Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back to School

The boys and I went back to school yesterday. Rather, Coal, Ryme and I finally had a lesson with our sheepdog trainer on Saturday. The homework has been duly assigned. If I had to carry it in a backpack like the school kids do, my pack would be enormous.

Coal and I are so rusty, having no place to practice distance work all summer; he's kind of got his hearing turned off when we get to a certain point or if something is happening that sucks him in with his extreme eye. This was not news to me and I work on these issues all the time; however it apparently is not enough, but especially not at a distance.

Ryme and I have some more issues to work out that are also falling under the major subject of scope and his relationship to the sheep. There was a lot of discussion of making the dog take responsibility vs. just ensuring that he takes this command or that. Commanding the dog to get through a trial course is not the ultimate goal.

I'm not discouraged, though. I wish the dogs had done better so we could have worked on some other stuff too. But we got what we needed and I'll try to figure out a way to get them some work sessions at longer distances. Both dogs were worn out, too and not in good enough physical condition. That is a tall order for me with fewer daylight minutes each day now. It's good to know where you stand though. Our trainer is trying to get us all to the next level, whatever that is. I am so grateful for the input.

It was a lovely day, not too hot, and beautiful weather. Just the little mini-vacation that I needed to restore my self. Just like fall weather that I remember when we were kids...when we went Back to School. :-)

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