Monday, October 16, 2006

chasing sheep around a paddock

well actually i dont do that anymore. that used to be what herding was for me, chasing possum who was busy chasing sheep with no regard for anyone. but something has happened lately, im not sure if its her or me, but i suspect its a combination of both. we initially went to herding school to figure out how to get control of wild possum when she was in working mode because we werent able to do any of our other training with her. in the process we have found that she is a natural herder and that i really enjoyed working with her. so now we have a dog who is very trainable, still a bit wild but mostly under control and also a fantastic working dog.

this weekend we worked on a half stop (getting her to hold the sheep steady without shutting her down, which then meant we could move them slowly in inches rather than in metres at a time) which meant we could do some groovy in and out of gate moves.

this also requires me to read the sheep rather than watch my dog all the time, i am still working on doing both at the same time! one time we got them out of the paddock (all by ourselves!) and into the yard and it was really cool except i didnt latch the gate properly and the sheep ran out behind me and poss took off across the paddock after them at the same time as liam (the property owner) let a whole flock into that paddock and she was just like "oh my god which hundred of these sheep am i supposed to be working?" we called her in but it was a bit much for her so she ran and jumped in the water trough for a swim instead. great dog, shame about the handler. kylie didnt forget to latch a gate the whole rest of the weekend.

we also learnt a recall properly, which i havent needed with her really before cos shes so fast but now that i can move her slower its nice to be able to swap spots with her and get the sheep to change direction. i still have some work to do there, i am all good on the right hand side but the left hand is a bit spaz.

we were going to put her in the race to see how she would go backing the sheep but we ran out of time. next time.

robert thinks we will be ready to trial soon, i could go up to sydney now and do the ANKC herding tests no problem but i am not a big fan of the ANKC so i am going to stick to yard dog stuff. robert thinks i will be ready for the boorowra show in march of next year. of course possum's ready now, its me who has some catching up to do.

robert said she was turning into a 'really useful little bitch'. i think this was a compliment.

meanwhile a whole set of photos is on trents flickr.

now i have mountains of washing to do.

more later
k :)


Margie said...

kewl! sheep dog! gates and stuff!

hopefully now you can rely on her to do a better job when you have a hangover? ;)

cake sounds very funny now. i'm sure it wasn't at the time but you do paint a very amusing picture. :)

Taphophile said...

Fantastic on the improvement front - well done Possum and you. :) How exciting to be able to compete.

kylie said...

the cake thing was funny really, and everyone said i should have just smothered it with cream. the cooked bits did taste aewsome...i think my oven has trouble at low temps. anyway the boston mud cake went down well enough instead!

and it is very exciting - being the obsessive type i now just want to train everyday. phd? what phd?