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

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Baby Steps

"First you have to realize you have a problem in order to fix it." 
   Suzanne Anaya

Haha...my first quote. 

I have such FUN with my dogs.  I have been working stock for almost 10 years now and I'm finally getting a bit smarter.  I'm sure Jet would say, "Who says you can't teach an old human new tricks."  Now this has been a long journey with my 3 Border Collies, but I wouldn't trade it for any other hobby.  I have been frustrated at times (well, many times), but it is what it is....a JOURNEY.  Learning to train your own dogs by yourself and learning how to handle the different personality dogs, does not come without it's trials and tribulations.  I've laughed a lot. I've made a ton of mistakes.  I have never cried other than tears of joy.  I have never had any huge aspirations other than to win a few open competitions.  But, you know what...this might be a longshot, but I'm starting to think about "what if" I could qualify for the National Finals with Yoko as an open dog?  Wouldn't that be a hoot?  The little dog that I thought didn't have much talent..a pup that I bred, raised, and trained by myself?  I'm starting to think it may not be such a longshot.  Did I say I didn't have any BIG goals?  LOL

Kilt:  I'm almost starting over with her training.  Difficult at almost 7 yrs of age, I grant you that, but NOT impossible.  Either she performs what I ask correctly, or she doesn't get to continue.  I recognize lots of errors I have made with her over the years. I will try to get her out to more places this year.  I'm not quitting with her. I am going to take her to a Porterville fun trial in Oct.  I will not let her get away with a single inch.  She is a give an inch, take a mile type of bitch on the trial field.  Love her to death at home.

Yoko: Really working hard to stop any unnecessary biting.  Trying not to take away a nip or two at a heel for non-moving sheep in pens and loading.  Working only using a nip to the nose to protect herself.  Concentrating on flanking correctly to take the pressure off her stock.  She was brilliant this morning on the goats and the sheep.  By jove, we are really coming together as a team.  Yoko is learning quickly now and taking pressure much better.  I so enjoy working with her.

Jet:  Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?  Jet has a habit of zipping into a pen to take his stock out, because he knows it works well for him.  But, it makes the stock zippy, too. This morning I worked with him on flanking along the pen edge to move his stock out.  Being Jet, he caught on instantly.  It only took a few reminders with a wave of a small dish rag that I had in my hand.  That is all the pressure he needed.  I love an older dog.  They have such confidence. 

I have GOOD dogs and WONDERFUL blood lines.  There isn't any reason for us to start doing better than we have.  I need to step up my handling and give them more exposure.  That will be my goal, starting now. :0)

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