So maybe this why I have a problem with some of the replies on the Novice and Beyond list when I mentioned Champ is a cheating SOB on his stops just like his mother. I got all of this, "He doesn't understand his job" answers. Sorry, NOT believing that for a minute. He knows his job. If I asked him to pick up a quarter off the sidewalk, he would know what I was asking. Jet came with a stop on the dime. Part of it is the dog, I'm pretty sure. Yes, handling plays into it, too. I'm not a tough handler. Probably not tough enough. Plus, I don't have livestock. We only work in a 4 acre field a few times a week and he takes his stops quite fine there :0) He would not take my down whistles 50% of the time or he cheated on them at Mohawk Valley. He did take some "Take time" whistles though and he is not hard to handle. He's a team player....just need a better stop. Plus, he needs to square up his flanks on the fly. I was very happy with his Saturday run. He was first up and his score didn't reflect his nice run. C'est la vie. Sunday he had a bit of an easier time at the top. I stopped him on Sat. at the top which I never should have done. Sunday I let him pick them up how he thought was best. He is a bit too mechanical at the top. He is pretty darn trustworthy to treat the sheep nicely. He DQ'ed on Sunday in the shed ring after a respectable run. He had a psychotic black face that wanted to go home. He finally got pissed off and popped her one on the nose. The judge and I both thought it was warranted. He is very patient, and thankfully, he has his mother's moxey. But, I should have known that his endorphins were running on high after the grip. I juggled the sheep around in the shed ring so the psychotic one was with the group I didn't want. I brought him in on the two white faced sheep. But, I wasn't on my toes. He shot in like a rocket and grabbed a Not-So-Nice grip as close to the head as he could get and hung on. He deserved a thank-you. It only made me laugh. Hey, he is 3 yrs. old and I better sharpen up my handling skills!
Long ass drives, but necessary to get both of dogs out to the trials for experience. I have heard some people complain about so and so trial has bad sheep, etc. This is my take on it. I expect my dogs to work anything in almost any type of condition. I don't want perfect conditions. The great thing about Mohawk Valley is that it was challenging. We are always looking for a good time and when we can get into the winner's circle or with some placings, or even just get around nicely without any drama, hip hip hooray! Onward and upward!
The fur kids having fun at Mohawk Valley