|The guardian dog keeps watch over her flock.|
We went to the recent Jack Knox sheepdog training clinic at Tulelake and had a wonderful time. Spot was entered in the clinic. My main goal was to get Spot out somewhere different, but also wanted the lessons with Jack. I enjoyed our lessons with him in February up at Hopland so I thought it was worth another go, as long as we are in training-not-trialling mode. :)
There were no major breakthroughs for Spot but that is fine. I wasn't really seeking a breakthrough of any sort. Overall the clinic was very good, with a varied group of people and experience levels which always makes it interesting. We (Spot and I ) ended up working on something unexpected. When sent to gather the sheep off the fence in the arena-sized field, Spot would slow up too much on his outrun. I haven't really seen him do this at home because we don't have any smaller spaces to work in. Jack's response when he saw this hesitancy was to have me call Spot back and start over, and really encourage him on his outrun to RUN and not creep along. It is not wrong for the dog to slow up a little when approaching sheep on a fence but he shouldn't slow up that much. After these little gathers we would have Spot bring the sheep on a fetch and I would practice our stops and flanks and do a little driving across the arena. Jack reminded me that I should be seeing the "ribs" of the sheep as we do a cross drive - not the heads or the tails. The heads should be coming towards me on the fetch and not on the cross drive.
I always look forward to watching the other dogs being worked in these clinics. There were some amazing and phenomenal ah-ha moments, this time around, as well as lots of just plain good dog work. Old friends, new friends, good food, good times, and lots of laughs, were in abundance as well. There is always something fun about going to Tulelake ! :) Thank you to everyone who helped!