Yoko tends to be a bit soft to correction. She detests flags, hats, and most anything that is waved at her and makes noise. She has never quit on me, but she sure gave it a second thought the other night. I use Yoko to put the sheep up at night. They barrel down the hill and put a ton of pressure on her. When I would ask for a flank, she wouldn't give it. It was like she was paralyzed by the pressure. When I worked her for Suzy Applegate on her range ewes they confronted her. I asked her for a flank and she blew me off. She stood there eyeing them up. Suzy told me not to let her get away with that. She was right. And, while I was at the Porterville trial when she had to jump into the sheep to get them lifted, then, she wouldn't take the flank I was giving her due to the pressure she was feeling.
So other other evening I had a plastic kitchen trash bag in my pocket. Nothing I thought out. It was just in my pocket. Kind of like a devine intervention (LOL) I asked her for a flank as the sheep barreled down the hill to their barn. Yoko laid there frozen. I took out the bag and gave it a small wave. She went a few feet. I had to wave it at her several times, before she would give me a flank. We had about a 10 minute session. At one point, she was so pissed at me, even though I was working her very quietly, that she wanted out of the sheep pen. No such luck. She was stressed. I knew that because she was trying to take the wrong flanks. I just stopped her and didn't let her get away with that either. A few more minutes of flanking under pressure and we ended on a good note.
Sometimes I worry that I am putting too much pressure on her when it might be true of the opposite! I'm probably letting her get away with stuff. I need to find the right balance. Gosh, I love working my dogs :0)