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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Getting it ... slowly ...

Well, being that I've been boring Tess to tears with "walk up" and "stand there," I figured today would be a good day to give her some more acion, especially because the pasture is flooded, which slows her down just a hair.

So we worked on her outshed ... err ... I mean her outrun.

I am really trying to get in her head and understand how she thinks so I can better train her. She is very very quick -- which is great for me because I am used to Zip who gives me plenty of time to think. With Tess, I need to be on top of my game, and if I'm wrong, I know it immediately and at lightening speed.

The good thing is ... she knows her left from her right. I can stand there and give her a flank with no body movement at all, and she definitely knows her "come bye" from her "away to me". She doesn't get know "away to me" from "aaaaaawwwwwwaaaaaaaayyyyyyy ttttttoooooo meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" yet ... but that will come with time.

Today I focused on the top part of her outrun, and stopping her when she starts to come in. She did great. She is kicking out pretty nicely either when I am facing her when I am between her and the sheep, or when I have my back to her, yet I'm still between her and the sheep. I did a couple where I stood directly in front of her, both of us facing the sheep, and she bent off me pretty well if I "threw" (stepped into) her with my body.

I can stop her halfway through the outrun if she's cutting in, I can get between her and the sheep again, and send her again. And she took that pretty well. So then I shortened it up and figured out exactly how long her outrun is. It's not very long. About 100'. But she's getting the concept of picking up ALL the sheep -- which is a huge improvement. When she split them, I am never ever letting her leave any behind because I have no doubt she will. Her "look back" command is getting really good because it's one we use often. ;-)

All in all, I was very impressed with her today. She has also now taken to walking off the field with me with her head right under my hand. I love that. She's such a good girl.

Happy tails...


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