Yesterday was Pepper's birthday, and she got her favorite sort of present, which was to work sheep until her tongue was hanging down and she was ready to get in the water bucket. We did a lot of work on flanks. I'm having her come around from balance to my side up while I am against a fence, then come between me and the sheep and go back around to balance. She goes around behind me on a flank very easily, but coming between me and the sheep does not make her comfortable. The only way I can get her to come in front of me is to have my back against the fence. I'm using a technique learned from Bob Vest, of holding the stick out diagonally and touching the ground, then having the dog go under the stick as they cross in front. For some reason it helps get the dog close in to your feet without having them focus on coming to you. Getting the dog between me and the stock is an important step in driving, especially when I want them to drive stock off that are resistant to going away.
|Michael with Sprite, Pepper and Ben|