Sunday, March 23, 2014

Training Journal - March 13 - 22, 2014

March 13 - Took Pete to Emil's to work dogs. Several handlers were there, which was a nice buffer for me. Did some close up work, flanks, fetching etc. Emil told me I needed to extend him out, so after lunch Cookie and I did outruns back and forth. Over all I was pleased with our day. I know that I was a little nervous, but Pete did good.

March 14-16 - Took these days off - had to catch up on things around the house and other errands in town. All the kids were home as we had Mandie's baby shower. A good weekend with the family.

March 17-19 - Worked Pete on sheep. Working on extending him on his outruns and reminding him of his flank commands. Goats only came in on the 17th, so Bess didn't get much work.

March 20-21 - Made a trip to Kay's at Normangee. It's long trip - about 4.5 hours one way, but well worth it. Kay helped me get Pete extended on his outruns. Most of all she helped me with my timing and precision on corrections. I worked Val both days and she and seem like we're going to be a fit. Worked on driving with both dogs. My focus on Val is to not let her just run around - that's her default safety action. Two longs days, but very good ones.

When I got home on Friday evening, I unloaded Pete from the PU and since I didn't see any of the stock, I just let him do his boy stuff. Then I got Val on the leash to take her to the kennels. When I went to get Pete, I noticed the stock (5 nannies, 2 kids and 6 ewes) were in the edge of the brush in the clearing in front of the house. Pete saw them too, and he started toward him. I started moving toward him and said his name and he bumped out in a huge outrun, bunched the stock perfectly on top, came to balance point, downed himself and waited for my walk up command. He brought them straight and easy right to me. I let him bring them around me, then I downed him on the backside like where you would start a left hand drive. Called him off and he instantly obeyed! I was on cloud nine!!

Then we loaded up Bess in the PU and went to the pasture to gather goats. They were split in three bunches, the first were headed in, so we let them go, then found the others in two bunches in elbow on top of the mountain. We (Bess and I) gathered up one bunch and drove them to the others and then we had driving practice all the way home - down the mountain and across the bottom. Bess did very well.

Val seemed to settle into her kennel just fine. No fussing through the fences with the other dogs and she went right to eating her supper.

March 22 - Spent the day just hanging out and taking a walk with Val.  I worked in the garden and let all the dogs run about and there were not any confrontations. Started feeding Val and egg and plan to do that every fay for a time.

Had to take Bess in the pasture again to gather goats. We climbed the west point as the goats were climbing out on top. Bess pushed them up and then when I got on top, I sent her around and we brought them back down on a better trail. Then she and I followed them in with the PU. She did a good job penning them up. Her outruns are getting better and better and she is really starting to cover all the stock on top, and not stop short.

Enjoying all of my dogs a bunch.

Training Journal - February 15 - March 12, 2014

Pretty much the same working with both dogs. Continuing to work on Pete staying out and getting longer on his outruns. Bess is doing well gathering and penning goats. Her outruns are getting bigger and more consistent. She is diving in less and less, only when a goat challenges her, and now she just grabs and lets go. Very pleased with how things are going. I work at least 5 days a week, so am feeling good about the time I'm spending with the dogs.

( Photo from Google Images)

Training Journal - Week 6 - February 9-14, 2014

February 9: Penned goats with Bess, then held the goats while the calves worked themselves out of the water lot. Proud of her. Worked Pete on the sheep. First time that I took him out with a leash at all. I thought he was going to bust and go to the sheep off command, but he did a nice lay down and a decent outrun against the fence. As we were fetching them toward the barn, one ewe wanted to run back to the goats and Pete split the herd. I was walking and trying to get him to go around and she bolted which made the other sheep bolt. Pete ran after, refused to lie down and "ran the sheep around". Picked him up behind the house and got him stopped just right. Got him out and we fetched the sheep to the barn. Had to get pretty hard on corrections, but we finished really good. I was pleased that even though he busted, I got good corrections and a good finish.

February 10: No goats, so didn't work Bess. Worked Pete on sheep. Still working on him staying out and off the sheep. He is getting better and better each time I work him! I'm excited!

February 11: Too icy, so didn't work at all.

February 12: Penned goats with Bess. Worked sheep with Pete. Still progressing and I'm pleased with it!

February 13: No work today. Helped Mike with water line job.

February 14: Penned goats with Bess. Pete didn't work stock, but he went with me today on our water line job. It was good for him to ride in the pickup and see and hear different things. He is very sensitive to sounds and was scared of the air coming through the water lines. But by the end of the day, he would just cock his head and listen and not try to get away! Good dog!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Training Journal - Week 5

February 2: Another NO WORK day. Cold, goats didn't come and I was just tired from two days of laying water lines!

February 3: Pretty cold all day. Penned goats with Bess. Then took them from the water lot to the pens to sort out a couple of heavy nannies. Bess did really good work in the pens, and did fairly well moving the goats back and forth. All in all, very pleased with her work tonight. Used Pete to hold a nanny in the corner of the cow lot. He did well. Then worked him on the sheep for about 10-15 minutes. Still working on "getting out" and he is doing better each time I work him. Was very pleased since I hadn't worked him for three days. I'm gaining my confidence back.

February 4: A nice day. Let the dogs run and play in the garden - they played "Chase Pete" and it was hilarious - darting around the trees and seed beds! Then worked Pete on sheep. I'm still working on getting wider on the top Pete is doing really well!! Then penned goats with Bess and she did good!!

February 5: NO WORK.

February 6: No work.

February 7: Penned goats with Bess. Had a good work with Pete on sheep. Still working on keeping him out, and he is doing better every day! So rewarding to be gaining ground again.

February 8:  No goats. Worked Pete on Sheep Ditto of yesterday and I am very pleased with our progress!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Training Journal - Week 4

January 26:  Didn't do anything with the dogs today, except feed them! Out of town all afternoon and evening.

January 27: Cold, cold day. Gathered goats with Bess. She did very well. Worked Pete on sheep in the arena. I'm really working on getting him wider. I think he's getting it and I'm more consistent with my corrections and timing. No walk about, but let them play together in the kennels for a few minutes.

January 28: Another cold morning. Walk - about in the trap behind the house. Kept dogs on leash until we crossed the creek and then I let them free run to the west fence. As we headed back toward the house, Pete wanted to "sell out", but got him called back and he had to come back on the leash. Mikkie and I rode to gather goats - found them on the south end of middle glade. Bess did really well, though she wanted to head them all the time. She stayed with me all the time until we got to the water lot gate, then she just "had" to go around. She wanted to "bust" the sheep, but got her down and back out of the bunch. Worked Pete on trap sheep (6 head). We're still working on getting wider and he is doing well. Just a real short work; probably less than 10 minutes.

January 29: No goats for Bess to work. Worked Pete on sheep. Still working on getting him "out". He is doing better each day.!

January 30:  Again, no goats for Bess. Worked Pete on sheep Working on getting him out on the top.

January 31: Penned goats with Bess. She did some really nice flanks and walk-ups to night. No sheep work for Pete today, as I helped Mike on a job all day.

February 1: Ditto from yesterday! Pete is "sad"!!! Should be able to work tomorrow! Though it is suppose to be cold.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Training Journal - Week 3

January 19: No sheep work today. Went on a walkabout in the trap behind the house. Dogs found a porcupine and the walk was shortened and no sheep work!

January 20: Worked Pete on sheep in afternoon. Good work. My version of "packed pen" with Bess again - she is shaking a lot less! Put her on cattle. She went around real nice, but the cattle wouldn't move away from her - or away from me either. Goats didn't come in so didn't gather with Bess. Both dogs seemed fine from the porcupine encounter, though they didn't eat all their food last night. See how they are in the morning.

January 21: No walk about or free time. Bess penned goats. The pasture sheep were with the goats, but Bess went around very nicely. She did grip a kid that challenged her at the salt block. She was a little difficult to take off the stock in the water lot, but did not bust the herd. I gathered the trap sheep with Pete. When we first struck them and I released Pete, he busted them. But he did "lie down" and I got a correction in. We then went to the sheep again and he went around well and wore the sheep from the water lot to the cow lot. Pleased with both dogs.

January 22: Walk about in the trap behind the house. No Mishaps!!! Pete is such a different dog. We have bonded again, and we are having fun. "Quiet time with Bess in the east holding pen. She did well. Then, we walked around while Mike and Mikkie worked horses. She was very calm, even tied the leash. Mike pushed the sheep out the east holding pen gate for me when I worked Pete. I just walked around in the arena and let Pete wear the sheep to me. Then we penned them back in the holding pen. He did great - no verbal or harsh correction, just corrected him with my body position. Taking the "lie down" command very well!

January 23: Let the dogs play in the garden for a few minutes. Worked Pete on sheep in the arena. Still have the belly rope on, but did not have to take hold. He is wearing sheep well and getting bigger and smoother on his flanks. He is more attentive to me, and is pleased when I praise him. No goats came in, so Bess didn't get to work. Very cold all day.

January 24: Very cold morning, so didn't work until late afternoon. Took Bess out and we gathered goats in the pasture. She had a nice gather. I did put her on the long line to drive them home. They go easy, so it is a good time to work on her rating herself. Worked the sheep in the trap with Pete. He did well, but I'm where I was before we started having trouble. I think I need to stop him and get him out a little by using the rope and to keep him from getting by me. I 'll try it tomorrow.

January 25: I reread chapters 11-15 of Bruce Fogt's book today before I worked Pete. So, I went to the practice field with a definite purpose and plan to teach him to run wider. And it worked!! We had a real good work today. Bess penned goats and did well. We all took a big walk-about in the trap behind the house. Pete went off and left us, so I was a little disappointed, but worked him on sheep after and he did well.

I am highly encouraged, not only about how dog working is going, but also about writing here in this journal every day. It has helped me stay on track, record my progress, problems, and solutions.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Training Journal - Week 2

January 12: Worked dogs in the evening. The sheep seemed fast, and the dogs seemed fast and kinda wanted to cheat me and beat me. Pete went straighter to the sheep. I think my body position affected him. I think I had turned my shoulder a little bit and faced the sheep a little more. Tomorrow, I will be more aware of that. It was extremely windy, so I think that affected the sheep also.

January 13: Worked dogs in the morning. I did short works and only did short outrun/flanks, no driving. Pete did much, much better. Bess did well - she still wanted to dive in one time, but got a good correction. I was very conscientious about my body position and I believe it made a difference. At evening chore time, took the dogs on a walk-about and let them run an play in the feedlot by the tank. I went early enough that they got to play/run around for about 40 minutes. Think it was good for them.

January 14: Fairly cool morning with medium winds. Worked dogs mid morning on sheep in the cow lot. Tried Pete without the belly rope, but had to put it on as he wanted to "cheat me" on the release. One correction was all that was needed, and then he worked well. We rested, and then I put him back on the sheep without the belly rope. He did very well. Bess did good on sheep, too. Only worked her a few outrun/flanks and then drove going both directions around the pen. Then used Bess to pen goats this evening. Mike counted in the gate while I was able to make a correction if needed. She did pretty well. Then, we went on our walk-about to the tank. Seems our "bonds" are becoming stronger.

January 15: Worked dogs on sheep in the morning. Started Pete without belly rope, but he wanted to leave before I released him. Got a good correction, and his flanks were much better. He is more natural to the right, but still just a tad tight on the left. Sheep are settling down and dogs are settling. Bess had a real good work on the sheep. Didn't dive or grip. A little tight on one flank, but got a good correction. She is doing well on driving. I'm really aware of my body position and my voice. I'm now using "HEY YOU" for my correction command. Both dogs seem to listen to it better, maybe because I'm more confident when I give it. Nice run around at tank, though Bess is in season, so will have to start walking them separately for a while.

January 16: Another morning workout. Pete's work was without the belly rope! He really is ready to go to a bigger lot - might venture out in a few days. Still making the foundation sturdy. Bess was a little "high"! She gripped, but the correction seemed to work. She did well on her driving - both ways around the cow pen. Then I sent her on a short outrun - she did well. Only took Pete on walk-about/play time as Bess is in season. He seemed a little lost, but we had some good bond time. I worked on "with me" walking to tank/feedlot.

January 17: Walk about in the trap behind the house before any works. I was adventurous and let Pete go at the gate. He had been running away from me in the past, but didn't today. I let them run about as we walked to the back NW corner. He came back on every call back whistle. Then I leashed them and "with me" walked back to the house. Worked Pete on sheep - put belly rope on and did walk-ups and "lie downs" as a reminder. His flank were great today and he didn't leave early on any release. A little fast fetching to me, but I know that it time to go to a bigger working area. Didn't work Bess on sheep. Prepped her with the belly rope, but she was shaking with anticipation, so we just sat calmly and watched the sheep for about 15 minutes. When she calmed down, we left the pen. I did work goats on her in the evening. Pushed all of them out of the lot and then gathered them and counted them back into the lot. She did very good!

January 18: Another week gone by. All in all, I was very pleased with our progress. Worked Pete on sheep in the afternoon. He worked without the belly rope and over all I think he did well. Bess and I just watched sheep again. She was less "shaky" today, so I think this quiet time is good for her. No walk about today, as we kept Gracen, got firewood, worked cattle and trimmed trees in the holding pens.