Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dunnigan Hills Fall 2014

a beautiful day at the Dunnigan Hills trial

from exhaust back up to judge's trailer, handlers, and spectators
Coal and I had a great time at the Dunnigan Hills Fall sheepdog trial. We had two open runs and I am happy to say that we completed the course -- finished!! -- on both runs. We made all the gates, too. They weren't the polished runs that I would prefer to look back on but they were good.  

A happy Coal after his run!
Coal tried hard and was really perky after both of his runs. At age eight  I am very glad to see him act like that! One issue though, was he would not stop for me at all on Saturday's run. Rather than fight with him on the trial field, on Monday's run I elected to just go with it and steady and steer him instead. It worked. He still needs to stop for me, and we will be working on that in practice (as we already have been but clearly it is not ingrained enough to hold up at a trial!). But a wise trainer told me once that if the dog won't stop in a trial there is no sense yelling on and on at the dog and making the judge wonder what you are doing. You have a few choices but if your dog is the type who can run a course that way, then go for it, run the trial with your steady, and fix the no-stopping problem at home. It's not ideal but that's what we did.

Saturday's weather was beautiful (the photos above are from Saturday) after the fog lifted. There was a slight delay in running dogs both days I was there, due to fog. Monday's weather was colder and more foggy, and the sky remained cloudy and it never really cleared up. That was all OK with me because we did not get rained on and it stayed nice and cool for the dogs and sheep.

I am super appreciative of such a great trial so close to home. I am grateful for the trial hosts who put it on, the judge, clerk, and all the helpers including the fabulous setout crew and course director, and all. The Chico CSU kids brought food and drinks to sell, on the weekend, which I am sure was greatly enjoyed by everyone. We were all also very glad to see all the green grass starting to sprout on those Dunnigan hills...after the several drought years it was a welcome sight.

What surprised me and also what seemed to be on the tip of everyone's tongue, was the question of when Spot will make his debut in a trial. I don't know but it might be soon, just as a practice to get him out for experience's sake.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Sounds like it was a good trial for you.

I really like this "a wise trainer told me once that if the dog won't stop in a trial there is no sense yelling on and on at the dog and making the judge wonder what you are doing. "

Good Advice!

Billy said...

Well it's just a band-aid and not a solution...the next dog will be better at stopping on the fetch! :)

Dunnigan is always my favorite trial.


The Boyz at Carmel, our favorite place