Sunday, July 27, 2008

Herding - Take 2

Today Bug and I went out to Two Shadows Farm for a herding lesson. Colleen had us work in the smaller pen, so Bug would hopefully be more comfortable. He definitely still thinks the sheep are a bit strange and doesn't understand that he is controlling their movement. However, he was immediately willing to walk with me up and after the sheep (this is how we finished last lesson).

Colleen decided to go get her 2 yo Terv Talia for Bug to watch herd. We let Bug and Talia play first and they were a good match in personality and playing style. Bug gave Talia his belly a couple of times but he wasn't melting the whole time - he was playing, too.

He was really interested in Talia working the sheep but not willing to give chase with Talia. We did this for a while and then Colleen put Talia up. Bug was definitely "looser" and more confident about the sheep after watching Talia. Still not 100%. Colleen had a couple of suggestions. The next lesson we have scheduled, Monty and Katrin will also be going. Bug can watch Monty work the sheep first. She suggested that I work with one of her dogs so I can start to learn more of the basics, while she holds Bug outside the pen. Hopefully we will make the Bug want to work the sheep with me! : D

She also suggested taking him somewhere that has sheep and c/t him for watching them. He was fascinated by her sheep on the hill - all eyes and big ears, but he didn't want to look at the sheep in the pen with us - they were too close!

So, I need to find some sheep nearby and get Bug closer and closer. We are going to give it two more lessons and then shelve it until next year if there is no real progress. Colleen thinks as our relationship continues to develop and Bug gets more confident it will probably affect his confidence with the sheepies.

There was a lot of stress sniffing (and delectable smell sniffing) going on, but
I definitely saw an improvement from last lesson where I felt like I was dragging him about!


Katrin said...

And Holly took his sister Destiny and brother Luther herding today too! Guess they both did well!

Glad to hear the lesson was overall good!

Jules said...

Oh cool!! Can't wait to hear how Destiny did!

Holly said...
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Holly said...

I am glad Bug improved! Yeah! He just needs a bit of time as he is a softer fella than his monster sister.

Destiny took to sheep like a duck to water. She came out of the truck ready!! It was a great lesson and we are very proud that we found SOMETHING she likes.

Please keep fingers crossed but we may be getting a couple leads for a herding home for her!

Mind you, I don't think Sabrina is too thrilled that Destiny played with sheep today... she peed 2x in the house, both in front of Destiny's crate.

Luther was great! He worked them well and we plan to get an HT then a PT on him.

Jules said...

Holly, that is AWESOME!!! Go Destiny! Go Luther! It’s so neat when you figure out what they like. Sabrina must have been *jealous* – she is a workin’ girl.

Poor Bug has a G/I bug – now I wonder if that affected him yesterday too. Either way I am really happy he showed improvement – that’s all I can ask for

Holly said...

Poor Bug! I hope he feels better! Give him a hug for us.

Yes, Sabrina must have been very jealous. If we can get Destiny into a herding home then Sabrina can go each week with Luther.

Blue said...

Herding sounds like so much fun! I bet you'll be amazed by how much your relationship with Bug develops in a year.

I really want to take Iris herding, but my schedule doesn't quite fit with Colleen's yet (either she has trials or I'm busy). Have you come up with anywhere nearby that has sheep you can take Bug to look at?

Jules said...

I *think* the Bradley Estate in Canton has sheepies. I might have to take the boy on the weekend when they are out and about (for the human kiddies to look at).

Colleen is great. I think you and Iris will really like her - once you work out the scheduling.