Bess is now 17 months old and should be further along in her training, but due to my "noviceness" and wanting to do it right, I've taken it slow. She is also a slow to mature, and really my goal is to have a solid dog that will work on the ranch and show at trials, so I'd rather go slow than have to back up and fix a lot of things.
One of the things that I have had to work on Bess is her confidence. She "busts" the stock when she feels like they are "challenging" her. Once I realized that is what caused her to bust, I've worked a lot on creating work/practice situations that builds her confidence. So, we're still in the round pen, but she is driving and rating her stock much better and her short outruns and flanks are getting much better. I use the round pen to "shape" the sheep, and she has to drive them around the pen. By doing this she is learning to "hold the pressure" correctly and not cause the sheep to squirt out off the fence, and to keep them going around in an easy manner. She has been a difficult dog to "get out" off stock as when you correct her, she thinks you;re wanting her to take to the stock. So, it has been a learning process for me to see what makes her "tick" But she is such a fun dog, loves me and really wants to please. So, I'm very pleased with what we have accomplished thus far.
Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my little corner of the dog world!
Happy Trails to Ya'll