I'm not kidding. I learned enough to keep me busy for another year! It was the best money I have spent in a long time. Plus, the weather cooperated. Thank-you Lord. I was just about done with gray, fogged in days, and WET. It was sunny off and on. Rainier looked gorgeous in the distance as bald eagles soared overhead. It was good for the soul.
Yoko lost her balance. I think we can find it again. I need to speed her up to release the pressure while still being mindful of her flanks. She has never understood driving (my way) and she has always sliced her flanks. Faansie said I'm not going to change much there, but he gave me lots of good tips to get her back on balance. Champ needs to tune up his flanks, open up, and slow down on his driving. I need to get into his "mind" better. Reason being, is because I have been trying to slow him down for a year and I'm not making much headway. My timing has been late plus he can take a lot of pressure from me. I just need to get into his head.
I took 6 pages of notes at this clinic. I know a few people who asked for my notes. Today I will go to a copier place and get some copies made up, so if you were at the clinic and want my notes, you are welcome to them. I like to carry them with me so if things become a little blurry or stale I can look them over and have an A-HA moment!
It was money well spent. The shedding clinic was great, too. I have learned several ways to shed, but Faansie's method makes it black and white to me and my dogs. We will work on speed with our recalls. I have to be careful Champ does not come in before he is called. I have to make them both mindful of their flanks while setting up the shed. I learned lots about points off in the shed ring.
Dave brought Tip out at the lunch break and demonstrated some splits and marked sheds. He and Tip made it look like a ballet. Excellent demonstration Dave!
A beautiful morning. Dave walking off the field.
I have been working dogs for almost 12 years now. And, all of a sudden it actually seems to be coming together. Champ is the only dog I let a pro take for a couple of months because I knew we were going to be out of control as a team. All the rest I have whittled away working sheep every now and then by myself. Yoko has had less than 10 lessons in her lifetime and it shows. Jet was pretty easy in comparison. Kilt was a terror for me. I never could get a handle on her on the trial field. So, it feels good to be in an area (PNW) where I have great instruction and great clinicians to help me with Champ.
Yoko having a great time. me "thinking" about what Faansie is telling me
Friday night we all had tri-tip and wine while watching videos from some of the biggest trials. Faansie judged the runs out loud. That was very enlightening! Ursala came out and did a small clicker presentation during dinner, too. Everyone loves a little entertainment during dinner. She did a nice job demonstrating shaping and targeting. Faansie teased her a bit, but all very good naturedly.
There is NO perfect dog. I don't care if you buy a completely trained dog. You are still going to come up with problems you will need to sort out. I saw this very clearly at the clinic this weekend. So if you think there is an "easy" solution....think again. Now get back to work!
Oh yeah....thanks Dave. Wonderful clinic. Do it again some time in the near future. Pretty please :)