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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Different Perspective

I realized I never wrote up a wrap-up on the Shannahan clinic. Amazing! Worth every dime! There were about 18 working spots, and I learned something from watching each and every dog. The two major things for me were 1) my own body pressure, where it is, and how to affects not only the dog, but the sheep as well; and 2) working looser eyed dogs. My comfort zone has always been the dogs with a lot of eye, lots of style, real slinky that give me time to think. Zip was like that when he was younger, and his daughter Skar is very much the same. We worked Skar a couple of times on Saturday, and for right now, the main idea was that we need to keep her on her feet so as to not give her eye time to lock in and make her sticky. Keep her moving. Keep changing the point of balance without putting any pressure on her. She's very trustworthy, and is kind to her stock, so there is no danger in doing this. It seems to free her up little by little.

We worked Echo the following day. That was one of the very first times I've worked her. (I had her in the round pen a time or two before that.) Echo doesn't have near as much eye, is very fast, tight and intense. Way out of my comfort zone. Although working with Patrick gave me the confidence to tackle this. He basically told me that once I have her kicked out, she'll be much easier to work. He showed me that, despite the fact that she's only eight months old, she can handle the pressure, and in fact, encouraged me to get a handle on her now before her body catches up to her.

There were other dogs there that were at different levels in their training ... from very novice all the way to shedding. Saw some very nice dogs, and added several new tricks to my bag. Loved it!

Happy tails!

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