bother her much since it was like real work. The 3 AKC trials were a different story. She got a group of rogue sheep that turned on her every chance they had and then tried to head butt her and chase her down in the hold pen for no good reason. The next trial run she was a bit tentative and was pulling away from the pressure. Mind you she still was the 2nd highest scoring dog on sheep for that trial. But, I knew she was fried. The 3rd trial was in a larger arena and she got around and made all of the obstacles, but it was very difficult on her. She did a nice outrun and I laid her down at the top. The sheep had been running the fetch. That's why I laid her down. Well, this group sat on the hay. I could see Yoko thinking. She has been in trouble for gripping. She got up and walked towards them. They just sat there. I had to give her a little encouragement. Wham bam thank-you mam. "Warning," from the judge. Poor Yoko..."do I bite or not bite...that is the question." "Ahhh...go ahead and bite them...my answer." She was mentally tired and had difficulty even remembering which flank was which...a true sign of mental fatigue in a just two year old.
This pup just doesn't want to be wrong. All she wants to do is please. If she isn't doing something correctly it is because I haven't shown her how to do it properly. I thought Jet was the most biddable dog a lady could own, but I think his daughter is even more so. I took her to the desert to free her up and apologize to her this morning. Kick back Yo....you've got lots of time to grow up. :0)