Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Long Distance

One of the many challenges in trying to run dogs in the USBCHA-type driving trials is in finding places to practice at the longer distances. We have places to train on sheep close to home but they are smaller fields. Finding a place to work several hundred yards away from the dogs and sheep is a huge and constant issue/ challenge/ quandary...

Hauling your own sheep out seems like a good answer to the problem, and it's what many folks do. But lacking a trailer and suitable tow vehicle makes that out of the question for now (while that remains on the wish/goal list). This /activity/ lifestyle is not for the faint of heart nor those who don't have deep pockets. Being retired and/or having a trust fund would be of great help as well! :)

But that said I recently had a chance to go train with Ryme and Coal at as much distance as I could possibly stand it, and as far as I could push ourselves. Both boys did well. In fact (and I am so puzzled by this) neither dog did better than the other overall. Ryme was just as confident and trustworthy at several hundred yards away, doing both outruns and driving, as Coal was. They each have their strengths and their weaknesses. It made me want to try harder to try to find out what situations would work for Ryme to be able to trial even at a limited number of venues.

We had a really nice day and spent it in a lovely place where I chose to be unplugged from the electronic world for a few hours. That part was really restful given the pace of late. Coal was a bit footsore when we got home. I know the dogs are not in the shape they should be in. Something else to work on. With the local county's leash laws, that part of the equation is not simple, either.

This sheepdog activity certainly pushes the little grey cells (as Hercule Poirot would say) to their limit!

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