This trial was Taff's big debut. I have had him just over three weeks. I figured it would be a good trial to get both of our feet and paws wet and to size each other up. Taff has bonded deeply to me. He only has eyes for me and if anyone else talks to him, he looks through them like, "Who died and made you God?" He will have to learn to listen to the husband though. In time, that will happen. His mom, Nan took months before she warmed up to Getty and it was the nightly feeding that made her like him. Now she adores the ground he walks on BUT will only work for me. I think Taff is that way too. He is a one person dog.
I've been working him quite a bit but only for short times and making it successful. First, we had to work on him stopping when I asked and a recall. Then the other pieces slowly fell in place. We are not a tight team yet but we are working together. At least, I am in the picture.
He is a huge dog. I took him to the post on a leash so he would learn not to jump ahead and be in the right position. I had him on a pink leash with rhinestones and got hell for that. That was Tess's leash so I guess I better get him a manly leash.
He set up well and waited until I sent him. He cast off nice then bent in. I stopped him with a hard down then reflanked him wiht a verbal then a whistle. He then cast out wide and deep. He came behind the sheep fast but stopped as soon as I blew the whistle. He had a nice lift and then the sheep bolted down the field. The sheep were bolting for most of the trial.
At this point, he could have rushed in a gripped or done somthing silly but I stopped him again and gave him a slow down. The sheep came offline on the fetch so I worked on holding him back and didn't try to mess with him too much with flanking him. As it was he did listen quite well on the steady and the sheep came to me at the post.
Taff was on the muscle and still needs to feel the bubble. I was working on helping him with that.
He was way off the sheep at the post and wanted to head them but I made him flank in the other way to do a correct turn. Taff was fast and made a nice turn. The first leg was nice and slow and we missed the first panel. The draw was very heavy and he had to push them across the ditch. The sheep wanted to run so I had to hold him back from pushing too hard.
The crossdrive started nice then went wavey. We missed the second panel and the sheep got even more flighty. He was keen on bringing them back so than fight him to make the attempt at the panel (we missed it by a foot or so), I had him bring the sheep to me at the pen.
I had him way far back and he snuck up and was leaning hard on the sheep. I will have to work on his flanks as they are tight and fast. I went to voice since I do nto have his whistles down.
He got the pen and then whipped to the back to try to bring them back out. I told him down but he was geared up but listened. All in all, he did well and I know what we need to work on. He is a very powerful and pushy dog and you can't give him an inch. I will have to widen out his flanks and he leans on the sheep and that scares them. He will also have to learn to feel the bubble. All in good time as he is a vey nice dog. I really liked the fact that he did a nice outrun, tried hard to listen and when he was over his head, that he didn't panic but looked to me for guidance. He didn't win but got a good score. I was happy considering it was his first time and he was going against other dogs that had tons of seasoning behind them.
Taff is going to be in PN for a bit until we become solid as a team. He ran well and we had a few glitches. I confirmed what i thought needed to be fixed was that in the trial. He tried hard to please me and I can see the beginning of a good partnership starting. I see a lot of what his mom, Nan and I had to go through in our first year. And look at Nan now, she is a top Open dog. I expect the same for Taff.
I am pleased with him and we will keep working together. Thanks to Lisa Webb for selling me such a sweetheart. Soon, you will be hearing more stories about Taff. He is a nice additon to the trialing team.
Tomorrow will Roo and Nan's Open runs and pictures.