My Christmas gifts from one of my daughters!!! These, plus a trip to a fellow trialer, has helped me get back on track training Pete and Bess. After I lost Tate in June, I hit a huge slump in my training. Bess had a broken leg, so I began to "push" Pete too fast, and I got in trouble. He started "cheating" me and I didn't know how to correct it. So I got discouraged and basically gave up really training for several months. I puttered at it, but was getting no where. I lost my confidence and my dogs knew it. But after my trip to Kay's in November, I'm back on track! So, I've purposed to keep a journal of my daily training schedule/activities, so I go can go back and see my progress. Hope you, my fellow dog lovers/trainers will feel free to comment and help me with advice and encouragement!
December 26 - 31: Began "walk-abouts" to reestablish obedience for Pete. I continue to use Bess to pen the goats. She is doing well. Have been able to make "good" corrections with her, and she is "diving in" much less.
January 1-2: Continuing walk-abouts and "free play" time in the feedlot. Bess loves to jump on the round hay bales! She is such a happy dog! Both dogs are getting much better on the leash. My consistency is paying off.
January 3: Another day of just walk-about and free time. But we did get the sheep in out of the big pasture, so I will start working the dogs on sheep tomorrow!
January 4: Worked both dogs on sheep in the cow lot. Bess needed quite a few corrections, but seemed to take them well. Pete did okay for not being on stock for almost 50 days. He is listening to me much better and I am reinforcing the "lie down" and "that'll do" commands.
January 5: Worked dogs in the morning. Short works, but pleased with where the dogs are. A little better than yesterday.
January 6: The weather was very cold, but I did do a short work on both dogs. Bess is being a little tough, but Pete is coming around and showing me that we are getting back to where we were 6 months ago.
January 7: Worked both dogs on sheep in evening. Small improvements on both dogs. Highly encouraged!
January 8: Another good day. Didn't get a walk-about in, but both dogs still showing improvement on the sheep. Still working in the cow lot with the belly rope, but not having to use it much at all.
January 9: Moved goats from water lot to working pens with Bess. Sorted off the billies so they could be hauled to a different pasture. Bess was very quiet in the pens - even did a small "shed" with her with one billie. Then moved goats back to water lot. Bess worked a little fast at times, but keeps them bunched and moving fairly well. She did "sell out" when we came back through a little gate to go to the kennels. She thought she was going to get away from me and head the goats. Worked Pete on sheep in the evening. He did well, Had one correction as he wanted to "cheat me and beat me" to the sheep on his left flank from a Lie Down. He was easy to correct and worked correctly on the next release.
January 10: Worked both dogs on sheep in the morning. Very, very good works on both dogs. Pete is really starting to handle his sheep again and watching and listening to me. He's not trying to "cheat me" and "beat me" to the sheep. I'm rewarding him for being a good dog by letting him have his sheep. Bess is doing better - didn't grip once today! A couple small corrections on her flanks and outruns. I am much encouraged.
January 11: Let Bess and Pete have some "run-around" time in the garden before we worked sheep. Worked Pete first. Still using the belly rope, just as a reminder, but no corrections needed . Still working in the cow lot. His flanks were good, wore the sheep without pushing and rated himself well. Did a little driving around the lot. I had to check him a couple of times, but getting the idea.
Bess did very good on her driving around the lot. She is still a little "slicy" on her left flank, but did not dive in at all today. Still using the belly rope, though only had to correct her once on a release for the left flank.