Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reality Check, or, Bid Saves the Day

I guess this is why I like working more than one dog. Oftentimes, one dog saves the day, and sends me home from lessons or a trial with a smile on my face, meanwhile the other(s) can have their "reality checks" without getting me too upset.

Today it was Bid's turn to shine in our lessons at Zamora, and I got to run him on a "trial course", which I almost never do (except at trials). He ran the equivalent of a short Open course/long P-N course and I felt good about what we did. I need more improvement with timing and taking risks, in order to make things smoother. But it is so nice to be "handling" and not just "training" for a change. Ahh!

Coal and I got a reality check in many ways, regarding the length of the outrun he is willing to do at an unfamiliar place, and the degree to which he will listen on stops and flanks as well. It's just our level of training and I have my work cut out for me to be insistent yet encouraging with him, these next few weeks until the next time we can get a lesson. I have to continue to "keep the pickup running" when I send him (that is, start up the field after him if it is a long-ish outrun). No doubt, keeping the pickup running should be good exercise!

This afternoon I worked Chief again at our home field, for just a short time. It's definitely a work in progress and he has forgotten a lot of what he formerly knew.

Meanwhile, it's the High Season for sheepdog trialling both here and abroad and the opportunity to root for favorite handlers at the overseas trials and those here in the West alike, will be awesome for the next month.

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