Today Bug and I had a herding lesson and he was crazy for those sheepies! Bug was more "turned on" than last time we went to see Diane - about a month ago. I am in a bit of shock, to be honest. The learning curve for me is steep, and now I have a different dog. :-) The great news is, as Diane said, "now you have a dog to work with."
We worked on flanking, sending Bug behind me from either direction to hold the sheep or move them slightly. I had a tremendous amount of trouble with this as it involves the rake and I do not use the rake well at this point. It was pretty frustrating for me and for Bug. Diane showed me an exercise sans sheep to practice using the rake with Bug at home.
I really need to work on Bug being comfortable with the rake. Bug needs to learn that when I ask him to move away from the rake he can move sideways away or whatever direction I need him to move. Currently he is still a bit leery about the rake - although he is becoming more confident.
We worked on "walk up" and downing on our way to the sheep. Bug's down is slow. So, homework is "down" and "stand." Diane said if we have a solid "down" and "stand" we'll be golden. We also practiced "out" - turning and walking straight away from the sheep. Once you reach as far as you are going, turn to the sheep and have your dog down. This is "there."
Then we let Bug bring me the sheep and hold them. This was probably our most successful exercise of the day. Although his walk up, down, out, theres improved - we practiced quite a bit.
We worked for a solid 40 minutes. This is the longest Bug has ever worked sheep. He worked SO hard and he never quit. I am so proud of him! I am also beyond happy that he thinks sheep are this cool.
6 days ago