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.

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