I love three day weekends. That give me three days to train dogs, do farm chores and other odds and ends that need to get done. This Saturday, I went up north and did a third in a series of one day clinic. Most of the people have been coming since the first clinic and it was great to see the progress. We worked out in the outside arena and a few people ran a course and did it quite well. Most of them went up a notch in training and they are doing their homework. We had Border Collies, Kelpies, Aussies and Cattledogs. All worked great and we shifted the training to suit each of the breed's needs.
Shari and her Kelpie, Ozzie amazed me by how much she did her homework. She got a great stop and beautiful square flanks as well as an out. My jaw dropped on how great this team worked on that. Her next homework is the away keep (the other side of out) and inside flanks. I expect by the next clinic, she will have that nailed down too. By the way, this Kelpie is ten years old and is learning new concepts and doing them well.
Janet ran a hard, twisty course with Scott. I made it difficult as we are going to Calgary next week and it will be tough. The first time she did it, she struggled but the second time, she nailed it. She is one determined person! She and Scott have come a long way and he works brilliantly for her.
Linda came with Parker and it was her first time. We got him do do nice square lifts and he is one nice working ACD. He is solid, square red and a real powerful dog. I like what I saw in him. Parker was a quick study and got the concepts very quickly and when they had to get more lesson sheep, they put their new found knowledge to work. This is a nice team.
Michella and Sally (Aussie) have come quite far in their training. By the end of the day, they were doing nice soft, walkabouts. I see that Sally is trusting Michella and yielding the reins to her. They bot came off with a smile. Sally wants to please and once she figure out what you want, she bends over backwards to do it right.
Marney worked her Poppy and Riley. Both dogs are polar opposites of each other. Poppy started out soft at the first clinic but now, she is all gang busters. We added more pressure on her and will continue to do so since she is ready for it now. Her other dog, Riley, is one tough, pushy dog and we convinced him that a steady walkup would allow him to get the sheep while a fast, jump up would be followed by a down and wait. He soon got the idea and they were walking about the arena and he was feeling the bubble and holding steady. I love seeing the huge smile on Marney's face when she works her dogs.
Kathleen worked her Josh, a 14 month old Kelpie. He is getting more confident and doing outruns. He is a nice working Kelpie and I think he suits her well. Kathleen also worked Clover (formerly known as Maya), a full littermate to Josh, but from an earlier litter. I think she is about two years old. I was told she was soft but I saw no evidence of that. She did wonderful outruns, had a authoritative lift and pushy fetch. I kept telling Kathleen that I was going to steal her and make her my dog but she wouldn't hand over her leash to me. Darn! That is one darn good working Kelpie with the guts to back her work. Great stock sense and just nice! I can see what Josh can grow into as he matures. Be warned of these two dogs as they are quite nice.
Shirley worked Tully and he was getting more push and tidy inside flanks. each time, he gets stronger and stronger and I think soon, he will be one pushy boy. He has a heart of gold and tried hard and I like his work ethics. He will give you and then more. He is a Kelpie and related (I believe) to the other two.He has good stock sense and is thinker.
Dave and his darling red Border Collie, Smootch are one of the crowd favorites. Smootch adores Dave and they are one dangerous team. I would explain pressure and draw and how to handle your dog through that and by God, Dave would nail it. I made him run a course, tough ones, and he nailed it. If he ever decides to compete, be ready to take second place.
Kendall and Charm were also first timers. Kendall got a sweet tri Border Collie that is at a ranch level. She and Charm have been working hard as a team and they only have been together just over a month. We hope to have her running in Novice in Sept so we had her do a mini Novice course. The sheep are lighter than mine and the draw was to one corner so she had to learn how to handle that but she did it. She and Charm will be a team to look out for in the future. They are putting the pieces of the puzzle together and it is going well for them. I like their dynamics and how well they work together.
I ran Roo through the same tough course that Janet did. he sliced once and we missed the panels so we redid it. Then he listened and we nailed the course. I have to stay on top of roo as he is quite pushy and leans on the sheep. Since we are going to Calgary and running in a arena, we need to be precise and very controlled.
My friend Audrey took some pic of Roo and me this weekend. I love them.
Roo and me!! He is such a good dog.
And of course, I had to put this Picture of Kate (aka Bessie).
photos: Audrey Baldessari