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.