Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tessa and Sally videos



For the first part of the lesson we worked on walk up, down and out, all on the line.  She has done this before in the small pen, where we don't have to worry about the sheep running off.  I have to be a lot more careful in the big field or we won't have sheep, they will just leave.   But she already knows the drill, and doesn't get excited enough to make the sheep run.  This was just a refresher.


The camera ran out of memory, so there was a pause to go get a new memory stick, which is why we are  on the other side of the field in the next video.   I start Tessa walking around the sheep, and push her out when she tries to lean in on them.   Most of this training was also done in the small pen in other sessions, so here she just gets a small reminder before I drop the line.  I don't say anything when I drop the line since at the start of the walking around I had given her a flank command.   I just walk toward the sheep which is enough pressure to hold her out on the path she had started on. 

A couple of times during the lesson I stop her, catch her, and start her the same way for extra practice on all of those things: stopping, being caught (this isn't always the same thing as some dogs will stop but then won't let you get near them without running off around the sheep again), and going around again.    This makes her more willing to stop in the future because we don't just do it at the end of the session.  

Letting Tessa go around

This is more of the middle of the session.   You can see her start to cut in and I step in and push her out.  She tries to go back the other way but I make her go the same was she was originally.   Then we get a nice slow fetch at the end.   Raising my arms makes her go slower behind the sheep.  I am also saying "there" to her, which I don't think you can hear on the video.    It is important to let her cover the sheep if they start to run by me, not just for her own happiness but because if I don't, and  just insist on slowness all around in the wrong place, she will lose the sheep to the far side of the field, which will probably cause her to run after them and make a mess.  

Short steady fetch

Near the end of our session I ask for a stop (stay), which she does, but then tries to go around as I walk toward her.  I am repeating "stay", and I step in between her and the sheep and put on a little pressure until she does stop and stay.  


The next ones are of Sally.  She has not done as much line work in the small pen as Tessa, so I didn't do it out in the larger field.   We have to go back to the small pen and work on that next.    I started her by standing between her and the sheep, which didn't make as smooth a start but it wasn't too bad.  She went around and didn't lose any sheep.  

Sally, the first part

In these videos I am working on keeping the sheep between us, letting her cover and keeping her flanks right.  They are pretty good naturally so I am just reminding her with my stick so she doesn't start to come in closer.  At one point I pushed her out a bit more when she was coming in.  She does more flanking than Tessa, who prefers to walk straight.   I think this is an innate difference in how they work. 
Sally -Middle

The last video shows me getting her to stop.   You can see her give a big stress yawn there at the difficulty of stopping and staying.  It is no longer balance for her when I am on the same side of the sheep as she is.  This is the hard part of the lesson.   But she'll get it and it won't be so bad once she knows she can go back to the sheep after I catch her.   I don't know if you can tell in the video but how I walk toward her is very important if I want her to stay until I get there.  I'm pointing my shoulder at her and giving "don't leave" body language, a very subtle focus off to her side to appear non threatening.  I don't call her to me because that would make the sheep run off.   If I had gone to her fully facing her and looking at her with a "move away" body language she would have been gone and around the sheep, and it wouldn't have been disobedience, but exactly what my body language told her to do, just not what I intended.    I guess she's only had one lesson where I worked on stopping her a bunch.     

Sally- last part

Thank you Dane for braving the biting gnats and videoing us!!!

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