Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wayne learning to work Jet
Very rarely, Wayne comes along to watch me work dogs. Today he came out to Task Farms with me for awhile. I coaxed him into working Jet. Wayne has been to the National agility finals several times and teaches agility at home. But, working dogs on sheep is a whole different ballgame. Sheep aren't exactly stationary obstacles. :0)
In order to make things less confusing for Wayne, I gave him only two commands to use while fetching. Shhhh Shhhhh and "lie" for stop and stand or stop and lie down, whatever Jet prefers to do. At age 10, he mostly prefers to stand.
Wayne tends to try to "control" Jet's movements. By asking him to stop when his sheep are escaping and asking to flank this way and that way (against the way Jet knows he should be flanking), makes Jet not trust him. So, Shhhh Shhhh gives Jet the ability to choose which way he will flank. This way Wayne will learn to trust Jet.
This very simple exercise shed some new light on working dogs for Wayne. It also gave Jet some confidence in Wayne as his partner. Jet is the most obedient dog in the world, but he stopped listening to Wayne, because Wayne was ordering him around with commands that didn't make sense to him. It was nice to see them working together. Wayne had a smile on his face after this very short exercise. Jet had a smile on his face and I had a smile on mine, too. Job well done. :0)