Friday, April 18, 2014

Spot Update April 2014

Spot is still with us even though he hasn't been mentioned too much in the blog lately. While at times I feel like contacting Barnum and Bailey to see if they might need another circus dog, because he is such a clown at home, Spot is slowly but surely coming along in his training, now age almost 20 months. I was thinking of it as just chipping away but today the thought came to me that instead of chipping away it is more positive to say that I am getting a toe hold. All I need in most cases with Spot, is just a teeny toe hold and that gives me the foundation to build from. It is taking us a while to get our act together but we are making progress. Each little toe hold that gets chipped away gives me somewhere else to go. And we know I have to keep moving! :) 

While there are many 20-month young dogs who are ready to run in a trial in nursery this is not the case for us. We are still back in the beginning to intermediate stages of getting started, but it is getting better and better. Luckily I don't have much of an agenda, time-wise, with him. As long as he is trying - and he is obviously trying very hard - I will keep at it.  He has such great potential if I can just hang in there, give him the right opportunities, and not mess him up.

He can do a beautiful (short) outrun, lift and fetch. His feel for sheep is amazing. His stops are getting more reliable especially if on balance; I am working on getting him to stop in other places. Sometimes he will, sometimes he won't - which goes for my big dogs as well! :)  We have some lovely quiet sheep who have been great to train on, but I have to challenge myself to work Spot on some of the other sheep just so I get he and I both used to it when the quiet sheep move on. They are destined to go and be useful to start all over with another young  puppy so soon we will be saying goodbye to them, and hello big sheep/ Scotties! To that end I put Spot on a bigger group mixed up of quiet sheep plus Scotties tonight. They were faster than what he is used to but we managed it. I think we will be OK.We have a lot of time and miles to put in, Spot and I.





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