Sunday, September 28, 2008

NCWSA Workday in Pescadero

Yesterday was the NCWSA annual meeting and fun workday at Willowside Ranch in Pescadero, CA. The Willowside Ranch is always such a lovely place to travel to and work dogs. The only down side is getting home (through San Francisco) in brutal afternoon/evening traffic. I am resolved to find a different route home for next time! But back to the dogs...

Coal got to work geese first off and while he is not as into it as working sheep, he did fine. It would be nice to have more frequent opportunities to work the geese in order to retain his interest in them.

We signed up for 8 minutes per dog on the big Open field. I took Bid out first, and he ran just before lunch. I was quite pleased with his outrun, lift and fetch. We are really improving our communications there and I believe the fetch was straight to the post just like our trainer has been urging me to do. The driving was not as good but OK; Bid still does not like to take his Away flank at a far distance when I need him to in order to make a panel. More stuff to work on.

Coal ran after the lunch break and quick club meeting. I sent him from the same post position that I had sent Bid, which was a "big-boy" outrun for Coal, but I wanted an assessment of where we are. It was worth all of the windshield time. He saw the sheep most definitely, but was tentative and flat at first, so I called him back and re-started. On the second try, the outrun was lovely and wide, and the lift beautiful. The fetch, perfect, if a bit slow. I'll have to work on different "gears" for this dog, which is an aspect of technical handling and training I have never gotten to in the past. He's not ready for a full drive, but it's coming along.

Many thanks to NCWSA, and the Willowside Ranch owner and managers for another nice working dog outing in a lovely spot.

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