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

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My husband is right...is that a first?

I admit it. I gave up on Kilt. I was disturbed with her Sat. run at MacDonald's for doing some "adolescent" crap and I retired her in the shed ring. I gave up on her. She went to the shed ring with a 75. When I saw my score, I recalled my husband saying that I don't follow through.....I give up on my runs. I don't maintain the same focus and intensity throughout the whole run. Don't you hate it when your husband is correct?

I had a heart to heart chat with Kilt before her Sunday run. She was a bit edgy being 9 days in heat, but I told her I wouldn't give up on her. Even though she scored well and got some open points, her run was sloppy in my eyes. I EXPECT so much from her. She has let me down so many times. But, maybe...."I" have let her down? My handling leaves much to be desired.

But, I didn't GIVE UP on her on Sunday. I had to be in contact with her all the way around. Our faults have come from years of bad practice. Kilt is one of those bitches that if you give an inch, she takes a mile. If you allow a sliced flank or a cut in at the top....she'll go for it.

Sunday I decided to send her on a come bye. I always pick out targets that I expect her to go around, so I know how wide she should be. If she even thinks about cutting in, I will take a point hit and tell her where she needs to be. She received a zero/zero on Sunday. Kilt is known for thoughtless lifts. She likes to take control quickly without thinking about her sheep.

Diane Pagel was setting on one of her runs and reconfirmed what I already knew about her lifts.
Kilt didn't get the nickname "rocket bitch" for no good reason. I need to be more on top of her when we practice. I'd like an ATV....hahahaha. This sheepdogging will either keep me in shape or kill me at 60.

Bonnie Block had some good advice, too. She said to down Kilt and just let Kilt sit there. She doesn't get her sheep until she gives up her control issues. Many times Kilt won't drop or if she does drop she will get back going in a heartbeat. This frustrates the heck out of me. Kilt is 5 yrs. old and it's not like I'm going to lose any "come forward" in this bitch. She is all about "forward." So, any suggestions are welcome. Since I do my own training, I'm open for ideas. When I do take a lesson from a pro, most of the time Kilt acts like an open dog. It's when I step to the trial post, she amps up 110%. I have retired her numerous times without any effect.

It's a journey folks. I can tell you this........I LOVE this bitch and we will continue on this journey together.


Erin O said...

Sometimes when ya dance you and your partner end up stepping on each other's toes. Sounds like you a Kilt are figuring out how to step on each other's toes less.

I would say bonnie gave you a great tip. No sheep for Kilt until her thinking cap is on.

I went through a stage like this with Mick. Oh did we fight, like for the first year I had him, I couldn't hardly trust him to keep his teeth off things or push sheep over the top of me ;)

Basically, first things first, he had to lay down when I told immediately on the first whistle, he'd better be skidding to a halt no matter what or where. After we got that figured out I translated it to if he got up out of the lay down like a rocket I stopped him again and made him wait. He spent a lot of time on his belly. He sill thinks speed is the answer, but I have a nice steady and a 99% down. With the nice steady I can keep him back and quiet, which keeps the run supple and the sheep less fearful.

It kills me that dog is so sick these days :(

Good luck and don't give up on her, just keep running the run and don't give away points.

gvmama said...

Thanks Erin...for the thoughtful reply.

Monique said...

Something that really helped me was to realize a few things after many lessons with people who actually know what they are doing... (unlike me):

1) It's my dog's job to stop when told. It's my job to teach her that.

2) It's my job to let my dog get up on her own.

3) It's my dog's job to be thoughtful when she gets up.

4) It's my job to recognize how she gets up, and stop her again immediately if she is not thoughtful when she gets up.

5) It's my job to KNOW how she is going to get up, and hit her with a steady when she gets to her feet if she needs it, to remind her to be thoughtful out of the stop. Teamwork is key. It is easy to take the sheep away. It is easy to expect my dog to think. It can be hard for me to remember to HELP my dog think so that she can have her sheep.

Not sure if that made any sense...

gvmama said...

Thanks Monique...it made PERFECT sense :0)