Scoop is eight and a half months old now. I think his legs have finally stopped growing but I am afraid to measure him! Maybe next week:) Scoop and I have been busy with lots of little training things and no one skill in particular. He is just sort of growing up and we are doing lots of playtime and spending short sessions here and there in the training yard. We do a bit of flat board work and he is learning to straighten himself out to approach the board and then just run through on the flat to his toy. I used a hoop for him to run through to begin with, and now have cut off fence posts on either side of the board to help designate the straight board approach. I use a 12 foot board on the ground now, I started with just a 4 foot training plank. I stand still in the middle, but turn towards the end he should approach and tell him to climb. He runs around the little posts, loads on tidy and fast and then runs straight through for his toy toss.
I am pretty happy with Scoops recalls and stays and tugging. What I think we most need to obsess on now is his circle work. As his enthusiasm has grown, he wants to arc a bit wide around me, and this morning I just about ended up on my head when he cut into me when I ran inside circles with him! It is great exercise for me too. Run a bit with him, then tug, then run a bit more and more play. I am exhausted after a short session of flat work. I will get some photos tomorrow of the work and you can see what we do.
That’ll do Scoop
We have 7 sheep and two llamas here on our property. Until earlier this year we had over 30 sheep, but decided we really did not need that many and we sold 25 of them to a couple local herding instructors. I kept the nicest ewes, and maybe next year we will build our herd back up a bit. I like to play with the sheep and I always get enthused about herding this time of year when the green grass starts to fill our beautiful California hills. I say play because I am not serious, and I don’t train, and I probably don’t really know what I am doing. It is also not easy to separate the sheep from the llamas that guard them from the local mountain lions and coyotes. I can’t herd when the llamas are in the field, they don’t move like stock, and will chase dogs out of the field. That is their job. So the effort becomes great, but this week I got the sheep on one side of the hill and the llamas on the other. Scoop met sheep face to face without a fence separating them for the first time.
He was pretty good, and I was happy and now I am excited to keep going with him. He was very interested, and it did not take any encouragement for him to get out around them and do an imitation of a beginning herding dog. I thought of the effort and the reward of herding as I started that day…..chasing sheep at just the right moment when the lllamas were on one side of a gate and the sheep on the other= time consuming and exhausting. Getting to say for the first time, that’ll do Scoop=priceless:)
I was going to write about some of my students dog’s recalls tonight, but hopefully I can do that before I leave town again. I am teaching a seminar at the Clean Run facility this weekend for Leap Agility which should be lots of fun! Maybe if I get my Clean Run magazine homework done before I go I can spend some time here again.
Scoop and I hope you are having as much fun as is possibly with your puppy, and if it’s a herding dog….let it meet some sheep so you can say that’ll do too!