Not starting over, just getting back to basics with the dogs. For the last few weeks we have been cleaning up flanks; working on the fence line and circle work. Yoko took to it right away. Champ needs a little more convincing. They got a bit sloppy. Also, doing lots of Shhhh Shhhh's with balance work. When the dog appears off balance to me I walk the opposite way. Balance, balance, balance.
Yoko is way too worried about me. She has great balance when I am not in the picture. She is worrying too much about what I am thinking and it takes away from her 'feel.' Faansie was so right when he called her the "over-thinker." I am trying to de-escalate my voice with her when things go awry. It doesn't do any good to show an irritation in my voice. It just upsets her even more.
Faansie was way right when he labeled Champ "The floater." We probably could call him the "non-thinker." He is happy to do what you ask of him. Sometimes he doesn't understand what he is doing, but he is happy to try doing it. He makes me laugh. Two times today he didn't want to stop. We tried something new with him. Once I got him stopped, I continued to whistle blowing his down whistle and getting softer and softer with my down whistle the closer that I got to him. Then I reached over to give him a pat while saying, "Good boy, down." He looked quite confused, but was just as glad that he wasn't getting in any trouble.
Both dogs would work ALL day for me. They love to work. Yoko can on occasion do some weird ass embarrassing stuff, but she comes right back ready to go. Champ is fairly reliable. He really just wants to do what is asked of him, even if he is not sure why he is doing it.
Today we worked on shedding. Both dogs have been coming in painfully slow. I know better than to correct them for a goofed up shed. But, maybe I have been to too many clinics and now we are all mumbo jumbled in different methods. Who knows. But. I want them to come in quickly when called. So we went back to basics....crossing the boughs. Since I am so dyslexic I can't call them in with a direction like come bye or away to me. So, I am saying here, shhhh. Both were a little confused about our new process today, but not anymore than I was. LOL But, on a good note, both were coming in faster. So fast that Champ grabbed wool many times. But, I don't think he understands this job completely, so in his excitement......
One step forward, several backwards. Lots of it has to do with not working them enough. Several times a week on sheep when trialling with those who work their dogs daily, makes us look a bit rough around the edges. But, it's all okay. We love what we are doing and are enjoying trialling. Lots of trials coming up in October, so I hope we iron out some of the wrinkles!