Yesterday morning Bug and I had a second herding lesson with Diane. It was AWESOME!!
Our first lesson Bug was really stressed about the new location and acted more like the Bug I first brought to Colleen's than the Bug I have come to know. So, yesterday we started our lesson by having Bug move two groups into and out of a center pen. I had a different dog this lesson. He happily moved those sheep about.
The we worked on "get around." Diane tried to teach me to meet my dog, not cut him off. She brought out her AS Mikey and let me work with him. It made perfect sense. I had been taking my eye of the Bug and literally cutting off his forward momentum versus turning and meeting him when he came around. Not sure if that makes sense or not - it is hard to explain, even with sheep.
We also started to work a bit on fetching but it was stressing Bug out, or I was stressing Bug out, or the rake was stressing Bug out. Who knows. So we altered our plan and just worked on me letting him bring me sheep and changing directions. Also keeping him engaged with the rake.
Bug really was stellar and I listened and asked more questions. I also tried not to HELP my dog, which can be hard for me. Diane must have yelled "Don't move" 10 times if she yelled it once!
Diane also showed me a way to take playing with the rake at home to the next level. It is literally the space game with the rake. She showed me how she could ask Mikey to side-step, etc with just a wee bit of gentle movement from the rake. I am definitely going to work on this with Bug. Probably Ike too because he would enjoy it.
The lesson ended on a real high note. Bug brought me the sheep (and I didn't move!) and Bug kept the sheep in front of me! Moving back and forth and balancing the pressure on them. It was awesome.
I need to work on Bug playing the space game with the rake. I am happy to say I am starting to "grasp" more bits and pieces. Backing up was not as hard for me this lesson. Diane was also able to clarify different pieces for me. We have a lesson in two weeks to hopefully build on this week's success.
5 days ago