Nothing like a win to get you motivated, eh?
Not all working dogs make good trial dogs. Jet was a great trial dog, but he was my very first and we got a late start. Kilt came along next, but was too much for me to handle. Yoko sneaks in a ribbon from time to time in open, but I have never really understood her work mannerisms well enough to do good with her consistently.
Then, came Champ. I knew right from the get-go that Champ would make me a good trial dog. #1) They have to have talent. #2) I wanted a dog with push, presence and power. #3) You need a partner that wants to work with you.
There are probably another 97 attributes I could think of that you might want in a trial dog, but those 3 were the first that popped into my mind.
I'm still only working Champ about twice a week, but he so wants to partner with me that I have gotten away with it. I know he has the stuff needed to to go to the Nationals and do well. I have known that all along. Now, it's up to me to raise up my game. First thing, I need to do is get a watch. Yup, I admit it. I took that single on the tail versus the head because I didn't know how much time i had left to get to the pen. I gave away points. I can't do that anymore!
Next, I am developing a plan to for him to gain experience. He is now 3 and I want him to get out to different places and trial on different terrains and different sheep. I can do this now since i am retiring next year (money permitting). Ha...Maybe I will lose a little weight now. I won't be eating out all of the time!
I really wanted to do the Arizona trial (Jim McGraw Memorial) Champ went as a nursery dog last year and did very well on the range lambs. But, the Arizona trial is the same time as Dave Imas's Faansie Basson clinic. I am signed up for a private lesson, the 2 day clinic, and the shedding clinic. I take lessons with Dave and I think I will get more out of these 4 days than any trial I might attend for a 10 minute run!
I am going to try to get into Zamora, Sonoma, and the McCormack trials in California during the month of March. I have to be back in April. I will miss the Fido Farm trial in April, since I said I would judge an AKC trial over in Arlington that weekend.
Then, I don't know what else will be on the trialing agenda for 2015, but I am going to give Champ every chance to gain experience :0)
Jeanne Boudrieau was setting for Champ's run with his half brother, Moses. Moses was holding the sheep until I sent Champ on his outrun. You can hear Jeanne say, "Moses, here to me," to pull Moses off the set sheep for Champ. The was a large dog leg fetch. Champ wasn't sure if he could let go of a straight line fetch, but I knew he would :0) once he understood what I wanted. The dark area to the left of Champ is a swamp. Champ almost had to put them on a cross drive line to get around the fetch cone for full points before bringing them through the fetch panels.