We may have had to give up our geese, but we didn't forget how to work them.
I decided to skip Porterville this year and enter a local trial on Saturday only. Champ just got his AKC number. This was his first AKC trial, so I entered him in advanced field sheep and advanced field geese. That way he could practice his shedding. Yoko came along only for advanced field geese. AKC costs too much money per entry, so I had to limit them on who needed practice. Since, Yoko is my goose dog, I decided I wanted to run her in this last local trial. No need to put her on sheep to compete with Champ. I knew it would be close between the two in advanced geese, though :0) Yoko has the pace and finesse for birds; Champ pushes a bit too hard.
Yoko bringing her geese on the fetch
Yoko drew up a bad batch with one young rogue goose who didn't want to stay with the others. This is Yoko's specialty and she handled them like the pro she is on birds. Champ drew up a young, but nice lot of geese. This was good, because I knew he was going to push on them. If you know or don't know geese, they do not like to be pushed, especially young geese. They will turn on the dog while spreading their wings, hissing at them. They may even attack a non-polite dog. Champ was polite with a bit too much forward motion, but it wasn't a bad run. And, it was enough for him to beat his half sis, Yoko.
They both had low scores in the 80's (86 and an 82) by a judge from Northern California. But, I would much rather an AKC judge score LOWER than higher and be consistent about it. She was. In fact, I believe they were the only 2 scores in the 80's in the whole trial on sheep, cattle, and geese combined. Tougher is better, me thinks. The judge took a few points off their sheds. But, it is kind of hard to HOLD geese after a shed when they are walking the other direction. It's not like sheep wanting to get back together with the other three. LOL
There is something to be learned from ALL trials; doesn't matter if it is USBCHA, AKC, or AHBA, etc. I took away some learned lessons with Champ. We need to continue to work on our sheds and we need to especially work on our penning. By the time I get to the pen, he is pretty "hot," and his listening ears have closed up. He tends to over flank, killing me, for lining the stock up correctly. We will work on that in the next 2 weeks I have here in So. California.
How did he do on sheep? Not too shabby. AKC has this stupid 50% rules that knocked us out of competition (a first for me ever). Champ lost 6 points at the pen. If it hadn't been for the 50% rule, Champ would have been HIT on sheep for the trial. The stock were inconsistent. There were a group of about 15 Hampshire sheep that had never been used in a trial that they mixed into the equation. Unfortunately, some of us had several hamps mixed in a farm flock and others had an all farm flock. I brought it to the Trial Chairman's attention. I didn't file any complaints, because I am not that serious about this, but it should be an equal playing field. Anyway, I had #16, bastard Hamp that must weigh 150 lbs, that would not think about going in the pen. The whole way through the course he was a loner baaaing for his friends. He had no respect for me or my stock stick. And, Champ was pretty pissed off at him after working him through the course. We finally got him in and Champ got his shed in the shed ring fairly easily.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about his outrun. It was beautiful, but when he started his lift he noticed that Mike Burk was setting the sheep just standing quietly close by. He thought, heck, I haven't see Mike in awhile and ran over to give a BIG jump up hello. Lordy, Mike turned away with his arms crossed and Champ thought better about his side trip and brought his sheep nicely down the fetch line. I didn't say anything to him when he did that. I knew he would figure it out that it wasn't a good idea on his part.
He is still young :0) Champ is a social butterfly like Yoko and Kilt. Kilt loves anyone, but Champ and Yoko have select friends that they insist on getting a pat or a hug from. I can see this might bring me a bit more pain in the future. LOL
The whole day is was in the upper 40's and blowing a gale ALL day. I still have dirt in my ears and scalp. Champ was High In Trial on geese and Yoko took the Reserve. They both got a cute leash rack that says, That'll Do, with some paw prints on it :0) Wayne stopped by for a few minutes to ask Terry if he can borrow his flatbed. We will need the flatbed to take the Rhino and the dog kennels to our storage unit where the moving van will be picking up everything. Last trial in So. Cal. Lots learned and nice to take away a few prizes :0)