This is kind of a "slide through" for Champ just like the "down." I haven't been consistent in enforcing it. It's up to me to be consistent and to find a way to tell him what I'd like to see from him.
My downs have improved on the home turf. But, Champ still crawls up their wooly butts and still (on occasion) takes his first several steps too rapidly.
So, I am trying to enforce the "take time." When I blow that whistle or verbally tell him that command, I am looking for him to cut his speed in half so at least I can notice he has gone into a low gear. I need to be able to SEE that he understands. I know he does. He is just blowing me off. I need to make myself clearer. I don't think I will take the push out of him.
Champ wants to be right and he is always checking in. A bomb could go off and his mother at his age would never have looked back at me. Patrick says it is a good thing in the that Champ wants to be right and not to get too hung up on it.
I'm thinking if Champ can give me a "steady" or "take time" I can let up on stopping him so much. He usually looks back at me when I stop him. So I have been trying at home to have him cut his speed and just let him go. I'm hoping he will like not having to stop so much and that he will like me not having to nag him so much.
I'm crossing my fingers this rings a bell with him :0) It really isn't anything Dave can help me with him. I need to find out what works for us. I'm getting a pretty good idea what doesn't work. And, I'm well aware a lot of what we are doing on the home turf will go out the window on new turf and new sheep at the upcoming trials. But, If I stay consistent with him at home and other places I get to work him, sooner or later (I hope sooner) he is going to get the picture.
These aren't overnight fixes. At least not for me. It takes time and practice. We will continue on with our quest. I'm happy that we are making progress, slowly, but surely.
I am off to visit my family in Roseburg next week. I entered the Scio sheep dog trial which is on the way home. I don't know if I am in it yet, but maybe. The more places I can get Champ out to, the better for him.
The week after that, is the Faansie Basson clinic at Dave Imas' place. I worked with Faansie last year at Joe and Heather Haynes old farm. I'm hoping Faansie can see that we have made "progress."
I have a private lesson with Champ and Yoko. Plus, Champ has a working spot in the clinic and we signed up for the shedding clinic, too.
I've had more instruction here in WA. than all of the years in Calif. I am very grateful for this. It's a great group of people here. I'm loving it :0)