Saturday, January 26, 2008


Ahh, Bid. He's named for Spectacular Bid, the racehorse. It also fits his personality, as Mr. Biddable. Bid tries hard to please, 24/7. His birthday is June 25, 1999. Here he is as an 8 week old puppy, just a day or two after he came home with me. In the second photo, he is a four month old youngster.

Whatever Bid may lack in talent, he gives 100% of himself all the time, such that he has been a very fun partner for me in doggie activities. He is my first "real" sheepdog. My brother and I started Bid on sheep when he was about eight months old. Bid took to it immediately in his very first session, and life for me changed forever.

I was afraid of heavy-handed (or should I say, "heavy-crook") sheepdog trainers, due to bad experiences with Augie. So I worked Bid on my own with my brother's help and by following exercises in Vergil Holland's book. By the time Bid was two years old, I decided that we needed more help and had a good reference to a prominent trainer in the area. We started taking lessons and a few months later he went to that trainer for 6 weeks of in-house training, which we followed with more regular lessons. This really helped us a lot. By that time, he was 3 years old.

At about age four and a half, we had a family crisis and I had to take a hiatus from regular sheepdog lessons for a couple of years. Getting back to some more regular coaching in the past year or so, has made a lot of difference. Lately I've been getting some really good help, which has boosted both Bid's confidence and mine. Some of the most memorable moments are out on the training field and not at a trial...but they live in our minds and hearts.

Now, Bid is 8 years old and I am hoping to run him in a few USBCHA Pro-Novice trials this year, so that I can gain more experience in that venue. We've had a lot of fun and some success enjoying AHBA trials. I love AHBA and it's a wonderful and supportive atmosphere for learning the sport; you still need all the same skills but you can apply them at distances that are not so great as in regular ISDS-style trialling. I am hoping to write more about training and trialling experiences with my good buddy, Bid.

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