Monday, July 11, 2011
I'm really pleased as to how Yoko is progressing on familiar sheep. Yoko is 3 1/2 yrs. old now. Most of the nursery dogs she was running with have moved up to open. Yoko won't be ready for open for some time. I almost added "if ever," but that would be like shooting myself in the foot. I'm keeping optimistic. We will see later this summer how she does on non-familiar sheep.
The one thing I have noticed is that her "drive" is finally improving. She is stopping from always wanting to go to the head and has tucked in nicely behind her sheep wearing to keep her line straight. Bob Stephens told me that she really didn't know her job if she wasn't wearing behind her sheep on the drive. I wasn't sure what he meant, but now, I know. She just didn't "feel" it. She didn't "get it." Another leap for Yoko.
Yoko has little eye and little presence. She reminds me of some of my Aussies I used to work. Yoko does have teeth. We are trying to perfect when to use teeth and when not to use teeth. She is getting better. I don't want to take away her ability (her teeth) to move obstinate or slow stock. I am trying to teach her to steady and move in a little closer before feeling the need to blast her stock.
Yoko doesn't have her mother's tenseness which is good, but she lacks her sire's intensity and focus in the shed ring. She understands her job when it comes to shedding, but it just hasn't rung her bell yet. She comes in when I call her, but too slowly for my liking. I try revving her up with "Watch them, Watch them." I try working on sheds the first part of her training session when she is fresh. I just can't get that....ready, ready READY...'eagerness to come in look' from her. She is quite lackadaisical about it.
I have written the BC Boards about it. Looking for training exercises/suggestions to get her more powered up and focused. I'm still having lots of fun working her. I have asked Wayne to do "tugging" exercises with her....anything to gear her up! Onward and upward, I hope. :0)