Good lesson today. No, make that a GREAT lesson today. Now I have more control; hence, now I've lost some independent thinking and feel. WTF. If it isn't one thing, it's another! What makes it difficult is that I work him a couple of times a week. It would be so much better if I could work 10 min. in the AM and another 10 or 20 in the PM. That isn't going to happen anytime soon, so I just have to keep at it. I just need to be more cognizant of all of the variables.
If your dog isn't learning from your corrections, it's time to change how you are reading the problem and/or how you are making your correction. That's where the title of this short blog comes in. CATCH THE INTENT. When Champ does his 100 mile an hour outrun and I see that he is not checking in with his sheep or looking like he may NOT stop on balance, I need to catch his intent somewhere around the 10 o'clock position if he is sent on a come bye. "Hey, Hey, Champ," etc. I need to see him hitch up when he hears me and start to THINK about where and what he is doing. If he doesn't, then I need to think about why he isn't listening and try something else.
My other problem is that he worries constantly about me and not his sheep. I guess that makes me a controlling mother f'er. LOL Both of my males, Jet and Champ look to me for reassurance that they are doing things right. Both of my females rarely ever look to me. So, I try to walk with Champ on his drive. I try not to correct him from behind. I understand no one wants to be yelled at from their back side. I am trying not to yell at all to him. I am trying to embarrass him into thinking when he is wrong.
I am also trying to watch his body language. Low and steady feeling his sheep or upright without pace and looking to me. It's hard to decide what to do in which scenario. It is at least for me. This is what I need to learn. And, every dog is so different. Plus, we are still working on that FIRST step. It is a make or break for us. If he takes his first step too quickly on his lift or drive, without thinking, he loses his cadence, he's difficult for me to handle, and the sheep aren't happy either. I am trying hard to train my eye to watch his first step.
This is NOT an EASY sport, but no one ever said it was :0) But, I'm thrilled to be in the PNW, happy to have great support, and looking forward to the future trials. Onward and upward AND