Time to put him on the Hampshires
When Champ was a year old he used to nose bite these Hamps when they were about 5 mos. old for not moving. I haven't put him on them since they have fully grown up. They can be a bit intimidating. But, they don't attack a dog; just stare it down and throw their weight around a bit.
Champ has been working "nice" sheep. Sheep that move off of him. Well, it's time he start working sheep that might not want to move off of him :0)
I try to work Champ at least twice a week. We will never make the fast progress as our friends who own ranches or have sheep that can work them daily. I know that and it is okay with me. We just go at our own pace. He's such a nice dog and such a great partner.
Yesterday I worked Champ on 2 Dorper crosses and 1 Hamp. I didn't want to overwhelm him with confrontation. The Hamp turned and stared him down on quite a few occasions. He went nose to nose with him in a matter of fact way, but really wasn't sure how to handle him. Several times he wanted to look at the nice sheep and not the one that was confronting him. I just softly told him to "watch her." He started to get the gist.
Sometimes pups are so stupid they turn their back on the one that is about to get them. I think they are thinking, "I'll just grab this nice sheep over here and pray that mean one doesn't hurt me." But, after today, Champ was catching on.
Today, I put 3 Hampshires in the field for him to work. I sent him to pick them up. They ignored him or would turn and stare him down. I could see his head popping up looking for me. It was a cry for help. I just clapped my hands and told him to move them and he jumped right in there and got them going. Good boy Champ. He just needed a little encouragement.
By the end of our session, he got some technique going. He methodically worked them slower than normal, but leaned on them. When they turned on him, he would go nose to nose. If they didn't turn he would take a small nip and keep pushing. It worked out quite nicely for him.
I was really pleased.
Slowly, but surely. We will try our luck in Nursery at Zamora on Monday. Champ hasn't done any hill work, so it remains to be seen how he figures things out. I look forward to running him, because I have full TRUST in him. Wish us luck. :0)