Wayne is going to trial Jet in two AHBA trials on Friday. If he's not interested in doing agility anymore, I'm going to interest him in something. He is too good of a dog handler not to do something. I have given Wayne 3 lessons (not counting the one in the field last year with Jet). This time we have been practicing in the arena. A whole 'nother can of worms and actually harder due to the pressures of the arena. Wayne will be handling Jet in the ADVANCED classes because Jet is an advanced dog. One trial is an arena trial and the other is a ranch trial.
I'm hoping he has fun. Jet will have fun anyway you look at it. I bet he does better in the ranch class versus the arena trial. I do remember how hard it is when you first start to learn herding. It's like patting your head and rubbing your tummy. Last night at his second lesson he only had the pen gate open a few feet while trying to pen 5 sheep. Then, he forgot to close the gate and Jet went around the back of the pen and brought them out before Wayne had time to think.
This will give Wayne a bit more empathy for me, don't you think? I have heard him tell me in the past, "You let the dog down...you didn't stay in the game until the very end." Hey, it's a lot to think about! I bet he is going to understand that after Friday.
I will smile and say, "That's nice, dear" even if they miss every panel, etc. I'll try to get a few pictures. Jet has been really pushy with Wayne. I told Wayne, "If you think he is pushy now....wait till you go to the post." Wayne said, "Let's work again Wed. night. I need one more time to practice." (insert frantic look here)
These are my suggestions for Wayne:
#1) Speak kindly to Jet when asking; "if" he doesn't obey, speak with quiet sterness to him.
#2) When practicing, be sure he respects your commands.
You would NOT let a dog run through a two on /two off contact in agility. Don't let Jet blow you off.
#3) When you need to flank him, stop him first.
#4) Go as slow as you can get him to go ******
Forget about.... the panels are there to be made, finesse, square flanks, watching sheep heads, etc. All of that will come much later if he continues to want to trial him.
I bet this is going to be FUN! Lots of my friends said they would be getting divorced if they tried to teach their spouses. But, they probably don't know that we competed together in agility for years. I had to enforce a rule. Do NOT talk to me when I come off a run. Wayne used to meet me at the gate and say, "Why, oh why, did you do that and....." Not good darling. I would make him wait a half hour before he was allowed to discuss my run. I know he has my best interests at heart and always likes to see me win, but when your adrenalin is pumped, the last thing you want is your spouse in your face. Like you didn't know what you did wrong. Of course, you know what went wrong. But, you need time to catch your breath and think it over.
SO...I promise to smile and nod when he finishes his runs and say "Great job. Whoo Hoo!" :0)