Worked Echo again last night. I cannot believe how much fun I am having training this dog. She is so talented. I'm working on outruns with her, and I am starting to see what people mean by a truly natural outrunner. For as young as she is, and for how few outruns we've done to this point, she "gets" it. I started out standing very close to my stock at about 100' out, and she kicked way out -- almost too far out -- and came in quietly behind them. So I moved about 1/2 way between her and the stock, moved over to one side, and sent her to the other side, and she looked gorgeous! Came in nice and quietly behind her stock. So I pushed it to see how far I could ... or couldn't go. I set it up again at about 150' ... got between her and the stock, but closer to her, turned my back to her, and sent her. Her verbal flanks aren't that solid yet, so when she didn't go initially, I gave her a "shhhh" and off she went, just as gorgeous as ever, got behind them and lifted nice and quietly. I called her off and called her back to me and was kneeling down petting her, telling her what a good girl she was, when the sheep wandered to within about 50feet of us. I decided to see what would happen if I sent her from my side. Well, she went straight at them, made a big mess of things, and when I said nothing, she quietly gathered them all back together and brought them to me. I think we both learned something there.
We did a few more beautiful 100' outruns (with me between her and the stock) and called it good. What a pleasure this dog is. Thank you, Echo.