Learning if I want to be "competitive" I really need to learn how to "whistle" better and need to "handle" my dogs like I look like I know something :0) I'm a pretty sloppy handler. I must admit. If they get the chores done, I'm pretty happy with my dogs. I don't ask for a whole lot from them. I do expect them to move anything and be kind to their stock. That's about it. So, I'm trying to gear up some to be more competitive.
I have been experimenting with my whistles and with my voice with Champ in the desert. I'm trying to "hear" the different pitches. Then, I get confused because my 'girls' are on different whistles. I have been trying to merge Champ's whistles to them. Needless to say, now we are all confused. Yech. A work in progress. But, I'm making changes and an effort.
I promised Champ I would get him out to more than 5 USBCHA trials per year, like I do with my girls. As long as I can afford it, I'm going to do my best to give him a chance. I wasn't going to enter him at the Antelope Valley USBCHA trial, but they are short a nursery dog, so I guess that will be his first trial in nursery. His second trial will be in March in Arizona. He will have 2 nursery classes (both have 18 entries) and 2 pro-novice classes to attempt. Nursery with range ewes and pro-novice with a farm flock. Next, I entered him in nursery at Zamora. He will have 2 nursery classes he can compete in on Monday there. I skipped Sonoma, because that would be more mileage and fuel than I can afford.
Working the flat at about 400 yes in the desert (pretty dry, eh?) Looks like an over baked cake.
If I continue to get Champ out to different places and different trials, I think he will be pretty competitive in a year or so. He is quite the little motoring machine. I like a dog with push and I like a dog that can take correction. Unfortunately for us, consistency is difficult without having your own place and sheep to work at least 3-4 times a week. We get out about two times a week and on rare occasions, three times a week. I know that isn't enough, but that's just the way it is going to be. I have bigger fish to fry, than to just work dogs and go to sheep dog trials. Mercy. LOL
Yoko is not truly an open competitor. Yes, she has some placements in nice competition, but really…she despises sheep. LOL She is all about cattle and her niche is geese. Lordy, Lordy…this gal is all about being a goose dog. She can read a bird better than any of my dogs. Yoko has always had an avoidance behavior she does (sniffing…looking nonchalant)….but, I can't be angry with her for that. Why? Number one…it would accentuate the behavior and Number two..wild animals do it when they are hunting. It is a predator behavior. No matter if she is ever going to be a good sheep trailing dog, she gets the job done and I love her dearly.
I was asked to set an AHBA trial this weekend, but there weren't enough entries, so me and my dogs will travel up to Porterville. I love Porterville at Jim and Sally Oxford's and will miss them and their ranch dearly. This weekend they are using yearling dog broke goats. Fun, Fun, Fun! I will take my good camera with me! I will ask if Champ and I can set for Sunday's classes. Champ needs the pen work. Goats will be perfect.
I see my FB friend Donna Brinkworth from Canada is starting a personal coaching business. Good on her. I look up to her because she is on her own with dogs, has continued to find jobs, go to school, and set up a business. I will be going up to Sequim on my own. I'm not sure when my husband will follow me. Could be more than a couple of years. I will have my 5 dogs with me. I'm not sure how i am going to do it financially along with many other small and big worries. Anyway, Donna was looking for a couple of practice people to try out her coaching. I volunteered. This is a life changing event for me.
It will all fall into place. There is a plan….a higher power will see me through. I have no doubts. Just wondering out loud. Thanks for listening. :0)