Saturday, January 22, 2011

Training Highs and Low

First the highs...
Got to take Tag herding TWICE this week! She is really a lovely, natural worker on the sheep. She doesn't have quite as much natural feel as her sister, but plenty of push (a quality which Gyp lacks). She is sensitive to my pressure and always wants to keep trying, all resulting in some really nice work for my not yet one year old girl.
We just started working on some jumping, and Tag is doing AWESOME!!! She is a gorgeous, naturally tight jumper. Yet again, doing some lovely work.
Last week, we worked on turns off the DW and she was catching on phenomenally well. This week at training, she was doing 90 degree turns off the DW well, especially considering this weeks weirdness (see the low)

Now for the low...
Tag is being weird and sensitive this week and is lacking the confidence she has had lately and I do not like this new development. Since she is unsure, she is slower and more hesitant on the contacts. I can't think of anything that would have caused this development in the last week, and since she is being more sensitive overall, I'm wondering if the change is hormone related.
That being said, since Tag is not stretching out how I want across the contacts and is therefore higher than I have come to expect of her.

I decided that we are going to limit any contact work over the next week... if we do anything, it will only be low DWs with straight entries and exits to just get her flying again. When I see more confidence in daily life, I'll start the contact stuff again.
The other day I was bored and decided to play with a new agility trick. I decided to teach Tag directional wraps (right/left) on verbal cue. I've never taught right/lefts because I am directionally challenged and am with my dog 99% of the time and really haven't needed that particular tool. My plan is to use this ONLY as a command to go and wrap in the direction I say. I'm sure I can find lots of uses in that context.
I have been taking pictures (even keeping up with my 365), but have yet to load the recent ones. The plan is to upload them tomorrow.
Hopefully we'll also get to go herding again this week. Tag is the first dog I've trained from the beginning (besides Tika, but she hardly counts since she's so naughty about it). On a side note, it is amazing I went as long as I did without a BC to help around the farm. I don't know how Tika and I managed.
I have a busy week ahead, full of school, lab work, and sheep club activities. Hopefully the wool lab will be mostly finished by the end of the week and the lambing and shearing barns will be ready for use (the shearing barn needs to be since we shear next Monday-Wednesday!) Otherwise, lots of dog play and hopefully a hike or two are on the docket for the week. Oh yeah, and playing with my belated birthday present... new video editing software. So excited!!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kristin, I don't know how it is in Tag's line but most of the dogs I've had have gone through a fear period about this time, both boys and girls, Collies and Shelties. Maybe that's it :-).